Your email:

Connect with Beretta

Beretta Blog

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Myths & Misconceptions of Concealed Carry - Training Series


Beretta Tomcat for conceal carryThere are many myths and misconceptions regarding concealed carry in the United States. Some are related to efficiency of equipment like handgun selection, holster selection, defensive ammunition and tools for training. Others are connected to gender stereotypes and socio-economic norms. Personal responsibility, a commitment to relevant training and legal considerations are other areas that we all should continue to be mindful of. Physical strength and the strength of the human will to survive are additional topics for discussion. There are many areas that we will explore together through this series. In this segment, I would like to establish a baseline grounded in truth and focused on choices.

Beretta Nano in holster

The commitment to conceal carry is a very big decision and one not to be taken lightly. It is a lifestyle choice similar to your commitment to health, exercise, working hard in your job or to support your household. It is a willful choice that must be made with careful consideration before you begin. Unlike many of life’s learning opportunities, drawing your firearm to stop a life threatening situation, or failing to, is not something that you want to look back on with regret realizing that you were not really prepared. This is one aspect of your lifestyle that requires research, knowledge, mental preparation as well as the cultivation of the physical skill set necessary to optimize your ability to navigate a critical dynamic incident. This decision demands your full attention on the front end because without due diligence, you may not have an opportunity to look back and evaluate what you could have or should have done differently. There may not be a tomorrow for experience to lend itself to. Some decisions are final.

My father always taught me to “begin with the end in mind and think it all the way through.” This has proven to be worthy advice in many areas of my life.  It was and continues to be applicable to my daily decision to carry my firearm for the protection of myself and others. The everyday choices we make in life directly impact the quality of it. How you choose to protect your life and those you love is one of the most important factors to consider. Choices require an analysis of the pros and cons. Some require research and the counsel of those who are subject matter authorities. There are in addition moral considerations and matters of responsibility for our actions that come into play. Choices have consequences both positive and negative and our goal should be to position ourselves as advantageously as possible for a successful outcome. Though there are no guarantees and we cannot control everything, we each have a responsibility to ourselves and those that depend on us to give the time and attention to detail where personal safety and well-being are concerned.

A common misconception about the choice to conceal carry is that having a firearm is enough. There is a serious differentiator that needs to be addressed.  Checking the box on simply buying a gun and carrying it with you every day is a dangerous place to stop in the process. Unfortunately, many people take a required class or just simply fill out the necessary paperwork required to legally carry and stop there. An overview of these decisions can be found in one our most successful white papers: The 10 Most Important Things to Know About Conceal Carry.

Many don’t realize that there is so much more that goes into this choice. Getting the permit and the tools are just a part of the process. If you were going to build your own home for the first time, would you just apply for the building permit and then buy the tools and supplies without really understanding all aspects of how to build successfully? That’s a simple example, but in reality concealed carry is much more than a simple concept or a perceived easy solution to making you feel safer. Feeling safe just because you have a gun is a serious misconception. I always tell the men women and families that I train a simple key phrase: “Feelings are not Facts. Just because you feel safe, does not mean that you are safe.” This applies to many aspects of personal protection, but with regard to concealed carry, there is an important differentiator here. Before you make the decision to carry a gun there is work to be done on the front end that has nothing to do with the actual gun itself.

Your mind is your primary weapon. Your ability to navigate a critical dynamic incident is directly impacted with the pre-loading of your decision making paradigm. The boundaries that you predetermine include proximity to a threat, how many verbal warnings will you give if any, the legalities involved, if you are alone versus if you have a family member with you, how many threats versus how many rounds of ammo do you have, how to determine the greatest threat if there are multiples or if a person that you know or love become the threat to you. These are just a few examples of things to think through and train through while preloading your decision making paradigm. Taking yourself through the mental preparation of “what to do if” and “if this then that” is a fundamental means of preparing to navigate those situations more successfully.

Realistically none of us can prepare for every possible scenario. But what we can do is prepare our minds with informed, pre-loaded decisions about what choices we are willing to live with. Being as prepared as we can be in advance helps to minimize the negative after effects or potentially fatal effects of not being ready.

