Edition 56

I hope you and your team are well and continuing to diligently train and prepare for the day that is surely coming.
The focus of this newsletter is crime prevention.  I find it useful sometimes to talk about ‘preparedness’ issues because they have a direct bearing on crime prevention.

For instance, if your family has not prepared for  drought, famine or plague (pestilence), etc., then, at some level, your hope is in the government.

This means you’ll have to join other ill prepared people like yourself heading to or at government run ‘distribution centers.’   And that means you and whatever family members accompanying you are more likely to become victims of crime (think SuperDome) or, with today’s headlines in mind, disease.  And those family members left behind at home are more likely to become victims of crime since you’re not there to protect them.

It’s probably worthwhile to study the likelihood that the Federal government can even handle an emergency of national proportion.

On the other side of the coin, being prepared will certainly designate you as a target.  I know without a doubt many people see no need to prepare now because they plan to just take your stuff when they need it.  Why sacrifice?  Just take from those that have.

Aesop’s post-modern grasshopper would have stolen the ant’s stores upon being told ‘You should have prepared’.

So, you have to decide:

  1. Not prepare and possibly suffer the consequences, along with my family?  Maybe become one of those formerly ‘good’ people that are, out of desperation, forced to become thieves and robbers?
    Don’t say you won’t do that.  Unless you have watched a family member starve to death or die of thirst or die slowly because they lack medication, when taking from someone who had food, water and meds might have prevented it, then you don’t know what you’ll do when that time comes.
  2. Prepare to live and – concurrently – prepare to kill people in Category 1 when they come for your food, water and meds.

The choice is yours.

Not too soon to start thinking about gift certificates for training as a Christmas present.  They’re available for every class.

It’s also not too soon to start thinking about the UBC in December.  We’ve made some major revisions to the curriculum, making the scenario more challenging and realistic.  Don’t forget DC1 is a prerequisite for DC2 and UBC and CO1 is a prerequisite for DC1.

As always, hope to see you in a class soon.

Train hard; put God first!



Attention Fathers and Sons

My good friend and fellow soldier Pastor Tim McKnight has created something  that might interest you.  Kingdom Paladins is an organization that seeks to help parents raise up their sons to be spiritual warriors who help advance the Kingdom of Christ.  Check out the FaceBook page by that name.

Day of Wrath Revisited

Last newsletter I recommended you download and read William Forstchen’s DAY OF WRATH.  If you have read it, then the following will make perfect sense to you.

We’ve put together a Counter Vehicle Ambush training day using our two ‘range’ cars around this scenario:
You’re driving in the slow lane on a four lane highway.  You have at least one passenger with you.  You notice a car overtaking you in the fast lane.  Each time the car pulls alongside the cars behind you they swerve off the road and wreck.  This happens every time the car in the fast lane pulls abreast a slower car behind you.

What do you do?

Probably my first choice would be to slip into the fast lane, pull away (if I could), and take the first exit.  If Paladin Training was a driving academy, that would be the school solution.  End of class.  Thank you for your attention.

But, Paladin Training is about fighting with guns.  I’m not qualified to teach you evasive driving.  So, we’re not going to let you drive away.  In our scenario, as is usually the case when you really need to get somewhere quickly, like ‘somewhere else’, there are two cars abreast of each other ahead of  you.  The car in the fast lane is going 1/10 of one mph faster than the car in the right and your birthday will come before you can pass.

Now, what do you do?  Now would be a good time to check out the videos at  About ISIL if you haven’t already done so to better understand your predicament.

I call this a training day rather than a class because we’re all going to learn from the experience.  We have two donated ‘range’ cars at the range.  One has taken a lot of hits over the years and is ready for the recycling station, the other is pristine.  Let’s call the pristine car ‘GC’ and the shot up car ‘BC’.

First we’ll place BC down range and shoot at designated hard points from an angle behind it, as if we’re the BG’s overtaking a car from the rear.  We want to see what protection the car provides, if any, from bullets coming at an angle from the rear.

Next, we’ll turn the BC around so that it’s facing uprange and put cardboard targets in the two front seats and one in the back seat passenger side.  The GC will be parked uprange of it and offset to the right as if it’s the car in the slow lane being overtaken.  We’ll put two students in the GC.  At the signal, the student in the passenger seat will climb into the rear seat and engage the cardboard ‘occupants’ of the BC with his carbine.  We’ll each have a chance to see how well our carbine load penetrates windshields (we’re collecting extra windshields now) and sheet metal.  I’m sure we’ll learn some other things, too.

  • Prerequisite:  This is open only to past UBC participants.
  • Date:  Saturday, 20 DEC.
  • Location:  Lake Darpo, Society Hill, SC
  • Cost:  No charge

Even though there’s no charge, I’ll need a headcount so contact me if interested.

Open Carry?

A couple of months ago ‘open carry’ or ‘Constitutional Carry’ advocates — mainly in Texas — were much in the news.  With their in your face activities they created adversarial relationships where up to that point a sort of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy had ruled.  I’ve been meaning to write about it, but have put it off because I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  With that in mind…


See this?

Dumb and Dumber

Dumb and Dumber

The behavior of ‘Dumb’ and ‘Dumber’ above is so stupid I question whether or not they should even be allowed to own real guns.

A Tactical Issue

So much for the element of surprise, an absolutely essential ingredient in a defensive situation where, by definition, you are reacting to a situation already in progress.  Any dedicated BG walking into that establishment will simply assassinate these two first.  Or, rob them.  Seriously.  Check this out:  I LIKE YOUR GUN

The same goes for wearing handguns in the open.  You can’t control who comes within arm’s length of you in a crowded environment, or simply standing in line at a theater or check out line, etc.  As we go about the business of life we are often simply surrounded by strangers.  Hide the gun.  That’s your best retention device.

A Political Issue

Many, if not most, of the businesses I visit are ambivalent about the 2A to the Constitution.  While it’s not my first choice, I’m okay with that.  I don’t knowingly do business with people / companies that are openly hostile on the issue, but as long as they practice ‘live and let live’, I’m okay.

Businesses exist to make a profit.  Any overt behavior that negatively impacts that, like scaring customers away because we walked into the place openly carrying a firearm, will understandably bring about a reaction against that behavior.  We should not have a problem with companies that are protecting their legitimate interests.  Live and let live works both ways.

Starbucks’ CEO Howard Shultz said, ‘Guns should not be a part of the Starbucks experience’.  He’s absolutely right!  If I’m in Starbucks, I’m there to enjoy a cup of coffee and would prefer not to have to wonder about the intentions of a private citizen — a total stranger — walking through the door wearing a handgun or AR.  And, if I anticipate that situation, I’ll probably just not go there.

A good question:  What takes precedence, Steve, yours preferences or the Constitution?  The Constitution, obviously, but ‘because I CAN’ do something is not necessarily justification for doing it.

The way to win this battle is through education and respect.  Respect… that’s all we want from them, right?

