How Effective are Security Windows and Doors? Your Choice Could Save a Life!

[Image provided by author]
[Image provided by author]
[Editors note: this is a guest post by Lena Carson of Tuscon, Arizona]

Home security is a major concern for homeowners, and the type of windows and doors you use can help to make you safer. Keeping intruders out of your home becomes increasingly important in an urban survival/disaster scenario, and every second that an intruder is delayed by a security feature is another second that you can use to react to the threat.

Many companies sell specialty doors and windows to keep intruders out, but some of these products are more effective than others. When choosing any type of security for your home, you should do your research and find out just how effective the item really is. Let’s look at some popular solutions and how much security they truly offer.

Security Windows and Window Films

Windows are one of the most common ways that burglars and other intruders enter a home. In many cases, windows are easier to enter than doors. While almost everybody locks their doors, people often leave windows open, especially in warmer weather. Even when ordinary windows are closed and locked, a clever thief can break in. There are, however, measures you can take to make this more difficult.

Security window film is the simplest and most economical way to secure your windows. A locked window isn’t going to stop a burglar who’s willing to break the glass to get in. Putting security window film on the glass, however, will prevent this. Another benefit of securing your windows in this manner is that it’s good protection against hurricanes and other severe weather.

You should realize, however, that this will only make it more difficult to break your windows, not impossible. Glass can still be broken by a determined thief- although it will take several swings of a baseball bat to do it, giving you a decent amount of time to react. Another factor to consider is the strength of your window frames. If these are weak, the frames can easily break and it won’t matter what type of glass you have. Another way to secure your windows is to replace your glass windows with polycarbonate ones. The main disadvantage of polycarbonate windows is that they scratch easily.

Bars and grills can also be effective at keeping out intruders. These, however, have a couple of drawbacks. First of all, many homeowners consider them unsightly. Secondly, they can be a fire hazard in case you have to evacuate the home quickly. If you do have bars on your windows, there should be a release mechanism that is easy to operate. In fact, in many areas, fire codes mandate this.

Security Doors

Doors are the most direct way to enter a house, so it makes sense to make your door as secure as possible. The security of a door goes beyond locks, as many burglars are adept at picking locks. Furthermore, if the door or the frame around it isn’t sturdy, it can easily be pushed or kicked in.

A secure door should be made of a strong material. Steel doors are among the most secure. While these can be found in all price ranges, some are surprisingly reasonable- some have even been seen at Lowe’s for as little as 150 dollars.

Another option is to secure your existing door. Many companies create products that allow you to reinforce your door to make it much harder for anyone to break in.

Are Secure Windows and Doors Effective?

Having secure windows and doors certainly makes it more difficult for intruders to enter your home. Yet no security measure is infallible. In addition to having windows and doors that are difficult to break into, it’s important to be alert. Burglars can be quite determined and will look for the weak spot in your defenses. For example, if you have a very secure front door, they will check to see if you have a flimsy back door. If someone forgot to close a window, this provides another easy entryway.

That’s why vigilance is just as important as having secure doors and windows. Other measures that can be helpful include an alarm system, security lighting on your property and perhaps a dog. It also helps to have good relationships with your neighbors so you can keep an eye on each other’s homes. The best way to secure your home is to use a multifaceted strategy. Having secure windows and doors should be part of this strategy, but you shouldn’t rely on them entirely. You also have to use common sense and make sure everyone in your household cooperates to keep your home safe.

Lena Carson is an interior designer and published home repair writer from Tucson, Arizona.

I Gave My Kids a Handgun Safe, Told Them to Break Into It…

I decided to try an experiment after watching this video…

Something is amiss here. It can’t be that easy, can it? Let me first say that the kid in the video did have a little help here and there and it seemed that he knew the code to one of the safes (don’t see how that’s showing a defective safe) but a few of the safe break-ins were disturbing to say the least.

So, I figured I would do my own test of one handgun safe, the Bulldog Digital Pistol Vault, which is what I own and use:

One of these days I’m going to upgrade to a biometric safe for ease of access but this Bulldog safe is what I could afford at the time.

