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What Are Your Fears?

DC Reed, Director

In an uncertain world with the troubles reported daily on the news, what are your fears?

Most of us fear what we cannot predict or control.

Your only recourse is to learn and train to be as adaptable, independent, and innovative as possible.

TAG, LLC does not just train weapons craft -although we are good at that – but we train critical thinkers to look for and use the tools at hand to secure and protect themselves and their families.

We teach how not to look, act, or become a victim.

Whether its rifle, carbine, shotgun, or handgun we have a defensive training class that is tailored to you. We even offer camp-out courses where you learn campfire starting, cooking, and survival heating by night while having fun shooting during the day.

If you don’t see exactly what you want here on this website -contact us to discuss what you are interested in!

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Stay True

DC Reed/Director

The Traditions/institutions from generations past anchor us to our joint history and secure our destiny.

We can move, pivot, and swing along the lines of whatever current waves comes our way, anchored securely, while still remaining steadfast to what built us as a nation.

But cutting this chain sets us adrift. Going too rapidly for the sake of ‘change’ without due consideration of consequence sounds bold, but is in fact immature and reckless.

We are in danger of being adrift without a compass. Wayard with no way to navigate back to safety. When we dispose of all that is traditional we begin to devalue the ties that bind us one to the other. we become a gaggle of self-involved individuals and not a team, or a nation.

Future generations watching us closely learn that there is nothing permanent and no rock on which to build. Everything is permeable and words are but written on beach sand.

Then people wonder loudly why our traditions and institutions fail us.

I say stick with the tried and true. As corny as our joint institutions sometimes are – reinforce them and pass on to your children what made you feel safe and secure.

Give them a rock. Make words into steel and stone.

When times are very, very dark for them the glow of these memories will give them hope and strength and bring them close to you in their hearts.


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Summer Concealed Carry

DC Reed/Director

Hey, hot weather concealment is a common topic now with the Concealed Carry of Weapons (CCW) crowd. I have found people who carry all but religiously 9 months out of the year then hide a gun in their car during summer months because of the temps and humidity and of course the lighter, skimpier, shorter clothing.

(Ahem) Um, it’s one of the things I actually like about summer! (Nuff said, stay on topic!)

As always these are my opinions based on 35 years of carrying a handgun, in uniform and out, but mostly concealed. Years spent operating and training weapons to military, foreign governments, and civilians on four continents. I can be wrong, but don’t necessarily enjoy hearing that. Your experiences may vary. Also I have not seen it all and consider myself more of a “professional student” than an expert. Experts are usually jerks.

So, for Spring to Summer carry (65-80 degrees) with a t-shirt and an untucked open lightweight cotton or rip stop over-shirt as a concealing garment you can conceal with the right Outside the Waist Band (OWB) type belt holster and belt. If it moves with you, good. If it moves on its own, bad. I also depend on Inside the Waist Band (IWB) holsters such as my Milt Sparks/Bruce Nelson Summer Special. For a Commander sized 1911 it can’t be beat.

Now when it’s over 80 degrees and up, it’s no longer “over shirt” weather but “under your polo or t-shirt” weather. With shorts and a t-shirt I commonly use a Bianchi, Galco, Uncle Mike’s, or DeSantis pocket holster with my M&P Shield or S&W 442 revolver. Very good with the Shield or my M&P 40c or even Glock 27 is the King Tuk IWB.

I’m seeing the trend towards one of the new broad rear panel (hybrid) inside the pants holsters and there are dozens now to try. I prefer the Bianchi Model 135 but there are many (Crossbreed, Foxx, etc. ) in leather and Kydex. I’m also a fan and frequent user of the Galco King Tuk, which allows me to tuck in a shirt over my CCW weapon. “Small of the back” holsters hide well, but then go try to sit in the car. Ouch. Gotta be a very flat semi-auto.

