The industry term for the defensive items that you carry with you on a daily basis has a an acronym called, “EDC.”  It stands for Every Day Carry… or the things you carry with you every day.

The problem I have with the term is that it has become so overused and over promoted throughout the industry of civilian firearms enthusiasts that it has taken on some different meanings besides what it is supposed to signify.

I don’t think that these sliding shifts in the term “EDC”, is a good thing.

Let me explain why I feel this way and why I’ve changed it for our students.

Every Day Carry (EDC) has taken on the concept of, “Here’s what I am carrying today.”  Meaning… based on what I am doing today, what I feel like wearing today, based on where I am going today, based on who I am with today… here’s what I have decided to carry with me.

This concept of EDC is very fluid based on factors that I don’t feel should be the determining factor as to your defensive tools.

Hence we keep seeing a rash of EDC/CCW guns that keep getting smaller and slimmer and with less round capacity, enter the market to satisfy this now fluid concept, EDC.

Now understand, that an EDC handgun is already a woefully underpowered weapon in a gunfight.

If I have to be in a gunfight… I want a long gun.  I want my AR-15 in .308 and minimally .556.  The last thing I want is a sidearm.  I don’t care what kind of handgun it is and what caliber it is.  It’s still an underpowered weapon for a gunfight.

A handgun is a weapon of convenience and not really a weapon for combat, but we can’t really walk around concealing a full powered rifle on our body everywhere we go.

So the idea of allowing the concept of EDC (Every Day Carry) to become more fluid, is a dangerous thing.  Reducing your weapons ability to do it’s intended job, when it’s already not up to the standard of gun fighting, is really a bad, bad idea.  (I am speaking of course about small, low round count, small caliber handguns.)

And while we are at it on this subject… let’s take a look at the related term CCW, which stands for Concealed Carry Weapon.

This term suffers from the same fluidity and it has lost it’s true professional meaning.

Based on how people interpret the term CCW (based on what they are carrying on them), it should not be called their “Concealed Carry Weapon”… they should call it their “Convenience Carry Weapon.”

Based on that, I have even changed the term “CCW – Concealed Carry Weapon” to “CCW – Chief Combat Weapon.”

When you change the words from “Concealed Carry” to “Chief Combat”… it really changes the way that you look at what you carry every day.

Instead of making the decision of what gun you buy or put on your person for defense, based on the concept of “What can you conceal”, we now start making that decision based on the idea that it is going to be our “Chief Combat Weapon.”  Essentially the absolute biggest weapon we have at our disposal to defend and protect life.

This new version of “CCW” makes people focus on the concept of picking or carrying a weapon that will be their chief form of force multiplier at the time of altercation.

  • A weapon that has a large enough caliber, larger round count, your main training weapon (dry and live fire), you demonstrate skill with it during live fire defensive range drills based on accuracy, speed, movement, deployment, etc.

I am not going to use a Back-Up Gun (B.U.G) as my Chief Combat Weapon.

And of course depending on if you can even carry a firearm where you are, that in itself, changes what your Chief Combat Weapon – CCW can actually be.

Now… back to my new term for EDC.  Welcome to “I.D.C -- Irrespective Daily Carry.”

I don’t think that true professionals fall into this trap.

But the over proliferation of the concept of EDC and the hobby-istic nature of gun owners who are mostly untrained yet carry daily, the gun becomes more of an accessory to their current outfit, than a legitimate light rig to draw from if things go sideways while at the grocery store.

Which is why I changed the EDC acronym, to my version... "I.D.C"…“Irrespective Daily Carry.”

Essentially… “Irrespective” of What I am doing, Where I am going, Who I am with, What I am wearing, etc… “This is what I have on me every day.”

Once again, this changes the focus and tightens the parameters of what your Daily Carry items look like.

“IDC” is not a comprehensive “full-kit” concept, but the bare essentials that you need if SHTF and things go sideways while at the grocery store, so-to-speak.

  • That means you need the ability to defend your life, the lives of innocents, or family and friends, first and foremost. That’s most likely you firearm (now what you know as your “Chief Combat Weapon” or the new CCW) and a holster of some kind.
  • Next you need a backup weapon or tool that you can deploy as a secondary or even primary if getting to your firearms is not possible at the time of the attack. This can also be a tool that can be used as non-lethal, which gives you options along the force continuum, or as you apply our Weapon Institutes 6-D’s of Combat.  Your knife could possibly be this IDC option.
  • Next would be your ability to communicate, and that of course would be your cell phone. If you want to include your small charger, just in case, then that’s good too.
  • Also, you might want to include some form of medical, and for me at the very base level, that’s a R.A.T.S Tourniquet.

These are Bare Bones Essentials that cover a lot of ground, if and when, you come up against a really bad situation, whether you are directly or indirectly involved.

That’s the idea behind the “IDC – Irrespective Daily Carry.”  These are the items that you carry on your person “irrespective” of anything.

