About Me

I hold multiple NRA Instructor credentials, as well as SabreRed Pepper Spray. I have my own training company in Northern Virginia, www.FemaleandArmed.com and am focusing primarily on teaching women, especially those who are new to shooting.

I am also the author of 3 books, available on Amazon, and at many major outlets. I am a contributing writer for Combat Handgun Magazine and Women and Guns Magazine.

Thank you for following along with me as this journey continues.

Safe Shooting!

my books

my books
Thoughts, comments and insights for women who shoot and the men who love us!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Armed Citizen versus Armed Criminal

The previous post generated a lot of feedback and got me to thinking. Thanks to Cathi B. for making a great point. Many criminals (at least the thugs and muggers) do not take the time to learn and practice firearm skills. We probably won’t see them in a NRA class or at the range practicing drawing and shooting. Who do we see? Law abiding citizens who are having practicing, honing their skills and generally having fun.

What does this mean to those of us who live an armed lifestyle? We probably know a lot more about firearms than that average mugger, and have a lot more skill. Does this mean they aren’t dangerous? NO! In some ways they may be more dangerous, as many who choose to attack an innocent person have no conscience about pulling the trigger. They simply do not care. However, if it comes down to a gun fight, I take some small comfort in knowing that my skills are probably much more advanced, and I have practiced getting off the “X” and responding to a threat.

Safe Shooting

Thursday, June 28, 2012

NTYDTTRD attracts anti-gun attention

On June 24, the Sun Sentinel (Central Florida) columnist Gary Stein wrote an anti-gun piece that mentioned NTYDTTRD. I guess we have hit the big time! LOL

“Of course, gun nuts always come up with ludicrous ways to promote weapons. Just recently — again, I am not making this up — gun fanatics were agog over National Take Your Daughter to the Range Day. Kind of makes your toes tingle, doesn't it?”

I did, in fact, email Mr. Stein, very politely, and mentioned that the number one objective of the event was safety education and the number two was family time. I suggested that if he tried target shooting he might understand that some of us find it fun. He responded, equally polite, but made it clear that he “abhors” guns and the NRA. Mmmm??? So much for non-biased journalism?
In skimming the comments I came across this one. I considered responding and decided that this kind of close minded thinking would never be phased by simple facts or anyone else’s opinion. (name withheld to protect the foolish)

XXXXXXXX at 11:19 AM June 25, 2012
“I completely agree with the author.
Guns owners are disrespectful of authority. A failure to rely on authorities is an invariable sign of improper and overly independent attitudes. The mere fact that they gather together to talk about guns at gun shops, gun shows, shooting ranges, and on the internet means that they have some plot going against us normal people. A gun owner has no right to associate with another gun owner.
Therefore, to help ensure our right to happiness and safety we must ban and seize all guns from private hands, and forbid NRA-based criticism towards people who are only trying to help. Searching the homes of all NRA members for any guns and pro-gun literature will go a long way towards reducing crime.
Common sense requires only uniformed soldiers, police, and other agents of the state have access to firearms, and think of all the money we can save by just taking away the guns from private owners and giving them to the military and police. No person should be able to challenge this by writing to Congress or the President. If they do they should be forced in court to admit to it and then fined a hundred million dollars for each time. Subjecting them to torture will probably change their minds.”

Wow…I, as most lawful gun owners do, have a true respect for the law and for doing the right thing. I also respect the constitution that allows me to not only own firearms but have free assembly. Apparently Mr. X doesn’t realize that most armed criminals are probably not NRA
members, nor are the criminals likely to be gathering to chat at gun shows or ranges. He also doesn’t seem to realize that the “authorities” are reactive, usually arriving after a crime has been committed. Good luck with that.
This was the first time I’ve really come across such vehement anti-gun sentiment. It set me back on my heels a little. I do not understand why someone thinks they have the right to decide that I’m wrong when I am acting responsibly and within the law? And torture for disagreeing? Isn’t that a bit Marxist? There is an old line, but very true, “If guns are illegal only criminals will have guns".

