The Psychology Of Open Carry

The Psychology Of Open Carry

1 day, 10 hours ago

Denver Post:

It’s been 18 months since I stood in line behind the guy at the Safeway a mile from my house. He was older — in his 70s, I guessed. He wore jeans, yellow and red running shoes, a ball cap and a green lightweight jacket, the hood bunched up behind his head. Oh, and he also wore a gun.

It rested inside a tanned leather holster on his left hip, the rain jacket intentionally tucked behind the holster, it seemed, so everyone could see it. The gun had a black grip and a glistening silver steel back.

People were staring and moving slowly to other lines and no one even whispered, just shuffling away in silence, two women and a man, pushing their carts to nearby queues. There was, no doubt, a sense of fear.

I stayed there behind the man with the cat food and dog food and two kinds of cheese, a box of cereal and the black and silver weapon.

Then he turned and caught me staring at the gun. I felt awkward, scared maybe, and he said, “What’s up?” in a pleasant-enough voice, the way you would when seeing a friend.

“Just looking at your gun,” I babbled, having decided a split second earlier not to lie to him because, well, he had a gun.

And I did not — definitely did not — want to say what I was really thinking, which was: “Who carries a handgun to buy cheese?”

He never replied to my “Just looking at your gun” blurt and seconds later he had bags in his hands and off he went, to wherever guys go with handguns on their trousers on a Saturday morning in Colorado.

Oh, and I also remember quite vividly having this thought: He must be a nut.

I’m not alone.

The town of Castle Rock, for example, is now looking to repeal its ban on the open carry of firearms in town-owned and operated buildings, along with parks, trails and open spaces.

From a story last week: “In September, some residents raised concern that allowing open carry … could create panic in public places.”

That sentiment goes to the heart of the issue. The cold truth is when the average Joe or Joan Schmo sees someone with a gun, outside of a hunting situation, we think bad things. We think the gun-carrier is not right in the head. A few ants short of a picnic. Maybe a jerk getting a self-esteem boost by carrying a fearsome killing weapon. To buy dog food.

The author doesn’t understand open carry.  Nor does he understand his own psychological framework for understanding his reaction.  I open carry when I can because it’s such a pain to conceal, and because it’s an uncomfortable experience at best.  If you decide that you are going to be prepared for self defense, then that’s the controlling decision.  It isn’t fun or intimidating.  It’s a discipline you must develop, and buying dog food may just be the very time that you need protection.  A grocery store in my own home town was recently the target of crimes, and not just a couple.  This food store chain both prohibited carrying of weapons (disarming innocent people) and suffered multiple crimes at multiple stores from gangsters carrying concealed weapons.

Whether it’s comfortable or not, if you’ve decided that you’re going to carry, then that’s what you do.  But it’s always better to be comfortable rather than not, and thus, open carry appeals to some of us.  Also, the man who was carrying in the article was openly carrying for legal reasons.  He probably didn’t bring along his concealed handgun permit, and thus any concealment would have made him in violation of the law.  It has nothing to do with trying to intimidate people.

As I’ve said before, folks where I come from don’t seem to mind when I open carry.  The writer is projecting his own psychology onto everyone else.  But it is his own psychology that is the interesting part of this article.  It is inescapable.  What he is saying is that he would rather not know if someone is carrying a weapon.  Oh, someone may be carrying around him and probably is, but he would rather not know it.  Ignorance is bliss in his world.  Ignorance doesn’t make it safer, it just means that he doesn’t know what is going on around him.


Point Shooting – A Critical View

Point Shooting – A Critical View

I hear a lot about point shooting lately.  I guess this is the big thing out on some ranges. It has been around for quite a while but has grown in point shootingpopularity recently. Well, at the risk of losing some readers I am going to say that I am not a fan of it.  I think it buys into a lot of the problems we have lately based in general laziness.

Instincts are Trained not Born

Point shooting basically is the idea your rely on your instincts or natural point of aim to engage a target.  Well, this has problems already. Instincts are trained not born.  For example, I was on a mission once with a lot of press, foreign military, and non shooter types.  We started taking fire on the compound and everyone except my unit went flat on the ground. My unit immediately turned towards the fire and started maneuvering towards it.  We had trained countless times for that moment.  The others hadn’t. Each group reacted instinctively differently to the situation. Don’t trust your instincts until you have trained them properly.


