Tag Archives: holster

Handgun for Home Defense?

So when you ask the average person what is their choice for a home defense firearm, I would bet that the pump shotgun tops the list. Many of these respondents typically will justify their answer with, “just hearing the rack of that shotgun will discourage any bad guy”. I’m not here to debate that the shotgun doesn’t have an authoritative sound, but seriously if all you wanted was a sound then get a recording of that sound. For those of you that have chosen the venerable shotgun or maybe a long gun consider the handgun as a go to for home defense. After all, what do we carry when we are out in the public? I know literally hundreds of people that carry concealed (a few carry openly) and that firearm is a handgun.

So let’s suppose this scenario; an unfamiliar noise happens at 2;00 a.m. You want to go investigate it so you grab your long gun (rifle or shotgun) and make your way to the disturbance. Hopefully you have a flashlight (you need to be able to identify your threat/target) and possibly a cell phone (have you ever tried to make a phone call with a shotgun in one hand?). If you’re like me, I don’t tend to sleep in cargo pants so pockets are going to be very limited on our sleepwear. This can be further impacted if you need to open a door while carrying a shotgun. I will continue with this complication by asking you to think about pieing a corner (tactically turning a corner while keeping your body exposure to a minimum) with a long gun. You really don’t want a bad guy grabbing your gun as you turn the corner. Now consider this same scenario with a handgun that has a light mounted on it. Much easier to maneuver through a confined hallway, open doors, keep control of the firearm and to make a phone call if I need to.

Lastly, I own a shotgun that has a 5 round tube magazine plus one in the chamber for a total of six rounds. In my Glock 22 I have an extended magazine with a total of 32 rounds of ammunition. This nears the firepower of a sub-machine (just not full auto) gun.

I’m not saying that shotguns or rifles are a poor choice, rather think of the amount of additional training you need to do to clear your home or business with a long gun.

home defense gun

So You have Decided to Carry a Firearm, Now What?

concealed carrySo you have made the decision to carry a firearm. Now what do you do? This is not going to be a pro/con over concealed carry versus open carry, rather some information to consider. So if you live in a state that allows the carrying of a firearm it is going to be imperative that you understand fully the law on when and where it is lawful to do so. For example, in my home state of Arizona, that affords very generous carry freedoms, it also takes a very dim look if you do it unlawfully and will not hesitate to prosecute you. Second, train with your gun. Start with the type of holster or carry option. I prefer a strong side outside the waistband holster that keeps the handgun close to my body so that concealment with a shirt is easily done. I can also wear this with shorts or dress slacks.

Now back to the training with your firearm. This issue goes well beyond just shooting at stationary targets at the range. Consider “real world” issues. Suppose you are out and the unthinkable occurs in front of you. Your ability to react quickly and within the boundaries of the law are paramount. The scenarios are plentiful, but remember your actions will be judged by those with the luxury of time and safety rather than in the rapidly unfolding situation in which you were faced.

What I have done is compile for you a short list of training considerations. They are:

1. Know the laws that pertain to the carry of a firearm and the lawful use/deployment of it.

2. Be familiar with your firearm. Don’t carry a gun you have not trained with. Know how to manipulate safeties, clear malfunctions and reload especially under stress.

3. Practice drawing from your carry platform (holster, purse, backpack, etc.) This includes using your weak hand (in case your strong hand is injured or occupied).

4. Train shooting at close distances, typically shootings occur less than 20-25 feet.

5. Practice tasks like bending, lifting, getting behind cover/concealment with your firearm.

6. Carry ONLY quality performance ammo in your carry gun.

Remember train like your life and freedom depends on it.

Concealed Carry; Lots of Options

ConcealcarryThinking about carrying your firearm concealed? It is by far the most popular form of carry today, thanks to state laws that recognize this important self protection. So now let’s talk about exactly what type of concealed carry option to choose. This is where it can get a bit complicated. I like to use a process for helping me determine what type of concealed device I am going to use. First, let’s see what I have to choose from. I have an ankle holster, a small “EDC” or every day carry bag (no, it’s not a purse), an inside the waist band holster and I still have my old “fanny” pack from the early 90′s. I know that Clint Smith, professes that carrying a firearm should be comforting not comfortable, but I am here to add a caveat that if it is comfortable then one is more likely to carry. Typically the place or places I will be going usually determines the carry option. When I wear khakis or dress pants I prefer the ankle holster. While this method does have some shortcomings I at least know that I have my gun on me. When in casual clothes or shorts I like my EDC carry bag. I can also load up with extra magazines and other items without filling up my pockets.  While women have an easier time with carrying a bag many of the EDC bags designed for men resemble a brief case or small back pack and they will usually have a holster pocket for your firearm. The purse options are a better choice for women as these bags will have a specific slot or pocket for the handgun alleviating digging around inside searching for the gun (If you do plan on carrying in a bag that does not have a designated pouch or pocket for your gun, then I highly recommend that the gun be placed in a sleeve type holster. This can avoid a potential accidental discharge). I will admit that I no longer use my fanny pack, but I just can’t part with it. In my opinion these packs were such a common carry method back in the day that everyone knew that you were carrying a gun. So much for concealed.

If it’s hot out, and it is that a lot in Arizona, then I like the inside the waist band carry. I use the “Sticky Holster” which is genius for its simplicity. This is great for those short trips to the grocery store as I can just slip this into the waistband. The Sticky is made of a material that utilizes compression when holding the gun in place and in drawing the firearm. It has no clips so it can be carried strong side, cross draw, small of the back or in the pocket. These holsters are available at AZFirearms.com for $24.95.

As with any concealed carry option you must practice accessing and drawing your weapon. Practice, too, reholstering, because if you are in a situation to if you have to defend yourself with your gun you do not want to be standing around holding your gun when the police arrive. To them they are going to a serious call and then pull up and they see you holding a gun you are a threat until otherwise determined not to be.

Carrying concealed comes with a great deal of responsibility. Research the many options that will work for you and make sense for the type of environment you live. Always know the laws associated with carrying concealed firearms and when you can use them. Practice, practice and stay safe.