GTM Original Blog — NRA Family
Tips & Tactics Sponsored by Cabela's Outdoor Fund
The ability to quickly and safely draw your firearm, should the need arise, is a crucial component of your concealed carry firearm training. In this episode of Tips & Tactics, firearms instructor and founder of The Well Armed Woman, Carrie Lightfoot, guides you through the basic principles of properly drawing a firearm from concealment under stress.
Marcella Robertson, 13News Now
The group, 757 Ladies Packing Heat, are gathered for lessons at the Colonial Shooting Academy.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Every Tuesday, Kathie Gerber stands in front of a classroom full of women at Colonial Shooting Academy.
At first glance it looks like your typical ladies night. You can hear side conversations about nail polishes and cute boys, but the women are there for a much different reason.
The group calls themselves 757 Ladies Packing Heat. What started with just four women has expanded to nearly 100 women. They meet every Tuesday to shoot guns.
The 757 Ladies Packing Heat Club's Facebook page.
"This is my second family. This is where I want to come and where I look forward to every Tuesday," said Debbie Robins, a member of the group.
The women are just a small piece of a growing trend of women owning guns in America. According to the National Rifle Association of America, women are the fastest growing demographic of new shooters.
"It is the fastest growing demographic in the shooting industry that I've seen, said Skyler Thomas, an instructor at Colonial Shooting Academy.
Every Tuesday the women work to improve their skills. They learn about safety, how to clean their guns, and work on tactics on the range.
"It's just so encouraging and empowering. It makes you feel good as a woman that you can take care of yourself and protect yourself and your family," said Robins.
For many of the women, joining the club was all about breaking into a male dominated sport. For others like Gerber, it was about much more.
Gerber was carjacked in Norfolk a few years ago. Her driver's side window was down, and within seconds a man was in her car.
"This gentleman jumped through my window and held a gun to my head and wanted my car. I didn't know if I was going to live or die. All I knew is that I had a gun to my head and at that point I was just thinking about survival," said Gerber.
The next day she went to buy a gun. Gerber walked into Colonial Shooting Academy to learn how to use her gun, and never left. Soon after that, Gerber started the 757 Ladies Packing Heat Club with just four women. The therapist turned gun instructor says the incident has changed her life in so many ways.
757 Ladies Packing Heat at the Colonial Shooting Academy
Many women have stories to tell just like Gerber. Some have been victims of domestic violence, searching for ways to protect themselves.
"I went through 11 years of it and finally decided to stand up for myself," said Robins.
The group is diverse and has members in their teens to their 80s. They even have a mother-daughter duo. Joanna and Jenna Washburn joined the club in January. Since then, it has become a priority in their lives.
"We look forward to it. It's something we can do together," said Joanna Washburn.
As the group continues to grow, Gerber wants to make sure every woman has a shot at protecting themselves.
"We're trying to get them all avenues they can use to hopefully save their life one day," said Gerber.
757 Ladies Packing Heat has expanded tremendously since its inception. Gerber says the second largest growing demographic is senior citizens. They plan to start catering to that group soon.
What To Look For In a Concealed-Carry Purse
by Barbara Baird - Tuesday, April 5, 2016
If you’ve made the conscientious decision to carry a firearm off your body, you’ll want the best bag you can afford. Here are three tried-and-true manufacturers of superior concealed carry bags in the industry. Here are some important design features that these companies include in their lines.
Gun Tote’n Mamas—Fastest Bag Draw on the Planet
In 2008, Kingport Industries, parent company to Gun Tote’n Mamas, rented a booth at the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show thinking it would be a perfect venue for its leather luggage and leather goods company, and that buyers would glom onto its leather luggage and new wildlife wallet series.
“No one bought any of the luggage or wallets, but more than 100 people asked if we could make concealed carry handbags,” said Claudia Chisholm, president and co-owner of the company. She continued, “With so much input at that show, Gun Tote’n Mamas was born and we came back to SHOT 2009 for our real launch.” Chisholm hung the company’s now highly recognizable poster in the booth as the only decoration. It features some of the women of the company, wearing black shades and expressions similar to “Men in Black.”
“I still remember how our poster stopped everyone long enough to see quality and affordability,” added Chisholm, who said the company still uses that photograph as a testament to female empowerment.
