How do I go about finding the gun that is right for me? This is the number one question I am asked when someone is interested in purchasing a firearm. There are so many options. And sometimes, without the right guidence a person can easily be persuaded by a gun salesman and end up with a gun that is not at all practical for their daily needs. I hate to say it, but occasionally you may end up with a gun salesmen that is almost as bad as a used car salesmen. They just want to sell what has been in inventory too long.  So what kind of gun are we looking for to train with and carry for self defense? First, I highly recommend you choose a semi-automatic.  Typically semi-auto handguns carry a higher round capacity. And I have never heard of anyone in a gunfight who said they wished they had fewer rounds to fight with.  
 
Now  it's time to find your gun. Before you head to the gun store make sure to do some research. Find out which guns have been proven highly reliable. Next, test drive the guns at a store. Find the one that fits and feels the best in your hand. Look for guns that are sleek and have good grip texture. If the slide lock or the safety is bulky you may find they become a nuisance or even become painful while shooting. Most striker fire handguns manufactured today come with back straps. These straps allow you to adjust the grip as you see fit. Next think about size. Do not be fooled by thinking a really small gun will be easier to shoot. Usually it's the exact opposite. The recoil is much greater from a small gun. Making it much less controlable and sometimes painful. I recommend you start by looking at compact handguns. They are easily concealable and tend to have good carrying capacity (round count). Your body size is a factor as well. I happen to be a bigger build than most and can get away with conceal carrying a full size handgun. One of biggest deciding factors for gun buyers is cost. I understand that not all of us in Aspen are wealthy, but remember the old saying you get what you pay for.  This saying applies for firearms as well. But I would also say don't get carried away either. Remember, this is a tool. It is not a trophy for your mantle. People who pay a lot for a firearm tend to baby them. You need to be willing to get your gun dirty and scratched if need be. I find that good quality handguns can be found in the $400 to $800 range. Which is actually pretty cheap considering that it will probably last longer than you will!  The top three manufactures that I have had success with are Glock, Smith&Wesson M&P, and Springfield Armory XD Mod 2 or XDM's. 

If you have questions please call me before you purchase your gun. There are several other options to consider which are not listed above.
Advances in ballistic technology have come a long way over the last decade. Many rounds that come in smaller caliber sizes such as the 9mm now create bullet channeling wounds that compare to larger calibers like the .45 caliber. Although defensive rounds are more costly, it is imperative that you test multiple rounds through your gun. Some manufacturers ammo will not perform as well as others in certain guns. And for the fight of your life failures are not an option. 
Many people tend to overlook this crucial part of there EDC (Every Day Carry) for self defense. A good flashlight with as many lumens as possible is key to defending yourself in a night time encounter with a bad guy. If you cant properly identify a threat how do you know you aren't endangering the life of someone who isn't a threat? Perceptive Strategics chooses Thrunite or Surefire flashlights. Both are very strong. And certain models can put out 1000 lumens. 
A renound instructor Steve Fisher breaks it down by saying " shooting basically boils down to two things, sights and triggers". Simply stated but so true. Typically, this is the area where gun manufactures cut cost. Many sights that come from the factory are frale and can break or wear down over time from holstering the gun or performing certain weapon slide manipulations. Also, adding a quality set of sights can help with confidece and increased accuracy.
DO NOT BUY A CHEAP HOLSTER! I cannot stress this enough. There is a reason why it does not cost much.  It is important to find a holster that has good weapon retention, concealability, and comfort. Understand that there really isn't anything comfortable about wearing a gun. The gun isn't mean't to be comfortable, it's meant to be comforting. Perceptive Strategics has enjoyed using Crossbreed holters and Alien Gear holsters for inside the wasteband concealed carry. It usually takes a couple of try's to figure out which holster is right for you.
Question, how many bullets does it take to stop a bad guy? Answer, as few or as many as it takes. I recommend you consider carrying an extra magazine as part of your EDC. No one in a gunfight ever said " I had too many bullets". Also, if you find that IWB holsters aren't always necessary OWB can also be concealed. It is usually easier to do this during the winter months when you are wearing more clothing. Bravo Concealment, Raven Concealment, and Forest City Tactical put out great holsters that are built to last.
If you can get over the fact that your gun may be pointing at apendages you highly value, appendix carry is a great way to conceal your gun. Concealing your gun at the 1 o'colck position allows you to deploy your weapon quickly and can be more easily accessed if your fight went to the ground. Research Raven Concealment, G-Code, Haven Defense, and Forest City Tactical for quality kydex.
If men really though about it, they would realize how lucky you ladies really are having a purce. You can carry all of your EDC gear in one place! Just remember though, a purse can quickly become a black hole. And can quickly become a danger if keys, lipstick, etc.. become entangled with a firearm trigger. I will stress to you in my classes that I do not recommend off body carry. But I also understand that dressing nice and carrying a big peice of metal on your side don't always go hand in hand.  There is much to consider when choosing to carry a firearm in a purseThere are several great resources to find the right carry bag just for you. Check out Well Armed Women, Gun Goddess, and Pinterest (womens concealed carry).
Have you thought about what that added weight is going to do to that slim belt you have on? Above is an example of heavy duty gear belts that will be sure to keep your pants up!​ Many manufacturers make heavy duty belts that are also stylish. Check out Crossbreed, Magpul, Ares, Tuff, SOE, and Gibborim.
The best news in the firearms industry is the continous growth of women shooters. With this growth  comes a vast  amount of accessories for women. It is important that you find the right gun for you. And that you find the right carry gear so you are confident in carrying everyday. Ladies, Pinterest is great for finding holiday cooking recipes but even better fo finding gun gear ideas! Type in women's concealed carry. You will be suprised at ll the options that pop up!
Ladies typically find two of the best places to conceal on body is at the 1 o'clock position (appendix carry) or at 6 o'clock (kidneys).
I recommend that women try not to get caught up in the marketing schemes i.e. girly colors or designs. Just because equipment is labeled for women doesn't mean it is going to be the best option for you. Check out Crossbreed Holsters, G-Code, or Gun Goddess

New Product!

We have found a new holster maker right here in the Roaring Fork Valley! Haven Defense Gear is putting their own unique spin into each holster by customizing it to each buyers specifications. Look for us to do a review in the coming months,