Posts Tagged ‘Concealed Carry’

I know, I know. I have been MIA for about a month. Trust me I have a good excuse. I have been busy, extremely busy. I am currently sitting in a hotel in Warren Ohio rehydrating from a long hot day on the range participating in a Critical Defensive Handgun course put on by Safety Solutions Academy. Two weeks before this I was rolling around in the red Missouri dirt with Defensive Engagement Concepts in their Tac 2 pistol. I have taken tons of notes and have a lot of new concepts to use for topics later on. Obviously I will be doing an after action report for these classes as soon as I can get a breather. Unfortunately for the blog and my readers I will be back in a 3 day course in a little over a week then back to being the instructor instead of the student.

Long story short I am still alive and I have lived on a range nearly every weekend…. AND I LOVE IT. I am gaining more stuff to bring to the blog and to Valkyrie Defense Group. I am going to try to focus a little more on getting content out because we have picked up a few more readers from a lot of the VDG classes and I know they would like to hear more from me. (They told me.)

I hope you all have gotten out and got your fingers on some triggers and used the time you spend on the range effectively.

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Over the weekend we had yet another Concealed Handgun Class and we were covering the subject of cleaning your handgun. We usually snicker when we read the NRA suggestion of cleaning after every time you shoot your gun. The instructors that help us at Valkyrie Defense Group are all guilty of going pretty long durations before our guns get anymore than just a wipe down. Let’s face it if I cleaned my guns every time I fired them my son would probably not know who I am. One reason I love instructing is when I am talking or answering questions sometimes I will have a little epiphany or in this situation a realization and when I do I try to make a mental note to come back here to share.

Yesterday talking about cleaning it hit me that I never carry a “clean” gun. I have this weird habit of when I clean any of my carry guns I will not feel right carrying it until I have shot a magazine through it to perform a function test. I want to be absolutely sure that the gun was put back together properly before I want to depend my life on it. The last thing I want is to clean my gun and head out into a situation where I need to defend my life with it and get a click instead of a bang in that critical moment. The new R51 is a gun that has me thinking this needs to be considered more and more for people.

When you re-assemble the R51 you must slip a small tab on the slide stop of the gun underneath this little spring. You must insert it perfectly parallel to the slide. If you tilt the slide stop upwards by as little as a 1/16th of an inch, if it rides above the spring, the gun will malfunction.

Just to make sure I’m not just picking on the R51, my Ruger LCP requires the recoil spring to be replaced a certain way. If not it will fail to eject on nearly every shot.

How about you? Have you ever thought about function testing your gun before you depend your life on it? Head over to the Facebook page and let me know if this is something that has ever crossed your mind or if you do something similar. While you are there make sure you give me a like to keep up to date on all the pictures of some of the projects I’m working on.

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Back at it again. Since 1995 there has been attempts to make the license to carry a firearm as universal as a drivers license. To me it makes sense. If we want to touch on real stopping power you all can argue which is best 9mm through 45 cal. but I will argue a 3000 pound minivan traveling 55 mph beats everything in a handgun caliber. Drivers licenses are nationally recognized and more people have died from the ability a drivers license give you than all those crazy concealed handgun licenses out there.

Again, to me it just makes sense. What are your thoughts? Let me know on the Facebook page and make sure you click like when you are there.

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Just a small announcement I wanted to get out to everyone, Valkyrie Defense will be holding an Ohio Concealed Carry Class on August 10th in Coshocton  Ohio. If anyone is interested just send me a message for more details or head over to the VDG Facebook page and message us over there.  Be sure to pass it along to your friends if they are still without their CHL.

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It gives me great joy to finally bring to my readers what has gone on behind the scenes for so long now. Valkyrie Defense Group is now up and running. “What is this Valkyrie Defense Group?” is what I am sure you are asking yourself now. I want to take this post today to fill everyone in on what we are, what we intend to do, and why it has kept me from writing as much as I want.

Valkyrie Defense Group (VDG) was thought up by a very good friend and myself when talking about the lack of good training options in our area. We saw a need for that next step beyond the concealed handgun class. We see the Ohio Concealed Handgun License class as only a starting point, not an ending point, in Ohioan’s quest to becoming a properly trained concealed carry holder. All too often we were hearing horror stories from people claiming the Concealed Carry class was only 5 hours (when it is a mandatory 12) or that they were in a class with 30-50 and even heard staggering numbers over 100. We saw a need for proper quality training where people can go and get the attention that they need in a safe, knowledgeable environment. BAM!! Valkyrie Defense Group was born.

There are obviously many companies out there trying to cash in on the 1 million plus new gun owners, so what sets us apart from those companies? It is our mission to make sure every student leaves more knowledgeable and more skilled than when they showed up to whatever class it is they are taking from us. In order for us to do that we are not looking for classrooms full of 25-30 students. We are happier to have 6 exceptionally trained students leave our classroom than 60 uneducated, irresponsible ones. It is with that attitude we approach every class and strive to make sure all the needs of every student are met to their satisfaction and ours.