I encourage you to read Mr. Schultz’ comments on the issue here:  STARBUCKS

A “You’re Going to Get Yourself Shot” Issue

We teach that a handgun in a holster does not in and of itself represent a threat.  On the other hand, putting your hand on the grip will be seen as an escalation of force and the message it carries is, ‘I’m getting ready.’  Likewise, a long gun slung or hanging by a two point sling is considered safe and does not, in and of itself, represent a threat.  So, acquiring a firing grip on a slung long gun , as pictured above, may likely be seen as an escalation of force and carry with it the same message:  ‘I’m getting ready.’

What would you think if you and your family were eating out and you saw someone coming through the door with their hand on a handgun?  Get ready to fight or flee!  Well, you should probably think the same thing if you see someone walk thru the door holding a long gun in a firing grip.

One of these days, some unthinking but otherwise innocent open carry advocate is going to get shot by some concealed carry advocate.  No matter how justifiable it may be, that’s not going to help us.

A Side Technical Issue

When it is correct to wear a long gun, please don’t use a single point sling.  The design practically forces you to keep your hand on the gun while you  move and, as discussed above, this might be seen as threatening.

But, there’s another problem with single point slings.  Check out the video here, specifically between the 8:35 and 9:25 marks for graphic evidence of the danger inherent in using them, and the reason they’re banned in our carbine classes:

Edition 55

I hope you and your team are well and continuing to diligently train and prepare for that day.


I have lost track of who’s coming to the Carbine Operator course this weekend.  If you’re planning to attend, please contact me ASAP.


I’ve made an adjustment to the format of the newsletter:  Reminders about UPCOMING CLASSES have been inserted into the left column beneath the Training Calendar.  Also, I’ve added links to some of the class descriptions so you don’t have to call and ask.


Not too soon to start thinking about gift certificates for training as a Christmas present.  They’re available for every class.


It’s also not too soon to start thinking about the UBC in December.  We’ve made some major revisions to the curriculum, making the scenario more challenging and realistic.  Don’t forget DC1 is a prerequisite for DC2 and UBC and CO1 is a prerequisite for DC1.


As always, hope to see you in a class soon.


Train hard; put God first!



Book Recommendation

I very strongly recommend you download and read William Forstchen’s DAY OF WRATH.

This is a timely and urgent book about ISIL attacking targets inside the US.  Forstchen has simply taken actions these animals have already committed elsewhere and set them in small towns in the United States.  Nothing speculative about it.

Since 2002 or so, when it became apparent the Islamists had failed to achieve their purpose, I and others have been warning that the next attack would be directed at the heartland of America.

Listen, we can talk about everyone being a citizen of NYC if it makes us feel better, but the truth of the matter is the attacks of 9-11-01 took place far, far away from the majority of America.  NYC and DC might as well be on the moon for all the thought I give them each day.

But, if terrorists simultaneously attacked school buses filled with kids as they went about their routes in different rural areas across America, that would forever change the lives of millions of Americans.  Imagine the same thing taking place at high school football or basketball games across America.  Things would change.  If you believe you have less freedom as a result of The Patriot Act, you haven’t seen anything like the repressive laws that would come about in the wake of this type of event.

We are led by people who ‘never let a good crisis go to waste’.

I do believe it’s just a matter of time.

We can and must ready ourselves.  We must ready our families.

Read more here about the book and:  AboutISIL

Please remember to use and support Paladin Training’s mission.  I’d link directly to the book but I can’t figure out how to do it without linking my account.

Death of a Firearm Instructor

I’m sure you’ve heard about the instructor killed when a 9 year old student lost control of a fully automatic pistol.  I probably shouldn’t use the terms ‘instructor’ and ‘student’ when talking about the relationship between these two people.  That event was about amusement, not training.


But, what a tragic story for everyone involved!  A husband, father and veteran is dead in his prime, a young girl is surely traumatized and likely robbed of a future that, until this occurred, included at least the hypothetical chance of learning how to defend herself with a firearm.


Plenty has already been said and written about fault so I’ll fore go that.  Let’s talk instead a little about training kids to shoot.  Really, I could use some training in that area myself as (a) Paladin is not in the business of training young children in gun safety, and (b) Libby and I don’t have children.


It doesn’t take any skill and not a whole lot of physical strength to ‘shoot’ a gun.  Very young people can support (i.e., hold) and fire a gun.  The important question is this:


Can they CONTROL the gun during recoil?


If you intend to supervise a young person shooting a SEMI-AUTO,  load the gun as a single shot, charging the magazine with only one round, until they have demonstrated the ability to handle the recoil.


People are dead because they fired guns that recoiled more than they could control:  Hit in the top of the head by barrels, hit in the head by rounds unintentionally fired while the gun was in full recoil, etc.


Maybe because it’s what I learned on, I think the ideal handgun for teaching a new shooter the fundamentals of marksmanship is a Ruger Single Six revolver in .22 LR.


Consider these points:

  1. Inherently accurate
  2. Cheap ammunition
  3. Little recoil and blast
  4. Has to be manually cocked for each shot, effectively making it a single shot
  5. Good sights and trigger
  6. Rugged and durable
  7. Won’t be ‘outgrown’
    And lastly, seemingly at odds to the purpose of shooting well…
  8. Has a long, relatively slow hammer fall

Number 8 is actually a plus, from a training standpoint, because it means that the shooter must concentrate on the fundamental of ‘Follow Thru’ in order to shoot the gun well.

In essence you have a gun that is accurate, but you have to work a little more to shoot it accurately.

If you take this advice seriously, might as well get the convertible version that comes with a .22 WMR cylinder.  This will greatly increase the versatility of the gun.

If you want to learn a little more about the firearm that was used in the incident in Arizona, here’s a YouTube video on the Micro Uzi:

Interestingly, and perhaps relevant to the accident in Arizona, in his opening remarks the shooter mentions a problem with the folding stock.  He says it’s common.  I haven’t a clue as I’ve never fired one.  But, you can see it happen around the 4:30 mark.  Notice that, when the stock comes loose, the muzzle moves to the left and up… where the instructor was positioned.

Castle Doctrine in Chesterfield County

Cast of characters:

  • Gaskins – the shooter / driver
  • Burr – the witness / passenger
  • Turner – the deceased
  • Two juveniles – sons of Gaskins and Burr / back-seat passengers

In August 2013, Gaskins drove Burr and the two boys to Turner’s house to retrieve some medication for Burr’s son.  Turner and Burr’s estranged wife were living together.

Turner met them in the front yard, carrying a baseball bat and acting in an agitated manner.  It would later be determined his BAC was .21%.

According to Gaskins, Turner opened the PASSENGER side door, pointed the bat at Burr and threatened the two men with bodily harm.  Gaskins said he tried to get Turner to step away but he ‘wouldn’t get away from the car’.  Gaskins said he feared for their safety, pulled a pistol from his pocket and shot Turner three times.  Turner died at the scene.  Gaskins was arrested and charged with murder.

At a pre-trial hearing, Gaskins’ attorney sought immunity from prosecution under the Protection of Persons and Property Act.  Circuit Judge Henry James recently rendered the opinion that the PPPA does not apply, which means the case will go to trial.  I think he’s correct.