I’ve reviewed a number of “minimalist” holsters and keep coming back to the Galco Yaqui slide and the DeSantis mini scabbard open top, both worn OWB on the belt. Then a frequent flyer of mine, so to speak, is the Galco JAK inside the belt but outside the pants holster, which depends on your having an oversized by 2-4″ belt.

Speaking of Kydex, either IWB or OWB belt slide maker I’ve been impressed with Leadfarmers Inc holsters, but likely you can find a local guy or gal making open top “pancake” style in the $45-65 range. Make sure they mold to your body, retain the gun, are properly curved for your hips, and that your belt works with it. That said nobody does Kydex better than Blade Tech. I own almost 10 for various guns.

Lastly there’s the Belly bands, and they do work. I know many men and also female detectives, undercover officers, and body guards who swear by them. Under a loose shirt that can be pulled up quickly they work, but you will sweat. Much.

I also have a 5.11 and a Woolrich Elite summer concealment shirt to go with any holster. They look like a short sleeved untucked button up casual shirt. They have a combination of Velcro and snaps replacing the normal buttons for “pull up or tear-away” access to your rig.

Ok, here’s the sound of my mind closing…(slam!) on any piece of equipment that does not grant me a tactical advantage. “Never let your equipment defeat you” is a canon of policing survival. So (zing!) is also the sound of bad equipment flying out of my life and into a dumpster.

So, what I am NOT a fan of:

  • 1. Ankle holsters. I’ve worn them all and won’t again. Nothing puckers your butt like running in the dark and seeing the flash of your Smith snubbie flying off in front of you!
  • 2. Shoulder holsters. Only if I’m a driver doing protection and otherwise never again. Dirty Harry and Sonny Crockett be damned.
  • 3. Groin holsters. If I were suddenly 20 – 30 years younger working narcotics, wearing a wire, and carrying a 25 or 32 auto. So, in other words, no.
  • 4. Cross draw. Just stupid. Sorry, my opinion. One alibi again are seated body guard/protective drivers who stay with the car. Oh, maybe if suddenly I were hired as a Air Marshal. See number 3’s last sentence above.
  • 5. Appendix IWB carry. Popular with shooters using the ‘clip draw’ type weapons-mounted clip. It is bothersome to me and does not allow a solid, well executed draw stroke. I’m thinking if a right hander can carry well at the 2:00 position on their body, then why not 5:00? (For lefties it’s 10:00 vs. 7:35 or so.)
  • 6. Ballistic nylon pancake holsters. One size does not fit all. They close up after drawing and even if they don’t they are not molded for a specific weapon so as to allow friction to be part of retention. That and I’ve seen them ripped right the heck off a guy’s belt by only minimal effort during training. Un uh. Nope.
  • 7. Lastly, open carry. If a cop wearing a badge with the gun on the belt and on the job, got it. I think I’d still conceal. Gun Club meeting, in your own business, range days, Texas barbecues, ok that’s not what I’m talking about.


Open carry for civilians gives away your principle advantage, a surprise defense based off anonymity. Nobody knows you’re carrying so YOU choose whether to engage or not, based on when YOU decide you have an advantage. To those who say wearing openly discourages situations from starting I say, yeah, maybe. But this ignores those with death wishes and mental illness who then will have the advantage of timing, surprise, and position on you when they go lethal.
If you are reacting to an aggressor you are losing. If they are reacting to you, you are winning.

There are more holsters I like and probably some I hate I’ve forgotten, but how about you? Let us know what you think.

Again, if you have something new I might be open to learning from the discussion. If you think I’m just flat out wrong, well… See the first few paragraphs above for directions!

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Outdoor People

DC Reed/Director

It has been my privilege to live most of my life out of doors. From a 1960’s Boy Scout forward through hunting, fishing, camping, and yes, government service.

I have spent some fine times sleeping on the ground in some incredibly awful places tempered by the equally incredible people I was with.

