Concealed Carry Classes

Stepping into your very first concealed carry class, or any class revolving around firearms, might be a daunting task. Especially if you’re not used to handling weapons. If this is you, don’t worry. We all have to start somewhere, and taking a step toward educating yourself on proper carry is a step in the right direction. And in order to help ease your nerves as you make that step, we decided to put together a full article on what to expect in a concealed carry class.

Before we continue, there’s one thing you need to keep in mind. A concealed carry class is not the only firearms training you need. If a concealed carry class is your first class, we highly advise you take an actual training course where you can further your training. You can know all the safety procedures for carrying concealed, but if you can’t aim and hit your target, you’re more of a danger than anything else. Ideally, we’d advise you to take a training course prior to a concealed carry class, especially if you’ve never laid your hands on a weapon. Because safety is a priority. Knowing how to safely handle and use your gun is highly important, and we can’t stress that enough.

In some cases, instructors might turn you away if they feel you won’t be able to complete the course because you don’t have basics safety and gun handling skills. So, to keep this from happening to you, it’s important to consider a training course prior to a CCW course. Then, once you’ve completed a CCW course, continue your training.

Everything you need to know about Concealed Carry Classes

Before you go to class, there are a lot of questions you may have. Like, what to expect. Who will be there? Should I feel intimidated? What will I do in the class? Will I actually get to shoot? Do I need to bring my own firearm? Do I need to bring my own rounds, if so how many? What about targets? Can I bring my own or will the range supply them? Are there qualification standards? All of these are valid questions and you shouldn’t feel stupid for asking them. Typically, however, before you attend any firing course the instructor will send out an email with a list of all the essential items you need to bring. Make sure you read and follow all instructions, trust us, it will make your life easier. If the instructions are unclear, contact the facility or instructor of the course and ask. It is better to ask first than get there and be unprepared and lost.

Who Needs a Concealed Carry Class

Depending on the state you live in, if you want to carry concealed, you might need a permit. In order to get a permit, again, in some states, you first need a concealed carry course. So, who you meet in class can vary from complete beginners to advanced shooters. Even if you don’t have to legally attend a concealed carry course before carrying concealed, it’s a good idea to go and add a little more education to your weapon’s knowledge toolbox. So, realistically, everyone should take advantage of the opportunity to take a CCW course, even if you don’t have to, per law.

What will you Learn in a Concealed Carry Class

First off, every state is different. If your state requires a permit, then your state will have a set list of requirements. Some courses may be one day, others two. You might sit in a class for 8 hours or 12 over the course of a couple days. So, we can’t give you an exact answer on this one because CCW classes aren’t standardized across each state.

However, in general, most classes will cover the following:

How to safely carry your firearm (both at home and on the range to go along with safely carrying concealed, of course).

And since we’re on the topic, here are some safety musts to live by:

  • Know what’s behind your target
  • Don’t point your weapon at anything you don’t intend to shoot
  • Always treat your weapon as if it’s loaded, meaning imagine there’s a round in the chamber and it’s on fire
  • Don’t put your finger in the trigger guard unless you’re aiming to shoot
  • Always keep your weapon steady and downrange
  • Don’t joke or jester with your weapon, because guns aren’t toys

Typically you’ll also go over how to safely load and unload a weapon. Since you’re in a CCW class, the instructor will most likely use the most common CCWs to be used, such as a revolver and semiautomatic pistol.

You’ll probably learn some basic marksmanship skills. This means breathing techniques, sight picture/sight alignment, and slow steady trigger pull.

You’ll most likely learn how to properly care for and clean your firearm as well-because a clean weapon is more reliable than a dirty one.

You’re also likely to go over how to store your weapon when you aren’t carrying it. This is an important piece of information here, especially if you have little ones running around. Although, even with safe storage, you should teach your children firearms safety as well.

There will also typically be a period of instruction to go over gun laws for the state you’re in. This will most likely include who can and cannot legally own/carry a firearm and laws on transferring a weapon to someone else. Use of force laws will probably be discussed as well.

Finally, you’ll fire your weapon. Again, every state is different. But, just as an example: you’ll do some dry firing first, then you’ll get to practice and work on the techniques you’ve learned in class. After, you’ll have an assessment where you’ll be required to get 75% of your rounds on paper.

Again, the above is an example. Every class is different, but the above is a good idea of what you’re most likely to see in a CCW class. The best way to find out what’s going to be covered is to talk with someone facilitating the CCW course you’d like to attend.

Should you feel Intimidated

Absolutely not! You and everyone else is there to learn. That also means you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions. Because honestly, the guy (or gal) sitting next to you probably has the same question and is too afraid to ask. Even if you happen to be in a class with a “know-it-all,” don’t worry about them. At the end of the day, they probably won’t remember your name anyway. What’s important is that you learn everything you can so you can take it into your daily carry. It’s better to ask questions now than to not know what you’re doing later. And if anything, your instructor is probably more than happy to clarify confusion off to the side – before you get out on the range and shoot someone.

Important Considerations before Carrying Concealed

Maybe you aren’t quite ready to sign-up for a CCW course, that’s okay. Your first step is to make the decision to carry, and that involves a little more than choosing what type of pistol you’ll carry. How you carry, where you’ll store your firearm when not carrying, and if you want carry insurance are all things worth consider prior to actually holstering up.

How you’ll Carry

This may seem odd to those who’ve never carried, but how you carry depends on a few factors. Do you want to carry IWB or OWB? Will you carry on the hip or appendix? Do you typically wear tighter fitting clothes or a dress? Will you have to carry in a purse, backpack, or with a belly band? Will you be carrying a revolver or a semiautomatic pistol? Will you carry every day?

Storing a Gun

Believe it or not, you won’t have your gun on your hip 24/7. There will be times when you need to store it, and places you can’t carry. When this happens, where will you store your gun? Do you have a safe? Do you have a hard carrying case with a lock? Do you have a trigger lock? All are important things to consider prior to purchasing a firearm.

Concealed Carry Insurance

Concealed carry insurance holds a bit of controversy. Do you really need it? If you did have to use your weapon, would the insurance or legal defense service actually do their job? Is it a waste of money? Again, all questions you should ask and do some research on. We suggest starting with this article we wrote: Best Concealed Carry Insurance 2019.

Will you actually be able to use your weapon?

Finally, something too many people don’t consider: Will you actually be able to draw and effectively use your firearm if need be? Unfortunately, intention and action are too often very different things. Carrying a weapon holds a lot of responsibility. Not only should you be able to effectively use your weapon, but you should also be mentally prepared to shoot someone. You can have all the training in the world, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get nervous and “forget” how to pull the trigger when needed. This is only one more reason consistent training is so vital. You need muscle memory to kick in when your nerves get the best of you, and that only comes with practice. Remember, shooting at a target and shooting at a living thing are very different, you have to be mentally ready as well as physically. Carrying concealed isn’t about looking cool, it’s about being able to protect yourself and those around you. And if you aren’t prepared to pull the trigger in defense of self or others, what’s the point in carrying a weapon?

IRS: Tax Refund for Disabled Veterans Available, but not for Long

Depending on when you filed your taxes and if you received a notice from the DoD, some combat disabled veterans qualify for a significant refund from the IRS. If for some reason you paid taxes on your disability compensation (a tax-free benefit) between January 17, 1991 and January 1, 2017, then the IRS owes you money.

Unfortunately, you can only reclaim your refund within a certain period of time, otherwise, you’ve lost the ability to get that money back.

• Must file for a refund one year from time of DoD notification or
• Three years after the due date for filing or
• Two years after you paid taxes on your disability benefits

To file a claim with the IRS, you will need to mail a copy of your 1040X and your notification letter received from the DoD to:

Internal Revenue Service
333 W. Pershing St. Stop 6503, P5
Kansas City, MO 64108

If for some reason, you have paid taxes on your disability benefits after January 17, 1991, but never received a letter for the DoD, you will need to either contact the National Archives, National Personnel Records Center, or the VA so they can send you the proper documentation needed to go with your 1040X. Once you receive the letter, then you can include it with your 1040X and get your tax refund.