Disclaimer #1: All the above comes from the Florence Morning News.  You can read it here: SCNow

Disclaimer #2: I am not a  lawyer.  What follows is not legal advice, etc., etc.


Pertinent Sections of The Protection of Persons and Property Act (PPPA)   

(Read it in full here:  16-11-410 )

SECTION 16-11-440. Presumption of reasonable fear of imminent peril when using deadly force against another unlawfully entering residence, occupied vehicle or place of business.

(A) A person is presumed to have a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily injury to himself or another person when using deadly force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily injury to another person if the person:

(1) against whom the deadly force is used is in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or has unlawfully and forcibly entered a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if he removes or is attempting to remove another person against his will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and

(2) who uses deadly force knows or has reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act is occurring or has occurred.

(C) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in another place where he has a right to be, including, but not limited to, his place of business, has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or another person or to prevent the commission of a violent crime as defined in Section 16-1-60.
(D) A person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter a person’s dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or a violent crime as defined in Section 16-1-60.

In his argument against immunity the prosecutor mentioned several discrepancies in the witness testimony.  It had to be extremely damaging to the defense that Burr testified he never felt in danger until Gaskins began shooting!  Ouch!

When considering the question of going to the aid of another, this is my worst fear:  The person I’m rescuing doesn’t understand the danger he’s in and so he doesn’t appreciate the reasonableness of what I did by shooting his attacker.

Either that is what happened here or Burr’s assessment of the situation is correct and Gaskins over-reacted.

Whichever, the problem posed by going to the aid of someone who may not understand they’re in danger should be a very real concern for you.  Remember that there are situations where your training might cause you to act before others who are untrained.

Here’s the problem I have with the shooting:  In my reading of the events, nothing leads me to believe that it was NECESSARY for Gaskins to shoot Turner in order to save his or Burr’s life.

That’s a big word and it’s right smack in the middle of Paragraph C above.  I fear we sometimes take too much comfort in the extensions to the Castle Doctrine included in the PPPA and neglect the concept of NECCESITY.  It appears to me that the problem would have disappeared had Gaskins simply put the car in gear and driven away from the indisputably angry and intoxicated Turner.  Once at a safe distance, he or Burr could have called the SO and had a deputy escort Burr to Turner’s place to get the meds for the boy.   End of story / no one shot / no one arrested.

I agree with the decision.

Recommended Newsletter

I think I’ve mentioned him before, but it’s worth a reminder:  If you’re interested in learning more about the legal issues surrounding the use of force, check out  Andrew Branca’s website here:  LOSD

Branca periodically publishes a newsletter that I’ve found interesting.  I know I’ve previously recommended his book The Law of Self Defense.

Edition 54

This will be a short newsletter.


We still have a few seats open in the SC CWP class scheduled for this weekend.  Let me know if  you’re interested so I can get you the details.


If you’ve been waiting for prices on AR-15’s to come down, I wouldn’t wait any longer.  Same for ammunition.  And magazines.  All that could change before you finish reading this newsletter.   If you need some guidance, contact me.  I can help you start out a little higher on the learning curve.



Please forward this to anyone you know that might be interested.

Train hard; put God first!


Low Light Handgun AUG 2014

Low Light Handgun, AUG 2014

Low Light Handgun #1

The first LLH is now history.  Judging from feedback I’ve received I’d call it a success.  We learned a few things and the next one will be even better.


Here’s an outline of the live-fire content of the curriculum:


  • Daylight
    • One-handed draw-stroke from concealment
    • Reducing stoppages (review)
    • Flashlight techniques (review)
  • Dusk
    • Shooting thru the stages of dusk w/o artificial light
  • Night
    • Flashlight techniques
    • Reducing stoppages
    • Single targets:  Threat identification  (shoot v. no-shoot v. challenge)
    • Multiple targets: Threat identification and prioritization


Students performed a mix of static / technical drills and dynamic / tactical drills.


We also discussed some of the issues involved in defending the home during periods of darkness.


We started promptly at 6 pm Saturday afternoon and I called cease-fire around 2:30 am Sunday morning.


All the students worked hard and made it a great class.  I think they all came to a greater appreciation for how darkness complicates things.  Good to know since the odds are high it’s during a period of low-light that our self defense skills will be called upon.


The next LLH is tentatively scheduled for 15 NOV from 3 pm to Midnight (subject to change).


Note the training prerequisite below.

  • For both safety and quality, the class is limited to eight (8) students.  As with all classes, a 50% deposit will hold a seat for you.  The PayPal DONATE button at our home page is the easiest way to send the money.
  • Seats will be reserved as deposits are received.
  • Other details:
    • Cost – $150*
    • Prerequisite – Paladin DH1 (old BDH) or other equivalent

Contact me at either or 843-618-1381 if you’re interested and I’ll send you the equipment list, answer any questions, etc.


* All usual discounts apply:   

  • Paladin Alumni – $120       
  • Full-time LEO – $75
  • Active military (including USCG, SCARNG & SCANG) – $0

Edition 53

I hope you and your team are well.  I sincerely hope you are continuing to train and prepare.  Your enemy is.

I’ve updated the training calendar for the remainder of 2014.  The dates for October thru December are tentative.  Soon as I can get them confirmed I’ll put the word out so you can arrange your schedule, if necessary.  Also, please note changes / additions to the admin details at the bottom of the calendar to the left.

I’m sure you share my irritation at the pervasive use of the term ‘July 4th’ for this holiday.  I think it’s significant and by design, meant to water down the true meaning of the day.

‘July 4th’ is a date; ‘Independence Day’ is an event.  Hopefully, you and I are not simply enjoying a day off, but rather remembering, celebrating, and cultivating our fathers’ righteous spirit of rebellion against tyranny and oppression.  That spirit has never been more relevant than today.

May you and those important to you have a blessed and safe Independence Day!

Please forward this to anyone you know that might be interested.

Train hard; put God first!



SC CWP 10 May 2014

New Class: LLH

Introducing LLH (Low Light Handgun).  Yes, after talking about it for years, I’m scheduling a dedicated low light class.

A little background

Paladin uses a low-light session to end Day 1 of EVERY defensive firearm class*.  As far as I  know, we’re unique in this.  During these low-light sessions we work on the following:  Stoppage reduction (malfunctions and reloads), decision making scenarios (shoot v. no-shoot), ambient and artificial light techniques and low-light tactics.

The problem

Being able to use a firearm effectively in low-light is a fundamental (not ‘advanced’) defensive skill.  By the end of the day, almost every student recognizes this.  The problem is, by the time it gets dark, we’ve had a pretty full day andeveryone, student AND instructor alike, is running out of steam both physically and mentally.  In all the years we’ve done this, I don’t think I’ve ever looked back on a low-light session with complete satisfaction from an instructor’s point of view.  Likewise, students almost universally regret they couldn’t give it 100%.

