Written by Frank Semeraro
If you carry a firearm, it is important that you wear a good quality gun belt. A belt from Walmart isn’t going to cut it. I good gun belt will keep your firearm tight and close to your body. Many times people blame their holsters for flopping around when it is actually their gun belt that is flopping. If you carry every day, don’t skimp on the gun belt.
There are different types of gun belts, and it is a personal choice as to what type of belt to use.
Traditional Leather Gun Belts – Nothing loos as good as a leather gun belt. It can be worn with casual or dress clothes. Leather does stretch a bit over time, and I find the belt holes can be spaced a little far apart making the belt too tight or too loose. I have reviewed many traditional leather gun belts and Hanks Belts are by far the best quality you can get. They are made in the USA and have a lifetime warranty.
Ratchet Style Belts – Ratchet style belts have a track system on the inner side of the belt that allows adjustments in ¼ inch increments. This allows you to maintain a more precise fit and keeps your firearm close and tight to your body. Out of all the ratchet style belts I have reviewed, the Kore Essentials ratchet belt is the best I have tried.
Tactical Belts – Another option is a Tactical Belt. A good quality re-enforced nylon tactical belt is another good choice. Due to the buckles on tactical belts, they work best with IWB holsters since the belt buckle won’t fit through the holster loops. Blue Alpha makes a very good quality belt, it’s made in the USA and has a lifetime warranty.
Click on this link to watch our review
GET A GRIP
By Frank Semeraro – AKA “Big Gun”
As much as we may love our guns, they are not always comfortable mainly due to the factory grips. Most factory grips are not the best quality since this is one area they can skimp to keep the cost down. In order to shoot effectively, it is extremely important to maintain a proper grip. If you can’t grip your gun properly or comfortably, you may want to think about changing your grips.
The purpose of an aftermarket grip is to improve the factory grip by either adding more texture or more girth, so your hands don’t slip and you manage recoil better. It’s also a comfort issue. Different grips can reduce the vibration of the gun and make them feel more comfortable. Depending on the type of firearm you have will determine the choices of available grips. I have reviewed many grips for many different guns and will provide you with the options available to help you make your decision.
Polymer Frame Guns – If you own a firearm with a polymer frame such as a Glock, S&W Shield, Springfield XDS, etc., you are limited to your grip choices. The only type of grips available are rubber sleeves or tape grips. Talon makes great quality tape grips with different textures. Here is my review of the Talon Grips. For rubber sleeve grips, Houge makes a great rubber grip sleeve. Here is my review of the Houge Grips.
Metal Frame Guns – If you own a metal frame gun such as a revolver or a 1911 pistol, you have many other choices available since the grips are replaceable, not built into the frame. I will cover the most common grip options.
Rubber Grips – Rubber grips are comfortable and help reduce vibration and shock. Rubber grips are also very good for wet or sweaty hands. However, the rubber may grab the skin or clothing when trying to draw.
Wood Grips – Nothing looks better than exotic wood grips, they are beautiful. Wood grips can be a little slick and may be harder to maintain a firm grip with wet or sweaty hands but are smooth on the skin and won’t grab clothing. Altamont makes beautiful wood grips. Here is my review of the wood grips.
G10 Grips – In my opinion, G10 grips are king. G10 is a high-pressure fiberglass laminate created by stacking multiple glass cloth layers. This is done by soaking the glass in epoxy resin. Then by heat and pressure, it is compressed into shape. As with most fiberglass, this stacking provides amazing strength and durability. . G-10 will not rust or oxidize. It won’t become brittle or soften over time. This means it is basically maintenance-free. G10 grips are available in many cool colors and textures. Keep in mind that some textures are very aggressive and will irritate your skin if you carry IWB. I have very mild texture G10 grips on my 1911 and they are very comfortable. LOK Grips makes the best G10 grips on the market. Here is my review of G10 grips.
Now that you have your options it may make it easier for you to make a selection and Get a Grip
Frank Semeraro, AKA BIG GUN
When I hear on the news that a teenager finds his parents gun and brings it to school and
shoots students and teachers it makes me cringe. Children finding a parents’ gun and shooting
themselves, their friends or family members because they thought it was a toy or unloaded
happens all too often. When I hear these horror stories all I can do is wonder how these gun
owners can be so irresponsible.
As a firearm owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that guns in your home are stored where
they are inaccessible to children or other unauthorized persons. Unauthorized persons are
Minors, Felons, people who are intoxicated or under the influence or anyone else the gun
owner feels should not have access to their firearms.
Securing firearms protects children and adults by preventing unintentional shootings and gun
suicides. Some states have laws mandating that owners secure their firearms. Unloaded
firearms should be stored in a locked cabinet, safe, or storage case. The storage location should
be inaccessible to everyone except the owner of the firearm. Hiding a firearm in a closet or
desk drawer is not storing a firearm. Ammunition should be stored in a locked location
separate from the firearms.
