woman_carrying_a_glock_43_in_a_vedder_holsters_iwb_rig

Do you have the mindset for concealed carry?

I had a situation happen to me recently that led me to question whether or not I had the proper mindset for concealed carry.

I was driving down a busy city street and as I approached an intersection, I accidentally cut too close in front of a white panel van.  I waved “sorry” to the guy behind me, who was clearly upset and yelling at me through his windshield.

Then, sitting there at the stoplight, I hear a loud pounding on my drivers-side window, and it’s the guy from the van who is standing next to my window screaming at me. And as I’m sitting there, with my concealed carry handgun right next to me tucked between the seat and the console, I just keep telling the guy “I’m sorry,” in the hopes he’ll just get over it.

Well unfortunately, he didn’t. He ended up following me, and all the while I’m thinking, “Is this really happening? Is this guy really following me?” When it became clear to me he was, I decided that rather than head home (which is where I was originally heading), I headed back to my office building, which has a security guard stationed at the entrance [in hindsight, I should have headed straight to the nearest police department while dialing 9-1-1, but hindsight’s great that way].

Once I got to the office, jumped out of my car and headed inside to the security desk, the guy finally sped out of there – all the while cursing me, and finally screaming out his window, “I’ll find you.”

The second guessing

Almost as soon as the incident was over, I began to second-guess my actions. First was my initial and continuing disbelief that this was really happening. That some nutjob was first getting out of his van at an intersection to scream at me through the drivers side window, and then that the nutjob actually continued to follow me.

Second was my panicked choice to drive to my place of work once I realized that he was, in fact, following me, where he could certainly find my car and possibly wait for me at some later date with who knows what intentions.

Third was my decision to not be more aggressive with him when he first approached my window, letting him “see” my handgun and forcefully telling him to “back off.”

Situational awareness is the key

The first issue, that disbelief that this was actually happening, is actually very common.

In the aftermath of public shooting incidents, survivors will often say they thought the noise they heard was fireworks or backfiring, rather than recognizing immediately that the noise was gunfire. There’s an initial disbelief that their worst nightmare could actually be happening. This to me is key to the mindset question – it’s being in the “yellow” state of situational awareness and moving rapidly to red as required.

As for my choice of driving to where I work, I think it’s related to the state of disbelief and panic I was feeling because of my lack of proper situational awareness.

I admit I was only thinking partially clearly in that moment. At least I didn’t drive to my home, I drove to somewhere where I knew there would be people, but I could have picked a less identifiable option than the place I work if I had been more calm and had been able to focus and reason.

As for the third, I still believe I did the right thing by trying to de-escalate the situation rather than escalate it by exposing my handgun. The guy was clearly enraged, and who knows if he, too was carrying and if that would have just set him off? Also, I did not at that moment fear for my life, even though I was scared.

One of the 4 Rules of Gun Safety is never let your muzzle cross anything you do not want to destroy. I felt I was in the “safety” of my locked car at a very public (and crowded) intersection. Right or wrong, it was what I believed in the moment.

In the end, I was able to learn a lesson about myself and my need to focus on improving my situational awareness and mindset. It’s one thing to talk about it, it’s another to practice and live it. I’m working on the latter.

Tell me about your experiences in the comments below.

Some additional reading:

concealed-revealed-9mm-2

Concealed/Revealed: Flowy top and jeans with IWB Holster

In this series, we show different styles of women’s clothing with different holsters for concealed carry. One of the biggest challenges faced by women who concealed carry is how to effectively carry our handguns while not giving up the clothes we want to wear. Here we’ll present different approaches and options that work with our actual, everyday clothes.

For your consideration today, jeans with a flowy top and an in-the-waistband holster:

Jeans with a flowy top
Jeans with a flowy top

 

IWB Holster in jeans
Revealed in-the-waistband holster

 

IWB Holster
IWB Holster from the Well Armed Woman

 

I don’t normally carry my Sig Sauer P320 9mm on body as I find it difficult to conceal with most of my clothing choices. However, when I have the opportunity to wear a loose and flowy top like the Eileen Fisher silk tank and open front cardigan like I have here, it’s great to have the option to carry my larger handgun on-body. Jeans are NYDJ skinny leg jeans. Heels are old and no longer available. Similar here.