A solution

Enter LLH, a class focused solely on low-light issues; a class that will allow you to work on those issues while fresh and energized.  The first one is scheduled for Saturday, 30 AUGUST.  Start time is 6pm.  Stop time is NLT 3 am.  This will give us roughly 3 hours to meet the admin and safety requirements and work on the subjects listed above while it’s still daylight, followed by approximately five hours of low-light work.


Times will be adjusted in future classes for seasonal differences.


For both safety and quality, the class is limited to eight (8) students.  As with all classes, a 50% deposit will hold a seat for you.  The PayPal DONATE button at our home page is the easiest way to send the money.


Seats will be reserved as deposits are received.


Other details:

  • Cost – $150**
  • Prerequisite – Paladin DH1 (old BDH) or other equivalent

Contact me if you’re interested and I’ll send you the equipment list, answer any questions, etc.


*UBC has a low-light session at the end of both Day 1 and Day 2.

** All usual discounts apply:   

  • Paladin Alumni – $120       
  • Full-time LEO – $75
  • Active military (including USCG, SCARNG & SCANG) – $0

Thoughts on the rest of the year, or Where are all the handgun classes??

I had really hoped to do a one handed handgun class before the end of the year, but that’s not going to happen.  We need to start getting people brought up to speed for either the DC2 in November or December’s UBC, both of which have a training prerequisite of DC1.  Some people need CO1 in order to attend DC1.  We’re running out of months.


We haven’t done a DC2 (old ADC) in years.  Like UBC it’s a two-person team tactics class.  As I think about it, ‘DC2’ is really a misnomer:  It’s not a Defensive Carbine class; it’s an OFFENSIVE Carbine class.  In UBC you’re going to the rear, disengaging, getting away from BG’s.  DC2 is UBC in reverse; you and  your partner are aggressing BG’s… taking the fight to them.


The curriculum is much improved over the old version.  There is more emphasis on fire superiority, communication and movement techniques.  Read that as more shooting, more moving and better communicating.  Expect more in the way of artificial stress stimulation a la UBC.


We’ve made some meaningful revisions to the UBC curriculum making it more realistic and challenging.


Carbine ammo

The cost of ammunition is finally back to pre-panic levels.  Don’t put off stocking up.  Your goal should be to have more than you think you’ll ever use in two normal lifetimes (without going into debt!).  ‘Too much ammunition’ is the figment of a dreamer’s imagination.  You’re as likely to run over a Unicorn on South Irby Street as to have too much ammunition.

Support Paladin Training…

… Painlessly!

Amazon has a program called ‘Amazon Smile’ that allows you to support the charity of your choice.  Every time you purchase something online using Amazon, they will direct .5% of the purchase price to that charity.

Nothing is added to your purchase price.

The process is simple:  Go to and select ‘Paladin Training’ as your charity.  Thereafter, when you want to shop Amazon, return to that site rather than directly to

According to Amazon, not every item on their site is eligible for the Smile program.  I haven’t bumped into anything yet that’s not.

A caution

If you go to you’ll bypass the Smile page, so be sure to enter  The easiest thing to do is download the Amazon Smile toolbar button so you’ll go to the right place.  We’ve also got it setup on our home page at

Please consider helping us with our mission of providing low & no-cost training to area law enforcement and our service men and women.

Paladin Training is a public charity under IRS guidelines 501(c)(3).  All donations are tax deductible.

SC CWP 11 & 12 July

  • We still have room in the SC CWP class scheduled for this coming weekend.  This will be the last SC CWP class until SEPTEMBER.
  • Cost:  $80
  • Location:
    • Friday – Marriott Residence Inn, Hospitality Blvd., Florence
    • Saturday – Lake Darpo, 4900 North Governor Williams Hwy, Society Hill, SC
Contact me for more details.

Utah CWP 5 August

  • Time:  6 pm – 10 pm
  • Cost:  $75
  • Location:  Southside FWB Church, 134 East McIver Road, Darlington
Contact me if you have questions or plan to attend.

Edition 52

Hope this finds you and your team well.


We’re looking for venues to conduct home and vehicle defense Force On Force training using Air-Soft.  If you have a vacant building, office suite or warehouse space you’d be willing to donate on a periodic basis, please let me know.


Contact me at 843-618-1381 or PALADIN.


Paladin Training is a tax exempt public charity under IRS section 501(c)(3) and all donations are tax deductible.


We have openings in the Carbine Operator class next  weekend. This is a great class for introducing family members to the AR platform.  It’s also a prerequisite for our other carbine classes.

Finally, a heartfelt thank you to all those who served and are currently serving in the Armed Forces of this nation, and to their families as well, for their sacrifice.

Please forward this to anyone you know that might be interested.

Train hard; put God first!




Use a Holster!

Last issue we covered the story of the police chief who shot himself when he tugged on the hem of his jacket, not realizing he’d holstered a drawstring pull-tab along with the pistol.

This issue we can learn from Mr. George Gholson, age 63 of Memphis, TN, who was arrested when his two-shot deringer fell out of his pants pocket inside a movie theater and discharged.   Thankfully, no one was hurt.

Here’s one account:  Theater

  • Lesson 1:  Carry your handgun in a holster.  The holster should cover the trigger guard and stay put, whether on the waist or in a pocket.  The better pocket holsters not only protect the trigger and passively retain the gun, they also feature material that keeps the holster in place when the gun is removed so that you draw only gun from your pocket and not gun AND holster.
  • Lesson 2:  Carry a handgun that has a trigger guard.
  • Lesson 3:  Carry a handgun that has a passive firing pin safety.
  • Lesson 4:  Expect to be arrested and charged if you have an ND (negligent discharge) in a prohibited location.

New Course Designators

For some time I’ve been wrestling with the issue of designating classes as ‘basic’ or ‘advanced’.  I’ve been especially resistant to the notion of calling a class ‘advanced’.  I just don’t like it.  If we were making HALO jumps into Lake Darpo, yes.   Much of what passes for advanced training is really just faster and more precise application (and maybe new combinations) of basic techniques.
We try real hard to focus on the basics in our training.  It’s true that some of what we cover in an introductory curriculum is pretty intense, but it’s still basic.  Enough.  Mainly to simplify my life I’ve just decided to get away from the terms basic and advanced when it comes to a class name altogether.  Here are the new designators:
  • Basic Carbine Operator (BCO) is now Carbine Operator 1 (CO1).
  • Basic Defensive Carbine (BDC) is  now Defensive Carbine 1 (DC1)
  • Advanced Defensive Carbine (ADC) is now Defensive Carbine 2 (DC2)
  • Urban Break Contact (UBC) remains the same.
Shotgun and Handgun classes will follow the same scheme.

CO1 Next Weekend

Carbine Operator 1 (old BCO) class scheduled for 31 MAY & 1 JUNE at Lake Darpo.  CO1 is a prerequisite for DC1 and above.   We still have room and probably won’t offer this class again until the fall.

Contact me if you have questions.

