February 13th, 2021

9mm Carry Pistol Comparison: Glock, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson

Sig P365 Glock 43 Smith Wesson Shield 9mm 9x19mm luger pistol

Over the past year, large-scale social unrest and calls to “defund the police” inspired millions of Americans to buy their very first handguns. Pistol sales set new records. Americans were looking to acquire handguns for personal protection, both in the home and while away from the house. Thus, many folks are looking for slim, relatively lightweight pistols that can be carried comfortably and discretely. There are dozens of carry guns on the market currently. Here are three good choices, as reviewed by our friends at GunsAmerica.com. In this article, we cover three of the best “micro-compact” 9mm pistols: SIG Sauer P365, Smith & Wesson Shield, and the Glock 43.

GunsAmerica Review of SIG P365, S&W Shield, and Glock 43 »

After looking at a variety of factors, including accuracy, reliability, ergonomics, build quality, size/weight, and price, GunsAmerica’s tester Jeff Cramblit concluded that the SIG P365 was the best of the three: “Bottom Line — The SIG P365 wins this shootout in my humble opinion. The MSRP of $599 is a bit higher than the other guns but SIG brings a bit more to the game. The outstanding grip design, higher capacity, great sights, lighter trigger pull, smaller length, light weight and just a great overall feel make it a winning product. The other two guns are great, they have been the cornerstones of concealed carry for many years, and I have personally carried both of them, but SIG has changed the game.”

Choosing a Carry Pistol — Performance, Reliability, Value
This Editor owns two SIG Sauer pistols, a P226 and P232. Both are “old school” metal-framed handguns. I can attest to their quality and reliability over many years. So I’m not surprised to see that SIG’s new P365 took top honors in this recent test. But I also think the Smith & Wesson Shield also offers excellent value for the dollar. The S&W 9mm Shield is ON SALE now for $289.99 at Palmetto State Armory.

This YouTube Video Compares the SIG P365 and the S&W Shield

Accuracy with Various Ammo
In the GunsAmerica Test, the SIG P365 had the best accuracy, based on five (5) different types of 9x19mm ammo shot off-hand at 25 yards. The SIG’s average 5-shot, 25-yard group size was 1.45″, vs. 1.7″ for the Glock 43, and 2.1″ for the S&W Shield. The P365’s accuracy edge may be due in part to its lighter, 5.1-lb trigger pull compared to 6 lbs. for the S&W Shield, and 6.25 lbs. for the Glock 43.

Sig P365 Glock 43 Smith Wesson Shield 9mm 9x19mm luger pistolDimensions — Width and Weights
Size matters — particularly when it comes to a carry pistol. The S&W Shield is the narrowest of the three guns at 1.03″ wide vs. 1.11″ for the P365 and 1.36″ for the Glock 43. Though it has the highest round capacity, the SIG P365 actually has the smallest grip circumference and grip depth. Weight-wise, the Glock 43, at 18 oz. unloaded, is the lightest. The SIG P365 is 18.8 oz., while S&W Shield is the heaviest at 20.5 oz. weight.

Capacity — SIG P365 Has the Edge
The SIG P365, holding 10+1 rounds, has the highest ammo capacity. This is remarkable as the P365 has the smallest grip circumference of the three pistols. Kudos to SIG for clever design. The S&W Shield has an 8+1 capacity, while the Glock 43 only holds 6+1. Advantage SIG.

Sig P365 Glock 43 Smith Wesson Shield 9mm 9x19mm luger pisto

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January 8th, 2021

Eight Great Books for Handgun Owners

Pistol Marksmanship training book
Jessie Harrison — one of the greatest female pistol shooters on the planet. In the video below, Jessie offers good tips on safe handgun mag changes.

In this Pro Tip Video, Jessie Harrison talks about Dry-Fire Pistol Training:

One of our Forum members asked: “Are there any good books on pistol marksmanship? I’m looking for a book that covers techniques and concepts….” Here are eight recommended titles that can make you a better pistol shooter. These books run the gamut from basic handgun training to CCW to Olympic-level bullseye shooting.

Pistol Marksmanship training book 1911 race gunGood Guidebooks for Pistol Shooters
There are actually many good books which can help both novice and experienced pistol shooters improve their skills and accuracy. For new pistol shooters, we recommend the NRA Guide to the Basics of Pistol Shooting. This full-color publication is the designated student “textbook” for the NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course.

If you’re interested in bullseye shooting, you should get the USAMU’s The Advanced Pistol Marksmanship Manual. This USAMU pistol marksmanship guide has been a trusted resource since the 1960s. Action Shooters should read Practical Shooting: Beyond Fundamentals by Brian Enos, and Practical Pistol by Ben Stoeger. Brian Enos is a well-known pistol competitor with many titles. Ben Stoeger is a two-time U.S. Practical Pistol shooting champion. Julie Golob’s popular SHOOT book covers pistol marksmanship, along with 3-Gun competition. Julie holds multiple national pistol shooting titles.

concealed carry ccw pistol book

For CCW holders carrying defensive pistols we recommend two good guidebooks. Concealed Carry Class: The ABCs of Self-Defense Tools and Tactics is like a complete CCW class, covering both gun handling and legal issues. To understand when, and how, you have a right to defensive firearms use, read Massad Ayoob’s Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self Defense.

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December 16th, 2020

Self-Defense Skills — Important Advice for Concealed Pistol Carry

Handgun pistol concealed carry Julie Golob
Main photo from NRAFamily.org.

With the civil unrest happening around the country in Democrat-run cities, more citizens are getting CCW permits and carrying self-defense pistols. With the right to carry come responsibilities of course. You should train with your pistol, and always practice gun safety. In this article, S&W pro shooter Julie Golob offers advice for concealed pistol carry.