Anyway, the experiment was this: put something my kids would want inside the safe (not a handgun, mind you) and tell them they had twenty minutes to break into the safe by “any means necessary” so long as they didn’t destroy my safe. FYI, my boys are 8 and 11.

To start with they were very excited. It was the “ultimate” challenge! About five minutes later my youngest began to give up and only sporadically returned to help the older one.

As you might suspect, they first started with pushing buttons to enter a code but got it wrong several times in a row at which point the safe incessantly beeped for a few minutes and wouldn’t let them put in any more codes until it was finished beeping. They tried this strategy a few times here and there thinking they knew the six-digit code but to no avail. They even tried to “trick” my wife into giving them the code but she didn’t know it either. Actually, she probably could have figured it out if she’d thought about it.

I was, in fact, surprised how long it too my eldest son to search the depths of YouTube to find out how to break in; I even hinted he should do so mostly because I didn’t want to wait a full hour for them to get this done! After searching, my kids tried a few things, including dropping it one it’s side like the kid in the video (that didn’t work), using the factory code (that didn’t work either), and one or two other tricks that didn’t help… can’t remember what they were now.

Eventually, he found that this safe had a key override slot (which he located) but, as luck would have it, he couldn’t find the override key (there are actually two keys). Now that I think about it, if he had spent a bit more time thinking about this he probably could have found the key as it is a fairly unique shape and I keep all of my spare keys in one spot.

Ultimately, I gave them thirty minutes as they were still working on it but they never could get the handgun safe open, which is the entire point, after all! Part of me was certainly glad to see they couldn’t get in but another part of me really figured they would be able to open it.

Obviously, none of this really matters as my kids have been taught to leave firearms alone when I’m not around and they are definitely old enough to do so; however, they are at that age where firearms are a huge fascination to them as well. Regardless, now I’m not sure if this was a good experiment or not since they are far more familiar with my handgun safe than they ever were before!

So, given my experiment of one, I’d say the video above is most likely a bunch of staged B.S. Of course, I’m sure the quality of your handgun safe matters and the Bulldog Digital Pistol Vault, though relatively inexpensive, serves it’s purpose quite well.

Do You Have a Potential Fireball Attached to the Side of Your House?

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Image Source

Today I was searching for Mythbusters clips online (because I was a bit bored) and happened upon this Mythbusters clip where they test a James Bond myth of him shooting a propane tank to cause an explosion so he could get away, or something like that. Spoiler alert: the Mythbusters crew couldn’t get the propane tank to explode in a fireball so it appears there’s nothing to worry about. Maybe. Here’s the video clip…

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But then I was curious and Googled “shoot propane tank explode” and saw the following video. Spoiler alert: they had a small fire going next to the propane tank before shooting it but don’t seem to make that fact well known…

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There are other videos that make it more obvious that a fire is going, such as this one…

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Regardless, I figure that even if a propane tank couldn’t explode and cause a giant fireball if shot on it’s own, I can envision how the bad guys might take advantage of a massive release of propane to accelerate, say, a Molotov cocktail and immediately engulf the entire side of your house thereby forcing you out something quick! Heck, if the explosion were large enough it might even cave a wall in.

I’d imagine there are other ways to accelerate a fire very fast (gasoline comes to mind) but if I want to be fast and frugal about it and make a giant ruckus while I’m at it, why not utilize what’s on scene?

Anyway, I bring this up because this is the first house we’ve been at where we have a large propane tank (70 gallon capacity, I think) that is nice to have for prepping purposes but could also turn into a bit of a liability, at least, in this scenario.

So, what do you think? Is this concern way off? Did I miss something? Or, do I have something to potentially be concerned with? I don’t honestly know what to think as I never set anything on fire without intending to extinguish it later and have yet to shoot a propane tank to see what’ll actually happen. 😉

Safeguard Armor GHOST Body Armor: Almost What I Wanted, Not Quite What I Expected

black-ghost-vestLast year I had the opportunity to Review the SafeGuard Stealth Concealable Brand Vest Body Armor and I can say I was quite pleased with the vest. It fit well, seemed to be unnoticed by others, wasn’t horribly heavy or otherwise uncomfortable, and so on. I have, in fact, worn it a few times since then–just for grins–and probably wouldn’t mind wearing the vest daily if I had to.

