Preparing For a Concealed Carry Class

Holsters

Whether new to training or a veteran to the discipline, there are a few simple things to do in order to improve your overall experience. They are three areas you need to focus on when preparing for class. Notice how I said focus, there are other areas you should put some attention to, but these are the big ones. The first is to review the course information, paying particular attention to the required gear list. Then, go over your logistics. The when and where are what I’m talking about. Last preparation for the class is to double check your gear and plan for some contingencies.

Know the Course Material

Drawing from concealed in the real world

Every school is a little different, but they will all usually have some type of course description. Some students will use this solely as their criterion for decision. Others will have “shopped around” through internet searches or word of mouth. I encourage you to know what you need, not what you want. For instance, if you need a better understanding on the drawstroke. Find an instructor who is known for doing an excellent job on the subject. You may find yourself in a situation where you don’t know what you need, you don’t know what you don’t know and that is perfectly acceptable. Have a broader goal in mind, to expand your knowledge base for example.

Review the Gear List

Read through the course description, all of the available material. If there is something you don’t understand, then do a little research. If there are terminal objectives or goals of the class, do they meet your needs. A good course will be well thought out and have an agenda or curriculum. The curriculum will guide the student towards the terminal objective through enabling objectives. All the information is important, but probably the most important is the required gear list and in this case the importance of your concealment carrying system. A lot of times, students will think of this as a suggestion. It is not, it is a list of required gear to ensure you have the best chance of doing well in the class. Don’t convince yourself you do or don’t need something. Read the list, even print the list out and check each item to make sure you are good to go. Think of this as an IQ test, can you follow simple instructions. Then at class, it is nice to be prepared and of course to not be “that guy.”

Do a Map Study and Plan Your Route

Logistics are a big thing to me. The old saying, “amateurs argue tactics and professionals argue logistics” is incredibly accurate. Start by knowing where you are going and how you will get there. Give yourself a little fudge factor on day one just to cover your basis. Don’t just know where you are going, but know the surrounding area. For instance, are there eateries near by or are you going to be packing a lunch or snacks. Something else to consider is how long is the commute. After a long day of training I suggest you consider the drive home. Be extra alert when going home since the fatigue of the day can affect your situational awareness as you drive home.

Get Your Eyes On Everything

The final preparation for your class will be to review your gear, like literally lay it all out and get your eyes on them. It is one thing to go over the required gear list and say to yourself I have that in my range bag. Only to realize you took it out to clean, replace or repair and failed to return it to your range bag. Some items are less important, a flashlight is not essential to a day light course. But a magazine pouch can make or break your experience in the class. Go over each item and ask yourself is this ‘thing” good to go. Has it been cleaned, or maintenance recently. Are there fresh batteries in use or am I running on empty. The devil is in the details so really go through the list.

Have a Plan and a Backup Plan

Think about the essential items. Your handgun for instance. Even though I have done a good job of picking a reliable model along with routine maintenance, things do break. Having a backup on standby has come to the rescue on more than one occasion. Spare magazines are another example. If you have the minimum as prescribed in the gear list that is great, but what if one of them goes down or you leave it in the hotel. There’s a myriad of reasons, so planning is key. Contingencies can go beyond your gear to your plan. Any physical activity will take its toll on your energy level. If you are planning to get lunch nearby, but all the local places are packed and you have to make a decision between being late or skipping lunch you might consider packing a lunch or some snacks.

Holsters, Be Prepared

Weak Side Carry 2
Be prepared with good, quality holsters

When it comes to our Concealed Carry classes there are three main failures from the gear list. The first is not having an “on the waistband” or OWB holster. You may try to justify you don’t need it because you have an IWB holster. That would be a mistake. The purpose behind the OWB holster is to start from a known and safe condition. Before we dive into the deep end of drawing and holstering from concealed, we have to ensure you have well developed and safe drawstroke from the lowest risk condition possible. That would be open carry, on the waistband.