Schwab Corporation to Acquire over $90B in USAA Investment Management Assets for $1.8B in Cash

According to Business Wire, Walt Bettinger, president and CEO of Schwab said, “We are honored to be entrusted with serving the financial needs of USAA’s members. We have long admired USAA’s mission to enhance the financial security of our country’s military service men and women and their families. Both of our companies share a commitment to integrity and service, and both have strong track records of achievement for those we serve, which is why we believe this relationship makes so much sense for everyone involved.”

This statement was made as a result of a definitive agreement made on July 25 with USAA to acquire USAA Investment Management assets.

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Bettinger continued by saying, “We know USAA’s talented employees have set a high bar for its members. We believe Schwab’s commitment to value, service, transparency, and trust strongly aligns to the USAA community’s expectations.”

So, what does this mean for current USAA investing members? According to the Schwab Corporation, it means that USAA members will have 24-hour support, 365 days a year and at a low cost with no brokerage account minimums (unless you’re opening a new account, then a minimum is required). Ultimately, there will be a broader platform for USAA members with a lower cost than what they’re currently getting.

Stuart Parker, CEO of USAA, said, “Our mission is to facilitate the financial security of the military community through highly competitive products. This agreement with Schwab can help enhance our members’ financial futures with a client-first approach that offers access to more choices in investment products. We are committed to making this a seamless transition for members and providing opportunities for employees. USAA remains focused on providing award-winning customer service and advice on products and services across property and casualty, banking and life insurance.”

And if you’re not happy with this change? Well, Schwab Bank claims to refund you any eligible fees.

You can listen in on the conference call with the Schwab executives as they discuss the transaction Friday, July 26, 2019 at 10:00 AM EST at (you’ll have to register first, takes only seconds, but give yourself enough time to set up an account if you plan to listen and ask any questions).

5 Ways to Save Money on a VA Home Loan

Some VA lenders will save you more money than others. Check out our 5-star picks below!

What You Need To Know

RE Factor Tactical Buyer's Guide
  • You don't have to make a down payment, but it will save you money on your VA loan
  • Not all sellers will agree to this, but having the seller pay your closing costs will save you a lot of money
  • Refinancing is a great way to save, and the VA won't let you do so unless it makes financial sense

Top VA Lenders

Veterans United
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Quicken Loans
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J.G. Wentworth
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Lending Tree
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Whether you’re purchasing a home with a traditional or VA loan, there are ways to save money. Some are immediate savings, while others save you money over time. If you’re able, we advise you to take advantage of these five ways to save money, even with a VA home loan.

Make a Down Payment on your VA Loan

It’s true, you don’t have to make a down payment on a VA home loan, that’s part of the attraction so many veterans have to using a VA guaranteed home loan. However, just because you don’t have to make a down payment doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of the opportunity—if you can afford it. Simply put, making a down payment on your loan saves you money, no matter what type of loan you have. This is because you’ve paid part of the principal on your loan, and that means you’re not paying as much interest. Again, this isn’t a requirement—unless you’ve exceeded your loan limit—but it can save you some money in the end.

Have the Seller Cover Closing Costs

Closing costs are not the same thing as a down payment or funding fee, and ultimately you are responsible for covering these fees. However, you don’t have to be responsible for closing costs if you can get the seller to pay them for you. Of course, the seller doesn’t have to agree to these terms, but depending on the circumstances, they may very well agree to cover the costs. And having the sellers pay your closing costs will save you upfront unless of course, you were planning to roll closing costs into your loan, then it will save you money over time because you would be paying interest on it.

Pay Discount Points

Paying discount points, also known as mortgage points isn’t for everyone. But, for some, it could end up saving you a lot of money, especially if you plan to pay on your house for a while.  Basically, the longer you pay on the house, the more you could save by paying a discount point or two.

However, discount points aren’t free. For every point you pay, you have to pay upfront interest to the lender (1% of your mortgage for 1 point).  So, if you have a $100,000 loan and want a discount point to help you save on long term interest, you would have to pay $1,000 to your lender. However, it is important to keep in mind how much you’ll save each month and over time because if you don’t keep the house until you break even, you’ve lost money.

For those who don’t have to worry about this, discount points can save you a lot of cash.  But, you’ll need to pay the upfront fee to lower your APR, and that could be a large sum of money depending on your loan amount and how many points you want to buy.

Make Extra Payments

By making extra payments, even if it only adds up to one mortgage payment a year, you’ll be saving money at the end of your loan. This, of course, will only be the case if you’re making payments toward principal. By paying principal, you’ll lessen the number of months you owe on your home and you won’t have to pay as much in interest. However, before attempting to make extra payments so you can pay off your loan early, make sure you talk with your lender to see if they charge an early payoff fee. Unfortunately, many lenders want their interest payments, so they’ll charge you a fee to pay the loan off early. Luckily, this isn’t every lender, so make sure you ask.

Refinance your VA Loan

Refinancing your loan can be a great way to save money, especially if you’re able to get a lower interest rate because lower interest means lower payments. If you can’t get your interest rate lower, you might also be able to save money by changing from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate, which will ensure your interest rate never goes up.

A third reason for refinancing your loan to save money can be to go from a 30-year loan to a 15-year loan. Yes, you will be paying a higher mortgage payment, but your loan will be paid off sooner and you won’t be paying as much on interest. However, keep in mind your own personal finances when deciding to go from a 30-year loan to a 15-year loan. If your lender does not charge an early payoff fee, you can just as easily make payments on a 30-year loan like you would a 15-year loan. This gives you the ability to pay off the loan early without putting yourself in a financial bind with higher payments if something were to interrupt your current financial position.


At the end of the day, there are so many ways to help save money. Having a higher credit score can also bring your interest rate down. If this is something you’re struggling with, do some research on ways to improve your credit score. Things like the Veterans United Lighthouse program can point you in the right direction without being obligated to finance your VA loan through them. However, you can also talk with your bank’s advisor and get more information on paying off debt, improving credit history and credit score.

Because while you can typically get a VA loan for a lower interest rate than a conventional loan, that doesn’t mean your credit score won’t affect your interest. And it also doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try an improve it before you purchase your house. If home buying isn’t a necessity for you yet, do some things to help get you ready for that special day.

Yes, keep working on your credit score by keeping your debt low and not opening tons of new credit sources. But, also save money. We know you don’t have to put up a down payment, but if your finances allow it, you really should consider it. If you don’t want to use that money for the down payment, you might also consider using it for home improvement projects so you don’t have to take out a second or larger loan.

And of course, refinance when you can (typically after 6 months of paying your mortgage on time). When you refinance, make sure you shop around. You won’t always refinance with your current lender. So, new lenders will fight for you to get your new loan through them. However, keep an eye out because some lenders charge extra fees. They might tell you that the other guys have hidden fees and will spring one on you at closing, but it’s not always the case. And even if that does happen, you’re under no obligation to sign any documentation until you feel comfortable with the numbers.

Hagle a little and see what fees can magically disappear, I’ve seen it happen with my own loan.  And if you have a disability rating, that might save you some money too, so make sure you talk with your lender about this. If you have a rating with the VA, you don’t have to pay the funding fee, which is required by all other veterans using a VA loan. Even if this is your second home (which only increased the amount of your fee) you don’t have to pay the funding fee with a disability rating.

And if for some reason you paid a funding fee but had a rating before closing, make sure you give the VA a call so they can give you a refund. And if you didn’t know this, purchasing a house gives you the chance to consolidate debt. So, if you have a credit card with a 17% interest rate and you’re getting a home with a 5% interest rate loan, you could save money by transferring your credit card debt to your home loan. While this isn’t a requirement and isn’t a good idea for everyone, it is a way to save money for many individuals or at least make life easier with one monthly payment toward all your debt.

