Tag Archives: CCW

I like big guns and I cannot lie…


 By  Cat Lindsay

I like big guns and I cannot lie…


This could be the song of my ladies!

At the last Ladies Introduction to Shooting class, while I only had one student, it was one of my best classes ever!

C, a 5’/100lb. 30-something spa owner, came to my class because her business has had 5 break-ins or attempted break-ins over the past 2 years. She no longer feels safe. While she does buzz her clients in and out, she fears someone barging in past one her customers. She was ready to learn the basics of handguns.

Though she had shot a gun once, in her youth, she came to me on Saturday as a clean slate. I actually prefer newbies, because there are no bad habits to break.

When we first started out, we used the replica training guns, as usual.  But, she soon wanted to touch & feel the real thing. For demo purposes, I always use my .45 Ruger SR1911, my 9mm S & W M & P Shield, my Taurus 608 .357 magnum, and one of MAGS rental guns, usually a large-frame 9mm Glock. This gives my students a wide variety of guns to feel.

With small hands, the double-stack Glock was too big.  She liked the feel of the Shield, but liked the weight of the Ruger & Taurus, because they “feel like real guns”.

After the classroom time (safety, how the guns & ammo work, loading magazines, clearing malfunctions, grip, stance, sights), we headed to the range.

The first gun she fired was the Taurus, shooting .38’s.  She liked the weight and being able to control such power. The Shield fit her hand better, but she didn’t like the recoil. She really liked the Ruger, the weight and all the safeties. She fired Will’s (MAGS employee) Gen 4 Glock 19, but had malfunctions. I showed her the difference between locking out and REALLY locking out, and she had better results. The last gun she fired was a Ruger SR .22 (I know we should have started with this gun, but it was a rental and we had to wait). She did not care for the optics.

So at the conclusion of the class, I asked her what her favorite gun was and she said the Taurus revolver and the Ruger 1911 because they felt like real guns. I told her that bigger, heavier guns were great for home/business defense.

BTW, she will be taking the CCW class in later this month!

Why I choose to carry concealed in an open-carry state

By Catherine Lindsay

As of writing this article (07/11/15), 45 states currently allow open-carry of handguns. I live in one of these states, but I choose to carry concealed. Here’s why:

*You will eventually become a victim of a crime.
I live in a city of 678,000 residents. Not all of those residents are law-abiding citizens. By open-carrying, I am saying to certain evil guys “Hey, come rob me!”. Would you paperclip four $100 bills to your hip & walk down the street? If not, why would you do so with a gun, which on the street, can be flipped in 15 minutes for cash?

*Unwanted Interaction with Law Enforcement.

To those who don’t live the self-defense lifestyle, they may not know it’s legal to open-carry (I have had converstions with these people). These are the people who hate guns, whether on a good guy or evil guy. All they see is the gun. The phone call to 911 may sound like this, “There’s a guy walking down the street with a gun! Hurry!!”. Now, any gun call is going to have top priority, so you will get stopped by the police. Do you really want to be stopped every 10 minutes?

*Lunatic Fringe
This incident http://www.abqjournal.com/7302/abqnewsseeker/melee-breaks-out-over-gun-at-west-side-garcias.html ended with no one hurt, but what if the lunatic had shot incident bystanders? The person who brought the gun into the restaurant (already breaking the law by carrying openly in a liquor establishment) is responsible for the securement of his weapon. Had the lunatic killed someone, the gunowner could have been charged with felony murder.

*Element of Surprise
I like the idea that no one knows I have on a gun but me. I am a small woman & look like a hippy, the last person evil guys would think is carrying, but more likely to be targeted. Surprise!!

It is your right to carry how you choose. Train, carry & be safe


Women & the .45

We have a new Post from a new writer, Catherine Lindsay.  She will be helping out with more articles from the ladies perspective.

Catherine Lindsay

For many ladies, the idea of shooting anything other than a small .38 revolver (the gun most likey to be pushed on them by well-meaning SO’s & counter guys) is daunting. But, after what I witnessed over the weekend, their minds can be changed.
I regularly help out with CCW qualifications. In NM, the CCW license is caliber-specific, meaning one can carry any caliber below what is qualified with. Most CCWer’s qualify with a .45 semi-auto & a .38/.357 revolver.

Many ladies come into class with the idea of qualifying ONLY with the .38 revolver, and maybe a 9mm semi-auto, thinking that anything larger is just not controllable. They mistakenly believe that they are too small/too frail to handle a larger caliber. With gently coaxing by the instructors, they are willing to try.

