When life is on the line - Where you trained matters! close ×

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!

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

Pocket Handgun Comparison

DC Reed/Director

I get a lot of questions during training about what is the best compact handgun for CCW. The truth is there are a lot of quality fire arms in this category now, but what is best depends on, well, you. That’s not a dodge; it’s an inconvenient fact. Sure as I say Brand X in a certain caliber or millimeter is best someone will try it and find it lacking in some regard based on their hand size, their concealment method, or ability to shoot well.

I’ve compiled some basic measurements on a sampling of popular models, not necessarily recommending any of them but to help compare apples to apples and so on.

I also did the math for you using the Reed Ergo-Power Ratio tool figuring the Section A and B for each of them. Don’t know what that means? Hey, go read the article on this site called Reed Ergo-Power Ratio Tool. Okay, for now I’ll bail you out a little. Section A is Caliber, scoring your handgun 1-5 favoring major calibers. A 45 is ‘5’ points, a 40 is ‘4’, etc. Section B is Capacity favoring higher capacity and thus balancing A out by favoring smaller bores. C and D are shooting sections to assess your Recoil Management and Practical Accuracy. Score your weapon in these four sections for up to 20 points.

Here are some compact handgun stats including the REPR tool A and B scores.

Here are 9/40 Subcompact Autos

Barrel Length
Mag Capacity
Empty Weight (oz)
M&P Shield
0.95x 4.6x 6.1
3/4(9) & 4/3(40)
Glock G26/27
1.18x 4.17x 6.29
3/4(9) & 4/3 (40)
Beretta Nano
0.90x 4.17x 5.63
Kahr PM 9/40
0.94x 4.0x 5.47
3/3(9) & 4/3(40)
Ruger LC9
0.90x 4.5x
Keltec PF9
0.88x 4.3x 5.85
Springf XDS
1.0x 4.4x 6.3
3/3(9) & 5/2(45)


Now, before anyone sounds off that a Ketec scores the same as a Nano, remember this is just half the formula and actually shooting the gun and ammo to be used comes next.
(FYI: For more handgun charts, see our article on www.ccwguardian.com )

In Section C you measure Recoil Management by firing a quick pair into a 3×5″ index card at 7yards. Not so simple with a micro, bump-sighted, no handled, feather weight, wallet gun, eh? Fired in two seconds or less from the ready with good solid hits grants you a ‘5’ in this section, within 3 seconds a ‘4’ and so on.

Section D is Practical Accuracy measured by firing 5 slow, aimed shots into another 3×5” index card from the seven with a maximum time limit of 15 seconds or only 3 seconds per shot. (No pausing five seconds during the string.) Firing faster is okay but no slower than 3 seconds per, or going over 15 seconds total. All shots have to be fully in. Score a ‘5’ for 5 shots, a ‘4’ for 4, and so on.

This ratio tool evens the playing field but it of course is up to you to fairly score yourself. Also, there is no defined minimum score.You have to do the risk analysis and decide for yourself (and your family) how low do you go before not trusting a specific weapon and ammo to be accurate enough, powerful enough, or fast enough for personal defense. Obviously training can mean a difference upward but age and injury can also move the scores downward. Repeat often.

It’s a toy, but hopefully useful. Let me hear back from you.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

The Right CCW Weapon!

DC Reed/Director

How To Determine If You’ve Got The Right CCW Weapon!

How do you effectively evaluate a defensive handgun to see if it’s right for you? One of the principal issues I see is people who “buy poorly” and have too little or too much gun. Interestingly the smarter some people are when it comes to purchasingTVs, cameras, clothes, or cars…the dumber they act when buying a gun.

I’m particularly talking about first time buyers who often just follow the advice of the dude in the gunstore or a local cop.

That’s why we developed the Reed Ergo-Power Ration tool. It fairly assesses your ability to adequately utilize the gun you are considering for CCW or defensive carry and gives equal standing to capacity as it does to caliber.