Bring All The Required Clothing

The second mistake would be in failing to have all of the required clothing. In this class, you will be forced to work from a variety of cover garments. Not your favorite or go to, but a wide array to ensure you are prepared. It never fails, there is always that one person who thinks they know better. Trust me, you don’t. Bring all the clothing listed. Even if you don’t have something on the gear list for whatever reason you can probably borrow it from a family member or friend. Most of the items are pretty normal, but if you don’t have a rain jacket and you don’t want to buy one, they ask around to get a loaner.

Have an Open Mind

Last mistake we see often is when students fail to have an open mind. It doesn’t matter what you think or know, be open to new ideas. If you say to yourself while reading the gear list I don’t need this or that you would be demonstrating someone who has a closed mind. Don’t be that guy. Instead it should pique your curiosity. You should be wondering what are we going to be doing with that and why. Curiosity is your super power as a student. It is the single greatest characteristic that leads to expanded knowledge base. Back it up by understanding the why you are doing something a certain way or why you don’t do things a certain way.

If you take the time to review the course material paying attention to the required gear list, you have the best chance of succeeding in class. Or at least you won’t be held up because you don’t have this or forgot to bring that. Knowing the logistics will help you ensure you are not late or miss any course material. Some instructors will not allow you to participate if you miss the main emergency and medical plan brief so don’t be surprised if you have to sit down initially why the rest of the class trains. Double check and even triple check your gear. Have a system so you make sure you have all the gear you need and it is centrally located so when you load out early in the morning probably in the dark you don’t leave that one bag on the work bench. These are not just suggestions, they are observations over decades of training to help ensure you as the student have the best chance of success in our training classes.

They Are Playing You

Once again, we are lead to believe we must aggressively pursue reasonable gun control. That enough is enough, how we all need to come to gather to recognize this danger to our lives and livelihood.

Predictable As Always

It wasn’t even minutes before the left was foaming at the mouth for more gun control. As predictable as the sun rising, we heard it all once again. I saw it first hand while presenting at this year’s NRA Annual Meeting in Houston. I don’t need to make an obligatory statement about how terrible and tragic the event, as if I need to remind the public. I don’t need to be lectured or as was the case in Houston, screamed obscenities by people who only have one objective. To subjugate the armed citizenry.

Negotiating Terms Of Surrender

That’s it, that is all there is to the rapid almost psychotic rhetoric we are witnessing. And they are playing you! Here’s how and why. Every time a tragic event occurs that fits their narrative there is the immediate confrontation with those who wish to protect their freedoms. Rather than confrontation, think of it in terms of a negotiation. We are negotiating terms of our surrender. Any negotiation to be successful must have compromise from both parties and that is how they are playing you. By immediately taking to the airwaves and demanding more gun control they have the initiative, the proverbial high ground.

Understanding Lost Aversion

The logical outcome of their strategy is to achieve a compromise. Whatever the compromise, it further erodes or in some cases neuters our freedoms. When you enter into these negotiations, there is an implied agreement that will be reached. That agreement means that someone will lose. Because quite simply, a compromise is not a win, therefore it is a loss. Losses will always loom larger than gains. Meaning, lose aversion can be better understood by realizing that bad is stronger than good. It is an evolutionary outcome, we are predisposed to treat bad with a higher priority than good. Winning $10,000 is great, but loosing the same amount has a more devastating result.

The Rationalizing of Negotiations

If you want to safeguard your freedoms the first thing you need to do is not to engage in the existing negotiations since nothing will be gain, only lost. With this theory in mind you are far better to effectively safeguard our freedoms. The strategy should be simple, go on offense. Any negotiation has forced us to be defensive. We rationalize what we are willing to give up. To prioritize what we value more over what we value less. For example, if countries were negotiating the peaceful disarmament of offensive weapons they look at it from a strategic view. What do I not mind giving away as a way of ensuring I can keep what I really want, but still give something away.