No matter your financial status, remember, it’s your money and you’re under no obligation to make any payments until contracts are signed. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask how you can save more money. And don’t be afraid to leave one lender for another because you aren’t getting what you want. Choosing a lender is like buying a car, especially when you’re looking to refinance. Don’t let anyone guilt-trip you into refinancing or getting a loan through them if it’s not what you want.

Veterans United

★★★★★ Learn More

Quicken Loans

★★★★★ Learn More

J.G. Wentworth

★★★★★ Learn More

Lending Tree

★★★★★ Learn More


★★★★★ Learn More

SEAL Team 7 Members Allegedly Busted for Drinking Alcohol

It looks like another elite military force has caught sight of the media, and not in a good way.  SEAL Team 7 members have been sent home early from a deployment after an incident, apparently involving alcohol, according to The Washington Post.

This may not seem like anything significant, so long as they were of legal drinking age, but they were going against General Order number 1, banning alcohol.

“The Commander lost confidence in the team’s ability to accomplish the mission,” Washington Post reported from the U.S. Special Operations Command. “Commanders have worked to mitigate the operational impact as this SEAL platoon follows a deliberate redeployment.”

As of now, the team is still under investigation and nothing has been released as to whether criminal or administrative punishment will come of the incident.


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Readers’ Choice | Best Concealed Carry Holsters

Let’s be honest, not all holsters are built the same, but neither are people. What works for one may not work for the other. It also depends on exactly what it is you’re looking for. Are you looking for IWB or OWB? Do you want leather or hardshell?  Does the holster need to be easily concealed or will it be open carry? Whatever your choice, it will most definitely determine what type of holster you’ll select. However, that doesn’t mean a few brands don’t stick out. With that being said, we asked our readers in the REFT Team Room what holsters they liked for concealed carry. The following are the most recommended brands, according to you. So, let’s go ahead and dive into our readers’ top choices for concealed carry holster brands.


The number one mentioned holster on the list by far was G-Code, who offers are a variety of holsters for concealed carry. They have In the Waistband (IWB), Special Operations Capable (SOC), Extreme Services Tactical (XST), Operational Series Holsters (OSH) and a new Phenom Holster Series. They also make pocket holsters for the Ruger LCP and S&W J-Frame.


We’ll start by looking at their IWB holsters since this is the most popular amongst non-operational carriers. The Incog is their most impressive holster option for IWB carry. Not only are the clips meant to be reliable, but you can use one clip and get the same reliability as using two clips. The clips can also be adjusted six different ways so you can angle your holster if you so choose. It also makes it adjustable for comfort based on your body and not some manikin in their warehouse. And if that’s not enough for you, they give you the option to add on a magazine holder for appendix draw.

The holster is njection-molded, which helps prevent defective holsters. Another nice thing about G-Code holsters, specifically the Incog, they’ve been made so that you don’t necessarily have to “dress to the gun.” You can carry directly in front of you, slide for a cross carry draw, or push it off to the side, which works better for larger people who might not be able to carry as inconspicuously if it were sitting on the stomach.

If you elect to place a magazine caddy on your holster, they’ve also considered that you shouldn’t be drawing out a magazine with your firing hand, and have placed it in front of the holster for an easy draw with your non-firing hand. And if that’s not enough for you there’s also a variety of colors

Price: $80.00


Next up we have the SOC holster, which is also made using a molded injection. They’ve really considered everything with this holster, and they’ve added a second level of retention using an Over the Top, Power Assisted, Retention Canopy. You can also pick from three different colors for the lower cowling (Black, OD Green,  Grey Kydex, and Coyote Tan). Unfortunately, if color is what makes or breaks it for you, the top frame has no color options and you’ll be stuck with black. Of course, if you’re carrying concealed, this really shouldn’t matter anyway.

There’s also plenty of accessories to pick from that fit this particular holster. There’s the rotating tactical belt mount, drop pistol platform, Mule ISS Carry Platform, and a MOLLE  adaptor.

Price: $99.50

Click for Concealed Holsters


It’s all in the name for this concealable holster, intended specifically for those who wish to carry without letting the world know. You can carry strong-side, appendix, or for cross draw. The Phenom-Stealth is also built with a MoClaw, which when placed in the waistband causes tension so that the butt of your weapon presses tightly into the body. This is a great option, especially for women (or men) who wear tighter fitting clothing, especially in the summer.

The idea of this holster was to make sure there’s “no-print,” meaning you can’t see the outline of a pistol through your shirt. And much like the IWB Incog, you can adjust the position of the holster.

Price: $99.50

Bravo Concealment

If you’re looking for a cheaper option, because let’s face it G-Code is a bit pricy compared to other holsters on the market, then Bravo Concealment might be something you want to check out. Like G-Code, Bravo Concealment makes holsters that are meant for concealed carry, therefore they were designed not to draw attention to your waistband. Bravo Concealment has several options to select from, and on top of that, they’ve also created holsters that can be carried in a number of ways through the option of adjustable cant, tilt, and ride height. This is great because the wearer can adjust it to his or her body for the most comfort and easier concealment, no matter your size or clothing style.


IWB holster often have clips that don’t stand-up to drawing a weapon. However, Bravo Concealment claims their IWB holster clips are meant to hold up. Whether you carry appendix or off to the side, you’ll be able to draw your weapon easily and effectively. Wearers also say this IWB holster is comfortable, something many IWB holsters don’t offer. And let’s face it, if you’re planning to carry every day, comfort is pretty important.

Another great feature of using this holster (like most Kydex holsters) they don’t collapse like a leather holster, meaning you can re-holster with one hand, and with practice, you shouldn’t have to look down when reholstering.

Unfortunately, if color matters to you, let’s hope it’s black you want because that’s your only option with Bravo Concealment IWB holsters. The real thing that matters though is the minimal bulk it adds to your pistol, making it easy to conceal. Another unfortunate option if you’re going with the DOS IWB Kydex Gun Holster is compatibility. Unless you own a Springfield XDE 3.3″ 9mm DOS or Walter PPS M2 DOS, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Price: $25.49


OWB holsters may not always be the best choice for optimal concealed carry, but Bravo Concealment has done a decent job of making one that fits tightly to the body. One thing we really like about Bravo Concealment is their option to try out the holster for 30-days. This way you can actually test out a concealable OWB holster without the commitment. If you hate it, send it back!

The BCA OWB Kydex holster, unfortunately, discriminates against us left-handed folks, so if that’s you, you better look elsewhere because this particular holster is only made for right-handed individuals. Otherwise, these holsters are pretty nice since they are curved to fit the body, making it easier to conceal. You can also purchase a paddle attachment for your holster, which will let you wear with a forward or negative cant, with or without struts.

Also, you can’t really beat their lifetime warranty. If your holster needs repaired, they’ll fix it, if it needs replacing, they’ll send you a new one.

Price: $38.24

Click for Concealed Holsters

BlackPoint Tactical

Unlike the other companies we’ve reviewed, BlackPoint Tactical also offers a low-profile chest holster. They, of course, offer IWB and OWB options, but they’re a bit pricey compared to Bravo Concealment. Also, unlike the other companies, they make a leather winged holster. So, while the actual holster is made with Kydex material, the leather helps improve the comfort that plastic just can’t offer. They also offer all of their holsters in a light mounted version.

Outback Chest System

The Outback Chest System comes in five different colors: Black, Coyote, Grey, OD Green, and Storm Grey. Black is standard, so it will cost you an extra $5 to go with any other color. The holster is made with Blue Force Gear’s proprietary high-performance laminate material and comes with a sweat guard to not only help protect the gun from the body’s sweat but also to help protect your body from the gun itself.

Like all the other holster options provided by BlackPoint Tactical, you can adjust the cant by modifying where you place your clips on the wings. So, whether you’re wearing on your chest for hiking because you have on waders, a flight suit, ski pants or any other reasons that might make wearing on a waistband difficult, the Outback Chest System might be worth looking into.  The harness itself is adjustable, light-weight, and intended to last with a three-strap system for comfort and ease of wear and removal.

