HomePosts Tagged "self defense" (Page 2)

I have heard it stated somewhere “intent plus capability equals threat”. I believe it is an old formula used by people smarter than me when they are planning how to distribute defensive resources. I actually heard that phrase again recently while listening to the radio and it caused me to consider this formula as a basis for planning your response to different potential threats.

As a prepper, I believe it is vital to have a plan for security.  The world can be an ugly place in times of crisis and depending on the situation, once reasonable, kind and rational people can become killers. Even if they don’t become killers, you could face a threat from incredibly desperate people who while not wanting to hurt you would do anything to protect or provide for their own loved ones. It is times like this that you could have to depend on a firearm to save your life.

On Final Prepper I advocate that everyone become prepared to handle the disruptions in life that we see every day on the news. There are earthquakes that disrupt entire communities, hurricanes that destroy the homes of thousands, tsunamis that impact entire regions, nuclear meltdowns that threaten everyone, virus outbreaks that are flown around the globe, chemical spills that poison the water and on and on. These are normal events that happen in our lives. These aren’t crazy conspiracy theories, they are real and my mission has been to wake people up to the potential for events like this coming to your town. Because if you take some simple steps now you can begin to prepare for these “disruptions” in your life. With planning you can become more self-reliant in the face of disaster.

There are some threats though that can’t be avoided by having a good food storage plan. There are some troubles you could face that aren’t washed away with gallons of stored water. Sometimes, you can’t plan for all contingencies or you may be faced with something you haven’t considered before. I believe that there are levels that we need to prepare for and obviously how affected we are by the disasters makes all the difference in the world. It doesn’t matter initially if your town experienced an earthquake if your home, neighborhood and family are fine. If the stores down the street are still working as normal, your preps aren’t going to be needed as much as in other situations. Like I said last week, everything depends on the disaster.

But as I frequently do, lets take a hypothetical disaster for the purposes of discussion. We have used the threat of EMP too much lately so I will use something like an Ebola pandemic. The scenario is an Ebola pandemic has ravaged the country and decimated 50% of the population. Everyone has been ordered into their homes for over two months now and you are still holding out. Your supplies have dwindled but your family is healthy and you can last a few more months. The power is intermittent due to personnel shortages, many have died, so you do face some days without power. The water is still on, but rumors are spreading that it isn’t safe to drink.

OK, so that is our hypothetical and during an event like that I could easily see many situations where your security could be threatened. I say all of this as an introduction to a question a reader sent me a couple of weeks back.

A reader of Final Prepper; Jeremy sent me the following:

In reading the book Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected (One I would recommend HIGHLY as a preparation for the realities of everyday life, let alone for what people very well could and would be like following a major disaster/period of civil decay) the author is speaking about determining our capacity for dealing with violence and, in turn, inflicting violence on others to protect ourselves/the ones we love. He speaks of determining, ahead of time, your capability vs. your capacity. The example he uses is that of a person coming at you with a butcher’s knife. They have the intent, means and opportunity to kill you. You have nowhere to retreat, but are armed. This is a shoot/no shoot scenario. The question is do you shoot? Are you OK with shooting the person and killing them?

I have not read this book but the question he posed was interesting. Judging by the question so far, it seems pretty simple doesn’t it? It may not be that cut and dry for everyone, but I would like to think I would be able to pull the trigger to defend my life or the lives of people I love. The person coming at me would be a threat because they would be walking towards me (intent) and they would be holding a butcher knife (capacity) regardless of the specifics of castle doctrine or duty to retreat (he says you have nowhere to retreat) I would feel justified in shooting the person who I viewed in this example as a threat to my life.

But I am no lawyer. I have also never shot and killed anyone so take what I say I would do with a grain of salt.

Then he says the following –

“Now change an element. The Threat is twelve years old. Do you still shoot? Kill? Are you okay with that? If the Threat were six years old? Four? A woman? A pregnant woman? A mentally disabled person who can’t realize what they are doing? Your own spouse? Your own child? What if the Threat’s toddler children are watching? What if cameras are rolling? The threat is the same—even a four-year-old with a big knife can kill and there are no degrees of dead. Do you feel the same about all of those scenarios? I don’t. Even knowing full well how dangerous a knife is and how many people die from overconfidence I would have a hard time shooting a child. I might feel differently about the other scenarios but would act the same—I would just feel worse about it later. Think about this. Explore it. Listen to your gut feelings before you try to logic it out. When you do try to logic it out, pay special attention to when you are rationalizing—when your logic is serving not to make the best decision but to justify the decision that your gut wants.”

 Miller, Rory (2011-04-01). Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected (Kindle Locations 339-352). YMAA Publication Center. Kindle Edition.

Now, that is an interesting turn of events or elements as the writer states. Have you thought about what you would do? Would you be willing to shoot someone? If the answer is yes to that question I think the writer’s larger point may be that you probably have a vision of who this hypothetical bad guy is. I know I did. In my mind the threat was a menacing looking man in my home and my children and wife were behind me. I can see the knife in his hand right now and can feel my firearm in mine. I don’t have much hesitation when the question becomes do you shoot. In my mind that is.

But, the author does give us a challenge and the first is to change the element to a child. Being the father of children I have to give this one a little extra consideration. Then he says “what if the child is four”. I know I could disarm a four-year old. I could disarm a 6 or 12-year-old while we are at it so I don’t think I would view a child, under some reasonable age as a threat if they were holding a big knife. Is there a chance I would be cut, most likely if I didn’t do something right, but I still wouldn’t shoot someone who I feel I could overpower. In this case I discount that one aspect of the hypothetical, but the overall message is still one that is compelling to consider.

What if the bad guy isn’t your imaginary bad guy?

What if this person were your neighbor who was retired and had always been the best neighbor in the world to you? What if this was his wife? What if it was another neighbor’s child? In this case, not 4 or 6 but 18? Would you shoot him or her? What if it was a pregnant woman? What if it was someone you worked with who knew about your preps because you didn’t practice good OPSEC and had come to your home because her husband was sick and starving to death? What if she was holding a gun and her daughter was right beside her? Would you shoot first or let her shoot you?

I know most of the arguments for charity and setting aside food to give away and all of the rational approaches to dealing with family members before SHTF. I don’t have the answers to all my hypothetical scenarios, but I do think the exercise of thinking about this ahead of time is valid. It may be that none of us can even think about what we would do in a situation like that. Honestly I don’t know what I would do and I can’t even tell you how I would deal with that scenario. Maybe I would freeze?

We deal with topics of security all the time and there are simple baselines I believe in like having the ability, the training and the resolve to defend your home. Admittedly this defense is always from my imaginary bad guy, but reality always gets a vote. Thinking about these unthinkable scenarios could give you some ideas with respect to how you are prepping. If nothing else, it might change how you view security and what you are willing to do.

Have you thought about this before? Would you be willing to shoot?

I have heard it stated somewhere “intent plus capability equals threat”. I believe it is an old formula used by people smarter than me when they are planning how to

It is quite a rare attribute to be able to write about something I love. That thing is striking, or more specifically Boxing, Muay Thai, Roman Greco and Brazilian Jujitsu. In this article I am going to break down each of these forms of striking and grappling.  I will also explain how they can be used as a form of simple exercise as well as self defense. All of these are martial arts, which is essentially what they are, although they are not seen as “traditional” due to westerners being a little bit devoid of culture these days unless someone reminds them on their Facebook feed. But alas without starting to sound negative let’s get on with it and I will try to explain some of the history as well as the application of these activities.

Boxing’s roots are engraved in History; it is thought to have begun being accepted during the Ancient Greek Olympics in BCE 688. Prize fighting began in around 16-18th century, mostly in what is now known as the UK. In the mid 19th century it once again became popular in the UK and largely in the USA. The official sport of 12 rounds is not something I would like to address in this article it is more aimed at people looking to get into shape and learn without having to feel pressure to get into the ring or spar.

My main problem with the sport of boxing when compared to the sport of MMA for instance is that pugilistic dementia and brain trauma is so prevalent because of the use of 16oz gloves. This padding causes fighters to take way to many unnecessary shots to achieve a similar result as we are able to see with a lot of boxers today who are having major problems. As an activity boxing and training in general can be invigorating. There is no stress ball or calms tablet that can match the feeling of hitting the pads for a couple of hours. If you are a beginner I would go with some simple 14oz gloves as well a heavy bag, either the free standing or hung variations which can be found locally and on the web for next to nothing. If you have a friend or partner then I would also invest in some target pads, they will improve accuracy and allow you to develop the synapse’s, signals from your brain to your hand, to fire and move in a smooth and quick manner. Feet should be placed around shoulder width apart with knee’s slightly bent, weaker arm forward. This is your jab. Twisting your hips and shoulders with your stronger hand, this is what I call (I think it’s a European thing) our straight cross. Combine these together and you have your 1-2 aka 2! I think possibly if people like this article I will expand on these in the future, although “cough” Youtube “cough” has plenty of instructional.

