Blog

As a lot of you know, I am a product reviewer and content creator for the firearms industry. Along with that, I want to create a blog in text form in order to cover topics that I may have missed in my videos. This page is where I will write reviews, tips, tricks and the like, so stay tuned for more to come.

Holster Requirements

   So you all know that there is a vast selection of holsters available on the market today. So many in fact, that it is hard to decide which holster you actually need, and which one will work the best for you. Let me tell you, I went through this same thing when I first started to carry a firearm concealed (about three years ago). I was under the impression that I had to carry a tiny gun in an inside the waistband holster, which some of you know, that was a bad path to start roaming down, given the only handgun I had was a Glock 22.

 

   I searched and searched, read and read, and went through so many product reviews my head was spinning with confusion. I would stop by site “A” and the author would state that a leather inside the waist band holster was the only way to go. Site “B” would state that the Serpa holster was the only way to go and that you have to have an active retention system in order to carry properly. Needless to say, I ended up purchasing a vast array of holsters in order to learn for myself, which in the end is part of the reason I am writing this article.

 

   The start of my holster journey was hitting the Inside the Waistband (IWB) category. I stopped by a local gun shop and browsed at their selection (as you know not all gun shops have the latest and greatest products when it comes to holsters). I stumbled upon a nice leather IWB holster, with a little plastic belt clip that was only about $8.00. “What a bargain!” I took this holster home and immediately realized why it was so cheap… this holster was awkwardly thick, it didn’t clip to the belt properly and it seemingly wasn’t made for any normal gun shape. Queue my first holster mistake.

 

   As I threw my failed IWB attempt to the side, I continued my search. This led me back to the internet, searching discount sites, eBay and other holster retailers for that perfect holster. Unfortunately for me the search logistics placed an ad for the Versa Carry on the right side of my browser. Queue in mistake number two. I looked into this holster and (due to my lack of knowledge and experience) purchased it. Hell, it was only $15 so what’s the real harm right? I get this thing in the mail and immediately try it out.

 

   A little back story on this holster in case you are unsure as to what I am referring to. This is an IWB holster that is made to be as minimalist as possible, and also ambi. The basic design is a flat plastic flap (the trigger protector) attached to another plastic rod, which leads down to a plastic red hook “thingy”. Sounds weird but it makes sense if you have seen this thing. The “thingy” is made to be inserted into the barrel… that is the method of retention… you insert an obstruction into the barrel. So when I try this thing out, it is damn near impossible to get it into the barrel, the red “thingy” leaves plastic residue in the barrel, and when you draw, your pants damn near slice you in half because the gun doesn’t want to come away from the holster. #FAIL. 

 

   Obviously this Versa Carry gets thrown to the side once again. This led me to one of my better purchases, and to the holster that I carried and “trained” with for a while. This holster is the Galco M7X Matrix. I was online reading reviews and it they all seemed to be positive so I took the plunge and purchased it for $30, I believe. This holster is basically a leathery trigger guard cover that is OWB, and leaves the front part of the slide completely exposed. Regardless, this holster actually worked for me, it held the gun really close to the body, it was easy to draw from, and it was concealable, even though I was a new CCW permit holder and I was terrified of printing. I used this holster for quite a while, maybe a month or so.

 

   At this point I’m really getting into self-defense and concealed carry. I am starting to do more research on training, techniques, laws, and anything to further educate myself. Remember, I wasn’t always a huge gun nut, as a matter of fact, three years ago I was just a guy who liked guns and didn’t really think about carrying one, and I definitely wasn’t working in the firearms industry. This point in my journey was actually the most enlightening experience I have had in my firearms career. I stumbled across the Magpul Dynamics Art of the Dynamic Handgun DVD and my whole life changed. I get it, a lot of you scoff at the idea of using DVD’s for training, but you have to remember I wasn’t training at the time, I was just trying to learn anything I could, and I didn’t really ever hear about the big names in the industry until this DVD.

 

   I must have watched Chris Costa and Travis Haley spit knowledge 10 times over before I caught the most important tid bit I ever learned. So you know, at this time, my holster selection is terrible and I am definitely in need of something a hell of a lot better… queue in Travis Haley, “This is a raven holster”. These words spoken in that DVD were complete game changers for me. I paused the video, ran to my computer and looked up “raven holster”. Boom! The first search result led me to Raven Concealment Systems, which to my amaze are made right here in Ohio… double whammy! I figured if Costa and Haley are using these holsters, I should be too.

