OUR 'HOW TO' BLOG
'This One's For The Girls': Getting Comfy With Concealed Carry
By Tara Dixon Engel
VP of Training, National Association of Chiefs of Police
So you’ve made the decision to take a class and/or fill out the paperwork necessary to get your Concealed Weapon License (CWL)? Welcome to the ever-increasing ranks of American women exercising their second amendment right!
But, if you think the toughest part was leaping that mental hurdle into proactive, armed citizenry, you clearly haven’t gone gun shopping yet! Female shooters – and newbies in general -- often neglect essential criteria when selecting the weapon that could mean the difference between life and death. If you think in terms of self-preservation, the questions become more complex than simply “what fits my price range or matches my purse?”
As a CWL trainer and firearms salesperson, I deal with too many women who choose a gun based solely on the preferences of hubby or a well-meaning friend or family member.
Selecting a handgun is as personal as buying a car, choosing a hairstyle, or finding the perfect wedding gown. It must complement who you are and how you live. So, with that in mind, here are some essential “musts” for your shopping trip:
Must #1: You MUST buy a gun that you are able and willing to shoot for proficiency regularly. If you hate the trigger pull, hate the recoil, or simply don’t want to invest time in proficiency shooting then consider, instead, purchasing pepper s[ray for personal protection (although you'd be well-advised to practice using THAT, too).
Remember: in a defensive encounter, you will be scared to death, your body will be madly pumping “fight or flight” adrenaline, your fine motor skills will be non-existent, and your mental processes will be, at best, rattled. The simple act of retrieving your gun from its hiding place will be a challenge, let alone remembering lessons vaguely learned in a classroom months or years before. If you’re going to carry, buy a gun you enjoy shooting and shoot it so often that it becomes second nature, because, in a high stress situation, it needs to be.
MUST #2: In order to achieve #1, you MUST select a gun that fits your hand. A typical carry gun has a long, heavy trigger pull. It’s part of what keeps the gun safe when it’s bouncing around in your pocket or on your waist. If you have short fingers, you might be able to reach the trigger, but may lack the leverage or strength to comfortably, accurately depress it.
Conversely, if you have large hands and/or long, chubby fingers, a “mini me” gun like the Ruger LCP or Kel-Tec P3AT may prompt a lot of awkward fumbling and inaccurate shooting.
Consider, too, the problem of a bulky grip. If the pad of your thumb on your trigger hand can touch the first joint of your middle finger, it’s probably a decent fit. Likewise, if you assume the correct two-handed hold and a significant swath of grip is visible where your hands should meet on the grip, you may have too much gun for your hand size. Take note, as well, of whether your thumb easily reaches the magazine release (typically located where the trigger guard meets the grip.) The ability to reload without changing hand position is essential in a gunfight.
Some of these fit issues can be addressed by buying a gun that has interchangeable backstraps or variable-sized grips. Other times, you may need to consider a different model.
MUST #3: You MUST understand that, when it comes to recoil, “size matters.” That petite pink polymer pistol may leave a not-so petite purple bruise on the web of your thumb after a few rounds. Relative to its caliber, the bigger the gun, the more comfortable the shoot.
Ladies tend to equate a small gun with an equally diminutive kick. Not so. Obviously, a small .22 will be gentler than a full-sized .45, but when you compare apples to apples caliber-wise, big trumps small every time.
If recoil intimidates you, consider starting with a larger .380 or 9 mm, even if it doesn’t fit as easily into your pocket, OR you may want to commit the heresy of carrying something chambered in .22 LR. A Ruger LCR .22 LR, for example, offers not only the simplicity of a revolver, but manageable recoil, as well. If you prefer semi-autos, the Ruger SR22 or Walther P22 provide light weight, light recoil and a size that is not carry-prohibitive. Is .22 LR a recommended self-defense round? Nope. Is it better than nothing…or better than a gun you can’t use effectively? Absolutely!
I began my carry career toting a cute little Walther P22. As I progressed in skill and understanding, my desire for larger calibers increased. Today, I alternate between a Sig Sauer P320 and a Springfield XDS .45 ACP. I love them both for different reasons and I trust them with my life.