Safe Shooting!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Concealed Carry when you are Pregnant

Most of us understand that going to the range while you are expecting is probably not a great idea.  The lead, the noise...none of it is good for the baby.  However, as your tummy grows, your center of balance is shifted, you may feel more vulnerable and want to continue to carry concealed, but how?  This question has come up a couple times so I'd like to offer a couple options here.

After a lot of thought, and asking several women who have kids, we all came to the same conclusion, a Remora holster. Once you move from “regular” clothing to that with a stretchy panel, there is no belt to secure a holster, you need something you can tuck in to the general are of the strong side hip, shifting for comfort and the movement of your baby. If you are wearing a dress, your options are more limited, especially the closer you are to your due date as you probably can’t see your feet, let alone reach your thigh. At that point you might consider a sized up Belly Band (the stretchy band with the pockets for magazines and your gun). Wear it like a maternity belt, wrapped low under your belly. Yes, you run the risk of showing the world your Tuesday panties on Thursday if you have to draw, but it is better than being without your gun.

Stay Safe!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

FAQs – Who do I teach with and why?

I’m often asked, who do I teach with and why?  I teach with Innovative Defensive Solutions, LLC, in Northern Virginia, which is owned and operated by Evan Carson (who, though under 30, have a very impressive resume and credentials including NRA Training Counselor, experienced competitive shooter and he made it to Top Shot’s audition finals). 
Why?  When I first considered getting Instructor credentials, I looked on the NRA portal and found Evan and another company locally that offered instructor classes.  Evan was the one who called me back, LOL.  After we talked, I thought maybe I wasn’t ready (seems to be a common reaction from women but not men, mmm, wonder why?).  He convinced me to meet him at the range and shoot to assess my skills and he promised honest feedback on if he thought I was ready.  Evan is more concerned about getting good instructors out there than about the money, which I appreciated.  He showed me a couple things I could improve on, and made a significant difference in my grouping.  We talked, I agreed to take the class and when I passed he approached me about becoming an adjunct instructor.  He let me sit in on classes for over a month before I started teaching, getting comfortable with the material and practicing my left handed gun handling.  He was adamant that all the instructors learn to do everything with either hand because we get right and left handed students.  I still can’t load the magazine with my left hand, or one handed, but everything else I learned. 
Why do I teach?  Certainly not to get rich!  J  Simple answer is I love it.  I’m passionate about shooting and helping others learn, I really enjoy that moment on the range with a new student, someone who has never shot before, when they begin to realize they can do this!  They are doing it!  They are doing it well!!  The smile it worth so much, the high fives, the occasional hugs…all amazing.
There are not enough caring and enthusiastic women instructors out there yet.  Think about sharing the joy of shooting!  The rewards come in ways you might never have imagined.

Safe Shooting!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I need your help...

Many of you know I’ve been working on a book for women shooters, starting at the beginning, finding and instructor, buying a gun and going through concealed carry and unarmed defense (or as I like to think of it, buying time to get to where I can use my gun). 
I’m so close to being finished, but I need to add just a bit more to get to my word count.  If you were reading a book like the one described above, what would you want to read in it?  Any topic or something special you would like to see addressed?  You might identify something I haven’t thought of, and if it is something you are interested in, there are probably lots of other women who would have a similar question or thought.
Thanks for your help!  I will keep you posted on the progress.  It is currently set for a spring release.
Safe Shooting!

Monday, June 18, 2012

My Remora Holster and MY Ruger LC9...Perfection!