Roman Greco


Greco-Roman Wrestling

As the name implies, the history of this sport comes from the Greek ancient civilization that surrounded the Mediterranean Sea many, many moons ago. As a Brit, we never really embraced this Greco as a sport or an activity which we now have to play catch up in MMA. Wrestlers in MMA are notoriously tough, they are experience in extremely tough physical and a mental situation as well as the strenuous and sometimes dangerous dieting that go’s on in this world. As I am still learning both forms of grappling I will keep this section brief but I cannot emphasis enough that this is a great sport for almost everyone due to the fact that you can spar 100% power without being in a dangerous physical situation like sparring, the only other activity where you can do this is Jujitsu, which I am going to mention later on.

The main body I focus on when wrestling or sparring with friends is strength and conditioning. In terms of technique wrist control is an excellent form of effective practice. As well as this you will need to understand the basics of under hooks, over hooks, single legs, double legs, trips and throws. Just by sparring you can get a feel for what is effective if you practice these and it will let you understand how people move and where they apply force when in a physical situation. Once you understand this and have some experience you can begin using and going for wrist control and under hooks to negate your opponents striking and get him or her to the ground using these techniques. People I would look to learn these techniques are George St Pierre, the recently retired MMA champ who is able to cover distance and use perfect technique in a split second. But to be honest anyone who has trained for years would be an excellent person to look to learn new techniques and polish old ones, there are so many to list it would be an article in itself.

Overall, in my opinion, this is one of the most effective martial arts in the world. If you look at MMA, wrestlers almost always prevail, if a world class striker such as James Tony hype a fight for months, then get into the cage and not be able to throw a single punch and then tap within the first round, there is no denying its effectiveness.

Muay Thai


Muay Thai Fighting

My favorite form of striking is Muay thai. When I began learning how to kick I actually watched Bas Rutten’s instructional, which is more of a Dutch style (Very popular and effective). The art of 8 limbs utilities hands, elbows, knees and kicks. The extreme turning over of the hips when moving and setting up leg, body or head kicks generates an extreme amount of power that is almost unmatched by any other effective form of striking. Southpaw’s facing orthodox opponents are able to utilize the liver kick. One of the most brutal places to take a full power strike that paralyses the opponent in pain when performed correctly. Ronda Rousey recently finished Silver medal Olympic wrestler Sarah Mcmann with a barrage of knee strike’s to the liver in the first round of their championship fight. Which brings me to another aspect of Thai fighting, the clinch. Often called the “Plum” both hands are placed around the back of the neck of the opponent, then the head is pulled down into knee strike aimed at the head and body. Anderson Silva used these in a championship fight against Rich Franklin, throwing him off balance and delivering brutal knee’s to win the title. Overall you will need to be looking to get some Thai pads if you want to kick with a friend as normal pads won’t be able to take the impact. I would recommend getting a heavy bag and some shin pads, just to save your ankles when learning.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu


Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

BJJ was a part Judo in Japan and brought into Brazil by Mitsuyo Maeda, who taught the then Japanese martial art to the famous Gracie family. Maeda was well known throughout his day and performed in over 2000 fights in his career. BJJ is most well known for being a martial art where strength and size can be neutralized by a good BJJ student. This is possibly by using two extremely important points that are used throughout BJJ, Leverage and good technique. Armed with these and a positive attitude, BJJ focuses on teaching youth’s especially the traditional attitude that is associated with martial arts such as respect and living by strong morals. Once of the most famous BJJ black belt is Royce Gracie, One of the slighter members of his huge family of potential killers. He attended earlier UFC event against much larger, stronger opponents (A juiced up Ken Shamrock, a freestyle Wrestler at the time) comes to mind. He was able to overcome, tied up and finish his opponents, becoming the first champion in a tournament where some of his opponents where literally 2-3 times larger than him in a competition that at that time, has very little rules.

As with wrestling, you are able to spar 100% unlike striking sports, which in my opinion is very effective as you will become better faster and be more prepared if you ever need to use your skills. Bruce Lee once said that “Punch bags don’t hit back” which is definitely something to keep in mind, but to be honest it all depends on your application. This article was meant to be an overview to let people understand some effective forms of exercise and combat in 2014. This is also not a be all and end all list of what is effective, Judo and Karate is showing its effectiveness more and more. I am sure within a couple of years we will see a change and someone will adapt and evolve their style to make it effective against the others. That is why I love MMA. It is constantly changing, improving all the time. The true champions of these arts maintain what I think is one of the most effective special move you will learn, Respect to others and being a positive outgoing person. This is emphasized over and over by the true champions, this attitude is prevalent at the peaks as well as the valley’s where skills are not used because we practice being human in this ever increasing world of anti social behavior.

I hope you have enjoyed this article, Again it was just a brief overview and I am by no means an expert in these areas, although I do train in them. It was more to just introduce new people into a world of sport and exercise that I love and will follow for years to come.

It is quite a rare attribute to be able to write about something I love. That thing is striking, or more specifically Boxing, Muay Thai, Roman Greco and Brazilian Jujitsu.

Surviving is more than just being lucky; it is preparation. Preparation is key to surviving all manner of situations; after all, there is a reason Survivalists are often called ‘Preppers’. This preparation may cover self-defense, resource management, first aid, and a number of other skill sets. Whatever you choose to focus on, it is worth considering exactly how you can keep yourself safe. While the situation will change, body armor is an easily accessible product that has a number of surprising benefits.

Firstly, imagine you are in a situation where you need to use your survival skills and experiences. This is where your considerable knowledge will come to light and the stores and defenses you have built will set you in good stead. Whatever the situation, your skill set allows you to cope with the challenges you’ll face and work to the point that you are living comfortably. However, due to luck or similar preparation, there will be others out there. These others may view your success with jealousy, and will work to take what you have. You need to defend yourself.

Self-defense is a broad topic with a number of different methods. Most Preppers will have already considered their own self-defense, and depending on the situation, will have a number of options available to them. Many Survivalists tout the usefulness of weapons for self defense, and your attackers will certainly look to arm themselves. A bullet is incredibly deadly, and no matter how well-armed you may be, it will only take one errant shot to kill you. This is why you need body armor.

Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Ethan E. Rocke

Bullet proof vests are easily accessible to nearly everyone, and are an easy way to protect yourself against a wide variety of threats. Part of the benefit of wearing body armor is the protection it can give you against bullets, certainly. However, many do not realize that bullet proof vests can help mitigate the impact of all sorts of injuries, thereby keeping you safe in all manner of situations. For example, DuPont, the makers of Kevlar, annually hold a ceremony commemorating Law Enforcement Officers whose lives were saved through body armor. Every year a significant proportion of these Officers were involved in otherwise fatal car crashes.

Of course, the main threat a bullet proof vest will protect you against is bullets. However, bullet proof vests are available at a range of protective levels that outline exactly what ammunition they can protect you against. These NIJ Levels are standardized by the National Institute of Justice, the world leader in ballistics testing. It is important you ensure your vest is compliant with the testing standards set by the NIJ, and is appropriate for the threats you will be facing.

What is the best style of Body Armor for me?

Just as important, however, is ensuring that you are wearing the right style of vest. Bullet and stab proof vests are available in a variety of styles, each suited to different situations and with their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, the most common example of a bullet proof vest is the covert vest, which is worn underneath clothing.

However, even these covert vests are varied, and will likely be quite different to the images most have. For example, these covert vests are exceptionally thin and lightweight, making them truly discreet. This also means that when worn for extended periods they will remain comfortable. Furthermore, some manufacturers offer covert vests designed with temperature-regulating materials to help keep the wearer cool.

A covert bulletproof vest has the benefit of keeping your protection discreet, meaning you can wear your vest in day-to-day life. On the other hand, an overt vest may be far more appropriate for your situation. An overt vest is designed to be worn over the clothing, and is still lightweight and flexible, but will usually have a durable and possibly weather-resistant cover. These vests have the benefit of being augmentable with high-visibility covers, pouches for equipment, and quick-release systems.

If you are truly preparing for the worst, and you expect to face some particularly extreme threats, you may need a tactical vest. These vests, like overt vests, are worn over clothing and are usually more durable than their covert counterparts. However, these vests are extremely protective, offering upgrades to protect the upper arms, throat, neck, and groin for example. These vests are heavier and bulkier than any others, but offer unparalleled protection. These should only be worn in the most dire of circumstances.