Our friend Julie hosts a series of handgun instructional videos for Shooting USA. While Julie uses pistols mostly for competition, this U.S. Army veteran also values handguns for self-defense. In this video series, Julie first talks about important gun safety rules, then she offers training advice for persons who carry concealed handguns. The third video covers options for carry a weapon “off-body”, i.e. not in a normal holster on concealment rig on one’s person.

1. GUN SAFETY — Whether you own 1 gun or 100, gun safety must always be your main priority. Here Smith & Wesson Team Captain Julie Golob covers the basics of gun safety.

2. PRACTICE for CONCEALED CARRY — Engaging a threat from concealment could be the most important skill of your life and it takes practice to be proficient. In this video, S&W’s Julie Golob demonstrates some practice drills for concealed carry.

3. OFF-BODY CONCEALED CARRY OPTIONS — There are instances where carrying a concealed weapon on your body in a holster (or deep cover pouch) is not always practical. Here Julie explains various techniques to carrying a concealed handgun “Off Body”.

Julie Golob

Julie — pistol champion, Army veteran, wife and mother, is also an accomplished author, who has written about the shooting sports in many shooting publications, newswires, and internet blogs. Her book, Shoot: Your Guide to Shooting and Competition, serves as both an introduction to firearms for novices and a primer to help experienced shooters improve their skills.

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December 2nd, 2020

If You’re Packin’ a Pistol — Read These Tips for CCW Holders

Beretta CCW Ten Tips Concealed Carry Guide Instruction book

Do you have a concealed carry permit, or do you plan to carry a concealed handgun in the future? Then you can benefit from Beretta’s FREE 15-page e-book, Ten Essential Tips for CCW Holders. This eBook, in handy PDF format, helps gun owners select an appropriate handgun (and holster), understand legal obligations and responsibilities, and train effectively with the firearm. This short eBook offers many useful tips to consider, in particular for gun owners who are contemplating the pros and cons of everyday carry for themselves.

CLICK HERE for 10 Essential Tips for CCW Holders »

As the Beretta CCW booklet says, “Carrying a concealed handgun requires a certain amount of confidence. You need to be confident in your knowledge of laws and regulations. You have to have confidence in your accuracy, and you need to trust that you can carry a gun effectively, securely and comfortably. If a gun is a burden for you to carry, you probably won’t.”

Surprising Facts About Actual Defensive Handgun Use
You may be surprised to learn when and how handguns are actually used for self-defense. Most defensive uses are at very short range and the incident only lasts a matter of seconds. You need to be prepared, and train to be proficient drawing and aiming your weapon. And remember, shooting is a last resort, when a safe retreat is not available.

55% of gunfights take place in 0-5 feet.
20% of gunfights take place in 5-10 feet.
20% of gunfights take place in 10-21 feet.
95% of gunfights take place in 0-21 feet. (Source: FBI)
The average man can cover 21 feet of ground in 1.5 seconds.
The average gunfight is over in 3-5 seconds.
3 to 4 shots are usually fired.
Most gunfights take place in low-light conditions.
On average, one shot in four strikes someone.

Here are two (2) sample pages from Beretta’s CCW eBook.

Beretta CCW Ten Tips Concealed Carry Guide Instruction book

Beretta CCW Ten Tips Concealed Carry Guide Instruction book

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November 4th, 2020

30 “Every Day Carry” Holsters Reviewed for CCW Holders

Holster CCW review EDC Every day carry pistol handgun

Here at AccurateShooter.com, we’re more about rifles than pistols. But we know that the majority of our regular readers own handguns, and many also have concealed carry (CCW) permits. And with the prospect of social unrest following the election, we expect more reader than ever will be “packing” a sidearm. Accordingly, we’ve found a great resource for CCW holders that can help you select a holster. On the Shooting Illustrated website you’ll find a detailed review of 30 different holster types. Each holster is illustrated, with pros and cons explained. These are all EDC holsters, meaning those designed for “Every Day Carry”.

SEE Full HolsterPallooza Story with 30 Holster Reviews »

Shooting Illustrated calls this article “HolsterPallooza” and it really does provide a ton of helpful information. Most other holster reviews on the web may feature a half-dozen holsters at the most. In this Holsterpallooza article you can see 30 holsters, with a wide variety of materials, designs, and applications. There are small molded IWB holsters for CCW, conventional on the belt holsters, leather shoulder holster rigs, and even ankle holsters. This is a great place to start if you are in the market for a holster.

Holster CCW review EDC Every day carry pistol handgun
Here’s sample of the many holster options reviewed, an innovative hybrid IWB holster constructed with leather over Kydex. That gives you the “best of both worlds” — the secure fit/retention of a molded Kydex shell, with an attractive leather exterior.

Shooting Illustrated explains: “As the interface between your gun and your body, the holster is a vital component of your carry rig. In many cases, the circumstances of your daily life will determine the method of carry you choose. This, in turn, will determine what type of holster you need, which may end up determining the handgun you carry. Therefore, choosing the method and type of holster may be as, or even more important than, choosing a firearm.”

MORE Reviews — Hickok 45 Reviews 15 CCW Holsters:

If you want to see even MORE holsters for “Every Day Carry” (EDC), check out this video from Hickok 45. This popular YouTube host looks at 15 different IWB holsters from a number of manufacturers. Hickok 45 examines many hybrid holsters that combine Kydex or plastic with leather for increased comfort. He has his favorites… and they might not be what you’d expect. NOTE: As this video has been watched over 900,000 times, you may also want to read the viewer comments. There are many helpful suggestions from CCW holders who carry daily.

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October 11th, 2020

As More American Carry Guns, USCCA reaches 500,000 Members

USA Concealed carry pistol weapon CCW safety
According to the NRA-ILA, the number of concealed handgun permits reached 18.66 million in 2019 – a 304% increase since 2007. And many more have been issued in 2020.