After teaching them some basic fundamentals of good shooting (grip, stance, sight alignment), they soon find that the weight & shorter/lighter trigger pull of the .45, particularly the 1911, is MUCH easier to manage than a revolver. They are surprised by the ease of recoil control (again with proper stance & grip), and often do better than their male counterparts, as they have come to the .45 with no bad habits to correct. Ladies also find, especially on the 1911, the thumb safety to be comforting, as they are very safety-conscience.

As to whether this experience will gear them towards carrying a .45 is unknown, but I think that getting over the “big caliber” hurdle will help them to keep a more open mind as to carry options.

Cat Lindsay

The Birth of the Pistol as a PDW

The last decade has been a wild ride for the AR15. The technology rush that shaped the basic rifle of the AWB era has given way to a technology rich rifle platform made to promote quick hits, at any distance, with ergonomic excellence and a user centric design.

It was only a matter of time before the technology march reached into the territory of the sidearm.

A PDW is a Personal Defense Weapon. It’s that weapon you would give tanker crews and other non combat troops which packs more punch than a pistol, but less than a rifle. It’s an in-between to shoot back at your assailant and get out of dodge. Here too, technology has tricked down to miniaturize existing designs such as the AR15 and equip it with high performance accessories. The civilian marketplace has made great strides in pushing technology and the design of the AR to the peak of its performance.

Now here we are… it’s 2015 and now the technology is transitioning to the pistol. As miniature red dots make their way onto thousands more pistols this summer, we have to take another look at the pistol and examine the direction it will take in the future. My thoughts?

We are turning pistols into the equivalent of a civilian PDW:

GLock Scorpion

As we install micro red dots and then install compensators to keep the muzzle down and make that fancy dot easier to track, we can see that modern defensive pistols are slowly following the same path as the AR. As race gun technology trickled down into the military world, we forged the utility of the fighting rifle together with the practicality of the race gun to give our soldiers one of the best fighting rifles in the world.

Now we will see the same transformation of the pistol. It will be the melding of a traditional defensive handgun with the miniaturized features of the race pistol. We see manufacturers offering micro red dot mounting systems right from the factory. We see well known trainers equipping their pieces with +5 or +6 magazine extensions. I saw several “non race-gun” CCW pieces equipped with slide mounted red dots competing in a USPSA event.

So do we need to go this route? Does a defensive pistol need this junk?

Glock 17 P90

We likely will not be in the next Kenya Mall style attack. The chance is infinitesimal… but as red dots and control accessories become more commonplace in the CCW pistol, who wouldn’t want a pistol that runs at the cutting edge of speed and performance? I don’t intend to stick around and play hero in any mass shooting, but if an assailant gets between my family and the exit I want to lay down lead so heavy the coroner would believe he was hit by a shotgun. We got *lucky* in Garland, Texas.

I purchased the G17 you see above to specifically to test out the latest in drop in, non custom performance accessories. My intent is to run this gun in USPSA open division as soon as I get all the accessories I need. I want a RDS, Light, and a Compensator. I will carry it in winter time under my coat as my CCW and if I can figure out a way to conceal it in the summer, game on. I figure… why not.

It’s going to be my PDW after all.

-The New Rifleman




Article by Mark Hatfield.

Recently I was asked to ‘baby sit’ (my words) a fellow who was teaching a handgun class at a range where I serve as a Range Safety Officer. I was to give an impromptu safety talk and then observe the class for a while to determine if they could be left on their own or needed watching. They needed watching. Boy Oh Boy, Did they need watching.

Before they started I asked questions to get a feel for their experience and training. I was told that ‘most’ of the four students had trained under this instructor before. The instructor did have a large emblem on the back of his jacket showing his certification as an instructor, issued from a large well known organization, no less. This instructor informed me that these students were all at the ‘intermediate’ level, he then added that this was because they had all attended a concealed weapon class. The class, I believe, he had taught.

Among them one had a medium frame revolver, another a small Glock, another a small oddball copy of the Colt ‘1911’, I don’t recall what semi-auto the other fellow had. Two of the semi-auto shooters didn’t remember how to load their guns, even how to insert the magazine. I observed that the ‘1911’ shooter fired right handed but always used his left hand to put the safety on or off. Later I showed him how to operate the safety using the thumb of his right hand and the alternate method if he was shooting with his left hand. I cautioned one shooter to not put his thumb behind the slide of his semi-auto. I had to remind one or two to put on their eye protection. There was one or two other things I advised. The instructor had never said anything nor did he assist the students with any of these problems. Nor did he assist or correct any other problems.

