Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Illinois Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) License Class

$250 - Illinois Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW/CCL) License Training Class


Get your Illinois Conceal Carry License... Plus get 3 other CCW's licenses FREE! (Utah CCW, Arizona CCW & Florida CCW) - together safely and legally conceal carry a handgun in over 37 States...!!!

Price: $250 (NO other class fees), 
price includes;
1. Range fees ($25)
2. Illinois Livescan digital fingerprints ($70)
3. Utah & Arizona ink fingerprints ($25)
4. Passport photos ($15)
5. CCW application paperwork 
6. Assistance with CCW application paperwork 

Class Date: September 10-11th (16 hours)
Location: VFW- Villa Park, Illinois 

331-642-8110 /

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Which is the best CCW gun in 2016?

Which is the Best Concealed Carry Handgun for YOU in 2016? We Break It Down

Is it One of These or Something Else?

What is the Best Handgun for Concealed Carry in 2016?

“The best handgun for concealed carry is the one you have with you when you need it.”

OK, that statement is not quite right.  A handgun that you have with you may meet rule number one of a gunfight (bring a gun) but the handgun you have with you may be sub-optimal for the occasion.  Before we get to optimal, the adequate handgun is one with which you are well-trained and is powerful enough to destroy your target.  Broadly speaking, bigger calibers are more powerful than smaller calibers.  Please do realize that compared to most rifle calibers, handgun calibers are quite weak.

Here is the scenario:  You have decided to take the plunge.  You have finally decided to get your handgun carry permit.  Since “the best handgun for concealed carry for me” may well be different from “the best handgun for concealed carry for you,” you will have to do your own research.  Just to get a feel for how a handgun fits you, you can visit gun shows (as long as they are still legal), pawn shops and your local gun store.  Most sellers will happily let you handle the merchandise, particularly at a gun show.

How a handgun feels in your hand is only one aspect of choosing your “everyday carry” (EDC).  Many ranges will let you rent handguns, and that should give you an even better feel for the weapon.  However, many really nice range guns may be larger and more difficult to conceal than smaller handguns.  One trade off is that more concealable handguns may be easier to carry but quite a bit more “snappy” to shoot.  Some very concealable, but more powerful handguns may even make your hand hurt after just a few rounds.  They can really get the job done, but are not a lot of fun to shoot.  And, if it is not fun to shoot, you may not train with it as often.

If you are planning to open carry where legal to do so, your planning choices will likely differ.  One thing to consider, though, is that you may find yourself in a situation in which it would be more prudent to legally conceal your handgun rather than carry it openly.  You may want to choose a handgun that is relatively easy to conceal for your EDC even though you plan to open carry.  That way, you have only one handgun with which to become trained.  In the business of our everyday lives, time seems to be the most strictly regulated commodity.

Since no one can really tell you which handgun best suits you, you will have to decide which handgun best meets your needs.  I cannot list every possible option, so will just provide some of the more popular choices as your “jumping off point.”  One of your initial requirements may be affordability.

One of the best sources of affordable firearms are the auctions on  The website has recently published their Top 5 sales lists for December 2015.

Last Friday, by the way, issued a statement from Steve Urvan, the CEO and Founder of  In the statement, he said the following:

As many of you are aware, the President made a big production of “taking action” on gun control this week. What is not as obvious, and has been missed by much of the mainstream media, is that the President’s actions are smoke and mirrors with no legally binding changes….The President’s guidance documents are largely just a restatement of existing laws and a wish list of actions that would need to be passed by Congress (and likely will not be). The definition of who is “enaged in the business” of firearms has not changed and is firmly established by both law and case law. Unlicensed persons are still allowed to sell firearms from their personal collection provided all Federal, state, and local laws are obeyed….As we clearly state on our website, all transactions on are made in full compliance with all federal state, and local laws, using licensed federal firearms dealers as transfer agents. Federal law requires those dealers to run a background check on the buyer. There is a strict compliance system in place and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms audits dealers for compliance.

Here are’s top 5 sales of new semi-automatic pistols and new revolvers for November and December 2015.  These choices are worth investigating:'s Top 5 Sales of New Semi-Automatic Pistols and New Revolvers’s Top 5 Sales of New Semi-Automatic Pistols and New Revolvers

As a reader of you probably already know that under existing law, one cannot purchase firearms online without a Federal Firearms License (FFL) or a Curio and Relic (C&R) license (for certain specified firearms).  A C&R license holder is a collector license, not a business license.  Someone in the business of buying and selling firearms may not do so under the less expensive C&R license.  To engage in the business of buying and selling firearms without the FFL (whether in person, on the internet, or at gun shows) is illegal.

Some of the most popular carry pistols are also very affordable and small enough to be carried in your front or back pocket.

There are a number of choices in the “pocket pistol” category.  Some of the most popular pocket sized carry pistols (and this category may depend on the size of your pocket) are the Ruger LCP, the Kel Tec P3AT & P32, the SIG P239 & P938, the Glock G42, and the venerable Russian, East German or Bulgarian Makarov.  If your favorite pocket pistol was not mentioned, please let us know in the comments.

Following his return from the Youtube ban, Hickok45 reviewed a new offering from Remington, the RM380.  I would be remiss if I did not mention that Hickok45’s sponsor (if that is the right word) are the folks at Bud’s Gunshop.  I’ve purchased from them and I know they are a fantastic source for affordable firearms and have great customer service:

For some, “racking the slide” on a semi-automatic handgun may be too difficult.  (Give the SIG P238 a try before you give up on a semi-automatic — it is *really* easy to “rack the slide”).  However, if a semi-automatic just is not for you, there are a number of concealable, light-weight, revolvers from which to choose.  The Smith and Wesson 686 and Ruger LCR lead the sales of that category on

While I cannot mention all of your possible options, I would be negligent if I did not mention that some folks really love their M1911 old school .45ACPs.  It is a solid choice with a great reputation.  Did I mention “old school”?  (I admit that I have carried my single action cowboy pistol in .45 Long Colt, taking “old school” to another level).