Now I am not saying that there are times that you might squeeze off a shot before you get your sights on the target. I was taught as part of the isosceles stance to bring the pistol to my waist after the draw and get it immediately in a level position,then raise it up acquiring the sight picture.  The reason to get the pistol level is the ability to squeeze off a shot in case the threat made an immediate move. Think of your pistol barrel having water in it. If you tilt it one way or another, the water runs out. By keeping it level and pointed towards the target you have a pretty good chance of hitting it.

You Can’t Miss Fast Enough

Notice I said pretty good chance before. You really want better percentages than that in a personal or home defense situation.  Do you want to take the chance of hitting an innocent bystander or maybe even a member of your family? You really need to use your sights,at least the front sight to accurately place effective rounds on target.  On top of that, you need to train, train and train until you have the muscle memory to shoot smooth, fast and accurate.

Which handgun caliber is best?

 Which handgun caliber is best?

Posted by Brandon on 12/29/2013


This has to be the number 1 question that I come across on the Concealed Nation Facebook Page. There has always been a lot of talk as to the effectiveness of calibers in a self-defense situation, and everyone will always have their favorite caliber and the reasons they choose that caliber to protect themselves.

I’m going to put this debate to rest today.

I could make a lot of work for myself and outline all of the popular calibers with ballistic results to back up claims, but I’m not going to. If you are going to carry a firearm and abide by the 4 Rules of Gun Safety, you’re on the right path. My biggest issue with the caliber debate is when people don’t recognize over-penetration issues. Regardless of the type of ammo you carry, you’d better be sure as to it’s stopping power.

Ok, let’s put the caliber debate to rest:
The Most Effective Caliber in the world is:

The one you are comfortable and proficient with.

It’s really that simple. People have successfully stopped bad guys with a .22LR. If your shot placement is there, it should be effective. To the person who is going to mention something along the lines of “Well, what if the BG is wearing a bunch of layers of clothing?”, I say this; it’s better to have a firearm than to not have one. If the victim is comfortable and proficient with a .22, don’t expect them to carry a .40 and have the same accuracy. Maybe the .22 is all that they’ve ever shot, or maybe it’s the only caliber they’ll ever be comfortable with. It’s not up to us to make these decisions for them, and it’s in their best interest to be proficient with what they actually have on them (and available to them).

Recommending a certain firearm or caliber to someone is alright, but forcing a decision on them to carry a 1911 .45 isn’t going to help anyone if they aren’t comfortable with that firearm.

Some of the knife laws

The US is based upon federalism and, for that reason, laws are created at the federal, state, and municipal level. With regards to knife law, this makes things particularly tricky since a certain knife can be legal in one state and illegal in the next as well as legal in one county and illegal in the neighboring county. The infographic below highlights where certain knives are legal and illegal at the state level. This article goes on to explain some common misperceptions about knife law in the US.

knife-law-knifeup.comRead more…

Wisconsin Knife Laws

wisconsinWisconsin knife laws are long, wordy, and difficult to understand, even for someone trained in the law. This article takes the law and puts into clear and concise, plain English, so that anyone can understand what is legal and what is not when it comes to owning and carrying knives in the state of Wisconsin. Read more…

West Virginia Knife Laws

West Virginia State SealWest Virginia knife laws are full of legal ease that makes them difficult to understand. This article takes the law and puts it into plain English so that anyone can understand what is legal and what is not when it comes to owning and carrying knives in the state of West Virginia. Read more…

Washington Knife Laws

waWashington knife laws are vague and difficult to piece together. This article puts all of the laws together in an easy to understand way, so that anyone can figure out what is legal and what is not when it comes to owning and carrying knives in the state of Washington. Read more…

Wyoming Knife Laws

wyWyoming knife laws are very short and rather vague. This article pieces together the statutes and case law so that anyone can understand what is legal and what is not when it comes to owning and carrying knives in the state of Wyoming. Read more…

Virginia Knife Laws

vaVirginia knife laws are long and quite wordy, making it almost impossible to determine what is legal and what is not legal when it comes to owning and carrying knives in the state of Virginia. This article summarizes the law in easy to understand language so anyone can tell what is legal and what is not. Read more…

Vermont Knife Laws

vtVermont’s knife laws are almost nonexistent, making it very difficult for someone without legal training to find them. This article takes what laws Vermont does have, and puts them into plain English so anyone can understand what is legal and what is not when it comes to owning and carrying knives in the state of Vermont. Read more…

Utah Knife Laws

utUtah knife laws are vague and may be difficult for those who have not had formal legal training to understand. This article translates both the statues and the case law into easy to understand plain English so anyone can figure out what is legal and what is not, when it comes to owning and carrying knives in the state of Utah. Read more…

Texas Knife Laws

txTexas knife laws are mostly found in the Court’s decisions, or case law, as the statutes are short and do not provide much information about what any of the terms mean. This article summarizes the case law and the statutes so that anyone can understand what is legal and what is not when it comes to owning and carrying knives in the state of Texas.