There are a number of things to consider before you choose your body armor; how and where will you be wearing it? What level of protection will you need? Understanding the different options available is very important; otherwise you may end up with a vest that does not protect you properly. For example, having a vest that does not fit just right can leave you with gaps in protection. Furthermore, bullet resistant vests cannot protect against knives or needles, and you may therefore need a stab or spike proof vest that uses additional materials like chainmail and plastic.

It may seem confusing or even intimidating, but coming to understand the options available allows you to choose the right vest, and keep yourself protected no matter what you find yourself facing. For example, if you’re going to be faced with large crowds or members of the public, a covert vest will help keep you discreet and give you the upper hand. However, if you find yourself facing an attack of any kind, an overt vest will unnerve your opponents and/or give you the confidence needed to survive.

Surviving is more than just being lucky; it is preparation. Preparation is key to surviving all manner of situations; after all, there is a reason Survivalists are often called ‘Preppers’.

Being a successful survivalist means being able to handle any situation life throws your way and come out on top. Training and preparation are key, but what happens if you find yourself without any of the tools you’ve relied on? Could you still surmount any odds using only your skills and perhaps a knife?

Let’s jump into the worst-case scenario of finding yourself in a SHTF situation without any tools but the clothes on your back and a trusty knife. Using only what is available to from the natural surroundings and what small amount of belongings you have, it’s time to construct one of the oldest tools used by hunters, the bow and arrow.

Gathering Your Bow Making Supplies

European Yew is suggested as the best material for making bows, but good old Hickory is great also.

It is important before you even begin shaping or sharpening your arrowheads to find the proper materials for creating a bow. Look around to find any dry, dead pieces of wood to use as the basis for your bow. The perfect piece of wood will be dry and hard but not cracked or damaged in any way that may render your bow inefficient. Find a piece that is

  • Around six feet in length
  • Free of any noticeable cracks or knots that will weaken the wood
  • Suitably thick enough to withstand the force of pulling back on the bowstring but still maintains a level of flexibility
  • If at all possible stay away from using freshly cut pieces as the wood lacks the strength of dried wood and will be less effective

Once you’ve found a suitable piece of wood for your bow, begin looking for pieces to construct into arrows. The ideal wood should be about half the length of your bow and as straight as possible. Avoid using freshly cut saplings if you can.

Assess and Determine the Key Points of Your Bow

After locating a suitable log for your bow, it is time to determine the natural curvature of the wood so you can know in which direction to begin shaving the limbs.

Place the wood on a flat piece of ground and apply pressure to the center with one hand while keeping your other firmly against the top. The wood should swing to show you which in which direction it curves, the side that is facing you after the swivel will become the belly, the piece that faces you, of the bow. Find and mark the center of the bow on the side opposite the belly, the side which will face away from you.

Begin Shaping Your Bow

Using the mark on the center as a guide begin shaping your bow by gradually shaving away wood from either side, it is important though to shave wood only from the belly side of your bow. Leave about three to four inches extending from the center on both the top and bottom untouched, this will be your handhold.

As you begin to shape the bow, pay close attention to which portions bend and which remain stiff. You’ll want the bow to bend evenly across the bottom limb and upper limb so as you shape, flex the bow slightly to ensure it is indeed bending correctly. Continue flexing and shaping the bow until you have a consistent and strong bend.

Begin Notching and Preparing Your Bow for a String

Cut into either end of your bow, notching both sides deep enough to hold a bowstring but shallow enough to not compromise the integrity of the wood. As with before only cut wood away from the belly side, any damage or cuts to the back-end of the bow can render it inefficient or at worst cause it to break when under pressure.

Stringing Your Bow

Now hopefully you paid attention to our 7 Survival Skills You Should Know post and learned the importance always carrying paracord. Using the paracord you’ve fashioned into a survival necklace or boot laces measure out a sufficient length to create a bow-string. Your string should be able to reach both ends of the bow while remaining taut enough to resist pulling. Once you’ve cut the proper length, tie a solid loop knot at each end and knot the cord around the bow at its notches.

Check Your Bow’s Strength and Construction

Now that you have a properly shaped and strung bow, it’s time to check its strength. Firmly hold your bow in hand with your lead arm extended fully while pulling back on the bowstring with your other hand. The bowstring should be able to be pulled into your draw hand is almost in line with your chin. Pay close attention to the bend in the bow to ensure it is bending evenly and does not need to be shaped further.

Bows & Arrows of the Native Americans: A Step-By-Step Guide To Wooden Bows, Sinew-Backed Bows, Composite Bows, Strings, Arrows & Quivers

Making Your Arrows

The most simple form of an arrow consists of a thin shaft of wood shaved into a point on one side and notched for the bowstring on the other.

Begin by shaving away pieces of your arrow shaft until the entire length of the wood is smooth and rounded.

If you will be opting for a simple pointed arrow without an arrowhead, just simply shave one side into a sharp point and notch the opposite side. You can harden the arrow tip by heating it above a fire but pay close attention to not burning the arrow at all.

Optional Arrow Features

If you find suitable materials in the field you can also add:

  • An Arrowhead by notching the wood and attaching the arrowhead securely to the shaft with a small bit of twine or paracord
  • Add fletching to the bottom your arrow shaft by splitting the back-end of the shaft and inserting a feather. Use your remaining paracord to tie the split pieces back together

Now just gather your hunting camouflage and use your bow to catch dinner.


Being a successful survivalist means being able to handle any situation life throws your way and come out on top. Training and preparation are key, but what happens if you

Have you ever wondered what you would do for work after the end of the world as we know it? There are many ideas out there and we have even mentioned a few of them on Final Prepper in past articles. Most of the ideas seem to start with the view that there will be a total collapse of the grid. When that happens, anarchy will reign supreme for some undetermined time. After the chaos is over, we will go back to living like it’s the 1800’s or close to that with no authority or social control in place anymore. In that kind of world where none of the technological advances are working anymore, what would you do?

Like I said, there have been a lot of good ideas posted on prepping blogs. Some people recommend blacksmiths or leather-working and those both sound like excellent choices if you have the skill and equipment. Surgeons, pharmacists and mid-wives will always be needed I think, as will people who can grow food, fix things that aren’t running and build things that need to be built. Anyone who is handy and has some imagination would seem to be able to offer something of value in this new imagined world in return for payment of some form. I imagine the world’s oldest profession will somehow find a way to survive even in a world of collapse.

Your average marketing executive, social worker or accountant will likely be up a creek without a paddle unless they have some other skills to offer. One job that I started thinking about was the job of a hired gun. If you have nothing but tactical training and the tools of the trade I can see a potential job for people who fit that bill.

Who would need a hired gun?

Hired guns have been in practice for eons. The bible talks about Amaziah hiring “100,000 valiant warriors out of Israel” so we can safely assume the practice wasn’t new even back then. The ten thousand were a group of mostly Greek mercenary units pulled together by Cyrus the Younger to attempt to take the throne of the Persian Empire from his brother, Artaxerxes II. The Swiss Guard has as part of its history service to the French where they were known as “the best contract troops money could buy”.

Do you envision yourself in the role of hired gun or mercenary?

People throughout time have needed protection or muscle to fight their wars. The form of the force or amount of protection would seem to depend on a couple of factors but the bottom line was you got what you could afford. When we are talking about the end of the world as we know it, payment could be as simple as food and shelter. Many of us talk about hunkering down in our homes with our stored provisions of food and riding out the chaos that we can imagine in a real collapse scenario but not many of us have a large enough force assembled to keep what we have safe if we are attacked by superior numbers. It wouldn’t take too many people or too much training to force a family of frightened, sleep deprived and stressed individuals out of the illusion of safety in their home which would then become the property of the invading force.

I could easily see the value in paying trusted, skilled, principled individual’s wages to help me defend my home and possessions if I had the means to do that. Could you?

What skills would you need to have to be a hired gun?

Since I am midway through this article, I should step back and state clearly that I have zero experience with this subject and anything I am writing today is just a simple thought exercise. I have never been a hired contract killer; likewise I have never hired anyone to run security for me, so I can only guess at some of the possibilities here. By the same token, I am imagining a world that has been set back to the 1800’s which also takes some mental creativity and artistic license. If you do have experience please join the conversation in the comments below.

Now, getting back to the article, what skills would make you worthy of employment as a hired gun? I can rattle off a list of military disciplines, skills, experience and schools that the mere attendance of would have made you a certifiable tough guy, but until you had a small village under your control, I would assume anyone hired to be protection would also serve other purposes too unless the threat of violence was imminent. Imagine you and your ex-military buddy were forced out onto the road due to some horrible circumstances. You have skills taught to you by the armed services of your country and you had essential gear for bugging out; battle rifles, bulletproof vests, enough camouflage to look respectable, night vision goggles and a good bit of ammo.

