Tennis Anyone? The Award Winning Blackhawk! Diversion Concealed Carry Rifle Case

Talk about the ultimate diversion!

We covered some of the Blackhawk! Division concealed carry products in the brand new 2nd Edition of the Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters. Just today, I saw that the Blackhawk! Diversion line won the prestigious NRA Shooting Illustrated Golden Bullseye award for 2014. Well deserved – these products are fantastic and will blend right in to the urban and suburban lifestyle.

We saw the Blackhawk! Diversion rifle case at SHOT Show 2013 and it’s stunningly effective for toting an AR type rifle. It looks like a tennis racquet case, so un-enlightened neighbors won’t freak out and call Mayor Bloomberg when you pack your car for a range trip.

The bag itself is padded and features an internal divider, so you can carry two firearms. The case holds a gun up to 29 inches long, so the idea is to carry a separated upper and lower receiver. The zippers are lockable so you can secure the bag from children or nosy line judges.

The Blackhawk! Diversion Carry Racquet Bag. Image: Blackhawk!

The Blackhawk! Diversion Carry Racquet Bag. Image: Blackhawk!

As of this writing, the cases are available in two-tone red/grey and blue/grey color schemes. Word has it that a black/grey one will be out in the future.

This is a fantastic idea and a great way to discreetly carry your rifle in plain sight.

Tennis anyone?

Be sure to check out our new 2nd Edition for 2014 book, The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters. It will teach you all the major methods of concealed carry and walk you through pros and cons over 100 different holster models. It’s available in print and Kindle format at Amazon:

Now available in print! The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

Now available in print! The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

The Looper Prohibition Capone Holster

The Prohibition Capone holster is an inside the waistband hybrid design, featuring a tough leather backing and Kydex mold for the gun pocket. Metal clips, fastened at the bottom only, fasten to the belt, allowing your shirt to be tucked in over the gun and behind the clips.

Only you will see it, but you can choose red or blue stitching for the Capone hybrid holster. Image: Flashbang Holsters.

Only you will see it, but you can choose red or blue stitching for the Capone hybrid holster. Image: Flashbang Holsters.

I’ve been using a top-secret version of this for a large gun and have found it to be comfortable and solid. The leather backing is stiff and will require a little break-in period to adjust to your body shape. This is a good thing – you want tough leather for longevity and support of your gun.

Like the other Looper products we’ve tested, this one is highly recommended. The fit, finish and attention to detail are outstanding.

Open Carry Ban Leads To Concealed Carry Win in California?

California Shall Issue Permit ProcessBack to back Second Amendment victories emerged from an unlikely source – the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In two cases filled with irony, it turned out that California’s recent ban on open carry paved the way for the concealed carry victory. Huh?

Yes, an anti-gun decision in California enabled a pro-gun court ruling. (Tweet This)

Monkeys are now flying out of my… well, never mind.

While California bans open carry at the state level, concealed carry policies and restrictions are determined at the county level. Frustrated by permit refusals from San Diego County, five residents sued, challenging the county’s requirement for “proof of need” to obtain a concealed carry permit. Apparently, if you’ve been murdered more than once, you “might” be eligible to obtain a carry permit in some locales.

On February 13th, the appeals court ruled on the Peruta v. San Diego case in favor of the residents and ruled the “may issue” concealed permit policy unconstitutional.

“We are not holding that the Second Amendment requires the states to permit concealed carry,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, a Reagan appointee, wrote for the panel. “But the Second Amendment does require that the states permit some form of carry for self-defense outside the home.”

With no open carry option on the table, and concealed carry effectively banned in many California counties due to arbitrary permit issuance policies, the court agreed that citizens were effectively prevented from exercising their Second Amendment rights.

If you can’t carry visibly or concealed, that only leaves parallel universe carry, which is a difficult skill for most people to master. (Tweet This)

In a follow-up case, Richards vs. Sheriff Ed Prieto, Yolo County, California’s “may issue” concealed carry permit policy was also shot down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The court rejected the county argument that the case circumstances were materially different than Peruta vs. San Diego.

