by Paul Rackley - Friday, January 4, 2013
There are many ways to conceal a handgun. Most of the best ways involve the handgun remaining on the person, but sometimes that is unfeasible for a variety of reasons. Women often carry in purses or bags, while some men also prefer to carry off their bodies in briefcases, day books, bags or even jackets.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve been testing the Aviators Bomber Jacket and Satchel Bag from Kakadu Imports. Both are designed for conceal carry with special compartments for carrying guns and gear. Here are my views of the jacket.
The Kakadu Aviators Bomber Jacket is made of 10-ounce canvas for durability and is currently available in two colors—loden green and tobacco. While I don’t consider myself to know anything about style, the green jacket suited me fine for all casual uses like running to the store or tinkering around the house. It’s warm enough to handle the cold, as long as there is some activity level, without being so warm that you have to remove it the moment you walk indoors, which is important if the jacket is holding a gun.
The jacket features dual hand-warmer pockets, along with flap pockets and two interior pockets for carrying sunglasses or other small objects. However, it’s the dual concealment pockets that make the jacket interesting. Just on the inside of the zipper on both sides is a slit for a pocket that is held together with a small Velcro section. The interior of the pocket flares in and down into a fairly large compartment where three pieces of elastic fabric are sewn to the inside liner. The furthest back, almost in line of a shoulder holster, can hold a variety of handguns. I personally tried three handguns in these loops—a Kimber Ultra Carry, a Colt 1991 and a Smith & Wesson J-frame .38 Spl. All three carried well, especially when paired with a smaller piece of elastic fabric designed to loop over and hold the gun in place. The other two pieces of fabric can hold two magazines or other essential gear, such as a flashlight. These compartments allow the user to carry a full-size semi-auto and up to four spare magazines, two guns with two magazines each or many other combinations. The jacket also comes with concealment shields to break up the outline, but I removed them as I felt the bulkiness of the jacket was enough. My only problem with the jacket was when trying to start the zipper. Sometimes it just didn’t want to attach properly. However, there were no problems when yanking the zipper down to access the gun compartment. Once started, the zipper went up and down easily.
I mostly used the jacket to carry my J-frame backup in addition to my strong-side primary. It carried well, and I had no problems drawing during training, even though it allows for a considerably slower draw than many other methods of carry. It does, however, pair itself to a very discreet draw. This is a deep concealment method designed as a comfortable way to always be armed. If used as a primary carry method, the user must be extra vigilant, and be prepared to slip a hand into the compartment to grasp the handgun. Starting with the hand on the gun really speeds up the presentation, but it’s still slower than my Kimber slipping out of my Milt Sparks VersaMax II.
I like this jacket and would recommend it as an excellent backup carry method during the colder months, and even a primary for quick trips when you want to carry. I especially liked it for a car, as I could very easily access the compartment while sitting, even when wearing a seatbelt.
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