1. After a career of carrying a pistol for a living, I have no desire to carry a full size duty weapon on my hip in retirement. Common sense and knowing the evil that walks among us dictates that I should carry at all times. Thank God for the quality sub-compact pistols available today.

    When I put my clothes on in the morning, until I go to bed at night, I am armed with a sub-one pound handgun on my person. Even when I decide to carry a larger handgun, one of my mouse-guns rides in it’s accustomed place. It’s never not there. The old adage “it’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it”, makes sense in today’s messed up world.

  2. People ask me why I carry a handgun in my own house. I ask them why they don’t. If you don’t carry when “you don’t need it”, you won’t have it when you DO.

    • My guns are part of my clothing. They stay on from the time I get dressed in the morning until I get undressed in the evening.

      It’s not that I’m worried someone is going to break into my house, it’s that I don’t see any point in disarming, then re-arming every time I go through the door.

  3. Mas:

    I read “In Cold Blood” when I was about 14. The images stick.
    Your small note and the comments of the first two folks on this thread – AMEN.

    My students often ask ” Where do you keep your firearm for quick access at home?”.

    I tell them “in a Milt Sparks holster on my belt”.

    The follow up is usually something like: ” But you live in a very nice neighborhood and the McKinney Police are well trained and fast responding-Do you Actually expect to need the pistol?”

    “Yes, it is a very nice neighborhood, and McK PD is very good and No , I certainly do not expect to need it. On the other hand, if do I need it I will need it NOW, not two minutes from now. Carrying it is no hardship -I do not even notice my sidearm. But it is right there, now, if I need it.”

    Once again, you are spot on.

    • Full size Glock 21; I put it on my hip in the morning and the nightstand in the evening.

    • if it’s a problem for someone to carry their gun all day, they need a better holster!

  4. I have carried or had one within arms reach 24/7 for 39 years. I cannot imagine otherwise. I felt naked in Europe for two weeks, but better in Germany where I competed in police/military pistol shooting. But at home, in America? Always, always. And if I did not have any concern for my or my family’s safety, I would still carry to cover that one in a million chance I happen upon a Brother cop in mortal danger.

    • You might consider ACLDN ins. I believe they have the best people backing us up. ..

  5. I think that Jeff Cooper summed it up very well. This is from his book “To ride, shoot straight, and speak the truth”.

    “The pistol – the ‘sidearm’ – is completely and conceptually a defensive weapon. It is a reaction device with which to stop a fight that someone else starts. It is unlike any other smallarm in that it is worn rather than borne. If you know there is going to be a fight you will acquire something bigger and more powerful than a pistol. But if you do not know there is going to be a fight, a pistol, in proper hands and guided by an alert brain, can accomplish miracles in short-range, sudden actions which occur without warning.

    The advantage of the pistol, which it shares with nothing else, is readiness. It is there on your belt. You do not have to go and fetch it.

    The range of the pistol is short. It is normally used at conversational distances, within which you can talk to your enemy. This is important because the typical pistol engagement is brought on by conversational confrontation. If a bandit orders you to put up your hands, or turn around, or give him your wallet or lie down on the floor, you can draw and kill him before he has discovered that you are not going to do what he told you to do. You can thus work inside his response time, and that is the great virtue of the sidearm.”

  6. Pretty much what Jack Zeller said except we no longer travel outside the Continental US and LEOSA gives us a slight edge in some states.

  7. I remember that film & story. It was disturbing. Still is. A friend of mine and her family lived in a beautiful home in the Santa Cruz mountains in California. Unfortunately, Dr. Ohta and his family never felt they needed firearms.

    I live “up in the pines” of Northern Arizona. My gun is always with me. A few years ago, I heard someone try to open our locked front door while I was home. As he was walking away, I opened the door and scanned the area. He heard the sound of a shotgun being racked. Never saw a dirtbag run so fast!

    True words of wisdom, Mas. Thanks for the article. You have a future in this business!

  8. I don’t normally carry a pistol on my person while at home unless I’m wearing my jeans in which case I have a customized Springfield Armory 1911 in .45 ACP with three extra magazines. Most of the time I wear exercise pants at home and have a Glock 21 and 22 both with Streamlights mounted on them within arm’s reach at all times. Yes, even in the bathroom. There are two identical Remington 870 shotguns in 12 gauge with 7 round extensions and ghost ring sights on them at each end of the house. Both are loaded with #1 magnum buckshot and there are six Brenneke slugs in a side saddle on each. My house carbine is a Kel-Tec Sub-2000 in .40 S&W loaded with Speer 180 Grain Gold Dot ammo in a 22 round Glock magazine and the carbine is equipped with a red dot sight and Streamlight weapon light with red laser sighted in for 30 feet. The Kel-Tec replaced an AR-15 which is extremely loud for use inside a house and it has much less muzzle flash too, plus with it’s 16″ barrel, the carbine has 10mm ballistics. The rest of my long guns are locked up in two gun safes. I do have a few handguns laying around various parts of the house too, with extra loaded magazines – just in case. I try not to depend on anyone for my defense. The police are seldom nearby when needed and are not legally responsible for my, or anyone else’s personal protection.

