Concealed Carry & Home Defense Training Review

Ever since I started shooting, and especially since I started carrying a handgun, I’ve been like a sponge absorbing information from wherever and whatever sources I could find.

I’ve found that much of the information out there is either highly tactical, or really specific to things like competitive shooting, or overly simplistic and repetitive. Which is why I am so glad I found the USCCA’s Concealed Carry & Home Defense Training.

USCCA to the rescue

USCCA  pulled together a set of videos and PDF downloads and printables specifically for the average person who is concerned about personal and home defense. The package includes videos on Situational Awareness and Home Defense, Concealed Carry Mistakes and How to Avoid Them, and a number of printables, including a state-by-state concealed carry law summary. The entire package is discounted now for only $27 (regularly $74) – the price of a box of good quality ammo.

USCCA Home Security Video
From the USCCA Home Security & Home Defense Video

The set includes the following videos and downloads:

  • Video – Top Ten Concealed Carry Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
  • Video – Home Security & Home Defense
  • Video – Situational Awareness
  • PDF Download – Best of Concealed Carry Magazine
  • PDF Download – Inside School Shootings- What We’ve Learned
  • PDF Download – Concealed Carry Map (carry laws of each state)
  • eBook  – 107+ Handgun Accuracy Secrets
In particular, since I’ve been really focused on improving my situational awareness, the Situational Awareness video was great, as it showed some real-life examples of how you can be prepared to protect yourself and your family if the need ever arises. Again what I like about it is they didn’t take a hard-core tactical approach, but instead took a practical, everyday life kind of approach to situational awareness.
I also really liked the Home Security and Defense video because it gave me some new  information  and easily actionable tips on how to create a home security checklist, some simple steps on how to improve home security, and a good detailed discussion of home defense firearms such as rifles, shotguns and even handguns, including an interesting discussion about some myths around using a shotgun for home defense.

Downloads and printables added bonus
A number of the downloads are great to have, including the Best of Concealed Carry Magazine that has several articles on what happens the aftermath of a self-defense incident (let’s just say my next post is going to be about insurance options, as this article really got me thinking about this issue), and various ammo, handgun and holster deep dives,

The ebook on Handgun Accuracy Secrets was authored by Massad Ayoob, Larry Correia, Kathy Jackson and a number of other leading instructors in the industry and is really focused on the fundamentals of marksmanship – grip, stance, sight picture, etc. It’s good foundational information to have, especially if you’ve not had a lot of handgun training.

While you can certainly find a lot of this kind of information if you spend a lot of time searching Google and YouTube, having this all pulled together in one package for $27 is worth it in my opinion. USCCA always produces quality content – they provide good, targeted information for everyday people concerned about self-protection.

Click here for the USCCA Concealed Carry and Home Defense Training package, now discounted to $27.

*The USCCA Concealed Carry and Home Defense Training Course is a product I purchased and used. Note that some of the links in this post may generate a commission (at no additional cost to you) that will help support this site, although that in no way influences my opinion or review. Please see my full Disclosure Statement here.

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.


It’s in the bag – Vertx A-Range Bag Review

We go to the range to shoot as a family, and to keep things neat and organized we went in search of the BEST range bag for the needs of either a single shooter or a small family.  It took awhile, but we found the most versatile solution in the Vertx A-Range bag.

Vertx A-Range bag
The Vertx A-Range bag
Vertx A-Range bag
Vertx A-Range bag fully loaded

While big enough to hold everything the 3 of us need at the range (it’s 10″x12″x19″), it’s not so huge that it’s messy and overwhelming. By way of comparison we also have the 5.11 Tactical Range Bag which is much bigger (10″x21″x14″) but is not as well organized as the Vertx. We take the Vertx to the range every time and relegate the 5.11 bag as a supplemental bag for when we go on weekend-long training classes and are hauling tons of ammo.

“Garage Deck” Feature

One of the ingenious features of the Vertx A-Range bag is the ammo “garage deck.” When you open up one of the sides, you have two pull-out “drawers” with mesh inserts that can be used to hold ammo and accessories.

In addition, the lining on the flap is all Velcro. I ended up buying a small pack of Velcro and adding it to the back of the included magazine pouch so it could be easily attached to the inside flap of the bag. This keeps both the magazines and ammo secure and easy to access. The mesh pockets on top are great for holding our autoloaders.

When we get to the range, we set the bag on the rear table, unzip the flap (which lays flat and can also do double duty as a gun rug), and then we can each reach the ammo we need right from one of the convenient drawers.

Vertx A-Range bag inside
Vertx A-Range “garage deck”


Great interior o

The inside of the Vertx A-Range bag is also well organized, with a rigid bottom and several side pockets to store small items. In the top compartment we’re able to fit 3-4 handguns (we like to use these small zip-up range bag inserts that fully open up to serve as individual gun rugs), and 3 sets of ear protection.

There’s another side zipper on the opposite side of the “garage” that doesn’t open up all the way but is wide and deep enough to accommodate all our eye protection, our compact Real Avid gun tool and a small bag with emergency cleaning gear.

What I love about this bag is it’s not so huge that it would seem too big if you’re just going to the range by yourself (especially if you like to bring several handguns with you), but it is big enough to accommodate the needs of several people all at once.

Vertx A-Range bag top
Vertx A-Range bag main compartment


Security on the go

Finally, one of the nicest additional features of the bag is an integrated lock-down system – a looped coated metal rod through the bottom and halfway up the side where the zipper locks through – that allows you to attach a cable to secure the bag (and the zippered main compartment) to a locking point inside your car.

For us, that’s been great since our favorite indoor range is about 30 miles away and we frequently plan stops for dinner or errands on our way there. Knowing we can discretely leave the range bag secure in the back of the SUV is comforting.

Vertx A-Range bag security cable
Vertx A-Range bag security cable

We’ve been using this bag continuously (at least weekly range dates) for the last several years. It’s held up amazingly well and shows very little signs of wear. The zippers, handles and stress points are all high quality and show no sign of giving up any time soon. For us, it’s been well worth the investment.

The Vertx A-Range bag is $199, and is available on* and other online stores.

*The Vertx A-Range bag is a product I 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.