Top 10 Concealed Carry Weapon picks:

There are really two classes of CCW choices. I’m calling them Duty and Backup. The relative size of gun isn’t the dividing line, but the caliber. Duty level guns are chambered for duty level calibers; 9MM and .357 Magnum being the marker. Anything smaller than 9MM or .357 is a backup caliber, such as .380ACP and .38 Special. You will see as we continue that some guns in the Duty category are smaller than those in the Backup category… Try to play along with the caliber division, okay? Now, the other thing you will note is that I am not putting them in any order. I’m giving you the nominations as I see them. You can put them in your own order as you see fit.

The nominations for CCW Duty:

Springfield XDM 3.8

SIG P-938

SIG P245 (220 Compact)

Glock 19/23

HK P30

Ruger SR9/40

Glock 30/29

Beretta Nano 9mm

S&W M&P Compact

The nominations for CCW Backup:

Beretta Pico .380

SIG 232

Walther PPK/S

Ruger LCP

NAA PUG Mini-Revolver .22 Magnum

Glock 42

Kel-Tec P3AT

SIG 238

S&W Bodyguard .380.

J or I frame sized .38 or .32 Magnum Revolver

There you have it. My picks. Now, please don’t be offended if your favorite picks are not on the list. There are so many good solid choices out there that it makes any such effort to pick the best ones most difficult. This top 10 for the Duty category could easily be the “Top 40”.

No matter what gun you choose, it does you no good if you don’t have it on your person. This is why I made these two lists. (that and a lot of people asking me to) Find a gun that you can have on you ALL THE TIME. Don’t give me that “I carry a 1911 Government Model all the time” bravado if you don’t really carry it all the time. If you do – fine. But really, smaller guns are a lot easier to carry all the time than bigger ones. If a SIG P-239 is too big to carry all the time, get something smaller… just as long as you have one of them on you. Even at home. If you are on the couch watching “MASH” reruns and some thug knocks your door in… your Seecamp .32 in your bedroom doesn’t do you a damn bit of good, does it? Concealed Carry means CARRY. If concealed carry meant “in your night stand drawer”, hell, you could have anything in there… an MP5, Desert Eagle… anything you wanted. But you can’t take that with you every day for all day without someone else noticing. Have the gun with you, on you, at all times.

Good Eats.

I do not have expensive tastes when it comes to food.  I have eaten in the finest of restaurants, and I’ve eaten food prepped by the finest chefs.  And quite often I find that I would rather be eating something else… something simpler, and something more ordinary.  My Death Row Meal – Will be one of these:

Hot Dogs.  Good old fashioned dirty water dogs with steamed buns.  Top that with mustard and kraut and I could eat that all day.  Mustard and ketchup and chili… give me three and I can call that a meal.  Love hot dogs.  The simplicity of them, the versatility, all delicious.  If you don’t like a good hot dog – there is something wrong with you.  Best Dog?  Anywhere, but if I’m buying for me – I’ll buy Smithfield’s cheese filled dogs and some good spicy brown mustard.  (Classic yellow French’s if I’m doing a chili dog)

Burgers.  The Bacon Double Cheeseburger is the pinnacle of the Burger, but there are so many variations you could eat burgers for the rest of your life and never have the same one twice.   It’s such a broad spectrum that Burgers are it’s own food group.  The best Burgers?  The Buffalo Burger at the Bohemien Brewery in Salt Lake City.  Can’t get that? Five Guys.

Stew.  Beef Stew, Chicken Stew… whatever stew you have, I’ll have some.  I’m not talking Soup.  Soups are good – but Stew is a whole new level and they can be absolutely exquisite when done right.  The best stew?  My wife’s.

Tacos.  Now, the taco has some controversy to it.  Flour or Corn on the Tortillas.  Well, there is no controversy – it’s Corn.  And if you think flour – you are wrong and should fix your nasty self.  Take a flour tortilla and FRY IT.  Don’t microwave it.  Fry it.  Throw some meat on it, some diced onions, cilantro, some salsa or hot sauce… maybe some cheese and tomato, that’s fine.  But keep it simple.  So delightful.   Especially if you get them from some place that is not Taco Bell.  Now, those T-Bell Crunchy Tacos… That’s fine if you are in the mood for the crunch, but they do not hold a candle to the pure joy of a hot corn tortilla filled with spicy meat. I could eat tacos every day.  The best Tacos?  My wife’s.