I encourage each of you to think about where you are in your mental preparation for defending your life. Your firearm is a tool to be used as an extension of the decisions and preparations you make in advance. If you believe that in your hour of need or moment of truth that somehow the skills and fortitude to act without hesitation will somehow miracle themselves into your brain and body, you are taking a big risk with your life and those you intend to protect. Are you willing to accept the consequences of that decision? We will discuss more on this topic in future posts and will explore this topic in more depth. For now, think about how much time you have dedicated to mental preparation. How seriously do you take your physical training regimen? What changes need to be made? Are you really ready?

This series is designed to address some of the common misconceptions surrounding concealed carry that pertain to both men and women. Each topic presented is done so with hopes to stimulate your mindset, perceptions, training habits, purchasing considerations and overall belief system surrounding this life preserving commitment to your personal safety. Whether you are a seasoned concealed carrier, or just starting to consider it as an option for personal defense, my goal is to bring you relevant perspectives to lend insight into this all important aspect of your life.

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube


This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Should I Carry a Round in the Chamber? - Self Defense



What an interesting topic this is. Take a moment and view the video first.

We know that, to best defend ourselves and our loved ones, we must be ready, equipped and know what to do if necessary. Winning and surviving is about having the edge in the fight, whether that is in time, equipment, skill, and perhaps even in luck. We need to give ourselves the edge to win. As discussed in the video, there is no doubt that not having a round in the chamber can put us at a great disadvantage and at risk. So why, then, is having a round in the chamber something we hesitate to do? After all, we carry a gun to be able to defend ourselves so naturally we don't want to put ourselves at greater risk, so why do so many choose to do exactly that?

But fear can also cause us to make decisions and choices without fully understanding the issue and the ramifications. We then make emotional decisions and not ones based on complete, accurate information and perhaps ones that are not in our best interest. We do so because of fear. We fear having a negligent discharge and someone getting hurt. This is a good thing to not have happen, so being concerned is natural and healthy. It is only responsible for us to do everything we can to prevent it from happening.

Beretta Pico

I believe that the KEY factor in this decision is CONFIDENCE. This is where both the question and the answer lies. Your level of confidence in knowing your gun, having it secured and under your control at all times and handling your gun is directly related to your confidence and willingness to carry your defensive handgun with a round in the chamber.

You are the keeper of your confidence and you are the only one that can raise it. Committed practice and experience is what can and will raise your confidence. Do your homework and due diligence in selecting the proper holster and equipment to minimize negligent discharges. Practice holstering and unholstering your unloaded gun to gain confidence and skill. Practice shooting as much as you can so you know everything your gun can do and everything it can't do.

Carrying a gun is serious business, with serious consequences. If you are going to carry a gun, you need to be READY to carry one and ready to use it. If you are not, then perhaps you should wait until you are. Ready means being mentally prepared; it means you are trained, comfortable and competent to to carry and use your gun. Anything less, leaves you and others at risk.

Of course, each one of us makes our own decisions and we each have unique factors in our lives that influence them.

Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and quest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook orTwitter and visit

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube


This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

The Consequences of Using your Firearm for Self Protection


I want to talk about ending a life. Can you do it? Are you ready to make that decision? Are you ready to pull the trigger?

Every time I check my hadngun before I carry it, the thought goes through my head that I might have to use the weapon in self defense and potentially end a life.

I have two guidelines I rely on when it comes to self defense. I don’t remember where my guidelines came from. I have heard them repeated often in one form or another for a long time now, but ever since I owned my first gun these two points have been my guidelines when it comes to self defense. They are:

  • Never draw a gun unless you intend to shoot.

  • Never shoot unless you intend to kill.

I am not an expert, but I think these are two very important guidelines for anyone with a conceal carry permit.

If you have to draw your weapon then it should only be in a situation where you are ready and willing to shoot and shoot to kill. If you are not to the point in an altercation where you are so scared for your life that you are willing to use a lethal response then you weapon should stay in your holster.

This is something that I believe a lot of people who have their conceal carry permits do not realize or understand. I am afraid that a lot of people, especially those who are new to the gun culture, do not have a complete understanding of this concept.