They were firing at ledger size sheets of paper, that is 11 by 17 inches and doing so from seven yards. The warm-up was to take their time and fire six shots. One guy hit with only five shots, another with only four, the Glock shooter missed with all six. Throughout my observation I kept reminding myself ‘He calls these INTERMEDIATE level students’.

The first four or five drills the shooters were to start from a ‘low ready’ position and fire six shots, returning to the low ready after each shot. Glock shooter never did, every drill he would raise his gun and fire all six. The instructor never said anything. He never knew about it.

I held back from much I could have said or done. I did not want to undermine the instructor or seem like I was ‘taking over’ the class however it was almost difficult not to. I did jump in when the instructor stood in of his students (who were all on the firing line) and as he spoke of something, two of them drew their guns from the holsters and pointed them down range though somewhat to the side. The instructor had not thought of that as a problem until I interrupted and pointed it out. He didn’t even seem to notice.

While the instructor took a potty break I inquired how much they were paying him. One hundred dollars each for a partial day.

Part of the problem was very clear. He, the instructor, never watched his students. Yup, He would tell them to do something then never watch them as they attempted to do it.

His written material, some memorized, some read aloud from his notes, was ok, not bad, certainly not wrong but was often incomplete in areas. The drills he had them do were so-so at best but did not seem to be leading to any particular goal. His great error was that he never paid attention to what the students were doing. He could not assist his students, correct their problems, improve their technique, or anything because he never saw them in action. Whenever they shot he would stand in the middle of the line and shoot along with them at the same time. They could have been shooting at each other and as long as they missed he might never have never know it.

After about an hour and a half I was notified that I would be needed elsewhere, could these guys be left alone? I said ‘no’, but that it might be easily correctable (I hoped). At the next reasonable opportunity I announced that I had to leave and asked to speak with the instructor on the side. I had seen that the guys all did reholster safely, that was good. I explained that there was a serious problem which he had not realized. He apologized for letting the students draw their guns while he was in front of them, I explained that there was much more than that. I mentioned that the guys could be (without being aware of it) pointing guns at their own feet, at their hands, at each other and he would never know because he NEVER watched them. I tried to really drive this home. I suggested that he use this method:

Explain what he wants them to do.
Then WATCH them.
Give them corrections as they may need.

I could have said a lot more, that he was wasting their time and money as well as reinforcing bad habits, letting them think that what they did was OK, but I didn’t.

I didn’t think this ‘instructor’ was an idiot. However that day, he was not an instructor, he really was not instructing. He thought he was. I thought he could become an OK instructor but the large well known organization which gave him his teaching credentials clearly never taught him how to teach.

A few months earlier I was a volunteer at an orientation to firearms for women only. All the ‘coaches’ were certified Range Safety Officers. The shooting portion was done with one-on coaching. During this, a handgun was pointed at my student and I, twice. My student saw this also. The person who pointed it at us was one of the coaches.

I spent seven years in the Navy and Marine Corps, during that time I did work for some senior people who were ‘problems’. I felt fortunate that for my first several assignments I had leaders who were quite good both in their field and at leadership, that experience allowed me to better exist when under those who were not. Those ‘intermediate’ students I observed did not know enough to know what they were getting and what they were not. I felt sorry for them.

BTW That instructor shot only very slightly better than the best of his students. AND Talking with these students before the class started, some of them actually thought that they were at an intermediate level of skill.

Armed Citizen Stops Potential Lethal Attack without Shooting… Should he have gotten involved?

Article Shared with permission  of  Rob PIncus .


When I’m scheduled to be a guest on Armed American Radio and don’t have anything in particular to talk about, Mark Walters often sends me links to current event type stories that he’d like to discuss or get my opinion on. Late yesterday afternoon, he did just that. The link he sent me was to the following news story about an armed “good samaritan” who stopped an assault on a woman by holding her attacker at gun point until the police arrived. You can read the story and view the video, HERE at the local CBS Affiliate Website.

SamaritanNaturally, this story is right up the alley of Personal Defense and Concealed Carry Weapons topics that I often talk about on AAR. In fact, this exact scenario is one that we recent talked about on various social media pages, after we published a training video on the topic of Using a Firearm to Detain a Person at Personal Defense Network. It is also something that we have addressed in I.C.E. Training Company‘s Home Defense and CCW Courses as part of our “Immediate Aftermath” Scenarios.

Based on reading the story and watching the video, I commented on the incident and what I saw in the second half of the second hour of Armed American Radio last night, which you can Listen to HERE:  AAR, 12/28, 2nd hour. My comments begin about 35 minutes in.