Price: $139.99


If you’re looking for variety, BlackPoint Tactical definitely has it. You can select from over 30 different colors and they make holsters for both left and right-handed shooters with an adjustable cant. The Mini Wing IWB holster can be made to be compatible with a large variety of handguns. You can also choose between a few modifications, such as an RDS cut, threaded barrel-covered, threaded barrel-open bottom/pass through, and tall sights.

The mini wings are made of leather. This helps the holster to curve to your body, this way carrying feels more natural and comfortable for the wearer. BlackPoint Tactical also provides a sweat guard with their Mini Wing IWB holster to help protect both the gun and your body. If you need extra IWB loops, you can pick from either polymer or metal material. And since the loops and wings are both adjustable, you can adjust the ride height.

Price: $88.99


Often, an OWB holster not made specifically for concealed carry is bulky and can be seen under the clothes. The nice thing about BlackPoint Tactical’s OWB holsters is the total curve feature, meant to fit the wearer’s body. Not only does it make it easy to conceal, but it also makes it more comfortable, which is paramount for every day carry.

They’ve also gone ahead and added retention screws so you can adjust the holster to your desired retention. The additional metal OWB loops also help eliminate loops breaking. And if you’re looking for an OWB holster that rides close to the body, BlackPoint Tactical created a holster with that in mind too by making their OWB holster with side-mounted belt attachment points to help create a thinner platform.

You have the option of a 15 degree forward cant as well, not to mention all OWB holsters are can easily be converted to an IWB holster, simply by removing the back loops and attaching IWB loops to the front of your holster.

Price: $78.99


Ranging from much cheaper than companies like BlackPoint Tactical and G-Code to much more expensive ($140 light compatible sidecar holster), T.REX ARMS has a lot to choose from with a wide range of colors and patterns for your holster. With all the options, we decided to look at the Nomad, since it was specifically mentioned by a reader, and it’s more reasonably priced.

NoMad Holster

The NoMad is an IWB holster with variable retention. You can also adjust the ride height by switching out the quick-clip with the tuckable clip. Unfortunately, if you’re looking to carry appendix, they recommend you go with another holster, such as the Raptor, because you’ll be able to see the silhouette of the holster more with the NoMad if you’re wearing something tight-fitting.

One of the nice features of the NoMad Holster is the ability to conceal with your shirt tucked in. Of course, while you won’t be able to see the holster itself, you’ll still be able to see the clips. You can also choose between a hight and mid shirt guard, but with a mid shirt guard, you’ll be a little more comfortable because it won’t jab into your stomach like some IWB holster or the high guard. You’ll also find it easier to keep your shirt out of your holster.

Price: $45-$55 (based on shirt guard hight and optic cut)


Comp-Tac offers three styles of holsters meant specifically for concealed carry. You’ll find appendix carry specific holsters, as well as the standard IWB and OWB carry options for a very reasonable price. Like Bravo Concealment, they also offer pocket holsters, if that’s something you were considering for your J-frame revolver or subcompact semiautomatic pistol (fits most but not all).

Appendix Carry

If you’re looking for an appendix carry holster, Comp-Tac offers several compatible holsters. However, they don’t offer as many options as some of the other companies we’ve mentioned. Of the three appendix carry specific holsters, the eV2 has the best reviews.

  • Appendix Inside the Waistband Design for easy access
  • Made of 100% Kydex®- Gives a smooth finish for easy draw and re-holster
  • Retention Adjustment Screw provides perfect holster hold for each user
  • Nylon Clip- strong design and gentle edges that will not damage clothing or belts
    • Clip is Tuckable allowing shirt to be tucked in over gun
    • Clip is height adjustable allowing gun to sit deeper or higher for Master Grip access
  • Comp-Tac™ KICK provides pressure allowing grip to tilt into body for better concealment
  • eV2™ is a minimalist design with smooth edges and gentle curves for ultimate comfort

Price: $57


Comp-Tac makes a variety of IWB holsters. They’ve also created options with a slide open, this way the holster can fit longer pistols while still giving you the concealment you want. However, not all of their IWB holster have an adjustable ride height, so make sure you look for that if you’re planning to purchase a holster through Comp-Tac. Otherwise, you might find it a little more uncomfortable since the chances of the holster jabbing into your side are increased, which seems to be the biggest customer complaint with their non-adjustable ride height holster options.

Price: $40.99-$80.99

The Best Home Defense Weapon | According To You

If you’ve ever had the talk about the best home defense weapon, chances are you’ve heard someone mention getting a shotgun. According to many self-proclaimed experts, shotguns are easy to shoot, inflict a wide shot pattern that helps poor shots hit their target and might even scare away an intruder with the simple sound of a shell being loaded into the breach. But we wanted to take a look at this age-old idea that shotguns are the best home defense weapon and see if there are any other viable options on the market. For this review, we look at a handgun, shotgun, AR-15, bat, knife, and dog as potential home defense weapons and assess the pros and cons of each. So without further ado, here’s our in-depth review!

How our Readers Chose their Results

We posted a poll in our RE Factor Tactical Team Room Facebook group asking our readers what they believed was the best self-defense weapon. We gave the option of Shotgun, Pistol, AR-15, Bat, Knife and Dog as their preferred weapon of choice. Below you will see the “RE Factor Tactical Reader’s Score”. This pertains to the number of votes that item received as the preferred self-defense weapon.


RE Factor Tactical Readers’ Score: 41

There’s no doubt, a shotgun can cause some serious damage. You don’t even necessarily have to be a good shot since you get a wide shot pattern. If someone breaks into your home, we’d imagine you’re in a small, enclosed space. Really all you have to do is shoot the thing and you’ll hit the target (unless you’re aiming in the opposite direction or something insane like that). However, when holding it up against other firearms, the shotgun isn’t the number one option for home defense. It’s definitely a cheaper option, and the sound of a pump-action shotgun to an intruder can definitely be a deterrent. However, they’re big,  don’t hold as many rounds as an AR or pistol, and they’re heavier than a pistol.


  • Easier to shoot under stress
  • More likely to hit the target, even with poor aim


  • Fewer shots
  • Cheaper option

Our Top Rated Shotguns

  1. Mossburg 500 Series

Click for Home Defense Accessories

2. Remington 870

Click for Home Defense Accessories


RE Factor Tactical Readers’ Score: 37

Pistols only ranked slightly lower than shotguns. You have to more technique with a pistol than with a shotgun and they can be more expensive in some cases. However, if you do miss, chances are you have more opportunities to make your shot placement than you did with a shotgun. Another plus to a pistol is it’s easy to carry outside of the home (depending on legalities, of course). Besides that, rounds are generally cheaper than what you might find for an AR-15. There’s also the age restriction. If you happen to live on your own before you turn 21, you’ll probably find yourself restricted to a hunting rifle or shotgun as a source of home defense.


  • Small and easy to carry
  • Easily shot with one hand


  • Limited number of rounds compared to an AR-15
  • Harder to maintain accuracy under stress
  • Lacks firepower compared to an AR-15 and shotgun

Our Top Rated Pistols

  1. Glock 19

Click for Home Defense Accessories

2. Springfield XD

Click for Home Defense Accessories


RE Factor Tactical Readers’ Score: 0

In 2017, knives were the second leading cause of murder, right after firearms. What does this mean? Well, it means they can kill someone if you want them to. While they can inflict some serious damage and even death, we personally wouldn’t recommend them as a go-to home protection weapon. Knives are inherently a personal weapon in the sense that you must be very close to your target to inflict wounds. This proximity makes you vulnerable to counterattack. Further, knives can be difficult to use if you don’t know what you’re doing. They can easily stick into bones, get caught on clothing or slip out of your hand making follow up attacks difficult. It also means there’s a chance you could find the knife being used on you. That being said, expert knife fighters are extremely dangerous and if you know what you’re doing you could potentially be a lethal force to reckon with. However, to get to that proficiency takes a long time of mastering a new craft. Another hit against knives comes with post-litigation or prosecution. Following any attack your actions, no matter how justified, will be questioned by authorities to see if you used the proper level of self-defense. Attacking someone with a knife is very deliberate and often takes multiple strikes in order to either stop or kill an attacker.  If you kill an attacker with repeated stab wounds, the quest may arise of whether or not you used an appropriate level of force. Could you have stopped after one stab? Did you need to stab them multiple times? Did you stab them in the right place? Believe it or not, these are all questions you might be asked following an attack.  One of the good things about knives is just about any home has one. So if you find yourself in a self-defense situation with no other option, it still might be better than nothing.