The simple fact is that, if you draw your weapon to scare or wound, then you don’t need to be drawing your weapon; or, if you draw your weapon, it should only be to pull the trigger and put three rounds into the bad guy. End of story. If you carry a weapon and think that you can use it to scare a bad guy away or wound them but not kill them, you are, in my opinion, fooling yourself and it will most likely get you or someone you care about hurt or killed.

I hope I am wrong, but I am afraid that there is a segment of the conceal carry culture that has not really considered the implications of just carrying a weapon or the implications of using their weapon in self defense and the full repercussions of a lethal or even a non-lethal outcome.

If you shoot someone, there will be legal, psychological and possibly physical consequences.


We can practice at the range weekly, but we need to also be just as mentally ready to respond to a threat as we are physically ready. If we are not ready to pull the trigger, put two to the chest and one to the head and accept the consequences of that action then we are not ready to carry a concealed weapon.

Everyone who is part of what they call the “Gun Culture” needs to do more to mentally prepare people to carry a concealed weapon and to educate permit holders of the implications and consequences involved. I think we all would benefit from more information, education and dialog about this topic.

There are quite a few ranges and companies that offer real-life scenario classes that run conceal carry permit holders through the wringer with scenarios that show them how you will really respond to a threat versus how you are supposed to respond.

I have not been through any of these classes. I hope I get a chance to some day. I think that they would be very beneficial.

So... are you ready to draw you weapon and kill the mugger who just shoved a pistol in your spouse’s face demanded that you give him your wallet? Is that life worth the $48 you are carrying? What are the chances of them shooting your spouse if you draw your pistol? Will the mugger shoot you anyway if you hand over your wallet instead of drawing your gun?

Can you live with the fact that you killed someone?

Have you even thought about it?

Are you ready?


You can follow Jason on Twitter @thejasonparks

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube


This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Concealed Carry Handguns for Women in the Summer


In Arizona, our temperatures have already hit 100!  The hot weather of summer can make concealed carry quite a challenge. For many of you, you also have humidity to deal with! Unfortunately, for many women this results in leaving the gun at home. Our need to protect ourselves does not go down in the summer, we must find ways to carry in every season.

I wish I had the one true simple fix for you, but I don't. Here however are some things that can help you better and more comfortably conceal as the temperatures increase and your clothing decreases!!

Remember though, there are times, as an armed woman, you will have to make some adjustments and sacrifices to accomplish carrying effectively and safely all of the time. There is no perfect solution and the bottom line may be you must make some changes. The only other option is to not carry, likely not what you want.  

Go Looser and Longer

Thankfully, light, loose and whispy doesn't ever go out of style. Looser, lighter clothing is not only more comfortable, it is cooler too as it allows the air to circulate and keep things cool! Wear a long cotton shirt with your summer shorts/skirts to easily conceal your in the waist or on the belt holstered gun. Wear patterned shirts and dresses, the pattern helps to helps to minimize any "bulge".  The Betty is a great in the pants holster in any season. Its minimal design means less stuff in your pants. The Magnetic is a very popular holster for the simple reason it requires no belt or heavy waist band to secure itself to the waistband. If wearing summer dresses, the bra holsters (mentioned above) are a good bet along with  the Pistol Wear Under arm and the Ultra Under arm, both made with great breathable fabrics and are another great choice.

Betty Holster shown   betty karh in use 3cropped resized 600

Betty holster shown above


Go Deeper

Summer weight pants, shorts and skirts means lighter and weaker waistbands which can make on the waist or in the pants carry very difficult. Try a holster that isn't dependent on the waistband such as the Pistol Pouch which "buries" the firearm down on the pelvic area. This is a cotton holster with a thin band that is worn around your hips.  Your belly band worn low and on your hips can also be a solution, but tend to be a bit warmer because of the elastic. Both bra holsters, the Flashbang and the Marilyn are also good choices. The Pistol Wear Under Arm  and Ultra Under Arm holsters also are great "deep" choices. Keep in mind however that going deeper brings with it some challenges, mainly accessing your gun quickly and safely. Practice these draws regularly with your unloaded gun. Carrying your firearm off body should be your last choice. Carrying in a concealed carry purse introduces much greater levels of risk and provides access to your gun that no one should have. The utmost care MUST be taken when doing so.