Holster is the Well Armed Woman IWB holster ($50). There are several things I like about this holster. First, it’s molded Kydex with great retention. Second, the hook is set higher on the holster, which allows the handgun to sit lower on the waistband, providing a low-profile. Third, the hook is adjustable so you can readily adjust the position or cant of the handgun grip. What I don’t like about it is the Kydex can be a bit irritating on bare skin if worn for a long time, and I’m not one who typically layers her clothing, so my bad.

*Note that some of the links in this post may generate a commission that will help support this site, although that in no way influences my opinion or review. Please see my full Disclosure Statement here.

Grip Tip to Improve Shooting Accuracy

Grip tip to improve shooting accuracy

Just a quick tip today on your grip to improve your shooting accuracy. I learned this trick from one of the amazing instructors at The Site Firearms Training Center in Mount Carroll, IL and even though it seems small, it’s really improved my accuracy.

Would love to hear your tips on how to improve accuracy in the comments below!

ConcealedRevealedPurseHolster

Tips for Concealed Carry in a Purse

There may be times when your choice for concealed carry of your handgun is either carry in a purse or don’t carry at all. For example, where I work firearms are not allowed. It’s much easier for me on a day-to-day basis to carry in my purse and transfer the handgun to a portable gun safe in my car before heading into the office, than struggling with un-holstering and then re-holstering an on-body carry option in my car.

Purse Carry Considerations

However, if you choose to purse carry, there are a number of additional considerations you should be fully aware of and prepared for.

    1. You have to treat your purse or bag like a newborn baby. That means you can’t do the usual of dropping your purse on the floor or over the back of a chair while at a restaurant or coffee shop (I KNOW you do that, don’t try to deny it!). You can’t leave your bag in the basket of the shopping cart when at the store. You can’t shove it on the floor by your desk when you’re at work. You have to keep your purse on you AT ALL TIMES if you are carrying a handgun. If you think of your bag like a newborn baby, which must be with you and secure at all times, it’s a good mindset to have if you’re carrying in a purse.
    2. You have to have a proper holster and dedicated spot in your purse for your handgun. DO NOT under any circumstances just tuck your handgun into your well-worn pocket holster and toss in the bottom of that pit that’s your hobo bag. That’s a negligent discharge waiting to happen. If you have a good-quality, dedicated concealed carry purse, there is usually a zipper or other compartment that a holster attaches to (usually with Velcro). If you choose one of the purse holster options you can use with your regular purse, it ideally should be in a separate compartment of your bag with NOTHING ELSE IN IT.  The bits and bobs that float around all of our purses can get caught up in trigger guards that are not properly secured and cause a discharge. Your gun needs to have a secure holster with proper trigger guard protection and the gun needs to be in a separate location in your bag without anything else around it.
    3. Reconsider purse carry if you have or are around small children. There are numerous recent stories about women who were carrying in their purses and small children (some as young as 2 years old) were able to access a gun with tragic and deadly consequences. This goes with tip #1 above, but think of situations like in a car, where your purse is either next to you on the seat or behind you – NOT ON YOUR PERSON. Or when you’re at a friends’ house and you set down your bag on the floor and a curious toddler decides to check it out while you’re engaged in conversation. There are just too many opportunities for children to gain access when a gun is off-body that it deserves serious reconsideration.
    4. Be prepared that your purse (and gun) could be stolen in an attack. This, along with the sometimes careless inattention we give to our purses (see #1 above), is one of the biggest risks to purse carry. If you aren’t carrying your purse cross-body (most recommended) and you get mugged or attacked, not only could you lose your wallet and keys but you could lose your gun as well, and/or the gun could be used against you.
    5. Train, train train and then train some more. Most ranges will not allow you to draw from a purse, so that means regular, consistent dry-fire practice at home with your chosen purse holster and handgun. You need to practice your draw from both your dominant side and your non-dominant side (assuming you’re like most of us and sometimes switch the shoulder you carry your purse on). Be forewarned that drawing from a purse of other off-body holster is ALWAYS going to be much slower than a good on-body carry option.  A recent article on LuckyGunner.com actually put the purse draw to the test on the range and in most cases it took more than twice as long to purse draw.
Purse Carry Resources

Here’s a good video from DressedToCarry.com that demonstrates how to draw from one of the more typical side-zipper concealed carry purses.

One of my current purse holster options is the CrossBreed Purse Defender. As I noted in a recent post, I have a few issues with this option but given what else is currently available in the marketplace it’s the best that I’ve found available right now, especially since it uses a molded Kydex holstering system to allow for good trigger coverage.