Newsletter Suggestion

I get many newsletters on the subject of armed self-defense.  Among the most valuable is one by my friend JONATHAN LOW.  Contact him here if you’d like to subscribe:  JON

New One-Day Classes This Fall

One Handed Handgun (1HH)

Not new, but it’s been years since we ran one.  The purpose of 1HH is to equip you with the skills necessary to finish the fight when you’ve got only one good hand.  Each block of instruction will finish with ‘mirror drills’ — fired first strong hand only, then fired support hand only.

It’s guaranteed not to be pretty, but the most productive training occurs when we stretch our abilities and make mistakes.

  • Duration:  12 hours
  • Cost:  $150
  • Date & location:  TBA

Low Light Handgun (LLH)

The purpose of LLH is to devote a full training day to the skills necessary to fight effectively with a handgun in a low / no light environment.  As it is now, we finish Day 1 of each defensive firearm class with a night-fire segment.  That’s a Good Thing, and it will continue, but I recognize the time is not as productive as it could be due to fatigue.  By the time we get to this so very important (and rare!) block of instruction, the students and instructors alike are mentally and physically worn out from the day’s training.

Even so, students recognize the value of the training and ask for more.

This is a fall / winter only class so we can take advantage of standard time.  We’ll start in the classroom in the afternoon and begin shooting about an hour before darkness.

I’m still working out the logistical details, but I figure we’ll start at least two hours before dusk, get on the range in about an hour, and be off the range NLT 3 am.  That should give us at least six solid hours of low and no light training.
There will be blocks of instruction and drills on movement, use of cover, malfunction reduction, discrimination (shoot / no-shoot) and flashlight techniques.

If it goes well, expect a Low Light Carbine class to follow.

  • Duration:  approximately 8 hours
  • Cost:  $150
  • Date & location:  TBA
Contact me if you have questions or thoughts.

Edition 50

Hope this finds you and your team well.  There’s a lot of information in this newsletter.  Before we get to it, here’s some marketing stuff to get out of the way:

More OD hats with the subdued logo have arrived.  $20 plus shipping.Just in:  DriFire short sleeve tees in both XL and XXL.  Color is ‘sand’.  Price with the subdued logo is $20 each plus shipping.  These are moisture-wicking, fire resistant and anti-microbial.  And American made!  Nice tees.  This is just a heads up as we haven’t sent them off for screen-printing, yet.  Should be ready in a week or so.

Lastly, after many requests, we’ve finally got the new subdued car decal in.  These are for anyone who has attended one of our defensive firearm classes (BDH, BDS, BDC, ADC, UBC, etc.):

Paladin training

One free per qualifying student as a way of saying thanks for showing the Paladin colors.  More than one:  $1 each.

I trust you will find the newsletter useful.  Please forward it to anyone that might be interested.

Train hard; put God first!




Basic Carbine Operator Report

Twenty students took part in the Basic Carbine Operator class last month.  As the name suggests, it’s not a defensive or ‘tactical’ carbine class; it’s a shooting class.  The lesson plan is designed to develop both the admin skills necessary to keep the gun running and the marksmanship skills you need to exploit the inherent accuracy of the AR platform.


The class included four females.  What a joy it was to see them on the firing line!  They did everything the guys did, no matter how far outside their comfort zone it might have taken them.  In the spirit of not giving special treatment, I hate to single them out, but I need to make this point:


Husbands, boyfriends, fathers — If you imagine a future where your survival may depend on your skill with a rifle, unfortunately that future will also demand that your spouse and children have the same skills.  BCO can lay the right foundation.


Because it is vital to develop marksmanship skills prior to fighting skills, BCO is a prerequisite for all other carbine fighting classes.  Good tactics are built on the ability to get hits.  Really, nothing else matters.


Good friend Jim Higginbotham of The American Institute of Marksmanship (AIM) in Kentucky has started a new online magazine devoted to furthering the art of armed self defense.  Jim is a long-time student of the gun and a thinking man.  To paraphrase an old E. F. Hutton commercial, when Jim talks, people listen.

Warning:  Shameless self-promotion alert

Well, the first issue is now out and, as you can see, I’ve got an article in it.  Other contributors include Tom Givens, Eric Dean and Evan Marshall, among others.  What I’m doing in the midst of these guys is a mystery.  Thank you, Jim, for the opportunity.

Learn more about the magazine and writers here: Weaponcraft

If you decide to purchase, subscribers to this newsletter qualify for a 50% discount off the regular price of $10.  Use this code at checkout:  Q3APQNI
Weaponcraft journal



GG 1:  BG 0

A few weeks back a local CWP student emailed me that he had been the intended victim of an armed robbery.

The Details

While standing in line to pay for his purchases at a convenience store on Pine Needles Road in Florence County, our student (‘GG’) noticed a young black male loitering just outside the entrance to the store.  The two made eye contact and GG said the fellow began staring intently at him and in such way that the hair on the back of his neck stood up.  GG went, in his words, to ‘full alert’.


After paying for his stuff, but before exiting the store, GG slipped his hand into the pocket where his pistol slept inside a pocket holster.  With his hand still in his pocket but now gripping the pistol, GG exited the store.  The young man he had seen earlier (now, ‘BG’) approached him and, acting like he had a weapon, announced, ‘This is a robbery.’


GG presented his pistol and BG’s empty hands immediately flew into the air to the surrender position.


GG held BG at gunpoint and called 911.  Two deputies arrived, drew their weapons and told GG to put his gun on the ground.  He complied, of course.  Once the deputies had control of the they asked GG what had happened.  He told them and the deputies placed the BG under arrest.  BG turned out to be 15 years old and unarmed.  The deputies told him he was lucky to be alive.


They also told GG they probably would have shot BG had they been in his shoes.   End of story.


I could tell from the tone of his e-mail that GG was engaging in some second-guessing, maybe wondering, in light of the deputy’s comments, if he’d taken an unnecessary risk in NOT shooting BG.  He also expressed concern regarding how it might have played in the media had yet another white CWP holder shot yet another ‘unarmed’ young black man.


My Thoughts

The above scenario provides a textbook case for a discussion of an essential self-defense tool, Jeff Cooper’s color code of Awareness.  For the most concise explanation of the Gunsite Color Code that I’m aware of, visit friend John Schaeffer’s site here:  Jeff Cooper


The following is taken from John’s website:

The Color Code as taught by Jeff Cooper


– Relaxed, unaware, and unprepared.  If attacked in this state the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy and ineptitude of your attacker.  When confronted by something nasty your reaction will probably be, “This can’t be happening to me.”


– Relaxed alertness.  No specific threat situation.  Your mindset is that “today could be the day I may have to defend myself.”  There is no specific threat but you are aware that the world is an unfriendly place and that you are prepared to do something if necessary.  You use your eyes and ears, and your carriage says “I am alert.”   You don’t have to be armed in this state but if you are armed you must be in Yellow.  When confronted by something nasty your reaction will probably be, “I thought this might happen some day.”  You can live in this state indefinitely.


– Specific alert.  Something not quite right has gotten your attention and you shift your primary focus to that thing.  Something is “wrong” with a person or object.  Something may happen.  Your mindset is that “I may have to shoot

that person.”  Your pistol is usually holstered in this state.  You can maintain this state for several hours with ease, or a day or so with effort.


