Category Archives for Guest Posts

8 Ways to Customize Your Conceal Carry Weapon

Most discussions about customizing a concealed carry weapon focus on the gun. What is just as important, but rarely makes it into the discussion, is the gear that holds the firearm. No two bodies are the same, and it makes sense to alter holsters to fit the carrier. 

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5 Wilderness Survival Skills ALL Hunters Should Know

Guest Post by Richard Douglas

Recently, I had the opportunity to volunteer with my local Search and Rescue county and assist with training their tracking dogs. 

It was an amazing experience and I am very confident in the skills of both the dogs and their handlers. 

While I trust they would be able to find and rescue a person in the forest, I would never want to be in a real situation where I was the one needing rescue. 

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Common Firearms Handling Mistakes you’ve been making

Guest Post by Josh Montgomery

Firearms are both dangerous and useful. When used correctly, they make amazing outdoor recreational activities. If misused, they can cause harm to not only you but to other people and property around you. Before using your firearm for hunting or any other activity, you should familiarize with these mistakes that could cause death, unnecessary injury and theft.  

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12 Tips for Getting Permission to Hunt on Private Land

Guest Post by Ross Burgess

If it seems to you there’s less public land available to hunt, you are correct. In many states, 97-98% of the land is privately owned. Don’t take a chance by assuming untended land is open for you to hunt, as you could run into a posted sign or a disgruntled owner.

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How to hold and Shoot a Handgun Properly

Shooting a handgun/pistol might appear basic to a common person. However, once you get the handgun in your hands, you realize shooting properly and accurately is never easy. There are several fundamentals, tips, exercises, and practices required before one can shoot properly. 

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Essential Self-Defense and Safety Tips for Women Living Alone

Guest Post by Dave Artman

Despite the fact that women seem to be more self-defense savvy than ever, the violence against them continues to be a huge societal problem. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the prevalence of violent crimes against women is rising, with about 1.11 percent of women reporting one or more violent acts in the past six months. That means that about 1.5 million women surveyed experienced some violent act in the months prior to being surveyed.

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Gun vs Bow Hunting for New Hunters

Guest Post by Norman Bobby

If you are just starting out as a hunter, you must be confused about gun and bow hunting.

Check out this comparison of the two options and pick one that you think works the best for you:

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Shooting Sports for Seniors: Tips for Getting Started

Aging adults have a unique set of considerations when it comes to hobby selection. Often, they seek activities that are mentally stimulating to keep them sharp, socially-driven to help combat loneliness and low-impact but still good for supporting their physical health. One activity that ticks all of the above boxes, yet is often overlooked by seniors, is sport shooting. Squaring up with a shotgun and taking aim at clay targets is one of few low-impact activities that requires a strong fusion of mental and physical fortitude with little experience needed.

Think you’re too old to shoot? That’s probably not true. While there are certain physical conditions that may bar you from taking a stab at the sport, by and large, if you’re strong enough to hold and balance a shotgun, you can take part in clay shooting. And it will pay off, too. Sport shooting is an excellent test of mental discipline, physical strength and focus, all things that will help you live a happier, healthier life as you age. It’s for these reasons that the activity is becoming increasingly more popular among older adults, with shooters age 55 or older making up over 20 percent of target shooting participants.

If you’re looking to get started in shooting sports, here are some great tips that will help you get ready for the range, even if you’ve never even held a shotgun.

  • Start with a Rundown on Safety—Even if you think you already know everything there is to know about firearm safety, ask for a rundown just in case before you get started. Since you might not have wielded a shotgun in years—maybe even decades—it’s best to start with a thorough rundown on firearm handling safety before beginning.
  • Join a Group with Other Seniors—As the aging population shows more interest in sport shooting, various seniors-only shooting groups have formed around the country. These groups cater to older shooters, so they may be more accommodating to those with physical concerns and anyone who may not move as quickly as they used to. Of course, joining up with people around your own age will help connect you with others who share similar interests, helping you grow your social circle.
  • Take it Slow and Dial Back the Power—As tempting as it may be, don’t reach for the most powerful shotgun on the rack when it’s your first time shooting (or your first time in a while). Heavy, powerful shotguns can injure those with physical limitations, previous injuries or weak bones, so always start with the least powerful gun available to you. Remember to move at your own pace and to take several breaks between shots if you feel yourself getting tired.
  • Turn to the Professionals—While there are plenty of backyard shooting setups that are perfectly safe and arranged by very competent, safety-focused shooters, the best thing you can do when you’re getting into any shooting sport is to head to the range. Not only will the pros know exactly how to warm you up for your first attempt at shooting, an actual facility will have services such as rentals so that you don’t have to borrow or buy your own equipment.