MUST #4: You MUST select a gun that is designed for quick and easy access and concealment. Not every gun that fits your hand or delivers soft recoil is ideal to conceal. As important as concealability is, rapid retrieval is equally essential. You must be able to draw the gun swiftly and smoothly from under a layer of clothing, inside a pocket, or out of a handbag (although shooting through handbags or pockets is also an option). Guns with exposed hammers, hard edges, extended magazines, oversized sights, etc. are tough to retrieve without snagging. When selecting a carry gun, think in terms of rounded contours – the Ruger LC series as well as the Kimber Solo and the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield or Airweight revolver come to mind.
MUST #5: Before you buy a handgun, you MUST make peace with the idea that you could may be called upon to shoot someone who is threatening you or your family. More than once I have advised one of my female customers to rethink purchasing a firearm. My internal alarm blares when someone says, “I couldn’t shoot anyone, I just want the gun so I can scare them….”
Criminals don’t tend to scare easily or they would choose a less intimidating line of work. If you don’t believe you can use your gun against another human being, don’t enable a scenario where it is yanked from your hand and used against you.
So, those are my “musts,” as I see them from the classroom and gun counter. But there are also plenty of “shoulds.”.
You should think twice about valuing simplicity over comfort. Many handgun salespeople steer novice females toward revolvers because they are simpler to use. “Pop the bullets into the cylinder, close the cylinder, pull the trigger.” The picture of simplicity! But a revolver is ALWAYS going to have greater recoil than a similarly chambered semi-automatic. Why? The back-and-forth motion of a semi-auto slide absorbs some of the recoil. A revolver has no slide and, as a result, the only thing absorbing recoil is you.
Ladies also lean toward revolvers when they have trouble charging a semi-auto (i.e racking the slide). Just as with trigger pull, different guns have different degrees of slide resistance. But, more important, charging is really just a matter of mastering leverage and proper hand placement. I have walked many a lady shooter through correct charging procedures and watched her face light up as she realizes she can manage a semi-auto.
My final should (a must, really) is: you should educate yourself and never allow anyone to strong-arm you into a buying a gun you aren’t comfortable with (or, worse yet, into not buying a gun at all). The bottom line is that women will never have the sheer physical strength of our male counterparts but through competent, practiced use of firearms we can darned sure level the playing field and keep ourselves and our families safe. That’s what it’s all about.
How To Be Every Gun Shop's 'Favorite Customer'
By Tara Dixon Engel
Gun shops, just like every other retailer in the country, exist for one purpose — to make a profit. There may be many other, more noble reasons for their existence, but the bottom line is: if a profit isn’t made, nothing else matters. Doors close. Lights go out. Employees are dismissed.
So, it’s important that shop owners and employees alike remember that the goal is to acquire — and retain — customers. Doing so demands more than good prices or a convenient location; it requires knowledge, patience, and a spirit of service.
BUT — it is equally important for the customer to put some effort into being the kind of patron that makes a salesperson break into a grin. By earning the status of “valued customer” you have also earned a lifelong resource for firearms information, accessories and activities. You’ve earned unbiased opinions and technical advice from folks who live and breathe gun stuff. And, on those rare occasions when something goes wrong with your brand new firearm, you simply have to hand it to your pals behind the counter and let them fight with the manufacturer.
You just can’t get that level of responsiveness from a mail order company and you often can’t get it at a mega store that just happens to have a gun department! A real “mom and pop” shop staffed by true blue “gun goobers” is always a customer’s best bet.
So how to you establish a mutually beneficial relationship with a reputable gun shop? Well, it’s kinda like dating; you want to be the best possible person so that you attract the best possible person!
Recommendation 1: Know the basic rules of gun handling — or ask the salesperson to instruct you. I used to cringe when I handed a gun across the counter and the customer’s first action was to crook their finger around the trigger and point the muzzle straight at me! Of course, when you work behind a gun counter, you actually get used to having guns pointed at you. It happens all day long, but it’s usually just for an instant, and it’s virtually unavoidable in a busy shop. Still, it is easier to concentrate on providing good service when you are dealing with someone who already understands that fingers stay off triggers and muzzles stay pointed up or down. And no, I don’t necessarily expect a beginner to know these things — but I do expect them to ask!