 

   At this point I saved up my coins (damn these things are expensive when you are used to buying trash for holsters), and placed an order. My holster of choice was the Raven Concealment Systems Phantom for a Glock 22. This holster was a huge turning point for me, it changed my carry style, it got me confident to train, it allowed me to carry comfortably and securely, and it is still my go to brand to this day.

 

   Raven Concealment was the complete turning point for me, my “ah ha” moment, and the moment I found the brand that works for me. I am in the mindset that if you find something that works, there is no need to change, hence why every holster I actively use is a Raven Concealment Systems holster.

 

   This isn’t an advertisement for Raven though, I wish they would pay me, but they don’t, I don’t even get free stuff from them to review… *sigh*. The reason I bring this up is I went through a long and perilous journey to find a good holster (I left out a lot of the other garbage holsters I purchased as for the sake of brevity). I spent so much money it was ridiculous, and if I would have just spent the $90 right off the bat, I would have saved twice as much in the end.

 

   The moral of the story is the “new and improved” advertising lingo is never worth it. As I said, I tried a myriad of novelty holsters and they all suck. It wasn’t until I got to the normal standard OWB holster that everything changed for me. Mind you I have actually changed my carry position (at times) to appendix, but you get the idea, and yup, same brand. If you have made though the lengthy wordage above here, congratulations, you have made it to what I require in a holster. I mostly carry appendix when I am out and about, and I carry OWB when I am at work… these requirement fit the bill for each carry position.

 

   First, the holster has to be made of kydex (or any other form of heat molded plastic). I am not a fan of leather (except for my Savoy Leather custom holster, of course), because they are always much harder to use, they are horribly tight, require a break-in period, and never fit at a normal angle. Kydex holds the gun tight but not too tight, and it hardly ever wears out, not to mention is holds its shape which is one of the most important aspects, especially when working one-handed.

 

   Second, the holster has to have a low body shield. I know, I know, the high body shield is more comfortable on the skin, not for me. I actually like to have the metal of the gun touching me, it is sort of a reminder that it’s there. Also, if you have ever had your gun drawn, and tried to bend over you will soon realize why I like a low body shield… you get the El Shish Kabob from that high shield.

 

   Third, the holster has to be at a cant between 0 and 15 degrees, preferably 0 degrees to be honest. I can’t stand when the holster is canted so far you can barely angle your wrist to grab the gun. Zero to ten degrees is perfect for me, and having the gun upright does not take away from concealability at all, just wear a man sized shirt and you will be fine.

 

   Fourth, the holster edges have to be smooth, and rounded. When you have a cover garment on, the last thing you want is your clothes snagging on the holster, especially when you really need to get that gun out, quick, fast and in a hurry.

 

   Fifth, the holster has to be closed bottomed. I like when the kydex surrounds the muzzle and light of the gun, and leaves only a little slit for the debris and water to escape. I feel if the bottom of the holster is open you can accidentally push up on the muzzle when readjusting causing it to fall out of the holster, if you leave your WML on, it shines through like the sun, and if anything is sticking out of the bottom of the holster, chances are I am going to bump it into something and bang it all up, and now my fancy new fiber optic front sight is broken and on the floor.

 

   Sixth, the holster has to have good belt loops. I prefer the Raven 1.75” style loops. They are an open backed loop that allows the belt to slide through with ease. There are other loops that I have tried that utilize a rectangular piece of injection molded plastic, and they are a pain to loop through. As for appendix carry, I prefer the soft loops with the “pull the dot” system, or the 1.75” quick clip that many manufacturers offer. I’m sure the over hooks work great, I’m just not a fan of them.

 

   Seventh, is talking about retention. I really don’t like holsters that are too tight, to be honest I prefer them to be a little loose. I’m not a huge fan of having to violently pull at the gun to get it out of the holster. My Raven holster is actually quite loose, and even though I can send it back to get remolded, I feel no need to bother. Also, I have never had a gun fly out of a holster when I was running around, so having the holster be able to hold a gun when it is upside down and shaken means nothing to me.

 

   Eighth, the holster has to be molded low enough to allow easy access to the undercut in my trigger guard. Having a holster that is cut too high impedes on gripping ability, and we all know you get one chance to grab that gun from the holster, better make it easier on yourself.

 

   Ninth, the holster has to have good mold quality. Here I am not talking about retention, but rather the mold quality around your body, which applies mostly to OWB holsters. You can have a nice piece of kydex, that meets all of the other requirements, but if the holster isn’t molded to contour to your hip, the concealability drastically decreases and pretty much makes the holster useless unless you are on the range wearing a bunch of gear. Then what is the point of using it, if it is only an open carry rig, and you mostly carry concealed? Another aspect that relates to this point is, the holster must stay in place along the axis of the belt. I like the ability to be able to move the holster forward and back if I need to get into a pocket, but I do not like when the holster can effortlessly move side to side on the belt. If you get knocked on the ground and the holster moves rearward, your draw stroke changes and you might not be able to find the gun as easily, especially if you are used to grabbing the same spot every time.