Tennessee knife laws can be difficult to understand, due to the legislature’s vague language and the Court’s reluctance to offer definitions of the terms used in the statutes. This article will track down the law and explain it with clear language that makes sense to everyone.

What is Legal to Own

  • It is legal to own a Bowie knife
  • It is legal to own a dirk, dagger, or other stabbing knife
  • It is legal to own a disguised knife such as in a belt buckle or lipstick
  • It is legal to own a stiletto

It may be legal to own a butterfly knife, however, one should check with an attorney first, as Tennessee’s definition of a switchblade could include a butterfly knife. Courts in most states would call a butterfly knife one that opens by “gravity or inertia”, which is how Tennessee defines a switchblade knife. However, other Courts have viewedbutterfly knives, not as automatic or gravity knives, but as a type of pocketknife. As of June 2013, Tennessee’s Courts have yet to weigh in.

What is Illegal to Own

Tennessee Code § 39-17-1302 makes it illegal to own a switchblade knife or any other implement for the infliction of serious bodily injury or death, which has no common lawful purpose.

Restrictions on Carry

  • It is illegal to open or conceal carry a switchblade
  • It is illegal to open or conceal carry any knife with a blade exceeding four inches in length, with the intent to go armed.

Definitions of Various Types of Knives

Tennessee statute defines a knife as any bladed hand instrument that is capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by cutting or stabbing a person with the instrument. Switchblade is defined as any knife with a blade that opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button or other device in the handle or by operation of gravity or inertia. No other knives are defined by Tennessee statute or case law. Butterfly knives are mentioned in several Appellate and Supreme Court cases in Tennessee; however, the Court does not offer any type of definition for a butterfly knife.

Intent to go Armed Defined

Tennessee statutes do not define “intent to go armed”, however the phrase has been the subject of several appeals. As early as 1889, the Supreme Court of Tennessee recognized, in Moorefield v. State, that carrying a pistol to and from a hunting trip, was not intending to go armed. In 1957, in the case of Hill v. State, the Tennessee Supreme Court stated, “We gather the purpose of going armed from the facts of each particular case.” In 1976, the Court of Criminal Appeals followed the Hill decision, in Cole V. State, holding that the necessary intent to support a conviction for carrying a weapon, the intent to go armed, may be proven by the circumstances surrounding the carrying of the weapon. The Court also stated that the mere carrying of a weapon did not deprive a person of the right to presumed innocent. In 2002, in State v. Neely, the jury found that Mr. Neely was guilty of possession of an illegal knife with the intent to go armed, after a knife was found in his car, which contained various items of personal property. While Mr. Neely argued that the knife was simply kept in his car, along with other items he owned, the jury found that because Mr. Neely had recently threatened his girlfriend, he could have been carrying the knife in order to make good on his threats. The Court, agreeing with the jury, upheld the conviction.

Defenses to Unlawful Possession or Carry

It is a defense to unlawful possession or carry of a knife if the possession or carrying of the knife was:

  • Incident to a lawful hunting, trapping, fishing, camping, sport shooting, or other lawful activity
  • Incident to using the weapon in a manner reasonably related to a lawful dramatic performance or scientific research
  • Incident to displaying the weapon in a public museum or exhibition
  • In the person’s own home, property, or place of business

Certain government employees may also have a defense to the unlawful carry or possession of a weapon.

Penalties for Unlawful Possession or Carry

A first offense of unlawful possession or carry of a knife is a Class C Misdemeanor, which carries a jail sentence of up to 30 days, and a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500). A second offense is a Class B Misdemeanor, which carries a jail sentence of up to six (6) months and a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500).

Conclusion on Tennessee Knife Law

It is illegal to own or carry (either openly or concealed) a switchblade knife.