So, when Safeguard Armor contacted me a few months ago I was happy to do another review, this time of the GHOST body armor. And, I should apologize to you, the readers, as well as to Safeguard because I had every intention of doing this review BEFORE we moved but just didn’t and, well, I’m finally getting to it…

So, about the GHOST vest. According to their website, the GHOST:

  • NIJ Level 2 or 3A Ballistic Protection
  • Edged Blade And Spike Protection
  • Carrier Made from 100% Coolmax® Cooling Material
  • Light-Weight Extra Small Carrier
  • Adjustable Velcro Shoulder & Waist Straps
  • Built to be Worn for Long Periods of Time
  • Weighs Less than 2.5kg

The vest I received was a level 2 ballistic and level 1 blade protection, you can learn more about the differences in protection levels, if you like. It came in the all black carrier and included an all white carrier which happened to be–for all intents and purposes–the exact same size as the previous Stealth concealable vest I got last year, and that’s where the confusion began…

You see, the first thing I noticed was that the newer black GHOST vest carrier was significantly larger than the previous vest I received (and, therefore, also much larger than the all white GHOST carrier I received too). Here’s a photo comparing the black GHOST carrier to the Stealth vest I received last year:


To be honest, I don’t think the photo above does the difference proper justice. And, again, the white GHOST vest carrier is the same size as the Stealth vest from last year. Anyway, as I was curious, I took the ballistic plates out and compared them. Here’s the front plates (the GHOST plate is on the right):


As you can see, the GHOST plate is vastly larger! So, I choose to take the back plates out and compare them as well:


This time there’s not such a big difference but the GHOST back plate is a bit larger. Ok, what now? Well, I was curious if the GHOST plates would even fit in the all white GHOST vest I received and, sadly, the front plate wasn’t even close to fitting, as such, I didn’t bother to try the back plate. So, now I’m wondering why I have this additional (and much smaller) white vest carrier? I honestly don’t know.

More importantly, I’m wondering if I received the wrong vest! I say this in part because when I tried on the black GHOST vest carrier it fit me as if I should have been a bigger person (I’m only 5’4″ and shrinking it seems). To confound me even more, the tags on the GHOST vest carriers seemed correct but it’s obvious that the black carrier is significantly larger AND it doesn’t fit quite right.

I should briefly mention that I did take a few pictures of myself wearing the vest but most turned out not so good as I was holding the camera myself. Suffice it to say that this black GHOST carrier fit very poorly around the arms and even around my waist despite my “beer gut’s” best efforts to the contrary. 😉 In fact, the concealable vest I got last year fits MUCH better and is far less noticeable under clothing, in my opinion.

Speaking of which, about the only complaint I had regarding the vest from last year was that it, in my opinion, rode too high up my belly (slightly higher than my belly button) which was about correct according to their sizing chart. This GHOST vest, on the other hand, fit much more like I would have preferred. It fit down to my waist and, as you might suspect due to the size differences, covered much more body area in general, and even overlapped the sides a bit. I liked all of that and quite preferred it.

As for weight, the GHOST vest does seem to weigh a slight bit more than the concealable vest from last year, and that’s to be expected as the front ballistic plate is quite a bit bigger.

What’s my ultimate conclusion here?

I honestly think I got the wrong sized vest, although, I do like that it covered more area than it probably should have. The drawback, obviously, is that it’s far less GHOST-like than one would prefer… or expect. If I could get the arm openings and waist to fit a bit more snugly then this vest would have been perfect!

I should say that I didn’t bother to contact Safeguard about the vest, mostly because I had waited so long to do this review and I figured it couldn’t hurt to have a larger vest that fits bigger people. With regards to Safeguard Armor, I think they’re a good group of folks trying to do a good thing for people. Maybe they just got this particular vest wrong and I’m sure they would have remedied the foul up… or straightened me out if I were in the wrong. 🙂

All that said, if you’re in the market for a quality vest that could one day save your life (or that of a loved one) consider the GHOST body armor or even the Stealth body armor by Safeguard Armor. I’m sure you’ll be fully satisfied.