It seems I have always found myself standing or sitting around a drowning campfire, freezing in a …stand, or being boiled alive in a punishing sun. Commiserating with men of such gravitas, as the day got worse, as the collective mood began to sour, their humor got better. Or bawdier!

Bad jokes, tobacco, good food, bone handled pocket knives, very bad food, and of course often very strong coffee. I was humbled just to be with them.

It is with these years spent in such company while on a range, or in harms way, or in the pursuit of game that you form a bond, that those unfamiliar with such a lifestyle will not understand and will very often devalue.

It is in my mind the most acute way of leading a participatory life; a life spent in motion not merely in the passing of days, but in seeing the worth in every wild and hairy minute!

It is through such associations and adventures I formed the metric by which I have, often unknowingly and maybe unfairly, measured the people around me to this day.

Sadly, many of those I learned from are now gone. Happily, many are people I still walk around the woods and rifle ranges with today.

So- Here’s to the out door people of substance and worth! People unconfused by the moral and ethical static around us all today. Men and women you want your kids to hang around.

And hope there’s some rubbing off happening.

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CCW Handbags For Women

DC Reed/Director

CCW Handbags For Women’s Concealed Carry

I get asked all the time by women I train about methods for carry and women’s fashion.

Like I’d know.
But I have trained and do know a lot of armed ladies and female police/military folks.

Almost all major leather holster makers have catalogs that show specially designed holsters for women and purses with gun compartments.

A couple of cops and past students recommend
The Well Armed Woman

You can also find dozens at Amazon and eBay (Montana West brand is popular)


Galco Gunleather
Gun Handbags

I make no claim as to the quality or ease of use for obvious reasons, and definitely prefer and teach strong side hip carry. But women have unique issues, clothing, and situations where it’s either in the bag or not at all.

So get a bag that is designed to securely hold and allow proper and easy access to your CCW handgun. Also train and download CCW Guardian.

Tour The CCW Guardian App Watch the video
CCW Guardian at the App Store
CCW Guardian Train. Shoot. Log. Details Matter.

Sorry, shameless promo…

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Washington Navy Yard Tragedy

DC Reed/Director

Washington Navy Yard Tragedy and the Upcoming Politics

The deaths yesterday at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC are a tragedy. How could this, like other recent such horrific events have been prevented? Many will ask that.

The answers are in how we deal with repeated violent and mentally ill people while respecting the rights and privacy of non-violent mentally ill. Sadly we err too often on the side of privacy rights and dangerous people walk free. Agencies and institutions discharge, transfer, and otherwise ‘kick them to the curb’ so that they are no longer ‘their’ problem.

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Safe Training

DC Reed/Director

When you seek out training, do you look for safe, familiar courses? Or something harder?

The only way to really know how you will do in a critical incident (other than surviving a real world experience) is through challenging training.

You have to test yourself against a known standard of performance, then push yourself to improve. If you always “train down” and stay comfortable you will always have a false sense of your ability.

If you are enjoying yourself and performing easily in training, excelling – hearing and doing nothing unfamiliar – you are in the wrong class.

Training that’s difficult, complex, and a little over your head is what you should seek out. A course that bases its teaching off known standards that are proven to work. You should like what you’re doing of course, but always be a little concerned that without your best, most serious and concerned effort, you won’t pass.

The consequences of failure in a hard training course are a better awareness of your true abilities under stress. You may not like it, but you now know what you have to work on to improve. You still go home.

The decision to brush yourself off, check your ego, and then dedicate time and effort to do the work to increase your ability, to be better prepared than you were …

That’s up to you.

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The Purpose Of Training

DC Reed/Director

Training is about instilling confidence and expanding knowledge and skill until they become ability.

Ability to perform a complex and critical function, under tremendous stress, without having to think through every step.

Its also about challenging yourself and your assumptions. Don’t assume you are ready for what could be the worse moments of your life.
Spend a few rounds – strike steel to stone so to speak – to achieve an edge.