It is illegal to carry any knife with a blade longer than 4 inches, with the intent to go armed. It is, however, legal to open or conceal carry any legal knife without the intent to go armed, such as for hunting, fishing, work, or any other lawful purpose.

  • Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1302 (2013)
  • Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1307 (2013)
  • Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1308 (2013)
  • Moorefield v. State, 73 Tenn. 348, (1880 Tenn.)
  • Hill v. State, 298 S.W.2d 799 (1957)
  • Cole v. State, 539 S.W.2d 46 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1976)
  • State v. Neely, No. E2001-02243-CCA-R3-CD, Tenn. Crim. App.
  • Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-35-111 (2013)

My Own Perspective (on going)

My Own Perspective 

by David Colburn

Most commonly I find articles that others have written and while I agree with a large part of what I see (which is why I post so many), I certainly do not agree with all of the articles.  This is my perspective;

Choosing to carry a firearm or any weapon is a choice.  One that informed people are performing more and more as our society degrades on a daily basis.  “Situational Awareness” and just common sense should tell you we do not live in the place we grew up in.  Things are different and not paying attention could be fatal or worse fatal for your family.  Criminals are becoming much more aggressive, arrogant, they know the laws and what the judicial processes are and they are no longer afraid of a government that has no “teeth”.  Since your own government is not going to or is not able to protect you, there are only a couple of choices left.  One is to force our government to step up and do the right thing and the other is to handle your own business.

Choosing how you will defend yourself is a personal choice and one not to take lightly.  There are legal ramifications and with the conflicts possible fatal results.  The saying “don’t bring a gun to a knife fight” is very true as is “I would rather be tried by 12 than buried by 6”.  Don’t go into a situation under powered or under protected.  Remember that if you decide to carry a weapon you will also have to decide how to protect that weapon and be aware that you have it on at all times.  You will need to train your mind and your body to prepare for the eventuality of that conflict.  You must choose to survive!  

I personally choose to carry both knives and firearms.  While I feel that is probably the best option is certainly is not your only option and there are places where you cannot carry so other tools are going to be necessary such as knives, pepper sprays, your keys or personal items that can be used as weapons.  All things need to be considered period!  After all this is about Survival!!!!

  1.  To Carry or not to Carry, that is the question.

Once you have made the choice not to be a victim you have some important choices to make.  You now have to open your eyes to what is going on around you and start thinking about what you do and how your do it.  Every place you go, every person you come in contact with.  Many years ago I was working delivering a computer to a client I ran into an old schoolmate. We talked for a few minutes and then I took the computer inside and came back out a few minutes later.  He had robbed my jeep taking one of my weapons.  I called the police and had him arrested but lost the firearm.  He could have easily taken that weapon and used it against me or someone else.  I realized that people are just not all good and that everyone needs to protect themselves and their property.  

So this one is easy for me, I worked security as a profession for many years.  While performing my duties in security and for event companies along with Bars and Restaurants as well as concerts, I have always found that no matter how nice a place it was there is always trouble.   In all those years I have carried, mostly because I wanted to not because it was required.  I always felt that by having the answer (the weapons) available to me when I needed them that it not only protected me, it also protected others.  This was partially because I had a very bad temper and did not want to go to jail or lose my license to carry and partially because you never know when you will have problems or how severe they will be.

Type or Firearm and Caliber;

I’m going to start with firearms because that is the topic that I feel the most strongly about for self-defense situations and while it is not always the answer it certainly is a situation changer. You can ask 20 people this question and get 20 different answers but since this is my perspective here is my answer.  I will start with the caliber and then go into which guns and why.  I do NOT carry anything smaller than a .40 caliber unless I carry a backup which I do from time to time.  Shooting is quickness not speed.  You have to respond quickly, draw quickly, fire quickly and access quickly.  Whew, I’m tired just thinking about it.  If you have only about a second to think, draw, fire and re-access then the bullet you let fly should do as much damage as possible right?  You bet your ass, you just did!  With that said ONLY man-stoppers and usually custom ammo made for self-defense.  I want EVERY option covered.  I prefer 10mm because it hits very hard and flies very straight.  My first shot will be quick and somewhat accurate and WILL take you down.  A center mass shot with a 10mm is just about as good as you can get with a handgun.  If you are still a threat after that then for the next shot I will have more time for better shot placement.  And don’t get me wrong I am gong to be firing multiple shots to stop the threat however the first one needs to do as much damage as possible, it may be the only one I get off.   I am looking for the most Trauma that I can get out of one round.  This is the equivalent of a one punch knockout!  So in summary on the caliber, .40 caliber, .45 caliber, 10mm are all good/great and .357 magnum has it’s place also I’m just not a revolver fan.  The 9mm and .380’s of the world just need to many rounds to stop someone, not that they haven’t historically it just takes more which equates to more time which equates to a longer threat.  People are going to argue about weight, recoil, carry size and other factors….let them.  In my estimation if you are going to carry for protection you should be training and working with firearms on a regular basis.  The natural progression is to work into larger calibers and more proficient behaviors.

