Changing the EDC: LC9S to Shield

Posted on Posted in Product Reviews

I have been carrying a Ruger LC9S for a year now. I have had no issues with the LC9S at all, the decision to change every day carry (aka EDC) is a personal preference. At the beginning of this journey, I intellectually chose firearms based on specifications, reviews, and test shooting. Shooting any smaller frame pistol will have more recoil, especially in polymer frame firearms. I know the trigger pull on the LC9 was long, the LC9s is an improvement. I wonder if the LC9s will get the same revamp the LCP II just did with the Ruger American styling.

I prefer the Shield  the Ruger due to the fact I have a full solid grip on the Shield, the stock trigger is a bit shorter and if I install the Apex Duty trigger, it’ll be even lighter. The more solid grip is a reassuring factor for me in a choice for every day carry. This is the go-to if in dire straits, and I want everything to go as I would need it to if my firearm were to see sunlight. The other choice I made is to go without a manual safety. My LC9s has an external safety whereas the Shield does not. You can purchase one with an external safety. Yes, I could have chosen to not use the safety on the LC9s but I would rather there not be one at all than to have one engaged when I think it’s not. Losing those seconds could be the difference of being able to tell the story afterwards.

Thank you Smith & Wesson for not having a pin that needs to be removed for take down. I appreciate that.  Often I have worried about the pin in the LC9s becoming lost while cleaning or if I had to do a fieldstrip outdoors. I have dropped the take down pin while cleaning and wondered about that nightmare a time or two.

Both are solid firearms and deserve to be anyone’s every day carry. I think a part of this is also that I shoot a M&P Pro Series 9L and the grip works with my hands the best so far of all the firearms I have shot. Holding the Shield feels a bit reminiscent of holding the larger M&P. I will revisit this as I carry the Shield and give updates.

Talking about every day carry: I have recently had issues with the Can Can concealment holster, sweat. Since I have to get new holsters for the Shield, I am looking for a full sweat shield, inside waist band holster that I can carry appendix if I wish (or AIWB), comfortable and solid. I also prefer tan color or light colored- much easier to conceal lighter shades than dark ones with women’s clothing.

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Women are in more danger with guns?

Posted on Posted in Advocacy, Being A Woman, Newsfeed

These articles just fire me up! These “studies” are touted around by gun control groups but the actual study is not looked at, the actual statistics and the reasons for the statistics. This is disgusting opinion articles disguised as journalism!

New Study Shows That For Women, Guns Still Offer More Danger Than Protection

Of course women who are in domestic violence situations have an increase in death with a gun in the household. There is no discrimination whether the gun belongs to the victim or the abuser. Of course an abuser will use a firearm to threaten and scare (even kill) their victim. It is a tool of POWER and CONTROL. The articles written about these ‘studies’ do not go into detail whether the abuse victim received firearm instruction and/or kept the firearm away from the abuser. Abuse situations are all about power and control, if the victim cannot keep any power and control over a firearm, it would be dangerous to have one in the house!

It is a shame that Ms. Magazine wants to discourage women from their American right to bear arms, to further the message more that woman shouldn’t defend themselves against their abusers because they may die. Of course they may die, they may die from being physically beat or stabbed with a kitchen knife!

If you are or know someone in an abusive relationship, reach out- talk to someone, contact area shelters and get out of the situation as soon as possible. You are NOT ALONE. You are STRONG. You can do ANYTHING. You are WORTHY. You are IMPORTANT. Everything that is going wrong in your relationship is NOT YOUR FAULT. There IS BETTER OUT THERE FOR YOU, even if you cannot see it right now. One moment, one decision at a time is all you need to do. Make the decision now to reach out.


Article: Does this gun make me look fat?

Posted on Posted in Uncategorized


For decades, women have had few choices when it comes to the clothing they can wear to hide that they’re carrying a firearm. They could wear baggy T-shirts or coats, or put it in a purse and hope it didn’t get swiped or that they didn’t have trouble getting it out in an emergency.