The Best Way to Stay Safe While Holiday Shopping: It’s as Easy as Click-Click-Click!

Image Source
Image Source

I keep reading tips and suggestions from other sites that aim to help you stay safe while holiday shopping this year and much of it is very good advice, stuff I would tell you to do myself. The thing is that most of the advice is really geared towards your situational awareness, you know… your “danger radar” which can be easily distracted even more so during the busy holidays.

The thing is that whenever your’re out and about you put yourself at risk to predators. What’s my solution? It’s easy…


You might think that’s an easy answer but I see very little reason to fight with the crowds when it’s sooooooo easy to purchase nearly anything you want online. It is, IMO, the best way to stay safe while holiday shopping. In fact, besides groceries I can’t tell you the last consumer product that I actually purchased at a brick and mortar store. For me it’s or bust, though, there are others. Here’s why I much prefer to shop online…

  1. Finding what you really want is only a mouse-click away. Obviously, I’m a huge fan of but there are plenty of other places you can go to find what you want, from to Google Shopping and plenty more. I suggest you stick with the well-known sites to avoid any type of fraud or funny business.
  2. It’s usually much less expensive to shop online. With just a little effort you can often find far better prices shopping for whatever you want online (usually than at any brick and mortar store. Granted, there may be some exceptions but 99% of the time I’d say this is true. But, just to be sure you can always first check any brick and mortar store’s prices online (e.g., Walmart or Target, Best Buy, Home Depot or Lowe’s, etc) to compare.
  3. Shipping prices are often very cheap. actually price-fixes shipping rates so you can’t get gouged and if you sign up for Amazon Prime (I recently did and am lovin’ it) many items will ship fast (often two business day shipping) and free (but not always). Of course, you do have to pay attention to extraordinarily low product prices on some websites because they do turn around and “stick it to you” with shipping costs. Often, however, even paying for shipping is still a better price than any brick and mortar store’s marked-up prices.
  4. You’re warm and safe in the comfort of your own home. Considering that much of the country is still very cold and inundated bad road conditions… why get out in that mess? Stay home where it’s a balmy 72 degrees and you can run around in your undies. 🙂
  5. Your credit card information is very safe. I know there are some people who would NEVER–not in a million years–give up their credit card information to the neer-do-wells on the Net but I’d say it’s every bit as safe as giving your credit card to some teenager at the local mall. So long as you don’t first have any malware on your computer and you stick with well-known sites there’s nothing to be concerned about.
  6. Your OPSEC will NOT be blown! Again, there are those who think the UPS or FedEx guy is “making a list and checking it twice” for all of the purchases you make and slowly plotting to steal all of your preps but, c’mon, that guy delivers so much stuff he couldn’t care less that you just bought another giant box from some store he couldn’t care less about… unless it weighs like 200 pounds and he’s wondering what in the world it is that weighs so much. This is especially true during the holidays… he just wants the day to be over with. That said, if you are concerned about it then you could have some things delivered to a P.O. Box or, better yet, a friend or family members house but I suggest it’s of little concern in most cases.

Like I said, if you really want to stay safe then consider shopping from the comfort of your own home. If you opt for Amazon Prime then many items qualify for free two-day shipping and thus far I’ve been rather impressed. It’s easier, cheaper, and fast enough that even Santa himself would be proud. 🙂

Holy Crap! If Paintball is ANYTHING Like a Real Life Gun Fight, I’m Screwed!!

paintballThis past weekend I had the opportunity to play a few hours of paintball with some friends and family at a nearby facility for my son’s recent birthday. None of us had ever been before and I can honestly say it was an eye-opening experience. Apparently, there are some people who take this VERY seriously. And, like the title says, if paintball is anything like what I might see in a real life firefight, I really am in big trouble.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’ve never served in the military or law enforcement and therefore don’t have any tactical combat training or experience. Of course, I should first mention that I can see how paintball might differ significantly from a real-life scenario but it’s likely the closest any average Joe (like me) is going to get and still live to talk about it.