“Today’s ruling reinforces the Second Amendment’s application  to state and local governments, and will help clear the way for more California citizens to exercise their right to bear arms,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “California officials have been put on notice that they can no longer treat the Second Amendment as a heavily regulated government privilege.”

According to the San Jose Mercury News, permits permit applications have been flooding in to a number of counties since the ruling, with many seeing double the annual average of applications in the past few weeks.

The bottom line? These two cases have solidified the position that Second Amendment rights apply outside the home – at least for California residents. At the national level, the Ninth Circuit decision is contrary to similar cases in the Second, Third and Fourth Circuit courts, so Supreme Court intervention is likely at some point.

Keep the pressure on folks!

8 Reasons You Need Professional Help

There are words and ideas that pass right through our brains like truthful reporting zips past the network news. In the shooting world, one of those words is “training.” Lots of respectable people talk about the importance of training. In response, we nod our heads and think “Yes! I need to get some professional training! I’ll get right on that!” But the moment passes, we go back to our daily life, and the next thing you know, we’re back to the normal routine – visiting the range once a month and perforating paper targets with great enthusiasm and vigor.

Pro Shooter and Trainer Todd Jarrett has the class moving fast and trying to hit small steel plates. It's an enlightening experience!

Pro Shooter and Trainer Todd Jarrett has the class moving fast and trying to hit small steel plates. It’s an enlightening experience!

You Need Professional Help!

Once you’ve made the decision to carry a firearm for self-protection (you can read more about it here), nothing can improve your ability to protect yourself and your family like professional training. Not equipment. Not ammunition. Not lights and lasers. Not watching Steven Seagal movies. Nothing.

I know for a fact that I need professional help – just ask my regular readers! But you need professional help too. Here are eight reasons why, in the form of easy-to-absorb concealed carry tips:

Concealed carry classes… aren’t.

Somewhere in the neighborhood of eight million Americans have concealed carry permits. Most of those folks had to complete some form of “firearms training.” Unfortunately state-required concealed carry permit training mostly addresses legal issues and carry regulations. Very, very few of those programs cover self-defense strategy and tactics training. If your concealed carry class does not have you out on the range drawing, moving, shooting, working on malfunction drills, and more, consider your concealed carry class as a starting point only. Please, please, please do not assume that your concealed carry class prepared you to carry a gun for self or home defense.

If it ain’t rainin’ you ain’t trainin’.

If you ever need to use your gun in a genuine life and death scenario, I can guarantee the participation criteria will be different than your decision process as to whether to go practice on any given day. Raining? Cold? Tired? “Nah, I’ll hit the range another day,” you think. None of that will matter in real life. If you have to defend yourself or family, you get no choice whether or not to participate based on your feelings or the weather. One of the best training classes I ever did took place in the pouring rain. The instructor didn’t wait it out. In fact, he was thrilled that we would have the opportunity to learn our deficiencies and improve our skills in less than ideal conditions. Wet and slippery hands, mud in our magazines, and soggy cover garments – it all was genuine. And enlightening. And did I mention, wet?

You too can learn how to create a triple malfunction.

A training class will induce just a little bit of stress, and this is a good thing. It won’t recreate the stress of a real-world encounter, but it will get your blood flowing and nerves off kilter. A little training stress can easily cause you to revert to your lowest level of performance. Trust me, I know.

In one of my classes, I managed to create a triple malfunction. The instructor was hollering at me, but it was all in good fun. I was slightly cocky about my accurate shooting and the instructor wanted to create some stress and urgency to throw me off-track. I managed to dump a full magazine on the ground, eject two live cartridges and inadvertently engage the safety before getting off a successful shot. After the class stopped laughing at my expense, we had a great learning moment. Real training, with some pressure, can show you how your “quiet range” skills might suffer in a real world encounter.

Read the rest at Beretta USA!