Enter holsters, corsets, camisoles and other clothing designed to be flattering, feminine — and functional — for the pistol-packin’ mama crowd.

“I don’t want to dress in tactical gear and camo all the time. I love tactical clothing for the range. It’s comfortable. I don’t want to ruin my everyday clothing,” said Marilyn Smolenski, who in 2012 created Nickel and Lace, a company that caters to women who want to carry a firearm concealed but don’t want to trade in their femininity. “But I don’t want to wear it to the grocery store.”

Smolenski started her company right around the time when Chicago city laws changed and she could again legally carry a firearm. When that happened, she struggled to find something that didn’t make her look frumpy and didn’t broadcast that she was packing heat. Most of the clothing was geared to men — coats with hidden pockets, or holsters that tuck neatly inside a waistband. But until the last few years, those weren’t always great options for women who don’t wear belts as frequently and are more likely than men to wear form-fitting clothing, making it difficult to hide the fact they’re carrying a firearm.

“When you put a man’s holster on a woman’s body it sticks out. It doesn’t hug the body,” said Carrie Lightfoot, founder and owner of The Well Armed Woman in Scottsdale, Arizona, which does everything from providing firearms instruction to women to selling a variety of concealed carry clothing. One of her company’s first missions was to design and produce a holster that recognized the differences in body types and clothing styles between men and women.

Women’s waists tend to be shorter, providing less room to withdraw a gun from a holster. Hips and chests can get in the way too, she said.

Lightfoot and Smolenski said that some manufacturers tended to “shrink it and pink it” — thinking that taking gear produced for men and making it smaller and brightly colored would satisfy female customers. They and their counterparts emphasize they are driven first by function and safety before aesthetics come into the equation.

“Women need to know they can carry effectively,” Lightfoot said. “I think the key is finding a way to carry it so you can be comfortable and move through your day without being poked and having a big hunk of metal in your pants and not be able to sit at work.”

Both also are advocates for providing women with information and guidance on ways to feel secure and be safe. For Smolenski, that goal has led to the creation of the annual Firearms and Fashion Show which includes seminars on personal safety. Her company actually got its start with a line of jewelry — from necklaces that can be pulled away easily and then used as a weapon to “chopsticks” that can both be used to hold up hair and then be wielded against an attacker.

For Anna Taylor, the founder and CEO of Dene Adams LLC — named after her grandfather, who first taught her to respect firearms and handle them safely — the road to creating a line of concealed carry clothing began at around the time she became a single mom and the safety of the family rested on her shoulders. When she got her first concealed carry permit in 2013, she went through seven different holsters.

“Some were hard and uncomfortable. Some of them I’d have to take off and set down when I went to the bathroom and I was afraid I would go off and leave it just like I’ve left my phone behind before. Others, belly band types with a print so bad you could see the grip or outline of the gun through my clothes,” Adams said. “So when I went out in public, I felt like I had these awkward arms always trying to hide this thing.”

Her first design involved a mousepad and a post-partem corset to create a soft holster. She was able to carry the kids around, nurse, give the kids baths — even jump on the trampoline — “and I could forget that it was there.” With her last $200, she found a manufacturer willing to do a small run. Flash forward three years and she now has products on shelves at nearly 100 dealers around the country. She has expanded into safety and training and is now an NRA pistol and rifle instructor. She even has a few men who buy her products — including, she said, air marshals, who gravitate to the snug, comfortable designs.

“We have options that don’t have lace. We have solid black,” she said.

Law Abiding Permit Holders Reduce Crime? What!?!

Posted on Posted in Newsfeed

Just more about the ‘common sense’ gun laws that anti-gun democrats keep purposing in speeches and sound bites. Where is the gun education? No. Let’s just talk about how we can control you (ahem, slip there) the criminals and the terrorists from getting firearms. Let’s limit the magazine capacity, the types of firearms, and expand background checks, that is common sense! Why not do those things?