  • Don’t Worry When You Miss—Give yourself the freedom to underperform and you just might find that you have a lot more fun than you did when you piled on the pressure. Remember that in all shooting sports, misses are inevitable, and they shouldn’t deter you from trying again (and again and again). The fun of it is making tiny, micro-adjustments until you hit your target. Nothing is quite as satisfying!
  • Wear the Right Gear—One of the biggest differentiators between young people and older folks on the whole is that seniors know that the wrong gear or attire could seriously ruin an otherwise great outing. Ill-fitting glasses, sun in your eyes, a shirt that’s too hot—all of these things can prevent you from enjoying your visit to the range, so be sure to take some time to get your gear right. The same goes for the firearm. Make sure it’s the right fit before pulling the trigger and don’t compromise if something feels off.
  • Protect Your Eyes—Any shooting sport will require participants to wear protective eyewear to keep the eyes safe from blowback and shards of clay. Beginners typically rent these from the club or range when they don’t have their own, while seasoned shooters may have prescription shooting glasses made to ensure that their vision isn’t compromised by their safety gear. If you have contacts, be sure to wear them to the range (in addition to protective glasses or goggles) so that you protect your eyes without affecting quality of vision.
  • Buddy Up with Someone Your Own Age—You already know it’s a good idea to work with a professional or a guide, but it may also be smart to begin your shooting journey alongside another shooter around the same age, especially if you can connect with someone who has more (or more recent) experience than you do who may be interested in showing you the ropes.

You’re Never Too Old to Try Something New

If you’ve always wanted to try sport shooting but never had the opportunity, we’re here to tell you now’s your time. Not only can shooting help provide you with an array of positive mental and physical health benefits, it’s also a plain-old fun way to pass the time. If you’re concerned at all about your physical abilities, it may be a good idea to ask your physician for the go-ahead. Once you get the thumbs up, head to the range and show them what you can (still) do!

Choose the Best Round and Caliber for Self Defense

The topic of self-defense is hotly debated among gun enthusiasts, and there are countless options when it comes to the best self-defense choice for you. The model and caliber that you choose will vary according to your personal needs and experience.

Careful consideration is crucial when selecting the handgun that you will rely on for protection. Take time to research the best options for you before making this potentially life-saving decision. After deciding, it is important to outfit your gun with the perfect concealed carry holster and other accessories that complement its use.

Bullet Choices Matter

The caliber of a firearm determines which type of rounds can be used with it, and the construction of a bullet determines what a round will do to achieve its purpose. In self-defense situations, the purpose of a round is to stop an attack, and there are various rounds available that are tailored to this purpose.

Lead bullets, though common, are not the best choice for a self-defense weapon because they will not penetrate the target as well as their copper-jacketed counterparts. In a self-defense situation, however, there is also a high risk of collateral damage if the bullet penetrates too well.

Full metal jacket (FMJ) shells are an ideal defense ammo option. They typically consist of a lead core encased in copper, which enables them to penetrate well. The softness of the lead then prevents an excessive transfer of energy, in comparison to other round options.

Jacketed Hollow Point Bullets

Many gun enthusiasts agree that the jacketed hollow point (JHP) bullet design is highly effective for defense situations.

The JHP is an advancement on the FMJ, with the copper jacket partially extending to cover the lead core, which leaves the nose exposed. This portion of the lead has a hollow tip, and this enables the ideal balance between energy transfer and penetration.

Bonded Bullets

Bonded bullets inhibit the jacket and core of a bullet from separating upon impact. They are produced through both electrochemical and mechanical bonding, and both options ensure that the copper and lead components do not detach from one another, which lets the bullet maintain its weight for penetration. This makes bonded JHP bullets the premier choice for self-defense purposes.

Power

Several important factors play into making one bullet and caliber a more attractive choice for self-defense than another. These are power, speed, and capacity.

