Posts Tagged ‘firearms’


I think a lot of people who carry a concealed weapon are under the false pre-tense that if they actually have to draw their handgun, it will be a certain shooting situation. Firearms are used for personal defense hundreds of times a day in the US alone and out of those situations less than 1% actually end in an exchange of gun fire or fatality. Chances are highly likely that the introduction of a handgun into a tense situation can bring a resolution. It does not always, and that is why we train to shoot and practice weapon retention and martial arts.

In the cases when your bad guy realizes he is out matched and that today is not a good day to die, you will need to give verbal commands that are simple, clear and will not come back to haunt you in a courtroom if you say them. Using verbal commands may still result in you pulling the trigger, but challenging your suspect at least creates witnesses out of those around you, and you gave the bad guy a chance to surrender.

Not every situation will provide you with enough time to give a verbal warning, so, as you read this run through the various scenarios and apply the warning as you see fit based on your training and experience. Also in a worst case scenario when shots are fired, you should also train yourself to give verbal warning and instructions to the downed bad guy.

I train my students to use a short phrase that is easy to remember, general and minimizes liability. I want to keep it simple so under stress so we are focused on the problem in front of us, and not trying to string words together. The verbal challenge should begin with a sharp attention getting statement, like, “Stop!” If you are in law enforcement this would be replaced with the words, “Police,” or “Sheriff’s Office.” As a civilian, I do not advise you identifying yourself as a member of law enforcement.

Once you have a sharp and loud attention statement, follow up with a command, “Drop the weapon!” Notice I use the word weapon instead of gun or knife. Weapon is generic, simple to say and remember. It covers a large variety of objects that could be used as a weapon. A crossbow or screwdriver are equally as deadly as a firearm but under stress, you dont want to divide your focus by trying to identify the object and search your higher brain for the matching word. You want to get your point across quickly and the word weapon sums up everything in a concise manner.

Finally I include what I call the plea, or my witness statement. “Don’t make me shoot you!” While it may sound odd to plead with your suspect, what you are actually doing is creating witnesses of the people around you. If you shoot someone, there will be a police investigation and possibly a trial. When that occurs, I want the people around me, the nearby neighbors, etc. to tell the investigators that it sounded like I really didn’t want to shoot. While your state of mind is irrelevant under the 4th Amendment test of Reasonableness, (Graham v Connor) we want to create a situation that works towards our advantage.

If a shooting does occur, the words, “Don’t make me,” give the strong impression that you as a shooter had no other choice and the bad guy forced you to pull the trigger due to his overt actions. The suspect could have surrendered and you gave him an opportunity to do so during your verbal challenge, but he declined to comply, forcing you to fire.

When we are talking about home defense I recommend a verbal warning as you defend your home, especially at night. While you should have a good flashlight or weapon mounted light (I recommend both) issuing a verbal challenge to someone in your home gives a family member the opportunity to respond or identify themselves and avoid a tragedy. Imagine this situation,” Stop! Drop the weapon! Don’t make me shoot you!” and hearing the words, “Dad, it’s me! Don’t shoot.” Anytime there is uncertainty a verbal warning might be in order.

Not every situation will give you time to provide an audible warning, and a challenge should only be used when the opportunity arises. Just like giving the recommended warning above, the mere fact you did so also bodes well under court scrutiny. By issuing a verbal challenge, you tried to minimize the risk to the suspect. Anything that helps you on scene and during your court defense is certainly worth considering.

Even if you begin to give the warning and have to shoot, complete your statements and repeat them. For example, “Stop, drop the weapon -BANG, BANG- Don’t make me -BANG- shoot you.” Then repeat the statement even if the suspect goes down. In most circumstances pistol calibers do not kill outright unless you target the electrical system of the body (brain or spine) and your bad guy could still be alive on the ground after being shot. Continue repeating the warning to also let everyone know that even on the ground he can still be a threat, and if you have to make follow up shots, you are again justifying your actions on scene and later in court. Just because a suspect is down, does not mean the threat is over and you can still be hurt or killed by someone who is on the ground and injured.

Whether you borrow my challenge or come up with one of your own, make sure it is clear, simple to say and understand and train it!

Be safe, Godspeed!