After you’ve made your choice, Kevin Michalowski of the US Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) and editor of Concealed Carry Magazine, has some great tips.  Here he is speaking of how to make a change from one carry rig to another, but many of the principles would be the same whether you are changing up a pistol/holster combination or making a pistol/holster combination choice for the first time.  In the interest of full disclosure, I am a USCCA member and recommend that you consider joining this organization if you carry a handgun.

No matter which concealed carry choice you make, please, please, please carry with a holster that effectively covers your trigger and keeps your firearm in place even when you are active.

What’s my choice?  I like my Kahr Arms CM45 (in .45ACP).  It is thin, concealable and packs a powerful punch.  I have friends who prefer their Glock 23 in .40 S&W and still others who really like their Smith and Wesson M&P Shield in .40 S&W or in 9mm Luger.   So, no…..I cannot really tell you which is the best concealed carry firearm for YOU for 2016.  What YOU can do, however, is share your thoughts on what makes YOUR optimal concealed carry handgun for 2016.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Violence is a necessary tool...

A violent reaction: despite what some might say, violence is a valid and necessary tool.

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I kept tabs on the concealed carry reciprocity bill that failed to clear the Senate this week, and the debates brought to mind comments I heard years ago regarding concealed carry proponents: “intelligent people have no need for violence.” “We need to reduce the violence in this world, not increase it.”

This reveals a fundamental ignorance regarding the place of violence in a civilized society. Violence, which is usually defined as an exertion of physical force against a living being, is a necessary part of human behavior. CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver are quite violent acts, and I doubt that even the most lily-white member of the intelligentsia would ever decree those lifesaving actions to be repugnant. Yet violent they most assuredly are, and a necessity if our species is to survive and thrive.

The same is true of violence used to save one’s own life from the actions of another. If you carry a firearm for personal defense, understand this: you will be perpetrating violence on another. He will have already done that to you, and your actions will be in response to his, but it’s still violence. Get used to that word, and become comfortable with it. If you recoil at the thought of being violent, if that word shocks and bewilders you, a necessary part of your preparations has been missed.

Violence is nothing more a tool, one that can be used for both good and evil. It’s up to you to use violence for proper, useful and legal purposes, but also to remember that it’s still violence – and there’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t let the misconceptions of others convince you otherwise.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Violence is a necessary tool for self defense

A violent reaction: despite what some might say, violence is a valid and necessary tool.

Posted by: 

I kept tabs on the concealed carry reciprocity bill that failed to clear the Senate this week, and the debates brought to mind comments I heard years ago regarding concealed carry proponents: “intelligent people have no need for violence.” “We need to reduce the violence in this world, not increase it.”

This reveals a fundamental ignorance regarding the place of violence in a civilized society. Violence, which is usually defined as an exertion of physical force against a living being, is a necessary part of human behavior. CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver are quite violent acts, and I doubt that even the most lily-white member of the intelligentsia would ever decree those lifesaving actions to be repugnant. Yet violent they most assuredly are, and a necessity if our species is to survive and thrive.

The same is true of violence used to save one’s own life from the actions of another. If you carry a firearm for personal defense, understand this: you will be perpetrating violence on another. He will have already done that to you, and your actions will be in response to his, but it’s still violence. Get used to that word, and become comfortable with it. If you recoil at the thought of being violent, if that word shocks and bewilders you, a necessary part of your preparations has been missed.

Violence is nothing more a tool, one that can be used for both good and evil. It’s up to you to use violence for proper, useful and legal purposes, but also to remember that it’s still violence – and there’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t let the misconceptions of others convince you otherwise.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

$125 - Utah. Arizona & Florida CCW License Class - for Illinois residents

$125 - Utah, Florida & Arizona CCW License Class - for Illinois residents

Get three (3) non-resident Utah, Florida & Arizona CCW permits / licenses - together legally and safely conceal carry handgun(s) in over 34 States. 

Location: VFW Villa Park,  Illinois 
Date: September 10th (8-Noon)

Cost: $125.00

331-642-8110 /

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Should a CCW holder get involved in someone else's fight?

Should a CCW holder get involved in someone else’s fight?

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A week or so ago, Greg Ellifritz (who’s a police officer by trade) posted a story about a call in which he was involved. Seems that a male store security officer (who is also a cop, albeit part-time) had a running fight with a female shoplifter that ended up on the side of a thoroughfare. The suspect got the bright idea of yelling “rape!” in an attempt to elicit some help on the part of passers-by.

She got it in the form of a citizen with a valid concealed carry permit. (I won’t go into the details of the encounter, but I encourage you to read Greg’s account for the whole story.)

The person with the CCW intervened on behalf of someone he didn’t know, against someone he didn’t know, in a situation where he was not cognizant of all of the relevant facts. It’s natural, I think, to believe that the person yelling “rape” would be the innocent. The suspect certainly did, which was her plan!

This incident could have turned out very differently. The CCW holder could have shot the cop/security officer, the security guy could have shot him, or the responding officers could have mistaken the CCW for an accomplice of either of the others and shot him.

It’s easy to think of ourselves, possessors of valid concealed carry licenses, as upright citizens being on the side of truth and virtue and a line of defense against the evil in this world. The language of much of the training industry tends to reinforce these notions: note how many people use the word ‘sheepdog’ with regard to concealed carry.