 

   My final requirement is ride height. This aspect is closely related to number eight, but it isn’t the same. Ride height is one of the main reasons why I like Raven Concealment. The loops are offset in height (the belt threads through at a lower point than where the loops screw into the holster… confusing I know). Holsters that use the rectangular injection molded loops, cause the ride height to be either too high, or too low depending on where you attach the loops to the holster. I have tried holsters that are too top heavy, they print like the dickens, and some that are so low, they completely block off your front pocket.

 

   In the end, these are only my opinions, and rather drawn out opinions at that. I know I seem like a Raven Concealment fanboy, and I truly am. Raven was the first holster I found that worked perfectly for me, and I have no need to change. Heck, the Eidolon was such a success, other companies started to copy its concept. I believe if companies are copying another product, just go straight to the original (much like the companies that copy Glock). I have received many a holster to review over the years, and most of them are pretty good, I am just really picky when it comes to holsters. If you are curious as to what other holsters I have reviewed, stop by my YouTube channel (youtube.com/idavemoore) and look through my posts. Remember, these requirements are dedicated to concealed carry, I know a lot of you will not agree with me if you carry on duty in a law enforcement or military capacity… that would bring about a completely different list, in some aspects. 

Sage Dynamics - Defensive Handgun I

   So why do we train? A lot of us want to enhance our self-defense skills, some of us just want to become better shooters, but most of us are geared toward the self-defense and home protection aspect in one way or another. Whether your main purpose is to protect your family at home, or to protect yourself when you are out and about, training is an essential function that we all need to take very seriously.

   We tend to go through the motions when we are at the range, perhaps we don’t have access to a range that allows us to properly train, or maybe we just have no idea what we need to do to get proper training. The fact is, a lot of us are stuck in an indoor range, shooting like cattle in a stall, being forced to load at a table and keep our firearms out of the holster. This type of shooting usually focuses on tight groups, hitting the bullseye, and staying still.  

   In reality, that is not what I like to do. Don’t get me wrong, tight groups are important, and being able to hit your target is definitely a must, but when the adrenaline gets going, your heart starts pumping, and fear sets in, things tend to change.

   I feel it is every shooter’s responsibility to further their firearms/self-defense training and education. I train to better myself, to better my awareness, and to keep me alive during a critical incident. With that being said, I have taken many classes, one recent class in particular really stands out. This class is the Sage Dynamics Defensive Handgun I class that I attended here in Ohio.

   As a lot of you know, Aaron Cowan is well-known in the firearms industry, and for good reason. Aaron has done the job, had the experiences, and knows “what is what” so-to-speak. Not only are his courses geared toward making you a better shooter, but they also help to hone your mind, and train your thought processes.

   Sage Dynamics classes have a hierarchy of information, Aaron teaches from the most likely to the least likely situation, and Defensive Handgun I starts digging in to the least likely scenarios rather well. Class starts with a basic safety brief, in which, his safety rules are very straight forward and full of common sense, “if it isn’t safe, don’t do it”, and I totally agree.

   The first exercise we do is a basic “zeroing” so to speak, just to find out where your gun is shooting and if you need to make any adjustments to your sights, or to your accuracy in general. Once that is taken care of we start into the course curriculum. Drawing from your carry position, putting multiple shots on target, giving verbal commands and retention position shooting is all covered as a refresher to Defensive Handgun Fundamentals.

   Once we are all refreshed we get into the class hardcore, this is where the real learning happens. During this time, your heart starts pumping, you induce yourself with stress and start to push your limits. We can all stand still, draw and put rounds on target, but can you do that after you get forcefully knocked on your back and put into the fetal position? Can you draw, shoot and reload with only your support hand? You will definitely find out in this class. 

   One of the best things that we covered in the class is the proper use of cover and concealment. Not only shooting behind barricades, but also moving to cover, identifying threats, and utilizing austere shooting positions whilst behind cover. We all know that most shooting situations are probably not going to be static and slow, so training for real world situations can only help you in the end. Drawing, moving to cover, and engaging threats were all part of this exercise and we all really started to learn our failure points.