Scott S

One Weapon Any Tool

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Basic Pistol Course – Sunday, April 12th


Despite what I’m doing it always seems like I have something I need to carry. Be it a folder, grocery bag, holding a door, holding a phone or my daughter’s hand, I usually have something in my non-gun hand. If you carry a concealed weapon, you should take great care and practice making sure you always have your primary or gun hand free in case you need to access your weapon. Keeping your gun hand free limits your options on how much you can carry and usually means your off hand is occupied. For the article I’m going to use the phrase off hand. I know the more common description is “weak hand,” but I prefer to keep the work weak out of my vocabulary. You may be less skilled, but you are not weak!

I bring this topic up because I want you to think about how much time you spend shooting one hand only? Very few instructors offer courses where you are required to shoot your handgun with your primary hand only, not to mention your off hand only. Most training course emphasize good marksmanship which is achieved by a solid stance, grip and the other applied fundamentals. This is a great way to learn, but how you learn to shoot is going to be very different from when you have to shoot to survive. Outside of some advance police pistol training I do not see one handed shooting in very many curriculums.

Whether you attend my basic handgun or one of my more advanced courses, I make all of my students shoot with one hand for several reasons. The first reason is to show them it is possible. You should see the looks I get from students when I tell them to let go with one hand. After some initial apprehension, the student always shows intense concentration and they shoot exceptionally well with one hand only. Just when confidence starts to increase I have them put the gun into their off-hand only. Again, more looks of horror and doubt followed by encouragement, concentration and success.

In my Offensive Pistol course we up the ante a bit by giving the student a life size doll which completely ties up one hand, forcing them to access, withdraw and shoot the target with one hand. This is important because like I mentioned at the beginning of the article, we are always carrying or holding onto something. In a real life encounter we may have our off hand occupied, or if we are with a loved one they may be latched onto one of our arms in panic. In the event you are involved in a gun fight and become injured and lose the ability to fight with one hand, having a skillset you have trained will make a life-saving difference.

While shooting with one hand usually requires a bit more concentration when practicing, you will find that over time you can make very accurate hits. In practical or defensive pistol training we need to remember that we are not looking for the same level of accuracy as someone who is participating in a marksmanship competition. While we should always strive to shoot faster and try to make our rounds touch each other, in a real life environment we should strive for, “Combat accuracy.”

There are varying definitions of combat accuracy so let me explain my perspective this way. When shooting I want my students to get their rounds into a soccer ball size area of center mass. When shooting with one hand, and shooting quickly this is not difficult to achieve with a little practice. As your skill increases you will be better able to control the recoil and get those rounds closer together, but if you can put your shots into a soccer ball size area you will be effective against a lethal threat.

To close out the article I want to give you a tip you can try that may make shooting with one hand a bit easier. Sitting or standing where you are shake your arms to loosen up a bit. Now raise them up in front of you and notice how your hands are naturally pronated or angled towards the center line of your body. This is the common way you rest your hands on a piano, or computer keyboard.


This is a very natural position for your body. Now, keeping your hand in that position, simply add the handgun. You will notice that the handgun is also pronated or angled slightly inboard towards your centerline. This should feel natural and comfortable, but be careful not to over pronate and end up going full gangster as you hold the handgun. The gun should rest naturally at a 45 degree angle. (See photos)


From this position you can easily see your front sight and achieve a good sight alignment and picture. Shooting one handed from this position also allows you to stand square to your target instead of turning sideways and exposing your vital organs.

The other thing to avoid is over rotating your hand the other way so your handgun is sitting straight up and down or about 90 degrees. If you rotate you’re the gun you will feel additional tension in your forearm and wrist which will cause you to fatigue faster and will make mitigation of recoil more difficult. If you notice with your hand in the pronated position, the grip panel is facing downward, allowing gravity to assist you in by counteracting the rise of the handgun during recoil.

Next time you head to the range, make sure you spend some time outside your comfort zone. Spend some time shooting with one hand and apply some of the techniques I’ve mentioned above. When you have adequate control, shoot faster but maintain accuracy. Build your skills and confidence and then shoot with your off hand as well. If you carry a concealed handgun, make sure you carry in such a way you can access and draw your handgun with one hand as well. This skill is vital to your survival. It pays to be one armed man!