You wander through the countryside and come across a homestead during the course of your route away from the conflict and are lucky enough to meet the rancher who owns the land. After some very guarded pleasantries, he shares that he could use some help protecting his land and family. He would provide room and board for your loyalty.

What jobs could you have to do?

Now in my imagined doomsday scenario, you aren’t manning guard towers all day and sniping bad guys from 600 yards. You are there to provide muscle when needed, but the majority of your days would likely be occupied by other tasks. Your hired gun status is really only for when that gun is needed. Most of the rest of the time, it is your strong back, your calloused hands and maybe in some part, your companionship that is more likely what you will invest.

You probably thought you would be guarding the perimeter and keeping the other people who wandered through the rancher’s territory in the Golden Horde at bay and dealing with gangs who appeared to take some livestock or the ranchers’ wife and daughters. Maybe that could be the role of someone lucky enough to fall into this line of work, but I doubt that would be a full-time job.

Your job might even evolve over time where the first responsibility would be to set up those guard positions and fortify the house as much as possible. You might be teaching people how to shoot accurately, setting up range cards and developing SOP’s for dealing with various situations. You could be tasked with reconnaissance and information gathering where you would go out into the countryside to analyze approaching threats or coordinate resources. You could have much responsibility or very little until you were needed.

What if you wanted to hire someone as your security force?

Admittedly, this whole idea requires a lot of factors to fall into place to even work. For starters, we would have to have some cataclysmic event that rendered most of the world out-of-order. There would need to be lawlessness and people intent on protecting what is theirs with the resources on hand to ensure that happened. What are some of the other problems with this scenario?

  • Who would supply the ammunition you needed for practice and defense?
  • Would you have access to the ammunition or would you need the rancher to get it?
  • What if the rancher asked you to do something that you didn’t want to?
  • Are there other “defenders” that you have to worry about?
  • Are you able to leave at any point or is this contract for life?
  • Will you honor your commitments?
  • What if the rancher is killed?
  • What if you decide you want to leave to start a new life?
  • What if the rancher kills your friend?
  • What if the rancher isn’t really all that nice and wants to kill his neighbor and take their lands?
  • What if there was a local law presence and your actions as a representative of this rancher ended you up in front of the local law with a murder charge?

There really are a million different ways this could play out and after all these words I still understand that these hypothetical scenarios can never be answered to the satisfaction of all concerned in all cases. The best I can offer in situations like this are my own thoughts which on occasion pose more questions than answers. These are the types of things I think about.

What do you think? Could you foresee a Wild West world where you could be hired on to a larger home to help them protect what is theirs? Would you do it assuming you had nowhere else to go? Would you be a hired gun?

Have you ever wondered what you would do for work after the end of the world as we know it? There are many ideas out there and we have even


Whether you’re interested in home protection or looking to stay safe while hunting, you’re going to want the best accessories for your gun to defend yourself. There is no time to waste when you only have a few seconds to take action. Fumbling with your gun can be the difference between life and death. Not having confidence in your aim or your mechanics can also spell doom. And, if you’re not accurate, your technique won’t matter anyways — no matter how sure you are in it.

Competence in one of those traits without proficiency in the others typically ends in a disaster. You need to be confident, steady, and accurate when facing a threat, because you can bet that your rival will also be in survival mode. Luckily, there are various tools and fittings to help you in tight spots. There is no more comforting feeling than having the upper hand when faced with a bad situation. By simply adding some upgrades to your firearms, you can rest assured that you and your family will be protected in any circumstance.

While guns are great fun when shooting safely at the range, they can also act as a valuable and useful tool in the right setting. But, with all the gadgets and frills available now, which ones do you really need? Certainly you won’t require most of the contraptions out there, but there are a few that will come in handy when in a pinch. Good thing we have a starter list for you right here.

Some of the best accessories for your guns

Gun scopes

Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone-223 Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets, 1-4x 24mm

When facing a wild beast, you’re never assured of safety. While most who choose to hunt big game know how to take the proper precautions, having the right equipment certainly doesn’t hurt. Whether your rifle is built to take down a moose,  or a deer, having the correct gun scope will increase your accuracy and take-down ability. Trust in your gear may be the difference between coming back to camp with a trophy kill and not coming back at all.

Laser Sight

Vokul Shockproof 532nm Tactical Green Dot Laser Sight

Utilized more for home defense, a laser light is best for precision. Should you find yourself in a compromising situation while at home, this nifty piece of equipment will make sure you’re armed to handle yourself. Great for low light and target identification, laser lights are a near necessity for keeping your loved ones secure.

Gun Grips

Maybe you found a gun you like, but there is something that’s a bit off. A new gun grip could solve the problem. Find the perfect mold for your hand by attaching the accessory to the butt of your pistol. A little practice at the range may be necessary to find peak comfort level.


Glock 19/23/32 Holster – Tulster Profile Holster IWB

There’s no point in carrying a firearm if you can’t conceal it. From shoulder holsters to ankle holsters to hip holsters, having your gun easily accessible is a must. Finding the easiest spot on your person to carry should be a top priority for every gun owner.


Aimkon HiLight P10S 400 Lumen Pistol LED Strobe Flashlight with Weaver Quick Release

Sometimes all you need is a little light. Most flashlights easily attach to the front of your weapon and provide enough illumination to help you out in poorly lit areas. Find an LED or an infrared device for optimal usage.

Extended Magazine

Perhaps your six-shot clip isn’t enough to serve your primary carry weapon. An extended magazine may be just what you’re looking for. Using one will affect your grip on the gun, but the extra bullets could be helpful if caught in a hairy situation.

Gun Sling

Yahill(TM) Multi-Use 2 Point 2-IN-1 Rifle Gun Sling Adjustable Strap Cord

Attaching a sling to your rifle will improve flexibility. The add-on will also help you carry the firearm through thick brush and heavily wooded areas. Useful and practical, a sling provides relief during your hike so you can save your energy for when it’s needed most.

Weapon Cleaning Kit

Otis Modern Sporting Rifle and AR Cleaning System

If you have a gun, you need to keep it clean. Bullet fragments, material, and powder will influence your accuracy if not flushed out after each use.

Vertical Grip


Similar to a pistol grip, a vertical grip provides a better placement for your hand when managing a rifle.

Folding Stock Adapter

Law Tactical Gen-3M Side Folding Adapter Tool Genuine 5.56/223/308 –

Fold up your rifle into an easily portable piece of machinery by folding it in half with this adapter. No matter what type of firearm you have, there is always a way to upgrade it for safety and suitability.

  Whether you’re interested in home protection or looking to stay safe while hunting, you’re going to want the best accessories for your gun to defend yourself. There is no time

Why do you need protection?

If you’re going to prepare for the worst case scenario, a bullet proof vest needs to be part of your plan. When SHTF, personal protection is really your number one priority– even food and water can wait if you’re not safe from the danger of other people.

Aside from getting a weapon to defend yourself, you’ll need something to defend yourself from other weapons. Since smart shooters will be aiming for your torso above all else, this is the first area you want to protect, and the best way to do so is with a body proof vest.

Of course no vest will protect against absolutely every weapon, so you will have some decisions to make. There are tradeoffs between level of ballistic protection and comfort/conceal-ability that need to be considered when choosing a bullet resistant vest. Generally, vests that protect from high caliber rounds are bulky, cumbersome and their presence is obvious. Covert bullet proof vests are far more concealable and comfortable to wear, but don’t provide optimal protection.

What’s the best choice?

So what’s best for a survivalist? In almost all cases, you will want to procure covert, wearable body armor. Wearability and concealability are supremely important. You have no idea how long you’ll need to wear it, so preparing for long periods of time is wisest– there’s no telling when you’ll be safe enough to take it off.

Covert bullet proof vests are worn under clothing and have comfortable linings. Many are made with CoolMAX lining, which is designed to regulate your core temperature by letting excess heat out of the vest. For those who are irritated by synthetic fiber, cotton-based alternatives are also available.

Soft body armor won’t stop rifle rounds but could be useful in many other scenarios.

Concealability is equally important. OPSEC for preppers is a must-know, and avoiding “indicators” — things that signal to people that you’re well prepared — is very important. If people know how well prepared you are, this makes you a clear target. If you’re seen parading around in an overt body proof vest, people will know that you have your act together, and likely have some other useful stuff to take.

For this reason, it’s recommended that you don’t get anything higher than level IIIa– upwards of that level, you’re getting into ceramic plates which can’t be concealed. One thing to consider is that the lower the level, the easier it is to conceal. Level IIIa soft armor may still “print”, or show its outline underneath clothing.

