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Concealed Carry Digest

Updated on March 10, 2015

USCCA President Tim Schmidt Speaks at Second Amaendment March in Washington, D. C.

Ruger and Viridian Make an Impressive Team

In a move designed to improve an already excellent product, Ruger has teamed with Viridian Green Laser Sights to incorporate a laser/light option on the LC9.

The addition of the laser/light accessory accentuates a weapon that already performs well with many top-shelf features including compactness (4.5”x 6”), accuracy, reliability and comfort.

The 9mm magazine allows for standard ammo as well as +P loads. In addition, there is the dependability of the Ruger brand, which has been a stalwart in the firearm industry.

The “Distributor Exclusive” LC9s come with one of two options; a laser or a light. As author Mark Kakkuri points out in his article “Laser Light Show: Ruger and Viridian Make It Great” at, gun-mounted lights and lasers are now considered standard equipment:

“Tactical weapon-mounted flashlights and lasers have revolutionized small sidearms, making them easier to get and keep on target during lethal force encounters…the questions swirling about the industry now are less about whether to have a laser on a defensive pistol and more about what kind of laser to install.”

The Viridian R5 laser mount for the LC9 is a customizable laser that can be activated automatically upon drawing or manually. The Enhanced Combat Ready (ECR) option reduces stress and saves precious time in a firefight by eliminating the step needed to turn the laser on manually. Viridian’s green laser also can be set for a continuous beacon or to a pulse beam. Specifications for the R5 show the beam strength at the legal maximum: 100 yards during the day and 2 miles at night.

The flashlight option for the LC9 is called a Taclight and like the R5, it also offers an intense continuous beam or pulsing beam option. The ECR is standard on the Taclight as well, allowing for increased readiness in low-light situations. The Taclight projects an oval beam and can last up to an hour at 100 lumens for steady beam and 140 lumens for the strobe.

Both the R5 and Taclight are lightweight, averaging around .75 ounces. Ruger also provides a holster customized for either of the Viridian options that easily fits into a normal pocket, but does show some imprinting. A waistband holster may be a more comfortable option, but requires use of the magazine baseplate extension. The flat magazine baseplate is more comfortable for in-pocket carry.

The end result of the Viridian-Ruger collaboration is an ideal weapon for the concealed carry holder. The light/laser options give an additional tier of security to the citizen carrying the LC9, a gun already receiving high marks for its combination of light weight and impressive stopping power.

Don’t Be a Viral Sensation

The classic television show Candid Camera would be considered a reality TV show these days. In a world that is saturated with smartphones, webcams, and surveillance videos, anywhere humans congregate seems to be fair game for someone to be video recording.

This sobering reality of 21st century existence was brought to light recently during an incident in Denver, Colorado. Steven Paula and Mason Deal were involved in a fender bender.

Deal claimed that Paula assaulted him at the scene, leaving him with a concussion and a black eye, according to KDVR-TV in Denver, but Paula was not arrested at the time.

Paula’s daughter recorded the entire incident on her phone and then posted it on Snapchat. A friend of the daughter then took a screen shot from the video and sent it to a friend of the victim. At that point, the police were able to obtain the image, giving them the evidence they needed to charge Paula with a misdemeanor assault.

Although Paula was not armed during the incident, it’s important for members of the concealed carry community to realize the growing trend in society towards using video footage as evidence in cases involving firearms. This is especially true when surveillance cameras are the only witnesses.

One of the earliest precedents for the use of video as evidence came in the now infamous Rodney King case of 1991. The video was taken from an apartment balcony and showed King, an African-American, being beaten by several law enforcement officers.

The officers were later acquitted, resulting in the Los Angeles riots of 1992, in which 50 people were killed. The video was used as evidence in the officers’ trial, but it quickly became clear that there was much more to the story as described by author John Caile in his article “SMILE! You’re On Camera!” on

“In the case of Rodney King, the limitations of the video were obvious -- the crucial events leading up to the melee were not seen. It was therefore impossible to understand why police were attempting to arrest King in the first place.”

It’s impossible to say whether the ever-present video cameras will be an advantage or disadvantage to those in the concealed carry community because each incident is different. However, the likelihood of being captured “in action” increases every day and the King and Paula examples above should serve as a warning to be aware of those blinking red lights.

Issues to Consider When You’re Contacted by Law Enforcement

Common interactions between lawfully armed citizens and law enforcement seem to give rise to many different opinions and ways to conduct yourself in these situations.