Be safe, and remember: Your mind is the weapon, everything else is a tool!

Scott S

Founder – One Weapon Any Tool Firearms Training

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Carrying a handgun in a daily basis is one of the surest ways to guarantee your personal safety. A concealed firearm gives you a tremendous advantage in surprise and as a force multiplier when confronted with a threat of death or great bodily injury. Having a firearm gives you options and puts you on equal footing or gives you an advantage against an armed attacker/opponent.

One disadvantage to concealed carry is having to downsize the amount of ammo available to you or when carrying a small or more compact firearm, the number of rounds are now limited. When in a training environment or on duty, carrying around 3 full magazines (or more) is quite common. Even though I carry 37 rounds of handgun ammunition with me, it was still a limited amount when you look at some of the sustained gunfights some law enforcement officers have been engaged in. While I hope to avoid a gun battle which requires me to reload, or reload more than one time, the possibility exists so we carry at least a pair of magazines. Some of my staff who work in one of our most dangerous inner city areas are now carrying 5 full magazines or a combo of the standard 3 mags with a backup gun.

While off duty or in civilian life, carrying 3 to 5 magazines is just impractical, uncomfortable and probably difficult to conceal. The question becomes, how much extra ammo (magazines) should I carry and why? Like choosing a gun to carry this is a personal choice and does not come with a blanket answer, though I will give you my recommendations. First of all it starts with the gun you carry… allow me to explain.

The first gun I carried concealed was a Glock 17. A single standard capacity magazine holds 17+1 rounds of 9mm ammo. When this was my daily carry gun, I rarely felt it necessary to take an additional 17 round magazine with me. Overtime as I transitioned to the smaller Sig P938, which has an optional 7+1 round magazine, I always carried a spare magazine to bring my total up to 14 rounds… and I was always nervous that maybe I should be carrying two additional magazines for the little thing.

Now that I have standardized on carrying my duty weapon at work and away from it, I have found that the 12+1 capacity is a good balance. Should I have to engage a threat I will have a sufficient supply of ammo already in the handgun, however, I do carry an additional magazine (sometimes two) at all times, but not for the primary reason you might think.

Okay, so the primary reason to carry a spare magazine is to have more rounds available, there is an additional reason you should consider carrying a spare. Reliability! When working with quality semi-auto handguns, the primary reasons they fail to function or fire is typically caused by the magazine. More than any other reason, almost every failure I’ve experience has been to a faulty mag, with the poor quality of design being secondary followed by a broken or worn extractor and lastly by a worn out recoil spring.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need your firearm to save your life or the life of another, it has to work. If you have a faulty magazine that does not seat properly, or have sufficient spring tension to feed the handgun, you will be using a single shot firearm with an immediate action drill between shots. If there is a function problem right away, consider dumping the faulty magazine and inserting a different one. When proverbial excrement hits the oscillating device, you need a gun that functions and having a spare magazine with you, might be the difference between longevity and terminal lead poisoning.

There is one more primary thing to consider when contemplating how many rounds you need to carry. Ability! Probably more important than Reliability, your Ability to make hits with the rounds you have will stop the threat faster.

Wyatt Earp who carried a single action revolver (and won gun fights with it) said it best, “Fast is fine, but accurate is final.” Despite the old west movies we see on TV, cowboys and gunslingers weren’t throwing volumes of fire across town. Having only 6 rounds in a single action revolver back in a day where ammo was unreliable or reloading meant packing powder and balls into individual cylinders, one’s Ability to get good accurate shots on target first was more desirable than more capacity.

When I teach my Defensive Handgun courses I spend a lot of time emphasizing the holes on the target that fall outside the lines. I do this for two reasons: The first is the liability side of the training. You are going to be accountable for each and every round that leaves the barrel of your handgun. Each round that strays from the target is going to hit something, and I ask my students write me a check for $10 million dollars for each “miss.” While this seems silly, it is a teachable moment that allows me to explain to them that they were shooting faster than they were capable, and as a result, are going to incur at the minimum some financial loss… and if the stray round hits someone unintended, the financial loss will pale in comparison.

It is very important to emphasize that a fast draw speed and rapid shots are important skills to develop, but not at the expense of accuracy. I’d rather be the slower gunfighter that strikes my opponent and begins delivering debilitating injury first than be quick on the trigger and wind up as a bullet trap.