Of course sacrificing bulk also sacrifices protection. Level IIIa will protect against most common weapons and also minimize blunt force trauma, an often overlooked benefit. If you go lower than that, you’ll have some vulnerabilities, but on the other hand you’ll be more stealthy.

Heavy Weapons and Blades

The only other thing to consider is the possibility of heavy weaponry. As you may already know, getting to know your neighborhood is a very important factor in planning. If it looks like you might actually be threatened by heavy weapons, get some small arms protective insert (SAPI) plates and store them in a safe place. Only put them on when you need them– no need to go traipsing around with an extra 15 pounds of weight for no reason.

Also consider getting vests rated for stab and spike protection. Blades and points are different than bullets, and bullet proof only vests will not protect against them. Overall, it’s key to know that no body armor will protect against everything. The best defense is preparation and staying calm in the face of danger. Even then, having the right bullet proof vest may save your life.

Why do you need protection? If you’re going to prepare for the worst case scenario, a bullet proof vest needs to be part of your plan. When SHTF, personal protection is


There may be situations if you are trained and armed when you will have to take aggressive action and counter-attack those who are attacking you.  For example, an ambush that does not kill all those in the kill zone or just disables your vehicles, to get out of the kill zone you may have to attack the ambush party. An attack on a residence where access has been gained by the attackers, the residents or security team must clear any attackers from the residence.  An attack on a shopping mall or hotel where you may be visiting or staying and aggressive action would be required to evacuate the location.

This is very basic information and can help you establish your own procedures if you are in a situation where you have the capabilities for counter-attack options. This is based on basic procedures for close protection teams and can be adapted to most situations.

Note: You cannot learn the skills required for this by reading a book or this document, you have to learn to shoot and train tactically for these tasks. This section can help you establish your procedures; you won’t become a Ninja by reading this!

There are three fundamental elements to aggressive actions:

  • Speed
  • Surprise
  • Aggression

For your action to be successful you must have at least two of the above elements

Mobile counter-attack

The conventional military response to an ambush is to attack the ambush.  In most cases an individual or small security team would not be able to attack an ambush, for to do so would leave a client or family members without close protection when the need is greatest. Also an individual or two-man security team would not usually have the weapons or ammunition to do so to perform and assault.

The best means of attacking an ambush is to use a separate security team not responsible for the client’s immediate protection. The counter attack team should consist of people who have received training in small unit tactics and have sufficient firepower to deal with all threats.  It should consist of not less than two people, in one vehicle. The counter attack team follows the client’s vehicle at a distance so that it will not become caught in an ambush on the client’s vehicle but close enough to be able to an attack the ambush quickly.  The distances the team will have to be from the client will vary due to terrain, traffic etc.  The protective surveillance team/personnel can be trained and used as the counter attack team.

Actions on a terrorist ambush by immediate close protection personnel:

  • Return fire
  • Drop smoke
  • Cover Client’s vehicle and attempt to break out.
  • Send contact report

When counter attack begins:

  • Give covering fire.
  • Remove Client from the killing zone to a safe location.

If the opportunity arises to escape before counter attack team takes action and never endanger the client because of your concern for the counter attack team.

Actions on a terrorist ambush by Counter Attack Team:

  • Move to killing zone at best speed
  • Use lights and siren for distractions
  • Debus and attack ambush or drive at ambush.
  • Do not hesitate. Fast, aggressive action is vital.
  • If Client has been extricated, do not attack ambush but cover move to safe house.
  • Weapons. Maximum use must be made of automatic weapons, grenades and CS gas etc.

Counter-attack on buildings

A counter attack on a building must be mounted quickly; the longer the delay, the more time the attackers will have to fortify their positions. A counter attack plan must be made and, if possible, practiced.

The counter attack team should consist of at least two people, but not more than five; i.e. a team leader and two pairs. The team leader needs as much information as possible on the situation in the building.  This could be obtained from civilians, locations security team, staff by the use of radios or cell/mobile phones or social media.

The information required includes:

  • The number “of attackers.
  • The description of the attackers.
  • Method of entry
  • Types of weapons and equipment used by the attackers
  • Location of the client
  • Physical state of the client
  • Location of any family or household staff
  • Overall casualties

Methods of Entry

  • If restricted by protective measures use same entry point as attackers but only as a last resort
  • Enter by stealth whenever possible.
  • Enter at the roof or top floor whenever possible.
  • Early contingency planning to identify possible means of entry.
  • Secure the entry point.

Room Clearing

  • Work in pairs.
  • Clear the door.
  • On entering the room IDENTIFY targets before engaging with fire.
  • Check all hiding places.
  • When room is clear, secure and lock the door if possible.


  • Control will be difficult.
  • Clear the building progressively; room by room, floor by floor.
  • Stairs.  Once taken, stairs must be held.
  • Use fire and Maneuver
  • Avoid confrontation with other team members.
  • Avoid being silhouetted or illuminated
  • Use natural and locations lights to your own advantage.
  • Use sound to disorientate the attackers: 1) Alarms. 2) Sirens. 3) Concussion Grenades.
  • Use of vehicles for approach and escape. 1) Must not spoil surprise. 2) Must remain secure. 3) Must not be put to unnecessary risk,

Action when building is clear

  • Ensure that the Client is safe.  Do not, however, remove them from a safe room.
  • Check that all attackers are dead or secured as prisoners.
  • Ensure that the perimeter of the building is secure.  Secure the entry point(s).
  • Decide whether to hold or escape
  • Co-ordinate external agencies on their arrival.

It is unlikely that plans proposed before the event will be put into effect as envisaged. The plan must be carefully thought out and rehearsed by all members of the team.

  There may be situations if you are trained and armed when you will have to take aggressive action and counter-attack those who are attacking you.  For example, an ambush that

Numerous factors must be just right in order for concealed carry to work well, and concealment can change daily depending on our clothes and activities. Gun size, on-body carry position, holster angle, and ride height are all things to consider, and just one problematic factor can be frustrating enough to discourage us from carrying. Since our bodies and gun preferences are all different, the CC method that works best for one person may not work for another; therefore, the more perspectives we can get from individuals similar to ourselves, the better.

As a petite 5-foot-4-inch female of 118 lbs who carries a gun everywhere she goes, I’ll be the first to admit that concealed carry can still be a headache on certain days, resulting in a pile of clothes, guns, and holsters. In addition, a lazy week and a change in eating habits can (and will) make my pants fit a bit more snugly than usual. What woman really wants to squeeze a gun anywhere inside her pants when they are feeling tight already?

Women’s clothes are often fitted to accentuate our curvy figures, and our miniscule pockets are only capable of holding dainty things. Most of us just want to wear what we want to wear, without making getting dressed another chore to add to the daily list. Thankfully, there are many holster options available today, even for petite women, because I sure wouldn’t carry a gun on my body daily if it were not both comfortable and concealable.

ankle holster

Women definitely have an advantage with ankle holsters since they are very easy to access when wearing long skirts and dresses. One with both a calf strap and soft inner padding, such as this Galco Ankle Lite, provides both comfort and stability.

Along with the high number of holster options available for us to choose from, there are also a lot of places to position them around our bodies. INside-the-waistband (IWB), OUTside-the-waistband (OWB), shoulder, ankle, bra, pocket, thigh, appendix, and purse carry are the main CC methods that come to mind. Once you figure out where you can actually conceal on your body, then there are more choices to pick from. Leather, Kydex, hybrid leather/Kydex, and fabric holsters all vary in terms of comfort and retention. Numerous holster choices may be overwhelming, but there is no doubt in my mind that something will work for every licensed woman who wishes to conceal carry, if she is willing to spend some time going through her options and is truly determined to carry her gun on-body.

First things first, I recommend you decide which gun you most want to carry with you on a regular basis, and then try to make concealment work on your body with that gun. If you are unable to find a method of concealment (holster and body position) that works for that particular gun, then switching to a smaller gun can definitely help. A tiny .380 might conceal the best for all of us, but perhaps you’d actually prefer a slightly bigger (but still small) gun like a 9mm Glock 26 or a Ruger LC9. Gun selection is truly a matter of individual preference, and although very small guns conceal the best on my petite frame, other guns can conceal well too, depending on the season.

In the summer, I can only really conceal a .380 or a NAA mini .22 revolver on my body. In the winter, however, any gun can be concealed underneath heavy clothing. I’d prefer to carry my double-stack S&W M&P compact 9mm year-round, but with my small body size, I just can’t conceal it well enough with normal summer outfits. I’m not going to stop wearing shorts and tank tops in 90 degree weather in order to conceal my biggest gun, so I simply downsize to the smaller Ruger LCP or Kel-Tec P-3AT during those months.