Shortly after the end of my segment on the show, I got a few private messages letting me know two things; First, I knew the Good Samaritan that was the subject of the story… at least through interactions on social media. Second, That he, Aaron Kreag, had already made a public statement (via the same CBS News program) as a follow up to the initial story. Shortly after becoming aware of those facts, I saw that Aaron himself had commented on a post in the I.C.E. Training Discussion Group and offered to discuss the incident with me. We quickly set a time and I had a chance to discuss the incident with him for about an hour earlier today. In the meantime, there has been an avalanche of typical internet assclownery from the code-name heroes in various forums and even in yes-I’m-saying-this-with-my-name-next-it Facebook Comment Threads. Most of the real embarrassing stuff comes from the contingent of our community that would kill ‘em all & let god sort it out… these guys are all wishing that Aaron would’ve gone Full Vigilante and pulled the trigger. The other silly side of the cacophony is saying that he had no business getting involved, one commenter even going as far as to characterize the man beating the woman as a “marital dispute”!

After talking with Aaron about the incident and hearing his detailed descriptions of both his actions and that of others involved (the attacker, the victim, his wife and the police), I can tell you that he acted within 5% of exactly how I would want one of my students to have acted, once the decision was made to get involved.

1. He saw a very brutal attack taking place in a vehicle adjacent to his on the side of the road. He described it to me as if a 200+ lb UFC Fighter were kneeling over a defenseless opponent no longer capable of defending themselves raining down punches and elbows with the referee doing nothing to intervene. By the time he was in a position to see clearly what was happening and actually intervened, the male attacker was out of his car seat, overtop of the much smaller woman in the passenger seat.

2. He had his wife call the police before he even left his own vehicle or drew his own gun.

3. He had to position himself where the attacker would see him so that he could try to use verbal commands and a show of force (the gun) to get him to stop the attack.

4. He also had to position himself so that the victim would not be in his line of fire if he did feel the need to shoot and so that his wife would not be in unnecessary danger should the attacker have pulled a gun and started shooting at him.

5. He gave clear verbal commands and demonstrated trigger discipline (even showing his finger OFF the trigger to the attacker to try to calm him down in the middle of the incident) through the event.

6. When the police were arriving, he consciously brought his gun back to the high-compressed ready position to appear less threatening, but remain ready to defend himself if necessary.

7. When the police arrived and began giving him commands, he immediately complied completely.

8. He identified himself  as being legally armed.

9. He let the police investigate until witness statements and physical evidence had established that he was the “good guy”.

10. His education in the legal use of force served him well in regard to his articulation of why he did what he did during the police interviews that followed the incident (both immediately and a few days later).

During our discussion, it was clear that Aaron was still processing some of what had happened. Having discussed these types of incidents (shoot and no-shoot versions) with scores of people and watched scores more video’d statements, this is pretty typical of a situation that was so recent. Aaron was very clear about the important parts of what he saw that prompted him to take action. he was also very clear about his very high level of focus on what the attacker was doing and less awareness/interaction with anyone else (victim, bystanders, etc.). He also drew an interesting distention between his emotional/instinctive reactions during this incident in which he took “on balance” action to insert himself as a third party witness to violence and situations he recalled from his military service when he was the target of potential harm. He said that he had a clear “Now What?” moment when he realized that the immediate threat to the woman had stopped and that he was standing in the middle of a street with traffic backed up and bystanders all around him and a gun in his hand. He found out later that one of the many 9-1-1 calls during the incident had described it as “a white man in a gray jacket trying to carjack a black man in a red car”! Having not done any specific scenario training for that moment, he was left to improvise the rest of his response. A reminder that we need to go beyond marksmanship skills if our intention is to train for personal defense. Of course, the training Aaron had as a combat medic  and flight paramedic contributed well to his ability to think quickly and act responsibly under stress.

KreagIt was a very frank and open conversation that I thought reflected highly of his integrity. Aaron was even very clear about the things that he would’ve done differently if it were to happen again tomorrow… a sure sign that he isn’t responding with ego and bravado dictating his words. He’s even rethinking a few things, possibly including his choice of carry gun, that may affect how he trains and practices in the future.  I’ll even add that I think Aaron is precisely the kind of guy we should want speaking about this incident and representing our community of responsibly armed citizens. In the past few years, we’ve had over-zealous community-watchmen, bloodthirsty frustrated neighbors, anti-government conspiracy mongers and several other dubious characters getting way too much mic and camera time with the media supposedly representing American gun owners. Aaron is a confident & well spoken family man and military veteran. He has been an active contributor to online discussions about training and is an active competitive shooter as well as being dedicated to developing his defensive shooting skills. Although he doesn’t actively teach, Aaron is also an NRA Certified Instructor and has been certified to teach the Texas CHL Course. Could we find out tomorrow some embarrassing facts about him? Could he turn into a loudmouth disappointment?  Sure, I guess… but I’m betting against it.