As a trainer I will push my students and simulate stress to the best of my ability because I need to know and my students need to know where their failure point is. They need to know that three rapid shots are good hits but a fourth shot is more than they can manage and results in a miss. This is a performance threshold that must be established.

Do you know what your performance threshold is? If you do not, you need to seek out a competent handgun trainer in your area and find the limits of your ability. If you know your performance threshold, how are you training to overcome it and raise the bar higher? Is it time for you to also seek some training? While you are training, you may also discover the capabilities and limits of the handgun you have chosen to carry and find out if the round count and spare magazines you have chosen are sufficient for your perceived needs.

Whatever you decide, spend some time contemplating the questions I have posed. I applaud you for taking personal protection seriously and I firmly believe more armed citizens make society safer. Carrying a handgun is not a decision that is to be taken lightly and equipment selection and set up should be well thought out.

With 2015 just around the corner analyze your Ability and plan to take at least one course in the new year to maintain and increase your proficiency.

Merry Christmas, I hope you have a safe holiday season.

Scott S – One Weapon Any Tool


The ability to respond to threats quickly and effectively is based on pattern recognition or schemas. A schema is a “scenario,” or a pattern of events your brain recognizes based on training, experience or pre-programmed mental rehearsals. Having a host of these developed patterns or schemas gives you a thick file folder to draw from. The more experience, training, or mental role-playing you do, the more patterns you will be able to recognize.

Have a lot of schemas stored in your brain is important because your mind and body recognize these patterns and develop sub routines or responses based on how much experience, training or mental rehearsals you have developed. If your brain is a large file cabinet, you have a drawer in the cabinet that stores information about threats to your safety. In that drawer there are dozens of folders each containing specific information about a threat event and the instructions, or rather the exact sequences of neurons that need to fire and the chemicals and hormones necessary to create an effective response to the threat stimulus.

What is intriguing is that a lot of these schema or folders cross reference each other. A human body articulates in certain ways and even when using a tool as a part of the threat sequence (gun, knife, etc.) it does not change how the human body articulates when attacking. These patterns of movement are also information you store in your schema file folders. The way a person moves also triggers responses, for example, when you see someone cock their fist back to throw a punch, your brain fires the necessary sequences to initiate a subconscious startle / flinch response and you throw your hands up to protect yourself… how you respond after that depends on your training.

There is a branch study here of human behavior and body language that I’m not going to touch on in this article. I bring it up to point out to you that facial expressions, movements, and overall behavior in life can reinforce and “thicken” the data in your folder. I will be doing some articles on behavior and body language soon, so keep following the One Weapon Any Tool & Home Defense Gun Blogs.

One of the best ways to build schema is to go through training scenarios that imbed the proper pattern recognition and response sequences into your subconscious mind. The military and police forces are a great example of how this works. During a police academy or a military boot camp, you are shown visual, audible and physical cues of how an enemy soldier or suspect is going to attack you. You open a new folder in your file drawer and your mind starts recording this information for later use. You are then taught how to respond to the threat pattern or behavior and that information also gets recorded and stored in the file.

A common explanation of this is when an infantryman is taught to respond to an ambush by an enemy. They are given a briefing about counter-ambush tactics, they assemble and go practice their responses by going through the motions of how they should respond, followed by dry runs carrying all of their equipment and weapons in a patrol formation. Finally after the instructors are satisfied the infantrymen are proficient they simulate an ambush attack (apply stressors like gun fire, smoke, simulated explosives and chaos) and allow the men to respond effectively.

They placed data into their files during the briefing, added in muscle routines, created neural connections, strengthened those connections via repetition and then applied the learning under stress to flesh out a complete file. While this is a generalization of a training scenario, you can see the steps used to create a schema for the soldiers. Should they ever encounter an actual ambush, their brain (file cabinet) will go to the threat section (file drawer) and open the ambush (file folder) and respond. The key takeaway from training, those who take training and those who conduct it, is to make sure they curriculum you teach will build a schema your student can create a mental folder around and that your training fills that folder with good information and responses. Bad training can create neural pathways as well and a bad information in your folder can get you killed. Vet the training you take!