A bullet’s power, or effectiveness, refers to its ability to stop an attacker as quickly and effectively as possible. Various formulas have been developed that attempt to calculate the stopping power of a handgun, but, because the conditions of emergencies vary so significantly, this is difficult to do.

For example, a bullet that would have a detrimental effect on the chest cavity might have little to no effect on a dense, bony area. Because the chest cavity represents the largest mass of a target and has the highest contact probability, this is the area that emergency responders are trained to aim for and where a bullet’s stopping power is typically calculated.  

This implies that the best stopping power is afforded by bullets that affect debilitating pain to an attacker.

Speed

The faster the bullet, the quicker it can neutralize a target. Advances in the development of Kydex holsters allow for reduced retrieval time and, coupled with high-velocity rounds, eliminating a threat has never been faster.  

The speed of a bullet will affect the penetration of a target. The higher the rotational velocity of a bullet, the further it can penetrate the attacker. Speed also plays a role in how much a bullet expands, which determines the amount of damage that is inflicted and whether collateral damage will be a concern.

Those who opt for a lighter, faster bullet will find that they offer reduced recoil, which is essential for carriers who cannot withstand heavy recoil.

Capacity

The capacity of a handgun is a final and straightforward factor to consider. The smaller the bullet, the more rounds a handgun can carry.

A Glock 17 will always hold more 9mm Lugers than a Glock 21 holds .45 AUTOs. It is important to consider that, though a 9mm pistol may hold more ammunition, it is still a lighter firearm than any .40 S&W or .45 AUTO when loaded.

Gun Calibers


One go-to choice for personal self-defense is a revolver. A revolver will carry either .38 Special or .357 Magnum calibers. The advantage of a revolver is that it is easy to operate and learn how to shoot, making it an ideal choice for high-stress situations.

Revolvers do have limited capacity, which may be a disadvantage for some. With proper training, however, this is not likely to be an issue.

Some semiautomatic handguns can hold up to seventeen rounds of 9mm ammo, as well as .40 S&W and .45 ACP. This type of firearm is easily reloaded and allows users to keep their eyes on the threat. However, semi-automatics must be cocked to fire, which may be inconvenient for some.

A user’s experience and comfort level in handling firearms will likely determine what type of gun or caliber they decide to use. For those with less experience, a revolver with .38 Special bullets is an ideal option. A more experienced carrier may find that a semi-automatic handgun, such as a Glock 17 or Glock 19 with 9mm Luger bullets, is the most suitable option for their skill level.

The Best Choice for You

Deciding on a firearm for self-defense requires a compromise between size, speed, and capacity. Larger bullets will never have a higher velocity than smaller bullets, and a handgun with more power will almost always have more significant recoil. The best choice for a self-defense weapon comes down to your personal preference and the factors that are most pertinent to your concealed carry use.

Being an accurate and practiced shot is more important than what type of firearm or bullet you choose to use. Once you have made your decision, it is essential to test the feel of different rounds at your shooting range.

Consider factors like level of comfort in the hand, recoil control, and capacity. There are also various options for how to conceal and carry your weapon, the most popular of which is an in-the-waistband or IWB holster.

A firearm is a serious tool that is used only in the most critical of situations. Because of this, it is paramount that any carrier is fully comfortable and capable of using their weapon of choice for their own and others’ safety.

How to Get Your Concealed Carry License

Concealed carry license requirements vary throughout the 50 states and U.S. Territories. While the Second Amendment grants all citizens the right to bear arms, some states require more training, background checks, and safeguards to ensure that guns remain in the hands of law-abiding, dutiful citizens.

Obtaining a concealed carry license can be a little trickier than merely getting a permit to carry, depending on the state. However, the payoff is worth the time spent and being able to carry concealed is an excellent way to ensure you can protect yourself and your family should you need to.

Shall Issue States

The first step to getting your concealed carry license is to determine what kind of state you live in: a shall issue, may issue, or constitutional carry state.

Shall issue states are states that will issue concealed carry permits to applicants that meet all of that state’s qualifications. Some shall issue states only issue to residents, so it’s important to look into your state’s laws.

This can become complicated for people who travel on long-term assignments for work or for business owners who work in one state but reside in another.