Fish and Chips.  English Style “Fish and Chips”.  Beer battered, doused with Malt Vinegar. Maybe a little black pepper and salt on the chips.  Any time there is Sea Food or Fish on the Menu – I look for the Fish and Chips.  I want thick fillets, with a fried crust that’s golden brown.  And I don’t want anything else.  The best I had – was at a little Roach Coach in Richmond, VA.

Enchiladas.  If you like flour tortilla enchiladas, we can’t be friends anymore.  Corn, again.  And Fried.  Never green sauce unless it’s chicken.  Do not – DO NOT put green sauce on beef enchiladas.  Ever. Red.  Red sauce on everything – even chicken sometimes.  Lots of cheese.  Oh man… That’s Sunday Dinner stuff.  But the problem is that they take too long to prepare and there are never enough left overs.  If you make any – make 4 pans worth.  At the least.  2 pans – you are way short.  Only 1 pan – Why do you hate your family?  You only made enough for me.  The best Enchilada’s  Mine, when I make them.

Pizza.  There is Pizza, and then there is “New York Style”.  New York Style is fine… But I prefer a little bit thicker crust – like a “Hand Tossed” Papa John’s crust.  I don’t like the thick bready crusts like Pizza Hut – those oil sponges.  And I like toppings.  New York Style is too dang thin.  I needs a lot of toppings.  I like lots of flavors that work together – vegetables and meats have to harmonize.  A Spinach Pizza can be wonderful.  The most important element in a Pizza, after the foundational crust – is the sauce.  You can have everything else right, but if the sauce is lame – you have lame pizza.  And you have to have enough sauce.  I hate the pizzas that have almost no sauce on them.  They are missing out.  And I also hate the pizzas that lay down the cheese and then the toppings.  If you are going to do that – lay down some more cheese to hold the toppings on!  I don’t like just a pepperoni pizza.  That’s tired.  I need more to it… and less grease, please.  Default favorite? Papa John’s.  And I get the pepper.

The Breakfast Burrito.  The Holy of Holies of Breakfast foods and one I could eat at every meal.  I want the Burrito to be fat and heavy.  The filling – no RICE, damn it.  I hate burritos that have more rice than everything else.  That’s cheap.  That’s a dodge.  That’s a half-assed attempt at a Burrito.  The Breakfast Burrito should be filled with eggs.  Going in there with the eggs, some hash browns, some sausage, and some cheese.  Maybe some jalapenos. Maybe some tomatoes.  The tortilla here can be flour.  But it needs to be thin and chewy, not thick and bready.  It’s got to be strong enough to contain the filling.  I don’t want it breaking open mid bite.  I also don’t want to be chewing a mouthful of tortilla.  So the size of the tortilla verses the filling must be in balance.  I’ve studied the art of the Breakfast Burrito for decades.  And I’ve had it all across the country.  You know where the best one I’ve had was?
Just off I-95 at a Sheetz.  I was in Breakfast Burrito Nirvana.  I ordered 3 for the road and the only regret I have on that decision was that I only ordered 3.

Chili.  Like Burgers – this could be it’s own topic.  A good Chili is a work of art.  You can argue Beans or No Beans… But if you don’t have beans in your chili – you have Hot Dog Sauce.  Other than that, there are so many ways to make a chili, and none of them wrong.  All good. Unless you screw it up.  First off, it needs to be thick.  It needs structure.  It needs to be able to hold a spoon straight up.  Anything less and you have soup and should be beaten.  Thicken it up and live.  A good chili can be hot, as hot as you like.  But don’t make it sweet or tangy.  It needs to be spicy.  At the very least it should warm your mouth.  At the most – maybe causing spontaneous human combustion is too much.  My last chili – I made women, children, and shaved men cry.  It was heroic chili.  It was chili for bearded men only.  It was the best chili I had ever made.  The best chili I had ever had someplace else?  I had a bowl of chili at the Pelican Lake Cafe 15 miles out of Vernal Utah.  That was some fine chili.

Live Radio


So this weekend I drove to Atlanta Georgia to do Armed American Radio live in the studio.  Normally I call in, but there were people to meet and we’ve been wanting to do this for some time.  We’ve been doing AAR for 5 years now and damnit, it was time to be in the studio.