If you ever study or talk to anyone who is a part of the Special Operations community they will tell you about a nearly constant cycle of training. From basic, to advance, to specialized, to combat workup and then onto combat, they come home for very brief time frames before they begin training again. They are constantly training in every arena available so when they encounter a threat and their brain opens the file folder it is stuffed full of data that is acted on, unconsciously and near instantaneously without taking the long road through the brain called conscious thought.

The other way to build a thick folder is to have experience. They say that experience is the best teacher but getting experience isn’t easy. Most of the things we learn in life are taught to us by experience. We all learned not to touch a hot stove cause we were told not to, got close and discovered that for ourselves, or we just touched it. Experience can breed self-correcting behavior usually because of the negative consequences associated with it. Not all experience is negative. In a life threatening encounter that you survive is one way you build and learn from positive experiences. Doing something well and right is rewarding especially when reinforced with positive affirmation.

When recognizing threats or danger the more experience you have is better. Police officers who grew up in rougher neighborhoods start off with a much higher recognition of threats and danger signs than those who did not. Not to say they are better officers than the ones raised more affluent areas, it is just the rougher neighborhoods taught them at an early age to be wary of certain people, times and places.

Survival becomes more important at an earlier age to some people and as a result their folders get created and filled with data faster. Later in life they have more schemas to draw from and can respond faster and more effectively.

Mental rehearsal is the third way you can add data to your file folders. Research has found that running through scenarios in your mind or mental practice can be up to 80% effective when applied under stress. Mental rehearsal alone will never make you 100% proficient, but it does help and work. Here is how: By imagining a scenario in your mind and going step by step in detail through the events and your actions/responses causes neural connections to form and fire sequences/networks of the neurons necessary to perform the actual actions.

When I studied martial arts and was learning to perfect a kata, I would spend time visualizing each move, hand position, foot position and I would imagine the strike or block I was performing as actually hitting or stopping a blow. Going over and over the images and motions in my mind really helped me when it came time to perform. The moves, strikes, blocks, etc. were much sharper and more defined. Daniel Coyle talks about the importance of mental rehearsal in his book The Talent Code. Top talent from all over the world in sports and music use the mental training to hone their skills. It is no different and can be used effectively in personal protection as well.

The reason creating schema is important is to make sure you are prepared to respond appropriately to a threat stimulus. If you are placed into a stressful, potentially life threatening situation and there is no schema for you to draw information from, (if you open the drawer and there is no folder) then you will freeze and your brain will begin running through the Fractional Response Pattern trying to develop a plan using data from dozens of other drawers in your file cabinet. While your brain compiles this information you are essentially frozen in place for seven to ten seconds.

While that does not sound like a lot of time, imagine standing perfectly still and defenseless while someone punches you for seven to ten seconds and you are not allowed to respond. Now give an attacker a knife… how many times can you be cut in seven to ten seconds? Now give the bad guy a handgun and imagine how many rounds he can fire in seven to ten seconds? I’m pretty sure I can empty at least two full magazines in that time frame including a mag change, if not more.

The bottom line is you need to have a plan. You need to have a schema or a folder full of information for the threats you are most likely to encounter. Train hard, train accordingly!

Be safe and remember – Your mind is the weapon, everything else is just a tool!

Scott S – Founder of One Weapon Any Tool Firearms Training.

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When looking at the gun rights debate the statistics heavily favor the ownership and carry of firearms. Every study you can find from pro-gun to government health department studies shows that areas where citizens are allowed to freely exercise their second amendment rights have lower crime rates. Even criminals admit they will avoid a house to burglarize or a citizen to rob if they suspect the target victim may have a firearm. With an overwhelming amount of data that proves that gun control is a failure, there is still an ongoing debate about a common sense right to keep and bear arms and there are two primary reasons for that.

The first I believe is control. We have a large group of politicians that want to exert more authority over the American population and impose laws that will allow them to regulate your life more than they already do. This group of elitists knows they will never be able to impose anything on a populace that is armed. One needs to only look back over the last century to realize that disarmed populations suffered immensely. Genocide is only possible when there is no chance of resistance… Anyone watching the Syrian, Iraq, Kurdish, ISIS conflict?