There are many affordable options for firearm storage that provide owners with quick access to
their guns while still preventing access by children and people at increased risk of harming
themselves or others. Further.
Simple locks as shown below make the firearm inoperable and greatly reduce the risk of injury or death.
My firearms are stored in a gun safe that I have bolted to the wall and floor. How would you feel if you
did not properly secure your firearm and it was stolen and used to kill or injure someone? If you can’t
afford a gun safe you can find used storage lockers fairly cheap.
With all the chaos going on in the world right now, there are millions of new gun owners every year,
many of them are not shooters and have little or no knowledge or experience with firearms. This is the
group of gun owners that concern me the most.
Unsecured guns may actually increase the likelihood of crime and violence through an increased risk of
gun theft. Each year, an estimated 200,000 to 500,000 guns are stolen, and wind up in the hands of
If you are a gun owner that properly secures your firearms, I thank you for that. If you are a firearms owner that currently does not secure your firearms, I hope you will consider doing so.
By Frank Semeraro, AKA BIG GUN
Certified NRA Pistol Instructor
As gun owners, it is our responsibility to know our state and local gun laws. Many people go out and purchase a firearm and never check the firearms laws of their state. Not knowing your state gun laws or pleading ignorant isn’t a defense and can land you in jail for not knowing. Since laws vary from state to state and people are constantly moving they should know the gun laws of the state they are moving to.
For example, I live in the great state of Tennessee. There are no magazine restrictions here so all my rifle magazines are 30 round magazines. Most of my pistols have 15 round magazines. I know for a fact that if I moved to a state like New Jersey which has a 10 round restriction on both pistols and rifles, I could be in hot water if I was in possession of those magazines in New Jersey.
If you carry a firearm it is even more important to know your state and local laws. You should know where you can and can’t carry. Since the laws differ from state to state, it may be legal to carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol in one state but not another. The same applies to state parks, school property, etc.
A good example is one day my wife and I were traveling on the bike. The next thing I know the GPS routed us through Maryland. I was carrying a loaded Glock with a 15 round magazine. If I would have gotten pulled over I could have landed in jail because I can’t carry in Maryland.
What about shooting on your property. I live outside city limits and I can shoot on my property. People who live less than a mile away live within city limits and legally cannot. They shoot on their property because they see and hear us do it but if a neighbor were to call the local authorities, they could find themselves in trouble.
There is a lot of confusion about permitless carry. Typically, if a state is a permitless carry state, only residents of that state may carry. A lot of people think that in a permitless state anyone can carry without a permit. If you live in a permitless carry state you should still apply for a concealed carry permit. The reason is that you will only have reciprocity in another state If you have a resident permit from your home state. You should also know what states have reciprocity with your home state. You should also know what states you can open carry in. Some states allow concealed carry but prohibit open carry. You should also know how to transport firearms in your vehicle when driving through states that are not gun-friendly.
Firearms laws vary from state to state and in some instances even from county to county. Do yourself a favor and read your state and local firearm laws as well as the laws of any state you may be traveling through.
We all love shooting our guns and improving our shooting skills. One of the best ways to improve our skills is going to the range. Let us prepare for our trip to the range and determine what we should bring.
Range Bag – The most important essential you should have. A good quality range bag should be durable and have enough compartments to store your firearms, ammo, magazines, etc. There are a lot of range bags on the market and I have gone through a bunch of them. The Orca Tactical Range bag is an excellent quality bag with many storage compartments. This bag is very rugged and will last you many years. I have reviewed this bag and here is the link to my review. Orca Tactical Range Bag Review
Eye Protection – You should have a good pair of eye protection, clear and tinted for indoors/outdoors.
Ear Protection – Ear protection is a must. Disposable in the earplugs or headset style. Your ear protection should be rated at 28 decibels minimum.
Spare Magazines – You should always carry a few spare magazines in case of failure.
Cleaning Kit – A cleaning kit or a bore snake as a minimum should be part of your range kit.
Brass Rod & Mallet – If you ever experience a squib load, this will come in very handy.
Band-Aids/First Aid Kit – You can never go wrong with having band-aids at the range. I sliced my fingers loading magazines many times.
Speed Loader – I always carry a speed loader so I can spend more time shooting and less time loading magazines.
Small Flashlight – You should have a small flashlight to check for obstructions in your barrel.
Screwdriver Set – A Set designed for your gun and one designed for scope rings and mounts.
Gun Oil – You can always use Gun Oil
Timer – For timed drills.
Log Book and Pen – Record your shooting scores.
Plastic Bags – To keep your brass and things.
Luggage Tag – You will see a lot of black range bags.
I hope this list is helpful to you for a successful day at the range.
Frank Semeraro AKA “Big Gun”