One of my favorite dedicated concealed carry purse options on the market today is the Been and Badge Olivia Tote. It’s made in the US of very high quality leather, and I like the holstering option with the quick-release Velco pocket rather than the more common side zipper holster seen with most dedicated concealed carry purses (because it’s easy to muzzle someone in those). But as with any holster option, you have to go with what works best for you and your handgun.

I hope this has given you some things to think about if you choose to carry in a your purse. As with any issue around the great responsibility you’ve taken on if you conceal carry a handgun, be smart and be safe.

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Do you carry with a round in the chamber?

If there’s one topic that can cause a lot of heat in shooting circles, it’s whether or not you choose to carry with a round in the chamber.

When you research this topic or bring it up, particularly around experienced shooters, you’ll find a lot of strong opinions like, “only an idiot would carry without a round in the chamber,” or my all-time-favorite, “you might as well carry a brick for as much good as an unloaded gun will do you.”

And these experienced shooters have these strong opinions because there is ample evidence, and many examples, where not having a round in the chamber has cost a good person their life.

That being said, the decision to carry with a round in the chamber, or not, is a personal choice once you understand all the facts and have good information.

So let’s look at the reasons why you would want to consider carrying a round in the chamber, and some tips and techniques to help combat the fears and concerns that may prevent you from doing so.

Why carry a round in the chamber?

The 21-foot rule says that it takes the average adult 1.5-2 seconds to close a 21-foot gap between them and another person.

Stop right now and set a stopwatch to 2 seconds. Unload your carry firearm, and then reholster. Start the timer and see how long it takes you to unholster your firearm, rack the slide, and aim. For the majority of people, their potential attacker would be on them well before they ever got to the “aim” part.

In addition, there are often extenuating circumstances that make it difficult if not impossible to rack a slide while under attack, or where having to rack the slide under stress causes a misfire, as is well documented in this 4-minute (and don’t worry, it’s not judgmental) video by Active Self Protection titled “This is Why You Carry a Round in the Chamber.”

Even knowing all that, carrying with a round in the chamber can be an especially difficult fear for new shooters and those new to concealed carry to overcome.

Addressing the fears of carrying with a round in the chamber

I get it, I really do. It took me a LONG time carrying, and training with, my firearm before I gained the confidence to carry with a round in the chamber. And if I’m honest with you (and I am always honest with you), there are some times when, because of available holster options or other circumstances, I still make the conscious choice to carry without a round in the chamber.

I understand the risks in doing so, but I make that choice in those situations to either carry without a round in the chamber or not carry my firearm at all (and I almost always choose to carry without a round rather than not have my firearm with me, but again, that’s my choice).

If you want to get to the point where you are confident enough to carry a round in the chamber, here are some practical tips and things to consider:

  1. Always follow the 4 Rules of Firearm Safety. I know YOU know this but I’ll say it anyway. Modern, quality guns don’t go off by themselves. They fire because someone (or something) has pressed the trigger. If you always, always, always follow the 4 rules of firearm safety, especially the rule of “Finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire” you should never have a negligent discharge
  2. Critically review your holster(s). Look at your holster choices anew with an eye toward safety, in terms of trigger coverage and material. How well is the trigger covered when the gun is holstered? How about after moving around, sitting, squatting, twisting? Is the holster made from a hard material like Kydex that is molded to your firearm? If it’s a fabric holster is it made out of a thick, sturdy material like a stiff leather or ballistic nylon? If it is made from a thinner material, like some cheaper belly bands, hip huggers and thigh holsters, BE AWARE that it is possible for the trigger to get depressed THROUGH the material. Check your holsters with your unloaded handguns in them to see if this is something that can happen. In addition, even if you have a good leather or fabric holster, they can soften and wear over time, which may make them more comfortable but also make them less safe. For a real-life example of this, see this cautionary tale about a leather holster gone very wrong here at ItsTactical.com. Regularly review your holsters, in particular fabric or leather holsters, for wear and thinning.
  3. Practice, practice, practice, practice. This cannot be stressed enough. You need to get VERY comfortable with the operation of your firearm (whether or not it has an external safety, how to rapidly address stovepipes and other misfires, etc), and with unholstering and reholstering your firearm from all the different holsters you use. That comes from repetition and practice. The absolute best way to do this is with dry fire practice (with a completely unloaded firearm, including empty magazine) at home. I try to dry fire from the holster that I’m wearing on any particular day (I have at least 4 that I use in rotation depending on what I’m wearing) at least once every day I’m wearing it, in addition to practicing more time intensively any time I get a new holster or setup.  Repetition and practice is the most effective way to gain confidence in your gun handling skills.
  4. Carry with a round in the chamber at home first. Spending time carrying in the safe environment of your home with a round in the chamber is a good way to get comfortable and confident that nothing will happen (without your intent for it to happen) before you carry loaded in public.