Recommendation 2: If you are visiting a gun shop to look at guns, please be willing to touch them. Seriously, I’ve had to literally wrap fingers and thumbs around the grip, while the customer holds the gun at arm’s length, visibly repulsed. Most often, it is a female patron with a hubby, boyfriend or dad who is determined to get her interested in shooting. It rarely works. But, every so often, even a female on her own gets skittish about handling a gun (and once in a long while, even a guy!). If you are serious enough to be considering a gun purchase, please understand that achieving firearms proficiency requires actually holding the gun!
So long as you’re shopping at a professional operation, nothing bad is going to happen. The gun will not discharge, explode, or otherwise harm you. Trust your sales person and let him or her walk you through the mechanics of gun handling.
Recommendation 3: Be respectful of the salesperson’s time. Playing a game of 20 questions is fine if the shop isn’t crowded. As I say repeatedly, a gun shop should be an informational resource for new shooters. BUT, if the counter is stacked 5 deep and the sales staff are running around like ants on crack, it might be better to see if you can make an appointment for a one-on-one consultation. Many gun shops will accommodate this, or, at a minimum, ask someone when it might be more convenient to pop in with a list of questions. (Caveat: if they act like you’re crazy for having a list of questions, you are in the wrong shop anyway, so move along!)
Recommendation 4: Don’t dismantle the gun without asking (this doesn’t usually apply to newbies…but often applies to the friends they bring with them). You may know how — and you may want to show your buddies that you know how — but that gun doesn’t belong to you yet. As soon as you sign form 4473 and pass the background check, you can proceed to dismantle your new toy (depending on whether your state allows you to take it home immediately). If you’re not sure how to take it apart, most counter staff will gladly demonstrate the process. But we do get tired of having to pause and reassemble a gun that you “coulda sworn went back together easier than that.”
Recommendation 5: Ladies Only: If you are seriously planning to ask questions and gather information, please don’t bring your know-it-all father/brother/boyfriend/husband who wants to show off his knowledge -- and is probably already annoyed that you aren’t relying solely on his advice.
It’s been my experience that your male friend/relative often lacks some of the information you are seeking (and you probably know that, or you wouldn’t be questioning your local gun goober). As your salesperson, I don’t want to have to correct your beloved, but if he is giving you bad information, I kinda have to say something! Like the fellow who insisted to his petite and timid novice shooter girlfriend that an Airweight .357 magnum would be very comfortable for her to shoot (uh…not likely); or the guy who insisted to his wife (and her shooting instructor) that a Ruger single action .22 cowboy revolver was a “great little carry gun” (uh…double no); or the fellow who argued that setting the safety on a Sig P238 was “optional” (oh, hell, no). A good salesperson knows when to shut up and not interfere with family dynamics — but when those dynamics involve a potentially bad, or tragic, decision on your part, we HAVE to speak up. If you want to avoid an uncomfortable situation, come to the gun shop solo and ask your questions. Then you can research the information for yourself and have a follow-up discussion with your all-knowing spouse/boyfriend/father.
Recommendation 6: Have a price range in mind. One gun salesman I know spends his days asking shoppers what type of gun they are looking for and, most important, how much they want to spend. “Knowing their budget helps me narrow the list to 4 or 5 guns that we can compare and contrast,” he explains. “I hate it when someone says ‘I want the best’ without understanding what that really means. So I hand them an Ed Brown and they almost faint at the price tag. You have to have some idea of what you can afford to pay. The bottom line is, don’t waste your local Ferrari dealer’s time when all you can afford is a Volkswagen.”
Recommendation 7: Don’t expect a rush job. The process of buying a gun, from start to finish, takes a minimum of roughly 20-30 minutes. Even if you walk in with a specific gun in mind, there’s still paperwork to be done, there’s still a process. “It’s like telling your doctor you want the surgery but you only have 15 minutes to spare,” one sales associate grumbles good-naturedly. “And if you’re gun shopping on a day when three-quarters of the country has the same idea — like Black Friday — be prepared to wait even longer!” And he’s right — I’ve seen the national background check service become so overwhelmed that it simply shuts down. Meanwhile, customers are pacing in frustration, sometimes threatening “to go buy my gun somewhere else.” Well good luck with that. If the system is down…it’s down EVERYWHERE!
