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New Gun. Armed! Concealed Carry and The American Gun Revolution – Part Three


New Gun Owners Guide. 

Armed! Concealed Carry and The American Gun Revolution – Part Three

Article and photography by Edward Biamonte

FIRST Time – Firearms Buyers

Consumer’s first thoughts may vary after the purchase of one’s first firearm. And, before you give yourself a wedgy or get your panties in a twist, we understand this is not a complete list. It is a starting point and one our experts agree on. A normal response to the purchase of any item is to use it. Owners want to get their new firearm to the range and try it out. First time owners without any training on how to handle a firearm, head to a range, load their gun, and, point it down range to shoot a paper on cardboard target. Pretty standard stuff that cause firearms experts to shake their heads – No – not a good idea! The potential for an accident or mis-fire is more probable during a first time shooters range scenario. Also, experts question, “did the consumer purchase the right firearm in the first place”?

New firearms owners have no clue how to protect themselves. Pro gun and firearms education advocates might find this video by ABC News unusually beneficial to their cause. Hosted by ABC’s anti gun advocate and anhcor-woman Diane Sawyer, revealed what three nationally known firearms gun advocates and NRA certified concealed carry instructors want you to know. http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=0sujnvIV4g4

Firearms ownership is a “Safety First” life style

Owning a firearm is a great responsibility and promoted by experts as a “Safety First” life style, for personal protection and firearms related sports. What are some questions new firearms buyers might want to consider before purchasing a firearm?  Why do I need a firearm? Do I know how to use a firearm? What’s the right firearm for me? Ammo seems expensive and friends say it’s hard to find, where can I buy the right ammo? Is there firearms education I can take? Where does one practice or train with a gun? What training and education options are available? Why are so many firearms owners getting Concealed Carry permits? Is getting a Concealed Carry Permit the first thing a new firearm owner should do?

Here’s a suggested list when buying your first firearm:

  1. Take A Safety First Gun Class
  2. Choose The Right Firearm
  3. Dry Fire and Test The Firearm
  4. Tear Down and Clean. Understand how your firearm works
  5. Where to buy ammo
  6. Live Fire Your Gun
  7. Beginners – Defensive Firearm Training Class
  8. Conceal Carry Permit
  9. Continued Education and Training

Safety First

First time buyers should take a beginner firearms training class, before loading their gun. Some retailers with ranges offer a free beginners class as a safety first service. If your range offers this service it’s a good range to frequent. Some experts state, if the retailer / range doesn’t allow the buyer the opportunity to test fire the firearm intended for purchase, the buyer should find a retailer / range that does. Some take it a step further stating they should offer a free safety first class. Buyers should shop around for a retailer that offers this educational service. Serious gunnies know from experience that education is a priority if one wants to become proficient in the use of a firearm.

It’s simple, “Safety First” firearms training classes should be promoted by sellers and ranges; yet, many don’t. Should ranges require one to take a free safety first class before entering a shooting zone? If not – why not? Is it un-constitutional that a range owner require a new shooter to pass a safety first test? No! Would it reduce the potential for range accidents and mis-fires? Ranges that offer the class and who have strict rules say yes. Would safety first help with national and local perspectives revealing firearms owners are responsible law abiding citizens? Yes.

704 Living recently interviewed two nationally known, independent, firearms experts and trainers: Matt Canovi and Rick Allenbrand for “Armed! Concealed Carry and The American Gun Revolution”. And, for upcoming advanced training in firearms articles of “Armed”, we’ll include international firearms expert from Arizona Fred Mastison.

On a personal note. I have had the advantage to learn firearms techniques on both Allenbrand’s and Canovi’s shooting ranges. Each trainer has thirty plus years experience and offer unique techniques and methods. All three experts, train constantly to maximize their skills, learn new techniques, and, teach them to their clients and students. These guys live and breath firearms education, defensive training, every day of their lives; they are experts and very respected by shooters across the US and Europe.