In particular, I was surprised at how quickly the pace of the game could change, at how much difference experienced players made, and how easy it was to get shot! Over the course of several games I managed to get shot in the leg multiple times, square in the chest once or twice, the shoulder, and once in the head. The sad part is that it was my own teammate that shot me in the head. Even worse, I’m almost positive it was my own kid or his friend. 🙁

Now, I noticed that some of the better players tended to rush up quickly whereas I preferred to hang back… just delaying my inevitable demise as it were. And, obviously, sometimes these rushing players got shot early on but most of the time they wrecked havoc. In a real-life situation I doubt we would see such bravado. I also noticed quite a bit of teamwork among the better players, including hand signals and what seemed like understood strategies… it seems they’ve done this a lot. This drove home how important it would be to learn to work together with others you expect to survive with so you act like a unit and not all chaotic as most of us were. I’m sure this makes sense but it’s one thing to talk about strategy and yet another to actually do it.

Like I mentioned above, paintball has it’s flaws as a training tool. For one you’re confined to a field with set boundaries. In addition, there’s nothing to be said for “home field advantage” in that you know your home and surroundings whereas an attacking group would not. Similarly, there are no early warning devices to alert you of an attack nor the element of surprise from being attacked. And, needless to say, you get to walk away when you’re shot… minus a little pride.

Regardless of the downsides, I can’t think of any other potential training tool that the average person (or group) might utilize to bring cohesion, work strategy, and even get some small inkling of what it might feel like to be shot at, though, I couldn’t imagine being shot at for real! Those of you who have done–and still do–so in defense of our country, I can only say “thank you” from the depths of my heart and soul as I’m positive it takes a truly special person to put themselves in harms way day-in and day-out. God bless you all.

How to React in Case of a Chemical Attack


Having a family and people that rely on you for their protection and safety gives you a different outlook on life and your responsibilities. After seeing the shocking news about the chemical attacks in Syria many parents asked themselves “What if this happened here?” and the answer is: “We really don’t know”. That’s when, being a mother of three, I decided to take a closer look at my options in case of such an eventuality.  What can I do to protect my family from a chemical attack? I can be prepared and being prepared means knowing the facts.  From the ones I’ve gathered, this is the plan I’ve put in place for my family.

At Home

Can I seal my home so chemical gases can’t penetrate my family’s living space? Yes I can. My first step is to make sure that my home is protected from intruders who could, potentially, disrupt the seal and allow the lethal chemical to enter my home.

  • A good option for this is to install a home security system such as offered by ADT Security Systems in Phoenix, Arizona. This is a good idea in any case. There are a lot of bad people out there and nobody wants them in their home.
  • Designate a room in your home as the safe room. It should be on the upper level of your home and as far to the center of the building as it can be. The room should have as few windows as possible, having none at all would be better. If there is an adjacent bathroom that is great, but the same rules apply about windows and location.
  • If there is no bathroom nearby, have a camping toilet ready to use. This, together with dry food supplies, flashlight, battery-operated radio, water and hand sanitizer should always be stored in the designated room.
  • You can also get gasmasks or, even better, hazmat suits in case the chemical that was used lingers and you have to leave your home.  If you have a land-line, have a phone installed in your safe room, if you only use a cellphone make sure to have a spare charger stocked with the rest of your survival gear. In case of a chemical emergency you probably won’t have time to get these things.
  •  In case disaster strikes turn off all heaters and air-conditioners, arm your alarm and take your family to the safe room.
  •  You can use plastic and duct-tape to seal the doors from the inside, covering all seams between door and wall. Don’t forget the door knob.

Being isolated in a room from the outside world can be your ticket to survival and you should only leave when you know for sure that the danger has passed. Various chemicals have various dissipation times and act in different ways. That’s why it’s important you listen to the radio for updates on the situation and use your phone to call emergency responders to find out what the status is.