I got there Saturday afternoon… and Mark, being a Pro-Level “Pit Master” had his smoker up to temp with Meaty Goodness ready to go.    A whole smoked, beer can chicken.  Smoked to a deep red color… just beautiful.  Perfection.  Then he treated me to two unusual items.  One, was a Smoked Meatloaf, dubbed the “AAR Gunsmoked Meatloaf”.  Guys, this is freaking legit.  I’d order this in a restaurant and not ask the price.  It’s that good.  I watched Mark’s preparations for this carefully.  I will be making this myself.  Then the other thing was a surprise.  Bologna.  Smoked Bologna.  Forget everything you know about Bologna.  Amazing food.  Mark truly is a Pit Master.  He could open a restaurant.

Being in the Studio is a whole new dynamic to doing the radio show.  It was a fantastic experience and I learned a lot.  I learned some from the radio station in Vernal, Utah… but this was a whole new ballgame.  I really enjoyed the face to face interaction which makes the conversation flow naturally and improves the whole vibe.  This was the best episode of AAR that I’ve done.  The feedback was very positive and I would love to do this again, and look forward to the next chance I can get.

Listen to it here:  AAR SHOW ARCHIVES. Look for each of the three hours of the 1-26-14 Show.


Mark drove me around in this Camaro SS.  A real SS.  The car is BADASS.  Borla pipes, big bore V-8, torque enough to skin Godzilla.  It’s a monster.   Rolling around Hotlanta in a murdered out SS… Fun as hell.

We popped some rounds through a few guns, had a great time at that.  Mark wanted to break in his SIG 938 pistol and now he is convinced that I am right when I say that the SIG 938 is the best pistol that SIG makes.

Vitals of Defense

I know a lot of Firearms Instructors. Let me rephrase that… I know a lot of excellent Firearms Instructors. One of the best, and one that I am proud to call a Friend, is Daniel Shaw. You may know him from GUNFIGHTER CAST.  Daniel spent a lot of time training US Marines to be better Marines. He has translated his Military experience into a very good practical approach to Self Defense with a Firearm. This isn’t a regurgitation of other training, this isn’t rehashing of other training programs. This is a fresh and new approach without hype, and without fanfare. Daniel is very easy going, none of that over the top bravado that some trainers have… Outside of Training, He’s one of the best guys I know. You are going to enjoy this training program, you are going to learn a lot from this program, and you will be glad you got it. I’ve been watching it and it’s fantastic. I look forward to taking one of his courses in person one day.

There are two parts and each is only $5.56.  That’s less than lunch a drive through.


SHOT 2014 Impressions

This year’s SHOT Show was pretty optimistic compared to the last couple years.  Last year it felt more like a funeral as there was a heavy cloud over everything.  Year before, the ATF arrested a bunch of guys from S&W, which put a wet blanket on a lot of folks.  This year… The table was turned.
Our friends at Tannerman’s Trading Company snapped THE PHOTO that captured the Spirit of SHOT this year.

yan Horst spotted this and nudged Travis Bishop who snapped this classic picture that has gone viral.  It’s all over Facebook and hitting the blogs now.  (Even mine!)  Agree with this or not, it’s a good example of Peaceful Resistance.  One of the ATF Agents did admit he laughed at it.
I’ve posted on Facebook my impressions of some of the guns I took the opportunity to check out.