Their Respective Pedigrees 

Matt Canovi http://www.mattcanovi.com

Canovi is a field tested USM, DEA undercover and ATF trained St Louis Metro Detective and veteran with FBI / NRA / UN certifications. Winner of Missouri’s State Police Olympics in practical handgun, Matt teaches from 30 plus years of experience. A Criminal Justice College Instructor and Certified International Police Trainer who also trains basic: firearms safety, pistol, rifle, shotgun, personal protection in and outside the home. Canovi, teaches advanced SWAT defensive techniques to SWAT Trauma Physicians and Medics. Canovi’s methodology includes Military, FBI and SWAT statistical relevance, teaching techniques that are proven in the field under fire. Matt is on NewsTalk Radio KSGF104.1 weekly called “The Gun Show with Matt Canovi” and the author of firearms training books and creator of the R.E.A.L Defensive Shooting System. Canovi is the owner of the American Defense Academy in Bolivar Missouri.

Rick Allenbrand http://www.bearcreektactical.com

Rick is a certified NRA firearms instructor in the following disciplines: Basic firearms safety, Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Personal Protection inside the home, personal protection outside the home and range safety officer. Rick has worked in personal protection and CQC training since 1978. Allenbrand is the owner of Bear Creek Tactical and host to a monthly IDPA event. All of Rick’s instructors have extensive backgrounds in SWAT, HRT, LE, Military, Personal Protection, investigations, Trauma  Physicians, Medics, Intelligence Analyst Training Program (IIATP), and, has a dedicated Team of US Marine Corps Scout Sniper instructors to help you with all of your training needs.

Fred Mastison http://www.forceoptionsusa.com

Fred is a nationally known NRA certified instructor for law enforcement firearms, professional firearms, defensive tactics, personal protection instructor, training in CQB / CQD style combative for over three decades. And, is recognized internationally as one of the top Firearms and Defensive Tactics instructors in the world. A member of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, Fred has trained Army and Marine Divisions, produced several DVDs with topics ranging from advanced defensive tactics to advanced knife defense and firearms training. A published author of Defensive Tactics Training and Instruction, Mastison’s courses are recognized and certified by several state law enforcement POST agencies. Officers who train with Fred receive professional credit for attendance. Are you into long distance geometric triangulation? Fred specializes in long distance shooting– the one mile club.

Choosing The Right Firearm

Allenbrand, a firearms retailer also, mentioned “many buyers purchase firearms based on myths or friends suggestions causing buyers remorse”. Canovi stated, some of his students “over purchase while others under estimate a firearm based on caliber”. Both expert trainers maintain, new buyers must learn safety first rules and understand how the gun operates before live firing down range. A buyer needs to hold the unloaded firearm they intend to buy– first. Then, cock or rack and dry fire the gun to see if they can actually work the firearm.


GrandPa’s Vintage ball loader might not be the best defensive firearm of choice.

Rick, takes the dry fire method even further stating “all new students training at Bear Creek Tactical must practice one hour using dry fire training methods first and be approved by instructors before shooting their gun down range. Matt, practices dry fire at each stage of all his instruction and maintains an open breech range policy. When ready, students are allowed to load a specific amount of rounds before live firing on his range.


The Smith and Wesson M&P range kit is a great first choice. The carry kit comes IDPA, IPSC, USPSA range ready with your choice of a M&P in 9mm – or – .40 – or – 357Sig • Blade-Tech® Kydex® Holster • Blade-Tech® Double Magazine Pouch • Maglula Uplula™ Speed Loader • Ear Plugs and three Extra Magazines.

Both experts agree, practicing extreme safety first methods is essential to firearms education and training. After the purchase of a gun, new buyers need to take a beginners defensive shooting class. These classes also teach new shooters how to tear down and clean their firearm after live firing down range. “If a shooter can’t tear their weapon down, clean it, put it back together, or they shouldn’t be allowed to shoot it” US. Military.

Where to buy ammo

The cheapest stores to get ammo are Wal-Mart and Bass Pro. You can call ahead to see if they have your ammo in stock. Gun shows would the next choice. They offer bulk rates. There are a bunch of ammunition manufacturers. Every gunny has their favorites. For practice rounds I like Winchester’s White Box and Federal in full metal jacket (FMJ). They are the most reasonably priced. Remington is bit more money, everyone I ask about Remington’s prices don’t understand why there’s such an increase?

First time shooters, do not buy hollow points for practice rounds. Hollow points were designed for defensive carry and are double the cost. Most gunnies conceal carry hollow points because the bullets are designed to create a fatal trauma path when the bullet enters its target. 704 Living will have more information on bullets in upcoming interviews with our firearms experts. And everyone has an antidotal explanation why they use what they use. Even the Vice President of the US Joe Biden had a quirky remark about defense shooting. A recent suggestion, by VPOUS Joe Biden, the shotgun is the answer all for home protection is a quirky myth that can have deadly consequences for the shooter. Uncle Joe needs to let it go.