  • Inexpensive
  • Available in most households


  • Easy to lose
  • Can take multiple calculated strikes to inflict a stopping blow
  • Gets caught in clothing/body parts
  • Might be used against you

Our Top Rated Knife Fight Classes

For knife fighting we wanted to rank our top classes. We chose to rank our top classes because you can buy the best self-defense knife in the world, but if you don’t know how to use it, you might as well leave it in the kitchen.

  1. Shivworks
  2. Ed’s Manifesto (check out @edsmanifesto on IG for details)


RE Factor Tactical Readers’ Score: 0

We tend to put bats in the same categories as knives. Bats accounted for a third of the number of murders as knives in the USA in 2017 and probably for a good reason. In order to inflict some serious damage on someone, you need to be pretty precise and pretty strong. Bats are easy to defend against and there’s a strong chance you’ll find yourself on the receiving end of that weapon if you get tangled up with someone who’s bigger and stronger than you. Bats are also like knives when it comes to the post legal process. Trying explaining to the police officer why you needed to hit the attacked 150 times to get him to stop coming at you. Conversely, like knives, bats are inexpensive and readily available. Also if you live in a state where the gun laws aren’t exactly the most favorable this could be a potential option. But if you’re looking for the best self-defense item, we’d suggest keep on looking.


  • Inexpensive
  • Most red-blooded Americans know how to swing one
  • No legal restrictions to own


  • Not practical

Our Top Bats For Home Self Defense

Believe it or not, some bats are better for self-defense than others. The biggest thing is selecting a bat that’s aluminum rather than wood with a good solid grip. Wood bats can break, meaning they’re not ideal for use.


RE Factor Tactical Readers’ Score: 16

It’s kind of hard to classify a dog as a home defense weapon because the reality is most pups are more of a deterrent than an actual weapon. That being said, there are several programs that will offer you a true home defense dog that will inflict some serious damage if anyone were to ever try and break-in. Hands down your biggest advantage of owning a dog is that most intruders simply do not want to find out if your ferocious cocker-doodle is actually a threat. For this reason alone, owning a dog is probably one of the best ways to go if you’re looking for a quick enhancement to your home defense plan. We also advocate adding a beware of dog sign as an inexpensive way to make your house appear more secure.


  • You get to have a dog around… enough said
  • Great deterrent
  • Professional service dogs available for added protection


  • If not trained to attack dog might not perform under duress
  • Expensive
  • If not properly trained, the animal can be a liability

Our Top Rated Dogs For Home Defense

As mentioned, not all dogs are created equal when it comes to home defense. The reality is your terrier won’t have the same bite as a Dutch Shepherd, so it’s important to choose wisely if you’re looking for something that’s going to offer some serious protection. And not every scarry dog will actually defend the home, although it should act as a great deterrent if anything. Here’s a list of some of the best guard dogs according to the AKC.

  1. Akita
  2. Rottweiler
  3. Giant Schnauzer
  4. Cane Corso Italiano
  5. Doberman Pinscher
  6. Boerboel
  7. German Shephard
  8. Dutch Shephard
  9. American Pit Bull Terrier
  10. American Staffordshire Terrier


RE Factor Tactical Readers’ Score: 126

The AR-15 ranked significantly higher than all of the other home defense options we gave our readers to select from. They’re easy to use, hold more rounds, are versatile, and more accurate than a pistol. While they might be harder to use in tight spaces, they sure do have some firepower. Of course, with that firepower, as with all weapons, comes responsibility. You’re main goal in home defense is to defend your home. So, if you shoot through the intruder and hit your child in the next room over, you haven’t protected what should be the most valuable part of your home, the family.


  • Higher capacity for rounds
  • Easier to maintain accuracy under stress
  • Shoots more powerful rounds


  • Harder to use in small spaces
  • Heavier
  • More expensive

Our Top Rated AR-15s

  1. Daniel Defense

Click for Home Defense Accessories

2. Ballistic Advantage

Arguments Against using an AR-15 for Home Defense

Since this is the winner of our reader’s choice for home defense, we’d like to address some of the concerns or arguments people have against using an AR-15 as home defense.

The AR-15 was Intended for Military Purposes

Guess what, so was duct tape. So, if that’s your argument, better stop using that and your microwave…man, life is about to get real inconvenient for you.

The AR-15 Wastes Ammo

There might be some truth behind this, in the sense that it’s much easier to go through 30 rounds in an AR-15 than in a shotgun. Not because you can’t do it, but because it takes a lot less time to do it. But, let’s be honest here; conserving ammo when an intruder is trying to harm your family will be one of the last things on your mind. If it takes 30 rounds—and let us all hope it doesn’t—to bring down an intruder all hyped up on bath salts, would you rather it take 30 AR-15 rounds or 30 shots from your shotgun? Yes, this may be a bit of an extreme example, but for the sake of the argument, this is what we’re going with.

An AR-15 is for Looks

Alright, no one said that your gun had to be boring. Why can’t it get the job done sufficiently and look cool? We’re pretty sure those making this argument are just jealous. Okay, maybe that’s not entirely accurate.  If we’re being honest here, it is a pretty intimidating gun, and I’d be more afraid of what it could do to me as the bad guy than someone with a pistol.

The Chances of Needing an AR-15 for Home Defense are low

Umm, the chances of using life insurance before you’re 65 is pretty low too, but that doesn’t mean people don’t get it. Why would you not prepare yourself for the worst in hopes of the worst not happening?

AR-15 Ammo will Pierce Body Armor

This argument is probably the most legitimate. The biggest concern with using an AR-15 for home defense is not knowing what’s behind your target. AR rounds travel further and faster than your 9mm ammo, and because of this, it is very likely it will travel where you might not have intended. And while it’s easy to sit there and say that you know what’s behind your target and you practice safety to your utmost ability, you should also ask yourself if that will be the case when things are going crazy.

Do you live in an apartment? Do you live in a city where there’s lots of people and other homes? Before you choose an AR-15 as your home defense weapon, make sure you take into account your surroundings and what other damage you may cause in the process by firing it for home defense. The last thing you want to do is take down the bad guy and hit the good guy you were attempting to save in the other room. With that being said, no matter what type of gun you own or use as defense, you should always practice safety. And part of that safety requires you to be both smart and responsible with where you’re using your firearm.

So, there you have it folks, your readers’ choice of home defense, the AR-15.

Have other ideas on how you protect you and yours? Add a comment below and share it with the rest of us!

Our Top Rated 9mm Carbines | Buyer’s Guide 2019

Not all 9mm carbines are created equal, but neither are people. What works for some, may not work for others. However, here's a list of options to look at to get you started.

