Did you buy the wrong gun?

Published January 21, 2014 by
Filed under Carry, Competition, Self Defense, Training

guncounter

Good question. Buyer’s remorse is a real and dangerous thing, and guns aren’t cheap. Buying the wrong gun means that something that could be used to provide hours of fun, enjoyment and practical self-defense ends up unused, unloaded and under your bed, never seeing the light of day or a proper gun range. Because there are so many types of guns and so many things you can do with them, we’re going to talk about defensive firearms like a small service pistol or shotgun.

So how do know if you’ve bought the right gun? 

  1. Does the gun do what you wanted?
    If you’ve bought a .22 rifle for self-defense, you’ve maybe made a poor choice. Chances are, however, if you’ve followed the advice of a competent gun store clerk (or read this blog…), you’ve got the gun you need.
  2. Do you enjoy shooting the gun?
    This question causes quite a lot of controversy because there’s more than one person who will say “Who cares if it’s easy to shoot? You should get a gun you trust to save your life, even if it feels like a porcupine in your hand and recoils like a freight train!”
    The thing is, they’re not wrong, but they’re not right. If you’re not comfortable shooting your new gun on a regular basis, you’re not going to be comfortable practicing with it or training with it, and that means you’re not going to be comfortable using it to defend yourself on the worst day of your life.
  3. Can you buy the accessories you want for it?
    As someone who has a natural affinity for CZ firearms, (not the biggest brand of guns out there), I deal with this every time I want to add something to my gun. I love my CZ’s, but I accept the fact that there will be more available accessories for a Glock or M&P pistol.  
  4. Is your gun reliable?
    This is the big one.  An unreliable firearm is not a defensive tool, it’s at best an occasional plaything. All gun manufacturers will tell you their guns are reliable, but how do you know for sure the gun you bought will work when you need it the most? 
    Fortunately, Todd Green of PistolTraining.com has set up a forum when gun owners answer a simple question: Can your gun shoot 2000 rounds in a row without a hiccup? Go check it out and if your gun is listed, you can be confident you have a reliable gun. 

No matter what, the key to being comfortable with your new gun is safely using it and learning to rely on it to defend your life or the lives of our loved ones if, God forbid, you might need it. 

Carry often, carry consistently.

Published January 9, 2014 by
Filed under Carry, CCW, Clothing, Equipment, Self Defense, Training

Stop for a moment: Do you know where your house keys are? Where your cell phone is or your wallet? Are they in the same place they normally are? Probably.

We carry our daily “must have” items in the same place all the time because we don’t want to spend a lot of time looking for them if we need them. 

The same thing is true for your defensive firearm. If (God forbid) you’ll need it, you’ll need it rightthisverysecond and not want to pause for a moment to reflect where it might be. This is why once you’ve decided on where to carry your pistol, you’ll want to carry in that position as often as possible and not move it to another location or yourself or somewhere else. 

For example, through trial and (some) error, I’ve found that I prefer to carry my CCW gun in an Inside The Waistband (IWB) holster, specifically in a hybrid Kydex/leather holster of some kind, positioned at about 3:30 on the same side as my strong hand. I usually carry either a Smith and Wesson Shield or a CZ P07 in that position, but if I can’t carry on my waist because of what I’m wearing or where I’m going, I carry a pocket .380, a Kel-Tec P3AT in a pocket holster in my pants on my strong hand side. My extra magazine (and you DO carry spare ammo, don’t you?) is either in a mag pouch on my waist or in a nifty little pocket pouch that keeps my ammo separate from the flotsam and jetsam in my pockets.  

Take a moment to think about where your carry gun is right now. If you’re not sure, or if it’s not close by, it’s not going to be much help when you’ll need it most. 

Accepting the responsibility of owning a gun.

Published December 17, 2013 by
Filed under Carry, CCW, Mindset, Practice, Self Defense, Training

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Owning a firearm for personal defense is the most grown-up decision you’ll make in your life because you realize that an armed representative of the state (a cop) will not be there when you need one and you are, and always will be, your own first responder. 

I agree with Rob Pincus: The government shouldn’t mandate training as a pre-requisite to gun ownership, anymore than they should mandate J-School classes before owning a typewriter. It’s the duty of responsible people to set up and advocate responsible actions for anyone wanting to own a gun, and training is definitely a part of that equation. 

BTW, for more info on Combat Focus Shooting in Arizona, check out Phoenix Firearms Training

Thanks for your feedback.

Published December 12, 2013 by
Filed under Carry, CCW, Clothing, Equipment, Women

I want to thank everyone who answered last week’s poll because it really helped me (and a bunch of other people) become more informed about where to start when recommending on-body carry for women. 

Yes, no two women are exactly alike (no two men, either…), so there will always be a need for women (and men) who own guns to try things out for themselves and see what works for them. The difference is now I and a bunch of other people have a place to begin from when it comes to recommending on-body carry for women. 

Thanks again,

K

I know two people who’ve had to use their guns.

Published December 10, 2013 by
Filed under Carry, CCW, Mindset, Self Defense, Training

Neither of which is a cop. 
Neither of which lives in a bad neighborhood. 
Neither of which was expecting to use their gun that day. 
Neither of which had to fire a shot to keep themselves safe. 
Neither of them called the cops after they drew their guns.