In America, a violent crime happens every 26 seconds (FBI statistics). Because of this, and growing concerns over social unrest and riots, more Americans than ever before are buying handguns and getting CCW permits. To help Americans understand concealed carry laws, get trained properly, and have legal support after an incident, the U.S. Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) was created. This organization has been very successful, experiencing more than 30% year-over-year growth since 2016.

CCW holders can definitely benefit from USCCA membership, primarily because of the legal services that are offered by the USCCA. If you even draw a firearm in an encounter, you will probably need a lawyer, and need one immediately. The USCCA states: “If you ever have to defend yourself or your family, you’ll have access to a local attorney, the financial funding to protect against criminal charges and civil suits, and instant connection to our emergency response team.”

USA Concealed carry pistol weapon CCW safety

Proper Training is Very Important for CCW Holders
The USCCA recently announced that its organization has reached over half a million members, keeping pace with record-breaking 2020 firearm sales across the nation. This surge in membership demonstrates that firearms education and training remains a top priority. The USCCA also reported a 620% increase in online training/education courses through the first nine months of 2020 compared to all of 2019.

“Record numbers of Americans are embracing their Second Amendment rights and in doing so, they are turning to the USCCA for industry-leading self-defense education, training and legal protection”, said Tim Schmidt, president and founder of the USCCA. “Our mission is to help save lives and so it is both incredible and humbling that more than 500,000 Americans have now joined the USCCA[.]”

USA Concealed carry pistol weapon CCW safety

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April 16th, 2020

Learn the Law: 50-State Guide to Firearms Laws

Legal Heat 50 state book firearms CCW concealed carry laws

Legal Heat, a major firearms training firm*, has released the 2020 Edition of the 50 State Guide to Firearm Laws and Regulations. For each state, this $20 book covers key firearms laws, lists prohibited areas, and provides key statutory references for further research. With over 20,000 gun laws nationwide affecting concealed carry permit holders, Legal Heat’s 50 State Guide helps gun owners stay informed about important gun statutes and regulations.

The Legal Heat 50 State Guide is an authoritative reference guide on concealed carry and transport laws with concise synopses, including legal citations. Written and edited by attorneys and firearms instructors. This full-color, $20 book provides a comprehensive overview of state and Federal gun laws, serving as a quick reference guide for travelers.

Legal Heat 50 state book firearms CCW concealed carry laws

Key Topics Covered in Dedicated Sections
The Legal Heat 50 State Guide has specific sections dedicated to important topics, such as Gun Transport at Airports, Police Stops, Inter-State Travel, and Purchasing/Selling. Having these and other key topics clearly outlined is one of the compelling reasons to buy the book. Here are the Key Topics:

- Airports
– Police Encounters
– State-to-State Firearms Transport in Vehicle
– Purchasing/Selling A Firearm
– Castle Doctrines
– AMTRAK
- U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers Land
– National Parks And Monuments
– BLM Land
– Indian Reservations
– May Issue Vs. Shall Issue States
– Contact Info For Attorney Generals

State by State Law Summaries
For every one of the 50 U.S. STATES, there is a dedicated summary covering:

1. All Prohibited Areas for Firearms
This Section Is Essential Knowledge For All Concealed Firearm Permit Holders.
2. Self-Defense and Firearms Laws
3. Reciprocity (Recognition of Other State’s Permits)
This lists ALL fiream permits from other states that are recognized.
4. Self Defense And Firearm Laws Statutory References (For Additional Research)
5. Ratings of Each State for “Friendliness” to gun owners.

Video Summary of 50 State Firearms Guide
This video covers the highlights of the Legal Heat 50 State Guidebook. This shows the 2018 Edition, but the 2020 Edition contains all those elements, updated with current law changes.


* With over 250,000 certified students, Legal Heat claims to be the nation’s largest firearms training company. Legal Heat provides in-person as well as online training, and works with major gun retailers including Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, and Sportsman’s Warehouse. CLICK HERE for more information on Legal Heat Training Programs.

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April 11th, 2020

Carry Pistol Comparison: SIG P365, S&W Shield, Glock 43

Sig P365 Glock 43 Smith Wesson Shield 9mm 9x19mm luger pistol

Given the Coronovirus Pandemic, many Americans are looking to acquire handguns for personal protection, both in the home and while away from the house. Thus, many folks are looking for slim, relatively lightweight pistols that can be carried comfortably and discretely. There are dozens of carry guns on the market currently. But our friends at GunsAmerica.com have recently reviewed three of the best “micro-compact” 9mm pistols: SIG Sauer P365, Smith & Wesson Shield, and the Glock 43.

GunsAmerica Review of SIG P365, S&W Shield, and Glock 43 »

Note: There seem to be some connection issues with GunsAmerica on 4/11/20.

After looking at a variety of factors, including accuracy, reliability, ergonomics, build quality, size/weight, and price, GunsAmerica’s tester Jeff Cramblit concluded that the SIG P365 was the best of the three: “Bottom Line — The SIG P365 wins this shootout in my humble opinion. The MSRP of $599 is a bit higher than the other guns but SIG brings a bit more to the game. The outstanding grip design, higher capacity, great sights, lighter trigger pull, smaller length, light weight and just a great overall feel make it a winning product. The other two guns are great, they have been the cornerstones of concealed carry for many years, and I have personally carried both of them, but SIG has changed the game.”

Choosing a Carry Pistol — Performance, Reliability, Value
This Editor owns two SIG Sauer pistols, a P226 and P232. Both are “old school” metal-framed handguns. I can attest to their quality and reliability over many years. So I’m not surprised to see that SIG’s new P365 took top honors in this recent test. But I also think the Smith & Wesson Shield also offers excellent value for the dollar. The S&W 9mm Shield is ON SALE now for $289.99 at Palmetto State Armory.