  9. I first read “In Cold Blood” when I was a teenager & it made an indelible impression on me, too. Surprisingly, years of watching horror movies on video further alerted me to the various types of ambushes that can occur when & where you least expect them, even in your own home. It didn’t take me long to realize that in an emergency, I may not have time to retrieve a firearm, so the logical thing for me to do is to carry one with me all the time. Fortunately, I like handguns so much that I feel uncomfortable when I’m not carrying one & if I need it in an emergency, I can deploy it within a second or two. I also have backup guns hidden around the house in places where no one would expect to find them, but where I can access them covertly very quickly. In addition, I do keep my doors & windows locked, whether I’m home or not, & I sleep behind a locked bedroom door with a handgun within reach, a burglar alarm turned on, & two watch dogs roaming the house. If anyone thinks this is paranoid, I would answer that it’s too bad the Clutter family wasn’t this paranoid.

  10. I haven’t read In Cold Blood. Which is surprising because I have heard of it and I read a lot. Guess I have to put it on my reading list. However Here in GA we had the Alday Murders and that story is the one I always bring up when someone talks about their nice neighborhood.

    • Remember too that “The Strangers” is said to be based on a real case. That kind is out there, and could turn up in most any neighborhood. I keep thinking about the man in New England who, with his young son, escaped being slaughtered by Parker and Tulloch only because he had a Glock pistol ready and within reach.

  11. The days of allegedly safe living in rural areas and small towns are long gone, and may have been a Hollywood myth anyway. In many rural areas violent crime often is as bad as the big cities; in some cases worse. Often that crime is related to drug manufacturing and distribution, making less-populated areas ideal for freewheeling cartels and dirtbags because law enforcement is typically undermanned in rural America.

    Country folks should not be gulled into thinking they’re immune from criminals.

    • Oddly enough I’m in the minority here in that I have never read In Cold Blood. BUT, since I have spent nearly all of my adult life helping victims of terrible crimes and their families to pick up the pieces of their forever altered lives in the aftermath, I am very seldom without my sidearm. Mas, thanks again for decades of lessons, I never stop learning from you.

  12. RIGHT ON! Enlightened words by enlightened people.

    Same goes for seat belts in cars. I’ve worn them all my life but never needed them. I’ve even been in 3 minor accidents which were all my fault. Those taught me to never be in a hurry. I had my seat belt on, but it played no role in those accidents.

    Now, because of Mas’ advice, I also wear safety glasses while driving.

    Post Script: My first car, a 1967 (’66?) Beetle, didn’t have seat belts. They were an option then. I bought it in 1984.

  13. Are modern pistols (M&P, Sig, Glock, etc) rust proof? I usually carry a Colt 45 commander in steel, and it will rust even from normal perspiration. I spend a lot of time out in the elements taking care of livestock, so any gun I’d carry would probably be exposed to rain, snow, drizzle, fog, and dampness. Are modern pistols mostly immune to dampness issues, or should I pack my stainless Speed 6?

    This is not an issue carrying in public, as my 45 is under clothing, and I’m not outside much to make it an issue.

    • Not rust PROOF per se, but certainly rust resistant. After exposure to dampness, any gun should be wiped down with a light coat of oil, IMHO.

    • Emmett – You might look at something like the new S&W Compact M2.0. These guns have a polymer frame with everything else (slide, barrel, etc.) being stainless steel. S&W also puts a corrosion resistant finish on top of the stainless steel. So, I imagine that these guns are just about as corrosion resistant as it is possible to make. These guns are similar in size to your Colt commander.

      I have one in 9mm and love it. However, for your purposes, you might consider getting it in 40 S&W caliber instead of 9mm. The 40 S&W hits harder. Buffalo Bore ammo makes a 40 S&W load that moves a 200 gr. hard cast flat point bullet at 961 fps (according to their web site) out of a 4 inch barrel. Such a load should put down anything in a barnyard. Especially since the gun has a 13 + 1 magazine capacity.

      This model can be had with a thumb safety or without depending upon what you like. Mine has the thumb safety which works exactly like that of your Colt commander. Anyway, here is a link to the version with the thumb safety.

      • Kendahl – Yes, indeed, any gun (even a .22 or a .25 ACP) beats no gun at all if you need one. However, since Emmett has already stated that he routinely carries a .45 ACP Colt commander, I do not think that the recoil of a 40 S&W will be too much for him to handle. Even with the Buffalo Bore heavy-bullet ammo.

