SHOT Show 2023 – It’s The People

Seeing all the new products being released at SHOT Show is cool. Since I caught the SHOT Show crud during the show and not after it, I didn’t get to see as much as I usually did. Nonetheless, what I really enjoy most about going to the SHOT Show is reconnecting with old friends and making new ones.

I’m not the best at taking selfies but others are. I ran into Charlie Chambers who I first met at a Gun Rights Policy Conference at Range Day. He was there with Amanda Suffecool and Rob Campbell of Eye on the Target Radio. This was taken early in the day before the rain arrived and the wind picked up.

Then there are the people you run into in the Media Room. In this case it was Charlie Cook of Riding Shotgun with Charlie and John Petrolino of As Charlie noted, all three of us were recipients of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Ray Carter Blogger of the Year Award.

Thursday was interesting as lunch and then dinner ran the political spectrum from Right to Left. Lunch was with Paul Valone and his wife Lori of Grass Roots North Carolina along longtime GRNC volunteer Josette Chmiel. Paul is the author of the book Rules for Anti-Radicals which deals with defeating leftism.

L-R: Me, Paul, Josette, Lori

Thursday evening I swung to the opposite end of the political spectrum when I had dinner with people from the Liberal Gun Club. Beyond the wonderful food at Bouchon, I had a great time reconnecting with Lara and Ed Smith and trainer/revolver guru Grant Cunningham. Grant was at the SHOT Show representing Lubriplate which makes non-toxic firearm lubricants (among many other things). It had been years since I had seen Grant face-to-face so it was really fun to catch up with him.

Finally, there is my old friend Michael Bane. I ran into him at Range Day where he introduced me to James Tarr. Later that evening, I had dinner with Michael and his “sweetie” along with Paul Erhardt and one person whose name I still don’t remember. The Complementary Spouse insisted I get a picture. Unfortunately, I forgot. Fast forward to Thursday when Michael was doing the giveaway for a customized Tisas 10mm 1911 at the SDS Imports/Tisas booth. His “sweetie” was kind enough to take this picture of us and the Complementary Spouse was pleased.

There were a lot more people I ran into at SHOT than I can name without leaving someone out. Despite coming down with the crud and missing a day of the show because I stayed in bed, it was a good trip and it was the people that made the trip.

Would You Be Interested In A Class With Grant And Paul? In The Piedmont?

Doc Wesson of The Gun Nation podcast and I are trying to arrange a two-day training class in the Greensboro area with Grant Cunningham and Paul Carlson.

Grant is the author of The Gun Digest Book of the Revolver, The Gun Digest Shooter’s Guide to Handguns, Defensive Revolver Fundamentals, and Defensive Pistol Fundamentals. He is a well-known revolversmith, a trainer, and heads the Personal Security Institute. He would be teaching his Threat Centered Revolver course. Grant is also a regular on The Gun Nation Podcast.

Paul Carlson of Safety Solutions Academy is a well-known trainer located in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. He would be teaching his Critical Defense Handgun course. Like Grant, Paul is a regular on The Gun Nation Podcast.

Both Grant and Paul are excellent teachers. I’ve been wanting to get them to North Carolina for some time now as the Cleveland area is a long drive and Oregon is an even longer drive. We will need a minimum of 12 students not counting Doc and myself to make this a go.

I’ve created the map below showing a 300 mile driving radius around Greensboro. Within this radius, you have all the Carolinas, Virginia, most of Maryland and West Virginia, and parts of East Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Interstates 40 and 85 intersect in Greensboro making it a hub. If you prefer to fly, Piedmont Triad International is served by many airlines.

I don’t know the costs for the class yet but will post that as soon as I know.

If you are interested, please contact me at or Doc at The sooner we can gauge interest in the class, the sooner we can nail down the dates.

And let’s face it – we could all benefit from some more really good training.