The problem is that some people, such as our CCW holder in this story, take that stuff seriously. There is a bit of daydreamer in each of us, one who sees himself as being the hero in a dire circumstance: riding in to save the damsel from harm. Some segments of the training industry are happy to reinforce, or at least not discourage, such beliefs. This incident should serve as a counterpoint to that, as things are not always what they seem!

I caution my students that they should look at their concealed firearm as being intended for the protection of themselves and their loved ones against an identified lethal threat, and not necessarily for the protection of the public at large. I can imagine how this guy felt when he heard what he truly believed to be someone in need of assistance, but at the same time he could have gotten himself, or someone else, unjustifiably killed.

We start with the concept that the threat of lethal force (your drawn gun) is only applicable when you or someone else is facing a lethal threat. In this case, assuming the situation is as Greg reports it, I don’t see where there was a lethal threat which warranted the CCW holder to have his own gun in play. Generally, in the absence of an immediate and otherwise unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm, the lethal tool (the gun) is not the proper choice whether you’re protecting yourself or protecting others.

That brings us back to pretending to be something you’re not: this fellow was using a lethal threat (his gun) simply to get someone else to follow his orders. That’s what police officers do, and are allowed to do, but that’s not what private citizens carrying a concealed handgun are allowed to do. We are not cops, but someone apparently forgot to explain that distinction to him.

Intervention with a concealed pistol is fraught with risk. You first need to ask yourself if there is a true danger of death (or grave harm) to another human being. If someone is attacking you that’s an easy thing to answer, but when dealing with two other parties it’s a question that requires a little conscious effort.

Are you absolutely certain that the players in the situation are what they appear to be? If someone walks into the mall and starts shooting it’s a lot easier to make that analysis than in the case Greg relates. Getting involved with lethal force in a scenario where you end up shooting the wrong person is a grave error (and being shot because you were seen by someone else as the bad guy would be a grave consequence.)

It’s important, I believe, to think about this kind of incident ahead of time and decide the parameters under which you would act. In what cases would you even consider intervention to protect another? How will you be sure that you should? What can you do to ascertain the players before you bring your gun to bear? Finally, how might you deal with the aftermath of having shot what turned out to be an innocent person?

These are not easy questions, nor should they be.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Gun Lubrication 101

Lubrication 101: Gun oil, snake oil, and how to tell the difference.

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Firearms enthusiasts are the targets (pardon the pun) of some of the most misleading advertisements regarding the proper lubrication of their guns. The purpose of this article is to give a background on basic lubrication concepts, the technology behind them, and some guidelines for selecting lubricants based on facts, not hype.

Before going further, let’s make something perfectly clear: with a very few obvious exceptions, firearms lubrication isn’t terribly difficult. Compared to many more common objects, guns just don’t make big demands of their lubricants! That’s right, firearms pose no actual “extreme” situations with which a lubricant must deal. There are thousands upon thousands of 100-year-old-plus guns out there that are functioning – just fine, thank you – on a diet of “3-in-1” oil.

However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t something better. This article, it is hoped, will help you determine just what “better” means to you.

(Over the years I’ve been honored to have a number of tribologists — the technical term for oil engineers — contribute and correct this article. I thank each and every one of them for helping me to keep this as factual and current as I can!)


Let’s start at the beginning…

Why lubricate something? First, to prevent wear and second, to promote a certain level of performance. To put it more clearly, what we’re trying to do is to keep parts from rubbing directly on other parts, and to make the interaction of those parts as smooth as possible.

As it turns out, those polished surfaces that rub against each other aren’t all that smooth. Looking through a microscope, even the most highly finished metal surface still looks like a forested hillside – with all kinds of huge voids, depressions, and valleys. Imagine, then, what happens when that surface meets the surface of it’s companion part! Not only does the combination become difficult to move, but the tops of those trees get broken off – that’s how wear starts at the microscopic level.

That’s why we lubricate those surfaces. Lubrication works in a couple of ways: “hydrodynamic” and “boundary”.

Hydrodynamic lubrication is essentially when the parts ride on the film of liquid (or semi-liquid) lubricant; the lubricant fills all of the voids, and the film itself serves as a buffer to keep the surfaces apart.

This works really well, except when a load is applied and the lubricant is squeezed out of it’s space between the surfaces. When that happens, the surfaces grind together and wear. What if we added something to the mix – something that was a bit more “solid” than the lubricant, which wouldn’t be easily squeezed out? Well, that’s just what “boundary” lubrication entails – adding small pieces of more-solid material to serve as a physical separator between the surfaces, keeping them from tearing each other to pieces.

The solids that provide this service are known as “anti-wear” or “extreme pressure” (AW/EP) additives – solids of microscopic size that are mixed into a lubricant, in order to maintain a protective boundary (get it?) under load. “Moly”, a generic term for several molydenum compounds, is one example; others include sulphur compunds, zinc, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, aka ‘teflon’), zinc diakyl dithiophosphate (ZDDP), phosphors, boron, antimony diakyl dithiocarbamate (and it’s derivatives), and many more. Each of these has certain properties that the skilled tribologist (lubrication scientist) will balance to achieve the optimum lubricant for the application.

Regardless of the physical characteristics of the product, lubricants are a “package” – the primary lubricant plus boundary additives, thickeners (as in greases), and other things (tackifiers, pour point depressants, detergents…the list is endless and chock full of chemical names I can’t begin to decipher!)

My exaggerated interpretation of the primary lubrication states:


All about grease

Grease is nothing more than thickened oil. Grease is made by mixing oil with a “base” to thicken it – the base being a metallic soap (lithium, aluminum, barium, calcium), or a non-soap alternative (bentone, polyurea.) Each of these bases have different characteristics, which are taken into account (along with the oils and additives) to produce a grease of the desired effectiveness.