Following the directions provided by Allan at Remora I warmed up the holster and fitted it to my LC9.  I left it for 24 hours and it is a perfect custom fit, laser and all.  If you’ve read me recently you know I’m new to the Remora holsters, but have quickly become a convert.  Instead of digging out the hybrid holster for my Glock 19, I grab the remora, tuck it into the waist band and go.  It gives me a lot of options, is easy to draw from, secure…just don’t undo the waist without catching your holster. 
I just got a pair of Remora mag holders.  Ladies, picture this…Where would you put a gun and pare mag with a Wrap dress?  Thigh band and tuck the spare mag into a pouch and into the side of the bra, under my arm.  A wrap has a deep V neck, so it is easy to get to. 
I have a whole new world of options.  I will probably still use my hybrid holster at the range for drawing and teaching, but…I love the flexibility of the Remora.  I can use it as a pocket holster, IWB, Thigh, Ankle (thigh and ankle for the smaller guns and you need to order the adapters).  I will probably order some additional mag pouches for my knife, flashlight…give them a little extra protection in my pocket.

Safe Shooting!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Review of Ruger LC9

I took my new Ruger LC9 (9mm) to the range for the first time today.  In a word...WOW!  I loved it!  It is only slightly bigger than my LCP .380.  It has a 7+1 capacity.  The biggest difference between the LC9 and it's little sister is the weight.  It is substantial enough to absorb a lot of the recoil.  It is DAO so the trigger pull is long, but not heavy.  It is surprisingly light for a DAO.  The reset is almost all the way out so there is a lot of trigger slack, and that took a little getting used to.  But with the pink tip extension on the mag it was an easy fit (and I regularly shoot a full size Glock) in my hand, comfortable, two handed and one handed.  Easy to handle.  Accurate, nice bright 3 dot sights.  Mine has a laser, but it sits under the barrel so I wouldn't use it with the sights, can't see it.  I can see that it would be great in a low light situation.

I fired 50 rounds through it, no misfeeds, no issues...I shot slow, I shot fast...it feels like a much bigger gun but it still a "pocket" sized pistol.

Extra mags were a little expensive, but worth it.  With the pinky tip extension (which I highly recommend) they were about $35 a piece at the gun show.

It fits perfectly in my Remora holster so I can carry in the waist, in a pocket, on my thigh...Note the LC9 with laser does not fit in a Flashbang bra holster. 

Will it be my primary?  It could, but I still like the extra capacity of my Glock 19.  Would I trust it?  Yes!  Will I carry it regularly as a back up?  Yes!  Primary when I need something a little more discrete, like with a dress.

Bottom line...it shoots like a bigger, heavier gun.  Not hard on the hand, no malfunctions, surprisingly easy to handle.

Safe Shooting!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Oops, I did it again!

Things are slowly coming back to normal, very slowly.  Saturday was such an awesome day, and so much work!  Now, there is a bit of breather time.  Also, very soon I will be back on track with my posting, thank you for your patience while I recycled a little and wrote about NTYDTTRD. 

Sunday I had to work early for Innovative Defensive Solutions, LLC.  Early, but not long.  That meant...Gun Show!  Couldn't resist, there was a big Gun Show at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly VA this past weekend, had to stop in and "look".  Well, if you read me you know...guns are like shoes.  I haven't been able to get my Glock 26 away from my husband, he really likes it.  That was my back up.  I have an LCP, but they do have issues with mis-feeds, even for me (some experience, know how to grip it, etc.) so...I bought a Ruger LC9 with a laser.  Never had a laser, planning to take it to the range and adjust is this weekend.  The LC9 if heavier than my Glock 26, but with a single stack mag it is a lot smaller profile.  The reviews I've read have all been good, it has been described as a little kicky, but not bad.  I'll let you know what I think after I've broken it down, cleaned it, taken it to the range and put 50-100 rounds through it.

Clean it?  Yep!  Always clean them when they are new, I do anyway.  I learned the hard way.  My first Glock, salesperson looked it over, someone I knew, and said it was fine, go shoot away.  I did, it still had the copper silt in it which ended up in my face...ow!  Nothing quite like getting pelted with tiny shards of metal.  So, yes.  On principle, it is probably a good idea anyway, make sure everything looks like it should, even though they are supposed to put one round through them at the manufacturer.  Ensure it looks right, is clean, lubed up appropriately and ready to go. 