In the recent Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States report from the Crime Prevention Research Center

Permit Holders are Extremely Law-abiding

It is very rare for permit holders to violate the law. In order to appreciate how incredibly rare those problems are, one needs to remember that there are over 12.8 million permit holders in the US. Indeed, it is impossible to think of any other group in the US that is anywhere near as law-abiding. To get an idea of just how law-abiding concealed handgun permit holders are, we need only compare them to police. According to a study in Police Quarterly, police committed an average of 703 crimes per year from 2005 to 2007.8 113 of these involved firearms violations. This is likely to be an underestimate, since not all police crimes receive media coverage. The authors of the study may also have missed some media reports. So how law-abiding are police? With about 685,464 full-time police officers in the U.S. from 2005 to 2007, we find that there were about 103 crimes per hundred thousand officers.

For the U.S. population as a whole, the crime rate was 37 times higher — 3,813 per hundred thousand people. Perhaps police crimes are underreported due to leniency from fellow officers, but the vast crime gap between police and the general populace is really undeniable. Concealed carry permit holders are even more law-abiding than police. Between October 1, 1987 and June 30, 2015, Florida revoked 9,999 concealed handgun permits for misdemeanors or felonies.9

This is an annual revocation rate of 12.8 permits per 100,000. In 2013 (the last year for which data is available), 158 permit holders were convicted of a felony or misdemeanor – a conviction rate of 22.3 per 100,000.10 Combining the data for Florida and Texas data, we find that permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors and felonies at less than a sixth the rate for police officers. Among police, firearms violations occur at a rate of 16.5 per 100,000 officers. Among permit holders in Florida and Texas, the rate is only 2.4 per 100,000.10 That is just 1/7th of the rate for police officers. But there’s no need to focus on Texas and Florida — the data are similar in other states.


The more gun education, the more law-abiding? What?!?! That isn’t what the democrats are telling us! Oh and my favorite from the report, the women.


Women want to protect themselves and their families. The more available firearms seem to women, the more the firearm industry advertises to them, the better. Women will share with other women, they will encourage each other given the tools.

Fed up? Train!

Posted on Posted in Training Notes

Every terror attack, every life lost angers and saddens me. I have plenty of opinions about the political landscape, but I don’t wish to be yet another voice in the void complaining. Instead I would rather focus on being positive. My observation about these terror attacks is that most of them are planned and executed and I am sure there are more to come. What can we do about it? Sitting around and complaining about how the government is not doing the right thing is not the answer.

The answer is to get prepared! Develop your personal safety strategy, buy personal protection devices and train with them. If you have put off training, get refocused! Trouble is not going to wait for you to be ready, terrorist are not just Jihadist, there are people out there that wish to cause harm to others because they are hurting themselves.

I was mugged at gunpoint at my own local gas station by someone asking for directions it can happen any time, any where. Firearms are one of many personal protection tools, if you don’t wish to learn how to use a firearm, you must learn close combat. I encourage everyone to learn everything you can about self-defense and multiple disciplines. Share your experience with others, the more you share, the more others will be encouraged. Invite your friends with you to that self-defense class, a local shooting class, or even take someone to a local shooting competition like IDPA.

Stay Safe. Stay Aware.

Are you carrying with faked confidence?

Posted on Posted in Being A Woman, Training Notes

Every woman who carries knows the feeling. If stuff goes down, I have a tool to use. If something happens, I have options I wouldn’t normally have. It is a reassuring feeling, faked confidence. Wait, what? Faked confidence? Yep. You have a tool but do you know how to use it? Have I trained to be proficient with my tool? Have I practiced my draw from my concealed carry option until I can do it without hesitation?

Meet a friend, Snap Caps. Snap Caps can help you train, practice your draw. Help you be ready for something in the real world. How fast can you draw? How fast can you draw and be ready to shoot? Are you carrying with your safety on? Do you mindlessly set it your safety to fire as you draw? Do you carry with a round chambered or do you have to rack your firearm to fire?