This YouTube Video Compares the SIG P365 and the S&W Shield

Accuracy with Various Ammo
In the GunsAmerica Test, the SIG P365 had the best accuracy, based on five (5) different types of 9x19mm ammo shot off-hand at 25 yards. The SIG’s average 5-shot, 25-yard group size was 1.45″, vs. 1.7″ for the Glock 43, and 2.1″ for the S&W Shield. The P365’s accuracy edge may be due in part to its lighter, 5.1-lb trigger pull compared to 6 lbs. for the S&W Shield, and 6.25 lbs. for the Glock 43.

Sig P365 Glock 43 Smith Wesson Shield 9mm 9x19mm luger pistolDimensions — Width and Weights
Size matters — particularly when it comes to a carry pistol. The S&W Shield is the narrowest of the three guns at 1.03″ wide vs. 1.11″ for the P365 and 1.36″ for the Glock 43. Though it has the highest round capacity, the SIG P365 actually has the smallest grip circumference and grip depth. Weight-wise, the Glock 43, at 18 oz. unloaded, is the lightest. The SIG P365 is 18.8 oz., while S&W Shield is the heaviest at 20.5 oz. weight.

Capacity — SIG P365 Has the Edge
The SIG P365, holding 10+1 rounds, has the highest ammo capacity. This is remarkable as the P365 has the smallest grip circumference of the three pistols. Kudos to SIG for clever design. The S&W Shield has an 8+1 capacity, while the Glock 43 only holds 6+1. Advantage SIG.

Sig P365 Glock 43 Smith Wesson Shield 9mm 9x19mm luger pisto

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April 7th, 2020

Blue States Seek to Disable Insurance for Gun Owners

insurance commissioner gun ccw law montana NRA

Article based on report from Montana Shooting Sports Association.
Some states with anti-gun leadership are aggressively trying to eliminate insurance programs that help protect gun owners who may be forced to use a gun in self-defense. These liberal-controlled states claim they can block such self-defense insurance coverage because insurance is not allowed for an “illegal activity”. Interesting theory — since when did self-defense become illegal? The right of armed self-protection is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

Most states have a position titled “Insurance Commissioner”, a public official (usually elected) who regulates insurance matters. We are seeing harsh anti-gun policies being pushed through by State Insurance Commissioners, often as the behest of Democratic-party Governors or Legislative leaders.

For example, in Washington State, the Office of Insurance Commissioner (OIC) sent cease and desist letters to the NRA (regarding previously offered Carry Guard*), the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA), the Armed Citizen Legal Defense Network, U.S. Law Shield, Firearms Legal Protection, and CCW Safe, demanding that all quit doing business in Washington State. California’s Insurance Commissioner blocked NRA Carry Guard Insurance, and the same thing is likely to happen in other states in the months ahead…

insurance commissioner gun ccw law montana NRA

Gary Marbut, President of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, says that citizens need to be concerned with state candidates for Insurance Commissioner (or equivalent state official): “In Montana, the function of an insurance commissioner is performed by the State Auditor, an elected position most people don’t think about much. Because of the attack on self-defense insurance in other states, the race for State Auditor is worth paying attention to in Montana. As voters, you and your friends should know which candidates pledge that self-defense insurance will NOT be targeted for eradication in Montana.”

That advice should be headed by citizens in other states as well. With so many attacks on Second Amendment rights from liberal politicians (and the mainstream news media), we don’t want state insurance rules to be used to disarm law-abiding citizens, or subject them to increased risk of lawsuits.


*The NRA’s Carry Guard Insurance program is no longer offered. Cancellation of this program is due largely to aggressive actions by State Insurance Commissioners in blue states such as California, New York, and Washington.

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August 13th, 2019

NRA Personal Protection EXPO Coming up in Texas

concealed carry permit CarryGuard NRA Utah Virginia permit class convention

Serious competitive shooters and hunters often travel across state lines to pursue their hobbies. And many of those same firearms owners have pistol carry permits. If you are looking to improve your skills and confidence as a CCW-holder, you may want to attend the upcoming NRA Personal Protection EXPO in Fort Worth, Texas. The event will be held September 6-8, 2019, at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

SEE EXPO Booth Floor Plan » | SEE EXPO Seminar Schedule »

At the EXPO, dozens of companies will display guns, holsters, ammo, and accessories. In addition, there will be many interesting self-defense and gun rights seminars. The NRA Personal Protection Expo is a three-day trade show for individuals interested in increasing their knowledge and skills of personal protection, concealed carry and home defense. This event showcases “the products, skills, knowledge and mindset necessary to be prepared to respond when a threat arises.”

EXPO Seminar Topics
EXPO visitors can attend more than 120 seminars and workshops. These will include self-defense techniques, home defense and preparedness, situational awareness, concealed carry techniques and lifestyle, medical and trauma training, and much more. Here are some of the Notable Seminars and Workshops at the Personal Protection EXPO:

Enhancing Your CCW Shooting Skills »

concealed carry permit expo ccw shooting skills self defense pistol

Home Defense — Safeguarding Physical Security »

concealed carry permit expo ccw shooting skills self defense pistol

Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events »

concealed carry permit expo ccw shooting skills self defense pistol

First-Care Provider — When Seconds Count »

concealed carry permit expo ccw shooting skills self defense pistol

Methods of Concealed Carry »

concealed carry permit expo ccw shooting skills self defense pistol

Basic Travel Security (Host E. Penny, Former Navy SEAL) »

concealed carry permit expo ccw shooting skills self defense pistol

Panteo Handgun video concealed carry pistol free

Panteo Productions offers a three-part video series for gun permit holders. Part Two of this series covers key concealed carry permit considerations.

In the video, A Concealed Carry Permit, instructors Kyle Harth and Massad Ayoob carrying a handgun for self-defense, and the important issues associated with defensive gun use. This video reviews concealed carry, traveling from state to state, prohibited carry locations, the use of deadly force, protection of persons and property, and interaction with law enforcement. If you are considering obtaining a concealed carry permit or live in a state where you can carry open or concealed without a permit, this video is for you.