At the end of the day, you need to do what you feel comfortable and confident with, when considering all the pros and cons, and all the risks and fears.

Additional resources

Here are a few additional resources on this topic that are informative and non-judgmental. Give it some thought, and make your decision based on what you alone are comfortable with. I’d also love to discuss it with you in the comments below.

In upcoming posts we’ll go further into the issues around mindset and situational awareness (in effect, how to  “extend” that 21-foot gap) as well as different levels of firearm condition readiness and what that all means.

Real Avid Gun Tool

Gift ideas for your gun lovin’ guy

After our post on Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Gun Lovin’ Gal, our always-generous readers asked for some gift suggestions for the men in their lives too. They’re always thinking of others, aren’t they? So with the help of my own gun lovin’ guy, here are a few suggestions that we think the man in your life may not actually have bought for himself yet that he would be very thankful for.

Coolest Guy at the Range
Real Avid Gun Tool Pro-X
Real Avid Gun Tool Pro-X

Your guy will be the coolest guy at the range if someone has an issue with a malfunction and he’s able to whip one of these babies out of his pocket or range bag. The Real Avid Gun Tool Pro-X ($41) has literally any tool you would need to fix a malfunction on the fly, including an ingenious built-in (and removable!) LED light to allow you to see what you’re working on. The Pro-X version also includes a ballistic-nylon case that can clip onto a belt.

UpLULA Autoloader
UpLULA Autoloader

While not as visually impressive as the Real Avid Gun Tool, having one or two of these UpLULA Autoloaders ($23) in your range bag helps make the most of your range time by speeding the time to load magazines as well as save wear and tear on your hands. In addition to the black, these are also available in burnt orange and olive drab.

Friendly Swede Caribiner Grenade
Friendly Swede Caribiner Grenade

I can’t tell you how much I love the Friendly Swede Caribiner Grenade ($11).  I bought one for hubby, hubby’s cousin, several of my friends, myself. This is just one of those things that you hope you’ll never have to use but if you need it you’ll be glad you have it. I have it clipped onto the handle of my Get Home Bag in the trunk of my car. Hubby has his clipped onto the emergency first aid kit he keeps in his car. It’s essentially a mini survival kit, which includes a firestarter, tinder, aluminum foil, needle, fishing hook and line and a few other items, all wrapped up in 9 feet of paracord.

Training with the Big Boys
Navy Seal Shooting
Navy Seal Shooting

Former Navy Seal and firearms instructor Chris Sajnog really has the chops when it comes to teaching you marksmanship and how to improve speed and accuracy. His latest book, Navy Seal Shooting ($20) has simple-to-follow directions and illustrations that can really make a difference in improving your shooting skill.  Chris is the person who detailed out step-by-step how to shoot with both eyes open and that alone has greatly improved our marksmanship.

Seal Survival Guide
Seal Survival Guide

Having the right mindset in any kind of situation is critical, and former Navy Seal Cade Courtley, in his book Seal Survival Guide ($14) walks you through everyday potential disaster scenarios and how to handle them. Not a “fun” read (because I don’t know about you but I prefer not to think about all the bad things that can happen), but definitely a very informative and helpful book to have read.

Gear for His Guns
Sticky Holster
Sticky Holster

I don’t know about your guy but my hubby likes to carry around the house and when working outside in the yard or garage. Having several of these Sticky Holsters (various sizes, $26-36) to fit each of his handguns make it easy for him to have his handgun safely with him no matter what he’s wearing, from jeans to shorts to sweatpants. These fit nicely in a pocket or tuck into the waistband of well-fitting pants. They really do work!

Sig Sauer Tactical Mini Light
Sig Sauer Tactical Mini Light

I LOVE this tactical light by Sig Sauer, and it’s on sale right now on the Sig Sauer Store (reg. $72, on sale for $50). Not only is it a standalone high-powered tactical light powered by a single AA battery (I personally prefer replaceable batteries over rechargeable, especially with something you want to have operational if the SHTF), but it has a mount and remote that can be used on a long gun.