These decisions have to be made so you can practice properly. Guns are tools, the use of the tool is only as good as training you do. I recommend Snap Caps as they will help keep your firing pin. These are the only ones I know of that will allow your firing pin to actually hit brass, inside the Snap Cap is a spring that allows the brass primer to move.

Dry firing is your friend. It allows the correct habit to form in your muscle memory (also known as myelin). The more you practice dry firing and drawing, the better you will be during a real encounter. Practice in your vehicle as well as you can.

With training and practice, you can carry with real confidence.

Stay safe. Stay Aware.

HuffPost doesn’t understand the meaning of empowerment.

Posted on Posted in Advocacy, Being A Woman, Newsfeed

Alanna Vagianos writes that Dana Loesch and the NRA is misdirected in empowering women and says due to the statistics that have been used time and time again to say women shouldn’t have guns.

As The Cut pointed out, the presence of a gun in instances of intimate partner violence actually increases the risk of homicide for women by about 500 percent. That includes instances when the gun belongs to the victim.

Women in abusive relationships are also more likely to be murdered with a gun than “all other means combined,” according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

To further debunk the ad’s message, Loesch and the NRA seem to paint rapists and abusers as strangers who lurk in dark corners waiting for their next victim. When it comes to perpetrators of sexual assault, that’s most definitely not the case.According to RAINN, 93 percent of sexual assault victims under the age of 18 know their attackers.

Of course! If the abuser in a relationship (because women can be abusers too) has access to a firearm and wishes to yield power and control over another, it is logical that any means of intimidation and control will be used. Financial, mental, and physical means will be used- a gun allows the abuser a means of intimidation without being too close to their victim.

There is not actual numbers of that statistic that allow for an understanding of how many victims of abuse owned their own firearm and still resulted in their death. Where are the numbers of the abuse victims that survived the ordeal and found solace in owning a firearm. What about the abuse victims that got away and bought a firearm for self-protection afterwards?

No. Let’s just retrain the men not to abuse or rape women. Yes, that is the answer. Let’s not allow Americans their 2nd Amendment right, let’s just change our mainstream culture which systematically objectifies women through all entertainment and advertising channels.

What a cop-out answer! Alanna, where is the empowerment you suggest is misdirected? Call for help and wait? Pray that you won’t be killed or hurt worse in the meantime?

The statistic of 93% sexual assault victims know their attacker, why wouldn’t you want a potential victim to know how to defend themselves? If a woman gets firearm training, she will also get situational awareness training, firearm safety training, and learn about other self-defense techniques. No, let’s just retrain the criminals who have no regard for others.

Stay Safe. Stay Aware.


Review: Gun Tote’N Mama’s Chrome Zip Purse

Posted on Posted in Product Reviews

I am a bit picky about what I use as a purse; I am an active person that cares about security so I want quick access pockets for my cell phone and keys. Add to that my desire to conceal carry and have quality materials that won’t wear out too quickly, I can seem like a demanding purse shopper.

I have seen concealed carry purses with western themes, ones that look like a thrift store buy almost non-descript except the pleather they are made of.  By tastes alone, I have expensive taste but a thrifty bank account- I have to find good looking and quality for a good price.

Chrome Zip, Cross Body

After months of debating and trying out different purses at gun shows and outdoor retailers, I decided I really liked the leather of the Gun Tote’N Mamas collection. The purses didn’t feel like pleather, they were stylized as normal purses and they have extra security features that other purses do not.

At first I was turned off by the lack of a locking zipper but after owning a purse, I realize the locking zipper wouldn’t help you in a situation where you need your firearm. If you are using a concealed carry purse and feel you need a locking zipper to keep your firearm away from others- you need to consider on the body carry instead. At no times should your firearm be out of your control or your reach.

After much debate, I chose the Chrome zip cross-body model. At first I didn’t like the teeth of the chrome zip pockets and I was concerned about the top access to my firearm but now I appreciate both features!