Five Ways To Carry A Full Size Gun

I’ve just started a new gig, as if juggling 17 projects at a time isn’t enough… I’m honored to be contributing a regular column at Beretta USA’s new blog. I own a number of Berettas, both pistols and shotguns, and will be talking about training, practice, recreational shooting and having good old-fashioned fun with shooting sports.

Here’s a link to the first article with suggestions on how to concealed carry a full-size gun like the Beretta 92FS:

A small gun like a Beretta Tomcat is easy to carry, but a large gun, like this 92FS is oh-so-nice to shoot!

A small gun like a Beretta Tomcat is easy to carry, but a large gun, like this 92FS is oh-so-nice to shoot!

Got big guns? I do.

Because I like big guns and I cannot lie. While liking big guns may sounds like a macho thing, it’s really the opposite. Two of my favorite big guns, the Beretta 92FS and the Px4 Storm, are the same caliber as plenty of smaller guns chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W respectively. They’re just larger. And that’s where the reverse macho element comes into play.

A larger gun is easier to shoot. You can get a good, solid grasp on it. It’s got a longer sight radius, so aiming is easier. The larger weight and size soak up felt recoil. When you add all that up, big guns shoot lighter and more comfortably than small guns. Heck, when I take a new shooter to the range, the first thing I steer them to, after some practice with a .22LR like the Neos, is the biggest gun they can properly hold – ideally chambered in 9mm. Why? Because I know it will be kinder and gentler to them. Less blast, less muzzle jump and less felt recoil.

As far as I’m concerned, there are lots of benefits to big guns, but only one drawback. That disadvantage is ease of concealment. If you carry a concealed gun on a daily basis, a large gun is more work. Not just in terms of weight, but the longer grip and barrel present more “bulk” that needs to be hidden away in your clothes. Depending on your lifestyle and daily activities, there are a number of ways to comfortably, and effectively, conceal a larger gun. Let’s consider a few.

Hybrid Inside-the-Waistband

92-96-IWBMy personal favorite general purpose carry method for large guns is a hybrid-style inside-the-waistband holster. Beretta makes them for my 92FS and Px4 Storm. Here’s why they’re such a good solution for full size pistols:

  • The large leather back panel distributes the weight over a large area, so it tends to “feel” lighter.
  • The large surface area against your body also helps stabilize a heavier gun. Remember that Newton guy? One of his laws has something to do with body motion, mass of your pistol and stability. I think.
  • The kydex mold for the pistol itself has a tight snap fit so your heavy gun is locked in place.
  • Notice how the gun is aggressively angled forward. The angle directs the full size grip upwards, instead of backwards, so you’re less likely to print from the back when carrying a gun with a tall grip.
  • Last but not least, carrying inside-the-waistband makes barrel length a moot point as the barrel is inside your pants. From a concealment perspective, it doesn’t matter if your barrel is three, five, or 19 inches long, provided it’s not so long that it interferes with your knee joint!

Read the rest at Beretta USA!

If you’d like to get the Beretta Blog delivered to you via email, you can subscribe here.

Carry In Plain Sight With Blackhawk!’s Diversion Carry Slingpack Holster

The Blackhawk! Diversion Carry Slingpack is a great solution for those times when traditional belt carry just won’t work.

The Blackhawk! Diversion Carry Slingpack is a great solution for those times when traditional belt carry just won’t work.

Do you walk? Jog? Ride a bike? Wander aimlessly?

If so, you might check out the Blackhawk! Diversion Carry Slingpack as an off-body carry option. This single-strap sling pack looks sporty – as in some activity that involves a ball, not a gun. After all, that’s the whole point of Blackhawk!’s Diversion line – to blend in with common, every day activities.

Like other single-strap sling pack designs, the idea is to carry this small pack on your back. When access is needed, it rotates around your body, presenting itself on your chest with a hidden gun compartment zipper facing straight up. So, like other sling pack designs, the draw motion involves rotating the pack to the front and opening the zipper compartment first. This is simply the tradeoff for situations where a more traditional carry method won’t work for you.