As I said, this company was a brainchild of a dear friend of mine and me and as of now we are the sole instructors. We are able to offer an extensive military background point of view along with the just as important civilian aspect and point of view. My partner and good friend Jason Groves is a NRA pistol Instructor, a Self-Defense Inside the Home instructor,  as well as a United States Marine. Jason was assigned as a Reconnaissance Scout for the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. Jason also served in the Marine Security Forces and held multiple billets in a dedicated security and anti-/counter-terrorism unit. With his very extensive background, he brings a ton of experience and knowledge to VDG and I am proud to call him a true friend. Jason is a great teacher and has ways to explain and show different techniques, which is rare in most run-of-the-mill trainers and instructors today. Combine that with is excellent military service, he is a great asset to VDG.

Other than what you can get out of my about page there is not much more to add. I too am an NRA Pistol instructor and have taken roughly 50 hours of advance pistol training this year alone with more already scheduled before the year is up. It is my goal to draw as much of the knowledge that I can from the many outlets I study, along with the advanced classes I attend, and bring it to my students and readers. I come from a large family full of teachers and it seems to have rubbed off on me. I take the title of instructor very serious and hold it to a very high standard and I do my best to deliver the best advice and knowledge I can each class. With no prior military experience, I feel it is my duty to study harder, teach better, and shoot perfect every class or I feel I have let my students down.

Seeing that we are just getting started, and still on the ground level of our business plan for Valkyrie Defense, we are hoping to be adding some more instructors to the roster in the future. When we do, you can be certain that each person that bears the title of “VDG Instructor” will have the same dedication to delivering top-notch performance and knowledge in the classroom and on the range to our students.

The list of classes offered now are limited to pistol. We are ready and willing to teach Ohio Concealed Handgun classes now along with our own advanced pistol class we have titled VDG Pistol 1. (VDG Pistol 2 is in the works also) By next year, we will be looking to expand to rifle and shotgun, but for now we want to focus on perfecting the business and making sure that each person that chooses to take a class with us gets the most out of it.

We will be based out of central Ohio, but are always willing to travel. As I said earlier, we are not concerned with large number of students, if you have at least 6 people attending, we will hold a class. If you have a safe place to shoot and adequate space for a classroom setting, we will also be willing to come to you. If you are a substantial distance away, call us and we will work something out. We are tossing around the idea of holding a VDG Pistol 1 class in Missouri before the end of the year, but we will make that announcement after more plans have been hashed out.

In closing, I want to again say that we created Valkyrie Defense Group because we saw an apparent gap in what training many people are receiving for concealed carry and what we feel is necessary. Basic concealed carry classes give you the ability to carry a gun to defend your life,  and we want to make sure you have the knowledge and skills if that time ever comes. We plan on offering the best instructors and classes to prepare you for that life or death situation whether it lasts 3 seconds, 30 seconds or 3 minutes.

I encourage you to visit the Valkyrie Defense Group Facebook page and give us a like. The VDG website is currently under construction and we are working hard to get the lights on over there so you can get better class descriptions, more in depth bios on all the instructors, along with some photos of our recent classes. While you are clicking around, make sure you head over to the Absolute BS Facebook page and give me a like there also. I hope to see you on the range soon and in one of our classes. If there are any questions at all you can contact me with the contact tab at the top or on either of the afore mentioned Facebook pages. I look forward getting back into the flow of writing more now that a lot of the administrative stuff to get VDG off the ground is finishing up. Thanks for sticking around in my spurts of absence.

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I am carrying daily, again. I typically do not leave the house without my firearm on me. I started to get sloppy and wasn’t carrying while at work from time to time. A recent event got me thinking about my job and some of the situations I end up in while on the clock and I decided to get back into my usual daily carry habit.

The Contenders

The Contenders

This week I have been rocking a Glock 26 that I borrowed from a good buddy (thanks Bob). Monday and Wednesday I carried it in my Concealment Solutions Sidewinder. It is my go-to daily carry holster for my 19 and the 26 worked great in it. On Tuesday I tried something a little different and popped on my Raven Concealment Vanguard 2 and tried a little appendix carry.

Concealment Solutions Sidewinder (top) and the Raven Concealment Vanguard 2 (bottom)

Concealment Solutions Sidewinder (top) and the Raven Concealment Vanguard 2 (bottom)

I am a huge fan of owb carry. For me it just works best. I can say that I enjoyed carrying more on Monday and Wednesday than I did on Tuesday. There is just something about me that I cannot do iwb or appendix. It might be my body type or that I am in and out of a vehicle a lot. I am not giving up completely I want to try a couple other holsters before that happens.

I will be finishing the week off with carrying the wife’s Smith & Wesson Shield in a NUoSU Concealment holster. Since the wife is gone for the week and it is officially MAN-morial weekend I will do as I please. (Just don’t tell her)

NUoSU holster

NUoSU holster

I am trying to get a feel in the difference between carrying the double stack vs. the single. I am a dedicated Glock shooter and I love the 26 but the Shield is so thin it makes it hard to say no to it. If the 26 ends up coming out on top there is a good possibility that an OD green 26 will be in my future. If the Shield wins… well I guess I saved myself 500 bucks.