Recommendation 8: Don’t blame the individual gun shop for following the rules. Yes, you need photo ID with a current address. No, your buddy can’t fill out the form for you. No, you can’t buy that handgun yet, even though you’ll be 21 in four weeks. No, we can’t make an exception for your domestic violence conviction, even though you’re no longer married to that horrid person. And no, the special military/law enforcement pricing for Glock Blue Label products doesn’t apply to you if you’re still in ROTC. Firearms dealers can get in serious trouble if they don’t follow the rules. If you find one who offers to “cut you a deal,” with a wink and a nod, you should run as fast and as far away from him as you can.
So there you have it: A few well-intentioned tips for beginners (or those who can’t figure out why the sales staff runs and hides when you walk through the door). Building a solid relationship takes work, and the best customer-merchant connections happen when each party is considerate and appreciative of the other. In fact, that’s a pretty good recipe for ALL relationships!
Review & Analysis
Smith & Wesson .380 EZ: A Dream Gun For The Masses
Editor's Note: Smith & Wesson has since introduced the 9 EZ for those who want a higher caliber carry gun. The praises and precautions associated with the 9 are nearly identical to those of the .380.)
By Tara Dixon Engel
“I’d like to carry a semi-auto but I use a revolver because I just can’t rack a slide.”
If I had a dollar for every shooter I heard singing this sad song over the years, I’d be a woman of means and influence.
In days of yore I might have pointed my doubters – usually women and seniors – toward a Sig P238, a Walther PK 380 or, more recently, a Glock 42. But each of those came with caveats related either to cost (Sigs are pricey), functionality (Walthers were a pain to break down) or useability (for better or worse, beginners are skittish about Glock’s lack of a manual external safety – thankfully, most of them eventually get over that!)
Now, however, I smile slyly and trot out Smith & Wesson’s most recent contribution to the concealed carry market…the M&P 380 EZ.
Early reviews of this slim little handgun expressed shocked that Smith & Wesson would serve this particular segment of the gun market (i.e. those who aren’t avid shooters and are simply looking for a “simple” self-defense tool). One reviewer even admitted that he initially thought S&W had designed a solution to “a problem that didn’t even exist.” Clearly, these gun writers have never sold firearms or taught shooting classes, because the EZ achieves the enviable goal of addressing virtually every complaint I have ever heard about semi-autos since I began teaching concealed carry classes in 2005 and working behind a gun counter five years later.
The “gun snobs” may look down their noses at the EZ but those of us trying to teach beginners, women and senior citizens are rejoicing. Just the fact that a gun manufacturer is paying precise attention to this segment’s wants and needs is wonderful…that the gun actually performs as promised is even more significant.
What Makes It Special?
A few of the EZ’s notable achievements include a genuinely easy-to-rack slide, a crisp, comfortable trigger pull, a price south of $400, recoil rivaling that of a .22 mag firearm, an easy-to-load magazine featuring a load assist button like you might see on a .22 LR such as the Ruger SR 22 or the Walther P22, and the added assurance (for those who still need it) of an optional ambidextrous manual safety. It’s like Smith & Wesson actually talked to firearms salespeople and instructors before designing this piece…revolutionary!
At a recent Fundamentals class, I had three female students in need of something to shoot. One didn’t own a gun at all; the other two had brought their husband’s J frames and were miserable shooting them. After complaining about their aching thumbs and less than stellar bullet placement, they borrowed my EZ. Their shooting – and their attitudes – did an immediate 180.
“I can really use this. It doesn’t hurt my hand at all. And look at my grouping,” one student said, proudly pointing to six rounds within a three-inch circle, nestled snugly center of mass.
The other lady was scribbling down the name of the gun to share with her husband. “I’ll be back tomorrow to get one,” she said breathlessly. “I’m so excited to find something I can shoot!”
Other students then began inquiring, as well. Even if you have a favorite 9 mm or you are hopelessly in love with 1911s (as I am), you cannot help but see the logic and beauty of this versatile little gun. If you’re an instructor, it becomes almost imperative to keep one handy for those inevitable students who lack the strength, confidence or skill to manage a larger caliber or more complex firearm.
For my students who plan to carry, I admonish them to skip the “poodle shooters” that are microscopic in size but have serious limitations. These drawbacks include a punishing recoil that prompts most people to avoid regular range time. Additionally, the 6 round magazine (7 if you get an extension) is not the firepower you want in a serious defensive confrontation. Truth be told, the EZ’s 8+1 also isn’t enough to make me desert my Glock 19 completely, but it is a compelling option for hot summer months (when clothing is thinner) and for days when my arthritis is being especially vocal. And, while I love the Glock 42 and 43, my beginner and elderly students still struggle with the slide and the recoil in a way that I just haven’t seen with the EZ.
