A small upgrade to the Ruger LCR .22

All the better to see you with, my dear… to better watch the rectangle become a square.

While the white ramp from the factor isn’t a bad front sight, the white isn’t the most contrasting of colors against all backgrounds. Fluorescent orange on the other hand…

My J-frames have orange ramps, so I’m hip to the concept and it was my first thought. But I did want to see what options existed in the aftermarket for the LCR. In the end my search didn’t yield much that I liked: made of plastic, sharp edges ripe for snagging, etc. And after some talking with Darryl Bolke and Rhett Neumayer to see if I missed any products, I ended up back where I started going with the orange ramp.

Used an appliance touch-up paint marker to lay down a white undercoat (a couple coats). Then a couple coats of Testors orange fluorescent paint. Done.

And now when aiming it’s much easier to see… not just see the front sight, but see when the rectangle becomes a square…

Why I’m carrying a Ruger LCR .22 LR

I’ve been carrying a Ruger LCR .22 LR since November 2022. Why? Necessity, then interest.


September 5, 2022 I was dumbbell bench pressing the 95s. I start going down for rep 7 and something felt weird in my left wrist. I immediately stopped. I don’t know how to describe it, but… something… shifted? All those little bones in your wrist (carpal bones); if you know what the carpal bones look like, just imagine something… shifting, getting compacted by 95# of steel. Yeah. Makes you wince, doesn’t it?

I went shooting soon thereafter. Shot my P365XL with the Wilson grip and inserts. After 100 rounds I couldn’t stand it – the pain was too much.

I’ve been hangin’ with a few guys into revolvers (GuG, Hizzie). I mean, “the underwear gun” is a thing. And with the stuff Rhett‘s been doing. Well… I figured now’s a good time detour and play with this concept.

Yes, the LCR is hard to shoot it because it’s lightweight with a heavy-ass trigger, craptacular snub-sights. But I can shoot it… a lot. I can even shoot Federal Punch (my defensive load) and not feel bad about the money.

My wrist is getting better. No, I don’t think it will ever be the same. In fact, as I write this, something happened and getting up from the dinner table last night the wrist complained hard at me. But I can wrap my wrists and lift weights (straight pressure is ok, it’s angled-wrist – like I could do a push-up from knuckles not palms. Getting up from the table had a bent wrist). And I could probably shoot my other guns but… I’m kinda enjoying exploring this.


Not gonna lie. I just don’t always want to wear a gun. That whole “a gun’s supposed to be comforting, not comfortable”? Well, sometimes I want to be comfortable (don’t you?). A big-ass Roland Special in my crotch isn’t the epitome of comfort. 😂 But I get it. As I said, underwear gun is a thing. Mark wrote:

A reliable gun with a trigger I can use, sights I can see, with a weight that can be held by a pair of drawstring gym shorts, and with support gear that doesn’t require a belt. Caliber is irrelevant for this gun.

Definition of an Underwear Gun – The Evolution of the Underwear Gun

Drawstring gym shorts. Dude… that’s what I wear all day. I’m on Zoom all day – pants don’t matter. 🙂

Federal Punch. 14.85 oz.

There’s things about the LCR .22 that appeal to me:

  • I can shoot it without pain (.22 LR, negligible felt recoil)
  • It is small in size – unobtrusive on my body, in feel and appearance.
  • It weighs about a pound, full loaded… a smidge more if in a holster (and every ounce matters in this context)
  • It has a capacity of 8 rounds, which is pretty good all things considered.
  • Modern ammunition like Federal Punch change the game for .22 LR.
  • I like the “plastic” construction. It’ll hold up better to sweat and stuff, which is a thing with Texas summers.
  • I have no real attachment to the gun, it’s not some treasured heirloom nor will it ever be. It’s made to be a functional machine/tool (see comment about sweat).

And so, I’ve been carrying it. In fact, I’m now looking at picking up another. I have been carrying it in a City Special. I just ordered an Enigma Express for it, as well as an Apollo.

Playing around with grips. Don’t care for finger grooves. Rubber hangs up clothing. Rogers is great (minimal grooves, pinky, textured yet smooth hard plastic), but it’s a little big, especially for pocket carry. The Hogue Black Rubber Bantam Boot Tamer Cushion Grip without Finger Grooves contains my acceptable trade-offs: slim, small, conceals well in pocket or on torso, no clothing hang-ups, ok no pinky but it is .22, can still shoot the gun acceptably.