I will update at the end of the week and let you know my decision. Until then check out the Facebook page because I will be putting up pictures of random MAN-morial week stuff especially over the weekend. I will be attending another Vickers Shooting Methods 2 class on Saturday and I hope to have a post explaining how I am prepping in the next day or two so stay tuned for that. You can also stay in touch with Shooters Legion and instantly become my friend by following the provided link.

Keep Calm and Carry Often,



Being Mother’s Day, I decided to look my best and show up nice and pretty but when I realized my Sunday best didn’t hide the Glock too well I decided I needed to change my carry method. This happens every now and then and I usually end up switching over to my Ruger LCP that is fitted with a Crimson Trace. My preferred way to carry it is in De Santis Nemesis pocket holster that is made to accept the Crimson trace laser guard. As I was getting ready, I started thinking about the pros and cons of pocket carry and thought it would make a good topic to put out there. When we look at pocket carry we see it as the most convenient, but with convenience there are some trade offs that are often overlooked.

Convenience is the major factor when it comes to pocket carry. Front pocket, cargo pocket, rear pocket it doesn’t matter, if the gun and holster fit it is going with you. In my case the shirt I was going to wear was a little more form-fitting than I usually wear so tossing my LCP into my front pocket was an easy fix. Pocket carry also can give you the deep concealment that is required with complete comfort. There is no IWB (inside waist band holster) there sticking you in the side making you uncomfortable. These are all pros to the pocket carry, now lets touch on the cons.

Often the first thing that is pointed out is that you are most likely having to give up some caliber, or do we? Well I have to say yes, in fact in my case you give up quite a bit. In the LCP I carry Hornady 90 gr. FTX. In the Glock I have Hornady 124 gr. TAP FPD. According to Hornady’s numbers I am losing around 30% energy just at the muzzle. The 380 is 200 ft/lb where as the 9mm is 339 ft/lb. So there is one con that is easy to spot. Sure there are other larger caliber pocket carry guns but you still are having to factor in the length of the barrel and that plays a large part when talking about power factor.

Magazine capacity is another downfall of the pocket pistols. The LCP sports a 6+1 capacity–less than half of my 19. You really need to make sure if carrying a pocket pistol you are also carrying an extra magazine. The typical self-defense shooting’s statistics show that encounters happen with big three, three feet, three shots, and three seconds. (Here is a drill to practice your 3-3-3) Knowing that the LCP has enough capacity isn’t enough, I would rather be ready to top the gun off if there is more than one bad guy to deal with. I will stress again to make sure you carry an extra mag.

The draw. This to me is the most overlooked part of the pocket carry option. People fail to realize how difficult it is to actually draw from a pocket holster because they never practice with it before they toss it in their pocket and go. If you pocket carry and are reading this please stop reading for a moment and find a mirror around your house and try some practice draws. (All safety rules apply! Use an unloaded firearm!) When carrying in the pocket I prefer to use my strong side front pocket. I do this because pocket carry requires you to go to the gun early, by this I mean that if you see something that could potentially be a threat you need to have your hand on the gun sooner than if you’re carrying on the hip. Why? It is without a doubt a slower and more easily fouled draw. Have you ever noticed that sometimes you have to adjust your body or stance to get your keys or cell phone out of your pocket? Now think about a crisis situation how hard it would be to get your hand into that front pocket and get that perfect stance while trying to fend off an attacker.(Drawing while sitting is a real chore so driving while choosing this method is a downside.) We also need to realize that there is a good reason to shield the pocket you are drawing from with your body. The worst thing to happen is for you to be trying to draw and the attacker pin your hand into your pocket with no way to get the gun deployed. The upside is that if you go to the gun you just look like a guy with his hand in his pocket which isn’t out of the ordinary. So remember go to the gun early and be ready to shield the draw with your body.

Also, reholstering is something that is overlooked. Do yourself the favor and just take the holster out of your pocket, put the gun in it, then place it back into the pocket. Yes it is slower, yes it is dorky looking, but putting a bullet down your leg because your holster flopped over and caught your trigger is even less cool.

I would say that I carry my Glock 9 times out of 10 and even after all the cons we have discussed it does not make pocket carry a deal breaker. I know people who carry pocket 100% of the time and they have accepted the facts that with the convenience they have to give something up. If you choose to give pocket carry a try just remember the few things we covered. Carry a spare mag, know you are losing some power factor so be ready to make an extra shot, go to the gun early, and be ready to shield the draw with your body. I remind myself of these things every time I walk out the door with the gun in my pocket instead of on my hip.

I hope this shed some light on a few things that you might not have considered when thinking about pocket carry. If you feel I missed something let me know in the comments section below. You can also comment on our Facebook page or stay in touch over at Shooters Legion. I always love to interact with my readers so feel free to send me your questions or comments. The email address is still or you can click the contact tab above and use the contact form you will see there.

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