The Blackhawk! Diversion Carry Slingpack is designed with a teardrop shape for the pack itself. This allows you to configure the interior holster so the heavy part (grip) of your gun is on the bottom – at the widest part of the teardrop. This helps to stabilize the pack as the heaviest portion of your gun is at the bottom of the pack.

The pack is also ambidextrous. You switch sides by clipping the bottom of the strap to one of two female clips on either side of the pack. Gun compartment zippers are on both sides of the bag and each side has two zippers with large rubber coated loops. You can configure the pack to work over either shoulder and access your gun with a left to right or right to left unzipping motion. It’s super flexible.

The primary strap does not favor right or left shoulder carry, so it may not lay perfectly flat across the top of your shoulder, but that’s the price you pay for the true ambidextrous configuration options.

The pack has three exterior compartments. The primary space doubles as a concealed carry gun pouch with a solid back covered with hook and loop material. A separate holster is included that attaches to the hook and loop backing. The holster has a retention strap if you want to use it, but you don’t have to. The main gun compartment has a mesh pocket that has zipper closures on both sides, so you can safely store other gear in the main compartment, in addition to your gun. The outside of the pack has two additional compartments, one large and the other small. The larger compartment has a strap and hook to fasten a key ring. The two exterior compartments are handy for things like wallets and cell phones so you don’t have to open to gun compartment to access those.

As you can see, the pack is small and completely non-tactical, by design.

As you can see, the pack is small and completely non-tactical, by design.

How does it perform? Like any sling pack, vigorous movement will encourage the pack to rotate towards the front. The more weight you have in the pack, the more it will want to move towards your side. The pack worked great and remained stable while walking or hiking. It also tended to stay in place while biking. If you’re going to be doing something exceptionally active, you may want to consider a traditional two-strap backpack.

Be sure to check out our book, The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters. It will teach you all the major methods of concealed carry and walk you through pros and cons over 100 different holster models. It’s available in print and Kindle format at Amazon:

Now available in print! The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

Now available in print! The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

Boiling Frogs, Gun Allergies and How To Influence Enemies

Starbucks gun debate

Having spent decades in the marketing field trying to convince people to buy things they don’t want, I get it.

I get that people become acclimated to ideas and new concepts as a result of continued exposure. So when open carry advocates claim that their aim is to desensitize the public to the presence of guns, I understand the logic. Look how well it’s working with the gutting of our Constitution.

Bend a fundamental rule of law here and there and before you know it, you can achieve some real progress! (Tweet This)

What I don’t understand is the rationale behind an “instant desensitization” strategy by staging “in your face” open carry gun parties in an attempt to influence the non-believing community.

Let’s consider a recent example.

Starbucks had a long-standing “gun policy” of… following local laws. If local law allowed open carry, fine. If local law allows concealed carry, fine. That’s a win for us folks. I don’t want businesses making individual decisions about my rights. I want them to worry about whatever their business is and to just follow the law of the land when it comes to constitutional issues. If they want to dis-invite me as a gun owner under their private property rights, that’s OK. It’s also my right to shop elsewhere.

But then idiocy reared it’s ugly head. The “other” side adopted a strategy of trying to force Starbucks to become anti-gun. Even though they were never pro-gun. They were, and are, pro-coffee. That’s it. And all it should be. Gun control proponents staged protests and media events to force Starbucks to take a political position that had absolutely nothing to do with their business. While I think that was a stupid move, I understand it. After all, they’re idiots. And desperate. Well, in fairness, they’re not all idiots. They’re just choosing to make decisions from a fear-based emotional perspective. Like NBC executives.

In response, some in the pro-gun community decided that the right defense was to be offensive. So they staged “Bring your arsenal to Starbucks” days and showed up with rifles on the backs, a pistol or twelve and perhaps a couple of MK-19 automatic grenade launchers. Because Starbucks would be thrilled to have the Internet Ninja Militia show up in their stores, fully armed, and spend five or six bucks on some coffee.  Boy did we show them!

The response from Starbucks was predictable. While reluctant to outright ban guns, they did issue a statement that they politely request gun owners don’t carry in their stores. What did we expect?

So why did this happen?