Thigh holster

Thigh holsters, like one from Clament Custom Leather, can work well for smaller women with lightweight guns, when worn under loose, knee-length skirts and dresses. When angled out the backside of the leg, they are less likely to rub when walking.

Once the weather starts cooling off, cover garments become much easier to incorporate back into daily wear, and it becomes a pleasure to carry the M&P again. Sweatshirts, jackets, vests, and sweaters are all excellent concealed carry helpers for those times of year when the temperature drops a bit. Even lightweight, sleeveless vests can be very helpful for concealment during the summer, although I’ve found darker colors to always conceal better than lighter ones.

I didn’t want to drastically alter my wardrobe to start carrying a gun, but being a new CC licensee was a great excuse to peruse eBay, thrift shops, and the mall, since I didn’t own many sleeveless vests or cover garments at the time. I wasn’t going to buy anything that I wouldn’t normally wear, so shopping for CC clothing was my own form of research. I asked myself, “What types of cover pieces could you add to your closet that you would still wear, even if you weren’t carrying a gun?”

Although I didn’t set out to change my clothing style, I will admit that finding a few select pieces sure did help with my concealment efforts. Having a few sleeveless vests in your wardrobe can make a huge difference, and shopping for new cover garments can be a true highlight of concealed carry. If you start out struggling with the concealment of your firearm, I highly recommend doing some shopping research of your own and not giving up until you find a few cover-ups that you’d be excited to wear any day of the week.

OWB holster

A long cover-garment is essential for OWB concealment, since you must cover both the gun and the holster. Concealing a mid-sized gun like this compact S&W M&P in an OWB holster can be hard for a petite woman, so switching to an IWB holster and/or a smaller gun can help.

Also, if you are like me and normally wear tighter pants that don’t allow for much wiggle room, definitely consider buying a few pairs that are one size up from what you normally wear, so that you can better experiment with IWB carry. I didn’t give into that for the longest time, but I’m so glad that I finally have because IWB holsters have become much more comfortable for me.

If you are going to spend the money on a concealed carry handgun, definitely consider CC clothing to be an investment to the cause—you may no longer have to leave your gun at home! You may even come to find that when you’re out shopping in the future, garments that are beneficial for concealed carry really jump out at you. Don’t forget that the ability to wear unique, feminine cover garments is one fun luxury of being a woman.

For my very first concealed carry gun, I chose a simple, lightweight revolver: the Ruger LCR. I experimented with all different types of holsters for that one gun, and of course I kept hitting walls. Some of my pants lacked belt loops, which ruled out all belt holsters. Others were very tight at the ankles, which ruled out any ankle carry. All dresses and most skirts did not work with a belt holster, and all of my pants pockets were too small for any gun. If you really want to carry your gun, however, persistence pays off. I have learned that on my body, with the types of fitted clothing I usually wear, different outfits work better with different types of holsters.

My wide-leg pants or long, floor-length skirts and dresses always favor an ankle holster, especially when they don’t have belt loops or the fit is too snug to accommodate a gun in the waistband. Knee-length skirts and dresses often work well with a thigh holster, as long as the gun being carried is small and lightweight. I have found, however, that skirts made of stiff, heavy fabrics can make drawing from the thigh holster more difficult, and skirts worn above the knee are often too short for a thigh holster to conceal adequately.

IWB holster

Jean skirts often have belt loops, which means ‘belted IWB holsters’ can still be worn in the summer. For a woman who carries a small 380, an adjustable IWB holster, like this Crossbreed Minituck, may conceal very well underneath a loose tank top or T-shirts.

Instead of thigh carry for those skirts, an IWB holster can work much better. Depending on whether or not the skirt has belt loops, I use either a Crossbreed MiniTuck or a clip-less Remora holster, positioned low in the waistband for best concealment. Not only is an IWB holster my CC method of choice with shorter skirts, but it is also my main choice for shorts, pants or jeans, paired with a regular T-shirt, hooded sweatshirt, vest, or cover garment.

A gun can also be concealed outside the waistband if you are wearing a longer, heavier sweater or jacket, although OWB holsters are bulkier in general, making them harder to conceal. Very specific cover pieces, like a roomy winter coat or a dark colored vest, can work especially well for most CC methods, including OWB, shoulder, and pocket. However, since concealable clothing options for smaller women can be limited with both shoulder and pocket holsters, I still carry either IWB or OWB in the winter.

Sometimes a woman, petite or not, has no other option but to carry her gun in a purse or bag. For those occasions, it is beneficial to have a dedicated gun purse, with a separate compartment for your gun. As a fail-safe option for when I’m either running out the door or heading on a more adventurous trek, I conveniently holster my gun inside a Gun Tote’n Mamas shoulder pouch or a Disse Gear concealed carry bag. I’ve also recently discovered a unique, new bra-style holster called the “Flashbang” which is made for various small guns. It may work well with most female clothing, aside from dresses and sports bras, although I still have yet to try it.

OWB holsters

A straight drop (neutral cant), as shown with this Crossbreed SnapSlide OWB, is meant to be worn directly on your side in the 3:00 or 9:00 position. This angle is great for the range, although it doesn’t conceal well on a petite woman. (bottom) A slight forward rake, or even a more “extreme” forward rake, as seen on this Lobo Gun Leather OWB, can conceal very well for a petite woman in the 4:00 position. This angle helps keep the grip of the gun from poking through a cover garment.

Most of the time, I truly prefer IWB carry, and the sweet spot on my small frame is always the 4 o’clock position, directly behind my strong-side (right) hip. If I so much as even think about small of the back or appendix carry with my slim build, however, lo and behold, quite the bulge appears! For some women, those positions might work, so don’t rule them out until you try them yourself. They just don’t conceal well with my particular physique.

I like to wear shorter tops and cover garments too, so the main highlight for me with an IWB holster is that you only have to conceal the gun and holster above your pant line, since most of the gun and holster is already concealed within your pants. With an OWB holster, however, you have to wear a longer shirt or cover-up, since you must cover not only the entire gun, but the entire holster as well.

With any IWB holster, both the ride height (depth of the holster and gun in your pants) and cant (degree angle or “rake” your gun is tilted at) will make or break your IWB concealment attempts. The Crossbreed SuperTuck was my first IWB holster, and I’m so glad it was because that specific holster is adjustable for both ride height and cant. An adjustable holster is beneficial, especially for those starting out, so you can figure out exactly how you need to position a holster on your own body for it to conceal.

For me, a lower ride height conceals best, since I often wear fitted tops. Also, a more extreme forward cant works the best for me, since that angle is least likely to allow the butt of a gun to stick out the back of my shirt.

clipless IWB holster

Many skirts lack the belt loops needed for waistband holsters, while others are too short for thigh holsters. A “clip-less” IWB holster with a tacky exterior surface, like this Remora No-Clip IWB, is a good option for a skirt that fits snug.

The versatility that different holster options provide is terrific and no single holster will work for all applications. With that being said, I’ve also come to believe that it is worth making small compromises in our wardrobe in order to carry a gun in the same position on most days. Since it is not a good idea to frequently switch your on-body carry location from day to day, picking a main style of clothing and preferred carry method is beneficial. If you wear a lot of long skirts, an ankle holster might be perfect for most days. If you prefer a lot of baggy hooded sweatshirts and T-shirts, an IWB holster might be the main way to go.

The problem is, if you constantly switch where you wear your holster, it may not be where you attempt to retrieve it from should you ever have to use it. It would be detrimental to forget where you are wearing your holster on the day that you need your gun, and you surely don’t ever want to fumble with getting it out. If you pick one or two carry methods for wearing your gun most of the time, then it will be easier to fit in plenty of crucial drawing and shooting practice at the range.

I am so grateful for the right to carry a concealed firearm for protection, and as CC permit holders, we should all respect the responsibility that entails. No matter which carry methods you choose, it is most important to be comfortable with your firearm and know how to handle it safely.


Numerous factors must be just right in order for concealed carry to work well, and concealment can change daily depending on our clothes and activities. Gun size, on-body carry position,

I am always being asked which is better for close quarters self-defense a gun or a knife. Both are deadly weapons if used properly but what is properly. At a close quarter’s range, which is conversational range, say about 10 to 15 feet, the main thing will be if the weapons are deployed or not. Whichever one is deployed first gives the user the advantage. For the shooter at this distance you can forget the textbook formal line up the front sight shooting techniques, they won’t work and for the person with the knife forget the Dojo sparing techniques. A lot would have to do with strategies, which seem never to be covered in formal firearms or self-defense training and then non-PC aggressive action!

Knives are excellent close quarter’s weapons and have a lot of advantages over guns, like being legal availability in most places for one. If traveling internationally 98% of the time you can’t take firearms but should be able to pick up a pocket knife at the end location. The tactical knife does not need to be a $200 + custom tactical blade, if you go to Wal-Mart you can get a paring knife that can be concealed and can slash and stab very well for under $10!