What You Need To Know

RE Factor Tactical Buyer's Guide

  • 9mm Carbines range dramatically in price

  • 9mm Carbines are rifles with a round usually found in pistols

  • 9mm Carbines are generally less accurate than AR15 carbines

Our Top Rated 9MM Carbines

Best Overall 9mm Carbine | CZ Scorpion

See Pricing

Best Affordable AR 9mm Carbine | Ruger PC

See Pricing

A carbine is a compact, shorter version of a standard rifle (AR 15). A 9mm carbine gives the operator more flexibility, maneuverability, and control than a standard rifle. All of these attributes are great, and a big reason it’s taking its place in the market is the cost of ownership. Since these guns shoot 9mm ammo, the cost of the rounds makes carbines an affordable alternative to a bulkier AR 15 with more expensive rounds. For example, on average it costs $75.00 for 500 rounds of 9mm ammo. Whereas, the same average cost for 50 rounds of 5.56 ammo is $75.00. This makes 9mm ammo at least 10x cheaper than AR ammo! 9mm carbines on the market are incredibly versatile, allowing more Americans to customize them than ever before. Due to its wide range in application, it’s time to review some of the 9mm carbines that we see the most value in.

9mm Carbine vs AR 15 Carbine

A 9mm carbine is less noisy and more compact and flexible than an AR 15 carbine. The reason the 9mm carbine is less noisy is that it shoots a lower caliber round. The 9mm does not have a buffer system or bolt carrier in the back, allowing it to be smaller and ergonomic (flexible). This feature along with the smaller round assists in virtually no recoil, allowing the operator to stay on target with precision and pace. One of the attributes of the 9mm that we love so much is how customizable they are. For example, a lefty may have trouble handling weapons that are built with right-handed shooters in mind. Almost all of the 9mm carbines we review below allow a lefty shooter to switch out the safety, grip, and the sights to make the weapon more practical for each individual. The AR 15 carbine, however, is a great way to use a compact rifle and keep the stopping power of a bigger round. The AR 15 also shoots more accurately from any distance over 75 yards. The AR 15 is going to be heavier and bulkier, which makes it harder to be discreet. If you want more flexibility, concealment, and a practical gun at an affordable price, consider the 9mm carbine your weapon of choice.

Our Rating Criteria 

We will rate each weapon below using the three most important characteristics to our company: reliability, price point, and accuracy.


In order for a gun to obtain a high rating in this area, it has to work when you need it most. We look at how each carbine functions with a high volume of rounds fired, along with how it handles magazine changes and weather conditions (i.e. extreme cold vs. heat). Whether the carbine is for home defense, plinking, or a utility gun in your truck it must function properly. 


9mm carbines range from $500- $2,200 depending on the model and level of customization. This price range allows for the ultimate range in handling and customization for the most advanced gun owners but also gives many options to those on a budget. 


Accuracy is simply hitting the target you are aiming at and doing it consistently. The 9mm carbine increases accuracy compared to a handgun because it allows the operator to use more than just his/her own hands. By using a buttstock with a forward grip, the 9mm carbine gives complete control to the operator.

Our Top Rated 9mm Carbines

Best Overall 9mm Carbine | CZ Scorpion


  •  Price MSRP: $1,029
  • Length overall: 24.5in. (Stock Folded), 34.75(Stock Unfolded)
  • Height: 9.4in.
  • Width: 2.3 in.
  • Weight: 7 lbs.
  • Barrel Length: 16.2in.
  • Trigger pull weight: 7 lbs.
  • Available Magazine Capacities: 10, 20, 30, 35+ 


  • Incredibly versatile weapon that has multiple applications depending on your personal need.
  • The level of customization allows users of all skill levels to enjoy and become effective shooters.
  • Compact and easy to conceal with its lightweight and adjustable stock.
  • Adjustable trigger system makes this gun so much more comfortable than a lot of other models.
  • The CZ simply looks more appealing than most other models.


  • The trigger pull is a little heavy so it could cause some accuracy issues for first-time gun owners.

Why You Should Buy It

With a price point of roughly $1,000, you can own one of the most durable, accurate and beautiful 9mm carbines on the market. With the ability to customize the entire gun exactly the way you want it makes the CZ Scorpion a great buy. The duel safety triggers and sleek design gives you complete control of the gun and helps build confidence in your own ability.

Second Runner Up | SIG MPX Carbine/PCC

The Sig MPX is an amazing weapon that was built with adaptability and reliability. This weapon has been field-tested in the harshest environments we have on Earth and still came out on top. My favorite feature of this weapon is it easily converted between left and right-handed operators. The dual-sided selector switch, magazine release and charging handle give us lefties more options for comfort and practicality.


  • Price MSRP: $2,016
  • Length overall: 35.25 in.
  • Height: 7.5 in.
  • Width: 2.4 in.
  • Weight: 6.6 lbs.
  • Barrel Length: 16 in.
  • Trigger pull weight: 4.5 lbs.
  • Available Magazine Capacities: 10,20,30


  • Reliable
  • Great balance provides zero muzzle flip! (stays on target during high rates of fire)
  • Ambidextrous!


  • Magazines are very expensive at roughly $60-80 a piece! This is about two to three times more expensive than a CZ magazine.
  • Bulky for its class.
  • Over $2,000 without customization

Why You Should Buy It

The Sig MPX is an accurate weapon that doesn’t lose accuracy with rate of fire. With the full-length key mod handguard, you can add any sight or attachment you want to the weapon without losing balance and control. If money is not an issue, this is the gun for you.

Best Affordable AR 9mm Carbine | Ruger PC

The Ruger PC is made in the image of the 10/22, except the chamber fits a larger round. The feel to this weapon is nice, but heavy for the model. The ability to easily take the gun apart with its two main pieces allows for simple and quick maintenance. The Ruger PC also allows for different sized magazines to work with minimal adjustments.


  • Price MSRP: $649
  • Length overall: 34.3 in.
  • Height: 9.4 in.
  • Weight: 6.8lbs.
  • Barrel Length: 16.12”  
  • Trigger pull weight: 3.25 lbs.
  • Available Magazine Capacities: 10, 17, 30+


  • Great price
  • Breaks down easily making it more portable
  • Great starter weapon with traditional style
  • Takes different magazines


  • Not very reliable
  • Heavier than the top models

Why You Should Buy It

If I wanted a weapon to hunt small game or to shoot around the range, then this is a great value. This is also a great 9mm to learn on for first time shooters who may have experience with the 10/22. A trigger pull below 3.5 lbs is a great way to teach children to handle a weapon.

Most Inexpensive AR 9mm Carbine | Keltec Sub 2000

The Kel-Tec Sub 2000 is the cheapest model of the 99m carbines. It offers a very sleek and minimalistic design that can be appealing to some gun enthusiasts. The Kel-Tec boasts the ability to hold Beretta, Glock or Smith and Wesson magazines. Unfortunately, the Kel-Tec is the least reliable weapon we have rated.


  • Price MSRP: $500
  • Length overall: 16 in. (Folded), 29.5 in. (Unfolded)
  • Height: 7 in.
  • Weight: 4 lbs.
  • Barrel Length: 16.25 in 
  • Trigger pull weight: 9.5 lbs.
  • Available Magazine Capacities: 10, 15, 30+ 


  • Lightweight
  • Variety of magazine models
  • Easily concealed in backpack or go bag.
  • Accurate and lightweight


  • Poorly put together
  • Completely unreliable
  • Subject to dozens of recalls

Why You Should Buy It

This weapon is fairly accurate and very lightweight allowing for complete mobility. This weapon is also extremely easy to handle due to its four lb weight.

Best Throwback AR 9mm Carbine | ZENITH Z-5P SB RAIL

Zenith Z-5P SB Rail

The Zenith is a very accurate and reliable weapon that is made by HK. I would always recommend a weapon made by HK due to its durability and design. This also may be the smoothest firing weapon on the list.


  • Price MSRP: $2,054
  • Length overall: 14.4 in. (Brace Folded), 23 in.
  • Height: 9.4 in.
  • Width: 2.6 in.
  • Weight: 4.6 lbs.
  • Barrel Length: 5.8 in. 
  • Trigger pull weight: 6 lbs.
  • Available Magazine Capacities: 10, 20, 30 


  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • No recoil


  • Trigger pull is heavier than other top models

Why You Should Buy It

This weapon is made incredibly well and easy to use. Its quite and has zero muzzle flip and maintains reliability for many years.