It’s subjective of course because it’s YOU assessing YOU.

The tool has four Sections or paragraphs each with a potential of 5 points for a total of 20. Once you select a defensive carry (CCW) handgun you like, ensuring it fits your hand, has a good trigger and set of sights, and of course is ergonomically (to you) conducive to a proper draw stroke and presentation, see if you can manage it by the test below. You’ll quickly see how small caliber, low capacity, bump-sighted guns may conceal well but are not the most practical defensive concealment weapon.

Start with Sections A. and B. scoring your firearm objectively. Then with seven rounds, (ideally of your chosen defensive carry ammunition), head out to a safe shooting area and fire Sections C. and D. Here’s how it works

  • A. Power Factor: Identify the power factor from the caliber. 357, 45 and up are a ‘5’, 40 is ‘4’, 9mm/38 Specialis a ‘3’, 380 is a ‘2’, 32 caliber and under are ‘1’. This favors major calibers.
  • B. Capacity: Identify the capacity including a chambered round. Over 14 is a ‘5’, 9 to 13 is a ‘4’, 6 to8 is a ‘3’, under 6 rounds is a ‘2’, derringers and single shots are a ‘1’. This favors higher capacity and somewhat balances the formula for smaller calibers.
  • C. Recoil Management: Assess the manageable recoil by time and accuracy, firing 2 shots into a 3X5” index card at 7 yards. Both shots must be fully in (no cutters) to count. Within 2 seconds is a ‘5’, within 3 is a ‘4’, within 4 is a ‘3’, and within 5 is a ‘2’. Over 5: stop! Go get training. If you miss one immediately fire again but count the total time to get two in. This favors shooters with good recoil management ability.
  • D. Practical Accuracy. Assess the practical accuracy by shot group and time, 5 shots slow aimed fire with not more than 3 seconds each and also not more than 15 seconds altogether into a 3X5″ index card at 7 yards. All 5 shots fully in (no cutters) are a ‘5’, 4 is a ‘4’ and so on. No additional shots like above, if you miss one you miss one. Shots fired over the time limit count as out. This factors your sight focus, your trigger control, and thus accuracy.

Are you a Pro? Divide the card vertically in half with a pen. If you can fire all 5 shots into the remaining 2 1/2″ X 3″ target: add 2 points!

Scoring: It’s really up to you. If you score a 15 or higher you may be on to something. A 13 is my personal cutoff for any serious defensive carry. But that’s up to you. What is your risk analysis or tolerance given this weapon and ammo will be used to save your own life or the life of a loved one?

For instance, I scored my 5 shot S&W Model 442 in .38 special like this: A=3, B=2, C=5, D=5. (C & D are high because I shoot a lot.) So my Snubbie scored a 15. Pretty good.

You could shoot the same gun and ammo and only get a 12. So yes, this is subjective. I could also change ammo and not shoot as high a score.

But it has to be because it’s YOU assessing a defensive handgun for you. Obviously training and familiarization will mean you can move up, change calibers or ammo, or move downward as skills diminish.

Remember, this is a practical test to determine if you’ve selected a gun that will work for you right now.

Try it and let me know what you think!

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

Defensive Handgun Assessment

DC Reed/Director

Defensive Handgun Assessment Using The Reed Ergo-Power Ratio

Once you select a defensive carry (CCW) handgun you like, ensuring it fits your hand, has a good trigger and set of sights, and of course is ergonomically (to you) conducive to a proper drawstroke and presentation, see if you can manage it by the test below. You’ll quickly see how small caliber, low capacity, bump-sighted guns may conceal well but are not the most practical defensive concealment weapon.