The shotgun myth

During Canovi’s tactical shotgun class, Matt spoke of an elderly lady who was told by her neighbor “the shot gun is the best home defense gun ever”. Telling her, “cocking a 12 gauge by the door will make criminals run away”. So, GrandMa came to Matt to learn how to shoot her shotgun. Matt advised her the shotgun was not a good choice for her, stating “it was too much gun and it would be hard for her to handle”, she should “consider another firearm”. Very determined to shoot that shotgun GrandMa would not listen to expert advice. Matt showed her how to load one shell, stand, hold, aim and shoot, upon which the lovely lady almost dislocated her shoulder, as she proceeded to fall to her backside. Luckily, Matt was right behind her standing ready for the obvious outcome and caught her. There are better rifles to protect your home with.


The AR-15 platform is becoming the new home defense rifle of choice do to its control-ability, amount of rounds one can carry in its magazine, and, caliber choices. You can never have to many firearms of choice, the 1911 in 45 ACP is a favorite of many serious shooters.

Training with the right defensive weapon for you, is more important than knock down power for proper self defense.

In Springfield Missouri, an elderly Baptist minister and his wife were brutally murdered when a criminal broke into their home late one night. Waking from a noise, the elderly home owner retrieved his shotgun before confronting the noise. A startled criminal rushed at the elderly couple. The home owner pointed his shot gun at the criminal and fired, click, no bang! The gun did not fire. The owner, wanting to be cautious, did not chamber a shell while storing the gun. The intruder reached the owner before he could chamber a shell and shoot at the intruder. The criminal easily overwhelm the elderly home owners, took the gun away, knocking the husband and wife to the floor. The criminal chambered a shell, shooting shell after shell brutally murdering the elderly ministers.

Would proper training have saved the lives of the elderly couple? Yes. Canovi “Train the way your gonna shoot all the time”. Another myth, experts confront, is the knock down myth.

The knockdown myth

In the movies people are always getting knocked down or pushed through the air by bullets. Movie’s, don’t use bullets. They use hydraulic recoilers to pull the actor or stunt person to create visual effects.

Some buyers want the most powerful gun they can get. Allenbrand, comments on the caliber knock down perception “the bigger the bullet the more knock down power it has”. Rick referred to a case where law enforcement was forced to engaged a 20 year old with deadly force. The suspect was not on any drugs or alcohol. The criminal was shot over 25 times with handgun fire. One round even hit the suspect in the head. The Perp kept charging the officers, until one round hit the suspect in the ankle causing him to fall to the ground. One minute later the suspect bled out. Why was the 20 year old suspect able to withstand so many 9mm, 40 and 45 caliber rounds? He was full of adrenalin caused by rage.


Glock 9MM with 9-MM FMJ bullets

Canovi, while on duty as a detective, encountered a meth induced suspect who attacked the officers with deadly force. The suspect was hit by 6 – 357 Magnum hollow point rounds, body mass, and kept charging the officers. The suspect had to be taken down with a taser. Why couldn’t the bullets stop the suspect? “When in a fight or flight situation one’s blood pressure rises causing tunnel vision” Allenbrand. The officers rounds repeatedly hit the same target location during the rapid fire altercation. However, were the hits the wrong target location to cause maximum or deadly force trauma?


The real issue when considering caliber and bullet size, can I hit the target and create a deadly force trauma path?

Larger rounds can definitely create larger trauma paths, if the round is placed in the right area. The questions buyers need to consider: Can I handle the recoil from a powerful firearm, and, produce repeated trauma with the placement of rounds being fired? “If the gun is powerful enough to knock the criminal down, it’s powerful enough to knock the shooter down as well” Rick Allenbrand.

Ever wonder why 50 Caliber rifles are mounted with recoil suppressors? Experts state, the only round powerful enough to lift a man off his feet or push the suspect backwards, kind of like in the movies and if the body doesn’t explode first, is a 50 caliber round. The trauma path and exit wound created by a 50 caliber bullet is so large it rips muscle and flesh pulling the body in the direction of the trauma path and exiting bullet.