Different bases will show different degrees of water resistance, cold weather performance, stability (the ability to resist oil separation under shear and mechanical operations), oxidation, and “reversability” – the ability of the base to re-absorb any oil that might have been separated out.

Lithium is the most common base encountered; it’s cheap, easily produced, and has enough good traits to make it a decent choice for general purposes. Aluminum bases, though, have several advantages: much better resistance to water (and acids and alkalis), better low-temperature performance, better stability, and dramatically increased reversability. Aluminum greases are typically a bit harder to find, and more costly, but their performance advantages can be pretty dramatic.

Grease is graded in thickness by its NLGI number. Most grease you’re familiar with is NLGI #2; smaller numbers mean less thick, larger numbers mean thicker. A grease rated at NLGI #00 is almost a liquid a room temperature.


What makes for a good gun lube?

Believe it or not, and contrary to what a lot of marketing hype will try to tell you, firearms aren’t generally all that hard on lubricants. They encounter intermittent high loads, interspersed with long periods of inaction. This means that the primary lubrication need isn’t hydrodynamic – it’s boundary. What, then, should we be looking for?

Start with a very good boundary lubrication package – that translates to lots of EP/AW additives. We need superb corrosion resistance, along with resistance to oxidation (don’t want those lubricants thickening up during non-use.) We could also use some water resistance and an ability to withstand mild acid and alkali exposure (think perspiration.) Low temperature performance would be icing on the cake, and for a grease we want something that won’t easily separate under load.

We need our oils to migrate. No, I don’t mean to fly south for the winter! Migration is the ability of the lubricant to spread to surrounding and adjacent areas. For instance, let’s say we’re lubricating the shaft on which a hammer pivots; a lubricant with poor migration would just sit where we applied it, and would never get into the space between the hammer hole and the pivot. The net result would be a poorly lubed mechanism. A lube with good migration will succumb to capillary action and snake its way down into that small space, lubricating everything it comes into contact with.

Sounds like migration is just the cat’s meow, right? Not really – there is such a thing as too much. The migration that is so desirable on hammers and triggers isn’t really good on autopistol slides; the lubricant tends to “run off”, or migrates to the holster (or your clothes.) Ever wonder why your autoloader slide goes “dry” while in the holster? Lubricant migration at work. (What, you think it disappeared into thin air?)

What about greases – do we even need them? You bet! I use the General Rule of Lubrication: oil for rotating parts, grease for sliding parts that carry a load. In firearms, grease is most appropriate for any part interaction that has a scraping (aka “shear”) type of action, and will be subjected to pressure or shock. What kinds of parts are we talking about? Slide rails, bolt carriers, and sears – especially double-action sears. (An example of a sliding part that should not be greased is the trigger bow of the 1911 pistol – it carries virtually no load, and is subject to almost no stress; it also is under very light tension, so little that a thickened lubricant could reduce its free movement.)

That’s a pretty good explanation of what we need – is there anything we should avoid? Of course – any product that contains chlorine compounds. These compounds, usually referred to as chlorinated esters, were used as boundary additives for many years. As boundary lubes they actually work pretty well; the problem is that they promote a phenomenon known as “stress corrosion cracking” (SCC). Essentially, SCC creates microscopic pits and cracks that, under heat and pressure, widen to become noticeable cracks – and sometimes, even broken parts!

(One major gun manufacturer actually had barrels fall off of their revolvers. An investigation ensued, and they found that the chlorinated esters used in their machining oils was causing stress cracking in barrel threads. When combined with the gun owners’ use of cleaning and lube compounds containing chlorinated esters, the barrels simply sheared off at the weakest part – the threads. Like most aircraft makers, the company learned to forbid chlorine-carrying compounds on the manufacturing floor, to prevent a recurrence.)


What about “miracle products”?

Let’s be clear: there are no “new”, “revolutionary” lubricant products made for firearms. That’s a flat statement, and it’s intended to be. All of the lubricants, bases, and additives of suitable use are already well known to the lubricant industry. Specific combinations might be unique, but it’s all been tried before – if not necessarily on guns.

There are several such products on the market right now that are simply a well-known boundary additive in a light carrier; at least one of them is a chlorinated ester! These things have been around a long time, and unless you didn’t know better the products using them would indeed seem to be “revolutionary.” Just remember: any new gun lube is going to be made up of readily available components, perhaps blended especially for the requirement, but will not be a “miracle”.


Cut to the chase! What should I use?

Let’s start with oil. Most people use oils that are way too heavy; thicker is not better! Use a relatively thin oil with the correct properties, and use it very sparingly – most “oil failures” I’ve seen have been from too much, rather than too little, oil.

Frankly, in terms of mechanical performance, most oils “work”; some are better than others, but everything will make parts move for a while. The weakest area of most oils is in corrosion resistance – and on a gun, corrosion is a bad thing! There have been lots of claims, but those people who have actually taken the time to run experiments to test corrosion on steel have found that the products with the greatest hype are often the worst at corrosion resistance. Not surprisingly, plain mineral oils, such as Rem Oil, score at the very bottom of the list. (To that you can usually add most of the plant- or vegetable-based oils.)

In years past I recommended Dexron-type Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF). That’s right, plain ol’ ATF. The kind you get at every gas station, auto parts store, and even most convenience stores. It does pretty well in corrosion resistance (not great, but better than average.) It also has good migration, a fair boundary lubrication package, is the right weight (thickness) for general firearms use, doesn’t oxidize over long periods of storage, and is compatible with a wide range of metals and plastics. Synthetic or regular, either will work just fine.