Dare I say that this little firearm could revolutionize the carry industry and perhaps even help save the 2nd Amendment? Hyperbole? Perhaps, but I have seen the reaction of folks who aren’t even sure they like guns and are reasonably certain they never want to carry one. It’s as though the heavens open up, angels sing and a single shaft of divine light baths the barrel of the M&P as they hold it aloft and experience an epiphany.
“Now I could shoot that…a lot,” one dubious older shooter told me, with a gleam in her eye.
Specs on the EZ:
Caliber: .380 ACP
Models: #180023 – no manual safety
#11663 – manual safety:
Finish: Polymer frame with Armornite finish
Magazines: two 8 round mags
Height: 5 inches
Weight with empty mag:18.5 oz
Width: 1 inch (without ambidextrous manual safety)
Length: 6.70 inches
For those who dislike the presence of a manual thumb safety, the EZ still has the assurance of a grip safety. These devices are most common on 1911 style guns (although Springfield XDs also sport them), and are designed to prevent an accidental discharge if the gun is being bounced around, as 1911s were when carried by cavalry officers in battle. They are only an annoyance if you don’t hold your gun properly, and there is something to be said for a device which forces you to assume proper grip (however, be aware that, in a fight for your life, you could find yourself in a position that requires you to fire the gun with less than proper form. Not a deal-breaker on this otherwise extraordinary little gun, but something to mindful of.)
The EZ also has a burst of pickatinny rail, suitable for a laser or light, rear serrations that make the slide even easier to hold onto, and texturing on the grip that keeps it sticky in your hands without leaving divots in your skin.
Trying It Out On A Skeptic
In addition to making the gun available to students in my fundamentals class, I also shared it with an avowed non-shooter. Regina Dixon Butler is a 47-year-old environmental engineer who shoots, at most, twice a year. I wouldn’t call her anti-gun, just disinterested. She doesn’t carry and does not share her big sister’s passion for firearms. And she is honest…brutally, painfully honest.
Using Federal RTP rounds (95 gr) she began poking holes in paper at about 5 yards (the average defensive encounter takes place between 4-9 feet, or less.) Even with less than perfect form (I kept correcting, she kept reverting), every round she sent down range found its place within center mass. She nodded approvingly at the little gun, but the real enthusiasm burst forth when it was time to reload. The single stack mag with its handy load assist button was a revelation.
“Wow. This is really easy to load. It doesn’t bother my thumbs at all,” she said, sliding the magazine into the grip and clicking it in place like a pro. “I think that means more to me than the light recoil.”
She skillfully yanked back on the slide and nodded in admiration as it slapped backward and forward with ease. But when she raised the gun to fire, nothing happened. I checked to make sure it was in battery and that there hadn’t been a misfeed. Nope, it was her hand position. The grip safety was doing what it was designed to do and was preventing her from firing until she adjusted her grip. Once she did that, the rounds were flying down range again.
After the range session, Regina repeated her praise for the EZ, especially its ease of loading. Her final pronouncement was, “I liked the slide, the sights, and the size of the gun. The recoil was nice but it was all those other things that really sold me. Would I shoot it again? Yes I definitely would.” An understated affirmation on its surface, but a glowing endorsement from someone who has been known to fold her arms stubbornly and say, “No, I have no desire to shoot that gun. I’ll wait in the car, thank you.”
If you have a beginner, a senior, a female or, well, a Regina in your life, this could be the gun that changes everything.
(Tara Dixon Engel is a Training Counselor for the USCCA, an NRA and USCCA certified instructor, range officer, former gun salesperson, and author of The Handgun Guide for Women (2015 Zenith Press). She is also VP of Training and strategic development for the National Association of Chiefs of Police.)
HOW TO VISIT A GUN STORE
Part of the whole "firearms experience" is finding a shop that can serve your needs, make recommendations, and become a lifelong resource. There are many great gun stores out there - and more than a few lousy ones, as well. I was blessed to work at a great shop with dedicated salespeople and an owner who cared about customer service. Did they always hit it out of the park? Of course not, but they learned from their mistakes and they took customer feedback seriously. I weigh every shop I visit against these folks...and too many come up seriously lacking.