Best Gucci AR 9MM Carbine | Wilson Combat AR9

AR9 Carbine

The Wilson Combat AR9 is built from scratch using the AR 15 platform giving the weapon familiarity and comfort. This weapon is known as one of the most reliable and accurate 9mm carbines on the market today. This is the weapon we would recommend for anyone who is concerned about reliability. It is a great accomplishment to convert an AR-style platform to a functional and reliable 9mm carbine.


  • Price MSRP: $2000
  • Length overall: 31.75 in.
  • Height: 9.4 in.
  • Weight: 6 lbs.
  • Barrel Length: 16.2 in.
  • Trigger pull weight: 4 lbs.
  • Available Magazine Capacities: 10 to 30+ 


  • Stress-free reliability
  • Consistently accurate
  • 4 lb trigger pull offers improved accuracy from the first shot


  • Very expensive

Why You Should Buy It

This is the weapon that we believe our brothers in blue need during patrols or raids. The Wilson AR9 gives the operator full confidence in the weapon to do the job if and when needed. The Wilson AR9 also gives homeowners the peace of mind they chose a reliable and accurate gun.

Honorable Mentions 

Hi-Point 995 TS 9mm Carbine 

A very inexpensive weapon that has good value as a training weapon or truck gun. Hi-Point also has a great warranty with each weapon.

Hi-Point 995TS Specs

  • Barrel length: 16.5″
  • Overall length: 31″
  • Weight: 6.25 lbs.
  • Sights: Fully-adjustable
  • Capacity: 10-shot magazine standard
  • Stock: All-weather, black or hydro-dipped molded polymer depending on model
  • All-weather, polymer skeletonized stock
  • Sling, swivels and scope base
  • Internal recoil buffer in stock
  • Weaver style rails
  • Fully adjustable sights (rear peep & post front)
  • Quick on/off thumb safety
  • Grip-mounted clip release
  • 100% American-made parts and assembly
  • 10-shot magazine (45 caliber comes with a 9-round magazine)
  • Last round lock open

Marlin 9mm Camp 9 Carbine 

The Marlin 9mm Camp 9 Carbine hasn’t been produced since 1999, but is a fun weapon to shoot. Unfortunately, it looks bland and is not a very durable weapon. Either way, it’s a nice gun to add to the collection. You can purchase them through places like or check out your local pawn shop.

Beretta 9mm Cx4 Storm Carbine 

This weapon was designed to be indestructible to handle the hard conditions of law enforcement. Ambidextrous magazine release with the ability to add any attachment makes this a great carbination for the price.

Action Single Single
Barrel length (mm) 422.5 500
Barrel length (in) 16.6 16.6
Caliber 9×19 (PARA) 9×19 (PARA)
Magazine 10 > 15 10 > 15
Overall height (mm) 190 190
Overall height (in) 7.5 7.5
Overall length (mm) 755 800
Overall length (in) 29.7 31.5
Overall width (mm) 63 63
Overall width (in) 2.5 2.5
Sight radius (in) 12.9 12.9
Sight radius (mm) 327 327
Weight unloaded (g) 2575 2575
Weight unloaded (OZ) 90.8 90.8

Colt 9mm Carbine 

Looks and feels like a compact M4 with a forward grip to add control. Highly accurate at any rate of fire. It may look rather bland, but there are plenty of accessories available to change up the look and feel of the weapon.

Colt 9mm Carbine Specs

  • Type: Ar
  • Finish Color: Black
  • Grips Stock: 4 Position Collapsible
  • Action: Blowback Operated Semi Auto
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Barrel Length: 16.1″
  • Capacity: 32+1
  • Trigger: Two Stage
  • Safety: Reversible Safety Selector
  • OAL: 35″
  • Weight: 6.35 lbs
  • Stock: M4 Buttstock
  • Metal Finish: Black
  • Muzzle: A2 Flash Hider
  • Receiver Material: Aluminum
  • Sights: A2 Front, Magpul Rear
  • Twist: 1:10″
  • Purpose: Personal Defense/Sport


The 9mm carbines are hitting the market at an accelerated rate relative to standard rifles and handguns due to their versatility. The carbine offers more power and control than a handgun while eliminating the recoil of an AR model. As a smaller guy, the 9mm carbine offers me the ability to handle a rifle with supreme confidence. The selling point for the 9mm carbine is undoubtedly the cost of the 9mm ammo.

Best Overall 9mm Carbine | CZ Scorpion


See Pricing

Best Affordable AR 9mm Carbine | Ruger PC


See Pricing

CCW Safe Review

You have to be careful these days because there's a lot of companies popping up claiming to be of service in case you find yourself in an act of self-defense. Companies want to take your money, but that's about all they do, by scaring you into purchasing their product. Is CCW Safe one of those companies?

What You Need To Know

RE Factor Tactical Buyer's Guide

  • CCW Safe is a legal defense service, not an insurance provider

  • CCW Safe claims to be the only CCW legal service to have fought and won a murder 1 self-defense case

  • CCW Safe is middle of the road as far as price is concerned

CCW Legal Defense Services

CCW Safe

Learn More


Learn More

There are a lot of carry insurance options, or should we say defense services on the market, and we’re slowly making our way down the list to bring you a full review of each of them. Today’s review is on CCW Safe—who isn’t actually an insurance company. What do they offer that the others don’t? How are their prices? Do they actually cover you when you need them? We plan to tell you about it all, both the good and the bad in our full review of CCW Safe. 

About CCW Safe

CCW Safe has been around for about seven years now. In those seven years, they’ve received accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, have an A+ rating, and of the whopping three reviews left with the BBB, two of them are 5 stars. The one star is a result of him not getting a renewal reminder. One guy apparently changed his review to 5 stars as well because his complaint was handled so well via email.

Anyway, not that any of that really matters, because none of it actually has to do with (non-insurance) for your CCW. Yah! Customer service answered my email in a timely manner! Too bad you’re going to jail because they weren’t willing to add your name to the list of people they’d be willing to represent…unless of course you have someone who can actually represent and win your case, as CCW Safe has already done.

CCW Safe Insurance

Again, CCW Safe is not an insurance company, but they are a legal defense service. They offer defense services for military and law enforcement, as well as those who have a legitimate concealed carry permit. And unlike an insurance company who will do their darnedest to keep from paying out or leave you high and dry when things get a bit uncomfortable, CCW Safe ensures us, that’s not them.

Permit Plans

Permit plans are intended for individuals who can legally carry a weapon. The Protector plan is intended for active or retired military as well as law enforcement officers. The Defender plan is for those holding a valid state concealed carry permit.

Protector Plan

  • Access to our 24-hour emergency hotline
  • Critical Response Team on site
  • $500,000 bail coverage
  • Vetting of Attorneys by National Trial Counsel
  • Unlimited Attorney fees covered up front
  • Unlimited Investigators covered up front
  • Unlimited Expert Witnesses covered up front
  • All trial fees covered up front
  • Firearm Replacement during trial
  • Spouse and children under 18 covered in home only
  • Up to $250 a day work loss while in criminal or civil trial
  • Up to 10 sessions (up to $4k) for a licensed counselor
  • Up to $3k for crime scene clean-up home

You are NOT covered in the following cases:

  • Force used against other family members
  • Force used against people who are in your house with permission or invite
  • Any force that is not in self-defense
  • DOES NOT cover other emergency workers (see FAQs)
  • Military Vets without full retirement must use the special Vickers Tactical code usavets upon checkout

Price: $149/year

Defender Plan

  • Access to our 24-hour emergency hotline
  • Critical Response Team on site
  • $500,000 bail coverage
  • Vetting of Attorneys by National Trial Counsel
  • Unlimited Attorney fees covered up front
  • Unlimited Investigators covered up front
  • Unlimited Expert Witnesses covered up front
  • All Trial Costs covered up front
  • Firearm Replacement during trial
  • Up to $250 a day work loss while in criminal or civil trial
  • Up to 10 sessions (up to $4k) for a licensed counselor
  • Up to $3k for crime scene clean-up home*
  • Appeals and expungement covered

You are NOT covered in the following cases:

  • Force used against other family members
  • Force used against people who are in your house with permission or invite
  • Any force that is not in self-defense

Price: $179/year

Ultimate Plan

  • Access to our 24-hour emergency hotline
  • Attorney fees
  • Investigators fees
  • Experts
  • Appeals and Firearm Replacement during trial
  • Up to $350 a day work loss while in criminal or civil trial
  • Up to 40 sessions (up to $6k) for a licensed counselor
  • Up to $3k for crime scene clean-up home

You are NOT covered in the following cases:

  • Force used against other family members
  • Force used against people who are in your house with permission or invite
  • Any force that is not in self-defense

Price: $499/year

HR218 Plan

The HR218 plan is intended for the retired or active law enforcement officer. If you qualify for a LEOSO (Law Enforcement Officer’s Safety Act), you qualify for this plan.