ATF is not perfect, however; aside from the aforementioned deficiencies, it does have a slight odor to it, the red dye used to differentiate it from motor oil will stain, and it’s not non-toxic. Particularly because of the toxicity I no longer recommend its use. (A decent alternative that is still readily available is “NyOil.” Check your local auto parts store, in the aisle where they keep the miscellaneous lubricants and additives.)

What would I consider a “best in class” oil? Generally, it would be one made for lubricating food processing machinery, like Lubriplate’s FMO-AW oil (specifically the 350-AW weight.) Food grade lubricants have to prevent wear in sometimes corrosive environments and they have to do so even after being wiped off of the surface they’re protecting (which is actually part of the requirement for food contact ratings!) They have good boundary protection and very high corrosion resistance especially in the presence of acids, alkalis, and moisture. They’re darned near tailor-made for our use!

I’m aware of at least one large coastal police agency using Lubriplate FMO-AW, and they report complete satisfaction with its performance. Unfortunately, it’s not (as of this writing) packaged in consumer friendly quantities – 1 gallon pails being the smallest available. You can get it repackaged in consumer sizes from Lubrikit *.


What about grease? 

Remember that you should grease sliding parts that carry a load – slide rails, sears, and bolt carriers. Again, remember to start with your criteria: must have superb boundary lubricants (particularly when used on double-action mechanisms), good cold working characteristics, resistant to acids/alkalis and water (especially water), and preferably of a non-staining variety (black grease stains look awful on clothing!)

Many people use Brownell’s Action Lube as a popular general purpose grease – it has wonderful boundary lubricants (in fact, it is mostly composed of molybdenum compounds in a light grease base) and great shear resistance. It is superb on action parts, and works fairly well on slide rails – as long as you don’t mind black stains. Yuck! It does exhibit poor oxidation characteristics and reversibility; though I have no hard data, I suspect it also doesn’t resist water or pH changes all that well. For internal parts, which are protected by housings, it is terrific and gives actions a unique ‘buttery’ feel. I use a lot of it to lubricate sears and rebound slides, but for all other needs there is a much better choice.

Again, food machinery greases are ideal for our needs. For such things as autoloader slides and rifle bolts, my favorite is Lubriplate “SFL” NLGI #0 grease (their “FGL” line is a good second choice.) In my testing it’s proven itself superior as a general lubricant. It is white, aluminum-based, low odor, has superb boundary lubricants, and is designed specifically for use in environments that encounter a huge temperature range. It’s also resistant to water washout and acid/alkali environments, has great shear resistance, and doesn’t oxidize like lithium greases will. As an all-around grease I’ve found nothing better. It’s available from, in their online store. It comes in a 14oz can which will last you for years – no matter how many guns you have! (Again, Lubrikit has it in smaller sizes.)

(Lubriplate also makes SFL in heavier grades, such as NLGI #1. While thicker than the #0, it is still a pretty light grease, and would be my recommendation for very hot climates. The NLGI #0 is a better choice for most of the United States.)


But what about……?

Everyone has their own little “secret”. If it works, is there anything wrong with it? Let’s find out…

Motor oils: Generally good boundary lubrication (particularly the Havoline formulations), but very poor corrosion resistance and poor resistance to open-air oxidation. The biggest problem is that their pour-point additives often contain benzene compounds, which aren’t a good thing to have next to your skin on a regular basis! I recommend staying away from motor oils; if you must use something from the auto parts store, ATF performs better for firearms use on every count, even if it is a tad more expensive. (ATF is still 1/10 to 1/100th the cost of a specialty “gun oil.”)

Gear oils: Too thick for the application. In addition, they contain tackifiers which gives them poor migration and lead to oxidization in open air, rendering them even more “sticky” – pretty much what we don’t want. (Some folks use it on their slide rails because it’s thicker and won’t migrate easily; a light grease is a far better choice.) If you really want a thicker oil with all the good characteristics we’ve covered, but is still cheap, mix ATF and STP Oil Treatment in a 40/60 ratio. Far better than gear oil on every count – but I’d still much rather have a good food grade NLGI #0 grease.

WD-40: WD-40 was never meant to be a lubricant – it was designed as a moisture displacer. It’s far too light for any load protection, has incredibly poor corrosion resistance, contains zero boundary lubricants, and rapidly oxidizes to form a sickly yellow varnish (hint: this is not good for delicate internal lockwork.) There are those who will defend this stuff vehemently, but then again you can still find people who think smokeless powder is a passing fad. Just. Don’t.

Automotive motor oil additives:Usually a boundary additive in some sort of light mineral oil carrier, they usually lack corrosion protection and often oxidize rapidly; some have poor migration characteristics and rely on the oil to which they’ll be added to provide those things. When mixed with an appropriate oil (such as ATF) these additives do have some merit (see above), but by themselves? No.

Silicone spray: Right up there with WD-40, but at least it’ll shed water while your parts grind themselves into little shavings!

Graphite: (sprays, powders) Graphite is a crystalline product which is actually very slightly abrasive. It offers no appreciable benefit other than being dry; a lube with a good boundary lubricant package can be wiped dry to the touch and still provide better lubrication and protection than graphite. Save it for your keys and padlocks.

Finally, note that the foregoing is a layman’s understanding of lubrication technology. I don’t pretend to be an expert, just a well-informed amateur hoping to disseminate some arcane knowledge. I have had the support, input, and feedback of a number of specialists and experts in the lubrication industry who have vetted what I say, but as always: use at your own risk!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Gun "experts" and their idiotic CCW choices

Gun “Experts” and their Idiotic CCW Choices

Written by: Greg Ellifritz

FireShot Screen Capture #053 - '18 Experts Pick Their Concealed Carry Weapon of Choice' - www_tactical-life_com_tactics_18-experts-concealed-carry-wea

I recently read one of the most ridiculous gun articles I’ve seen in a long time. In 18 Experts Pick Their Concealed Carry Weapon of Choice, some supposed “experts” reveal their chosen CCW gun and the rationale behind why they carry it. The article is obviously intended for beginners and provides some absolutely horrible advice from some people who have no idea what they are talking about. Go read the article. Then come back and we’ll discuss the problems it advocates.