In the Car

You can’t seal your car like you could a home but you can make do with what you have and hope for the best. If you are aware of a chemical attack taking place in vicinity of where you are;

  • close your windows,
  •  turn off the air-conditioner
  • Keep your radio tuned
  • Drive as far away from the area that’s compromised in an orderly fashion, don’t speed or run traffic lights, you’re trying to survive not kill yourself in another way.
  • Stay in your car until you  are positive that you are no longer in range of the chemical
  • Listen for indications of what kind of chemical was used and how it dissipates, you don’t want to get away only to find that you’ve brought the chemical with you on your car’s surface.
  • When you exit your car don’t touch any outside parts of it before you’re sure the chemical doesn’t harm on contact.


Most chemicals are created to attack your body through the airways; however, some can be absorbed through the skin as well. If you are outside and a chemical attack takes place your best options are to;

  • Run away from the source as quickly as you can
  • Breathe through anything you have at hand to filter the air, your t-shirt, your sweater, your jacket or scarf. Anything is better than inhaling the pure chemical and it could at least limit the amount of chemicals you inhale.
  • Find shelter – running behind a building that blocks the chemical for a little bit can make all the difference
  • Look for emergency responders to indicate where you should go, there may be facilities in your vicinity to wait out the chemical attack
  • Once you’ve reached safety remove your clothing, this is no time to be modest. Your clothes may have traces of the chemical on them and still harm you.

Above all else, always be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts. If it doesn’t look right it probably isn’t right. Keep up with the news. You want to know what’s going on in the world so you can be prepared to defend yourself and your loved ones against the dangers the world, unfortunately, has in store for us. To some it may sound like the paranoid ramblings of a mother hen, but I know there are others who feel exactly the same and would do anything to keep their families safe.  Heads up and masks on y’all!

naomi-broderickAbout the author:

Naomi Broderick is the mother of three and a professional writer. When she’s not wrestling with kids, writing or prepping for disasters, she’s resting from all of it. Phew!

Throat Strike Lesson #2 by Coach David Alexander

“In this video I am demonstrating another throat or trachea strike to incapacitate an attacker. You would never use this strike unless you or your families lives are on the line.

Move into your attacker using your body weight through your shin bone and into the attacker’s trachea. This will cause your attacker to clutch their throat (somatic reflex), panic and start to asphyxiate, which will open another target with the overall goal of eliminating the threat.

You do not need to be an NFL kicker in order to crush the trachea. You want to kick hard enough to cause a somatic reflex, which will open up another target (if necessary).

Even if you miss the trachea, you still should be making contact with the chin/mandible, which could result in knocking out your attacker. After the strike, make sure to continue, if necessary, into a secondary target to make sure the threat is neutralized.

We do not want to strike and create space, because this will could possibly give your attacker time to recover. We also want to be aware that the attacker might have an accomplice.

This is just one of many strikes you can use against a target in my B.E.T. “Target Based” Self Defense System…the fastest to learn and most effective self defense system in the world. For more videos and information check out my blog by clicking here.”

Author Bio

Coach David Alexander Bio:    World Famous Self Defense Expert, Strength & Conditioning Specialist.  I am the creator of the B.E.T. “Target Based” Self Defense System…the fastest to learn and most effective self defense system in the world, and Author of David’s Diet.  My websites, DVD’s, videos, commercials, articles and book have been visited, watched or read by over 60 countries and counting.  My main focus is to reduce assaults, murders and rapes by arming the world…and when I say “arming the world” I mean by turning everyone into a lethal weapon.  Instead of giving everyone a gun, I will just teach them how to become the gun using their brains and bodies.

Real Self Defense by Coach David Alexander


I’m glad to see Coach David is “back in business” and working on his B.E.T. personal self-defense system which I purchased and reviewed a while back and was very gald I did. Sadly, I NEED to get it back out again and review, review, review.

David recently contacted me to let me know he’s revising his B.E.T. system and so I’m excited to share it with you today! The best part is that David has decided to allow you multiple ways to get this information, including as a DVD and via membership area. Personally, I wish he would have done this a long time ago as I certainly would have choose the membership option but that’s just me. 🙂

If you want to get yourself and your family as ready as you can be for hand-to-hand combat should the need ever arise, skip all the “fluff” martial arts and read below to see what he’s got for us today…

Coach David Alexander here for  I have been working on re-editing my B.E.T. “Target Based” Self Defense System.

