Last Saturday’s Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Association banquet presented my wife and me with some fashion quandaries. She was worried about what to wear (I told her patriotism and enthusiasm trump fashion at such events, and I was right), while I worried about what gun to carry.
Even though I prefer to carry discreetly, I wanted to open carry because a) I can and b) if you can’t open carry to a gun banquet, where can you open carry?
Update: Turns out that weekend was Open-Carry Weekend, so this just adds to the win.
And therein lay the problem. I don’t (yet) have a good holster for open carry for my CCW/competition guns: All my holsters are either IWB/tuckables for concealed carry or kydex BladeTech holsters more suitable for competition than for carry.
The solution presented itself to me whilst cleaning out the garage. I found the holster my father-in-law used for the K22 I inherited when he passed away, well-worn from 30 years of constant use and complete with his initials embossed on the holster.
It’s not some uber-cool polymer gun in the latest high-tech holster nor a well-polished cowboy rig with bright shiny buckles and it’s certainly not some spangley high-end 1911 in a holster made from manatee hide. It’s just a simple .22LR revolver in a simple yet well-made holster that was worn and used by a man whose family has lived and worked in Arizona since before Arizona was a state.
The ASRPA has also been around for longer than the state of Arizona, and wearing this gun in this holster to the banquet somehow felt right. The K22 isn’t what most people would think of as a daily carry gun, but my father-in-law wore that gun in that holster all over the Tonto National Forest, and it’s probably dispatched more varmints than any other gun in the state.
I wore that simple, rugged gun to honour the legacy of a simple (in the very best sense of the word), rugged man and his role in building our state and fathering the woman who is now my wife.
May he rest in peace.