The “expert” advice contained in the article can be classified in a couple different ways. Some of these people are not experts and should be ignored. They have no idea how bad their advice is.

Some of the “experts” are true gun experts (competitive shooters), but don’t know anything about self protection. Others are obviously biased by their industry ties and sponsorships.

Some of the “experts” interviewed are true experts, but their advice may not be good advice for you to follow. Bill Rogers is one such example. I’ve seen Bill shoot. He would be deadly with a .22 derringer. His choice of a 9mm snub revolver carried in a pocket is likely a good choice for his lifestyle. Would I advise most beginning shooters to pocket carry a 9mm snub? Absolutely not.

Other folks interviewed provide perfectly reasonable advice about defensive firearm selection and carry.

The problem with articles like this one is that the average reader has no idea who is credible or whose advice to follow. Should he carry a Taurus Curve without a holster or a .50 custom 1911 in an IWB holster?

Everyone is limited by his or her own experiences, myself included. Often times we don’t know what we don’t know. I’m far from being omniscient, but I have taught defensive firearms skills full time for more than 15 years. I had cops on my range daily for 13 years as the training officer for my department. I work at a high volume shooting school. My experience isn’t limited by just the guns I’ve shot and carried. I’ve seen just about every possible variation of gun and holster combinations come through my classes. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t.

I’m not going to comment on each of these experts’ choices. I will, however, provide some general commentary based on my experiences over the years. Hopefully, that might steer some beginning shooters in a better direction.


• Traditional double action guns (like the Sig 239, Beretta 92, and S&W 4516) are generally harder for students to learn to operate than the striker fired or DAO guns. Mastering two different trigger pulls and remembering to de-cock under stress make the traditional DA auto pistols more difficult to master.

• I’ve been uniformly unimpressed by any of the firearms made by Taurus. I see more problems from this brand than almost any other “quality” handgun manufacturer I see in my class. I would suggest that you avoid Taurus guns. While there are individual specimens that likely perform fine, as a whole, the brand sucks.

• The Ruger LCP has been hit or miss in my students. Some work well. Some don’t. If you choose to carry this weapon, I highly recommend that you carry the newer model with the better sights and smoother trigger.

• The Ruger LC9 is generally less reliable than the LCP. I wouldn’t carry one. If you are looking for a small polymer 9mm, the Glock 43, S&W Shield, or Walther PPS are better choices.

• 1911-style pistols are truly guns for experts. Unfortunately, most of the folks carrying them defensively aren’t anywhere near the “expert” level. The 1911 will take far more effort and maintenance to maintain reliability than any of the modern striker fired guns. If you treat your gun like you treat your lawnmower, the 1911 is not a good choice for you.

• Snub-nose revolvers are also experts’ guns. It takes a lot of practice to shoot a snub well. Most new shooters looking for a small carry gun would be better off with a mid-size semi automatic pistol than a snub revolver.

• You don’t need a 10mm or .50 AE auto pistol for defense against humans. In bear country, they would make great weapons. Against humans, not so much. The increased recoil and blast make fast followup shots difficult. Practice sessions are both fatiguing and expensive. There isn’t any substantial increase in stopping power over the common service calibers. Stick with 9mm, .40. or .45 instead.


• Hornady Critical Defense rounds are advocated by a lot of people on this list. They aren’t bad rounds in some calibers. They are less than stellar in others. In general, the Critical Defense line is eclipsed by the Federal HST, Speer Gold Dot, or Winchester Ranger bullets. If given the option, choose one of these rounds instead of the Critical Defense load.

• Winchester Silvertip ammunition was state of the art in 1987. Ammunition technology has improved greatly since then. Silvertip hollowpoints do fine in bare flesh, but perform horribly if shot through heavy clothing or any intervening barriers. There are much better rounds on the market than the Silvertip.

• The selling point of MagSafe ammo is it’s lack of penetration. In most calibers, it only penetrates six to eight inches maximum in flesh. While that is great if your primary goal is avoiding a bullet pass through, it isn’t so great if your primary goal is to stop the attacker. Choose a defensive round that penetrates at least 12″ of ballistic gelatin.

• Carrying the same bullet that your local police department carries is usually pretty good advice…unless your local PD carries semi-jacketed soft point .45 acp ammo. Does such a round even exist? If your local PD carries a good round, it might be useful to copy them. Just recognize most cops aren’t gun guys and some agencies choose horrible bullets for their officers

• Federal Hydra-shock ammunition is similar to the Silvertip discussed above. It is at least one generation behind the most state of the art bullets available today. I would generally avoid it, except in .380 acp, where it seems to perform pretty well.

• There is nothing magical about the Winchester Black Talon ammunition. It retains a cult following and some people carry it thinking that because it was discontinued, it miust be “too deadly.” Not true. Winchester discontinued it because of bad publicity. The Ranger SXT is a functionally identical bullet. Besides, the Black Talon stopped being produced in 1993. Why would you trust your life to 25 year old carry ammo?


• Carrying an Uncle Mike’s inside the waistband holster is the uniform identifier of an amateur shooter/tactician. These holsters are cheap and provide a minimally effective way of carrying the gun. They are not carried by professionals. These holsters have clips that don’t stay secured to the belt, collapse when the gun is removed (making reholstering without muzzling your support hand impossible), and are made from flexible material which may cause the trigger to be accidentally moved to the rear when holstering. Avoid them.