  • A. Identify the power factor from the caliber. 357,45 and up are a 5, 40 is 4, 9/38 Spl. is 3, 380 is a 2, 32 caliber and under are a 1. This favors major calibers.
  • B. Identify the capacity inc. the chamber. Over 14 is a 5, 9 to 13 is a 4, 6 to 8 is a 3, under 6 rounds is a 2, derringers and single shots are a 1. This favors higher capacity.
  • C. Assess the manageable recoil by time and accuracy, 2 shots into a 3X5” index card at 7 yards. Both shots fully in (no cutters). Within 2 seconds is a 5, within 3 is a 4, within 4 is a 3, and within 5 is a 2. Over 5: stop! Go get training. This favors smaller calibers and/or measures your recoil management ability.
  • D. Assess the practical accuracy by shot group and time, 5 shots slow aimed fire (about 3 seconds each and not more than 15 seconds altogether) into a 3X5” index card at 7 yards. All 5 shots fully in (no cutters) is a 5, 4 is a 4 and so on. Shots fired over the time limit count as out. (Pro? Divide the card vertically in half with a pen. If you can fire all 5 shots into the remaining 2 ½” X 3” target: add 2 points!) This factors your sight focus, your trigger control, and thus accuracy.

Scoring: If you score a 16 or higher you may be on to something. 14 is my cut off for any serious defensive carry gun. But that’s up to you. What is your tolerance given this weapon will be used to save your own life or the life of a loved one? For instance, I scored my 5 shot S&W Model 442 in .38 special like this: A=3, B=2, C=5, D= 5. (C & D are high because I shoot a lot.) So my Snubbie scored a 15. Pretty good. You could shoot the same gun and ammo and only get a 12. So yes, this is subjective. But it has to be because it’s YOU assessing a defensive handgun for YOU. Obviously training and familiarization will mean you can move up, but this is a practical test to determine if you’ve selected a gun that will work for you right now.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

Dry Fire Practice

DC Reed/Director

The topic of how to correctly dry fire a handgun for skill development come up often during our Tactical Analysis Group (TAG, LLC) training courses. The concern is safe doctrine and also productiveness. Can you really improve on your skills without firing a live shot? The answer is yes.

Most top instructors are big fans of dry firing when conducted safely and properly. Dry firing can foster good trigger control and aid in perfecting the draw stroke and presentation as well as magazine changes and clearing stoppages. It can also expose problems with equipment like holsters and concealment garments.

In the TAG, LLC Progressive Pistolcraft course we teach correct dry fire methodology. The critical issue is to ensure all live ammunition is physically separated from the room when you start a dry fire session. The line taught at Gunsite Academy is to, “put your ammo in a sock and place it in your empty bathroom tub”.

This is of course a mental image designed to illustrate how safety is imperative during at-home, unsupervised dry fire practice. The preferred practice from TAG is to have an observer acting as coach and safety monitor.

First, ensure all people in the home understand you are not to be disturbed and all distractions (phones, TV, computers, etc.) are silenced and put away. Yes, this means smartphones too, but keep it nearby to document your dry fire practice with CCW Guardian once you’re done.

To start, safely unload and clear your weapon, locking the action open. Again, remove all live ammo physically from the entire area.

Next, have a pen and paper handy and write down what skills your dry fire session will practice and define your goals. For instance, “I want to work on improving my draw stroke and presentation from the holster,” or “I want to achieve a quicker front sight focus.”

Next, write down the time and date. Ideally dry fire is 10 minutes or so per session, two to three times a week. Dry firing too often or attempting longer sessions can mean you’ll lose focus and reduce the benefits.

By the way, try focusing, really focusing on something for more than a couple of minutes. Stare at your watch. How long can you clear your mind and really focus on your watch before distracting thoughts enter your mind and take your attention off your watch? One minute? Three?

The point is limiting your dry fire practice to the amount of time you can shut out the world and do it right. This is not just for safety, but also to ensure the session is worthwhile.

After checking all magazines again and ensuring the firearm chamber is clear, place your pistol in your holster.