While being in Eastern Europe in the mid 90’s I was surprised to hear from several law enforcement sources that the gypsy kids trained with knives, were skilled and were a not to be taken lightly. While in West Africa last year we were running all out tactical drills including hostage rescue with machetes, where the bush was thick it was very easy to stealthy get within a striking distance of a target. The proper use of knives relies on speed, surprise and aggression.

So, on the street for argument sake, who would have the advantage, the person with the knife or the gun?

  • Whoever was not caught off guard to start with!
  • Formally trained shooter against martial artists: Even!
  • Street wise shooter against martial artists: The Gun!
  • Formally trained shooter against someone who can use a knife properly: The knife!
  • Street wise shooter against someone who can use a knife properly: Depends on the strategies, training and luck!

I tell my students and clients to do everything possible to avoid any hostile situation as there are no good end results… Someone usually goes to jail and someone usually goes to the hospital or the morgue!

Stay safe!


I am always being asked which is better for close quarters self-defense a gun or a knife. Both are deadly weapons if used properly but what is properly. At a

Riots are certainly possible even over something as seemingly minor. We saw what happened when a glitch in the EBT system caused a run on Wal-Mart in two towns in Louisiana. In a short time, the looters with an alibi I’ll call them, had cleaned out the food section of the store leaving nothing for anyone else to eat. The Washington times reported:

“It was definitely worse than Black Friday. It was worse than anything we had ever seen in this town. There was no food left on any of the shelves, and no meat left. The grocery part of Wal-Mart was totally decimated,” said Springhill Police Chief Will Lyn.

This foreshadowing of what a crowd out of control can do was under different circumstances than what is predicted to happen on Friday. These EBT owners at Wal-Mart were being told that the magic cards that give them a monthly budget for groceries suddenly had no limits. Not wanting to miss this opportunity, they figured that they should take advantage of their lottery winnings and stock up the freezer. Imagine what would happen if the EBT card said instead of “get anything you want”, the message was “you can’t get anything at all”. Do you think the results would be better or worse?

All of this talk of riots got me to thinking about large protests and the eventual destruction we have seen for a long time played out in large cities and foreign countries. Get enough angry people together, the riot-police will come out and then things will get broken and people will get hurt. We have not heard a lot of riots in the news recently; perhaps the global outrage has cooled off with the onset of fall. The Arab Spring is now the quiet of Autumn or maybe the news simply stopped reporting it. Riots are social protest taken to another level and they can be dangerous places to be.

Obviously, riots can get out of hand and even our armed forces train to control riots. Army publication FM 3-19-15 even lists as potential causes of a riot, events that seem eerily similar to the food riots predicted above.

Community unrest results in urban conflicts that arise from highly emotional social and economic issues. Economically deprived inner city residents may feel that they are treated unjustly or ignored by people in power and authority. Tensions can build quickly in a community over a variety of issues, such as hunger, poor employment opportunities, inadequate community services, poor housing, and labor issues. Tension in these areas creates the potential for violence. When tensions are high, it takes a small (seemingly minor) incident, rumor, or act of injustice to ignite groups within a crowd to riot and act violently.

I came across a manual when I went looking for more information about Riots and Riot control tactics. I wanted to see if I could understand the perspective of the police and military Riot control units and learn what they are trained to do when they are called out to put down these mini rebellions. One manual I found is called the “Warrior Crowd Control and Riot Manual” which you can purchase for $5. I don’t know who wrote it and I haven’t been in a riot so I can’t vouch for the information but it is an interesting read. If you search for it, you might be able to find a free version to download. Everything in it points to a source advocating for rioting and this book seems to be a guide for how to carry out a riot, not how to manage one.

The manual is broken into two sections. The first deals with Crowd Control and this is written from the perspective of the police or military CCU (riot squad) team most of the time. I think the manual flows back and forth between the Crowd Control being directed at you and others. The second section is called Riot training and goes into some pretty interesting details about how protestors should conduct a riot. Maybe, more accurately the section deals with how to stage a riot without getting hurt or captured. I think this information is valuable if you are faced with a WROL scenario and find yourself dealing with a large and hostile group who may be trying to riot outside your home or neighborhood. It could also be useful if you find your self caught up in the middle of a riot in your city.

Individual Riot Control/Protection gear

Before I continue, I would recommend that you DO NOT get into any of these situations. Avoid riots at all costs unless your own values tell you that there is no other option. This manual and others dealing with the rioter side of the confrontation usually advocate violence in some fashion. In all of the cases I have seen at least in the US, that violence is taken out on businesses by the agitators listed in this guide. You don’t want to be the loser busting in the window of a department store and stealing clothes if you are mad at a politician.

The flip side is that if you are in a WROL situation, these tactics might quickly go out the window. If I am defending my home from a mob who is intent on taking our lives, I won’t be as concerned with showing restraint if you understand what I mean.

Crowd Control

Crowd control is a generic term for getting a large group of people to do what you want them to do. In a riot, this is usually to stop what they are doing or to move away. The people responsible for crowd control have to make decisions based upon what the crowd is doing, the energy of the crowd and what direction the crowd is heading. If the crowd is heading for your home, the objective would be to stop them before they get there and send them off where they came from without any violence.

Crowd control weapons – There are a lot of weapons and equipment to consider if you are part of the riot squad in charge of dispersing the crowd. Primary to any offensive weapons would be defensive in the form of protection. Helmets are vital to protect your head from flying objects like rocks or bottles and be anything from Military Kevlar to skateboarding helmets. You can easily pick up a surplus Kevlar helmet at your local army navy store or on EBay. Shop around because prices are all over the place.

Once your head is protected, you move down to shin and forearm guards, heavily padded gloves, face shields and a striking weapon. Usually the weapon is a large baton which can be made from any good solid piece of wood. You can get inch and a half poles at your local hardware store or the old standby – a baseball bat. Pepper spray is also a good close quarters deterrent if people are coming towards your line. Lastly you would round out your personal protection with a firearm in most cases.

Crowd behavior and Psychology – Crowds are living breathing animals and their moods change based upon a lot of factors like how long they have been protesting, the injustice they are railing against, weather, frustration. Most of the riots we see on TV are comprised of a lot of people watching, even more taking photos and a small percentage acting up. It is the agitators that you have to be mindful of and that is who the CCU’s will try to take out of the equation.

The agitators are the ones who will instigate the crowd to action and these are the de facto leaders. If you remove the agitator, in many cases, the crowd will lose its steam. Riots by their definition are large and unorganized. A well-organized riot control team can manage a much higher number of protestors. I will point out that this concept correlates directly with the reason the crowd is rioting in the first place. If there is a piece of legislation that the crowd wants passed, the violence is likely to be low. Kill a few people or take away freedom and liberty and then you have a different dynamic. At a certain point, when people have nothing else to lose, all bets are off and the crowd could easily go on a rampage destroying everything in its path.

Lethal Over watch

Communications during a riot – It is vital that you are able to maintain communications with the rest of the riot squad or your group during the course of the event. Radio communications might not work so hand signals should be your fall back. Having hand signals for how to line up and constrain the crowd will make communicating even in a highly noisy environment possible.

Lethal Over watch – Controlling the high ground offers time tested advantages over almost any opponent. Governments will always have snipers on the roof tops to monitor the situation of any riots. That is great news if they are protecting you, bad news if they aren’t. The lethal part of this element is the ability for the sniper to take out anyone who poses a threat to life or safety of the Riot Squad. Snipers are also able to help watch over the crowd from a better advantage point and see actions that the people on the ground aren’t able to. If you find yourself in a riot, take a look around and see how many places you are being watched. With drones now, there is virtually no way to keep yourself out of the eyes of someone.

Containment vs. Dispersal – The person responsible for running the CCU will make the call in a riot as to what the goal is of the riot squad. Usually, the intended result is to either disperse the crowd or contain them for arrest. There are various methods of containing crowds but in most cases, the CCU wants the riot to disperse. For this reason they will leave an escape route and start driving people out away from the primary zone.

If you are in a riot and find yourself getting backed into a dead end, you may find yourself on the wrong end of a whooping.

Snatch Squads – Snatch squads are 4-6 man teams designed to run out from the line of riot squad or come from behind, grab protestors, usually leaders or agitators and remove them from the protest. This is a highly psychological move meant to intimidate and disorganize the protestors. Snatch squads are usually in the back of the line and they don’t have shields or weapons.