One of them, a member of Reddit whom I met this year, had things work out alright for him

I turn onto a smaller road that goes more directly to my house. There’s a car coming in the opposite direction and a lady walking by herself to my right on the sidewalk in kind of a hurry. All the sudden the head on vehicle makes a deliberate but sloppy swerve so that he’s now facing me and coming right at me. Being a smaller road neither of us are traveling fast and I manage to break hard enough to avoid a collision as I lay on my horn. His car makes a sound like he put the parking break on too fast, and out he comes yelling. The lady that was on my right is also yelling now, and it seems like they know each other because she’s screaming stuff like “Yeah okay, go ahead and get out of your car now! Go ahead!”.

Instead of yelling back at her though, he yells at me as he’s coming towards me and my truck. I panic a little bit and I was already shocked by his actions with his car, so I reach behind my seat where I grab hold of my .45. He gets to my truck and immediately pounds on my hood. “GET OUT OF MY WAY, THIS ISNT YOUR BUSINESS.” I don’t know what the f*** he’s talking about but now I officially feel like I’m backed in a bit of a corner here. I had already turned my cab light on, and as he approached my window I point the gun at him through the window, rolling it down enough for him to hear me yell over his ranting “BACK OFF. I DONT CARE WHAT YOUR DEAL IS, GO AWAY.”

Now realize that whole thing happens in probably less than ten seconds. I’m shaking and half way talking out of my ass, it’s all gut reaction at this point.

Immediately he backs off a bit but keeps yelling “Big guy with a gun huh? You aren’t a man…” As he’s walking away I take my chance to get the f*** out of there and turn out of there where he had previously been blocking me with himself. I look back once to see he’s now yelling at the women and pointing back to his car. I go straight home and sit in the drive way for a second to relax, and that was it.

He didn’t call the cops and it worked out for him, unlike the other person I know who drew his gun. 

A friend’s boyfriend had an experience with someone who escalated a traffic altercation into full-on road rage. The other driver followed him, my friend stopped , and the other driver got out of his car. My friend was worried about if the other driver had a gun. My friend drew his gun, backed the other guy down, and drove off.

Even though he was in fear for his life, even though he tried de-escalation and it didn’t work, the fact is, the other guy got to set the narrative in the minds of law enforcement because he called the cops first.

The other guy called the cops and told them my friend’s boyfriend pulled a gun on him. The case didn’t go to court, my friend pleaded to a lesser charge and lost his right to own a gun for 3 years as part of the plea deal. Yes, he could have fought it in court and won outright, but the narrative was set by the other guy ,who called the cops first. Because of that, it was his job to fight an uphill battle against what the cops knew as “fact”and it just wasn’t a battle that could be won from a money/time perspective.

Lawyers cost insane amounts of money (get self-defense insurance, people!) and the amount of time and money needed to possibly clear himself was weighed against the amount of time and money needed to plea down and get it over with in three years, and that’s what won.

Bottom line, if (God Forbid) you use your gun defensively, be prepared to call the cops, and be prepared to spend money on a lawyer when you do. Prepare yourself by preparing yourself for talking to the cops, and prepare your wallet by buying some self-defense insurance before you’ll need it.

The Best Place For A Woman To Carry Her Gun Is…

Published December 5, 2013 by
Filed under Carry, CCW, Equipment, Self Defense

Need some help here recommending an *on-body* location for a CCW pistol as a starting point for women who want to carry. We can have the on-body versus off-body (i.e. purse holsters ,etc) carry discussion on some other day: What I’m interested in is hearing from women who carry a defensive firearm about where they prefer to carry their gun on their person.

I’d like to know (anonymously) where you carry in order to help people like myself and others who occasionally get asked about these thing. It’d help if we have a starting point when it comes to recommending a carry position for their guns, and your input would really help.

Best *On-Body* Carry Position For A Women Is…
  
pollcode.com free polls 

Thanks for your feedback!

What you didn’t learn in your Concealed Carry Class

Published December 3, 2013 by
Filed under Carry, CCW, Competition, Mindset, Practice, Self Defense, Training

Dave Spaulding (who knows more about firearms training than just about anyone else on the planet) talks about grip and stance. 

One of the things that annoys me about 90% of the “Tactical” training out there is that they teach you a “perfect” grip and stance, which you will probably never, ever use if (God forbid) you need to defend your life with your gun. Real life is not a shooting range: There’s a zero percent chance you’ll be wearing hearing protection if/when you’ll need to use a gun defensively, and the stress you’ll be under when you do is nothing like the stress of shooting at a range. 

This is one of the reasons why I encourage new gun owners to shoot at least one practical pistol competition: You’ll get a much better understanding of how your body reacts to stress when you have a gun in your hand, and you’ll see the need to close the gap between your skill level shooting in the relaxed environment of a square range versus  your skill under the pressure of competition. 

“A shooting match isn’t a gunfight, but a gunfight is certainly a shooting match.”Massad Ayoob.

Why Should You Get Defensive Firearms Training?

Published November 26, 2013 by
Filed under Carry, CCW, Mindset, Self Defense, Training

… because you can over-train for some things, but not for a violent armed encounter.

… because you want to survive a violent armed encounter.

… because your loved ones and friends want you to survive a violent armed encounter. 

And the rest of the reasons I gave are over on The Personal Defense Network. Go check it out

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