Law-enforcement officers I have talked to tell me about sending rounds down range to get time and create distance from the assailants and gain cover.  As state/county employees they have insurance and are not nearly as liable as we are for where each and every bullet goes.  I am about quick accurate shot placement.  I do not feel you have to hit the “X” ring every time.  You do have to hit the target every time.  This means being quick and accurate which again equated to time and practice.  Your training should include several aspect but my most important 2 are quickness and accuracy.  How fast can you get your firearm into the ready position and how accurate can you be once you get there.  With respect to the caliber a poorly place 22 caliber bullet will only piss someone off whereas even a poorly place 10mm may be a fatal hit.  Some of the custom bullets expand to 3/4 of an inch or better.  I really like 2 bullet types for exactly this reason.  Hornady Critical Defense/Duty and Federal Hydrashok are my carry rounds of choice no matter what gun I have on me.

As to the firearm itself, to be honest any firearm that gets the job done is the right one.  I prefer Glocks.  They are reliable, safe, very few outside devices to manipulate and a very small learning curve.  I have carried a 1911 practically since I was able to carry and love them also.  Nothing feels as good as a 1911 in your hands…..  The 4″ and 5″ versions just weigh to much for every day carry but the 3.5″ versions are perfect.  I have owned several different type s of firearms however I ALWAYS get drawn right back to the Glocks and 1911’s.  This is just a fraction of what could be a full book itself although it should be enough to get your mind stimulated.  Every manufacturer out there has what they feel is their best offering.  It doesn’t hurt to try as much as you possibly can before you buy.

Accessories and their purpose;

For many years when I first started carrying I left the guns alone and never put anything extra on them, that has changed.  I now employ several different things that I feel make a difference in my ability to acquire my targets and hit them.  This ranges from different sights, lasers, different grips and materials to custom bullets, holsters, trigger jobs and recoil springs.  Oh and I should probably throw in after market barrels.  All of these accessories have their place in your shooting and make things easier depending on which you avail yourself of.

I now use lasers for dry-fire training as well as low light situations and I have never been a fan of the stock sights on most handguns.  I now think that the laser is a great tolls and while it should not take the place of your sights it really enhances your ability to shoot in “out of position” scenarios.  Aftermarket barrels and/or fitted barrels are much more accurate than stock and accuracy is always a good thing.  Most guns come with extra mags however never enough so I always opt for more.  I generally purchase 5-10 mags per gun.  Overkill?  Maybe however when you can’t get them any longer it pays for itself.

Types of Conceal Carry:

This is a personal choice we all make everyday and everyone is different.  Whatever you are tall, short, skinny or fat you should make the choice of holsters that suits your ability to get to them quickly (again that word quick).  In my opinion certain carry locations are not for main carry locations such as ankle carry, pocket carry and behind the back.  These are spots where you have to move into tight spaces or long distances to get the firearm out.  If you doubt me take a look at competitive shooters and see where they carry for speed.  I prefer cross-draw carry but this is not always easy to conceal.  Remember that you have to be quick when trying to draw your firearm.  Catching your hand or weapon on a piece of clothing can be fatal.

Once you decide what to carry and what ammo you are going to use and finally where you are going to carry your choice the next step is to start carrying.  Start carrying all the time and everywhere you go.  Get in the habit of putting the gun on like you put your pants on.  And yes carry around the house.  What?  Carry around the house?  Yes!  Carry around the house!  Home invasions are up!!!!!  Personal invasions are up!!!!  Carry everywhere you can and when you can’t carry something that is legal where you are going…..but carry something to defend yourself.