Glock 42. It’s the best .380 Auto now. Take that for what its worth… There is no reason that wasn’t a 9mm. Glock will own the .380 Market – Yippy Skippy. 4 years late, Gaston.
The Glock 41 is awesome and I must have one. Points and feels better than a 21SF in my hands. I will have one. I’m a sad Ogre that it will not be available in 10mm. Glock seems to be done with 10mm. Hopefully Lone Wolf can make a conversion slide/kit for that.
I really can’t tell you how much I dislike the Remington R-51. The feel of it in the hand was disappointing. Longer than a Solo, and a little taller… but the action when I pulled the slide back was just terrible. Notchy doesn’t begin to describe it. The grip safety is horrible too. Oh, it will sell. For awhile. I wouldn’t take one as a gift. I’d rather have a blister on my belt line than an R-51. I consider it suspect they would let a few people shoot it at Gunsite, but not let the gun press shoot it at the Media Range Day. Disappointed and Suspect move. Now, if they got rid of the Grip Safety and the stupid action and made it with a normal lock system… the gun would be good. Maybe.
Sig’s 320 really is an adhock mashup of putting a striker system in a P250. It was disappointing and I was hoping for better from SIG. Trigger felt Twangy. The gun felt more like a toy than a serious weapon to me. If this is SIG’s push for future pistol development… I find it very sad. I heard one guy say that S&W and Springfield better take note! I about laughed until I saw the dude was wearing a SIG badge. Yeah, no bias there.
Walther has a 5″ barrel version of the PPQ. THIS is the Sleeper of the SHOT SHOW. No fan fare. No glitz. Just a quiet presence in the small Walther booth. I freaking love it. I’ll get one of those too, one of these days.

The other weapon that I am impressed with and ogled was the Desert Tech’s MDR.  A Caliber Changeable Bullpup that can be run ambi.  Very well thought out, and handles well.  Feels good.  Looks good, and you can shoot it right or left handed without changing anything.  It’s impressive.  To say the least, I want it.  I think I’m going to have to start saving up.  Because it can go 5.56, .300 Blackout… and .308.  I’m quite smitten with it.  Photos of that are found here.



A good Browning High Power has always been my #1 Unicorn. Followed very closely by #2, a SIG P210.
Those are so close as to be more like 1 and 1.2…

The Browning is a very special pistol to me.  Not that I’ve some nostalgia for it… but I’ve just always held it in high regard.  The pistol is almost as historic as the 1911 and is considered by many to be John Moses Browning’s crowning achievement in handguns.
The SIG has it’s own merits that make it extremely desirable.  One is it’s fabled accuracy. The other is its accuracy.  The downside to the SIG P210 is that it’s a very expensive pistol.  It requires a lot of machining processes, which naturally increase it’s cost.  But there is a cult following of the 210 that doesn’t allow used 210’s at reasonable prices to be found.  Those that are put on the market are snagged up so quick it’s insane.  Now that SIG is officially making them again, it’s going to mean new used 210’s on the market, so hopefully this changes.  But most guys who buy one, and shoot it, do not sell them off.  I’ve yet hear anyone that has actually owned one that said they didn’t like it.  Not one.  I’ve heard some guys who’s borrowed one sour grapes..


More on this later.

I miss the good old days

When ATF was “Automatic Transmission Fluid.  When NSA was “No Such Agency.  Before TSA and Homeland Security.

Back when things made sense.  And now when something does make sense, it’s taken as a surprise.   Check this out.


Detroit— If more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Thursday.

Urban police chiefs are typically in favor of gun control or reluctant to discuss the issue, but Craig on Thursday was candid about how he’s changed his mind.

“When we look at the good community members who have concealed weapons permits, the likelihood they’ll shoot is based on a lack of confidence in this Police Department,” Craig said at a press conference at police headquarters, adding that he thinks more Detroit citizens feel safer, thanks in part to a 7 percent drop in violent crime in 2013.

Craig said he started believing that legal gun owners can deter crime when he became police chief in Portland, Maine, in 2009.

“Coming from California (Craig was on the Los Angeles police force for 28 years), where it takes an act of Congress to get a concealed weapon permit, I got to Maine, where they give out lots of CCWs (carrying concealed weapon permits), and I had a stack of CCW permits I was denying; that was my orientation.

“I changed my orientation real quick. Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed.”

Craig’s statements Thursday echoed those he made Dec. 19 on “The Paul W. Smith Show” on WJR (760 AM), when he said: “There’s a number of CPL (concealed pistol license) holders running around the city of Detroit. I think it acts as a deterrent. Good Americans with CPLs translates into crime reduction. I learned that real quick in the state of Maine.”

Robyn Thomas, director of the the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in San Francisco, disagreed.

“I think at its core, his position is an emotional one, based on the idea that people feel safer when they have guns. But studies have shown more guns don’t deter crime,” Thomas said. “There’s no research that shows guns make anyone safer, and it does show that, the more guns in any situation, the higher the likelihood of them harming either the owner, or people who have access to them.”

Rick Ector of the Firearm Academy of Detroit, which teaches gun safety classes, said Craig’s comments are unusual for a police official.

