7 Deadly Sins of Concealed Carry

January 22nd, 2014 by aaron

Good info here. Particularly the info on avoidance.



“What gun should I get?”

December 24th, 2013 by aaron

This is the second worst question I get asked. The worst is “What gun should I get my wife?”

As a firearms instructor I get asked the above questions frequently.  I normally tend to try to sidestep this question.  The reason for this is There is no pat answer I can give. Each person has unique requirements. Many of those requirements are not obvious to the people asking the questions of me.

I use about half an hour in class describing the pluses and minuses of various types, sizes, weights, and calibers. This allows the student to weigh everything and make an informed decision for themselves.  Frequently after this section I hear students lamenting the gun selection they made before class.

I do feel that it is best for people to try to make a firearm decision based on their particular situation.  That being said I’m leaning toward a generic recommendation of late. The events of the last year have lead me to the following recommendation.  A used Glock 23. I regularly recommend  people buy used guns. I do this because guns have the capacity to run far more rounds than most shooters would be able to afford in their lifetimes.  On top of that most shooters fire their guns very rarely. Even the police trade in guns like these don’t come close to reaching the halfway point in their life expectancy.

As I mentioned the reason leading to this decision being the events of the last year. Anyone even slightly associated with firearms has noticed the problems in inventories.  Ammo in particular has been very difficult at times to acquire. The old common wisdom was get a gun in a common caliber.  The problem with this is if you have a gun in a caliber that is that common and there is an ammo shortage everyone with a gun in that caliber will also be searching for that ammo.

The most common ammo for self defense handgun has been the 9mm.  This ammo was also one of the first to dry up and blow away when the ammo shortage hit.  Less common ammo calibers like the .40 S&W and the .357 SIG were much easier to find. With that in mind I’ve started looking toward something that would help with that.  A handgun with some versatility. A handgun that can fire mutiple calibers and types of ammo.  A handgun in .40 that can be easily converted to a different caliber is the way to go.

The following is one way to achieve it.

Glock 23 for $369.95


Convert it to 9mm for $124.95


Add a 9mm mag for $10-$35


So for$530 you get a gun that can shoot two different cartridges.


Convert it to .357 SIG for another $109.95 and it used the same mags as the original .40 S&W Glock 23.


Now for $600 you have a handgun that can run 3 different cartridges.

If you don’t care to go with a slightly larger gun you can save $10.


I am not saying that this is the end all be all of gun solutions.  In the end each person needs to determine if this solution works for them or not.

Aaron Henley

Having a gun is not the end-all-be-all of being prepared.

December 14th, 2013 by aaron

All of this may not apply but 90% of it would be very wise to prep for. It’s cheap and easy! Good project for this weekend before winter really sets in.



Guns in cars/parking lots.

November 25th, 2013 by aaron

There has been a bit of confusion over the guns in cars law. While it did decriminalize having a gun in your private vehicle in most parking lots, it did not remove all repercussions.  You no longer have to worry about being fined, jailed, or loosing your permit if you park in various parking lots.  You could still have ramifications from it however.  There is no employment protection built into that law.


Case in point.  I work for ETSU. They sent out a form showing how the new law breaks down for us as employees and as students.  If you have a Handgun Carry Permit it is no longer a crime but it is a policy violation.


So what happens if you are found to have a gun legally in your car? You will be directed to” immediately remove gun from campus” (bold left off from the original). Then if you are a student The Incident will be reported to “the  appropriate campus office”. If you are an employee   The Incident will be reported to Human Resources.

Make sure you understand the law and how it applies to you.

Best and worst of it.

February 15th, 2013 by aaron

This week held my favorite day in teaching shooting classes, the first time live firing. In each semester there is a day a couple of weeks in when the students actually get to get their hands on a live gun and shoot live ammo.  That day was this week. We fired 1500 rounds at school, all safely.

What I love about this day is the looks on the students faces. Students come in some nervous having never fired a gun and some overconfident from having fired a gun. The new shooters invariably leave with huge smiles!  Females and foreign students seem to have the best time. They are learning something new, safe, and fun.

Guys sometimes have their feelings hurt if they have shot much will feel like they know what they are doing. They have chased a can around the yard with a .22 its not so hard. Then they try to really be accurate. They learn its a whole different animal.

The bad I saw was one of my pet peeves a guy brought his girlfriend to the range to show her how to shoot. He was showing her how to shoot a handgun. Fortunately he decided to give her a few rounds through a .22 before going straight to the .45.  It really was not enough. She was a trouper. She would’ve done anything he asked. She would have fired every single round he had. But she was terrified. She was not given enough time to work her way up to the heavier gun. She actually hit the roof at least once and the target carrier was shot down by her.  Then I stepped in an moved her back to the .22. I hope it doesn’t leave a bad taste in her mouth for guns.

Sunday dates

January 16th, 2013 by aaron

I still have a few openings in my Feb 10th Sunday class.  Have your people contact me if they want in.  My Saturday classes are full out to April…

Here we go freaking out again, Hurrah! Hurrah!

January 9th, 2013 by aaron

I have been holding off on doing a prepping post till we got some time away from sandy.  I wanted to do one with some time to allow for some prepping before any of our winter storms hit. We are very blessed to live in an area of the country that is very stable.  We have little here in the way of natural disasters.  That can lull us into a false sense of security.

Weather related problems are not all that needs to be prepared for.  Job loss, death of a spouse, house fire, etc, etc.  These are all things that can sneak up on us and cause the crap to hit our fan even if it doesn’t hit THE fan.  Prepping in general can help us deal with any of those issues if they strike us.  Some of the things that could hit us can wipe out our prepps depending on how deep our planning goes. The one thing we will always have with us as long as we are functional is our wits.