More later




The Psychology of Gun Ownership

The Psychology of Gun Ownership

The Psychology of Gun Ownership

Have you really thought about why you have a gun? Have you thought about the responsibilities that come with it? Have you thought about what may happen if you use it in defense of yourself or your family?

If you want a gun to scare someone away, that’s the wrong reason.  You must be prepared to use deadly force.  Anything less will put you in danger if the threat calls your bluff or will not stay down when injured.

Are you prepared to follow all safety rules to include keeping the gun safe from children and those who are trained in proper use of firearms. Check out the four rules and the ten commandments.

The problem is that most Americans were brought up in  a halfway decent household where human life is respected. A lot of Americans were also brought up so they didn’t have to do a lot in order to get something. This is a bad combination.

First, there are those out there, even in America who hold no value to human life. If they want it, they will take it. When you have a gun, you can equalize the equation.  You just have to remember that just pulling it will not deter many of these thugs from moving on you.

To the second point, most of the time in America you can wing it. You can buy the TV, c or even a house, not read a manual or get training and start using it.  You can’t do this with a gun. You have to get training and practice good techniques.  Practicing bad techniques will just make you a threat to yourself and bystanders.

Enough of my preaching on the subject.  Check out the video below on these and other aspects of gun ownership psychology. One part of the video I disagree with – I don’t think separating the magazine from a weapon is enough of a safety device for a toddler.

Let us know what you think is important to keep in mind for gun ownership in the comments.

Florida Bans Gun Bans

Florida Bans Gun Bans!

DECEMBER 20, 2013 BY 

Florida SC

Last week, Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeals ruled that statutes originating in the Florida Legislature take precedence over regulations passed by local governments or state agencies. This authority to preempt local ordinances prevents counties, cities, and townships from creating a patchwork quilt of regulations most citizens would find impossible to obey. What the decision means is that the 12 state universities in Florida cannot overrule a 2011 law in which the Florida Legislature “…pre-empted the regulation of guns by local governments and state agencies.”

The lawsuit–Florida Carry Inc. and Alexandria Lainez vs. the University of North Florida–was brought by Lainez because the university did not permit her to store a pistol in her car while attending classes on campus. A twenty four-year-old mother, Lainez has been a CC license holder for 3 years and is working to get students interested in gun training courses offered in the state.

Liberal Appeals Court Judge Philip Padovano dissented from the court majority, writing “this remarkable conclusion is not supported in the law, and with due respect for my colleagues, I believe that it defies common sense.”

It’s remarkable how many clearly stated constitutional rights “defy common sense” when the left happen to disagree with them.

Good for Alexandria Lainez, Florida Carry, Inc., and the majority members of the Court of Appeals.



Train as You Fight

Train as You Fight

There is a common saying in the boxing and mixed martial arts world: “Train like you fight, so you will fight like home defense gunyou train”. This saying is equally important for a concealed carry permit holder or anyone who is serious about protecting their home and family from harm.When you make the decision to obtain a concealed carry permit or even purchase a home defense gun, it often represents a significant change in lifestyle. Everything from how you perceive other people to how you dress and move will undergo a change in one form or another. In order to make this transition, the best advice is to practice.

This goes beyond regular target practice which may or may not have been part of the CCW qualification course. Obviously being a good shooter is a requirement if you should someday have to use your firearm in a self-defense situation. Yet, simply standing and shooting at a paper target is not an effective way to do this.

Criminals are predators. When a criminal seeks to attack someone 99% of the time it will be someone who is perceived as weak. This does not literally mean physically weaker, but someone who may be preoccupied or has their hands full or at any other type of a disadvantage. Some criminals will attempt to engage in a conversation beforehand so that they can size up their victim.

In other words, they will not be standing 15 yards away waiting for you to don hearing protection, assume a weaver stance and aim your handgun at them. The attack will often come when you least expect it. More than likely your firearm will be holstered at the time and not in your hand when you need it. Perhaps of utmost importance is training how to draw the handgun from a concealment holster and shoot it.

Practicing how to draw and fire from a holster can be safely practiced with an unloaded firearm in one’s home. This activity will aid your reflexive muscle memory in the event that you should have to draw down and fire at an attacker who is intent on causing you grave bodily harm. After you feel comfortable with performing this without live ammunition, it can be duplicated with live ammunition at most shooting ranges if the Range Safety Officer allows you to draw from the holster on the firing line.