Be Strategic In Your Outlook

Common ground if often cited as a solid approach towards achieving a better outcome. Find something both parties can agree to and agree to it hard. We can all agree the needless loss of life is a series issue. When both parties agree to this directive then we can start working towards achieving an effective strategy. In this case, that strategy would have almost nothing to do with gun control since needless loss of life related to firearms is infantile compared to other methods. We are not even talking about violent crimes, we are talking about life. Look up the current causes of death in our country and you will quickly realize the top five all have nothing to do with violence. You stand a higher chance of being struck by lightening than being in an active killer event.

With this in mind, why would we recklessly barter with our constitutional rights. There is no value, not any at all and there never will be. Which is why you are being played.

Micro-Compact Versatility

Professional Development 2

The New Multi-tool

With the growing popularity of concealed carry there are more than ever a broad range of options for carry pistols. While there may be a trend for carrying larger framed pistols, sales numbers show an unprecedented interest in the micro-compact pistols.

Defensive Ammunition 2
Small Is Sometimes Better

The Logic is Undeniable

I’ve been a big fan of these pint size blasters for a while. I’ve talked a great deal about the value they bring to the table. A major obstacle for many is the perceived difficulty some will have shooting these smaller framed pistols. Most of the time, this is a perception based on a few observations. These pistols have a shorter barrel length and frame height, making them smaller obviously. The real issue is how much lighter they are and the effect recoil has with less weight. This perception is backed up by the laws of physics. How many will comment the physics involved is irrefutable.

It is Always The Indian

That may be the case, but science isn’t the only reason. Ignorance or lack of understanding come into the picture. I have been shooting these smaller platforms extensively for some time, at least the last couple of years. My round count log on these platforms puts me at several thousand rounds combined. What I have learned is like anything, this is a learned skill. Once you learn how to adapt your stance, mount and grip along with a few common errors you quickly learn the disadvantages often quoted aren’t as signifiant as once believed.

It’s All About the Size

This allows us to then expand on the versatility of these micro-compacts. There are a couple of these platforms that can cover a broad range of carry options. My original thought process was the smaller and lighter pistol made it easier to carry. Without a doubt this is true. It just makes sense from a longevity point of view. Add some extreme weather conditions and going with these micro pistols is a much easier decision to make than previously considered. When you are in it for the long haul, size does matter.

Not Just a Pretty Face

Being able to adopt other carry options such as pocket and ankle carry is a huge advantage. You may frown upon these methods. You may even talk down to those who choose to carry them because they are different from your own methods. That is certainly your opinion, but it is shortsighted. There are several reasons to consider these lesser known carry methods. Wardrobe restrictions, inclement weather and personal choices are all often the reason when you take the time to ask why they our popular.

Don’t Be That Guy

Some will look at these micro-compact pistols and feel they are out gunned and under supplied with ammunition. Shooting like anything takes practice. Someone who is competent and proficient at the fundamentals will not have a difficult time transitioning. The novelty of the new platform takes a short while to “figure out” then it is full speed ahead. It is those who lack the proficiency or ignorance into these micro pistols capability who are the biggest naysayers.

The tricked out pistols are not going to go away anytime soon, but their popularity is much smaller when compared to the popularity of the micro-compact pistols. Some will look at this as a who’s right type of equation. Truthfully, you’re wrong if you fail to see the benefits of both options.

Froglogic Podcast EP #59 Jeff Gonzales – 2nd Amendment Advocate – Master Firearms Instructor

Froglogic Podcast

Since the beginning of the Pandemic over 17 million guns have been sold throughout America. In addition to this staggering number, another 5 million NEW gun owners have been added to the rosters of legal gun owners. Rough estimates suggest that there are anywhere from 350 to 420 million guns now existing in American houses, automobiles, apartments, concealed underneath clothing, and in the hands of criminals. The Froglogic Podcast is honored to welcome CEO of Trident Concepts and director or training at the Range in Austin, Jeff Gonzales to this week’s show. Jeff is a former Navy SEAL and Government contractor who’s been teaching tactical firearms training for the past 25 years. Rut and Jeff are long time friends and teammates. In this episode these two frogmen explore the importance of the 2nd Amendment, quality firearms training, increasing crime rates, and the future of guns in America.  Don’t miss this insightful and educational show. HOOYAH

Award-winning Podcast Host, David Rutherford ignites his Froglogic Podcast by answering life’s greatest questions regarding the human condition. Listen to this former Navy SEAL Medic, CIA Contractor, best-selling author, and World Series Champion motivational performance coach, give his unique and profound insight about the world as he sees it. For more information about David please visit www.teamfroglogic.com or to seek out your truth please visit his online training company at www.froglogicinstitute.com

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Check out his website at www.tridentconcepts.com


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Our Rights and Responsibilities of Gun Ownership | JEFF GONZALES

Gun ownership is such a polarizing subject. And, with the increasing gun ownership in America combined with the tension and friction we’ve seen between people, it’s only going to become more so. That said, gun ownership is a fundamental right protected by the United States Constitution but that does not absolve us of the responsibility we, as gun owners, have to be safe and make ourselves proficient with our firearms.

Today, I am joined by former Navy SEAL, Jeff Gonzales to talk about both our rights and responsibilities as gun owners. We also cover recommendations for new firearms owners, how much time needs to be dedicated towards training (including training without having access to a range), why the beginners’ mindset will help you become a more proficient gun owner, and metrics for improving your accuracy and effectiveness should you need to use your firearm.

Want maximum health, wealth, relationships, and abundance in your life? Sign up for our free course, 30 Days to Battle Ready. https://www.orderofman.com/battleready/

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Access To Your Firearm Under Pressure

Winston Churchill

The Bad Guy Gets A Say

There is a belief that all you need is a fast drawstroke to stop a threat at close range. There is truth in this view, but it is also less than half the story when you realize access to your firearm under pressure is not nearly as quick as you might think.

It’s All About Balance

One of the great fortunes of being involved in combatives from an early stage in my career was I didn’t have any illussions about what worked and what didn’t work. Playing both good guy and bad guy were almost required to truly understand the balance. The balance I’m referring to is when your opponent is off balance, they have very little success completing their origianl task. This didn’t matter what role you were playing, it was something equally experienced by both sides. This is a huge take away, it says that you must maintain your balance at all times and work to disrupt your oppenents balance with every move.

Action Versus Reaction

Most folks are thinking, how can knocking someone off balance be so valuable. What I’m referencing is not soley about your equilibrium, or the distribution of weight. The balance I’m referencig has a lot to do with your thought process. When we look at one of the most dangerous situations we could face, it would probably look like an ambush at close range. Even worse, would be extreme close range. Sometimes words don’t help paint the picture and we need to assign some measurements. Close range to me is defined as any conflict where the opponent(s) are within five yards. Extreme close range is within a double arms interval. That means if both the good guy and bad guy extended their arm forward the finger tips would touch. At this range it is not about how fast you can draw your gun. It might seem that way, but no matter the situation as a private citizen you will always be in a reactionary mode. Meaning, the bad guys is going to say when.

You Can Touch Them

Why is this important? Because no matter how fast your drawstroke, at this range it is a low probability outcome action when access to your firearm under pressure. Meaning, the liklihood you will be able to out draw his action of drawing a gun or thrusting a knife is often not realistic. Add to the equation, that each sitaution will be different and it makes it far less realistic. Instead, you need to consider how to disrupt the balance to shift the reactionary gap to your side. In my experience, the best way to do that is injury or incapacitation. At the extreme close quarters you as the good guy have one advantage, if they can touch you…you can touch them.

Further Disrupting Their Balance

Striking is not your only option of course. You can attempt to jam up their drawstroke, either through fouling their firing grip or locking the gun in the holster. Both of these are sensible options, but a lot of times to be effective you will need two hands. A natural reaction from your opponent is a reflexive counter. Nothing fancy or taught, just a recognition their action is being impeded and they must do something. That something is simple, use the other hand. So, while this action can sometimes open up a window it is not a guarantee. When both hands from your opponent are occupied trying to complete the original task, you now have the option of disrupting their balance through strikes. Think of it this way, you want your first strike to be effective. If it is effective, you have an even better chance of recocking and landing additional strikes, each further disrupting their balance.

Think of disrupting someones balance not the mere act of shifting their weight, that is a huge part. Disrupting their balance is also about knocking their cognitive weight out of alignment.

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of England

Texas Constitutional Carry

Signing of the Declaration

A Major Step In The Right Direction

Very soon Texas will become the next state to adopt constitutional or permitless carry. Despite what some are claiming, the changes to our landscape are great and looking to get better with Constitutional Carry.

Stay In Your Lane

Constitutional carry is something I believe all states should support. Not all states do and I’m okay with their choice. I’m not about to interject my nose in another state’s business, just like I’d expect them to keep their nose out of mine. The biggest concern is states need to get back to governing themselves. Constitutional carry is a great example of that notion. I don’t believe federal constitutional carry is a good idea for the same reason I don’t think a federal driver’s license is a good idea. The federal government needs less control, not more. Putting the decision back in the states makes the most sense. Local politics are the key to safeguarding life, liberty and the pursuit of happniness.

The Right To An Informed Opinion

We have decades of living with concealed carry across our nation. The death and destruction landscape the anti-gun think tank tried to convince the public of failed. Outside of an infantile number of incidents the public is safe from this negative opinion. The reality is more guns save lives. If I have to explain how violent criminals choose the time and place to commit their crimes it makes it really hard to expect you to understand what I’m saying in the first place. The right to life is one of the most important rights we get to experience. Nobody should tell someone they do not have the right to defend themselves. Defending oneself with a firearm has been proven countless times to be a game changer for all walks of life.

Constitutional CarryThe Constitution Is My LTC

What does this mean when constitutional carry takes affect? What will change? To be honest not a lot. It means you will not be required to obtain a License to Carry (LTC) to carry a firearm. The state will recognize the Constitution as your carry permit. A huge win in my opinion. However, the small print is often overlooked. In this case, there are some things you need to be aware of that can save you a lot of heartache. The three things are where you can/cannot carry, what is the law and what is your responsibility. I could go into detail about each of these points, or I could encourage you to obtain your LTC. I’m far more inclined to suggest the later and here is why.

Conversation Level Of The Law

Obtaining an LTC will provide you with the opprotunty to become familiar with the law. Not just where you can and cannot carry, but deadly force and the use of deadly force. I strongly encourage you to have a conversation level of the law. While it is now your right to carry, like any right it comes with responsibility. Another advantage to your LTC is being able to purchase a firearm. Possession of a valid LTC allows you to forgo the background check since obtaining the LTC requried the background check be completed and passed. A handy option for desparate times such as a pandemic. Another advantage is while there are many state adopting constitutional carry, it is for their citizens only. If you travel out of your home state, you may not be covered. So, knowing the law in the visiting state is important and you may discover the state recognizes your home state’s LTC.

The Importance Of Continued Education

As we see less barriers to people carrying firearms we will see more responsibility placed on their shoulders. You may never carry, use or need your firearm, but you have it just like the fire extinguisher in your home. What you want to avoid is in the middle of a kitchen fire trying to figure out how to use your fire extinguisher. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of firearm education and the accompanying training. My recommendation is to continue to learn as much as you can about your firearm, how it works and of course how to shoot it safely. As a die hard advocate of your own personal choice, I would hope you recongize the importance behind being competent and safe. There are so many options available these days. It merely takes a commitment from your part.

I’m excited about the new law taking effect for many reasons. The biggest reason being it is not a right if you have to ask permission.

Testing Defensive Ammunition

Defensive Ammunition 2

Learn More About Your Defensive Ammunition

There are so many things we need to be thinking about when it comes to self defense. Have I trained enough, is my gear ready am I paying attention to my surroundings so testing defensive ammunition is easily lost in the commotion.

The Nuts & Bolts Of Performance

Over the years I have fired thousands of rounds testing defensive ammunition. These typically are of the hollow point design. The idea behind their design is pretty simple, the hollow point cavity expands through soft tissue. This expansion serves two purposes; creating a larger surface area for more damage as well as helping to slow down and limit penetration. When watching the various defeinsive ammunition review videos this will always be a metric that is collected and evaluated. The other metric commonly collected and of greater importance is the depth to which the projectile will penetrate. While the general understanding is a minimum of 12″ to a maximum of 18″ where did these figures come from.

The Ballistic Testing Origins

The FBI has long been the custodian of all things terminal performance. Dating back to shootout involving some harden suspects it was believed their ammunition failed them and thus began the caliber wars. Truthfully, ever since there has been mulitple calibers, there have been caliber wars. However, this was a watershed moment since it started to standarized how the industry develops and tests the terminal performance of projectiles. Decades ago, this information wasn’t as readily available as it is today so many were left to fend for themselves. There were a variety of test mediums that were believed could replicate or at least provide good feedback. Sadly, they were less than ideal. I used some of these tests myself, the half gallon milk carton test. My family would be forced feed milk and orange juice so I could collect enough cartons to conduct multiple tests. Believe me, you have no idea how good you got these days.

The Dreaded Curve Ball

Testing AmmunitionAs a consumer, I want a quality product for self defense. As a professional, I want to squeeze every ouce of performance I can from the available options. Everything was going well until the subcompact pistols with 3″ barrels or less entered the market. While I was quickly enamored with these little pocket rockets the problem wasn’t well known. These micro, short barrel pistols had a difficult time meeting typical ballistic performance standars we have all come to accept. Penetration and expansion were all suspect or at best inconsistent. As the popularity of these subcompact pistols grew so to did the available self defensive ammunition options. Now, the consumer and professional have some great choies to consider. Many well known ammunition brands have started producing “micro” or “short barrel” choices. After such a positive experience with a particular brand, I decided testing defensive ammunition to update my current subcompact ammunition choice.

Streamlinging To A Couple Choices

Like many others, I can be lazy or maybe I’m too busy to really put the time into research. Plus, with so many different carry pistols it was a pain to have a specific load for this pistol and a different load for that pistol. It would be nice if I could find one that does it all. At the very least for all my 4″ barrel or shoorter the Federal Personal Defense HST Micro 150gr JHP is a great choice. The real question is how does one go about “testing” this load for themselves. You start by reviewing all available resources online when it comes to terminal performance in gelatin. Ballistic gelatin has become the standards for penetration and expansion purposes. But, do you need the projectile to meet all the FBI standards? In my opinion, you do not. Bare and demin covered are more than adequate for the average consumer. Once you have watched several videos and reviewed the data you probably will come up with a couple of loads you might want to try. These loads have at least been through independent testing to meet the minimum requirements for penetration and expansion. Now what?

The Two Tests You Should Use

Testing defensive ammunition is pretty simple. I want to see how well they will perform at close range under rapid fire conditions. Then I want to see how well they will perform at extended ranges under slow fire conditions. The two tests I use are pretty simple and total 20 rounds, the typical single box quantity. Both of these tests are shot in our pistol classes so I have plenty of big picture data for comparison. The first test, the “TC Test”  is a modified version of the excellent “Test” from my good friend Larry Vickers. You will need a magazine of 9 rounds with a reload magazine of 1 round. Starting from the ready position at the 10 yard line at the signal the shooter will fire all 9 rounds, reload and fire the last round. The target to be used is the excellent TCT MK4 or NRA B8 target. The par time is 12 seconds; which is pretty generous and just enough to push the envelope. If you are scoring 80 points or above the take away is the recoil control with this load in a subcompact pistol is managable and appropiate for self defensive situation. The second test, is the “TC Bullseye Qual”. You will need two magazines of 5 rounds and repeat the drill twice. Starting from the holster at the 25 yard line at the signal the shooter will fire all 5 rounds. The target to be used is the TCT MK4 or NRA B8 target. The par time is 10 seconds; which again is generous. If you are scoring 40 points or above the take away is your ability to be accurate enough within a modest time constraint using a subcompact pistol with a short barrel for the extreme range of self defense use.

These two test are great not just for evaluating self defense ammunition, but your skill. While there are many others out there, these two are almost always shot during my own professional development and so should you.

The Importance of Pressure Testing

Pressure Testing Your Gear

Take Care Of Your Gear & Your Gear Will Take Care Of You

Early in my Naval career it was impressed upon me to always evaluate your gear. It is my best method for assessing whether my gear will perform to my expectations. We don’t often appreciate the importance of pressure testing our gear.

Breaking It Down

A lot of times we don’t know how to pressure test our gear. Or, we don’t do a good job. For me, I start by defining what I  intend a specific piece of gear to accomplish. What is its mission. This has helped me keep my sanity since it is so easy to find yourself tumbling down the rabbit hole. When you have some left and right limits it helps you to stay focused on what is important. I have used a time tested method of asking myself three questions; does it work, is it necessary and will it work under stress. The first question is pretty easy. When I say work, this is code for performing to a minimum standard. Is it necessary means, do I have to use it or can I use soemthing else to accomplish the same goal. Will it work under stress is the one most often overlooked. I start by defining “stress”. What is stress to me and how does it help.

Feeling Stress Can Be Good

Stress is any type of change that causes a physical, emotional or physical strain. If I had to go from shooting indoors, to shooting outdoors in the Texas summer heat, that can cause me stress. That stress can manifest in many different ways so what is important is how I deal with that stress. I like feeling a little stress, it helps me evaluate not only my gear, but my techniques and a major reminder of the importance of pressure testing. If you had a little bit of stress to something, you may find it doesn’t work as well as without the stress. Being exposed to cold may make my hands less functional and operating a handheld light as I conduct a search of an area may be more challeing. Stress mostly is associated with a negative outcome, but in truth we should consider the positive.

It Is Good To Be Challenged

Meaning, what happens when I apply a little stress. Does my gear and technique handle the stress or am I left to adapt or modify. I like feeling stress, it helps me to also shut off a part of my brain. That part is normally responsible for overthinking and paralysis analysis syndrome. So, it is not all bad. Recently, I had the chance to attend the first ever Sig P365 EDC Championship held at the Sig Sauer Academy in New Hampshire. The premise was pretty simple, using a Sig P365 or variant and working from concealed navigate over a dozen different stages designed around every day tasks and activities. First, it was AWESOME! I haven’t shot a match like event in so long it is hard for me to remember. My loadout was simple, it was my default gear I carry on a regular basis. I carries not just my handgun, but my other gear such as knives and OC spray. I don’t normally carry a spare magazine, but due to the guidelines provided I opted to have one on me for every stage.

After Actions Review

What I did well. My training. Pure and simple, what I have been doing over the last 2-3 years speficically have really paid off. My focus has been on accuracy primarly. Then trying to be as fast as I can guarantee the hits for the courses of fire. This has allowed me to go fast, not just for the sake of going fast. I’ve seen consistent improvements and what I like is I’m not practicing a test, I’m developing a broad base of skills. When I got to one goal, such as a three round drill at a certain par time, I’d either add a 4th round, extend the distance, reduce the target or lower the par time. Then, I’d work to achieve that as my next goal etcetera. What I did poorly. My first shot. I was not happy with the varying degree of first shot par times. Granted, a lot of this had to do with defeating my cover garment or poor firing grip. These are two areas I see spending more time in the future. My cover garment was simple, but add a little time pressure and you can see the effects of stress in a poor grip. What I want to add. More work from other positions. While we started from a seated position on a couple of stages it reminded me that I’m not doing enough work firing from these positions. That will be added to my future skill development as I continue to value the importance on pressure testing my gear.

Overall, I could not be happier with my performance. I got out of it, exactly what I put into it.