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May 3rd, 2019

Carry Gun Bargains — Five Pistols under $250.00

Carry pistol $250 bargain ccw handgun review discount sales

We frequently receive inquiries about compact self-defense pistols. Many folks ask: “What’s a good compact pistol I can carry or keep in a vehicle during trips?” Of course, there is the Glock 19. And the new Sig Sauer P365 is quite good. But they are both around $500.00. You can spend half that and still get a reliable carry pistol with lifetime warranty and good ergonomics.

Here are five compact and sub-compact handguns, all available now for under $250.00. In fact, our final choice, the Keltec P32, is currently just $149.00. That’s a serious bargain … it’s a buyers’ market right now.

1. Walther Creed 9mm — $249.99 at CDNN sports

Walther Creed  9mm carry pistol handgun bargain cdnn sale discount

The Walther Creed offers excellent ergonomics, good accuracy, and well-designed controls at a killer price — $249.99 at CDNN Sports. This gun, designed to be a value-leader, emulates Walther’s more expensive PPQ model (MSRP $649.00) at a much lower price. The Creed’s frame size and shape is the same as the PPQ, but the Creed lacks interchangeable backstraps. Slide and trigger are very similar. The Creed features a snag-free bobbed hammer. Testers have praised the new Creed, saying that, despite the bargain price, it “sacrifices little to nothing in… ergonomics, accuracy, and reliability.”

2. Smith & Wesson 9mm Shield — $249.00 at GunPrime.com

We like Smith & Wesson compact pistols. Many users find the grip more comfortable than a Glock, and we like Smith & Wesson customer support. Right now Smith & Wesson 9mm Shield on sale for just $249.00. This striker-fired, polymer-framed pistol features a 3.125″ barrel, thumb safety, and ships with two magazines. You’ll find a full review of this pistol, from a lady’s perspective, on Guns.com.

3. Ruger EC9 9mm — $209.99 at Brownells with CODE M8Y

Ruger 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownells

Ruger 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownellsThe striker-fired Ruger EC9 features a 3.12″ barrel and measures 6.0″ overall. This 1.07-lb EC9 is slim for easy concealment. Weighing just 1.07 lbs., this is definitely an “all-day carry” option. With Brownell’s current sale pricing and promo codes, you can get this little pistol for just $209.99 delivered (see right). You heard that right. Sale price is currently $219.99 with a $10 handling charge. However, during check-out you can use code “M8Y” to receive $20 Off and get FREE delivery. That lowers your net cost, so that your all-up price, delivered to your FFL, is just $209.99.

That’s a great price for a reliable gun backed by Ruger. Here is a recent review from verified buyer: “It’s an LC9 with fixed sights that are milled into the slide. Same trigger. Same frame. Sweet shooter. Perfect for concealed carry. Can’t beat it for the price.”

4. Taurus G2c 9mm — $184.99 with Factory Rebate

Carry pistol $185 bargain Taurus G2C ccw handgun review discount sales

This is a good little gun at a great price. Taurus is running a factory rebate through the end of May 2013. Palmetto State Armory has the OD Green-frame Taurus G2c 9mm for just $209.99 with FREE shipping. But the Taurus $25 Factory Rebate lowers your price to just $184.99 for this G2C. Or, if you like basic black, you can get a black-framed G2c for $174.99 after rebate. Despite its small size, the G2c has a 12-round magazine. We like the fact it has a left-side manual safety (unlike the Glock).

5. KelTec P32 .32 ACP – $149.00 at GunPrime

Keltec .32 acp P32 P-32 pocket CCW concealed pistol handgun $149

Here’s a very small gun, in a small caliber. This is a choice for those seeking “ultimate concealability”. The P32 can be carried in a pants pocket, or small purse. The .32 ACP cartridge doesn’t have the stopping power of a 9mm of course, but this can be a good back-up gun (with ankle carry), or it can serve when a larger 9mm just isn’t practical. Currently Gunprime.com has the Keltec P32 for just $149.00. That’s just about the cheapest price you’ll find for a new American-made carry gun. The P32 has low-profile sites and a 7-round magazine.

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December 7th, 2018

Self-Defense Handguns — Ladies Choose Their Favorites

Self Defense Pistol Options Female Lady Ladies concealed carry permit CCW women

Women are arming themselves — millions of females now have carry permits. What factors should women consider when choosing a handgun for self-defense? What are good choices for a lady’s defensive handgun, suitable for concealed carry? Is a self-loading pistol better than a revolver?

We thought it was best for to hear the ladies’ own perspectives on these questions. After all they are the ones who will be carrying the firearm in a purse or on their person. In this article we include three videos focusing on handgun options for females. The videos cover six key factors: function, size, weight, ergonomics, reliability, and concealability.

Self Defense Pistol Options Female Lady Ladies concealed carry permit CCW women

Classic Swiss Precision — the Sig P239
The single-stack Sig P239 is an ultra-reliable, compact pistol with a grip suitable for smaller female hands. Weighing 25 oz. in 9mm, it is slightly heavier than polymer-framed handguns, but that may be a good thing. During my handgun training days, this Editor found most women shot the Sig P239 better than Glocks, with more control over recoil. This is a hammer-fired pistol with decocker but no separate safety. There are many other good handgun options for concealed carry — some smaller, thinner and lighter, but the Sig P239 provides a good benchmark for reliability and accuracy. Shown is the .40 S&W model. We prefer the 9mm Luger version. Photo Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0.