*Note that some of the links in this post may generate a commission that will help support this site, although that in no way influences my opinion or review. Please see my full Disclosure Statement here.

Concealed Revealed purse holster

Concealed/Revealed: Dress and jacket with purse holster

In this series, we show different styles of women’s clothing with different holsters for concealed carry. One of the biggest challenges faced by women who concealed carry is how to effectively carry our handguns while not giving up the clothes we want to wear. Here we’ll present different approaches and options that work with our actual, everyday clothes.

For your consideration today, a work-appropriate dress, jacket and heels, with a purse holster:

Concealed Revealed dress and jacket
Work appropriate dress and jacket
Purse holster
Purse holster
Concealed Revealed inside purse
View from inside the purse
Crossbreed purse defender
Closeup of purse holster

I know there are many strong feelings about the idea of off-body carry in a purse or handbag that I plan on addressing in a future post. There are inherent risks and issues that require extra diligence if you choose to off-body carry. Regardless, I sometimes choose to purse carry, and this Crossbreed PurseDefender holster has been the best option available so far – although I do have some issues with it. While it’s great to be able to carry in any purse I own, the fact that the gun is clearly visible in the bag as soon as I unzip it is concerning for me when I’m paying for groceries or a coffee and I want my carry to remain, well, concealed.

As for the outfit, the dress is the Aditi 2.0 (machine washable!!) dress by MM.LaFleur. The jacket is the Drape-Front Colorblock Jacket by Eileen Fisher. The heels are the Colcotta 100 in black patent by Christian Louboutin. The handbag is the Kate Spade Cedar Street Harmony medium tote, similar here. The handgun is my absolute favorite Sig Sauer P320 9mm in the Carry/Medium size with optional small grip module.

*Note that some of the links in this post may generate a commission that will help support this site, although that in no way influences my opinion or review. Please see my full Disclosure Statement here.

all clean

Gun cleaning – without the fumes

The only other shooting related activity that is almost as relaxing as range time is gun cleaning time. It’s so satisfying to see the end result – a well-oiled, well-functioning machine ready for action.

Getting there though, can be uncomfortable and challenging if you don’t have the right products and gear to make gun cleaning time fast, easy and fume-free. It took a lot of experimentation for us to find these holy grail products, and now I’m sharing my secrets with you.

Gun cleaning in action
Cleaning my Sig Sauer P320 for range day.

So let’s gear up!

To start with, guns are dirty pieces of metal and you should plan to protect the surface you’ll be working on. I love my Sig P320 gun mat (hubby has the Sig P226 mat for his 226, natch!), but here are some non-logoed mats that also work really well:

Now that we’ve protected our work surface, we need to protect our hands. Cleaning solvents and the dirt and lead on our guns is very harsh on skin. So I like to use surgical gloves (size M for me, size XL for hubby):

Finally on to the actual cleaning part!

We are HUGE fans of Mil-Comm’s cleaning products. Their products were designed for and used by the military, and best of all – NO FUMES. We’ve tried all the commercially-available cleaning solvents that you can readily get at Cabela’s or Gander Mountain, and frankly were so uncomfortable both in terms of the harshness (even through gloves) and the fumes, it’s worth the price to get Mil-Comm.

We start first cleaning the bore by soaking a GunSponge with the Mil-Comm MC50 NRA Bore Cleaner ($15.50/4-ounce) and passing it through from breech to muzzle (always in the direction the bullet travels). We then let that sit while we detail the rest of the gun.

Next we break out the Mil-Comm MC25 Firearm Cleaner/Degreaser ($12/4-ounce) and spritz all over the handle, frame and slide, and start wiping down with GunSponges or lint-free gun cleaning patches. We also like to use gun cleaning swabs ($6-10/100) to get into all the nooks and crannies, giving everything a final swipe with a patch to remove any excess cleaning fluid.

After letting the bore “soak” for awhile with the bore cleaner, we then use a Hoppe Viper Bore Snake that we spritz with Mil-Comm MC25 Cleaner on the “clean” portion of the Snake and the Mil-Comm MC2500 Lubricant/Protectant ($13.20/2-ounce) on the “lubricant” portion of the Snake. Pull the Snake through the bore (remember, breech to muzzle), and voila, a cleaned and lubricated bore in one fell swoop.