– Fight trigger.  This is your mental trigger.  “If that person does “x” I will shoot them.”  Your pistol may, but not necessarily, be in your hand [end].

Back to the details of the fight, it’s easy to see the stages of mental readiness that GG went thru.  First, he was observing his surroundings for anything ‘wrong’ (Yellow).  He saw somebody that, for whatever reason, fit that description and so qualified for a little more study (Orange).  The subject of his study then acted in such as way as to make GG identify him as someone that might need shooting (Red).  I think GG’s use of the term ‘full alert’ to describe his status at that instant perfectly meshes with Red.

A Warning

It’s tempting to tie a particular condition of awareness to a particular physical response or behavior, but the important thing to remember about using the Color Code as a tool is that it’s about MENTAL READINESS.


Because he was in the right state of mind, GG won that fight before he walked thru the door.   Good job!  No criticism from me.

Other issues

Does it make a difference legally or practically that the BG turned out to be 15 years old?  No.  A 15 year old can press a trigger and kill you as easily as a 50 year old.  In many instances, younger criminals are more dangerous.  Will it look bad in the news?  Of course.  The age or race of the BG should be the last thing on your mind when confronting the Threat.  You’ve got a problem and you need to solve it.  Focus on that.  Right now, your problem is NOT what people are going to say or think about what you do in the next few seconds.


Did GG take an unnecessary risk in not shooting BG?  I don’t think so.  My understanding is that BG surrendered immediately upon the presentation of the pistol.  What I hear in the details is that GG drew his pistol to shoot the armed robber but, before he could line up the sights and press the trigger, it became unnecessary to use deadly force.  The situation changed.


Please note, there’s been no mention of gun make, caliber or brand of ammunition, no discussion of holster material, etc.  Obviously having a gun made all the difference, but the fight starts and ends in the mind.


Lastly: The Fundamentals of Situational Awareness

  1. Know who is around you and what they’re doing.
  2. Maintain your ability to see and maneuver.
  3. Know where you would go and what you would do.
  4. Honor your instincts!


Basic Defensive Handgun class scheduled for 22 & 23 March.  In light of the recent home invasions, we’ll be adding a block of instruction on defense of the home.  Last BDH we added a car scenario to the curriculum.  The car scenario will be even better this time with the new ‘ATTACK! Target’ from MGM in use.


We have room in the class!


Leupold VX-6 rifle scope, matte black finish w/ lighted ‘FireDot’ reticle.

  • 1 – 6 x 24mm / 30mm tube
  • PN 112319
  • Very slightly used, appears and functions ANIB:  $750

If you’re interested, contact me.

Edition 51

Hope this finds you and your team well.


Want to get some training on how to use that AR, AK or Mini-14 to defend your home and family?  We have room in the Basic Defensive Carbine class this Saturday and Sunday.  Contact me ASAP if you’re interested.


Good news:  Ammunition prices are close to pre-panic levels and everything but .22 LR seems to be readily available.  Stock up while you can!  We’re just one rumor or incorrect headline away from another shortage.

Ball caps available in OD and PINK:  $20 plus shipping.I hope to finalize a design for the new American made short sleeve Tees this week and get them to the screen printer.  Available sizes:  XL and XXL.
Contact me if you have any ideas regarding the design.

If you qualify, don’t forget to get your subdued car decal.  These are for anyone who has completed one of our defensive firearm classes (BDH, BDS, BDC, ADC, UBC, etc.):

One free per qualifying student as a way of saying thanks for showing the Paladin colors.  More than one:  $1 each.

I trust you will find the newsletter useful.  Please forward it to anyone that might be interested.

Train hard; put God first!



Streamlight’s ‘The Siege’

Just picked up a handy little battery powered lantern that should be useful during a short-term power outage.  Rather than me trying to get creative in describing the thing, I’ll direct you to the Streamlight page here: THESIEGE

You can see the talking version here:

While researching The Siege, I came across this solar powered lantern that looks promising:  GOALZERO

While on the subject of emergencies, the latest Emergency Essentials newsletter has several useful links discussing supplies and emergency equipment that should be in your vehicle here:  JUNKINTHETRUNK

Holstering Caution

The following will come as no surprise to anyone who’s taken a SC CWP or BDH with us:  Be careful when holstering your pistol and make certain that you’ve holstered only the gun.


The word we teach students to associate with putting the gun back into the holster is “RELUCTANTLY”.  After looking at the video linked below, I think “THOUGHTFULLY” might be a good substitute.


We also train a forward sweep with the firing hand between the holstered gun and torso to check for inadvertently holstered clothing, pull tabs, etc.


Recently a police Chief shot himself because he had unintentionally holstered a jacket pull tab along with his Glock pistol.  The pull tab was inside the trigger guard of the holstered pistol.  When the Chief absentmindedly (or so it appears) tugged on the hem of his jacket, the pull tab pressed the trigger and discharged the gun while in the holster.  Result:  gunshot wound to the leg.


Check out the video from The FrontSight Blog and note the Rule Two violations prior to the ND.  Also, without further editorializing from me, note that the Chief shot himself in the hand in 1999 with a gun he thought unloaded: AGAIN!?

BDC This Coming Weekend

Basic Defensive Carbine class scheduled for 26 & 27 APRIL.  We still have a couple of spaces left.

Don’t forget there are training prerequisites:  Our BCO or equivalent from another source.

AR-15’s For Sale

A friend has two new AR-15’s for sale:

#1  Palmetto State lower

  • Carbine-length gas system
  • 5.56 chamber, 1 : 8 twist barrel
  • Mid West Industries forearm
  • Strike-Fire Vortex Red / Green dot optic w/ 2 X magnifier
  • Six new Magpul P-mags
  • Soft nylon case
  • $975


#2 Palmetto State lower

  • Mid-length gas system
  • 5.56 chamber, 1 : 7 twist barrel
  • Mil-spec handguards
  • BU rear sight
  • Six new MagPul P-mags
  • Soft nylon case
  • $775

Contact Jay @

Edition 49

I hope you had a great Christmas, with only as much food and family as were healthy for you.

We just finished our last scheduled class of 2014 and it was a great cap to a great year.  UBC IV is now history.  Five two-person teams spent three days developing the day and night fighting skills necessary to aggressively disengage from a vehicle ambush.

We were blessed by the attendance of five former and active duty Marines, all with combat experience.  Information flow went both ways;  they learned AND contributed much.

A great class.


2013 Recap

The year started slowly due to understandable concerns about ammunition resupply.  Those who didn’t have it couldn’t get it.  Those who had it wanted to hold on to it.  Perfectly understandable.  Hopefully this teaching point got home:  You can never have too much ammunition.  Buy it while you can.

I’m sure our enemies will be going after it again in 2014 as a way to achieve their goal of a disarmed and helpless citizenry.  It’s simply Lexington and Concord via subtle means.  Never for a moment believe the lie that the issue is public safety.  It’s about power and control.