For Revolver Fans

Grant Cunningham, revolversmith extraordinaire and personal defense trainer, has created a quick and easy way to carry speed-loaders concealed. The Crossbreed Speedloader Case attaches to your belt and keeps the speedloader right at your waistline.

In the video below, Grant shows the details of the case and how to effectively use it.

The Speedloader Case comes in either black cowhide or natural horsehide. It retails for $36.95 with the horsehide being $2 more. For those that carry a revolver concealed, I think this should be a useful addition to your rig.

Some Good Advice On Writing To Politicians

Grant Cunningham, revolversmith, trainer, and blogger, had an excellent post yesterday on writing to those in Congress. As he notes with regard to Feinstein’s anticipated assault weapons (sic) ban, “If we, the shooting community, don’t act immediately her little scheme might just work.”

This is one fight that we can’t leave to the NRA, GOA, NSSF, or SAF. They do work but can only do so much. We have to get in there and do some heavy lifting.

Grant lists a series of things he’s learned about communicating with Congress. Many of them aren’t new but do bear repeating. I’m just going to list the high points and urge you to read his full blog post.

  • Unless they know you personally, the Senator or Representative will never see your letter themselves. It will be read and tabulated by staffers.
  • Aides are young and idealistic. Be nice to them.
  • Don’t use paper – fax, e-mail, or call. This is due to the anthrax scare of a few years ago.
  • Don’t write a book. Be concise and to the point.
  • If you aren’t a constituent of that particular Representative or Senator, it will be ignored.
  • Make sure your name and address are in the letter.
  • Make sure your e-mail has a subject.
  • Form letters are nearly useless. Don’t use them.
  • Any response you get will be a form letter. It is just the way it is.

I’m starting to collect letters that we can use as a basis for writing both state and national representatives. I will be posting the better ones for you to use and would urge you to modify them to suit you. There is no need for you or me to reinvent the wheel. We are all in this together and need to work smarter, not harder.

If you have a good letter, send to me by e-mail at jpr9954 AT gmail DOT com.

On Mil-Spec And Cop-Spec

Revolversmith extraordinaire and trainer Grant Cunningham had an excellent post up yesterday on the failure of logic associated with aspirational marketing. In this case, people who buy firearms and firearm accessories because it is “used” by the LAPD SWAT Team or SpecWarDevGru.

You need to make your purchasing decisions based on an honest assessment of your needs and the product’s suitability for your purpose, not internet loudmouths going by names like Geck045 who drone on about how their gun “must” be the best because “LAPD don’t buy junk!”

Yes, they do. Very often.

Read the whole post. Grant makes a lot of sense.

Canted Versus Non-Canted Holsters

Grant Cunningham is not only a talented revolversmith but a good firearms trainer as well. He has just published an interesting article on the differences between a straight or non-canted holster and a canted holster and which you should choose for your application.

In general, he finds that holsters that allow a straight up and down draw work well in competition events like IDPA but not so well when drawing from a defensive posture.

When I started my drawstroke from where I expected to be in an actual fight — from that threat reaction posture — my straight-drop holster felt as if it locked my gun into place. It was difficult to remove, and I found myself rising to a more upright position just to get the gun out of the holster. That sort of defeated the purpose of the realistic training!

When I realized this (and it took me about a year — I’m a stubborn learner), I changed to a forward-canted holster. That design was not suitable for competition but perfect for realistic defensive shooting practice because it conformed to what my body was most likely to do in a real life-or-death struggle.

The canted holster puts the exit path of the gun closer to the natural movement the hand is likely to make from an actual defensive posture. Put another way, the canted holster places the gun in the position the body is going to find itself in during a fight! It works better with the body’s natural reactions and trained responses than the straight-drop holster does. That makes it easier and more efficient to use under the circumstances in which I expect to defend myself.

This is an excellent article full of good illustrations. Grant’s parting advice is well worth taking to heart – “Pick your gear for the fight you’re likely to have, not the one you want to have.”