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Guns for Youth

Sunday, August 27, 2017 9:28:11 PM America/Denver

Guns for Youth


This is one of my favorite topics to inform my readers about.  These are some of the most common questions that I hear from my students and followers about starting their children with firearms:

What age should I start teaching my child to shoot?

 How do I teach my child to be safe with a firearm?

What kind of firearm should I start my child with?

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Posted By Chris Baldwin

What You Should Know About Pocket Pistols

Saturday, August 12, 2017 8:21:41 AM America/Denver

What You Should Know About Pocket Pistols


There are many people rightfully arming themselves using concealed carry today.  In 1987, the state of Florida (my residence at that time) allowed its citizens to legally carry a concealed weapon with a permit.  At that time, gun manufacturers were not offering the lightweight, compact guns like the ones offered today.  Colt was making the 380 caliber mustang out of steel.  AMT offered the all steel backup in 32 automatic.  Since that time, most states have followed Florida’s lead on concealed carry, which resulted in the demand for smaller and lighter pistols.  Glock recognized the demand and began manufacturing poly frame pistols; and the gun industry was forever changed.

There are a few problems that I have noticed as I have instructed students and observed the conceal carry crowd.  Let me point out these concerns so you can understand the nature of a pocket pistol.

 First, it is important to understand the difference in a pocket pistol, sub-compact pistol, and a compact pistol.

 A pocket pistol is just as the name implies.  It is designed to easily slip into your pocket and can be concealed without discomfort during normal wear.  One example is the Ruger LCP.  Most pocket pistols are in the calibers of a 380 auto, 32 auto, or a 22 Long Rifle.  The 380 auto is the most common.

 A sub-compact is small version of a pistol; good for deep concealment, but is usually not comfortable in pocket wear.  An example would be the Springfield XD sub-compact.

 A compact pistol is a small version of a full size pistol, but bigger than a sub-compact.  These make great guns for concealment and offer good accuracy.  An example would be the Springfield XD compact. 

  With the understanding of the different sizes of handguns, let’s keep things simple.  Students want to have a gun that will protect them while being comfortably concealed.  Many think that all they need is one gun, so they will purchase a pocket pistol for just that purpose.   While I believe that the small gun with you is better than the big gun left at home, it would be a mistake to think that a pocket pistol is a good all-around handgun.  A pocket pistol is a back-up. I suggest getting a pocket pistol in addition to your mid-size handgun.

It is also important to realize the limitations of the small light weight pistol.  These types of pistols are usually not very accurate at ranges greater than 10 feet.  The triggers are purposefully designed by the manufacturers to be tough to pull; this is meant to minimize potential lawsuits over a shot fired due to a light trigger pull.  Smaller pistols actually require more practice than a pistol of a larger size. 

What about a revolver as a pocket gun?

The type of handgun you carry is a totally personal choice.  Some people can comfortably carry a J-frame (small) revolver in the pocket, but many cannot.  If you choose to carry your back-up gun in an ankle holster, then revolvers serve well.  If a revolver is the way for you, then I suggest that you possess both a revolver that has a barrel of at least 3 inches long, as well as a compact revolver.  Manufacturers have been making the carry revolvers much lighter than those of just a decade ago, making your choice of a carry revolver more comfortable.  A good example is the Ruger LCR.  Personally, I really like Ruger LCR model in the 38 Special with a 3” barrel.

Other pocket gun options

Double Tap offers a slim two shot double action pocket guns in the calibers of 9mm, 40 S&W, and 45 ACP.  In my opinion, the Double Tap is a clever design. I was glad to meet the designer, Raymond Kohout, and express my admiration for his design. The derringer type of pocket gun has been made for over 100 years.  There are many calibers to choose from, including the 22 LR, 22 Magnum, 32auto, and the 38 Special.  The derringer is a two shot single action gun.  North American Arms makes a single action revolver in the calibers of 22LR, and 22 Magnum. 

In conclusion, pocket pistols have their place, but should not be used as a primary handgun.  Start with a gun that you can learn to shoot well, and have a pocket pistol as a back-up.



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Posted in Self Defense Tips By Chris Baldwin

The Must Have Pump Shotgun

Friday, July 28, 2017 4:53:07 PM America/Denver

The Must Have Pump Shotgun

  As you become more knowledgeable of firearms, you will learn the importance of versatility.  Some tools are designed for one particular job.  Some tools can be used for multiple jobs.  The pump shotgun is one of these multi tools.  Unlike rifles and handguns that have many different calibers to choose from, the shotgun gauges are narrowed down to just a few.  You should basically be looking at two shotgun gauges to consider.  The 12 gauge and the 20 gauge are the two that you should look at for your all-around shotgun.