Snatch Squads for quickly arresting agitators

Constructing Barricades – The last line of defense is usually a barricade and are used by smaller forces to funnel the action of a larger crowd. Barricades are best placed at choke points to block passage of the riot and can be constructed from all manner of items. Barbed wire or concertina wire is a great deterrent for a barricade as is cars, downed trees, or fences. You can also use virtually any other large item like wood, stairs, doors, refrigerators, etc.

The goal of any type of riot control should be to disperse the crowd peacefully, but violent and even lethal force is allowed in the right circumstances. Don’t find yourself on the wrong side of a riot and keep an eye out Friday for what may happen. I think I’ll hit the grocery store tonight just in case.

Riots are certainly possible even over something as seemingly minor. We saw what happened when a glitch in the EBT system caused a run on Wal-Mart in two towns in


In an ideal world when a SHTF scenario takes place you’d be wearing your bullet proof vest and have immediate access to your hand gun and assault rifle. Unfortunately this may not be the case because of several factors. The laws in your country might prohibit you from carrying any weapons or the place you are attending might not allow you to carry weapons, such as universities and hospitals. So how do you defend yourself using unarmed combat skills if you get stuck in such an unpleasant situation? This article will go through the steps involved in defending yourself from the initial assessment of the threat, how to avoid or eliminate the threat with your bare hands or with any improvised weapon that you’re likely to come across in everyday life.

Assess the threat

As with everything else, the first step is to assess the situation. The extent of your assessment will obviously depend on the prevailing circumstances. You can’t take out pen and paper and start drafting an action plan if there’s a hyped up guy slashing with a machete right in front of your face. Each situation warrants a different level of assessment. An imminent threat requires split second decisions that are mostly based on muscle memory acquired through hours of training whilst a hostage situation requires careful planning. Whatever the situation, the aim of your assessment is to identify any weaknesses of your opponent, availability of improvised weapons and escape routes. We’ll cover all these aspects in the sections below.

Basics of Self Defense

When faced with a threat you have two opposing options; fight or flight. Backing off from a confrontation might make you feel like a pussy but it’s better to feel that way for a few days rather than being killed or injured because of your pride. If you decide to run away from a confrontation/threat you have to be sure that you can run faster than your opponent, avoid any weapons he may attack you with whilst you are running (mostly applicable to firearms), and find adequate shelter before he catches up with you. If this is not possible then you’d better stand your ground and fight because once you turn your back on your opponent you’ll become much more vulnerable.

The human body has multiple weak spots that you can target to your advantage.

Once you’ve decided to fight, or are forced to fight your way out, there are some basics you have to keep in mind. The fundamental principle of self-defense is to reduce to the least extent possible the damage your body receives in the attack. Key areas to protect are your entire head and face and vital organs in your torso. However do not underestimate the importance of your limbs. You won’t be able to attack with enough force if your arm/s gets injured and you’ll have problems standing and moving about if your leg/s gets injured. How you protect yourself will depend on how you’re being attacked. We’ll go through these in the coming sections.

The next principle is to stop your assailant from what he is doing. This is achieved by hitting a delicate part of your opponent’s body with a tough part of your own body (or any hard object that comes to hand). Your attack should be vicious and aggressive. This is not the time to have sympathy. You want to cause intense pain and damage in as little time as possible in order to neutralize the assailant.

Tough Parts of the Body

  • Knuckles
  • Elbows
  • Knees
  • Sole of the foot
  • Forehead

Delicate Parts of the Body

  • Temple
  • Eyes
  • Nose
  • Jaw
  • Neck/throat
  • Solar plexus
  • Ribs
  • Kidneys
  • Groin
  • Knees (when hit from the sides)

Unarmed Assailant

When your assailant is unarmed it’s a fight on equal par and the outcome will depend on strength, stamina, technique, aggressiveness and as always a bit of luck. Although it’s important to be aggressive don’t forget about defending yourself and protecting your vitals. If you get injured, you drastically reduce your chance of winning that fight. Once into the fight do your utmost to knockout (make unconscious) your opponent or cause an injury that makes him harmless. Do not start throwing useless punches and kicks in the air like a drunkard. Instead aim all your shots and focus on making contact with most if not all your attacks. Hit with all your strength but make sure not to lose your balance. Do not opt for fancy spinning kicks and that stuff unless you’re a professional kick boxer. Aim your kicks to his knees to knock him off-balance and aim your punches to his face and ribs if you get the opportunity. Do not unnecessarily expose yourself whilst attacking and always be ready to block his attacks. Follow these basics and you’re likely to be the one standing next to an unconscious body.

Armed with a Knife

When faced with an opponent with a bladed weapon you must concentrate on that weapon and move in such a way that it never contacts your body. Keep at a distance and let your opponent slash and trust in vain. You have to wait for your opportunity to move in swiftly and grab hold of the hand holding the weapon. Do not grab the weapon from the blade. Your best chance of moving in is when he has swung the blade and is about to slash back. Once you gain hold of his weapon bearing hand hit him with all you’ve got but never let go off the hand. When you feel that he’s become weak enough, grab the weapon bearing hand with both your arms and twist it ferociously to break as many bones as possible. At this point he should drop the weapon or loosen enough his grip such that you can safely take it away from him. Once the weapon is in your hand, it’s up to you how to proceed but keep in mind there might be repercussions, both legal and psychological, if you decide to end his life.

Armed with a Firearm

An assailant with a firearm is much more difficult to disarm due to the extended range and deadliness of the weapon. Here your initial approach will be drastically different in that you want to come in physical contact with your assailant. You’ll have to do this gradually whilst distracting your assailant with conversation or a decoy. Once close enough your objective will be to grab the gun by the barrel and hold the gun pointing away from you and ideally away from other people. Movies and some martial arts experts demonstrate techniques to disarm an assailant with a gun pointing towards your head/torso. I am not judging the capabilities of these individuals but I strongly suggest you do not try this technique. All the assailant has to do is squeeze the trigger. This only takes a split second and your attempt to twist the gun might actually be what causes the trigger pull. The approach I suggest is much safer. Wait for a moment when your assailant points the gun in another direction. This is likely to happen whilst he is shouting instructions and uses the armed hand to point towards what he’s talking about. As soon as the gun is pointing in a safe direction, grab the gun by the barrel (obviously without any part of your hand obstructing the barrel’s end) and hit the assailant with all you’ve got. It’s interesting to note that if the firearm is a pistol it will shoot the loaded round when the trigger is pulled but it will not cycle another round since you will be hindering the slide’s motion. Be careful in the case of a revolver due to the hot gases escaping from around the cylinder. If it is a long firearm, grab the barrel with both hands so that you can exert more leverage. Obviously in the latter case you’ll have to attack with your lower limbs.

Arm Yourself – Improvised Weapons

Even a fire extinguisher makes an effective weapon. Spray the compound to blind your attacker and then bash them over the head with the empty cylinder.

This article is about unarmed combat in view of situations where you’re not carrying any weapons. This however doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to arm yourself with whatever might come handy. The following are a few ideas of easily obtainable weapons in everyday life.

Sticks such as a broom, billiard or long umbrella-You can swing such sticks to keep your assailant at bay but usually such sticks are fragile and immediately break upon impact dealing very little damage to the target. Instead use ‘weak’ sticks like you would use a lance. They will be less likely to break and will deal a lot of damage due to the low surface area which results in a lot of pressure.

Metal pen-This has a very short reach but you could easily incapacitate someone by stabbing him in the eyes or neck. You can also use a metal pen for pressure points techniques to subdue an assailant. This however requires training.

Stones or any other hard object such as a soda can (full)-These can be used as projectiles especially when you have an ample supply of them. If you’ve got only one it might be better to hold on to it and use it for battering your opponent.

Chair or stool-These can be used as a shield and to keep your assailant at bay as well as for striking. Obviously they can be thrown in the typical western movie style.

Fire extinguisher-You can direct the escaping gas (CO2 will be extremely cold), water, foam or powder in your assailants face. You can also use the cylinder as a battering device or throw it at him. You could even approach the assailant from above and simply drop the fire extinguisher on him.

Stiletto Shoes-If you or anyone accompanying you is wearing stiletto shoes, take them off. You’ll be able to move with more agility (be careful if there is glass or other sharp or hot objects on the ground) and you can use it for stabbing just like you would with a metal pen.


You never know when things are going to turn sour. We do our best to always be prepared to defend ourselves but we might end up in a threatening situation whilst we’re officially unarmed. That doesn’t mean we’re all gonna die. It means that we have to prepare for that scenario like we would for any other. Always be alert of your surroundings and book yourself for a few self-defense classes and keep practicing those techniques. You’ll be glad you have if the need ever arises.

  In an ideal world when a SHTF scenario takes place you’d be wearing your bullet proof vest and have immediate access to your hand gun and assault rifle. Unfortunately this