May Issue States

States that are may issue look to see if the applicant meets all the qualifications for a concealed carry license and may ultimately make a judgment on allowing for that permit.

Typically, these decisions are first made at the local level, such as the police chief of a town, and then sent up to the state police division for approval. Some may issue states also exclude non-residents, so it is essential to check your state’s requirements.

Constitutional Carry States

Constitutional carry states allow eligible citizens to carry a concealed firearm without the need for a license. These states can then be further sub-categorized into those which allow only residents to carry versus those that will issue to both residents and non-residents.

Right Denied States

There are currently two U.S. Territories which do not allow concealed carry licenses: The Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa, which fall into the category of rights denied states.

Know Your Laws

While many may issue states require applicants to take a course first, it is still a good idea to brush up on the laws in states which are shall issue or constitutional carry, but which do not require prior educational courses.

These laws vary widely in regard to concealed carry licenses and the use of deadly force in a public place. For instance, having alcohol in your system can invalidate the justified use of a concealed carry weapon in some states. In other states, there are strictly prohibited areas for carrying any concealed weapon.

Even if your state does not require a course, find one anyway. These courses cover some of the more complicated aspects of legal statutes. Ignorance of the law does not make you innocent; educate yourself as much as possible before purchasing any weapon.

Training

Most may issue states require a class and live-fire training to grant applicants their license to carry. One of the most beneficial training seminars you can take to acquire a concealed carry permit is the Utah Multi-State Concealed Carry license, also known as the Utah Permit.

There are currently 33 states that accept the Utah non-resident permit for a concealed carry license. The requirements for getting the Utah non-resident permit include completing a firearms familiarity course certified by the Utah BCI and taught by certified instructors.

While some states have reciprocity with one another, it is worth researching the reciprocities of different permits and their requirements, especially if you plan to travel with your concealed weapon.

Most weapons training courses include a few hours of class time, which cover topics such as types of guns and ammunition, state laws, gun safety, and choosing the best-concealed carry holsters.

There are also in-class demonstrations for loading and unloading a weapon, which ultimately leads to live-fire range time with your instructor. The certificate you receive at the end of the course is required for submission with your application.

Background Checks and Letters of Reference

Some may issue states require a rigorous background check and up to three letters of reference before they will decide to issue a concealed carry license.

The background checks typically consist of a questionnaire about your criminal history and a comprehensive fingerprinting, which is run against the state and national criminal databases.

The letters of reference cannot be obtained from family members. Writers should be members of the community with upstanding reputations who know you well and can attest to your character, such as a teacher, a police officer, or a city councilman.

It is important to note that some states, even if you pass the background check for your license, still conduct a new background check whenever you purchase a firearm.

The Fee

Most states that require an application for a concealed carry license also require a fee at the time of application submission. These fees can range from anywhere between $50-$100, so check with your local jurisdiction’s application fee policies.

The Equipment

Once you have received your concealed carry license, it is important to make safety and comfort the top priorities for your chosen concealed carry pistol.

The most important piece of equipment, other than your gun and ammo, is your choice of concealed carry holster. There is a variety of ways to carry concealed, and it will vary according to the pistol you choose, where you want to carry it on your body, and how you want to carry it.

Not all holsters are alike. When choosing a concealed carry holster, it should not catch on the gun, it should offer quick draw-speed, and it needs to fit your chosen firearm well.

Inside-the-waistband holsters, or IWB holsters, are some of the most popular choices for concealed carry pistols. IWB holsters are easy to access quickly, sit snugly against the abdomen, and are simple to conceal for both men and women. Many IWB holsters have accessories for carrying additional ammunition, as well.

Spend Time at the Range

Muscle memory is a huge advantage for learning how to carry and protect yourself with a firearm. In high-stress situations, your body will remember what to do even if your mind is focusing on what is happening around you.

To achieve this, spend time at the range firing your chosen concealed carry weapon. Don’t just target practice; get a sense of how long it takes for you to unholster your weapon and get into a firing stance. Many gun ranges have different holsters you can try out with your pistol to see which is the best IWB holster for you.

Final Thoughts

While the requirements for getting your concealed carry license vary from state-to-state, having your license means you can confidently protect yourself and your loved ones. Become informed about your weapon and the laws pertaining to it and practice often. You never know when you will need to take action and save a life.  

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