An example of crap hitting the fan for a large segment of our society lately has been the possibility of  stricter gun control measures.  This tends to be concerning for people with a prepper mind set.  Especially people with almost a prepper mind set. You know, those people who know on some level that they are ultimately responsible for themselves they just haven’t done anything about it yet.

When something is looming on the horizon (be it a hurricane or a proposed piece of legislation) they freak out.  They run out and grab what they can at the last minute and hope to scrape by. Granted this is better than not even going out last minute but not by much.  They usually do not get what they would like to have gotten and all to often they pay to much for what they do wind up getting.


Take this gun crush we are under at present.  I went to BoxMart this week and looked at the ammo isle. Do you know what I saw? Not much.  Those of the mind set that “I’ll get something in a common caliber because I’ll all ways be able to get ammo” should have learned from the last time this happened.  When the pressure is on, what everyone else has is what everyone else will need.

You know what I did see?  A fair amount of odder ammo and not so sexy yet plenty capable firearms.  Take the 30 -30 not really what people would think of as uncommon. Yet they had a nice new lever rifle right there in the rack for less than $400 and all the ammo you would have wanted for it. For $500 you would have been well set.

Shotguns, same thing.  12 gauge was harder to come by but 20 and 28 gauge…. plenty of it.  They even had a couple of nice pump 20 gauge shottys for less than $250. That’s NEW guns that would serve you well and plenty of ammo for them.

Try not to buy out of fear. Try to buy out of need.  If you get backed into a corner or otherwise get caught with your pants down, don’t over look answers to your question that aren’t your first choice.



Sunday classes

January 3rd, 2013 by aaron

Guys. I just posted 3 Sunday class dates to try to handle some of the demand for handgun permit classes. If you know of someone wanting the class tell them to sign up soon. I just posted it today and have 15 signed up for the first date already.



First time carrying a gun in public.

October 30th, 2012 by aaron

I tell my classes that the first time you carry a gun concealed on your person in public you will feel like you have a huge neon sign on your head. This sign has large, red, flashing arrows pointing at you. It also has the word “GUN” flashing on and off on it. You will feel like everyone knows you have a gun. Because you feel this way you will act odd. You will seem suspicious. In cop speak this is known as furtive actions.

You need to get past this quickly.

A good analogy I recently heard from Jack Spirco about this is the first time driving a car.  Remember when you were 16 and the first time you soloed out on a public road.  You were super nervous. You were not exactly sure what you would or should do in every situation.  Now add a cop pulling in behind you… Man! the adrenalin goes through the roof!

Now look at you.  Sometimes you get home and barely remember the drive.

As a person carrying a gun concealed we are aiming for someplace between paranoid and oblivious. We are looking for comfortably confident.

Get comfortable with the gun. Get comfortable having it on you. An easy way to get this practice in a safe way is to carry at home.  You can carry at home or on any property you own with out a permit. So, carry at home. In addition to the practice you get for carrying in the outside world, can you think of a safer place for your gun to be?

Some people who have been carrying for years will get in the habit of disarming when they get home.  I think this is a mistake.  Having the gun on you will be the most secure place it can be.  You will not need to place it in a secure container. You will not need to unload it. By not unloading/reloading the gun every day you won’t place unneeded wear on the cartridges you are cycling through the gun.  Should you need the gun while at home you will have ready access to it.

All in all carrying at home is a win-win situation

The Time Monkey: You must learn to master him.

October 27th, 2012 by aaron

The time monkey.

What is the time monkey? The time monkey is that feeling of pressure you get when you feel like you are stressed for time. That stress and pressure will make you make mistakes.

So how can we master the time monkey?

Practice and build confidence in yourself and your skill set. If you break this down to a specific manageable task at first, this will be easier for you to accomplish. Since most of my classes revolve around shooting we can start there.

Once you have learned the fundamentals of marksmanship and can hit a reasonable target at a reasonable distance we can start on speed. For this exercise we will use an 8 inch paper plate at 7 yards. If you work till you can place 10 rounds on the plate fairly quickly you can start adding the element of time. Start easy. Have a buddy run a stopwatch for you or download a shot timer app for your phone. Shoot the 10 shots on the target in 15 seconds. Then work down to 10, then 5, then 3 seconds. You may be able to get even faster.

Now imagine what would have happened if I had started you out by placing the target out at 7 yards and telling you you have 3 seconds to hit the target 10 times. “GO!”
How well would you have done?
Starting slow and deliberate will allow you to get fast. “Slow is smooth, Smooth is fast”

This procedure will work regardless of if you are trying to mount a rifle quickly, shift targets quickly or reload quickly. Start slow and deliberate and work up to fast.

With some prior planning and practice you will be amazed at what you can do.

One stage in the old Army Qualification required the shooter to start in the standing position with his rifle loaded with 2 rounds and having with them another mag with 8 rounds. At the start signal the shooter must drop to the prone position take the rifle off safe fire the 2 rounds at a target 300 yards away. Then reload and fire one more round at that target. They then shift targets fire 3 more rounds. Then shift targets again firing the remaining 4 rounds. All this must be finished in 60 seconds….

The first time people shoot this usually the clock is on their mind or Time Monkey is on their backs. They rush through the string. They do not score well, don’t even get off all their shots. They fumble around with the reload. And time just slips away.

After a shooter has shot this a few times they see how much time is in 60 seconds. They get more comfortable with it. They focus on the task at hand and do not worry about the clock.

They finish with plenty of time to spare. Shooters finishing this string in 40-45 seconds with a perfect score is not out of the norm.

Work on the skill. Focus on the task at hand. Focus on doing it right.

Work till you can do this with an audience. That adds that extra little bit of stress you need to practice under. Eventually you won’t even know they are there.