  • Coverage for Criminal, Civil and Administrative Actions
  • Access to our 24-hour emergency hotline
  • Critical Response Team on site
  • $1Million bail coverage
  • Vetting of Attorneys by National Trial Counsel
  • Unlimited Attorney fees covered up front
  • Unlimited Investigators covered up front
  • Unlimited Expert Witnesses covered up front
  • All trial fees covered up front
  • Firearm Replacement during trial
  • Spouse and children under 18 covered in home only
  • Up to $250 a day work loss while in criminal or civil trial
  • Up to 10 sessions (up to $4k) for a licensed counselor
  • Up to $3k for crime scene clean-up home*
  • Appeals and expungements covered
  • Dedicated $1MM Civil Liability coverage

You are NOT covered in the following cases:

  • Force used against other family members
  • Force used against GUESTS who are in your house with permission or invited
  • Any force that is not in self-defense 
  • DOES NOT cover ON-DUTY or Security related assignments/job
  • Accidental Shooting 
  • Children 18 or older
  • Use of force following intentional criminal act

You can see other conditions in the terms of service.

Price: $399/year

Non-Permit Plans

Non-permit plans include the Constitutional Carry plan and Home Defense plan, both starting out at $299/year.

Constitutional Carry Plan

  • Access to 24-hour emergency hotline
  • Attorney fees
  • Investigator fees
  • Experts
  • Appeals and Firearm Replacement during trial
  • Up to $250/day work loss while in criminal or civil trial
  • Up to 10 sessions (up to $4,000) for a licensed counselor
  • Up to $3,000 for crime scene clean-up home

You are NOT covered in the following cases:

  • Force used against other family members
  • Force used against GUESTS who are in your house with permission or invited
  • Any force that is not in self-defense 
  • Coverage outside of the resident state
  • Travel by vehicle outside the resident state

Price: $299/year

Home Defense Plan

  • Access to 24-hour emergency hotline
  • Attorney fees
  • Investigator fees
  • Experts
  • Appeals and Firearm Replacement during trial
  • Up to $250/day work loss while in criminal or civil trial
  • Up to 10 sessions (up to $4,000) for a licensed counselor
  • Up to $3,000 for crime scene clean-up home

You are NOT covered in the following cases:

  • Force used against other family members
  • Force used against GUESTS who are in your house with permission or invited
  • Any force that is not in self-defense 

Price: $299/year

Referral Program

While CCW Safe does not currently have a referral program, they do have intentions of making this available to members in the future. Make sure you keep an eye out on their page if you’re already a member of this legal defense service.

CCW Safe Contact Information

Address: 1810 E. Memorial Rd. Ste. B Oklahoma City, OK 73131

Phone: (855) 639-2297


CCW Safe Benefits

  • CCW Safe pays all up-front cost of a criminal defense, meaning you won’t get a bill in the mail
  • There’s no limit to the amount paid for criminal defense
  • Spouse and children under 18 are included in the Home Coverage plan
  • All legal weapons are covered and in all 50 states
  • $250-$350/day paid for wages lost during a criminal or civil trial
  • Temporary housing and relocation available to those in a high impact public case

Best Concealed Carry Guns Buyers guide [2019]

CCW Safe Reviews

One of the hardest things about reviewing a concealed carry defense service is finding someone who has actually needed to use it. Customer service can be great, but how are they at defending cases? I don’t care if customer service comes to my house and personally presents me with a golden ticket to the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory. I want someone who cannot only defend me in court but make sure I win.

A lot of these CCW insurance/legal defense companies lure you in with fancy extras, which really aren’t that fancy, and this is ‘alright,’ in terms of making up for some of the money you’re spending if you don’t actually ever need their services. But let’s be honest, they’re just giving you a bunch of e-books filled with information you could find for free anyway, and maybe a hat or something. Again, a hat isn’t going to win my case if I had to shoot someone in self-defense or the defense of others, so that’s not really much of a review in our opinion.

According to CCW Safe, they’re the only concealed carry legal service who has fought and won a murder 1 self-defense case. Not only are they saying they did it, but it’s actually documented for the public to see. Back in 2017, after a long 2-years, a man named Stephen Maddox went to trial and won. Maybe it’s out there and we couldn’t find it, but this is the only publicized case for a CCW service that fought and won a case of this magnitude. You can read about it here.

CCW Safe Complaints

The biggest complaint we saw was that CCW Safe uses a scare tactic. Okay, let’s be honest here. Most CCW insurance/non-insurance type providers want to sell you their service. They tell you what they have to offer, how it can help you, and what you risk by not using their service. In fact, this is how most insurance companies work…car insurance, home insurance, flood insurance, etc. If the advertisement makes you want to purchase the service and you aren’t being lied to, well then, the marking department is doing their job. Are you likely to need CCW services in your lifetime? Probably not. Are you likely to pay into a service you’ll never use? Probably. The questions you have to ask yourself, is it better to be prepared and never need CCW Safe (or any other CCW service) or to need it and not have it? Do you live in a state where you’re likely to win a self-defense case without them? Can you afford up-front fees without a CCW service? Are you willing to take the risk? How you answer these questions, that’s how you should go about deciding if CCW Safe is right for you. If you don’t let scare tactics affect you, well then, you won’t have anything to worry about in your decision-making process. Do some cold, hard research. Make a choice base on your own research, not what tacticaljoe_137 quoted from his forum buddy, billy_ak47 in 2012, who rephrased something he overheard from a stranger on his 12th beer.

CCW Safe Competitors

CCW Safe’s competitors consist of Second Call Defense, US/TX Law Shield, and NRA Cary Guard. We’ve already done a review on US/TX Law Shield, which you can read about here. Below is a short comparison of the different providers, which we’re planning to review in future posts.

Best Concealed Carry Insurance 2019

CCW Safe vs US Law Shield

US Law Shield (or TX Law Shield) is cheaper then CCW Safe, however, all coverage is not provided in all 50 states. They also only cover bail bonds in a couple of states. They do however offer 100% up-front coverage with no cap on criminal defense funds. Read our full review of US Law Shield for more information.

CCW Safe vs US Second Call Defense

US Second Call Defense is one of the most expensive services out there, but they do cover all 50 states and pay up-front costs. However, there’s a cap on how much they’ll pay. CCW Safe will also cover appeals and criminal record expungement, however, US Second Call Defense does not. Keep an eye out for our full review on US Second Call Defense.

CCW Safe vs NRA Carry Guard

NRA Carry Guard covers all 50 states, and will only cost you $50 more (as of the publication date of this article) than CCW Safe. However, they do have caps on criminal defense funds. You’ll also have to pay 20% up-front, whereas CCW Safe doesn’t require any out of pocket expenses. Keep an eye out for our full review on NRA Carry Guard.

Update: NRA Carry Guard is no longer a CCW insurance.

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