The first is an easy one for gun rights advocates to stay on top of. If we could just unite and vote in candidates that understand the real reason the Second Amendment was drafted, write letters and emails to those who oppose us and continue to show the stats that will always favor us… we can beat back the anti-gun propaganda. One more easy way to beat the gun grabbers is to have every single gun owner, every year take one new person shooting. Even anti-gun liberals who visit a range realize how much fun the shooting sports can be.

There is a second half to the gun rights debate that the pro-gun side is not so good at addressing… the emotional side. It doesn’t matter how many statistics you have, hoe many surveys, studies and media support there may be, none of that matters to a mother attending the funeral of a young man or woman killed by the reckless use of a firearm.

Living in California near the crime ridden city of Oakland, I can speak firsthand about the gun violence problem the town is facing. While I firmly believe that arming the good citizens who live there would drastically diminish the violence between young street thugs who are trying to live a glorified rap-song lifestyle, the mother holding the dead toddler who was hit by the stray round during a furious automatic exchange really doesn’t give a shit what the stats say about gun ownership…

As a pro-gun community I think we need to reach out to these victims on a more human level. I know we try, but too early during the incident we turn to an agenda and statistics. We need to approach these victims as human beings. A shoulder to cry on and a hand to hold is what a grieving person needs. We can show our support by offering comfort, making donations, or even simple acts of kindness like grocery donations. When we do nice things for these families, the pro-gun community does not need to announce why we are doing it. Let the act is speak for itself. If the family that was victimized wants to know why or who we are, the pro-gun side needs to simply denounce the evil criminals who perpetrate these acts and point to the individual and reinforce that the bad person, not the tool was responsible.

We need to point the finger and place the blame squarely where it belongs, on the individual and avoid a discussion about an agenda, stats or an opinion. We need to show our support for the law enforcement who is chasing, or investigating and the attorneys who are prosecuting those who harm innocents. We as a pro-gun community need to also analyze where the firearm came from, how the criminal came to access it and makes sure prosecutions or added charges are placed. While all of this occurs, we need to continue to support the victim and/or the family.

If the family continues to press the question, then honesty is always the best policy. Tell the family or victim that we want a better world, free of gun violence too. Every pro-gun advocate I know also believes there are some people who should not have a firearm. Leave the discussion open and keep your facts on hand, but not in their face. Talk to them about why you carry a gun and how much safer you and your loved ones are and how the gun itself isn’t the issue, it’s the intent of the person wielding it. Offer to assist the victim with firearm selection to prevent them from being a victim in the future. Offer to train them how to handle the firearm safely and dispel the mystery and myth behind the tool.

Owning a firearm is an empowering thing and if we handle our victims of gun violence with love, care and appeal to their emotional side, they too will realize personal protection and being an armed citizen makes everyone safer.

It all starts with an act of kindness. Use your actions to open the door and then you can start building a bridge. Remember, facts do not assuage emotions.

Until next time, stay safe and continue to train your mind.

Scott S

Couple shooting

As times become unpredictable and criminals are emboldened by weak laws and corrupt politicians, concealed carry of a firearm is rapidly rising across the nation. The fact that Americans are starting to take active self-protection measures is encouraging. You and the ones you love are never safer then when they are at the side of an armed and trained family member. One of the newer trends emerging in self-protection arenas is women carrying firearms, and as a result that means that couples are now armed and can act as a team when confronted with threats. Let’s talk for a minute about armed couples and some of the unique aspects.

The biggest advantage is teamwork. With an armed couple you can now maintain overall vigilance longer, share the carry of equipment, shoot, move and communicate and work together to protect each other and children or other loved ones during a violent encounter.

Having a second set of eyes and your arm around some one means you will be allowed to take a moment’s break from trying to stay on point at all times. No matter how good you are or well trained, you cannot stay in condition yellow for long periods of time without being distracted and lapsing in concentration. Having a partner means you can switch off and each of you can have an opportunity to shop, enjoy the sights and still know someone has an eye on your six. Having a second set of eyes also means you can overlap the areas you scan to prevent a potential threat being overlooked.

A man and a women often see the same object but will pay attention to different details. One example is a suspect description versus the vehicle he fled the scene in. If you want a good description of the clothing ask the female half. Women are keen on the fashion side and can usually give you a better physical description. If the suspect is fleeing in a car however, ask the male half as he is usually more familiar with the make, model and description of a vehicle as well as the direction of flight. No offense ladies, but most of you do not keep tabs on cardinal directions as well as most male counterparts.