   The 12 gauge is the choice of the military and police.  The 12 gauge shotgun is probably the most versatile gun in the world.  This versatility is achieved by using different loads in the same gauge.  You can hunt bird, squirrel, rabbit, deer, or bear with the 12 gauge shot gun.  I am not saying that it is the best gun for every occasion, but rather that it is a good all-around firearm.  The shotgun lacks in long range shooting compared to a rifle.  With all of the advancement of weapons in today’s military and police, the pump shotgun is still a common tactical tool.  You can defend the home with the pump shotgun.  I recommend having an 18 1/2 inch barrel for defense and a longer barrel for hunting in a 24”, 26,” or a 28” length.


Why a pump over a semi auto?  I am definitely not opposed to a quality semi auto shotgun.  I feel that the pump has a few advantages over the semi auto.  The pump is simple to use, very reliable, well balanced, and not as susceptible to malfunctioning in poor conditions or weather as a semi auto.  The other factor that always comes to mind is cost.  You can buy a quality pump shotgun at an affordable price.  Barrels on many pump guns will easily change in a matter of minutes. Let’s look at a few brands and models.  I have put these in order according to price. 


New Cost:  (Approximately, depending on chosen options)

New England Pardner - $200.00

Maverick 88  -  $225.00

Stevens 350  -  $225.00

Savage 320  -  $225.00

Stoeger  P350  -  $300.00

Mossberg 500  -  $359.00

Remington 870  -  $365.00

Winchester SXP   -  $400.00

Benelli Nova  -  $410.00

Weatherby 459  -  $450.00

Browning BPS  -  $600.00

Kel-Tec KSG  -  $699.00


Other good brands can be found in some of the older generation guns.  For instance, the Ithica model 37 has been a favorite of many shooters of yesterday.  The JC Higgins made by High Standard was also a solid built shotgun sold at Sears when America was a more “freedom friendly” place.  I always look for these old guns on a lonely shelf at a pawn shop or from a guy carrying one around at a gun show.  With that said, I still recommend buying one on the above list due to their parts availability and removable barrels. 


Now, choose your gauge.  I suggest that you make sure every responsible member of your family is taught how to use and handle the pump shotgun of your choosing.  With that said, you must consider smaller statured members.  For this consideration, you either want to use low recoil 12 gauge loads or have a 20 gauge.  Since a 20 gauge is a smaller round, it will not have as much recoil as the 12 gauge.   Most of the brands that I have mentioned make a 20 gauge version as well as a 12 gauge.  I recommend that children start out on the smaller gauges such as the 20 gauge or the 410 gauge.  The 410 gauge is a great gun to start teaching a young child to shoot a shotgun without a lot of recoil. 


I do not recommend that you make a 16 gauge, a 28 gauge, or a 410 gauge your primary shotgun caliber. The simple fact is these gauges are a good, but is not as common as the 20 or 12 gauge.  Not only that, but the shotgun shells are harder to find and cost considerably more.  The 28 gauge is primarily used for bird hunting to make the sport more challenging among experienced hunters. This gauge does not offer the effective load as does the 20 or 12 gauges.  The 410 is primarily a small game gauge; in a defense situation, the 410 is at a large disadvantage when compared to the 20 gauge.  The 410 shells cost twice as much as the 20 and 12 gauge shells.  The 410 was the shotgun of choice among my fellow squirrel hunters when a 22 caliber rifle was not used.  Consider your options on a good pump shotgun and get one if you do not have one already.







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Posted in Self Defense Tips By Chris Baldwin

A View Through Scopes

Friday, July 14, 2017 2:27:07 PM America/Denver

There seems to be as much controversy and discussion on rifle scopes as there are on rifle calibers. Let me give you some thoughts to chew on. Don't be misled; the firearm industry is no different than any other business when it comes to sales tactics and marketing. One trend I have noticed in the last several years is the idea that “bigger is better.” I do not always agree with this philosophy. Remember, in most situations you will carry your gun more than you will shoot your gun. By this reasoning, I prefer compacts scopes for most practical applications.Read More
Posted in Survival By Chris Baldwin

The Handgun Caliber of Choice

Thursday, June 29, 2017 1:50:32 PM America/Denver

The Handgun Caliber of Choice


The ongoing debate of which handgun caliber to carry is more alive now than ever.  I remember as a kid growing up in the eighties and hearing the “gun shop” talk about the 9mm versus the 45 ACP.  Not to mention reading my father’s monthly gun magazine subscriptions touching on this topic.  In the early 1980’s, the U.S. military converted their main sidearm from the 45 ACP to the 9mm NATO round.  Many police departments and sheriffs’ offices followed the U.S. military’s lead.  Most police were converting from a 38 Special caliber revolver to a 9mm semi-auto.  The 38 Special caliber was the most used police round from the turn of the twentieth century to the mid-nineteen-eighties.  The 38 Special has had a lot of service time but is a revolver round, and the military and police have switched to a semi-auto.

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Posted in Self Defense Tips By Chris Baldwin

Guns and Ammunition Disappear Overnight

Friday, June 9, 2017 9:18:28 PM America/Denver

Guns and Ammunition Will Disappear Overnight


I was working as the sales manager at Falkor Defense (formerly SI Defense), an AR platform gun manufacturer in Montana, when the news of the shooting in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut happened.  The anti-constitution politicians quickly recognized their opportunity and began attempts to pass illegal legislation which sought to ban as many gun freedoms as possible.  With the tragedies fresh on America’s mind, the national (biased) media used its voice to push unlawful attacks on our second amendment right. 