• Fobus is another brand that screams “amateur.” Their products are crap. Don’t carry them. And carrying a tiny gun in a Fobus paddle holster is absolutely ludicrous. Tiny guns are meant to be carried in places larger guns can’t be. If you are going to carry in a paddle holster covered by a coat, carry a full sized gun in a paddle holster that actually retains the gun. Anything that says “Fobus” on it should be relegated to the scrap pile.

• Hybrid holsters like the Alien Gear or Crossbreed often cause problems as they age. They may be comfortable initially, but I haven’t had many students wear them successfully on a daily basis for a long time. If you are carrying IWB, I would generally recommend and all-leather or all-kydex holster, not a hybrid.

• Carrying a gun butt forward on the strong side is a poor choice. The draw is slow and awkward. Retention is difficult. You almost always muzzle yourself when presenting the pistol. Don’t do it.

• Small of the back holsters are stupid. They print every time you bend forward. They are slow to draw from. They are almost impossible to defend from a gun grab. Avoid them.

Did I make any of you mad?  Do you feel the need to rabidly defend your criticized carry choice?  If you are so set on your carry method and pistol choice, then why even read the article?  Don’t post your irate and butthurt comments.  You can think I’m an idiot.  That’s fine.  Continue carrying your Taurus pistol in your Fobus small of the back paddle holster.  I’m sure that you are the special snowflake who can make it work.

The rest of you might be able to learn something from my many years of trial and error.

Choose your gurus well.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

What do you do after you shoot an attacker in self-defense???

Step By Step: Here Is What Will Happen After A Defensive Shooting

By Ed Santos, The Shooting Channel

What to expect after you have defended yourself.

Having taught over 16,000 concealed carry students and been involved as an expert witness in numerous shooting cases, I am always surprised by the concealed carry shooters lack of understanding of the post shooting process. Sadly, this lack of knowledge is often due to an incomplete presentation offered by the CCW instructor or is further perpetuated by the no training requirement found in some states.

Don’t misread my intention here; I am not advocating any training requirements that would even in appearance approach any form of gun control. However, if you carry a firearm, or any weapon for protection, and you are not aware of the elements necessary to prove innocence in one’s defense, you are at great risk of losing your freedom and all the material things you have worked hard to attain.

Before I get into the particulars of a post shooting incident, I want to make it clear that I am not offering legal advice in this article. I am not an attorney and the purpose here is to make the reader aware of the typical sequence of events that take place after someone is shot. This info is presented in general terms and may differ from your particular state’s rule of law. It is merely presented with the intent to inspire the reader to be sure of the laws and procedures that may impact you if you have to shoot someone in your defense or the defense of the innocent.

There is no easy way out of the emotional barrage after a self-defense shooting incident.

From a sequence perspective, the following steps are typical in most states:

  • Shots Fired
  • 911 Call
  • First Responders
  • LE Supervisors
  • Detectives – Some Jurisdictions ADA responds
  • Investigation / Questioning
  • Prosecutor Determination
  • Trial Phase
  • Sentencing
  • Appeal Process
  • Civil Trial

So let’s assume you have no choice but to shoot an attacker to protect yourself. I hope this is something you are never faced with but if in fact it happened it will probably be the most traumatic experience of your life.

Bad Guy Down; you made the decision that shooting your attacker was appropriate, necessary and the correct thing to do. Under the level of stress you will be experiencing it is important that you make sure the threat is truly over. This is not television or the movies. Do not expect the bad guy to immediately fall and or stop trying to hurt you. Be sure the threat over. Attacker down, but are there any others trying to hurt you? Assess everyone and your surroundings. Be sure to check your six. Holster only when you are safe and it is appropriate.

Are you injured? Be sure to feel yourself and be sure there is no blood on your hands. Your adrenaline and other physiological aspects you are experiencing may very well block out your pain from injury. Is anyone else hurt? Any collateral damage to the people around the incident? Is it even safe to remain in area and are you capable of securing the scene?

You may even choose to render some form of catastrophic care to the person you shot. A word of caution here, be sure the bad guy is no longer a threat. The last place you want to find yourself is on the ground with a ground fighter. Throughout all of this never lose sight of the fact that You Are The Victim.

After the threat in neutralized, then call 911 immediately

The 911 call. The first words out of your mouth should be the location. This is critical in case your connection is lost. You may realize that you are back in the fight and have to lose contact with the 911 operator. If you have not provided the location there will be no one coming to help you.

Remember you are the victim, so provide the minimal amount of information. I addition to your location, I would suggest you provide the need for the police and medical. Tell the operator you were attacked and someone has been shot. I would not say much more than that. You may want to identify yourself and give a discription of what you are wearing etc.

The operators are very well trained. They will be trying to provide as much information to the first responders as possible. During this time you will have a great physiological need for someone to say you did the right thing. Do not get too involved with this call and say too much. There will be plenty of opportunity for you to articulate your actions to the police when you are in the presence of your attorney.

We need to remember the police are not your friends or your enemy. They are just trying to do their job, which part of, is to determine what happened and if a crime has been committed.

First Responders Arrive. First responders typically come in two forms; Law Enforcement and Medical. Both share the primary concern of scene safety.
If medical arrives in the area first, they may not approach the scene until Law Enforcement clears the scene and determines it is safe.

Law Enforcement Arrives. They are on scene and they make contact with you. They begin to preserve the scene, assess the injured, identify and collect evidence, talk with witnesses and so on.

The scene after the first responders begin to arrive.

Medical Arrives. Their primary concern is the patient. They will try to preserve evidence and the integrity of the scene. In some cases they may remove the victim before police complete their investigation if the victim is still alive.