Now the environment is properly set up and your goal is set then close your eyes and mentally rehearse what you are about to run through. For this example we’ll use the goal of improving the draw stroke and presentation. Picture moving your hands to the correct position making sure the Support hand moves with your Weapon hand.

As you mentally grip the weapon (correctly) your support hand is on your lower chest. In your mind, you release any holster retention devices and clear the weapon up and rotate it to a level, close-ready position. Weapon hand elbow is back and the arm is tight against your body. Then you move to the ‘smack’ position where as you thrust the gun forward your support hand intercepts and completes the grip.

Still only in your mind, you see the front sight in your peripheral vision as you extend your arms pushing the weapon forward and on target. You watch the front sight as it settles on target and increase your focus, sharply, on the front sight alone. Now on target, your trigger finger moves to the trigger and a rearward press begins removing the slack. Pressing, not pulling, not jerking, not slapping, you add weight to the trigger smoothly until, as you stare at the front sight, you achieve a clean, surprise break.

Remember never to ‘fake’ or simulate recoil when dry firing and continue to focus on the front sight. Then slowly reverse the draw stroke back to close ready and then into the holster with your support hand moving back to your chest.

Take your time. There is no such thing as a “speed re-holster.”

Remember, “Draw quickly – shoot carefully – re-holster reluctantly.”

You did all this while standing still, hands at your side, and with your eyes closed. All martial arts and pro athletes use visualization techniques such as this. It is essential to good dry fire.

Now prepared, having visualized yourself doing it correctly, you will start dry fire.


Begin in slow motion. Practice does not make perfect, ‘Perfect’ practice makes perfect.

During TAG training I actually dislike that old saying but its use here is to illustrate you should not allow yourself to practice a technique sloppily or wrong. Perfect is the enemy of excellent, so don’t beat yourself up when you do something off of correct. Just stop, breathe, and go back to step one.

Go slow and execute the draw as proficiently as you can. If you have issues with the entire draw stroke and presentation, try to work on one phase of it at a time. For instance, moving from a relaxed position to a solid grip on the gun while still in the holster.

Once you have the technique down, conduct three very slow, correct draw strokes and presentations. Take a breath. Work on exhaling as you draw. Do three more at half speed. Never dry practice a technique at full speed. Speed will come with thousands of correct repetitions, never from trying to be quick. As soon as you mentally say ‘now’ and try to go fast, chances are you’ll dork it up.

Smooth is the real fast. Smooth and correct will beat fast and flustered every time.

Three more draw strokes ensuring the front sight is in sharp focus. Half speed at the most. If you catch yourself losing focus on this one skill or messing something up, go back to quarter speed and fix it.

When next in the holster and safe, stop and check your watch. Are ten minutes up? If so stop, write down the time and close your session.

Put away everything and set your firearm up for storage – or depending on the situation – back ready for CCW carry. Resist the urge to go longer or worse; after dry fire practice is over to re-unload and go again. That’s where accidents happen.

All Clear? Safe? Now let the world back in. When you have a minute, use your CCW Guardian app to document this training. (Have an iPhone? Go to www.CCWGUARDIAN.com)

Future sessions might be trigger control and reset drills, possibly using plastic dummy rounds. This increases the risk somewhat so add emphasis to the safety controls we put in place. Magazine changes are another good topic, but again you have to adjust the safety controls in place.

Sometimes there is a limit to what you can do on your own and you need to have a mature, trained and skilled observer help by watching you. Pick this person wisely as someone who nit-picks you to death will kill your focus.

(I hate golf to this day because of the guy who wouldn’t let me swing once uninterrupted without a correction of some sort!

With only a little self-promoting, this is what TAG, LLC’s Progressive Pistolcraft (the PRP) is all about. Professional coaching before bad habits sets in, is essential.