The short answer is that our side orchestrated and achieved a colossal failure of desensitization.

Think about it.

If you’re allergic to guinea pig dander and head to your allergist for treatment, they’re probably not going to lock you in a chamber with 12,000 of the squeaky little rodents and hope you get used to it.

That would be an epic failure of desensitization and would cost a fortune in guinea pig food. Instead, the doctor will give you a weekly injection of guinea pig pheromones, in gradually increasing doses, until your body learns to cope, or you start to become romantically attracted to guinea pigs. The process may take years. Eventually, you won’t break out in hives when sharing a bowl of timothy hay with a couple of abyssinian guinea pigs.

On a similar note, I’ve yet to see a frog jump into a pot of boiling water. All the boiled frogs I know chose to desensitize themselves by jumping into nice, lukewarm crock pots. Then they would hang out, have a glass of champagne and enjoy a gradual rise in water temperature. Another classic example of gradual desensitization.

The point is simple. If you want to acclimate someone to a new point of view, you need to do it gently over time.

No one decides they like liver and onions or Season 8 of The Bachelor after just one sitting. (Tweet This)

Our unworthy opponents in favor of gun control are masters at the desensitization strategy. It’s rare to find a public spokesperson calling for outright gun confiscation. But that’s what they all want. Instead, they propose bit-sized nibbles that are digestible by the uninformed. “Let’s implement just one common sense measure to increase public safety.” Or perhaps “We agree with the right to own guns, we’re just asking for more thorough background checks.” Unless you’re whacked out on Mighty Putty fumes, you know exactly what their long-term goal is. If you are whacked out on Mighty Putty fumes, please don’t drive. Or vote.

Heck, I’m in favor of legal open carry as much as anyone. If I see someone open carrying, I know they’re generally the least of my worries. But I’ve been properly de-sensitized. But someone like Piers Morgan? Or the average Starbucks customer? Not so much.

When a business is being extorted by the anti-gunners, just stop by, dressed in your normal fashion. Buy something. And tell them you appreciate them focusing on their business – not the yahoos boycotting for their cause du jour.

Remember folks, we can be right, and still lose. Just ask Sarah Palin. (Tweet This)

Flexible Design Improvements From Blade-Tech: The New Ambi Eclipse Holster

Blade Tech Ambi Eclipse 2

This Blade-Tech Ambi Eclipse is shown with an inside the waistband clip on one side and an outside the waistband on the other just for illustration.

New for 2014 is a major improvement to Blade-Tech’s popular Eclipse pancake style holster. The previous design was molded specific to right to left hand use with a curve in the pancake to fit around the body. The new model features an ambidextrous holster pouch. Instead of molding the holster pocket itself to fit the curve, it’s identical on both sides of the gun pocket and features a straight vertical cant angle.

To achieve a curved fit to the body, the clip mounts are shaped with a curve. Swap or flip them to get a curve appropriate to right or left side mount.

The holster comes with two sets of clips – one for outside the waistband mount and the other for inside the waistband. The IWB clips are now molded from really, really, really sturdy kydex. This accomplishes two things. First, it won’t scratch up your nice belt as will metal clips. Second, the kydex does not lose its spring over time.

The new design simplifies things for the retail buyer, as you just pick out the model appropriate to your gun, without working about IWB, OWB or which side you’ll carry it on. For dealers, it’s a really big deal. They can now stock one SKU rather than four which should allow them to stock more variety.

Blade Tech Ambi Eclipse 1

The clips themselves are contoured to provide the body wrap for a variety of her bangles and flipping them upside down makes it work for right or left-handed users

The Seven Deadly Sins of Concealed Carry: Not Cheating Enough

Sometimes it's OK to cheat. Maybe not at cards, but when it comes to self defense, absolutely!

Sometimes it’s OK to cheat. Maybe not at cards, but when it comes to self defense, absolutely!

As the old saying goes, if you’re fighting fair when defending yourself, your tactics suck!