Gun Tote’n Mama’s bags offer easy, safe and immediate access to a firearm. “It can’t look like it holds a firearm, otherwise the bag defeats the purpose,” stated Chisholm. “And it must be made with quality materials and construction—such as seams that can’t rip and zippers that don’t fail.” Nothing can impede the split-second draw necessity, which means the bag’s body must not collapse over the gun pocket.
The company offers 51 styles in various colors, with 10 of those styles introduced this year. One of the most popular bags, the vintage messenger bag, is co-ed ready and comes in American range buffalo—a distressed finish. Watch for a rolling range bag later this year.
With input from acclaimed firearms instructor Kathy Jackson, it sells what “SWAT” magazine has tested, in a field of six other companies, to be the “fastest bag draw” item (GTM 99) on the market.
Remington Releases its RM380 Micro Pistol
by Barbara Baird - Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Remington Releases its RM380 Micro Pistol
“Trust, but verify.”
Although The Gipper (aka, Pres. Ronald Reagan) said those words in reference to the Soviet Union, they also apply to any gun you intend to use for self-defense. The Remington RM380 Micro Pistol passed its trust qualification with flying colors for me earlier last year, out in the desert at Gunsite Academy.
I shot it again recently, in West Virginia, and afterward I sat down with the engineer who developed the gun to find out why Remington wanted to create this firearm, which will appeal to the burgeoning women’s market.
“We didn’t set out to make a gun that was a ‘woman’s’ or a ‘man’s gun,’” said Daniel Cox, Senior Product Manager for Handguns, “but I do have a very petite wife who tends to carry a very small gun that she struggles with … so I took the opportunity to see the things firsthand—small caliber, double action, lightweight, slim and heavy slide racking—that all equate to a gun that can be vicious to shoot.”
“It was clear to me what my wife’s problems with a small gun were, and then, talking to women in the industry, they all seemed consistent,” added Cox. “Everything that makes this gun more user friendly for anybody that doesn’t have the upper body strength or hand dexterity that sometimes a larger guy has, it’s all better for them. It doesn’t detract from the usability for a guy like me, either,” he continued.
At the West Virginia shoot, we fired a few rounds downrange, but at the aforementioned desert outing, we shot those little pocket pistols in Gunsite-directed drills for two days. One among us even fail-tested it, and it wore out his trigger finger before we saw any failure from the gun. Indeed, Remington’s engineers claim the gun will handle at least 7500 rounds—at least 2.5 times longer than the average pocket pistol.
The RM380 comes in all-metal construction with a light double-action-only (DAO) trigger. Lefties will appreciate the ambidextrous magazine release, and if you want, you can replace its grip panels for further customization. While on the subject of the grip, the angle and ample checkering worked well for the other women and for me. The guys certainly hit their targets in good, tight groups and never complained that their guns slipped away from them—which makes me think Remington found a great middle-of-the-road-pleasing carry gun here.
The RM380 comes with a slightly extended beavertail, which also kept my hand on the grip and especially made it easy to find an accurate hold when drawing from a holster. The trigger guard—designed and undercut so that a shooter can hold on higher on the front strap—also contributed to being able to maintain a firm grip on this gun.
Features like a 2.9-inch 416 stainless steel barrel (the longest in its class) and aluminum frame (in all-metal construction) make this firearm particularly appealing for hot-weather carry. And the sights? Low lying and snag free, they are what you would expect on a micro carry gun.
Petite women and some seniors will appreciate the light force it takes to rack the slide back, and when you’ve fired the last round, the slide stays back. No guessing required as to whether you’ve emptied the magazine and cleared the chamber. You can check easily. You can also pull the slide back easily, thanks to the wide, positive cocking serrations. The grip handles can be replaced.
Also, the RM380 weighs 12.2 ounces and comes with an angled trigger with a 10-pound trigger pull. The magazine holds 6 rounds.
We shot the RM380 from 3, 5 and 7 yards in speed drills, in a competition shoot-off at about 15 yards and in several stimuli drills. If the bullet flew off the center of mass, I knew it meant operator error on my part—moving and not adjusting my aim properly, which is something I need to work on.
We also performed the Dozier drill at about 15 yards, where we had to shoot at four opponents quickly. The opponents—pepper poppers of steel—kept going down faster and faster, as we improved our abilities to hit and move on.
We also spent time in the shoot house, learning to clear it room by room and looking for the "bad guy." Talk about a wee bit of pressure, with the instructor’s hand always on the shooter’s shoulder and danger around every corner.
The RM380 is also available with a Micro Crimson Trace red laser, for $609.