Now we can start talking equipment. Equipment is a huge part of everyday concealed carry and it is very personal and specific to each individual. Chances are that a man and a women are not going to choose the same type of holster, belt, firearm, or even carry position. With the advent of firearms manufacturers courting women we have seen an unprecedented surge in off body purses, bra holsters, corset holsters, thigh holsters etc. Despite being tough and armed, the fairer sex will always want to maintain her feminine appeal. A woman is not going to switch her entire wardrobe over to tactical pants and baggy shirts to hide her 1911.

While men are less fashion conscious and have no qualms about a single preferred carry method like outside the waistband, inside the waistband or appendix carry, women are diverse and will choose the carry method based on the season, outfit and personal style.

What this means is when it comes to accessing your firearm, as a woman, you will have to develop several different draw stroke proficiencies. What this also means, is that the man in your life will have to know where you are carrying your gun and be equally familiar with how to access your weapon if necessary. You might want to spend some time as a couple using unloaded firearms and practicing drawing from a corset, bra or a purse. Lingerie and firearms might lead to more loved ones to watch out for as well. Who said training can’t be fun? J

In addition to the weapon, what other personal security tools do you carry that your partner can share the use of? Flashlights, multi-tools and folding knives are usually the responsibility of the male half, or if carried by a woman they are not typically in easy to access locations. No one wants to dig through a purse in an emergency trying to find a flashlight or pocketknife so if your better half is part of your self-defense plan, discuss the carry location of equipment items.

One final suggestion you should consider under the equipment category, is standardizing the caliber and type of firearm you carry. I bring this up because some police agencies in America make their officers carry the same or similar firearms of the same caliber so ammunition can be passed between officers during a critical incident. For example, various models of Glock, XD and Sig Sauer pistols come in different frame sizes from a full size, compact and sub-compact that use interchangeable magazines. This is worth considering in case one of the handguns stops functioning, you can keep the other one running with the additional ammo source. This also allows you diversify how many spare magazines need to be carried by each half of the self-defense team.

If the threat is so great that you have to bring out your firearm, having a partner in a gun fight is a priceless resource. No matter how skilled the bad guy may be, he will have trouble taking on two armed citizens both keen on stopping him. Any enemy that has to fight in multiple directions at one time is going to make decisions slower and lose the initiative. If you and your spouse can get inside the OODA loop of the bad guy, you are going to win the fight.

The other major advantage is that bad guys these days are cowards and need the support of their friends when they set out to perpetrate crimes. A solo sheepdog confronting a group of two or three threats is at a disadvantage, but a husband and wife with a plan and training can easily outflank, outsmart and out communicate a group of bad guys.

The key to being successful is always founded in good communication. As a couple I suggest you work out a short series of phrases or key words you can use to communicate the following: A particularly dangerous or suspicious person, an area that is suspect, when it is time to exit an area that is becoming uncomfortable or dangerous and a go word that it is time to draw your firearm. I suggest keeping these fairly mundane or something you might hear in an actual conversation to avoid drawing unwanted attention or the attention of the bad guy.

For example, if you see a suspicious person starting to approach you, don’t point to him and say, “Tango, left flank,” and begin describing the suspect’s clothing. Think of something more casual like, Honey, let’s check out the store on the left.” That will identify to your spouse or girlfriend you spot something out of place or a person with evil intentions on your left and you are alerting them.

If you are in a bad area where you feel uncomfortable you could say, “Honey, I left something in the car, we need to go get it.” This is a simple signal that only you two understand but that does not sound unusual and those who may overhear it will interpret differently.

One of the signal phrases my wife and I use when we are out and a large crowd gathers or we start to notice a situation turning badly and it’s time to get out, I tell my wife, “Honey, time for a smoke break.” Since I do not smoke the phrase sticks out to her, but to others who do not know me it sounds benign. When my wife hears that she knows it’s time to drop what we are doing, grab the kids and get out of the area.