It is made of real leather and feels luxurious. The strap is a security strap with wires running through the middle unnoticeably to prevent a cut and run mugging attempt. I love wearing this bag cross body, my hands are freed and I can adjust the strap for the length.  You can get a short strap additionally to switch out the longer one with but I have found I haven’t really needed the short strap.

I especially appreciate the top access for in the vehicle carry, my firearm is secured next to me without an additional holster in my vehicle and I can access it quickly if I need to.  The concealment compartment includes a holster that is secured by Velcro and secures your firearm in place at whichever angle you desire.

The purse has 2 outside pockets, one shallow and one deeper with magnetic zipper fob closures. I keep my daily must haves there, such as my keys. Inside is two side pockets and one side zipper pocket with one main compartment.

I receive compliments all the time about my purse; no one knows it is a concealed carry purse except those that know to look for the side zippers. I use my purse for work and every day. I would love to see this style in more colors or prints even.

To find your next Gun Tote’N Mamas purse, visit:

“Oh, I’d love to do that,” she exclaims!

Posted on Posted in Advocacy, Being A Woman

There are very few women I have met that don’t want anything to do with guns. Most of the time, women wish they had time, or wish they knew where to learn when I ask them why they don’t shoot. The one thing I realize is that they consider it an optional pastime as I once did.

It’s for fun, novelty. The local gun store has a ‘Ladies’ Night’ and you get 50 rounds of .22 ammo, a 22. semi-auto and/or revolver pistol. You sit through a short presentation on grip and sights and then go onto the range to shoot. You leave with your target, a grin on your face, and a t-shirt. This may be an excellent way to introduce women to shooting for some but it is lacking in so many regards in my opinion.

On some level, everyone understands the need for personal safety and the reasons why someone would carry but there is a path to take between the thought and the action. First, I feel the solution is to make the path to action easier and more accessible. Women need to know who to talk to, I think this is the main reason women are not as involved as they could be. Shooting sports aren’t even televised or reported about!

For most women, shooting is a man’s world- we see it in the movies and our own male friends and husbands can talk hours about their ‘macho’ subjects. It is no longer just a man subject anymore, women who shoot, enjoy it and want to learn more. However, the cultural norm prevents women from crossing that invisible line, unless they see another woman interested and talking about it. I wish there was more media exposure to the shooting industry, that the 3-gun events were mainstream broadcasted and IDPA and other competitions were more mainstream.

As women shooters, I feel we have to share our experiences and encourage other women. I was hooked when I saw Julie Golob on Love at First Shot on NRA Women TV, how wonderful is that! I want to do that! The more I learn, the more I love, the more I want to share.  The more I see violence in the news, the more I want to arm others so they can protect themselves.

We have to change the “Oh, I’d love to do that!” to “Wow, that was awesome, I want to learn more!”

Stay Safe. Stay Aware.


She’s Packin’!

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Advocacy, Being A Woman

Very soon social media with be abuzz with She’s Packin’ photos, to bring awareness to women who carry personal protection devices. This campaign is close to all of our hearts because concealed carry is just that, concealed. We want to share with other women that they can protect themselves, see what we carry, you can too!

Carrying women will be sharing a photo amongst their friends, groups, and family. The group of women involved in spreading the message and bringing awareness that women are just as serious about personal protection as men, and want for women to feel empowered. Even if another woman decides to start carrying pepper spray or a self-defense tool on their keychain, it’s one tool more than she had before.

If you see a She’s Packin’ photo, please feel free to submit your own photo in the comments below or jump into the conversation! We are more than happy to talk about the products pictured and answer any questions you have. If you would like to get involved, email me, or private message Live Love Load via social media and I will get your She’s Packin’ photo ready to share!

The photo with this post is from Henn Holsters and Tactical, owner Hannah shared her own photo for this project. Please visit her Etsy shop for more options that may fit your conceal carry needs. Henn Holsters is also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so please feel free to Like & Share her posts.

#ShesPackin #LadiesRoar #LadiesShootToo

Stay safe. Stay Aware.