You can watch the re-edited and updated version of Part 1 (Empty Hand Self Defense) if you buy The Ultimate Survival Bundle ( or go to

I am also starting a new idea for my YouTube channel called “Ask Coach David”.  Ask me a question on Self Defense, Paleo Diet, Strength & Conditioning and even Economics and I will do my best to make a video answering your question.  Here is an example:

Here is a video of me practicing with “Bob”

The following two videos were shot during one of my MMA Classes.  Tell me what you think.  Coach David Alexander (

If you have any comments, leave them below and I will do my best to answer.  Thanks, Coach David Alexander – Possibly the Easiest Way to Get Your Concealed Carry (CCW) License on the Planet


Getting my CCW permit has been one of those things on my to-do list that never quite gets done and, sadly, is probably one of the more important prepping actions to GET DONE! Fortunately, a few weeks ago I was contacted by the folks at about their course. To be honest, I had no idea you could even take a CCW course online as I always figured you had to do it in-person at a local establishment. Well, happily that’s not the case!

As you might suspect, I had a few questions before I opted to take the course…

How long does the course take?

Hey, I’m a busy man… I can’t spend days doing this! As it turns out the course video is ONLY 15 minutes long. When you’re done you take a test and print out a certificate of completion and that’s about it! In fact, I decided to look into local courses here in goold ol’ Kansas City, Missouri and every course I could find was eight hours long. Really? I would suspect most of that is fluff for people who have never fired a handgun in their life but I honestly cannot say. I would suspect, however, that if you’re confident enough to seek a CCW permit then you’re probably well-versed in appropriate safety considerations and really don’t need to spend 8 hours discussing things like “don’t point the handgun at anybody you don’t want to kill…” and stuff like that. Personally, I was glad it only lasted 15 minutes.

How much does the course cost?

The cost is $70. At first I thought that was a tad expensive, until I noticed the prices for local courses and darn near every single course was $100 or more. I did, however, find a few that only charged $50 but then there’s still that problem of having to spend 8 hours trying not to fall asleep. 😉 I’m not sure the cost of CCW courses in your area but if it’s anything like what I found then $70 is a bargain.

Now the real question…

How does this really work?

The course you’re taking actually qualifies you for a Arizona non-resident permit, assuming you don’t live there, of course. Actually, there are a few other states where you can apply for a resident’s permit but most states are a non-resident permit. See their FAQ for more info.

This is actually where I got a bit confused but it appears that instead of applying for a permit in the state where you reside, in most cases, you’re actually applying to Arizona but there are a few states where that is not the case. You should locate your state here and follow the instructions. In Missouri, for example, I would be applying to Arizona for a non-resident permit. I would then need to follow the instructions at the bottom of the aforementioned page on “How to Apply for Your Arizona Non-Resident Permit” which basically requires me to contact Arizona’s DPS CCW Unit, request an application kit, pay their $60 fee, then hurry up and wait.

Is this legal to do?

This was my biggest concern. They discuss this in the FAQ but basically I think this is ok to do because of reciprocity rules between Arizona and the states that qualify. In fact, you can verify this at [PDF File] under Arizona. You can also use this “cheat sheet” [PDF File] that lists state-by-state who honors which permits.

Why I didn’t take this any further

I totally wanted to finish the process but I’m actually moving to a state that does not accept Arizona’s permits–don’t ask, I’m not very happy about it–and since it could take two months to get my paperwork processed, we’d basically be moving shortly after I got everything in order. That’s a serious bummer! As for you, if your state accepts Arizona’s permits and you’re not moving to a “worse” state than you currently live in now, I would VERY strongly encourage you to take at most a half-hour out of your day and get your CCW permit at I found the course to be easy enough to follow and fast enough to not put me to sleep.

Oh, and you do have to take a test at the end in order to pass the class and if you know anything at all about handgun or were even paying attention to the video then you should be able to pass with flying colors and get your certificate which can then be printed out after you pass the test.