Choosing a Self-Defense Handgun — Ladies Explain the Options


Self Defense Pistol Options Female Lady Ladies concealed carry permit CCW women



Self Defense Pistol Options Female Lady Ladies concealed carry permit CCW women


Not Just a Guy Thing — 23% of Gun Owners are Women

Women & Guns magazineHere’s an interesting statistic — according to an NSSF survey, the percentage of gun owners who are female has increased dramatically since 2005. Back in 2005, just 13% of U.S. gun owners were women. By 2012 that number had risen to 23% — a huge increase in less than a decade.

The vast majority of first-time female gun buyers acquire a handgun for defensive purposes. However, the statistics also show that many new female gun owners are also getting involved in sport shooting and/or competitive shooting.

NRA News host Cam Edwards has interviewed Celia Bigelow, who has written about the rise of gun ownership among ladies on the Townhall.com website. Tune in to the interview on Cam Edwards’ YouTube Channel. CLICK HERE for interview.

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April 19th, 2018

Three Under $300 — Trio of 9mm Carry Pistols All under $300.00

CCW 9mm 9x19mm Pistols Brownells Bargain Smith Wesson Walther Creed Ruger

We frequently receive inquiries about compact self-defense pistols. Many folks (some of whom already own a full-sized pistol) ask: “What’s a good compact 9mm pistol I can carry or keep in a vehicle during trips?” Of course, there is the Glock 19. And the new Sig Sauer P365 is quite good. But they are both around $500.00. You can spend about half that and still get a very good 9x19mm pistol with lifetime warranty and good ergonomics.

Here are three 9mm handgun options, all available now for well under $300.00. In fact, our third choice, the Ruger EC9, is currently just $209.99 at Brownells (with promo code). That’s just a few bucks over two hundred! It’s a buyers’ market right now…

1. Walther Creed 9mm Pistol, $269.99

Five Budget 9mm sale bargain full-size 9x19mm pistol Canik RP9 Kahr S&W M&P Walther Creed CT9

The Walther Creed offers excellent ergonomics, good accuracy, and well-designed controls at a killer price — $269.99 at CDNN Sports. This gun, designed to be a value-leader, emulates Walther’s more expensive PPQ model (MSRP $649.00) at a much lower price. The Creed’s frame size and shape is the same as the PPQ, but the Creed lacks interchangeable backstraps. Slide and trigger are very similar. The Creed features a snag-free bobbed hammer. Testers have praised the new Creed, saying that, despite the bargain price, it “sacrifices little to nothing in… ergonomics, accuracy, and reliability.”

Five Budget 9mm sale bargain full-size 9x19mm pistol Canik RP9 Kahr S&W M&P Walther Creed CT9

2. Smith & Wesson SD9VE 9mm, $249.99 with CODE M8Y

Smith Wesson SD9V 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownells

Smith Wesson SD9V 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownellsThe two-tone Smith & Wesson SD9VE 9mm pistol features contrasting stainless-steel slide and barrel. Weighing just 22.7 oz, this DAO pistol ships with two 16-round magazines, offering plenty of fire-power. Overall length is 7.2″ with a 4″-long barrel. Both front and rear sights are drift-adjustable. This is a nice medium-sized pistol that shoots well. The Smith & Wesson SD9VE is on sale now at Brownells. Sale price is currently $259.99 with a $10 handling charge.

SAVE MORE: During check-out at Brownells.com, you can use code “M8Y” to receive $20 Off and get FREE delivery. That lowers your net cost to just $249.99 shipped to your FFL. Under $250.00 for a nice S&W Nine is a great deal.

3. Ruger EC9 9mm — $209.99 at Brownells with CODE M8Y

Ruger 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownells

Ruger 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownellsThe striker-fired Ruger EC9 features a 3.12″ barrel and measures 6.0″ overall. This 1.07-lb EC9 is slim for easy concealment. Weighing just 1.07 lbs., this is definitely an “all-day carry” option. With Brownell’s current sale pricing and promo codes, you can get this little pistol for just $209.99 delivered (see right). You heard that right. Sale price is currently $219.99 with a $10 handling charge. However, during check-out you can use code “M8Y” to receive $20 Off and get FREE delivery. That lowers your net cost, so that your all-up price, delivered to your FFL, is just $209.99. That’s a great price for a reliable gun backed by Ruger. Here is a recent review from verified buyer: “It’s an LC9 with fixed sights that are milled into the slide. Same trigger. Same frame. Sweet shooter. Perfect for concealed carry. Can’t beat it for the price.”

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August 1st, 2017

One in 15 American Adults Has a Handgun Permit

Crime Prevention Resource Center John Lott CPRC Report 2017

The latest Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) study on concealed handgun permits reveals that over 16.3 million Americans now have them, and that the ranks of permit holders are becoming more diverse, with more women and minorities getting permits than ever before. The major findings of the 2017 CPRC report are summarized below. A copy of the report is available for download here.


CLICK for Full CPRC Concealed Carry Permit Holders Report »

There are now over 16.3 million gun permit holders, a record 1.83 million increase in permits since July 2016. Nationwide, 6.53% of adults have a concealed handgun permit. That’s roughly one in 15 adult citizens. Outside of California and New York, 8% of adults have a permit. The permit issuance numbers for women, Blacks, and Asians are increasing at faster rate than for men and Caucasions.

More guns, less crime — that’s the conclusion of the latest report from the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC). The CPRC Concealed Carry Report attributes some of the drop in crime rates to the fact that more Americans than ever before are carrying handguns for protection. In the past eight years, the number of concealed handgun permits has soared, growing from 4.6 million in 2007 to over 16.3 million this year. Overall, 6.53% of the U.S. adult population, i.e roughly one in fifteen American adults, now has a concealed carry permit.