Canovi and Allenbrand suggest a smaller caliber like the 22LR or 22 Magnum or .38 revolvers for new firearms owners. The guns have lower recoil, are easier to handle, which aids in properly placed hits. In other words, firearms like the 22LR are easy to keep on target allowing the shooter to hit the suspect repeatedly with bullets. With so many options to choose from a new buyer can get confused where to purchase their first gun.

Buying firearms on line or from a box store like Bass Pro

What if a buyer purchases their first firearm from a retailer like Bass Pro or at a gun show? Take the firearm to a local range and ask a range officer to help you. Be Honest! Tell them it’s your first firearm and first time to a range. Gunnies love to share their expertise and help new shooters. If they give you a bad attitude or act like they don’t want to help you, walk away, it’s not a Safety First Range. Find another range that will help you. Get on-line and join a firearms forum in your area and ask where the closest safety first range is. Forums can brutally honest about ranges and trainers. If a range is suggested ask the gunny what their experience was like and who to ask for at the range. Then ask if you can use their name as a referral. Gunnies like to know what positive things are being said about them.

What if a buyer purchases their first firearm from a retailer like Bass Pro or at a gun show? Take the firearm to a local range and ask a range officer to help you. Be Honest! Tell them it’s your first firearm and first time to a range. Gunnies love to share their expertise and help new shooters. If they give you a bad attitude or act like they don’t want to help you, walk away, it’s not a Safety First Range. Find another range that will help you. Get on-line and join a firearms forum in your area and ask where the closest safety first range is. Forums can be brutally honest about ranges and trainers. If a range is suggested, ask the gunny what their experience was like and who to ask for at the range. Then ask if you can use their name as a referral. Gunnies like to know what positive things are being said about them.

When buying on-line? Buying tips

With so many firearm’s and brands to select from the local range may or may not have the gun you want to buy. You can always shop online and price point the firearm you think you would like to buy. When you buy online you have to ship to a local federally licensed firearms dealer. By law the firearm must be shipped to an “FFL”. There are currently over 58,000 FFL holders nationwide.  FFL holders are commonly gun stores, pawn shops, and retail sporting goods stores. However, there are also many individuals that hold an FFL. Although the transfer fee varies widely among the +58,000 FFL holders nationwide, the average fee tends to be around $25.  For their exact transfer fee, please contact your chosen FFL directly.

When buying at a local range or retailer, that sells the gun you think you would like to buy, many ranges have brand rentals specifically bought by the range for test firing. Let them know you’re a serious buyer. While on-line, print a copy of the firearm, the price and shipping cost of the firearm you want to test fire for purchase. If they tell you, you have to rent the firearm, it’s better to rent and know you like the gun before you buy it. If they say no test or dry firing, find a range / retailer that does let you test the firearm.

If local retailers sell the same firearm you price pointed, they can checked on-line to see if the firearm is still available for sale. They will normally match the selling price, but, add $25.00 to the FFL. Price pointing will keep you from getting gouged by smaller retailers. The positive side of shipping to a local range retailer, your building a relationship with a local gunny, get plugged in. If the range / retailer gives you a hassle you can always ship the firearm to Bass Pro. Their staff is usually courteous and professional.

What’s coming up next in –  Armed! Concealed Carry and The American Gun Revolution!

Firearms clubs like the NRA, IDPA, IPSC, USPSA, SAS are a great place to start your education in firearms training.


Taking one intro class is just the beginning in training on how to skillfully use your firearm. It’s time to consider a “Concealed Carry” class. And, going to the range once a month to put twenty rounds into a target is hardly learning how to handle the firearm in a stressful situation. It’s simple– now that you have your firearm of choice you’ll need to continue your education on how to use it.

Considered by many a very wise person, “with wisdom get understanding, and, with understanding get knowledge” King Solomon. So what’s the solution?


Firearms clubs like the NRA, IDPA, IPSC, USPSA, SAS are reasonably priced. Also, small group training classes with NRA certified instructors are worth every minute and very dollar spent. CAUTION: Look at the pedigree of the instructor and ask serious gunnies at the range or clubs about the trainer, they’ll know, it’s what they do.

National Instructors

Rick Allenbrand at http://www.bearcreektactical.com

Matt Canovi at http://www.mattcanovi.com

Fred Mastison http://www.forceoptionsusa.com

Concealed Carry Classes in North Carolina

Ronnie Adcock at http://www.concealcarryhandgunclass.com


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