As I said initially on Armed American Radio, the judgement of whether or not Aaron should have gotten involved is one that I hesitate to make and caution others against making as well. These are very subjective situations with a million variables. It sounds like this is a situation that I might have gotten involved in myself, though I can think of circumstances which would’ve prevented that as well (such as being with a very young child who might be exposed to danger at the time). I can understand why someone might say that they would or would not have taken similar actions… but, I cannot understand why anyone would arbitrarily say that Aaron was wrong to have taken the actions that he did. I think it is even worse that anyone might second guess his decision not to shoot and merely use verbal commands and a show of force to get the actions to stop. It is certainly possible that had he shot and killed the attacker, the physical evidence and witness statements would’ve justified his actions, but having been in those “could’ve shot” situations myself in the past, I consider it the highest sign of the responsible control of lethal force that he didn’t shoot because he didn’t actually perceive the need to do so. It is a classic example of what I refer to as the “Should versus Could” issue. One of Texas based Combat Focus Shooting Instructors, Aaron Israel, has also written an article about this incident that covers the details of related Texas Law and his own thoughts on Aaron’s tactics. It is definitely worth a read.

None of us should want to live in a society where people refuse to get involved because they fear solely for their own safety. None of us should want to live in a society where people roam the streets looking for opportunities to use force against their fellow citizens without regard for solid observation, critical thinking, their own safety & that of those around them and the rule of law & due process. Somewhere between these two scenarios is the society that most responsible gun owners want: One where the evil that exists in this world is tempered by good people with the training, tools and willingness to act prudently on behalf of good. In that society, there is less evil. In that society, those who would be bullies, predators and violent criminals hesitate to act for fear of the good guy with a gun. And, sometimes in that society, as it was in Southlake, TX on December 26th, the Evil that acts out is  stopped, a victim is protected and there is less bloodshed instead of more… even when a gun is brought into play.


Training with Roger Phillips

Submitted by Mark Hatfield.

Training with Roger Phillips

Two courses back to back. Fight Focused Handgun III and V.

Ahh, Pennsylvania, green, rolling, rocky, cowfull, wheaty, roads on sharp little hills which make driving just like going over the peak on a roller coaster, climbing up facing the sky then going over the top not seeing what is to come then diving seemingly straight down. There, was held two back to back courses by Roger Phillips who usually teaches in and near Nevada.

Fight Focused Concepts is the name of his organization, he was also affiliated with Suarez International where he taught his methods of shooting while moving as well as teaching through his own school. He became well known for creating ways to do what others thought could not be done and he still continues research. His background, energy, and drive, carried over from his youth as a serious athlete, shows in the development he did for what he teaches.

The courses dealt with the alternatives to the use of the sights, not just that there are alternatives, but how to transition between the alternatives and ‘standard’ sighting for whatever is best for a situation. There is the old saying that ‘The fight will be what the fight will be’, so it is quite possible that for a situation involving more than a couple of shots it can easily be necessary to have to change how you align your gun on the target to get the results you need. In some drills I used several different methods of sighting or aligning the gun as the dynamic situation changed and this was in drills which lasted only a few seconds. Attempting to use just one method would have been noticeably less effective.

Movement was also a very large part of the program, moving and shooting at the same time. Much of that I have done before but never in such depth. He made it clear why some methods work better for some people than others and the ‘whys’ of doing certain things in certain ways. He had us push the limits of what could be done with this material so that we could understand its effectiveness as well as our own. Many times something went ‘click’ for me in this class when something was settling into place in my mind and my body, other students related the same happening to them.

Roger was firm that what he was teaching was not to replace what we already know, it was to add to it and it certainly did. There were things, important things which I thought I knew (though not really well), now they are clear and my own function has taken a big jump forward. I was one of the two ‘old guys’ in the class and was mildly ill the whole time, the other fellow somewhere in his previous experiences had left a leg somewhere. Among the students were noticeable variations in equipment and physical ability, everyone adapted the material for their own situation and what they could do. Roger expected that.

These two courses were not for the beginning shooter, but for those who want to take their defensive shooting skills to a higher level, Rogers courses are a ‘must’. Not just a ‘draw faster, shoot faster’ thing, these are serious survival skills. For those who have never touched upon this type of material ‘You don’t how much there is that you don’t know’. It’s not kidding to say that Roger teaches how to do what many think cannot be done. For me, it was a substantial trip just to attend these classes, it was worth it.