Dry fire training with mental visualization of proper techniques can increase your proficiency, build kinetic weapons handling skills, and make your expensive live fire training sessions vastly more productive.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

Advanced Firearms Training

DC Reed/Director

Your Carry of Concealed Weapons (CCW) permit training is probably mandated by the state and follows a state-mandated syllabus. The instructor you had (if he was a pro) followed the state curriculum guidelines to the letter to protect you from civil liability. If you never advance past this point and obey the law you have probably met the state-set standard for keeping your CCW permit. But is this minimum standard all that is needed to protect yourself and your family during a violent critical incident?

Look at the question another way. Was your state-mandated driver’s education all you needed to become a proficient driver? Did the state-regulated hunter safety class teach you what was needed to become a skilled hunter?

No? Then if you come to the conclusion that the minimum standards for your defensive training as set by lawyers and politicians are not enough, you should seek out professional advanced firearms training.

In an earlier article, we discussed the importance of seeking out a reputable and knowledgeable trainer. One that will still be around should you need credible, professional testimony in court. There are pluses and minuses to training with law enforcement, military, and competition oriented trainers. What you should look for is a course outline or agenda that describes which tactics, techniques, and procedures (or TTPs) are taught and go from there.

Always question the doctrinal foundation used by an advanced trainer. A pro trainer can explain where their curriculum came from and what doctrine it is based on. The hack trainer will either bristle at the question on something they teach or just say something generally dismissive. In other words, they don’t know if what they are training is an effective, reality-based doctrine or not.

Another consideration is that different “advanced” courses can all have a different emphasis. If you want more concealed carry TTPs, then look for a course that emphasizes concealment equipment, decision-making, low light engagements, and perhaps house/building clearing techniques.

If you desire to mainly increase your shooting ability, then you want training that emphasizes dynamic shooting tactics, shooting and moving, target discrimination, engagement drills, and clearing stoppages.

Other, probably more difficult to find, are courses that specialize in the legal issues surrounding civilian self-defense and protection against civil liability. While certainly important, they are not as fun for the student and thus not broadly offered.

Look at your personal training this way. Shooting a handgun well enough for self-defense is a martial art. It takes time and years of dedication to master this very perishable skill. Buying a firearm and getting the permit are akin to buying a piano and getting some sheet music. It doesn’t make you a musician.

So to better understand the process, consider the following. You start out as what is called “unconscious and incompetent.” This means you are living unaware of any threat to your world as it exists and you are completely incompetent to deal with any such threat. Most of the people you know live their whole lives in this state, blithely going about their business until something very sudden and dramatic occurs. They depend on others for their safety. They depend on the kindness of strangers. In a real crisis, they have no reaction and just stand there, like a deer mesmerized by oncoming headlights. Too often such people are a bystander in their own demise.

The next level is “consciously incompetent.” This is when they become aware that the world holds many dangerous people and places. Danger becomes more of a real and personal concept. Usually this epiphany happens when they experience a violent encounter or observe something traumatic. There now is the realization that something has to change; they cannot go on as before, but don’t yet know what to do. This is the beginning of learning and the entry point for training.

Now, some training has occurred and they reach “consciously competent.” Many go their whole life here and never advance their training any further. They feel confident and their abilities when not under stress are obvious. But as with all martial arts this is a critical point in training. There is a great fault in staying consciously competent. A person who stays at this level too long must be able to think clearly to adequately apply their skills.

Science teaches that the body dumps a chemical cocktail into the brain as a survival mechanism. During violent, time-dynamic encounters your ability to think clearly, or fast enough, is questionable. You must train past this level.

Martial artists describe the true objective of training is to achieve “unconscious competence.” Being able to react instinctively and correctly without having to think your way through a critical situation. This is an intuitive, instantaneous reaction to danger and a practiced, legally appropriate, and technically accurate response. This takes years of thought and dedication but the payoff is well worth it.

Training is about instilling confidence and expanding knowledge and skill until these skills become ability. It’s also about challenging yourself and your assumptions. Don’t assume you are ready for what could be the worst moments of your life.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

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.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

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.”

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

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!

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus