Senior Citizen Concealed Carry: Issues regarding Self Defense Firearms for Seniors

“Reversing longstanding patterns in the US, residents ages 65 and up are now the most likely of all citizens to own a gun.” Click for full text from the Christian Science Monitor, January, 2004.

“Some people have said ‘enough’ and are fighting back and arming themselves. The majority of gun owners used to be mostly middle aged, but now, seniors… are most the likely to be armed.” Click for full text from KPLC TV, January, 2004.

It is not the purpose of this web page to convince you to obtain a firearm you do not want or may not need. However, its point of view is that you have an interest in self-defense firearms and seek information about them and senior issues. Or both.

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First, what is a Senior Citizen?

Surely, setting an age range might be offensive to some or somehow be politically incorrect. So, instead, for purposes of this web page, we will consider other criteria which may affect the ability to safely own and accurately fire handguns for recreation or for self-defense by a maturing citizenry. We will consider those folk for whom advancing age might have an adverse effect on:

1. General physical strength, health and stamina

Source: Handgun MagazineThere is no doubt that as we age we see an eventual deterioration of our physical attributes. For those of us other than Jack LaLanne, muscles weaken, we become somewhat less robust and our endurance capacity diminishes. This affects all aspects of our lives and we must consider how it impacts the ability to use a firearm for self-defense.We must look at our present condition and at our anticipated general health in three, five even ten years down the road. A handgun that may have been suitable in the past, which may be suitable now, may not be the best choice in the years to come.

For example, the ability to handle a large .45 or .357 heavy handgun usually diminishes with time. One aspect of that is what’s called ‘felt recoil.'”Recoil is a complicated factor since it includes both measurable factors as well as a number of elusive considerations including the size and physical makeup of a shooter’s… [body] as well as what is being worn [concealed, and the size of the ammunition], etc.

image by Oleg VolkWhen it’s all said and done, a [gun] which may be comfortable for one person to shoot may ‘kick like a mule’ when fired [or feel like a sack of bricks when carried] by another. “Felt recoil, the amount of abuse measured by the shooter’s anatomy rather than by a machine, is what determines whether or not a …gun is comfortable to shoot and how quickly a shooter can bring the recoiling weapon under control for a second aimed shot.”

Image by Oleg Volk.Duncan Long,
renowned gun writer

There is the issue of whether or not the biggest gun we can handle is suitable for our life partner (assuming we have one and s/he is amenable to being gun knowledgeable as well).Issues of health are also why training at a modern day gun range is important. Training is important not only to dispel things we think we know about guns and shooting but also to avoid being a hazard to those we love and to innocent bystanders. The “art” of self-defense training has made tremendous strides in recent years and there are many “professional-grade” tips and tricks well worth knowing in order to become more effective with firearms.

Besides, going to the gun range can be very enjoyable and a good way to interest others in shooting as a sport.

2. The ability to deal with anger, danger and other types of stress

Throughout our lives, adrenalin in the system changes our reactions. But in later years, it can be much more disruptive to normal behaviors and capacities than we might guess. We need to be aware of this and take it into account so that we are not overcome when the body starts dumping it into our bloodstream. We need to take steps so that threats to safety and well being to produce a ‘cold rage’ in the face of a threat instead of a debilitating case of the shakes.

Available from Amazon or Paladin PressThis can be done through a conscious effort to increase our awareness of things, threats around us. An excellent reference work on this topic is Jeff Cooper’s(now a senior citizen) Principles of Self Defense. If, as the author says in this slim essay/booklet, “The combination of modern medicine and the welfare state has brought about… an unconscionable drop in personal safety… Your physical safety is up to you.” And if you agree “the stake in personal defense is your life,” then this slim 44-page volume may be just for you. He goes on to say, “This book was not written for cowards… Violent crime is feasible only if its victims are cowards.” And, “The author assumes that the right of self-defense exists. Some people do not. This booklet is not for them.”Further, “…many men who are not cowards are simply unprepared for the fact of human savagery… The techniques of personal combat are not covered in this work. …this work is more basic than techniques, being a study of the guiding principles of survival in the face of unprovoked violence.” And those involve Alertness, Decisiveness, Aggressiveness, Speed, Coolness, Ruthlessness and Surprise. (Available from Amazon or Paladin Press.)

Source: Handguns MagazineGenerally, in regard to confrontational stress, “…the people who performed the best… were the ones who were able to keep control of him or her self. Many remember getting control of their breathing and using this to fuel their inner drive. Those who could get control and overcome the startle response were able to handle the situation. Many of these folks reported that they were not surprised, but were angered by the audacity of the person trying to attack them. It appears that those who became angered were able to channel the chemicals flowing into their system into fight instead of flight or freeze. Many advised that they had taken the time to think about what they would do in the event they were attacked and had even played out scenarios in their head. It is clear that this role-playing or visualization prepared them to take action with little lag time…”

Dave Spaulding,
writing in Handguns Magazine, July, 2003
What Really Happens in a Gunfight?

Listen to what your brain is telling you.

  • Develop confidence backed by real skill… The more competent you believe you are, the less likely you are to be overwhelmed by fear.
  • Learn what the psychological responses are to fear and understand they will happen to you no matter how brave you are.
  • Constantly strive to improve your observation and assessment skills.
  • Stay mentally positive.

Dave Spaulding,
writing in Handguns Magazine, August/September, 2004
“Dealing with Fear”

Be aware of the so-called 21-foot rule which is that an assailant can cover 21 feet between you and him in only a few steps, in as little as a couple of seconds. Could you draw, aim and fire accurately within that time?In one test in Florida, more than 30 seasoned officers touching their holstered weapons at the start were unable to escape from the path of a mock assailant without getting injured.The simple fact is that ACTION IS FASTER THAN REACTION.

Image by Oleg VolkAnd from another expert, “…at this point in history, firearms are the only reliable method to stop a criminal before he hurts anyone. While electrical shock guns, baseball bats and tear gas all have a lot going for them, an attacker with a small handgun standing ten feet away can easily defeat [a victim] sporting any of these ‘exotic’ weapons. Exotic weapons also have a disturbing track record of failing at the critical moment… Firearms, on the other hand, approach being 100% reliable if properly cared for [and used] and can offer nearly perfect protection with proper training in their use. Firearms are the only viable means of self-defense [against violent attack].”

again, Duncan Long,

image by Oleg VolkClick the banner below for a review of an exciting new book.
Click for a review of this new book
The appearance of this material does not constitute an endorsement of the use of self-defense firearms by this company.COMMON SENSE FOR SELF DEFENSE:· Avoid being a victim, show awareness, know what is going on around you.

· Maintain positive body language. Stand/walk straight, head up, swing arms.

· Do not walk alone or drive alone in alleys or bad neighborhoods at night if you can avoid doing so. Try not be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

· Do not get into your car and just sit. As soon as you get in your car, lock the doors and leave. Do not do work or balance your checkbook, or eat etc. A predator may be watching and this gives a perfect opportunity for an assault.

· Always take the elevator. Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. Get off the elevator if someone suspicious gets on or is already on.

· Do not be sympathetic, especially at night. Better paranoid than dead.

· If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, the FBI says to run. Trained police will only hit 4 out of 10 shots when they are in a range of 3-9 feet while under stress. A predator will only hit a target 4 in 100 times. And it is not likely that a vital organ will be hit.


· React immediately.

· If you are abducted do not go willingly. Resist. If you are able, run. Do not ever give up.

· If you are carjacked and are driving, crash your car.

· If the abductor is driving, he must watch the road. Choose a time when his attention is diverted then stick your fingers in his eyes. Then get out. It may be your only chance.

· If you are thrown in the trunk, kick out a back taillight and wave your hand out.

Adapted from material found at

The Practice of Awareness
“To be properly aware and to avoid danger, the best course of action, hands down, is to develop and maintain a healthy suspicion of our world–our environment–as we go about our daily lives… We need to remember that we cannot simply take people at face value or think the best of everyone, while lowering our self-defined options at the same time, if we don’t want to be blind-sided. Do one or the other but not both at the same time…””I was asked recently to give my definition of the practice of awareness. It is this: I simply accept the world as it is–not as I want it to be–and live accordingly. We all need to pay more attention to what many call our sixth sense and go with it without cluttering our decisions with fatal baggage. Sure, it’s not macho and many times may well be wasted effort, but relearn to pay attention to your your intuition. And act on it.”

Walt Rauch, senior citizen
writing on Defensive Tactics
in the October/November 2004 issue of Handguns magazine

3. Eyesight and hearing

As we age, our eyes and ears aren’t as reliable they once used to be. For this reason we must be wary of firearms which can temporarily blind us in low light situations (due to the flash) as well as powerful ammunition which may render us temporarily deaf when used indoors.

Source: Handguns Magazine“…criminal attacks tend to happen in times of reduced light (predators like the dark), and the human eye does not function as well when the light is low… people who were just a few yards from a crime… cannot remember [many details of an] attack. Interestingly, this is usually due not to low light, but to inconsistent light. While what the perpetrator was doing was clear, his face, hands or other actions are often cast in shadows by the inconsistent light at the scene.” Add this to the blinding flash of powerful ammo fired in the dark and the results could be disastrous.

again, Dave Spaulding

There is a natural interest in the most powerful ammo any given handgun can safely fire. Few who go in that direction, though, give enough consideration to the effects of the blast in the dark.

Click here for the SureFire site.Even before the issues of sound and light caused by gunfire, it is important to be prepared to illuminate the dark. It is a common mistake to rely on a household flashlight full of Duracells™ or other alkaline batteries. Such light sources will inevitably fail at the worst possible time. For bright spot illumination in dangerous times you need to consider the small but very powerful hand lights such as those made by SureFire™. They use Lithium batteries which have exceptional shelf life and they are much brighter than the typical D or C cell flashlights. Forget MagLite, which uses AA or AAA cells. They will fail you. Fail you. Fail. Spend a few extra bucks and get some dependable lighting.


You also need to know something about how to use such a light in a self-defense or burglar-in-the-house situation. Click here for some basic guidance. After all, we want to be sure we can identify loved ones and persons/animals who are not a threat in a dimly lit room.

Advanced study: Fight At Night: Tools, Techniques, Tactics, and Training For Combat In Low Light And Darkness Click herefor information on getting this book online.

Click for interesting RKBA letter to the AARP4. General temperment and social bearing

As people age, mostly men, there is often a perception on the part of many around them that they get grouchy or mean. Whether or not this becomes the case, it is something to be aware of in regard to firearms ownership.Since there is sometimes apprehension about that old person with a gun, and because the press seems enamored of printing stories about (those crazy ole) senior citizens owning and using guns, it’s probably best to adopt a policy of not letting the neighborhood or anyone outside your circle of close friends know you own a gun (or guns) nor even your views on gun ownership and use. It is certainly nothing to be ashamed of but there are distinct reasons this may be so.

  1. You could become the target of thieves (or clandestine searches on the part of youngsters) interested in a gun, any gun,your gun.
  2. If you elect to carry a concealed weapon (CCW), much of the advantage to doing so can be lost if it is generally known you carry. Such neighborhood knowledge has no deterrent effect. Those who would do you harm will find a way to surprise or disarm you.
  3. If you live in a neighborhood where shots sometimes ring out in the night, you don’t want to be continually answering police queries on whether the gunfire originated at your house. Okay, that’s a stretch. But the fewer who know, the more secure your gun will be and the more tactical advantage you should have.

There’s another problem, too, as we get older and grumpier. Those around us may become afraid of the fact that we have access to a firearm. Whether it is our significant other, our kids, or just some busybody, we need to be aware that we may seem very scary to them. Consider what steps you can take to prevent such concerns in others.

The Very Dark Side
of Guns Owned by Senior Citizens
One of the reasons there is concern about firearm ownership by the “aged” is because there is an incidence of suicide (or murder-suicide) with guns by older gun owners. Just exactly what the percentage is or what the number of such suicides is per year is unclear. Although firearms suicide among the elderly has received little attention, white males aged 65 and older are more likely than any other age group to commit suicide with firearms. White males 85 years of age and older experience even higher rates of firearms suicide.For older women, firearms have replaced poisoning as the most prevalent method of suicide. Firearms have been the most popular method of suicide among older women for more than 20 years. It has been suggested that unlike some suicide gestures and attempts by younger persons -— in which the objective is to change one’s life, not end it -— suicide incidents among the elderly appear to represent an authentic effort to end one’s life.

The simple fact is this, guns in any home up the possibility of a tragedy. So be aware of the concern and of the heightened risk.

These are valid issues… in Florida in a recent year, twice as many elderly people died from suicide than died by homicide. Like homicides, most gun suicides are not committed with weapons purchased specifically for the attempt, but with firearms already available.

Additionally, the Archives of General Psychiatry “indicated that although depression is generally regarded to be highly treatable throughout the life cycle, most elderly persons with depression remain untreated…” some for longer than ten years. “The implications of the study are that the burden of depression for elderly persons in the community is even more severe than previously thought,” the researchers said. “The data clearly demonstrate the need for interventions that are helpful [and] acceptable…”

Recognize the Risk. Intervene in the Illness.“Rather than becoming sad, men may be irritable or tremendously fatigued. There’s a sense of being dead inside, of worthlessness, hopelessness, helplessness. Men lose their vitality, their life force.”

Dr. Thomas Insel, director of NIMH

Depressed men are two to four times more likely to take their own lives than depressed women. The relentless agony of depression may make suicide seem the only way out.What Loved Ones Can Do

* Express concern, but don’t nag.* Don’t be distracted by [destructive] behaviors.

* Don’t accept resistance at face value.

* Provide emotional support. Listen carefully.

* Don’t ignore remarks about suicide.

* [Once in treatment,] encourage him to remain.

Dianne Hales and Dr. Robert Hales

See also. (Close window that opens to return.)

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And we’ll also consider factors on which age has little or no bearing but which are also important:1. Gun ownership experience: Novice, intermediate, decades long

The Law of Self-Defense is now out of print Available directly from the author. Click for details.KNOW THE LAW. There are more legal issues than 2nd Amendment freedoms: State and Federal government regulations about gun ownership in the home, in your car, and especially if you make the decision to carry a concealed weapon (CCW) can grossly complicate your life if you chose to remain ignorant of them. Attorneys are expensive if you screw up.Owning a self-defense firearm is not just a simple decision. It is a process through which you become safer, more responsible (and more accurate). And you can never be too safe or too responsible.

FOLLOW THE LAW whenever you can. Failure to do so could result in loss of your gun(s) and a felony conviction. And a felony record will mean no more guns.

    Know that what the law says and how authorities and courts prosecute gun related crimes are not always an exact match. Their decision to prosecute always involve a degree of discretion on the part of the authorities involved.


  1. Firearms laws are subject to change without notice. Make sure your knowledge is of the current laws. Be aware of changes in laws as you cross state lines.
  2. Most government buildings have prohibitions about firearms which you must obey. And they will not have a place to store your firearm so don’t bring one into the building. It may be subject to seizure and forfeiture.
    There are other places which are commonly prohibited as well:* Public and private schools and vehicles of such places.

    * At polling places on the day of an election.

    * Courts and offices used by the courts.

    * The secured area of airports. (Keep your guns away unless you are knowledgeable about exceptions and restrictions.)

    * Establishments whose business is mainly the sale or serving of alcoholic beverages (i.e., bars, restaurants).

    * In many states, amusement parks, racetracks, churches, hospitals.

    * Private property with No-Guns-Allowed signs posted.

    * National Parks, other federal facilities and military bases.

KNOW YOUR GUN and while this is a safety issue (more below on this topic), if you are not very, very familiar with your firearm, you are making a perilous mistake.

There can be no substitute for handgun training and regular practice whether or not you have been around firearms all of your life. This is especially true for women. Click here for an interesting account of one mature lady’s experience.

2. Type of gun(s) available

You will be in one of several situations.

  1. You already have a firearm.Is this gun suitable for all your self-defense needs?
      Do you need more than a “house gun?”

    Has it been well maintained or sitting in a box or drawer for years?

      If not, can you restore it to a safe and usable condition?

    Has it become too much to handle in recent years?

      Can aftermarket accessories such as larger or smaller grips help?
  2. Someone wants to give you a firearm.Does it really meet your needs?
    Has it been well maintained or sitting in a box or drawer for years?
    Is it too much gun to handle?
  3. You need to buy a firearm.Which one do you choose?
      Revolver or semi-auto? Or a shotgun?

    New or used?

      Get the opinion of a professional such as a gun dealer

    Can you fire it or one similar before you buy?

      Is there a full service nearby or within reasonable distance

In determining which gun will work best for you, everyone has an opinion or a prejudice for one caliber or another, one brand and model or another. Click here for one example of such “help.”

Some thoughts on this topic from this domain’s main page.
(The links all point to different parts of the same page.)What Are Your Options?
Stopping Power/Lethality
Guns for Women 

“It is safe to say that the larger the bullet, the more effective it will be. I do not feel that it is a real dramatic difference, but bigger is better. At the same time, it is safe to say that hollow-point ammo is more effective than ball. This seems to be the result not of expansion, but from the bullet’s energy being dumped in the body and not exiting.”

    Dave Spaulding

Don’t let anyone talk you into a firearm you don’t need or which is more gun than you can comfortably or safely handle. If you are considering purchasing a gun and you have a firing range in your area which rents guns, give consideration to renting a couple of models and firing them. This may answer questions better than any other options.If your life partner/significant other will also be involved in using a self-defense firearm, these questions come up:

  1. Is one firearm enough?
  2. If one is enough, can you both handle it equally well?
  3. If you need to help your partner select another firearm, make sure it is their choice and they are comfortable with it. Otherwise, they will lose interest in or never use the gun “jammed down their throats.”
There’s more to a self-defense firearm than stopping power.
A handgun used for self-defense and/or CCW needs to meet these criteria:

1. It needs to be comfortable in the shooter’s hand

2. It needs to be easy to load, point, to shoot and, if needed, to reload.

3. It needs to be large enough to be seen, to make a visual impression.

It needs to fire ammo of sufficient power to stop an assailant.

Click here for more comments on gun size.

General Comments on Self-Defense Guns
Easy to operate and learn
Available in many sizes, calibers
Almost impossible to jam
Slow reload time
Heavy double action trigger pull (1)
Limited ammo capacity, 5-6 (2)
Fast reload time
Available in many sizes, calibers
Higher ammo capacity, 6-11
More likely to malfunction (3)
Learning curve for proficient use (4)
Pulling back, locking slide may be hard (5)
Very intimidating appearance
Wide range of fire with each shot (6)
Tremendous destructive power
Tremendous recoil
Creates a terrible bloody mess
Limited maneuverability indoors (7)
Notes on the above
(1) Gun can be fired single action for much lighter pull.
(2) Average number of shots fired in civilian encounters: 3 or less.
(3) Training and a locked wrist can overcome this.
…..So can the use of factory and range tested magazines.
(4) Simply more complicated than a revolver. See (3)
(5) Some Beretta models with a tip-up barrel can avoid this.
…..For example, the 3032 Tomcat and the 86 Cheetah.
(6) You don’t aim so much as simply point this weapon.
(7) A pistol grip and folding stock minimize this issue. Click here.

Click here to see where these seminars are being held3. Type of living environment

Where you live (i.e., urban/rural, single-family/multi family, proximity of neighbors) is something you must consider. Issues of overpenetration, shots gone awry, and the like may cause you to consider less powerful firearms.Also, do others have access you your domicile? Are they likely to “snoop around?” Are there prohibitions against gun ownership (i.e., assisted living or full time care)?

4. Gun Safety

-] The Code of the Gun, Part 1 [-

    1.  Understand and respect that guns, ALWAYS, are lethal instruments.

* Know the characteristics of any firearm you handle.

* Presume any gun you pick up or are handed is loaded.

* Always keep a gun pointed in a safe direction.

* Always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.

* Use any mechanical safety but never rely on it.

* Always keep the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it (and unload it when you are through).

* Never point any gun at anything you don’t intend to destroy.

* Know your target and what’s behind it.

* Know what to do in the event of a misfire.

* Never put a trigger lock on a loaded firearm.

* Make sure unattended or stored guns are unloaded and not accessible to others.

* Keep firearms well maintained and free from obstructions.

Top reasons for gun accidents among seniors

1. People who removed the magazine or clip from a handgun and, thinking it was unloaded, pointed the gun at someone and pulled the trigger.2. People who experienced an accidental [negligent] discharge due to the gun functioning as designed, and were injured because the gun was not pointed in a safe direction while loaded.

3. People who experienced an accidental discharge due to a flaw in the firing mechanism, without pulling the trigger, and who were injured because the gun was not pointed in a safe direction while loaded.

4. People whose firearm discharged when it was dropped.

– – Source:

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Finally, sadly, we must consider situations where gun ownership may no longer be appropriate.

For those of us lucky enough to live to a ripe old age, there will inevitably come a time when our capacities to responsibly handle firearms has passed. When that time is must be something determined by you in advance in order to avoid a situation when someone else wants to (or has to) determine it for you (i.e., significant other, children, physician, etc.).You should consider what will become of your firearm(s) at such a point or after your life comes to an end. This type of property should be disposed of via a will or other legal document drawn up to prevent the weapon(s) falling into inappropriate hands.

Click Here for more specific info on The Gift of FearBefore we go further, though, it’s important to consider other recourses and behaviors in dealing with danger besides owning or using a handgun.The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence by Gavin De Becker. The author believes we can all learn to recognize these signals of the “universal code of violence,” and use them as tools to help us survive. The book teaches how to identify the warning signals of a potential attacker and recommends strategies for dealing with the problem before it becomes life threatening. The case studies are gripping and suspenseful, and include tactics for dealing with similar situations. People don’t just “snap” and become violent, says de Becker, whose clients include federal government agencies, celebrities, police departments, and shelters for battered women. “There is a process as observable, and often as predictable, as water coming to a boil.” Learning to predict violence is the cornerstone to preventing it. De Becker is a master of the psychology of violence, and his advice may save your life. — Jane Price. ADVISORY: While this author is not “pro-gun,” this is a worthwhile book.

Of course, there are situations where the awareness of adversarial behavior alone is far from enough. Home invasion is one of several.

Click here for an in-depth reading list. Opens in a separate window.
Image Source: NRA GUIDE to the Basics of Personal Protection“You are generally required to use as little force as necessary to control [stop or prevent] a situation. Deadly force can only be used in the most narrowly defined circumstances, and it is highly unlikely that you will ever encounter such circumstances in your life.”

    • “Whenever a shooting occurs, a crime has been committed. Either the shooting is legal as a defense against a crime or attempted crime, or else the shooting is not justified, in which case the shooting itself is a crime.

Your civil liability in a shooting can be a greater risk than criminal charges.

    •  You can be charged with both and [it is important to understand that] your legal protections are less vigorous in civil cases than in criminal ones. With very narrow exceptions, overcoming criminal charges does not protect you from a civil lawsuit — you


    • be tried twice.”

“Justification in killing someone does not provide criminal or civil protection for recklessly killing an innocent third person in the process. A stray shot you make can be as dangerous to you legally as committing a homicide. Using lethal force is so risky legally it is yet another reason to avoid it if at all possible — for your own safety.”

Adapted from the Bloomfield Gun Owner’s Guides

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Good Stuff you may find use for
An online source for Speed Strips (available only for .38 Special and .357 Magnum)
They lie flat in your pocket.
Bianchi Speed Strips allow the carrying of extra .38 Special or .357 revolver ammo without the bulk of speed loaders. Though not as fast-loading as speed loaders, they will allow loading two cartridges at a time. Less than $7 for a package of two. The best way to buy them may be from a local gun dealer due to shipping costs from online sellers. Click on the image for a (very reliable) online source.
A should-have accessory: for loading of any semi-automatic pistol magazine: The MagLoader™. In case you don’t want to lug around the somewhat large magazine loading tool, this is an inexpensive and small tool available by ordering online (or by mail). Useful to pack a clip with its maximum capacity using the power of your thumb instead of your sore forefingers. Each package contains three sizes and they are small enough to carry easily with your pocket change. Ideal for senior gun users/owners and one set may not be enough. Accept no imitations.
The MagLoader
Click for more information on this book
Link to the Holster Maker Database from this book.
Hidden in Plain Sight – a Practical Guide to Concealed Handgun Carry by Trey Bloodworth & Mike Raley. What to look for in a concealed carry handgun holster. How to dress for comfortable and effective concealed carry. Traditional carry modes, accessory holsters, unconventional holsters. Customized clothing and which carry modes provide the greatest accessibility based on draw-time comparisons.Unbiased opinions about concealed carry equipment, including several negative reviews (The authors are not affiliated with any holster company, ammo company, magazine, gun maker, etc.) 2nd edition, revised 2003, 167-pages with 107 pictures. NOTE: Amazon sells an outdated edition of this book.
For an interesting page on holsters and concealed carry, Click Here There is some very interesting and useful information. And, remember, if you will carry a concealed handgun, the belt you use is as important as the holster.Click here for an online database of state CCW laws.
    • Some thoughts for the new gun carriers
    • by Clint Smith
    • in the July, 2004 issue of

“Guns Magazine””Concealed handguns are socially acceptable mostly because no one knows we have them… Be guarded to conceal your equipment well, many small things from how you bend over — printing the butt of the handgun [through] your clothing — to how you sweep your jacket open as you reach for your wallet all effect concealability…”

“Even if the circumstance justifies reaching for your gun, do you really want to be in a gunfight in the middle of a restaurant full of people? Or in the bank lobby with your [loved ones] standing beside you?”

“So there is no confustion, if someone offers a genuine threat to you, endangering your life and members of your family — defend yourself — but choose wisely and be very careful…”

“Should your initial contact be the bad man with a gun in your face, trust me you cannot outdraw a gun pointed at you… If you deploy smoothly — not fast — if you move to cover as available, if you shoot carefully and well, all these things will increase your odds of surviving…”

“If you decide to carry a firearm and protect yourself you will need to modify your dress code, so to speak. Your concealment for the weapon cannot come from just the holster. Some concealment must come from your clothing… Get pants, belt, holsters and weapons that all fit each other correctly.”

Click for more information on this product.
Click for more information on this product. 

Probably a must-have if your household has children or grandchildren running about.An alternative to cable and trigger locks: The Life Jacket™ model LJ1 is designed to fit most revolvers and semi-auto handguns. Its polycarbonate construction is lightweight and secure. The heavy-duty locking mechanism, steel-reinforced perimeter and steel double-pin hinge provide you with affordable peace of mind. IMPORTANT NOTE: The LJ1 has passed the California-Approved “Drop Test”.
Low Price on the ‘net: $15.34


Millions of children live in or visit households with unlocked firearms, often loaded. “With a gun, there’s no second chance…” Denise Down, emergency room physician at Children’s Mercy Hospital in KCMO. There is no proof that simply teaching kids not to touch a gun or to immediately leave when they encounter one is effective. If you are not inclined to use a lock or a device like the one shown above, do a web search for gun safes. There are many small and reasonably priced products besides the behemoths used by “avid sportsmen” to store their arsenal.
PREVENTION Magazine, June 2004
Click for a review of this book
NRA GUIDE to the Basics of Personal Protection in the Home – If you were to able to find only find one how-to book on using guns for self-defense, you could hardly go wrong with this one. Last revised in 2000 and spiral bound (so it will lay flat), this book is used by many firearms trainers. (The NRA says more than 100,000 copies have been sold.) [It is important to note that there is no affiliation or association whatsoever between the NRA and this website.]

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    • * Practice safe gun habits. (See part 1, above)

* Know the Law, follow the law.

* Understand that having a gun does not make one a warrior.

* Restrict access to your firearms.

* Help to educate others about safe gun use.

(Take an anti gunner to shoot.)

    • * Teach responsible use by acting responsibly.

(Always try to err on the side of safety.)(Do not use drugs or alcohol when handling firearms.)

    • * If you opt for CCW, keep your gun concealed.

* If stopped by law enforcement, disclose your CCW status.

* Draw your weapon only as a last resort.

* The purpose of fighting is to win.

* The final weapon is the brain.

It is the responsibility of every American
to prevent firearms from becoming
instruments of tragedy.
“Who has the primary responsibility and who is the first line of defense of your home and family? The obvious answer: you! You are better qualified than the government to evaluate your own personal situation. Your neighborhood, the level of crime in your area… and other variables must be considered and evaluated as you make decisions about your personal safety. You are in the best position to analyze your own situation and determine the safety tactics best for you, your home and your family.”…the true test of any security measure must be whether or not it gives the citizen a realistic choice of stopping an attack, home invasion or assault before the crime is committed and the damage is inflicted. The tactic doesn’t have to be 100% foolproof, but must have a good chance of stopping the crime… Physical barriers such as dead-bolt locks, fences and alarms can be effective in thwarting would-be burglars. Actual records, however, indicate that most people do not apply thhe rigid discipline necessary for thes measures to be truly effective. Every door and window must be religiously locked, alarm systems activated at all times and the garage door closed and locked every time…

“[The] NRA does not presume to dictate to anyone what safety measures they should employ. We do know that, for millions of Americans, a firearm is a practical means that works. Owning a firearm available for personal protection requires significant thought, planning and responsibility. It should never be approached lightly. But the choice to own a firearm, to protect home and family, is a right that must always be respected and protected.”

Kayne Robinson, NRA President
writing in the July, 2004, issues of
“American Rifleman” and “Outlook” magazines

If you have problems handling larger handguns or higher caliber firearms, there are several options worth considering. Remember, though, this short list is one of options and not recommendations.
22 Magnum
NAA’s mini-revolvers
S&W;’s new 351PD 7 shot 10.5 oz. revolver.25 ACP
Avoid this caliber.
Why? Low stopping power. 

Better choices…

.32 ACP
Beretta’s Tomcat pistol w/tip up barrel
KelTec’s P32 pistol, the lightest 32.380 ACP
Beretta’s 86 Cheetah pistol w/tip up barrel
KelTec’s new P3-AT, the lightest 380
S&W;’s Sigma 380, their only gun in this caliber
With the exception of NAA mini-revolvers,derringers should be avoided in any caliber.

Larry Pearson is an NRA certified pistol instructor and a member of the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers, as well as a former police officer, former military firearms instructor and lifelong student of the martial arts. He also felt that he had something of value to share with the firearms community, and wondered which gunzines he should approach with the above essay. The problem was that he was dealing in ideas and concepts, and virtually all of the present gunzines only want articles about products and services so that their advertising department can sell space and everyone can make money. This is the American way. This is his first published work.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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