I ordered a Remora thigh holster for the LC9.  Plan to carry it as a back up and on the rare occasions when I can't find a place to put the Glock 19.  Doesn't happen often but in a dress the 19 can be a problem.

So...naming?  I'm leaning toward Raven.  It is black, it is intimidating and I love Edgar Allen Poe...

Safe Shooting!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

National Take Your Daughter to the Range Day was a Success!

Saturday was an amazing day. All across the country, families were shooting together, having fun and learning safe gun handling. Some were experienced, some were new to shooting, but they shared the huge smiles!
I want to express my sincere appreciation to all of the host ranges, the volunteers, the sponsors and most off all to the families who came out and participated.  You all are the ones who made this day possible.  From a short post on FaceBook at the end of January to an event nationwide, with 37 ranges and hundreds of families, if not more…that is awe inspiring. 
A few words about my local event which I co-hosted with my co-founder, Evan Carson if Innovative Defensive Solutions (http://www.innovativesolutions.com/).  Evan was in charge on the range, and if you have ever met him, that was the perfect place for him.  He is a very experienced instructor, competitive shooter and CRSO.  Most of the instructors came from the cadre of adjuncts that work with IDS, and between them brought more guns and donated ammunition than we could actually use in half a day.
I was with the greeters, even though I’m a certified instructor, that was where I felt most needed.  I had some great support, including Laura (Evan’s wife), Shelby (of A Girl and Her Gun) and Dick Heller (yes, that Dick Heller, of Heller vs. DC).  We greeted the families, checked them against the preregistration, got the kids set up with prizes and give aways, got them through their range tests and safety briefs and escorted them onto the range to a waiting instructor.  I saw excitement and nerves heading out.  When them came off the range, most stopped to talk for a minute, or were invited to partake of some of the treats set up for them in a nearby classroom.  I saw smiles, and excitement, and little girls who couldn’t wait to show me their pink targets so I could tell them what a great job they did. 
I did have a chance to go out on the line for a few minutes in the first hour, to see how it was going.  I saw proud parents, I saw little girls shooting for the first time with no fear and having a fabulous time.  I saw instructors grinning almost as wide as the kids!  Frankly, I got a little choked up.  It was everything I had hoped it would be and so much more.
I heard from one of the hosts in Texas, it was the gentleman’s daughter’s birthday.  When she got home, she said the best part was getting to have one on one time with Daddy!  Wow. 
If you have time, check out the FaceBook page, National Take Your Daughter to the Range Day, and take a look at some of the pictures from across the country.  They are so fun!
I can’t wait for next year!  3rd Sat in Jun! Mark your Calendars.  But, don’t wait until Jun, there are youth programs through the NRA, 4H and Appleseed, to name a few, that specialize in teaching kids.  Learn, go to the range together, have fun!
Thank you all and Safe Shooting!

Friday, June 8, 2012

I Chose today to try out my new Remora IWB

And....I love it!  I wa running lots of errands, last minute buying ammo, food, bottled water, juice, etc for the event.  I'm wearing a long broomstick skirt with an eleastic waist and a drawstring and a t-shirt over the top.  I carried my Glock 19 appendix, the holster didn't move, it was truly amazing  I love this holster!  It give me great options and the cocealment is really good. 

I'm impressed!