   The final exercise we did in this course was scenario training. How many of us travel with a buddy, have kids, go shopping with the wife, or are plain and simply around people out in public? We all can answer yes to this, in one way or another. Besides being able to identify a threat or a non-threat target, our final scenario was based off of protection of a third party.

   During this scenario we were forced to arrive at the scene where an 8 year old child is in danger. With the stresses at maximum level and your mind plowing ahead, we had to defend this child in whichever way we deemed appropriate. Needless to say most of us chose a different method than the other. One common factor is we all watched the other person go before us, and we all tried to game it in our head.

   Fortunately, no matter how much you try to plan out the scenario, it never works out, and you end up winging it and doing something completely different than you thought. For instance, my plan was to grab the child (a grown man, pretending to be a child) move him to cover, and whisper sweet nothings in his ear to calm him down, all while protecting him with my body and engaging the threats. Here’s what really happened. My adrenaline kicked in and I ran full speed towards the scenario area, I grabbed the “child” and ended up full force throwing him behind cover, engaging a target then moving behind cover with the child. At this point, I completely barricaded him with my body, pinning him to the ground (I did whisper sweet nothings, but that’s neither here nor there), and ultimately engaging the threats in whichever way was necessary. The scenario ended with me rapidly shooting over ten rounds at the final target, and my partner in pain, because I ended up violently pinning him to the ground with my knee.

   So as you can see, that was a long way of saying, “sh*t got real” and adrenaline does some crazy things, even though it was all fake, which is really one of the biggest take aways from this class. Ultimately, Defensive Handgun I, introduces you to the most common and also the least likely occurrences that can happen in the real world. Aaron not only explains everything thoroughly, but he is also able to put it into a contextual form, that is very digestible to the mind. Everything you learn will stick with you giving you the ability to mentally download and apply it to your next training session as to further hone your skills.

   At the end of each class, we all sit for a debrief, where Aaron goes over any other questions or concerns, tips and tricks and he then passes out the coveted “Red Sage Patch”. Though it is only a $4 piece of PVC, you definitely want to be a winner of one, and for me, it is taken as a high honor. I have actually been lucky enough to receive two of these patches, and I am humbled and honored to have received them. Aaron is not a cocky, “this is how it is” type of instructor. He is modest, personable and quite entertaining to say the least. He is just as apt to learn as we are, and I’m sure each class that he instructs, also teaches him something in the end.

“Train Accordingly” is the motto of Aaron Cowan, and after this class, it rings complete truth.

 

Dave Moore

@idavemoore

www.idavemoore.com

The Importance of Iron Sights

   As many of you know, there are a myriad of rifle sights out there, ranging from flip up, back up, angled, and front post style fixed sights. Each of us have our own preferences, and some of us are curious as to what is the best option to choose. In short, your rifle must have some style of iron sights... even if your main focus is on your optic, iron sights are definitely a must. 

   Think about it, you have your red dot mounted to your rifle, it looks good, it feels good, and it allows you very fast target acquisition with little effort. Training consists of using that red dot exclusively... then boom, your battery dies and your optic is rendered useless, and now only acts as a clear tube to look through. What do you do now? Well the best answer is, you flip up your iron sights and have at it with hardly any delay. 

   That brings me to the main point of this article... the importance of back up sights. Iron sights give you an alternate means of aiming (obviously), and they should be the starting point of your rifle accessories. Iron sights require no power source, and they will always work, even in the harshest of conditions. 

   There are several types of iron sights on the market and many of them are equally good choices. There are the flip up style sights, which fold out of the way when not is use and act as a back up to your primary optic. There are fixed iron sights, that are always up and can tend to get in the way of your optic, being that you can see the reticle and the iron sights at the same time. Recently though, there is a new style of sight that has come about. Well, its been around for a while but has just recently received my attention. This sight is the 45 degree angle sight. 

   The 45 degree angle sight, sits at an angle to your normal focal plane. They are out of the way of your primary optic and allow you a very fast transition from your optic to iron sights, as it only takes a short cant of the rifle to acquire these sights. There is no need to flip up the sights, and there is no worry that they are in the way of your optic. 

   I bring these sights up because I have been a big supporter of the Magpul MBUS sights, but there is a new product that has come to light. This product is the WM Tactical TUOR Iron Sights. This product is a normal fixed iron sight, but it gives you the ability to cant them at a 45 degree tilt in either the right or left-handed configuration, which for me, is very important, being that I am a lefty myself. If you do not run an optic on your rifle, then no worries, you can just have the sights up in the normal configuration. If however, you do run an optic, then just tilt the sights to the direction of your choosing and now you have an awesome set of angled iron sights that are out of the way of your optic. 