You could potentially come under attack while changing a tire on your car or truck; incorporate a drill while on your knees kneeling shootingwhere you draw and fire at the threat. Carrying a bag of groceries or a parcel may be an invitation to a mugging, anticipate this by carrying something similar at the range and making yourself drop it as you draw down and fire at your target.

Attacks while in your home can come from a burglar or home invader. Study the layout of your house and learn where there are points of cover or concealment behind furniture or appliances. In your range training, seek to adopt shooting from around or behind objects of a similar size.

The stress of surviving a deadly attack will diminish your fine motor skills as adrenaline pumps through your body. Never expect that when the time comes to use your firearm in self-defense that you will rise to the occasion and save the day without being prepared.

The truth is that you will fall back to your level of training. It is up to you to ensure that your training is as realistic as possible and ready for most contingencies.

What drills are you going to incorporate in your practice?

Isosceles vs Weaver – The Right Stance for You

Isosceles vs Weaver – The Right Stance for You

Isosceles vs Weaver – That is the question.Which stance is always a question that comes up on the range. Two of the most popular are the Isosceles and the Weaver Stance. Now before anyone gets upset let me say both are good stances and you can shoot really well with either. Of course with everything, each one has its pluses and minuses.

Weaver stance

The Weaver stance was developed by Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Jack Weaver and publicized by Jeff Cooper in several of his books, as well as in articles published in Guns & Ammo magazine. Basically the stance is the non firing side foot forward with the firing side foot dropped back. The firing arm is straight with the non firing hand elbow bent. Watch the video below for a demonstration of the stance.

You can be extremely accurate with the Weaver stance. You will see a lot of people doing one shot competitions using the Weaver stance. I find myself when I have to take a precision shot drifting into a Weaver.


Now I was trained in the Isosceles stance in the military. An isosceles triangle has two equal sides equaling your arms. That’s what body forms in this stance. The shooter is directly facing the target and both arms are extending out to form the triangle. Watch the video below for a demonstration.

You will see a lot of police and military using the stance for a few reasons. It is easy to move in either direction with the Isosceles. You have a very stable platform to fire off of and if you are rushed by a threat you can react well. Another reason is protective gear. When I did my missions in the military we wore a ballistic vest with a front ceramic plate. The Isosceles stance places that plate right in front so if you did get shot you might take in the plate instead of a less protected area.

Which is best for you?

Now I am taking the easy way out. Go with what works for you. There are a lot of very good shooters that use either one. The point is that you need to get training so you are doing the stance correctly and then practice, practice, practice with it.

What stance do you use and why? Let us know in the comments.

Hangfires, Misfires and Squibs

Hangfires, Misfires and Squibs

Hangfires, misfires and squibs are failures to fire due to some problem with the ammunition. If you buy good quality ammo these are pretty rare, but you should know what they are and what to do in case you encounter one.hangfire, misfires and squibs


Hangfires occur when the primer of the round is hit, but there is a delay before the round actually goes off. Usually there is some soft of ignition but it takes anywhere from a fraction of a second until a couple seconds for pressure to build enough to force the round down the barrel. the Many times this is caused by a bad or damaged primer. It can also be caused but carbon build up effecting the firing pin.

Most important is to keep the weapon pointed down range when it doesn’t go off as expected. You need to keep it in a safe direction for at least 30 seconds before attempting to eject the round.


Misfires are when the hammer strikes the primer but the round does not go off. You need to treat a misfire as a hangfire keeping it in a safe direction for at least 30 seconds.

Misfires can be caused by bad/old ammo, broken or damaged firing pins. When you eject the round (after waiting 30 seconds) inspect it to see if the primer was dented normally. If so then you can pinpoint the problem back to the ammo. If the primer dent looks shallow, you should inspect your weapon.


Squibs are round that go off when the hammer strikes the primer but doesn’t generate the normal amount of pressure. With automatics you might find the weapon not cycling properly. Squibs can be very dangerous in that they can leave a bullet in the barrel. If you are shooting a feel something different, stop immediately. Clear the weapon and inspect the barrel. Firing anohter round with a round in the barrel can cause a barrel explosion which can hurt or even kill you.

Really ammunition failures are pretty rare. I have encountered at least one of these in my days in the military, but we often shot thousands of rounds a day. You probably won’t encounter all three, but you need to know what to do if you have one.

Have any of you experienced a hangfire, misfire or squib? Let us know in the comments.