Weak Side Carry

Weak Side Carry 2

Backup Guns & Weak Side Carry

Carrying a backup gun comes with its own challenges. One of the biggest is when carrying on the weak side or more commonly referenced as weak side carry.

Old School Carry

When I first started carrying a backup gun the majority was from a weak side carry. At the time it seemed the best balance and those who were carrying backup guns typically carried them this manner. I liked everyhting about weak side carry, it was fast, allowed me to have weak side access and doubled as a close contact option. I first learned about this method from some true masters, an old school group of cops who routinely dealt with violent felons. What struck me the most about their preferred method was how it wasn’t optional, it was mandatory. Due to the nature of their business there was a real possibility they would go to guns. Because it was mandatory and the risk was high, there was deliberate practice and qualification to maintain this skill.

What Are The Odds

Over the years my viewpoint has changed. Not about the legitimacy of the technique, but the likelihood anyone outside of that job description would actually carry in this method. Truth be told, we haven’t seen a weak side carry method for backup guns in our classes for well over eight years. In our Concealed Carry Instructor course there is a block of instruction speficically on backup guns. Nobody has brought a weak side carry. I use to start the demonstration for this block of instruction with weak side carry. It became more of nod to history than practical application. Those I know who continue to weak side carry do so because that is what they know. That is what they have developed to a high skill level.

It Is Not Always About Speed

As I mentioned, it was fast. When executing a transition, it was by far the fastest. The problem, it wasn’t always the most accurate. Unless you invested time into not just developing, but sustaining your shooting skill from the weak side it was questionable at best to meet common accuracy standards. The flip side, most defensive gun uses occur at close range, range close enough that high level accuracy skills are not always necessary. But, should you have to shoot from behind cover and extend your range you are looking at distances that might be more challening off the weak side. Not only did you have to work weak side shooting techniques, but weak hand only shooting techniques. I still find this to be valuable practice since as an instructor it is important to demonstrate off both sides. I don’t need a high level of skill, but I need to be safe and competent.

The Utility Of A Knife

There could be times when you find yourself in a situation you cannot access your primary carry gun because your strong hand is occupied. Typically in some form of clinch, grip or entanglement. In this case, transitioning to your weak side carry can easily be brought to bear. Again, within these typical engagements you are within close range, most of the time at contact range. If you are at contact range, you can use contact weapons such as knives. I believe this is a strong argument for carrying a fixed blade weak side or midline. Should my strong hand be occuppied for whatever reason, the transition to a fixed blade at contact range is extremely effective. When you consider the difference between carrying a backup gun versus a fixed blade, the weight alone is a strong argument. Not to mention, the utility of a knife in other situations.

5-Shot Power Play

Contact Shots With Backup Guns

One good argument for carrying a backup gun on the weak side was should you be in contact range, making contact shots with my backup gun is real possibility. At the very least, near contact and off angle shots. Near contact can be fired from your contact or retention position. Off angles shots come into play when the threat is no longer in front of you or at the same height as you. For contact range work, the best backup gun would be a lightweight snubby revovler. Revolvers have far less potential of stoppages due to being at contact range. Truth be told, the unit I observed was carrying a 5-shot J-frame revovler as their backup.

The Better Options

What you are left with as far as carry locations for backup guns will be pocket carry, ankle carry and deep carry. The commonality about all of these carry locations is how they are strong hand driven. If carrying a backup gun is a requirment for you, but you don’t feel developing the skill on your weak hand is ideal, then staying on your strong side will be best option. You could even go so far as to carry a subcompact version of your primary carry gun to maintain familiarization. The point I’m trying to make is in today’s landscape carrying a backup gun is not frequently practiced. I believe there are a few good reasons why, the biggest being improved reliability and capacity of the primary carry guns.

I’m not overlooking other situations such as your gun being damanged, lost or your strong hand/arm is injured. What I’m saying is the fast majority of folks who are currently carrying a backup gun are carrying for a strong side draw.

Trident Concepts
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