The American people spoke back with a very, very loud voice.  Yes, we spoke to our elected officials and we spoke with our money (lots of money). The American people bought up every possible gun and gun accessory available.  I remember working late hours to fulfill orders and totally wiping out our entire inventory literally overnight.  The gun industry was caught off guard and was in a total scramble to meet demand.

Please keep in mind that many Americans were still trying to recover from the economic fall from 2008.  People with jobs that were directly in the housing industry were still in adjustment to recover their losses from that crash.  With that said, many people were not in a good financial situation to purchase more guns, but they did.  Every gun related website and store was completely out of inventory.  Before the “gun crunch,” many people put off buying their stock for when they had more money.  Then the crunch happened, and every gun item became a premium.  I saw AR-15 magazines that normally sold for $15.00 retail were being swallowed up for $100.00 each.  AR-15 bolt carrier groups (an AR gun part) normally sold for $100.00 was selling for $700.00.  It was as if money was not an issue anymore for those who needed the items.  In reality, money was never really the issue. 

[Please click on the link shared below so you can read for yourself of the reality of the industry’s situation in 2012 and 2013.  Maybe you were not aware of what was going on at the time.]

  On Saturday morning of February 14, 2015, the ATF announced that it would propose a ban on the common 55.56x45 round of 162 grain green tip ammunition.  I carefully watched all accessible inventories dry up on the internet within six hours of that announcement.  The local retail stores sold out of the green tip 556 within 24 hours.


Lessons we should learn from these experiences


  1. The value of the dollar means very little during a crisis.


        2.   Putting off getting armed and prepared will cost you more in the long run


        3.   Not having the proper accessories, such as high capacity magazines, could mean you may never get them.


         4.   Ammunition and its components become invaluable commodities in an emergency situation overnight.


         5.  It is better to buy what you need when there is not a panic for it.


         6.  Honest people will defend the Constitution even in a crisis.


          7.  Even dishonest politicians will listen to an outraged and armed society.


           8.  The ATF could stop all gun transactions via the NICS call-ins if Congress does nothing to stop it.  This did not   

                 happen, but could it not happen the next time?

          9.  Even old guns became very important (note the link referenced).


         10.  If you think that you have enough ammunition, you probably don’t.  It dries up in hours.


I would like to use what happened as a test run example, if you will.  The next time may not go well at all; in fact, we may lose even more freedoms.  Dishonest politicians use these kinds of tragedies to push their evil agenda of disarming American citizens.  They will not stop. The American people must push back.


Please learn from this trajectory and be prepared.  If you feel that you are prepared, think about your family members.  Do you have enough for them as well? Are you ready for the next crisis?  Do not stop buying ammunition.






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Posted By Chris Baldwin

The Importance of Being Versitale

Friday, May 19, 2017 12:34:24 PM America/Denver

The Importance of Being Versatile

I was in gun shop one day when I asked the salesman behind the gun counter to hand me a revolver that I wanted to see.  Another customer was next to me and said to the salesman and me that he did not have any use for a revolver and that he did not have any desire to shoot a revolver.  When I left the gun shop I thought a lot about what that customer said.  That particular man has limited his training and learning on merely personal preference.  I understand that many prefer one type of handgun over another, but we should not limit ourselves from being versatile in the matter of self-defense with a firearm.  Some people may feel that a revolver is an ancient style of gun and that a semi-auto is the only type of handgun for them.  If you think this way, I urge you to reevaluate your way of thinking.

Although you may personally find more advantages of owning only a semi-auto handgun, you may one day find the need to use a revolver.  And the decision to learn how to use just one type of firearm may do you harm.  Regardless of what type of firearm you choose, be sure to train with other types as well.  This training may save your life or the life of someone else. 

I have noticed that some law enforcement and military personnel learn to use only their service weapon.  However, there are other police officers who still use a revolver for backup or for a hide-away gun, even though police and military no longer use revolvers as a primary handgun.  Law enforcement and military personnel should be trained on and be proficient in using both types of handguns.

This article is not intended to compare revolver vs semi-auto but rather to encourage you to learn to use both types.  A person who is versatile will always be more useful and desirable than a person who is not. 

Being versatile in using firearms is an important skill.  Be sure to properly train with your primary handgun and be proficient with it.  After you reach a level of confidence and skill with your primary handgun, continue your training with other types of firearms.   Remember that when it comes to defending life, the more advantages you have the better.  You may even find yourself in a situation where you may need to use a gun that is not yours.  Having a basic knowledge of a variety of firearms will help you in the event that you need to use someone else’s firearm.   

Cross training on firearms among skilled people will give you an advantage in any given situation.  I urge you to expand your knowledge of firearms so that you will not become a victim to anyone who would desire to harm you or your loved ones.

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Posted in Self Defense Tips By Chris Baldwin