        By the way, I have discovered that Underwood also makes a heavy, 200 Gr. lead flat-point load for the 40 S&W. It is listed as having the same velocity as the Buffalo Bore stuff. Furthermore, MidwayUSA has the Underwood load (on-sale) at almost half the price of the Buffalo Bore stuff (Buffalo Bore is always pricey!).

        I ordered a couple of boxes for myself (I own a couple of pistols chambered for 40 S&W). I’ll run some of this Underwood ammo over my Chronograph and shoot it at some targets to see how it does. Might make a reasonable load to carry if I end up hiking where there are black bears around.

  14. I took a rifle class with a well respected, firearms instructor. This guy is not a Walter Mitty character. He teaches feds, police, homeland security, secret service, and carefully screened civilians. Essentially a Mas Ayoob guy.

    We finish the class for the morning, lock up our rifles, and head off to a local pizza shop for lunch.

    We notice that this 60 plus year old instructor is carrying a skateboard case over his shoulder.

    One student comments “Hey —. I had no idea that old guys rode skateboards.”

    The instructor quietly responded “I don’t.”

    The student continued.

    “Then what’s in the bag?”

    The instructor responded that the bag contained his custom AR15, with a Law folding stock, and four, fully charged, 30 round mags.

    Shocked, the student responded “Jesus —-, isn’t that kind of overkill?” It seemed like a valid comment as all of us were armed with handguns around the table.

    I’ll never forget the look on our teacher’s face, nor his response.

    “I work with some serious organizations, and talk with those guys regularly. If you knew what I knew, you’d never leave the house without one.”

    If this was some wannabe, I’d chock it up to paranoia, but this guy is well respected, and the real deal. I trust his analysis.

    • My former boss couldn’t understand why his son felt the need to go armed. The son is a paramedic who hangs out with other paramedics. Cops handle bad situations that often turn bloody. Paramedics handle the aftermath of the ones that do. After learning about them from his buddies or seeing them himself, no wonder the son carries.

  15. Backwoods blog readers, sing the tweaked lyrics below of the late Hank Snow’s 1962 chart topping classic country hit “I’ve Been Everywhere” to understand why current day Sunshine State home invaders who value their lives have a distinct preference for hip hop or rap music.

    “I Own Every Gun”

    Mas was totin’ his gat concealed, in the foyer of his rural home,

    When, on the door, knocked an home invader, lackin’ smarts in his tiny dome,

    He shouted, “If I’m goin’ to rob you, Mas, I just want to get it done,”

    “But, first, I gotta ask you if you happen to own a gun,”

    “Because if you’re packin’ heat, you could screw up my whole plan,”

    To which query, Mas replied, “Listen, son, I own every gun in this here land.”

    “I own every gun, son, I own every gun, I carry in rain and sun, yes, I carry for work, for fun, son, with guns, I’m never done, son, I own every gun.”

    “I own banned guns, canned guns, damned guns, fanned guns, gang guns, hand guns, manned guns, panned guns, sand guns, tanned guns, van guns, I own every gun.”

    “I own bot guns, cot guns, dot guns, hot guns, jot guns, knot guns, lot guns, pot guns, rot guns, shot guns, tot guns, yacht guns, I own every gun.”

    “I own Cong guns, gong guns, Hmong guns, long guns, pong guns, song guns, Tong guns, von guns, wrong guns, xong guns, yong guns, zong guns, I own every gun.”

    Mas Ayoob, truly every intrepid home invader’s worst nightmare!

  16. Emmett- SFAIK, Bianchi still still makes their military service holster with a flap. If you tug on a D ring, the flap springs up out of the way. That would be a good way to help keep your item out of the weather and still available. There are other sources for similar products. A daily wipe down also helps.

    Long ago I got introduced to some of what goes on in some interesting places (some of which might have previously been described as “nice neighborhoods). With all due respect to some previous posters, it’s not necessarily a good idea to down size the protective gear just because you’re no longer being paid to tote it or find it inconvenient.

  17. On a related note….We have a local coyote population and one of our pooches is coyote happy meal size. As a result, I find myself supervising o’dark thirty (BTW, that doesn’t mean midnight) canine constitutionals with a light equipped firearm. We do have yard lights, but this provides better situational illumination if necessary.

    I frequently harp about reflected light indoors and the other week I had an idea. After the dogs came in, I went down to our unfinished basement. With the firearm held in a center chest ready position with the muzzle pointed up and out at about 45 degrees, the reflected light clearly showed me the wood stove 75 feet away and considerable illumination of the rest of the basement in that direction.

    This ready position isn’t always advisable, but it might fit well for individuals who have to search alone.

    Mas-if you feel this is a lousy idea, don’t post and please PM with critique.