If you do get stuck and have to resort to violence to save yourself, have a signal for that as well. For example, you can say, “Looks like I’ve been painted into a corner.” If your significant other hears that common phrase, he or she knows its time to draw a weapon and get ready to fight or flight. If it is a fight signal you should have a pre-planned out triangulation attack, a plan for a bounding extraction, or a flee signal which means one of you grabs the kids and goes with the other half covering your rear with the firearm. As you make your plan also consider non-verbal cues as well.

Whatever you decide, it needs to be worked out well in advance. You can’t expect these signals and plans to work without a bit of rehearsal and discussion so spend some quality time with your spouse or girlfriend and work out your offense and defense plan.

Remember, you are only as strong as the weakest link of your team so train hard, train together and stay safe.

Scott S – Founder, One Weapon Any Tool



I am deeply saddened to announce that Bob Mayne will not be coming to California in 2014. He is battling cancer and it has taken an unexpected turn. Due to his health, he will not be here on October 18th as previously announced.

We will however have a training course that day. I am running Offensive Pistol, our very own intermediate firearms skill building course. You can register online at the One Weapon Any Tool website and I am offering it at a discounted rate of $150.

We will try to host Bob again next year. In the meantime, he would covet your prayers.




Two words-

This week I’m going to speak on current events and use what is actually happening to emphasize the importance of what I’ve been preaching about since I started writing articles. Now, more than ever the importance of owning a firearm and being trained in how to use it can be summed up in two words: Ferguson Missouri.  

An American city has spiraled out of control in a matter of hours and as I write this, it is literally burning, citizens are scared, business owners are defending their livelihood, shots are being fired and gun sales have skyrocketed! While I welcome into the fold a host of new gun owners, they are under the false assumption that having it will provide protection.

Having a firearm is a great first step, but mere ownership is not enough. You have to know how to use it, and be willing to use violence to stop violence. A firearm is not a magic wand that you can wave around and scare away a predator with. It is a tool with a specific purpose and its intent is that of the one handling it. You have to be skilled at using that tool and ready to use it for protection. Is your level of training sufficient to wield, retain and fight with your firearm? Have you considered what areas of your home provide cover and how much defensible space is around your residence or business?

If you watch the news clips you can tell which businesses are unmolested and those businesses have armed citizens guarding them. Just like the Korean market during the L.A. Riots, citizens have taken positions and displayed arms as a deterrent. Make no mistake, I firmly believe that those citizens plan to do more than display their rifles should someone try to threaten them, or their livelihood. While I do not endorse the killing of a human over an item of property, there is a limit to how much destruction is permissible. You have the right to protect your home and your business. Check your local laws to see if castle doctrine applies in your area.

If there is another (obvious) lesson you can learn from this tragedy is that the police are not coming to help you. You are on your own, and the police will get to you when they have time. By then, they’ll take a few photos and document the incident and go back to the greater problem at hand. The Thin Blue Line is very thin… there are not enough cops out there to stop masses of evil doers hell bent on hurting you and taking your stuff. After a while, even the police will not be able to protect buildings or property and if the situation gets really out of control, the National Guard will have a hard time containing it. The bottom line is you are on your own!

This brings me to a second part of the tragedy we need to address, preparedness. Every family in America should have at least (minimum) of a month’s supply of food on hand. Canned food, dry goods, meals ready to eat and some long term food stuffs should be kept in your pantry. In a major crisis like the one in Ferguson may prevent you from getting to the grocery store when you run out of your normal stock of food. If you do get to a store safely, chances are it will be looted and they will not accept any form of payment except cash. I should also add to this recommendation a good supply of clean water. Each person will need a minimum or a gallon a day to survive. That does not include bathing, only drinking, and cooking.

While I sit transfixed watching evil reign and looting go unchecked I am gleaning dozens of lessons from what I see and hope to apply those to my training and the courses I teach. I hope this type of incident never comes to my city or yours, but wouldn’t it be a comfort having the skills, tools and equipment to survive such an event.

I’ll close by saying this about the shooting event. While concrete evidence is still being gathered, the basics are: A larger, more aggressive male subject attacked a police officer causing a significant orbital injury and at one point attempted to take the officer’s firearm. As a result the male suspect was shot as the officer defended his life. Every sign and initial indication shows that the officer acted within policy and case law. This was a justifiable homicide.

 Scott S

One Weapon Any Tool –