We introduced three new classes in 2013. Basic Carbine Operator is designed to more thoroughly develop the fundamentals of marksmanship than is possible in our Basic Defensive Carbine class.  We’ve seen such an improvement in both hit ability and general gun handling skills of students that we’ve made BCO a prerequisite for BDC.  It’s also a low-stress fun class.

The Handgun Accuracy Clinic has a similar goal as BCO.  After HAC the student is in a much better position to benefit from the Basic Defensive Handgun class.

Finally, we’re now certified by the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification to teach the Utah CWP course.  As you probably already know, the benefit of taking that class is that a UT non-resident CWP gives you the right to carry concealed in GA and AL.

We plan to do a UTCWP in January 2014.

I trust you will find the newsletter useful.  Please forward it to anyone that might be interested.

And, I hope you and your family have a happy and safe New Year.

Train hard; put God first!



Thought for the Day

“Being a retainer is nothing other than being a supporter of your lord, trusting him as to what is good and what is evil, and renouncing self-interest.

Men of high position, low position, deep wisdom and artfulness all feel that they are the ones who are working righteously, but when it comes to the point of throwing away one’s life for his lord, all get weak in the knees.  This is rather disgraceful.  The fact that a useless person often becomes a matchless warrior at such times is because he has already given up his life and has become one with his lord.

Loyalty is said to be important in the pledge between lord and retainer.  Though it may seem unobtainable, it is right before your eyes.  If you once set yourself to it, you will become a superb retainer at that very moment.”

~From the Hagakure, Book 1

Comment:  While the words above were originally directed at young Samurai in feudal Japan, you can substitute ‘Christian’ for ‘retainer’, capitalize ‘Lord’ and the point would be equally correct.

Mike Kent Gunshow

I hope to see you at the Florence gun show 11 – 12 JAN.

Fund Raising Appeal: Update

Thanks to those who helped us out with a donation toward the Mike Gibson ‘ATTACK Target’.  We’ll be ordering the target next week and hope to use it in the 24 – 25 JAN Basic Defensive Handgun Class.  I’ve left in the link below from the last newsletter in case you missed it.


We can still use help toward our goal of getting our own LED projector.  That will greatly aid the flow of information in the classroom.


Paladin Training recently received a new i-Pad Air as a donation.  Now, with the Coach’s Eye app, we can video a student performing a technique for playback, play multiple videos side by side for a student to compare before and after, highlight angles and movements, etc.   It’s going to be a great analytical tool and I’m looking forward to putting it to use.  Thank you!


Here’s a short video of the ATTACK TARGET being set up and used:

Paladin Training has been designated a public charity under IRS Section 501(c)(3).  All donations are tax-exempt and the benefit is local.  Please consider us when making your end of year donations.  There’s still time.


You can make a donation via personal check to:

Paladin Training

POB 12752

Florence, SC 29504


You can also use the PayPal DONATE button here: DONATE


If you have any questions, contact me.

Gear: New Holster

A student at the last UBC was wearing a holster by a manufacturer I was not familiar with, Old Faithful.  It’s a hybrid IWB and very similar to Cross Breed.

Old Faithful IWB

Looks comfortable.

Be aware that those of us with a little too much mass around the middle might have trouble with a leather sweat tab.  Unless you have a flat waistline, a flexible sweat tab can get pushed over and make holstering just a little more complicated.  If ‘flat waistline’ doesn’t describe you, you might be better served with a rigid backed holster.

Take a look here:  Old Faithful

Personal Items for Sale

Leupold VX-6 rifle scope, matte black finish w/ lighted ‘FireDot’ reticle.

  • 1 – 6 x 24mm / 30mm tube
  • PN 112319
  • Very slightly used, appears and functions ANIB:  $750

Burris MTAC rifle scope, matte black finish w/ lighted ballistic CQ 5.56 / 7.62 reticle.

  • 1 – 4 x 24mm / 30mm tube
  • PN 200437
  • NIB:  $300

If you’re interested, contact me.

Edition 48

I hope this finds you and yours well.

17 DEC will mark the one year anniversary of the surgery to repair my right rotator cuff.  I’m often asked about my progress.  I’m delighted to report that range of motion is back to 100%.  I’m back on free weights and probably stronger than before the injury.  Dr. Robert Elvington and the Pee Dee Orthopaedics rehab people did GREAT work.

Be alert!

Remember this is armed robbery season.  This time of year more people are out, tempers are short due to economic and other seasonal pressures, and it’s soon dark.  Add to that the general decline in civilized behavior and every day has the potential to turn epic.  Be careful out there.  Remember to maintain your situational awareness.  It’s your most important survival skill.

Be careful when in the proximity of a group of teenagers or young males.  Avoid them if at all possible.  Don’t be afraid, be ready.  Don’t worry about hurting feelings.  The knockout game is real.  A blow to the head can change, maybe end, your life.

We live in exciting times.


Caps are in!   I’ve got caps in your choice of three colors; olive green, charcoal and pink.  Both olive and charcoal have the subdued (black) logo.  The pink caps have a white logo.$15 plus any shipping where applicable.  Let me know if you want one @ Caps.  Please put CAP in the subject line.

Q:  Would you be willing to pay more for an American made cap?

Thought for the day

“The first shot fired is the most important shot fired.  The first shot fired must be on target.  Whether in training or on the two-way firing range, the first shot sets the tempo for all follow on shots.  It sets the tempo for the fight, and it may end the fight.”
Pat McNamara – T.A.P.S.
Please forward this to anyone you know that might be interested.


Train hard; put God first!




The training schedule for 1QTR2014 is up.  It should also be on the calendar tomorrow.  The calendar will include a way to link to details on the specific classes.

Still in the works – a UTAH CWP for sometime in January.


Don’t forget you can purchase a gift certificate for any of our classes using the PayPal DONATE button here: Gift Certificate

From now until 24 DEC, when purchasing a Gift Certificate,take $10 off CWP tuition and $25 off any two day defensive firearm class.  If you use the link above, simply enter the amount where it asks.

When you make the donation, I need this information in the comments section:

  • The recipient’s name
  • Which class you’re purchasing the seat for
  • The address you would like the certificate mailed

Gift certificates are good for one year.

If you have any questions,  contact me.


We are starting a campaign to raise $2000 to purchase two pieces of equipment that will help us do a better job providing quality tactical training to law enforcement officers and private citizens; MGM Targets’ ATTACK Target and an LCD projector.


The LCD projector will greatly improve information flow during all classes and crime prevention seminars.  Sometimes you just need pictures.


Court decisions have mandated that, to be effective and reduce exposure to liability, tactical training for LEO’s should include low-light training, shoot / no-shoot scenarios and moving targets.  We do a good job on the first two, but have never been able to provide a moving target during live-fire.  The MGM ATTACK Target will allow us to meet that need.


It will be used in LE and civilian classes to reinforce the idea of getting off the ‘X’ and demonstrating the need for a fast presentation.  Another application:  Last issue the newsletter included a photo of a student engaging a static target from inside a vehicle during a BDH class.  Now imagine that same drill being run with the target running at you!