   This style of sight isn't for everyone, and each person should choose their rifle accessories based on what works for them, but these are an awesome alternative to other products of the like. They give you ambidextrous options, that other 45 degree sights don't offer, which if you run your guns like me, is very important. 

   In reality, it doesn't matter which type of iron sights you choose, my main concern is that you do however have some type of back up iron sights. Technology has become very advanced, and most of us like to take advantage of it and use the best optics available to us. The fact of the matter is, no matter how advanced technology is, it will always have the ability to fail. Sometimes analog is the better option of digital, at least in the aspect of rifle sights, they will always work, they will always be there for you, and they will always keep you in check with the fundamentals, which is one of the most important things when training with your firearms. 

Dave Moore

@iDaveMoore

www.squaredawaysurplus.com 

Coupon Code: "idavemoore10" for 10% OFF your order!

Home Defense and Body Armor

   As many of you know, self defense is a very important thing. Most people, I feel, 

focus on self defense in regards to concealed carry and being out and about, but a 

topic that is often neglected is Home Defense. 

 

   There are many schools of thought on home defense, most involve which firearm 

is the best, what ammo to use, and all of the debates within. Regardless of the 

firearm you choose, there are other things to consider when thinking about home 

defense, such as gear, ammo sources, tactics, and even a family plan for a home 

invasion. 

 

   I mainly use my Glock 22 for home defense for the fact that I am most proficient 

with it, and it is much easier to maneuver when in close quarters. One thing that I 

have been adding into my home defense routine, is armor, specifically, my Condor 

MOPC Plate Carrier with the AR500 Armor ASC Curved plates.  

 

   If you think about it, there is a good chance that your armor, plate carrier, etc. will

be near by in the case of a home invasion or home defense situation. I understand 

that most things happen in an instant and there is a chance that you will not be 

ready, even if your gun is by your bedside. Though, in regards to gear, however, 

there is a much higher probability that you will have easier access to your armor 

when in your home, rather than at a gas station or a local convenience store.

   

   I know that most of you have a plate carrier and armor, and really don't train with 

it. I'm guilty of this myself, but I decided to get armor to fill a specific purpose, 

that purpose is home defense. My thought process is, if I grab my rifle or a long 

gun, for whatever reason, then chances are I will have the opportunity to also grab 

my armor. Being that I am a civilian and have limited funds, I decided to choose 

the AR500 Armor plates instead of a normal SAPI Plate. I read and watched tons of 

reviews before purchasing and I then decided that AR500 was the best choice for 

me. 

   

   As far as my setup goes, I have my rifle and my shotgun nearby at all times, and 

my handgun (my primary self defense tool), is always on me in one form or 

another. I have the Condor MOPC with the Condor Mag Insert and three HSGI 

TACO's (two rifle and one pistol). Ultimately, my carrier has the ability to carry five 

rifle mags and one pistol mag, giving me plenty of ammo for most any civilian 

home defense situation. As I roam around the house, I always have my pistol, so 

that takes care of my first line of defense. If I hear a ruccus or suspect something 

is going to happen (I know this is rare, but bear with me), my plan is to sling my 

armor on, and grab my rifle. As I said, if I am going to grab my rifle then I will most 

certainly grab my armor along with it. 

   

   A home defense plan involving body armor can definitely help your cause, and 

keep you alive in case the shit does hit the fan. Talking to your family and marking 

out a specific course of action is also important. Tell your kids what room to hide 

in, tell your wife what gun she should grab, and know the layout of your house. Is 

there a solid wall or structure in your home that you can use as cover, or is it 

merely concealment? Which hallway gives you the best advantage, in order to 

fight back or escape? Where are your neighbors houses located, just in case a 

stray bullet makes it out into the street? These are all things to think about, and in 

no way is this an exhaustive list. Proper planning and a proper mindset will take 

you a lot further than mere firearms handling skills. 

   

   The moral of the story is, winning a gun fight, means not getting shot and/or 

injured. Remember, the fact that you have body armor does not mean you no 

longer need to train with your firearms, and have a good "tactical" plan in place. 

Armor is merely a piece of kit to add to your Tactical Toolbox in order to help you 

acheive your end goal... survival. 

  

My New Website.

Hey guys, iDaveMoore here, just wanted to make a quick post telling you all about my new website here on Squarespace. I hope to eventually become a more active blogger, and what better way to start than with my own site? Hopefully you have already subscribed to my YouTube channel and you enjoy my content, if not, check me out and tell me what you think. I am creating new and improved content everyday, so make sure to check back in as often as you can.