Factory. Rogers. Hogue.

Look… I’m at a point in my life where I’m not so interested in hunting. I just want people to leave me and mine alone. One block I loved from TacCon23 was Darryl Bolke’s “Mousegun Mindset”. Darryl frequently refers to guns of this type as “rule 1” guns (i.e. what’s the first rule of a gun fight? have a gun.). His block provided excellent perspective on tools, modes, and mindsets of carry with regards to so-called sub-optimal guns. It resonated well with where I’m at. For example, my wife will never go hunting for bad guys, but getting the rapist off of her is another matter.

Plus, it’s a new challenge. Something different to pursue. I know revolvers are becoming hip again. I don’t care about that. I was provided an opportunity (my wrist injury) and I’m answering the door, opening it to exploration. So far I dig it.

That said, I haven’t been putting in the work. Re-reading Mark’s writing provided me with some direction. While I do have access to the KR Training A-Zone Range, it’s still an hour drive. There is a small indoor range in town, and something like working Dot Torture from the ready is do-able and beneficial. I need to take better advantage of this. As I settle more into the new job, I may have the flexibility to make this happen.

It’s also been interesting to TEACH with this on my hip. I generally always teach with and for semi-auto since that’s 99.9% of students. It’s been surprisingly non-issue.

I’ll see where this goes…

Review: PHLster Flatpack Tourniquet Carrier

What follows is my (initial impressions) review of the PHLster Flatpack™ Tourniquet Carrier.


So I blame Caleb Causey @ Lone Star Medics for all of this. 🙂 For some years now I’ve been trying to find a way to carry a tourniquet as a part of my every day carry (EDC). Alas, there’s been no good solution.

Caleb’s preferred solution is an ankle-wrap, which is a fantastic solution. But it doesn’t work for me, because I like wearing shorts. Plus, enough heat, sweat, etc. and my skin starts to get irritated. So a solution like that just is not feasible for me.

Caleb helped me look at a lot of solutions, such as various pouches, MOLLE, and various things. Alas, nothing really worked. Some time ago I found some excellent pouches from Eleven10 Gear. I do think they make some great TQ pouches, but I just did not find them workable for EDC. It’s not really the fault of the pouches, but of the TQ itself. Any good tourniquet, like a SOF-TT Wide or a C-A-T is just going to be of particular dimensions and constraints due to the windlass. If the TQ rides vertically, then it’s really tall and that windless is a stick in your back. And no one was really making horizontal solutions. For the record, I do still have my Eleven10 pouches and one rides in my range bag so I can keep one easily on-hand while working at KR Training. Again, fine products, but I just did not find them suitable for my EDC because it was either very uncomfortable, or the sheer dimensions and resulting thickness of the whole schebang was unconcealable.

Oh, and I refuse to use any other sort of TQ because well… they just haven’t demonstrated effective. I defer to the expertise of folks, like Caleb Causey, on this topic. And personally, I prefer the SOF-TT Wide.

The quest continued. I’d have a TQ somewhere, like in a bag, but those bags aren’t always in immediate proximity and that’s really what I’d like.

So when Facebook auto-stalked a comment Caleb made to the BFE Labs page, it was one time I was thankful for Facebook’s auto-stalk “feature”. I immediately expressed interest, and the folks at BFE were kind enough to post some pictures to show dimensions and size. This PHLster Flatpack seemed to be the answer to my problems!

I ordered two.

My Impressions

It’s a simple thing, as you can see in pictures and video. And it should be able to accommodate your favorite big-windlass TQ. But yes, you MUST fold it a certain way to get the TQ to pack as flat as possible.

When you do, it’s quite flat:

PHLstr Flatpack™ TQ Carrier, and a S&W M&P9 magazine.

That was the best part! On my belt, this was no thicker than anything else I already carried. Yes, it takes up more room because it runs horizontal, but it conceals just fine.

I was pretty stoked. 🙂

And once you learn how to fold the TQ that way, you almost don’t want to ever fold it any other way.