But cheating isn’t right, is it? It’s kind of slimy and Knights of the Round Table never did it. Politicians do it all the time, and that’s reason enough to drive the rest of us away from a cheating mentality. But when push comes to shove, whether cheating will get you expelled from the Augusta National Golf Club or not depends on the circumstance.

If most of your life competitions involve polo, dressage or lawn croquet, then cheating would certainly be considered poor form and you would easily qualify as a Bond movie villain. If your competition is a fight for your life, or that of your loved ones, then cheat like the classic 1960′s rough and raw James Bond. You remember that scene in Goldfinger where Sean Connery scooped up Goldfinger’s lost golf ball right? Technically he was cheating, but I think it was OK as he was saving the world in the process.

Even a pocket-sized gun like this Springfield Armory XD-S can be equipped with a laser, like this LaserMax Mini.

Even a pocket-sized gun like this Springfield Armory XD-S can be equipped with a laser, like this LaserMax Mini.

So when it comes to concealed carry, don’t commit the deadly sin of thinking you have to compete fairly, like dueling patricians or jousting knights. In a self-defense contest, the winners get all the blue chips, the honor and respect and the damsel in distress. The second place finisher not only fails to get a consolation prize, they don’t even get a certificate of participation. So disregard fair fight etiquette like Timothy Geithner disregards the tax code.

So how do you become a better cheater? Off the top of my head, I can think of at least four ways you can stack the concealed carry deck in your favor.

1. Lasers

Addition of a laser can make a dramatic difference in your ability to put shots on target quickly and accurately in low-light conditions, thereby giving you a potential advantage in a self defense situation. Lasers don’t make you a better shot, but they provide two benefits:

  • Effectively aim your gun while your eyes are focused on the threat.
  • Effectively aim your gun from non-traditional firing positions.

When looking for threats, your eyes are focused exactly on that – the potential dangers nearby. As human eyes can only focus on one plane at a time, by definition, your eyes will not be focused on the front sight while you’re busy searching – you’ll need to transition to a front sight focused picture when a threat is identified. One more thing to note. When your gun is in a proper shooting position, it’s obstructing much of your forward view. Use of a laser, with practice, allows you to aim and shoot, even while your gun is in a low ready position.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

The Seven Deadly Sins of Concealed Carry: Not Carrying When You’re Not Carrying

Securing your gun when you're not carrying is cheap and easy. Locks like this one come with every new gun.

Securing your gun when you’re not carrying is cheap and easy. Locks like this one come with every new gun.

Not carrying when you’re not carrying? Huh?

So maybe there was too much holiday egg nog, but let me try to explain what I mean. When you carry a gun, it’s under your complete and absolute control at all times. That’s part of the definition of carrying – it’s on your person. When you’re not carrying your gun, you need to figure out ways to secure it that are safe and secure as when you are carrying. One story about a child accessing an improperly stored gun at home is one too many, especially when prevention is so inexpensive and easy.

So how can you develop the same level of “control” over your firearm when you’re not carrying?

First, let’s define “security” in this context. For now, we won’t talk about ways of preventing your gun from being stolen from your home. Gun safes are great for that, but that’s a whole different discussion. We’ll focus on “securing” your gun from unauthorized use by children or guests while it’s not in your immediate possession. The most common gun security scenario is getting home and going to bed. Most folks probably aren’t using an inside the waistband retention holster in their jammies, so they need to figure out a way to safely store their gun at home. Let’s look at a couple of home security options.

The cheap and easy method.

Since 2005, as part of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms act, every new gun manufactured or imported for civilian sale must include a safety lock. Usually these locks are some combination of padlock and cable that are designed to prevent operation of the gun action, thereby rendering it incapable of firing. If you already own a gun, or bought a used one, you can still easily get a safety lock, usually for free. The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Project ChildSafe program provides free locks across and many gun stores will give you a free trigger lock if you ask.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

Be sure to check out our book, The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters. It will teach you all the major methods of concealed carry and walk you through pros and cons over 100 different holster models. It’s available in print and Kindle format at Amazon:

Now available in print! The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

Now available in print! The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

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