Meet Charlie Hursh, an avid competitive shooter who participates in events held by the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) and the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA). Hursh started shooting competitively about four years ago when he became serious about concealed carry. He thought to himself “If I’m going to take on the responsibility of carrying a firearm, not only do I want to know all I can about the legal aspects of using deadly force, but I want to be able to increase my proficiency and have confidence. I also want to know that if I ever do have to use my firearm in a confrontation, I’m able to do it effectively under pressure.”
His gun preference
Hursh shoots a CZ P-10C. It’s a striker-fired polymer pistol similar in size to the Glock 19 and built with “feel” as its primary attribute. He likes this gun because it’s relatively lightweight and he can wear it all day without fatigue.
“It points naturally, it’s ergonomic – fits my medium sized hand very well – and it has interchangeable back straps that can be customized to make it fit like a glove,” he said. The second most important reason for his preference is the excellent trigger. “It’s got a very crisp let-off,” he said. “Not too heavy or too light of a trigger pull and it’s been very accurate and reliable.”
His holster favorite
Hursh said he prefers an “inside the waistband” holster “because it keeps the gun close to my body and makes it easily concealable even if I’m wearing a very thin T-shirt.”
One of Hursh’s favorites is by the Ozarks Holster Company. “Having the leather backing against your body makes it very comfortable,” he said. “It has a Kydex front that gives a firm grip and a solid retention of your firearm along with very strong, sturdy metal belt clips that go over your belt. I could wear this all day and forget that I have it on.”
Ozarks Holster Company’s holsters are handmade from premium 5 ounce or 7 ounce horsehide, high quality Kydex and top-grade fasteners. Hursh particularly likes the holster’s sweat shield, which features a “combat cut” that allows a good grip and your thumb unobstructed access to the firearm for a nice and fast draw. He says, “I like this holster so much that I use it for all my IDPA completions.”
Why does Hursh prefer a slightly larger handgun for concealed carry and competition?
“What new shooters don’t’ realize or think about when first getting into conceal carry is that the smaller the gun the less weight and less of your hand to get on the gun handle and grip in order to mitigate recoil,” Hursh said. “A smaller gun is harder to control, it’s harder to make quick, successive repeat shots and with a shorter site radius, it’s going to take a lot more practice to shoot accurately as opposed to a larger gun with a longer site radius. Plus, a smaller weapon has limited ammo capacity.”
He continued, “What I found out under competition through the IDPA BUG (Back Up Gun) division program (tailored to smaller weapons) is that under pressure and going for a reload using a gun with a small grip often caused me to fumble with magazines that wouldn’t drop freely. I had to try several different brands and models of smaller guns to find one that worked for me well under pressure and for quick reloads.”
What Hursh loves about shooting competitively is that you can use your everyday carry gear and find out very, very quickly what works well for you and what doesn’t.
“It’s very different than shooting in a stationary position with a bull’s eye target on a square range,” he said. “In competition it’s a whole different dynamic when you’re shooting on the move, from a prone position, running to cover or with a flashlight in the dark. All of these situations mimic what you might face in a real-life situation and help you sort out your equipment in a controlled safe environment that you normally wouldn’t get to do on your home range. I recommend it highly.”