This is a contentious issue for many reasons. Some police officers regard civilians in possession of handguns as a threat.

Of course this does not go for all officers, but it has been shown that in many cases that you’re likely to be treated more roughly than normal if the police discover you have a weapon.

The first thing to consider is the law in your state. Are you required by law to inform police officers with whom you have contact that you’re in lawful possession of a firearm?

If the answer is yes, then you must follow the law and declare your weapon when the circumstances match what’s described in the law.

You must research and learn this information on your own. Staying on top of current events is also important, since laws can change quickly, meaning what might be legal one day may be illegal the next.

The majority of people who carry concealed are of the opinion that unless asked directly by police, you should just keep your mouth shut and not mention that you have a firearm.

Doing so often unnecessarily escalates a situation, again leading to the possibility of you being dragged out of your vehicle and handcuffed on the sidewalk, while two or three other squad cars arrive on the scene.

Author Mark Walters gives a no-nonsense assessment of the issue in general in his article “Ordinary Observations and Reader Response” on

“Since most encounters with the law are some form of traffic violation, stay off of that pedal and you won’t have to worry about what you would do if carrying your sidearm. More importantly, and as I’m sure ole Joe Crisafulli would agree, you won’t have to part with any of those hard earned Ben Franklins!”

Whether you’re carrying or not, it’s always a good idea to do what you can to put the officer at ease.

After all, they don’t know you or your intentions. Simple things like turning the dome light on at night, keeping your hands on the steering wheel, turning off the engine and stating your intentions before reaching for requested documents all go a long way towards a positive contact between you and the law.

How to Pick the Right Caliber and Learn How to Use It

A common myth in the shooting world is that firing a bigger bullet means not having to aim as accurately. This myth certainly doesn’t make much sense if you think about it; nonetheless, this inaccurate information continues to spread. It doesn’t matter if you’re carrying a .38 caliber or a 12-gauge shotgun; stopping a threat means placing accurate shots.

Of course this doesn’t mean you can start carrying .22 caliber handguns for self-defense.

A .22 round is simply too small, so the daunting decision of what caliber and round to carry should be approached carefully with the backing of good research and expert opinions.

A bullet’s job is to do enough damage to quickly incapacitate the target.

This generally happens by way of damaged internal organs, severed blood vessels and broken bones caused by the bullet. In order to achieve this, the force of the impact must be taken into account.

Rounds of note are those that have too much velocity and resist fragmentation inside the body. These bullets can actually pass cleanly through tissue, leaving minimal damage and the possibility of an attacker, who is still functional enough to hurt or even kill you.

A good self-defense round will do several things. It will have enough speed and weight to transfer that force to the target. Once it has connected with the target, it will begin to mushroom and may also break apart, essentially creating shrapnel inside tissue.

This shrapnel-like effect is what you’re going for; the multiple shards of the bullet going every which way will do far more damage simply because one projectile has been transformed into many.

This significantly raises the possibility of major arteries and nerve pathways being severed, all of which will quickly stop most attackers within a few seconds. With this being the case, it’s inadvisable to load your self-defense handgun with solid point rounds. These have a good chance of passing through a body without fragmenting. Use hollow point or plastic tipped rounds whenever possible.

In addition to what kind of rounds you should carry, there continues to be a lively conversation regarding men and women and the supposed calibers that are best suited to each gender.

Author Tony Walker addresses this issue in his article “Self Defense Ammo: The Search for the Magic Bullet” on

“These guys will spend hundreds of dollars on their own guns, and go to inordinate lengths to get the exact model they’re looking for. However, when it comes to their wife or girlfriend, they’ll pick out the smallest, [wimpiest] caliber and tell them, 'This one will be ideal for you, honey.' Ladies! You wouldn’t let your husbands or boyfriends buy shoes for you, so why let them pick the gun for you?”

No matter what caliber you carry, the most important thing is you. You’re the person firing the weapon and all bullets can and will kill if they are placed in the right places.

Choose a caliber that has been proven in the field over the years and improve your aim through practice. If the bullet misses or doesn’t hit vitals, you may not get the chance for another shot.

These American Hybrids are Truly Cross Breed Holsters

CrossBreed Holsters was started in 2005 by CCW permit holder Mark Craighead after years of using other company’s holsters and figuring out what was really important in a concealment holster. Like many of us who believe in the right to carry weapons, Mark was introduced to guns as a young boy by his father. When he couldn’t find the perfect holster he set out to design it himself.