In my 2015 book, The Handgun Guide for Women, I included an entire chapter called "How to Visit a Gun Store." My husband thought it was funny but I explained to him that novices (especially women) have no idea what to expect...and seem to assume that being disregarded or treated badly is somehow their fault for asking 'dumb' questions and being a neophyte. WRONG.
You have every right to be taken seriously and to be treated like the potential cash cow that you are (guns ain't cheap!!) Any good shop owner knows that once you buy one gun, you will need a holster, a belt, ammo, training, a cleaning kit, storage, and, always, MORE GUNS! If he/she doesn't require that the staff provide courteous service, great information, and educated guidance, then something is wrong.
The great thing about capitalism is that you have OPTIONS. Exercise them. Vote with your feet and go elsewhere. To help you make your decision, I have created the questionnaire below. Print it; use it. It comes from my experiences as both a salesperson AND a customer -- and from hundreds of horror stories shared with me by students and fellow shooters over the years. Questions? Feel free to contact me at Tarae@aphf.org.
Was the store crowded? (This can impact staff attentiveness – but only temporarily)
Did one or more sales staffers look up, smile and welcome you? (Even if they are crowded, this should be a no-brainer!)
Did the staff: A). ask how they can help you? or B). tell you they will be with you once they finish with another customer?
Did the salesperson stand in front of you & make eye contact/smile as you asked questions?
Did the staff member belittle your choices or mock your gun knowledge (Think: “hey buddy, you’ve never shot before? Seriously? You don’t care about your family’s safety?” or “hey little lady, are you here to buy a gun for your hubby?”)
Did the staff member “clear” each firearm he/she showed you? (Clear means checking to make sure it is empty and handing it to you with the breech open or the cylinder interior exposed)
Were you allowed to compare and contrast (with help) multiple different firearms at one time? (Shops that limit you to one gun at a time severely limit your ability to make a wise choice and are interested in THEIR convenience, not yours.)
Were you allowed to try the trigger pull on each gun (with or without a snap cap)? (Trigger pull is essential to your ability to successfully fire a handgun. If store policy prevents you from pulling the trigger, do NOT make a purchase. Dry-firing -- pulling the trigger with no ammo or a dummy round in the chamber -- will NOT harm your firearm, especially with a snap cap/dummy round.)
Were you allowed to rack the slide on the firearm? (Again, essential to successfully firing a semi-auto handgun. If the store policy prevents it, go to another store.)
Did the salesperson help you determine: the gun fits your hand; you can easily drop the magazine; you can load it and utilize extras such as laser, manual external safety, adjustable back straps, etc?
Did the salesperson offer to show you how to “break down” the gun you have selected? (If the store is packed, this is not always possible…but the salesperson can and should offer to do so at a later, less hectic time.)
Did the salesperson explain to you what a 4473 form is and how to fill it out?
Did the salesperson explain the approval process and give you an estimate on how long you will have to wait?
Did the salesperson seem to be pushing you to a particular brand to the exclusion of all others? (Sales people are human and have their preferences. Remember to ask WHY he/she prefers this brand. But also know that gun manufacturers offer “spiffs” -- or sales incentive programs -- where salespeople earn points toward free guns every time they sell one of THAT manufacturers’ guns.)
BOTTOM LINE: You are ALWAYS better served doing business with a “bricks and mortar” store than ordering on-line. Smart shop owners know that building a relationship with customers means repeat business. Smart customers know that a good gun shop is a resource for information, guidance, training and access to the newest models!
But many customers DON’T understand that they CAN and SHOULD expect good customer service from a gun shop. In fact, they should DEMAND it. They should also understand that there are many GOOD gun shops out there, so you are not limited to doing business with arrogant, inattentive ones.
DO REMEMBER, that one encounter may not tell the full story. Retail is hectic, people have bad days, owners can’t always control the attitude of their staff…give each shop at least two chances to earn your business (but don’t BUY until they HAVE earned it!)
CORRECT ANSWERS: 1-variable; 2-YES; 3-YES; 4-YES; 5-YES; 6-NO; 7-YES; 8-YES; 9-YES; 10- YES; 11-YES; 12-YES; 13-YES; 14-YES; 15-NO.
Created by Tara Dixon Engel, author, Handgun Guide for Women, VP of Training -- American Police Hall of Fame, Titusville FL.