Safe shooting!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

2 days and counting

National Take Your Daughter to the Range Day is this Saturday.  If you are able to participate in a local event, Great!  Have a fabulous time.  If not, keep us in mind, maybe take a shooting day with the family, but have fun!!
This has been such an amazing journey, some of which you have read here, from inception at the end of January to the last minute scramble to get things together and ready to go.  I’m so excited for our local event I’m almost bouncing.  I can’t wait to see all the kids and their proud parents; the smiles, the joy and excitement on the faces. 
I will be posting photos on the National Take Your Daughter to the Range Day website and the FB pages in the days right after. 
I cannot thank you all enough for your support, encouragement, donations big and small, and for your enthusiasm!  Getting behind this idea, helping to make it a reality.  I’m a little overwhelmed, and I know I’ve said it before, but very humbled. 
Make June 9 a great day, have family fun time.
Special thanks to Evan Carson, President of Innovative Defensive Solutions, my “boss” when I’m wearing my instructor hat, my instructor, my mentor, my co-founder of NTYDTTRD.  His encouragement and support have helped me in more ways than he knows.  BTW, if you are in Northern VA the classes are great!  J
Special thanks to Julie Golob as it was after reading her book, SHOOT, that I had this idea.  She is a very talented lady and very special to me.  She won’t be able to participate this year as she is Captain of a very special team doing a Kidney Walk to raise funds to fight Kidney disease in support of her Dad, who is also an inspiration.  It was him taking his little girl to the range that inspired her to become the amazing champion shooter she is now and to write about it which inspired NTYDTTRD. Consider sending her some support if you can.  Team Aim

The folks at the NRA…you have provided advice, encouragement, support, and have helped get the word out!  I look forward to working with all of you in the future as we get ready for next year, which will be bigger, better and WONDERFUL!
To all the ranges and volunteers across the country…this would be a non-event without all of your hard work and effort.  You are the ones making it happen.  There are too many to name, but special thanks to Cathi, Becky Lou, Janette, Crystal…
Have a safe and wonderful day.
Mark your calendar now for June 15, 2013, the Second Annual National Take Your Daughter to the Range Day!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Getting to Review Products

It is kind of flattering being asked to review a product, or being offered something to try.  I also take it as a sign of recognition for the blog and FB page.  So far I’ve been quite fortunate, I’ve loved everything I’ve been offered.  I know one of these days I will get offered something and will have to write that I didn’t like it and why.  You trust me to give my honest opinion and I couldn’t do anything else.
I will tell you I was so happy with the MagTech hollow points that I ordered enough to replace all my carry ammo, which we should do every so often anyway. 
I also can’t wait to try the Remora holster IWB.  I have carried for a long time in a hybrid IWB strong side hip.  I’m comfortable with it, I’m used to it, I know right where it is.  But there are times when I’ve wished for something a little more discreet, and have wanted to try appendix carry but hadn’t found anything I liked.  That is my plan with the Remora, I will be trying it appendix and let you know what I think.  My only concern is I’m used to clips…I don’t want to drop the holster and gun in the Ladies Room, LOL.  I’m sure it happens, but I need to remember that it isn’t clipped on.
I normally advocate picking a carry method and sticking to it.  In class I explain that I know how my brain works, I’m a creature of habit and as soon as I change where I carry, I will need my gun and be slapping body trying to find it.  However, there are times when my attire dictates changes.  Practicing with a Blue Gun is something I do a lot at home, I can draw from wherever, roll on the floor, punch my heavy bag and draw…  I will let you know how it all works out!  Don’t hesitate to ask questions if I write something that leaves you scratching your head or you disagree!

Safe Shooting!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

More on the Remora Holsters- custom fitting to your firearm

Since so many of you expressed interest in the thigh holster, which I LOVED, and have sent me feedback on how much you love your Remora holsters, I'm passing along this advice I got from the company on how they work and how to custom fit to your firearm.

I also like that I can use it as a pocket holster (great in winter in the big coat pockets!  Can't wait to try out the IWB, I shared one with some of the folks I teach with, and everyone liked it.  The first reaction was great concealment, the second was Hey, I can use this for appendix carry!  My thoughts, too!!

