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WalMart "Dork Pack" Holster
by Bill White

I have never been a big fan of fanny-pack gun carriers. Most of them are too expensive and too large. Usually "SWAT black" in color, and worn in front of the body instead of in the more natural small-of-the-back position, they also scream "gun" to anyone concerned with such matters as "Who's carrying in this crowd?".

Still, I felt there were times and places in which a discreet waist-pouch carry would be comfortable and practical if only I could find the right unit at the right price. My search ended when I found the Sounds To Go Personal Cassette Player carrier (bar code WM-1255).Constructed of black nylon, the Sounds To Go carrier is approximately 5.5" by 6.5" in size and has two zippered compartments. It features a removeable shoulder strap (I removed mine) and two sturdy belt loops, along with a small outside tab designed to hold the wire of a set of earphones (I cut this off).

I wear this pouch in front of the hip on the left, cross-draw fashion.Unlike the fanny pack, it looks natural there. The outer pocket usually holds my cell phone, pocket knife, and small flashlight (all as important to self-defense as a gun, IMO). As needed, it is roomy enough to handle a number of other small items, like keys, checkbook, pen, etc. The inside pocket (closest to the body) is the perfect size for the P-11, even when using the mag base extension. I carry my P-11 "nekkid" in the pouch with no problem, but a JFR pocket holster could also be made to fit the pouch, giving you a quick-switch carry option. Only Superman (X-ray vision, you know) will make a visual detection of the gun.

Tying a small loop of cord to the pull of the inside-pocket zipper is a good modification. This allows you to reach down with your left hand and rip the gun pouch open without looking at it, a handy feature when you're keeping your eyes on your target. The weight of items carried in the outer compartment will pull the pouch open just enough to allow a quick, smooth draw.

I find the Sounds To Go an excellent, low-profile carry method in appropriately casual settings, and it provides great access to your gun while driving. Convenient, versatile, compact, sturdy, and -- best of all -- only about $7.00 at WalMart.

It was only a matter of time before another KTOGer came up with a variation of Bill White's now famous "Dork Pack". Here is Ted Hamilton's contribution to the genre...

by Ted Hamilton

I have been experimenting with two variations on the now famous Sounds to Go "Dork Pack" WM-1255.

These packs were purchased at WalMart for about $10 each. Both are by Case Logic and I have seen the same cases in Circuit City for about $25. The supply and location at WalMart (Manassas, VA) indicated they were getting rid of the Case Logic in favor of the Sounds to Go WM-1255 (they had about 30 WM-1255s recently with none about 2 weeks before).

The Case Logic models are PS-3 for cassettes (compares to WM-1255) and DM-5 for CDs. Both are fanny pack style with a belt. They have 3 pockets, 2 as with the WM-1255 and a third thin one next to your body that has a hood for foul weather (much like some jackets have a hood that hides in a zipper compartment in the collar). The hood is not what I consider a feature a KTOGer needs; it just happens to be there. The hood also seems to add no perceptible thickness to the packs over a WM-1255.

CONS to these packs: They cost about $3 more and have no belt loops. The DM-5 is slightly taller (CD shaped, about 6"h X 6"w) than a WM-1255 (cassette, at 5.5"h X 6"w). The PS-3 (cassette at 5"h X 6"w) is a tight fit for the P-11, only holding it upside down (i.e., top of slide along bottom of pack). Both are black nylon type fabric (like the WM-1255) but have the "dork" Case Logic logo on front. I'm searching my basement for a broken Walkman to add the headset to the stealth of the dork image.

PROS: They seem to be made of a little heavier fabric with a little more padding than a WM-1255, the hood adding a little more padding to the inside as well. They have triangular shaped zipper pockets on each side along the belt line (nice for extras like spare S&W M59 mag, pepper spray, folding lock blade, etc.). The middle pocket has an elastic strap, holding the P-11 such that a rapid opening too far of the pocket under stress would not let the gun drop away. The CD version holds my Ahern Pocket Natural (retained by elastic band) in an upright position for rapid draw. Needless to say this is my preferred pack.

I have modified each of these with belt loops (purchased 2' of same strap as belt at Jo-Ann Fabrics for $0.60). The belt loops are to add rigidity during rapid draw and also prevent easy removal by an adept purse snatcher (they are getting better at quick removal of fanny packs). I also added pulls on zipper tabs (Total Crafts, next to Jo-Ann, had black wood beads [about 1/2" in dia. with hole thru them] and black parachute cord for a total of about $1.50). Pulls of course are for rapid opening without fumbling with zipper.

IMHO, considering total life cycle cost, these packs may be slightly better value for the money than a WM-1255 (at $7) and are just as dorky. A WM-1255 at a buck-fifty is another story, however.