By focusing on making holsters that are for the ccw market and eliminating design elements that don’t add to the functionality of the product, Mark truly created cross breed holsters, holsters that have become known across the country as being the best. Mark’s holsters are proudly made by hand in the USA, by craftsmen he has personally trained.

A variety of concealment holsters are available, from inside the waistband holsters like the popular SuperTuck and MiniTuck, to mag carriers and ankle carry models. No matter which gun you carry, CrossBreed will have a concealment holster to fit your weapon and your body.

The SuperTuck is the most popular of these cross breed holsters. Tucked into the waistband, the weight of the firearm is distributed allowing form maximum comfort. Using a standard belt, once your shirt is tucked in over the gun, the only thing that is visible are the belt attachments. A more complete concealment is achieved by using an altered belt and Velcro attachments.

The MiniTuck is the little brother to SuperTuck and is well suited for people with a smaller frame. This is the first IWB holster specifically designed for the Ruger LCP, and is also an excellent choice for the Kahr PM series guns and Sig 238's.

Using both Kydex and leather is what creates these cross breed holsters. The portions that touch your skin are made of leather for maximum comfort, allowing for flexibility and a holster that conforms to your body. The firearm itself is held by the Kydex, which is low maintenance and form-fit. This mixture of materials is an essential element to the success of the CrossBreed line.

Various options are available to customize your holster so that it fits your needs and environment perfectly. Horsehide is one of the options and this naturally moisture resistant material is an excellent upgrade for gun owners who live in extremely humid parts of the country or for those who sweat heavily.

Another option available for your CrossBreed holster is the Combat Cut. This cut is achieved by trimming away some of the leather, so the holster more closely follows the contour of the firearm. While reducing the leather results in a reduction in comfort, this option provides a firmer grasp on the gun during the draw stroke which results in an increase in draw speed which many users feel is a fair trade.

CrossBreed holsters wear well and come with a lifetime warranty, with the company guaranteeing they will repair or replace it if it fails you under normal use. Choose your concealment holster based on your frame, how you like to carry and your firearm of choice. For under $70 you can get one of your own cross breed holsters.

Finding and Choosing Gun Safety Courses

There are a variety of different types of gun safety courses to choose from, and selecting the right one will be largely determined by your specific goals as a gun owner. No matter what your reason for purchasing firearms, it is essential to learn to use and store your weapons safely.

Fortunately, gun safety courses are readily available in every state and so keeping your family safe, both in the home and when you carry your gun outside the home, is relatively easy.

The first step is identifying your goal for owning a gun. There are almost 70 million gun owners in the United States, and their reasons for owning firearms vary widely. Some collect guns for their beauty, for their historical value, or for investment purposes, even if they never intend to fire them. Even so, these owners still need to learn how to handle and store their weapons safely.

Most gun owners do intend to use their firearms. Some carry them as part of historical reenactments. Others use them for competitive events, or to hunt on a regular basis, while still others purchase firearms for self-defense and hope to use them only in practice at the range.

Many gun safety courses place their emphasis on hunter safety, which will not be particularly helpful if your goal is self-defense. If you are looking for hunter safety courses, start with your Fish and Game department or even the local 4-H chapter or local recreation department.

A convenient tool for locating gun safety courses across the country can be found on the National Rifle Association’s website. Another often overlooked resource for gun safety information is your local police or sheriff’s department.

Once you have chosen the right type of gun safety course, learn as much as you can about the instructor. Do not hesitate to check out their references or reviews online. Check out how much training they have, both in use of firearms and in teaching other gun owners. You want an instructor who is knowledgeable on both firearms and local regulations and just as important, you want someone who also has experience teaching students whose goals and skills are similar to yours.

Select an instructor who is professional, and helps you to become comfortable with your weapon. If you are a first-time gun owner, you will want an instructor who is used to teaching beginners, not someone who typically teaches specialty courses for advanced users.

While on the topic of specialty courses, if you are buying a gun for personal protection, you may decide to purchase a handgun that you carry on a regular basis. You should then consider, and some states require, special concealed carry training in addition to basic gun safety courses. This specialized training should include proper handling of your concealed weapon, practice drawing it from the concealed location, and your local concealed carry regulations.

Taking the appropriate gun safety courses is one way that we, as law-abiding citizens, who choose to bear arms, demonstrate that we take our rights and responsibilities seriously. These courses help us to know the laws in our area and to carry and use our weapons in accordance with those laws.

© 2011 uscca


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