The difference could be one half a second, one inch, or even one round.

The Boy Scouts have had it right for over a hundred years when they say, “BE Prepared” and not “Think about getting prepared.”

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CCW Tips And Tactics, Part II

DC Reed/Director

Part II

Choosing a CCW Weapon

The choice of a good CCW firearm is ultimately a personal concern and based on your abilities. Some people prefer the simplicity of a good revolver, but the thickness of even a .38 caliber can make it harder to conceal. Semi-automatics are slimmer to a degree and often easier to hide on your body, but require a bit more training and familiarity depending on the exact make and model.

Most firearms that are easy to conceal will be smaller with shorter barrels and lighter weights. While easy to conceal they will not be as accurate, probably have very minimal sights, and if too light may be hard to control more than for the first shot. This can create a good deal of concern unless your target is very close or you train a great deal.

Firearms that are a bit larger with longer barrels will be more versatile, easier to shoot effectively, and more accurate. They will have better sights, generally better trigger pulls, and with the right gear still be concealable. Weight and size of the weapon become the factor here, so your decisions as to belt, holster, and concealing garments are more critical. The key factor to concealing a larger firearm is not barrel length, but the length and thickness of the grip or butt. Long, squared off firearm grips print easily when you are moving or bent over.

So, when considering a specific weapon, some things to consider:

  • a) Can you grip the weapon properly with one hand? Can you effectively grip the weapon as high as possible on its backstrap? The higher in your hand you can hold the weapon, the more efficient, the more controlled, and more accurate the firing sequence will be. Does the weapon feel too heavy or off balance? (if so- you may not carry it as often. Understand, however, the more heft to a well balanced weapon generally the less the perceived recoil.) A too light weapon may be hard to control and thus lose efficiency while firing. A too heavy or imbalanced weapon may be too hard to hold effectively on target.
  • b) Can you obtain a good purchase on the trigger with the first pad of your index finger and hold the weapon securely with one hand? Can you smoothly press the trigger fully through to its break efficiently and without jerking? A ‘good’ trigger is a bit hard to define and somewhat individual in nature. Also Single Action triggers (Colt 1911/ Browning P35), Striker Fired triggers (Glock, S&W M&P) and Double Action triggers (Beretta, Sig Sauer, most revolvers) all have very different mechanisms and the merits/faults of their respective triggers should be compared.) Generally though, a good trigger is first – no ‘longer’ than necessary, no more ‘heavy’ (hard to pull) than necessary, and have no more ‘over-travel’ (movement after the shot breaks) than necessary. Then, during follow through, have as short a ‘reset’ as possible.
  • c) Does the weapon have functional easy to see (for your eyes) sights? Just bright paint or colored sights do not equate with being easy to pick up under stress. Pay particular attention to the front sight. During a proper draw stroke and presentation, does the front sight stand out against various backgrounds? In all lighting conditions?
  • d) Are there readily available parts and accessories, particularly magazines and quality holsters? Buying the latest thing may mean no specific holster being offered for months.
  • e) With a proper two handed grip and good quality ammunition, is the weapon and caliber controllable during realistic firing conditions? There is a tradeoff between ‘comfortable’ and ‘comforting’, meaning it may be easy to fire but of an inferior caliber/bullet configuration that won’t adequately protect you. Go for the most powerful weapon you can fire accurately – and to a somewhat lesser degree, rapidly. (A person might fire one shot from a .44 magnum accurately enough, but their follow-up shots are very slow.)
  • f) Does the weapon have a reputation for reliability? Some guns seem to require constant attention from an armorer. Others have established records for firing hundreds or thousands of rounds without a hiccup. Do your research, and pay particular attention to tests with military style weapons and police contracted weapons.
  • g) Last but ABSOLUTELY NOT least- accuracy. If you cannot hit with it- get rid of it! Assuming you’ve had training and know the fundamentals of an accurate shot, and given you’ve tested a variety of ammo (and absent a hard dedication to master that one gun) you must understand that some weapon/ammo combos are just not for you.