It is ABSOLUTELY NOT a concept of convenience.

Here's my IDC...

  • First Spear Base Belt or sometimes the First Spear Elastic Under Belt
  • Glock 19... sometimes/rarely a G43
  • AIWB minimalist kydex holster (sometimes an AIWB with Spare Mag Sidecar)
  • Cell phone
  • Tactical knife (599xt always, sometimes neck knife)
  • Belt Pouch Minimalist IFAK
    • RATS Tourniquet
    • ReadyMan Total Survival Kit Cards
    • QuikClot Z Fold Gauze (Hemostatic Agent) (Get the Latest Generation NOT granular or old Gen Roll)
    • Olaes Bandage
  • Small Tactical light (generally on keychain)

*** This of course is expanded with my RPD Bag, which carries more gear, and is ready for things to go sideways and SHTF. This is always in my vehicle or office.

Specs Of Your IDC-Chief Combat Weapon:  Here’s a quick guideline to your IDC-CCW.  These are things that most good instructors have brought up many, many times before, so this isn’t anything new.  Just a refresher:

  • You Will Actually IDC: You need to purchase a firearm that you will actually IDC.  Remember… Irrespective Daily Carry.  I hate putting this first but the unignorable fact is that if you don’t carry it (regardless of size and caliber) it can’t help you.  Just please remember that this is NOT your first criteria.  My personal thought and feeling, based off of my personal training and knowledge, is no smaller than aGlock43 format.
  • Combat Caliber: Stay with the calibers for combat and duty.  Remember that a handgun is not the preferred defense firearm.  That would be a rifle.  But a handgun is the next best thing, and of course easier to conceal. So we will want to keep the caliber large enough to do it’s intended job. For me that’s 9mm minimum.
  • Combat Reliability: There’s so much that could go into this concept.  Let’s just say, stay with major brands that have a history of military and law enforcement use.
  • I.T Factors: Make sure the gun fits your hands and body.  Again, lots we could say here, but the basics are size, grip size (adjustability), trigger reach, etc.  You need to be able to have a proper strong grip platform, and be able to properly reach and press the trigger.  Even though solid technique makes all the difference, a correctly fitting firearm really helps take that to the next level.
  • Can You Work It?: Instead of the gun working you.  This means you have to have enough gun to be able to do the work it’s intended to do.  Things like:
    • Draw, Reloads, Get it into action, train, fight, shooting at speed, etc..
  • How Do You Shoot It: This is really more for the novice shooter, although it does apply with some advanced shooters.  The better you get, the more you understand that Platform and Trigger Press are universal to all firearms, with some minor adjustments. Do you shoot the gun well?  This is why solid technique becomes important.  Some people like the more 1911 grip/angle version versus the Glock grip angle.  It’s more natural for them.  Some people are cross- eye dominant, so certain grip angels mess them up at first.  Not everyone can shoot and run training drills with every handgun they’re considering.  But if you can, demo the guns and shoot them based on some basic drills to see how you feel in handling that specific firearm (there are ranges that will allow you to rent firearms).  I recommend our practice target pack for a range session (free) so that way you can see how you do with things like, accuracy, target, speed and drills, etc...
  • Will You Consistently Train And Carry It? I personally train with what I carry.  I am a big believer with training with what you carry across the board.  Holster, ammo, firearm, etc. The last thing I would want to have happen if I had to rely on my gear, is to worry about anything that is “different” than what I have trained myself to rely on.  I want my mind to be cleared up to focus on other factors, and to not be concerned about the performance of my gear and firearm.  I know several people that have multiple firearms ranging in caliber and size. Sometimes based on certain uncontrollable factors, they may carry a different firearm, one that may not be as big of a caliber as what is preferred. However, these same people train consistently so that they are just as efficient with their gear/firearm being used.
  • Is This What You Shoot Most Proficiently? I shoot a lot of firearms extremely well and proficient, but there are some that I absolutely have an advantage with when it comes to skill, more so than others. I see this consistently debated online and in forums. People that will carry a “cheaper gun” and leave their custom “Porsche” at home, because if something does happen, they know that their firearm will become police property, and probably won’t ever be returned. Personally, if my life, my children, family, friends, and others’ lives were at stake? I would take every advantage I could get at that particular moment. So if I had the advantage with the “Porsche” firearm, that’s what I am carrying. Period. End of story.
  • Upgrade Ability: This is really based more on your ability to swap out the sights for ones that you prefer, and maybe adding some accessories like a laser, light, etc.  I would suggest that you don’t do a lot of customizing of the stock firearms.  Keep the firearm as close to its DUTY Specs as possible.  Don’t fall prey to the 2lb super short trigger job, etc…

With all of the countless atrocities that are continually occurring in the world around us, it is even more important than ever before, that we are not only fine-tuning ourselves and our skill level, but also have the right gear in our “IDC”.