Crime Prevention Resource Center John Lott CPRC Report 2017

Here are some interesting findings in the 2017 CPRC Report:

  • 6.53% of the total adult U.S. population has a weapons carry permit.
  • Last year, the number of permit holders grew by a record 1.83 million. This is more than the previous record increase of 1.73 million, set just the year before.
  • In 11 states, more than 10% of adults have permits. Alabama has the highest rate — 20%. Indiana is second with 15.8%.
  • In 14 states, a permit is no longer required to carry in all or virtually all of the state. This is a major reason why legal carrying handguns is growing so much faster than the number of permits.
  • In 2016, women made up 36% of permit holders in the 14 states that provide data by gender. Eight states had data from 2012 to 2016 and they saw a 326% faster increase in permits among women than among men.
  • From 2012 to 2016, in the five states that provide data by race over that time period, the number of black people with permits increased 30% faster than the number of whites with permits. Asians appear to be the group that has experienced the largest increase in permitted concealed carry.
  • Regression estimates show a significant association between increased permit ownership and drops in murder and violent crime rates. Each one percentage point increase in rates of permit-holding is associated with a roughly 2.5 percent drop in the murder rate.
  • States with the largest increase in permits have seen the largest relative drops in murder rates.

Crime Prevention Resource Center John Lott CPRC Report 2017 Handgun carry permit

Carry Permit Holders are Law-Abiding
Interestingly, Concealed handgun permit holders are extremely law-abiding. In Florida and Texas, permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors and felonies at one-sixth of the rate at which police officers are convicted. From 2014 data, police officers commit crimes at rate of 103 per 100,000 (national average) compared to 12.8 per 100,000 for permit holders in Florida and 22.8 per 100,000 for permit holders in Texas.

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December 19th, 2016

New NRA Personal Protection Expo Debuts Next Summer

personal protection expo NRA Milwaukee Wisconsin 2017

The NRA has announced a new summer event — a trade show focused on licensed “carry”, self-defense, and home protection. The new NRA Personal Protection Expo (PPExpo) will be held August 25-27, 2017 at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This is a 3-day educational and interactive experience for citizens interested in personal protection, concealed carry, and defense tactics. According to the NRA: “This all-new event will equip visitors with the products, training and mindset necessary to prepare and defend themselves and their loved ones when threats arise.”

Expo guests can attend educational protection/defense workshops taught by leading experts and instructors from across the country. The Expo’s Exhibit Hall will showcase firearms, shooting accessories, concealment gear, storage products, tactical gear, and home defense solutions.

The Expo’s concealed carry (CCW) workshops will cover concealment methods, holster selection, and tactics. Personal protection seminars will cover personal defense, situational awareness, product selection, and skills building. Home defense seminars will cover home defense plans, preventative security measures, and responding to intruders. For more information about the Personal Protection Expo, visit https://www.NRAPersonalProtectionExpo.org.

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September 30th, 2016

New Compact Ruger American Pistol in 9mm Luger

Ruger Compact American Pistol

Ruger has just introduced a new compact version of its Ruger American Pistol. We predict the new American Compact will become popular with CCW-holders. With a 3.55″ barrel, and 6.65″ length, Ruger’s new 9mm carry gun is similar in size to a S&W M&P9C, and slightly smaller than a Glock 19. At 28.7 ounces, the new Ruger Compact is heavier than the M&P9C (21.7 oz.), and the Glock 19 (23.6 oz.), but the Ruger is the slimmest of the three, with a slide width of just 1.05 inches.

Ruger Compact American Pistol

We’re pleased to see the American Compact is offered either with or without an external frame-mounted safety, to suit the buyer’s preference. Also, the gun offers easy take-down with no trigger pull required (by contrast, you have to pull the trigger to take-down a Glock).

Ruger Compact American PistolRuger’s new Compact American Pistol is offered either with 10+1 capacity*, or 17+1 capacity. The 17+1 version employs magazines from the full-size Ruger American pistol, with a sleeve or “boot” to fit the shorter grip. With either type of magazine, the gun has proven 100% reliable, according to writer Rich Grassi, who tested the new pistol for The Shooting Wire.

The grip ergonomics on the Compact American Pistol could be described as “Walther-esque”. Rich Grassi says that’s a good thing — this little pistol is comfortable in the hand: “You also don’t pinch a finger when inserting a magazine – either magazine – into the American Compact. Like the service-size gun, three grip modules (back strap with palm swells) are included. The gun has the Novak Low Profile carry sights with the ‘3-dot’ pattern thereon.” Grassi said his test pistol shot low with a standard sight picture, but otherwise the accuracy was good.

NRA testers say the new Compact Ruger American Pistol is extremely reliable and very accurate.

Ruger says this pistol “combines a recoil-reducing barrel cam… with a low-mass slide, low center of gravity and a low-bore axis to provide better balance, less felt recoil, and less muzzle flip[.]” The Ruger Compact American Pistol also features a pre-tensioned striker system, which allows for a short-take-up trigger with positive reset. Like its bigger brother, the Compact American Pistol features a modular wrap-around grip system that fits a wide range of hand sizes.

Ruger Compact American Pistol

*Some early reviews have stated the “standard” capacity as 12+1. However Ruger’s website and the official Spec Sheet lists 10+1.

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June 24th, 2016

More Guns, Less Crime — The Numbers Prove It

Gun Control FACTS Chart

Amidst the hue and cry (and Congressional sit-ins) calling for more gun control, few observers have actually looked at the facts. Do we, in fact, have an increasing gun crime problem in this nation? Is gun violence spiraling out of control, as the anti-gunners would have you believe?

What do the verified FACTS say (as opposed to the ‘sky is falling’ anti-gun zealots)? Well, the truth of the matter is that major gun-related crime rates have been steadily on the decline for more than a decade. Likewise, most of the major violent crime rates have been declining over the past two decades. What’s more, even accidental gun deaths have been declining despite a huge rise in gun ownership.

Gun Control FACTS Chart

So the next time someone tells you that guns must be outlawed to halt a terrible increase in gun crime, you can respond, with 100% certainty, that gun-related crime is going down, not up.