I think construction is generally good. Loops are made for 1.5″ belt and generally sturdy construction. I appreciate the use of the shock-cord and that there’s ways to adjust it because different TQ styles and fittings. BUT to me that’s also a potential downside: shock cord will wear out and eventually snap. Easy enough to fix, but having it decide to break while you’re out and about isn’t ideal. Not a knock against the design, just reality of using shock cord. I also worry that the attachments of the shock may come undone and release the TQ. So far not an issue, but I also haven’t subjected it to harsh stuff like rolling around on the ground, etc.. As well, the TQ is totally exposed — the only thing “protecting” it is your shirt. Is that going to be good? I mean, it’s a TQ… dust, dirt, etc. getting into it? other exposure. Or just simply friction wear from things rubbing against it all day? I mean, give a read to Caleb’s recent article about TQ failure. Is that going to be good or bad? vs. say a more covered “pouch” approach? But of course, the lack of pouch is what helps the slim design.

So it’s a trade-off, and a design that I reckon is still to be vetted.

Still, I appreciate these guys are trying to come up with something.

So… wearing it.

I’m wearing it at the 4-5 o’clock position — it’s the only place I have room on my belt. My wife calls it my Batman Utility Belt because yes, I wear stuff all over it. Consequently, that dictated where I wore it because that’s the only place I have left. But in a way it’s good because that position was a “hole” and this balanced things out — especially when I leaned back into a chair.

Generally I have no idea it’s there, and as I said before, it conceals quite well.

But it’s not perfect. The nature of it wobbles; just how it’s built, attached, and the fact it’s cloth just bungied to a board. So sometimes when I sit down I have to reposition myself to get it to drop or shift to a more comfortable position. It’s a little harder if I lay down, and I do have to reposition myself until I get it placed more comfortable. If it was a full kydex (or leather or whatever) covering it, fixed attachments to the belt, etc. I wonder how this might change — tho it could change for the worse too because perhaps the flexibility helps find the right position.

All in all tho I’ve been happy with the construction and approach, and it’s nice to know I’ve got something should I need it.

I did find another snag — literally. I can’t draw. 😦 Because of my body shape, clothing, position on my belt relative to everything else… I can’t draw. I go to lift my shirt and the Flatpack (well, the TQ mounted on the Flatpack) perfectly snags my shirt almost every time and makes it impossible to lift up. I can get around it if I reach REALLY far back when I lift my shirt… or if I do things like lean backwards (towards 4:30 or so) so the shirt lifts at a different angle — but these are totally not feasible workarounds. And if it was a fully covered pouch it MIGHT help because it’d be smooth with rounded corners, but there’s no guarantee it wouldn’t have the same problem. So the solution here is carrying it in a different location, but I really can’t — the things on my left-back have to be there and can’t be relocated, and I can’t wear it up front. However, up front may be my only possible, but I’m not really hot about that for some reasons as to why AIWB isn’t working for me.

So… I don’t know.

This is the closest solution I’ve found, but it’s causing some serious issues for me. I don’t think the product is bad — I think it has a place and people should consider it for sure. I think ankle rig is really good because you can carry more than just a TQ — and to me, I think you really need more than a TQ, but then you need a way to carry it which generally means some sort of bag/kit on or about you. My briefcase is pretty stocked, but I don’t carry my briefcase everywhere.

I think the Flatpack design is a worthwhile attempt. I think it’s going to need some time (read: years) to fully vet the design. People wearing it in daily carry, to more rough-and-tumble classes, and just really giving it a work-out to ensure this design is really going to work. I think there’s a lot of good things here, and frankly it may be the right solution for YOU. Consider what the product offers, what it is, what it is not, what your situation is, what freedoms and limitations you operate within. It may be right for you. If you’re not sure if it’s right, pick one up and give it a try because you really won’t know for certain until you do.

As for me, I’m not willing to give up on it entirely, but I have taken it off my belt until I can think of a way to make it work for me.

Lone Star Medics – now on YouTube

Our friends at Lone Star Medics now have their own YouTube channel!

Check out the first video, where Caleb Causey talks about an every day carry (EDC) option for a med kit.

A couple years ago I was working with Caleb on trying to find a way to carry a tourniquet on-body. Caleb has long been partial to the ankle method in the video. That just won’t work for me, because the Texas summers are hot and I like to wear shorts. 🙂  I’ve been meaning for quite some time to write up my exploration of this effort. Stay tuned.