I have had students who desperately wanted to be a 1911 45 ACP shooter but were never quite able to match the accuracy and speed they achieved readily with a Glock 9mm.

My advice, learn to love the gun you can reliably hit with. A well placed set of shots -on target and on time – beats poor and late performance, but with a cool gun, every time!

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CCW Tips And Tactics, Part III

DC Reed/Director

Part III of III

State Gun Laws

State gun laws vary considerably. Some states have many more firearms restrictions than others. Some gun owners who visit other states will be granted reciprocity and recognition for any “right to carry” gun laws they had in their home state. Not all states grant such rights. “Right to carry” laws are federal and state constitution provisions that recognize a gun owner’s right to use her or his gun for defensive purposes.

Some states give gun owners more rights than others. For example, twelve states currently prohibit employers from firing employees who leave guns locked in their personal vehicles on company property. That means 38 other states do allow companies to restrict employees from having weapons in their cars or trucks on company property.

States also have laws that either allow or prohibit you from openly carrying a gun in public. These are called “open carry” laws. Generally, states fall into one of four categories:

  • a) Permissive Open Carry States – Allow you to carry a gun without a permit or license.
  • b) Licensed Open Carry States – Allow gun owners to carry firearms openly only after they are issued a permit or license.
  • c) Anomalous Open Carry States – Carrying a gun openly may be generally lawful under state law, but local governments may pass their own gun laws that are more restrictive than the state’s laws.
  • d) Non-Permissive Open Carry States – Carrying a gun openly is against state law, or is legal only in limited circumstances (e.g., while hunting) or when legally used for self-defense.

If you just moved to a state with an open carry law, there is often a waiting period before you can apply for an open carry permit. Open carry restrictions are often the subject of lawsuits filed by gun owners against states where they reside.

Go to Findlaw’s site (http://statelaws.findlaw.com/criminal-laws/gun-control/ ) for a directory of gun laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. If you have additional questions, be sure to contact a gun rights attorney near you.


The key to successful carry and effective use of a firearm is training and of course, practice. Find a professional firearms instructor and check their references before investing in a training course. Reputable trainers should have a website or brochure that describes their training and background to teach. The NRA is a good place to start. Talk with your local law enforcement agencies. Many of the trainers who train them will train cleared civilians as well.

Look for trainers with a broad range of shooting/training experience. For instance a trainer who has just a police training background may not be as good a choice for civilians. A pure competition shooter may not give the best Use of Force legal advice. Military specialist may not be up on state laws.

Train to the threat you are likely to encounter. To give you an idea:

  • a. 55% of gunfights take place 0-5 feet.
  • b. 20% of gunfights take place in 5-10 feet.
  • c. 20% of gunfights take place in 10-21 feet.
  • d. 95% of gunfights take place in 0-21 feet. (Source- FBI)


  • a. The average man can cover 21 feet of ground in 1.5 seconds.
  • b. The average man cannot draw a gun from concealment in under 2 seconds.
  • c. The average gunfight is over in 3-5 seconds.
  • d. 3 to 4 shots are usually fired.
  • e. Most gunfights take place in low light conditions.
  • f. In most gunfights the aggressor does not stand still.
  • g. On average one shot in four actually strikes someone.

You need to know your abilities and benchmark yourself against known standards.

In conclusion, this path to carrying a CCW firearm for personal and family protection is an epiphany; that is, a permanent alteration of your life and your thinking and actions. From the day you obtain your permit and every day after that you are now different, and will be measured by the law differently.

It is an awesome responsibility to have; to know others close to you may now depend on you for their life. This heavy mantle is only mitigated by maturity, professional training, continued education, proper practice, and heavy doses of common sense.

God Speed and Good Shooting!

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