“It’s a huge, radical departure for the police chief to say good people should have access to firearms,” said Ector. “I’m not ready to say he’s pro-gun just yet, but it’s vastly different from what police chiefs have said in the past.”

Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police director Robert Stevenson agreed.

“A lot of police officers have no problem at all with law-abiding citizens having guns,” Stevenson said.

“I think it’s probably like the citizenry: Some are for it, some are against it. But most police chiefs don’t want to talk about the subject.

“It’s a divisive issue, and a lot of times chiefs are reluctant to get in the middle of those debates. Gun control, the death penalty — most chiefs try to stay out of those discussions. Craig speaks his mind; you’ve got to give him credit for that.”

According to a March 2013 anonymous poll of 15,000 officers by the law enforcement website, almost 90 percent of the respondents believed casualties would be decreased if armed citizens were present during shooting incidents, while more than 80 percent supported arming teachers who were trained with firearms.

Although Craig said more responsible gun owners would likely lower crime, in the past he also has called for a ban on assault weapons, regulating high-capacity magazines, tighter restrictions on Internet ammunition sales and more stringent background checks for merchants who sell firearms at gun shows.

Detroit police have reported 73 justifiable homicides in the city since 2011. The number in 2013 was 15, down from 25 the previous year.

Most of those cases involved citizens who defended themselves by killing criminals. Among them: 77-year-old Willie White, who in March 2012, fatally shot a man who’d broken into his northwest Detroit home.

Prior to the incident, White’s home had been broken into several times. The break-ins stopped after he killed the 18-year-old intruder, he said.

“I think these criminals would definitely think twice if they knew more citizens were armed,” White said. “I know it stopped them from breaking into my place.”
(313) 222-2134

From The Detroit News:

First Post of 2014

Well, let’s just get this out of the way.  I have a new desk calendar, so that means it’s a whole new year.  I’m really not all that hyped about the whole New Years thing.  This just means we’re all a little older and we still keep plugging along doing what we’re doing… except now we’re doing it with 58 Billion in new taxes and 40,000 new laws.  This also means we get to start worrying about Taxes and all that… Let me find my party whistle for that.

I started out 2014 as optimistic as ever, but that faded faster than my list of New Years Resolutions.  Which was first to have one.  I couldn’t find it.  SO.

For us Gun Guys, the New Years means getting ready for SHOT SHOW which is in a couple weeks.  Why is SHOT always in January?  Really it needs to be in March.  March is a much more reasonable time.  Spring time.  The new beginning.  Where as January is the dead of winter and I’ve yet to travel to or from SHOT without having to use Four Wheel Drive at some point.  Well, Last year I did drive a 4×4, but didn’t engage it.  We were however engaged by Homeland Security armed with HK MP5 topped with EOtechs… And this year I’m looking at a lack of snow and now suddenly wondering if I should fly to Salt Lake and rent a 4×4 for good luck.   Alas, the flight is already booked and the down side is that the flight plan actually takes me to LAX before rebounding back to Vegas.  So not only do I have to enter California, but I’ll be in Los Angeles of all places.   I must have been unusually cruel to puppies in another life.  But still… SHOT SHOW.  I’ve got a schedule of meetings I’m putting together, and in between, I’m going to be looking at some of the New Hotness.

Already there is much buzz about the Remington R-51 pistol, which you have all already seen.  Quick note to all those telling to look at the Remington R-51 Pistol. Yes, we’ve seen the new Remington R-51 and are blown away by the resurrection of the strange design from 1917 that was then a commercial failure but will now be a dramatic renaissance. It is a good looking pistol and different from what is current fashion. We are sure it will sell like hot cakes.  However it does not impress me. The action seems wonky to me and I don’t like it. While it has some nice features, I’m just not as impressed as some folks.  I eagerly await the return of the Savage 1907 and the Borchardt C-93. I shall start saving immediately.  But I’ll look at this new R-51 and give it a fair shot.  I will strive to be open minded, as I always am and will freely admit that I was wrong if it turns out that I am.  I’ve changed my opinions on many things as new information comes to light.  So while I’m not impressed in the slightest, if it feels good in the hand, if it has a good trigger, those are certainly pluses.  But reliability is my main concern and reliability will not be proven at SHOT Show.