LE Supervisors Arrive. The crime scene will be secured and a crime scene perimeter entry point along with an access log will be established. The Sergeants, Lieutenants, Captains and even the police Chief or Sheriff may show up. Don’t let all these supervisors make you nervous. A shooting incident is a serious call for all involved. This seriousness often brings out the “brass” to make sure all procedures are followed and the investigators have all the resources necessary to properly process the crime scene.

At the crime scene a great deal of effort will be dedicated to gathering evidence and documenting all the elements of the crime scene as the first responders found it at the time of their arrival. Of course, the reason for all this is to find out what happened and determine if a crime has been committed and to what extent those present were involved.

The loneliest room in the world.

The Interview Room. A small room often thought of as an interrogation room designed to shift the power in favor of the investigators. Be respectful of the process and the police who you are dealing with. Remember you are innocent, the investigators just don’t know it yet. They will, but for now the process is slow, intimidating, embarrassing, and often out of your immediate control.

Ask for your attorney as soon as possible. It is your right to have an attorney present when questioned about the incident. This is not the movies or television and you are not being interviewed about a speeding ticket. You need to protect yourself from both the criminal and civil process. Speaking to the investigators without an attorney first hearing and approving your answers can be extremely dangerous.

The investigators will form opinions based on fact. This is an often overlooked principle when lay people discuss events surrounding an incident and form their public opinions. The professionals will analyze the totality of their findings and come to an educated decision as to what transpired based on the facts of the investigative efforts of the entire investigative team.

If the police arrest you. You will typically experience one of the following three scenarios.

  1. The prosecutor’s office may not agree or support the charges as presented by the police. If they decide not to pursue charges, you are released.
  2. You post bond (bail).
  3. You stay in jail and LE will transport you to arraignment.

Police submit a report to a prosecutor which will notify them of the arrest and their charge sheet. The prosecutor’s team will review all the evidence. Basically they are determining, based on the evidence presented, if they can win the case. If they agree with the charges a felony or misdemeanor determination will be made. They may decide to file on all or a few of PD (Police Department) charges. They will often add additional charges they feel are appropriate.

An Attorney is your advocate guiding you through a daunting and confusing legal system.

Generally this will all take place within 48 hrs of the in-custody time. In most cases, weekends, public holidays and court holidays do not count in the 48 hour timeline.

First time in court: The first appearance before a judge will be when you can expect to hear the charges against you. This will be told to you on the record by a judge. The judge will also read you your rights as they relate to the charges and notify you of your access to an attorney. If you can’t afford an attorney the court will provide one to you free.

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You will then enter a plea. Typically you will plead Not Guilty – which is you saying that you did not commit the crime with which you are charged. You might plead Guilty – which is you admitting you did the crime as charged. In this case the judge finds and enters the conviction in record. You may decide to enter a plea of No Contest – which is you saying you do not contest the charges. This plea is similar to guilty plea but the conviction can’t be used against you in civil trial.

After you enter a plea the judge will either release you to your own recognizance and provide a specific date and time to return to the court or hold you. The judge may also decide to set bail. In this case you will be returned to jail until bail is made. The judge could also refuse to set bail. If he refuses bail you will be incarcerated until a verdict in the case is established.

It’s possible that you may be arrested and arraigned. Be prepared.

Based on arraignment the prosecution and defense exchange information. This process is also known as discovery. You may be limited on seeing all the discovery information but not the lawyers – as officers of the court they are required to protect the identity of witnesses.

In my opinion, this may be the best reason to have a lawyer represent you. With an attorney representing you at least someone on the defense team will be privy to all the discovery and can defend you accordingly.

Pretrial motions are conducted and decided. You are able to change your plea at any time. During this phase of the process, the judge and lawyers may discuss resolution options. A plea bargain offer may be made at this point. Your attorney will present you any pretrial options and offer suggestions with regard to your decisions at this time.

Jury trial or Court trial? Most defendants choose a jury trial of their peers. In some cases the defense will request a Court trial. It has been my experience that your attorney will have a definite opinion and subsequent recommendation for you in this regard. However, the decision is ultimately yours. My opinion; listen carefully to your attorney.

The Trial Process starts with jury selection and then opening statements. Each side will have an opportunity to present evidence, hear and challenge witness testimony and then progress to closing arguments. The number of days to hear the case will depend on the complexity of the prosecution and defense cases.

After closing arguments, the jury will be given their instructions by the judge. This is always an area that concerns me as the judge certainly sets the stage for the jury through these instructions. The outcome of the trial is now in the hands of the jury. The jury must find beyond a reasonable doubt based on the totality of the facts presented and what we call the doctrine of a reasonable and prudent person’s interpretation.

A Not Guilty decision is an acquittal. The arrest still shows on your record.

To CLEAN YOUR RECORD – If wrongfully arrested, you must have a hearing before a judge to determine factual innocence. It is much harder to prove factual innocence than prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

If found Guilty the judge will enter the finding of guilt for the record and begin the sentence phase of the process.

The Appeal is NOT A NEW TRIAL. So many people believe an appeal is another chance to plead their case. Not so. The applet court does not decide the facts of the case. For an appeal you are basically saying the trial court made legal error. You may also say there was not enough evidence for verdict rendered.

If you are arguing Mistakes of Law, then a hearing will be held and both sides will present their positions. The court can decide if any trial errors prejudiced (hurt) your case and act accordingly. The appeal process typically has timelines and deadlines that must be followed.

The Civil Case — Hang on it is coming!! But that is the subject for a future discussion.

I hope you found some of this information helpful. I hope you will discuss any questions with an attorney who can provide specific detail for your particular laws and local court procedures.