Finally, a few spritzes of the lubricant on a patch or two to wipe down the rest of the gun, paying special attention to the metal parts. A tiny amount of the Mil-Comm TW25B Grease ($16.95/1.5-ounce) on a pad applicator on the slide and parts where metal rubs against metal, a final dry wipe with a patch or two to take off any excess lubricant, and we’re good to go.

gun all cleaned
All clean!

 

*Note that some of the links in this post may generate a commission that will help support this site, although that in no way influences my opinion or review. Please see my full Disclosure Statement here.

gundemos

Personal defense drives gun ownership

Gun Demographics from NY Times
New York Times: “Handguns are the new home security”

Women in the US are buying significantly more handguns than men, and overall the shift in gun ownership is geared more toward personal protection than hunting or shooting sports, according to a recent article in The New York Times.

What hasn’t been further detailed as part of this new Harvard gun study, however, is the assertion that, “On average, the gun imperils everyone in the home more than it protects them.” Yet in every article that has previewed this study to date, there is no further analysis of under what conditions that danger occurs.

As a woman who owns and carries handguns every day, this assertion seems foreign to me. I feel empowered carrying my gun, and every time I train and practice I feel I am only improving my safety, and that of my family, not endangering it. And from what I can tell of the community of women shooters and concealed carry permit holders, I don’t think I’m alone.

fort-knox-7241-black-cherry

Keeping your handguns safe – at home and on the go

The primary responsibility of any gun owner is the safe handling and storage of their guns. This is especially true in situations where the gun is not in your immediate possession (on your person) and doubly especially true if you have children or others in your house who should not be allowed to access a firearm without your supervision.

Not having a gun safe was not an option for us

I know for us that when we made the decision to purchase our first handguns, the very next decision was how we were going to properly and safely store those guns when not in use to keep them out of reach from our daughter but yet also readily accessible on a daily basis.

If you are only going to own a handgun (or two) for self protection and home defense, there are plenty of small, reliable handgun safes on the market that are designed for quick access at home.

In our bedroom we have the Fort Knox Pistol Case. It’s amazingly heavy, sturdy, and I love the fact that it uses a push-button, mechanical lock.  You don’t want to have a failure in accessing your handgun if you need it in the middle of the night under stress, and unlike this safe’s push button lock, digital and biometric locks can fail, batteries can die, keys can get misplaced or lost and you can’t dial a combo lock in the dark.

This case is big enough for 2 handguns and has drill holes to bolt it to the floor or drawer for extra security. And even though it’s very heavy steel, the lid has a pneumatic hinge that allows for one-handed access.

In my car I have a portable gun vault by Nanovault, that I tether to the frame of my car and tuck out of view.  In my state, Wisconsin, as in most states, there are areas in which you’re not allowed to carry a firearm, such as governmental buildings, school zones and college campuses.

In addition, firearms are not allowed at my office so I need to have a safe place to store my gun when I head into work. As I’ve noted before, these small safes are inexpensive, and are a bare minimum for safe storage of and quick access to your handgun, particularly in your car. I’ve also used this small portable safe when carrying while traveling and want to be sure I will always have a secure place to store my gun if I need to.

What to consider when choosing a pistol safe

It’s important to think through not only the safety features but also how accessible you want your handgun to be as you think through your gun safe options.

If you’re not going to on-body carry at home, which many people do, you need to think through where you want to keep your handgun while not on body. You don’t want a situation where you can’t get to your gun if you need it, but you also want to be sure that it’s secure from unauthorized people such as children or guests when you’re not able to carry it.

Think through in what situations you will be using the safe and where you will be keeping it – in the bedroom at night, during the day while at work, or in the car or while traveling – to determine not only the kind of safe but what features you want – in particular the kind of lock (biometric, digital, push button, combination, key) and the size and layout (open from the top, open from the side).

Once you have your gun safe, it’s important to practice accessing it regularly. This is particularly true for a bedroom safe where you may keep a home defense handgun that you’re not carrying every day. Practice opening in the dark. Practice opening from on the bed or on the floor.  Practice so it becomes second nature and you can have your gun both secure and accessible when you need it.

*The products listed here I have purchased and use. Note that some of the links in this post may generate a commission that will help support this site, although that in no way influences my opinion or review. Please see my full Disclosure Statement here.