(In the interest of full disclosure, they did send me a couple to try, along with a generous donation of gift certificates for NTYDTTRD.  However, my opinions are my own, and I would never write it if I didn't believe it)

Q.  How does the holster stay in place?
A. The REMORA holsters are a compression type holster which requires a minimum amount of compression to keep the holster in place.
When the REMORA holster is not in the waistband or has no compression to hold the firearm in the holster Yes, the firearm will fall out of the holster if held up-side down. The REMORA holsters remain in place with a minimal amount of compression due to REMORA’S Non-Slip rubber skin.
For the first time using the Remora unload your weapon and insert hand gun in holster .. If the hand gun is a little tight in the holster you can twist and turn the hand gun in the holster or remove the gun and pull and stretch on the mouth of the holster.. For a form fit take a hair dryer and heat up the holster. Make sure your gun is un-loaded wrap your gun in a thin piece of cloth like linen sheet. insert in holster and turn and twist the gun.This will stretch out the holster. Leave the gun in the holster till after it cools and the holster will form to the hand gun.
To install the holster in the waistband for the first time with your un-loaded hand gun. Un-do your belt, waistband snap or button. Find the location you would like to carry IWB. Place the holster and hand gun between your body and waistband. The holster does not need to be against the body as long as the under garment it is against is anchored and cannot be pulled up easy when un-holstering. Snap or button waist band, if using a belt you may have to increase your belt length a notch or two depending on the size of the hand gun. Grab the outside (waistband side) lip of the mouth the holster and give a good pull you will see that the holster will not pull out easily. If the hand gun and holster do pull out increase compression by shortening the belt length till holster cannot be pulled out easily. You can also contract your stomach muscles (suck in your gut) and slip the holster in the waist band in your desired location.
Re-holstering after un-holstering the the Original No-Clip holster. take hold of the outside lip of the holster and insert hand gun in the holster. As always making sure finger is not on the the trigger or inside the trigger guard.
The non-slip rubber contains no latex for those who have allergic reactions.
For more information on the Remora Concealment and Security Products you can visit our website at Remora holsters.com,

Sunday, June 3, 2012

10,000+ and growing!

Crossed the 10,000 threshold!  Wow, you all are awesome!  I'll be contacting a couple of you in the near future about giveaways to celebrate!

Thank you for your support and Safe Shooting!


Remora Thigh Holster First Thoughts

In a word...WOW!  Understand, I'm not a petite woman.  I've never successfully worn thigh high stockings, they always ended up around my ankles. 

I carried a Glock 26 around for most of a day, high on my thigh.  The holster, because of it's construction, is fully adjustable.  I removed the retention strap, and the gun felt very secure.  Up and down stairs, sitting, standing, walking...it didn't move.  I'm right handed, I wore it high on my left thigh, with the gun slightly forward but between the thighs.  It took about 30 minutes before I realized I didn't even notice it anymore.  I practiced drawing several times, smooth, easy, comfortable.  Retention was really good. 

Not sure what the magic trick is that keeps it from sliding down, it was against bare skin, but unlike previous thigh bands there is no annoying waist belt.  This just didn't go anywhere! 

I can't wait to try one one with my .380.

Quality, comfortable, secure...completely hid my gun.  I love it!  This opens up some new opportunities for me, I can wear a dress and stay armed!

Thank you Remora!

Magtech Guardian Gold 9mm HP review

The folks at www.LuckyGunner.com sent me some Magtech Guardian Gold 9mm 124 Gr Jacketed Hollow Points to try.  I had the chance to shoot them at the range this morning.

At 15 feet, rapid fire 10 rounds, my group was less than 1.5 inches.  I would like to take credit for that, but I have to give the rounds their due.  They were so smooth going through my Glock 19.  I reloaded, sent the target out to 25 feet and my results were as impressive.  I was feeling a little cocky until I switched over to my normal FMJ practice rounds, 9mm, 115 gr.  Ok, at 25 feet, on the silhouette, rapid fire, still pretty good, but there was a noticeable difference in the recoil and my grouping was not as good.

This is the second time I've tried Magtech, what I've been reading about the expansion of the HP is good.  I'm convinced.  Time to swap out my carry ammo for Magtech.  If you haven't tried it, and you get a chance, see if you like it as much as I do.  Very smooth were my first thoughts. 

Thank you Lucky Gunner, watch for my order coming soon!

Safe Shooting!