Here’s a short video of the ATTACK TARGET being set up and used:

Paladin Training has been designated a public charity under IRS Section 501(c)(3).  All donations are tax-exempt and the benefit is local.  Please consider us when making your end of year donations.


You can make a donation via personal check to:

Paladin Training

POB 12752

Florence, SC 29504


You can also use the PayPal DONATE button here: DONATE

If you have any questions,  contact me.


I just received from Todd Matthews a new kydex OWB holster and dual mag carrier for my EDC gun, a Colt Lightweight Commander in .45 ACP .


I’ve been carrying this gun in a Blade Tech IWB for many years.  While it’s very concealable, I’ve never found it particularly comfortable.  Well, I’m paying the price for ignoring that discomfort all this time:  Recently, I started experiencing sciatica in my right leg.  I’m pretty certain it’s related to the IWB holster… which brings to mind that saying:  If you’re going to act dumb, you better be tough.


Happily, the Matthews OWB spreads the weight of the gun over a much wider portion of my waist and is very comfortable as well as concealable.  Retention is reliable on both the holster and mag carrier.  Both include a tension adjustment screw.

Compare the Matthews OWB to a Raven Concealment Light-compatible OWB below.


Raven Concealment (LEFT) vs Matthews (RT) Body side

Raven Concealment (LEFT) vs Matthews (RT) Out side

If you’re looking for a good custom kydex concealment holster, try Todd out.  He’s local, his prices are reasonable and turnaround time is much shorter than you’d normally get from one of the big name manufacturers.

Todd Matthews can be reached at or 843-687-2994.


We police the Lake Darpo range of fired cases after each class.  Either the students do it immediately after the range session or, when time is short, I go another day.


Brass on the ground belongs to the shooter who shot it.  Common courtesy dictates we obtain permission from the owner before we take brass we didn’t fire.  Not everyone reloads, and if you don’t want your brass, feel free to ‘bequeath’ it to anyone that wants it.  It’s yours to do with as you please.


Please consider donating your brass to Paladin Training.  We sort it according to caliber and turn it in to Georgia Arms for credit towards the purchase of ammunition.


Sometimes this is the ammunition we provide to the  student that either didn’t bring enough, brought the wrong caliber or has had to change guns mid-class.


This is also where we get the ammunition we furnish, on a case by case basis, to individual law enforcement officers sent by their department to train with us.  Last month Paladin furnished two days of training and 400 rounds of 5.56 ammunition so a Deputy Sheriff could attend a Basic Defensive Carbine class.


Beginning in 2014, if you donate your brass to Paladin Training, we’ll issue you a receipt for it so you can claim the deduction at tax time.  I’m not sure yet if the form will have a dollar amount listed or will simply show the number of cases the class calls for.


I’ve decided to drop the old Carbine Cleaning & Maintenance Class (CCM) and incorporate a compressed version of that class into our introductory carbine class, Basic Carbine Operator (BCO).

Edition 47

Hope this finds you and yours well.

We had a great response to the new car decals.  If you requested one and haven’t heard from me, let me know so I can get it fixed ASAP.  Send an e-mail to with “DECAL” in the subject line.  Up to two are free;  $1 each after that.

Thank you again for displaying the decal on your car
(And, don’t forget to remove it when you sell the car!).

We’ll be placing another order for t-shirts and caps soon.  I’ll put the word out when they’re in.

Please forward this to anyone you know that might be interested.


Train hard; put God first!



1QTR2014 Training Calendar

Working on the calendar for JAN – MAR 2014 now.  Let me know what you’d like to see.  Don’t forget we’ve added Utah CWP (UTCWP) classes to the mix.

SC-CWP Class This Weekend

We have a few seats available in the SC-CWP class this weekend.  Let me know if you’re interested.

The 13 – 14 DEC SC-CWP is now at 50% capacity.

We also have a few openings still in the 23 – 24 NOV BDC and a couple in the 27 – 29 DEC UBC.

Feel free to pass this on.

Basic Defensive Handgun Curriculum Change

We now include a block of instruction on working from a car.  In the past, this subject was covered in ADH, but we all spend so much time in a vehicle, we thought it best to include this training in the Basic curriculum.

Some Good News & A Firm Push

Prices on AR-15’s and 5.56 / .223 ammo are back down close to (if not below, in some cases) pre-Newtown panic levels.  If you’ve been considering an AR, DON’T PUT IT OFF.  We’re just one headline away from non-availability / non-affordability again.

A recommendation

Palmetto State Armory (PSA) in Columbia buys components from the Fabrique Nationale (FN) plant there for their AR’s.  FN supplies M4’s and other weapons to the DOD.  This week PSA has complete upper receivers on sale for $500.  Blemished complete lower receivers are on sale for $180, a great price!  The only thing you’d have to add is a rear sight and you would have a first-class basic mil-spec fighting AR-15 for less than $800.

I would definitely consider one of their guns.   I’ll put it this way:  The only brands I’d put over PSA are Colt, Bravo Company Bravo! and ‘designer’ guns like Daniel Defense, LMT, etc., and then only for the potential resale advantage.  Since I don’t intend to sell any, it’s a moot point.  From an operator’s view, there’s no advantage, in my opinion, to buy above PSA.  It’s a solid starting point.

Another plus 

Theoretically, a PSA gun also MAY one day have a legal advantage over other manufacturers in that it has ‘Columbia, SC’ stamped on the receiver and thus should be exempted from any future Federal gun registration / confiscation scheme.   Depends on how firm SC wants to stand for the Constitution.

Ammo and mags?

More is always better.  A sound, if somewhat arbitrary minimum figure, is 5000 rounds and 20 magazines per AR.   5000 rounds is enough that you should feel comfortable using some in training.  If you’re like me, that kind of purchase is out of reach in one step.  Start now.

MagPul P-mags can be found for less than $15 each.  If you’re old school like me, mil-spec aluminum mags are about the same price.  For perspective, during the height of the panic they were upwards of $50 each, if you could find them.

One case (1000 rds) of quality 5.56 / .223 is now between $400 and $450 as opposed to $750 plus during the panic.  Buy Federal or mil-spec Lake City ammunition and avoid like the plague anything with Wolf or Tula on it.  For why: Lucky Gunner

Social ammunition is not an area to save money.  Especially if we’re talking about a future where replacement AR’s or components may be problematic.  Protect the investment that you may one day be using to protect your family and property.

A good way to extend your training dollars is to invest in a S&W MP15-22.  It is a great training tool and a serious little .22.  Get a minimum of three mags for it. S&W MP15-22

Contact me if you’re considering an AR / AK but don’t know where to start.  Paladin Training conducts more carbine classes than any other type and we have learned a lot over the years about what works and what doesn’t.  A student once asked me how much I had invested in my AR15.  I gave him a rough estimate then added this: “If I included the cost of all the stuff I’d taken off to get here, it would be about double that amount.”   Let us save you money, time and frustration.

Seriously, don’t put this off.  Then come to us and learn how to operate it and fight with it.  You’ll thank me one day.