And interestingly, as the supply of handguns has increased, the amount of property crimes has plummeted. Maybe the bad guys are thinking twice before breaking and entering…

Gun Control FACTS Chart
Chart Source: www.GunFacts.info.

Gun Facts™ debunks common myths about gun control. It is intended as a reference guide for journalists, politicians and anyone interested in learning about gun control facts… crime, and the Second Amendment. The free Gun Facts e-book provides over 100 pages of indexed information.

Credit Boyd Allen for finding this first chart. We welcome reader submissions.
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May 15th, 2016

Free eBook for CCW Holders from Beretta

Beretta CCW Ten Tips Concealed Carry Guide Instruction book

Do you have a concealed carry permit, or do you plan to carry a concealed handgun in the future? Then you can benefit from Beretta’s FREE 15-page e-book, Ten Essential Tips for CCW Holders. This eBook, in handy PDF format, helps gun owners select an appropriate handgun (and holster), understand legal obligations and responsibilities, and train effectively with the firearm. This short eBook offers many useful tips to consider, in particular for gunowners who are contemplating the pros and cons of everyday carry for themselves.

Click here to download 10 Essential Tips for CCW Holders as a PDF

As the Beretta CCW booklet says, “Carrying a concealed handgun requires a certain amount of confidence. You need to be confident in your knowledge of laws and regulations. You have to have confidence in your accuracy, and you need to trust that you can carry a gun effectively, securely and comfortably. If a gun is a burden for you to carry, you probably won’t.”

Surprising Facts About Actual Defensive Handgun Use
You may be surprised to learn when and how handguns are actually used for self-defense. Most defensive uses are at very short range and the incident only lasts a matter of seconds. You need to be prepared, and train to be proficient drawing and aiming your weapon. And remember, shooting is a last resort, when a safe retreat is not available.

55% of gunfights take place in 0-5 feet.
20% of gunfights take place in 5-10 feet.
20% of gunfights take place in 10-21 feet.
95% of gunfights take place in 0-21 feet. (Source: FBI)
The average man can cover 21 feet of ground in 1.5 seconds.
The average gunfight is over in 3-5 seconds.
3 to 4 shots are usually fired.
Most gunfights take place in low-light conditions.
On average, one shot in four strikes someone.

Here are two (2) sample pages from Beretta’s CCW eBook.

Beretta CCW Ten Tips Concealed Carry Guide Instruction book

Beretta CCW Ten Tips Concealed Carry Guide Instruction book

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April 14th, 2016

Good Concealed Carry Holster — The Clinger Atom

Clinger Atom Holster

Many of our readers have concealed carry permits. When carrying a handgun concealed, holster choice is key. A good holster will carry more comfortably, “print” less, and be 100% secure while still allowing rapid access. Our systems admin Jay C. recently acquired a Walther PPS M2 as a carry gun. Jay has a CCW permit, and he sometimes chooses to carry a concealed handgun, particularly on trips.

After looking at many options, Jay chose a Kydex Clinger ATom Holster. These are very affordable, yet they have many great features. The most important design feature of the $19.99 Clinger Atom is the location of the belt clip. This is placed over the trigger guard area, not the slide. This pulls the grip in closer than if the clip was mounted over the slide as on other holsters. This smart design feature really works, improving concealment and comfort. Jay says: “the Atom works great with my little Walther — it’s very stable and comfortable.”

Clinger Atom Holster

The $19.99 Clinger Atom also offers adjustable “ride height”. This is accomplished by moving the belt clip up or down. Holster retention (the clamping tightness) is easily adjusted with a simple hex screw.

Along with its popular Atom holster, Clinger offers two other holsters: 1) the $29.99 Stingray model (with choice of 0°, 15°, or 30° cant); and 2) the dual-clip, ultra-thin No-Print Wonder Holster priced at $59.99. The latter is a good choice for carrying a heavier pistol for long periods. All three holsters (Atom, Stingray, No Print Wonder) are shown in the video above.

Clinger offers a Zero-Risk Guarantee. Try any Clinger holster for two weeks. If you don’t like it, you can return it for a full refund. There is also a “Bumper-To-Bumper Lifetime Warranty”. If anything on your Clinger Holster ever needs repair the manufacturer will repair it or replace it for free.

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March 25th, 2016

NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting Course Now Available Online

nra pistol basic shooting training course

Do you know someone who wants to get started in pistol shooting? Here’s a new opportunity. The NRA now offers its Basics of Pistol Shooting Course in an online format. That makes it easy to cover the “classroom” part of the course on your own time. The $60.00 online course includes 11 step-by-step lessons (to be followed by live range training). CLICK HERE to enroll in online Pistol Training Course.

Train Online, Then Register for a Range Session
For the NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting course, Phase 1 is conducted in an online environment, completed on your own time (cost is $60.00, non-refundable). After successfully completing the online exam, students can register for Phase 2, the instructor-led training session. Phase 2 is conducted at your local range with an NRA Certified Instructor. You must successfully complete Phase 1 and Phase 2 in order to receive your NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting course certificate.

nra pistol basic shooting training course

Designed and developed by experts to accommodate busy schedules, the web-based course takes a blended learning approach to firearms training with both online and physical components. Students have 90 days to work through 11 online lessons before registering for Phase 2, the NRA Certified Instructor-led phase at a local range. “America has more first time gun owners than ever and the NRA remains dedicated to being the number one provider of firearm training,” said Executive Director of NRA General Operations, Kyle Weaver. “Thanks to our online courses and network of more than 125,000 NRA Certified Instructors, it has never been easier to learn basic firearm skills.” The NRA offers other online training courses at Onlinetraining.nra.org. These offerings include a Range Safety Office (RSO) course, and a Range Development and Operations course.

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