pwunder arm front 3photo  pw in use 2 web

Pistol Wear Under Arm Holster shown above

Go Smaller

Although not the ideal solution, as we don't want to give up firepower if we don't have to. Carrying a smaller gun in the summer months is an option and is better than not carrying any gun at all. if you can afford a second gun, the very small and compact semi-automatics and lightweight revolvers are very easy to hide. Some are now so slim that they don't create a bulge, and who needs more of those?? You may want to research the available holsters for these models prior to purchasing to make sure the type of holster you want/need to wear is available for it. One important thing to be aware of is that the smaller, lighter guns will have quite a bit more recoil to contend with. They simply don't have the weight and size necessary to absorb it, so that means your hand an arm do!!!


Beretta Nano

Pico 0057


Perhaps you have some things that have worked for you that are not covered here. Please feel free to post them.

Stay cool ladies and stay safe!


Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and quest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook orTwitter and visit

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube


This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

An Honest Look At The Concealed Carry Purse


by Carrie Lightfoot - Guest Contributor

The Concealed Carry Purse, people either love them or they hate them. To carry your firearm in a concealed carry purse is your decision to make and there is no right or wrong answer. What there is though, is what is recommended. You are an intelligent woman who can consider all of the information, the risks and the pro's and con's and make an intelligent decision for yourself if a concealed carry purse is right for you. Why do so many fiercely counsel against this popular mode of carry? Likely for two reasons. One, there is serious risk anytime our guns are not on our bodies and two, it limits our ability to respond as quickly as possible and those seconds could count! These are very real issues that must be considered and consciously accepted by you when making the decision to holster your gun in a concealed carry purse. I trust you will do this.

What do I think about concealed carry purses? First, I must tell you that I believe my role is to provide information and resources and let you make your own decisions. My opinion is just that, my opinion and really only matters to me in making the decision for myself. What do I know? I know that awareness and practice are key. Do I carry in a concealed carry purse? Yes, sometimes I do. Why? Because there are times that if I didn't, I wouldn't have my gun with me, and that is not an option for me. (As long as it is legal) 
I know myself - I know my capabilities - and I practice. Having your gun holstered somewhere ON your middle is BEST. It is close, it is safe and it easy to get to. You really can't argue with that. On The Body is the safest and best way to carry your gun, Period! Can you carry safely in a concealed carry purse, yes you can. The proper purse, meticulous awareness, and practice drawing/shooting from one is the key. 

When choosing to carry in a concealed carry purse, here are some questions you might ask yourself in making this decision:

  • Am I forgetful?
  • Have I left my purse behind in the last 6 months, in the restroom, a restaurant or store?
  • Am I around small children regularly who might have access to my purse?
  • Am I willing to carry my purse cross-body to minimize risk of someone taking my purse?
  • Can I keep it on me and store it properly when it must be off my body?
  • Will I vow to always have my gun in a holster in a designated compartment of the purse?
  • Am I disciplined enough to practice the awkward draw and use of my gun from the concealed carry purse? (yes, you may very likely need to shoot through the purse to not loose the precious seconds)

These are just a handful of important questions to ask yourself. It is your decision, one that it is important you make honestly and thoughtfully. If you can't answer these questions with confidence, than even if you think this is the best option for you because of the convenience, it likely is not a good choice for you.

Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and quest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook orTwitter and visit
Make sure you follow Beretta on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube
This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube


This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Things that go crash in the night...

The word 'gun' conjures up different images, depending on who is thinking it. We think of guns as tools of the trade, as hunting implements, as devices for our hobbies.

Beretta Model 96
And then there are stories that bring the many facets of a gun alive, showing, for example, that a handgun purchased originally for concealed-carry can serve its purpose when we're home, and the threat is not another person, bent on threatening our welfare, but dangerous, nonetheless.

The story below is from Dean Rosnau, who holds a CCW license and a Beretta 96.
When a noise awakens him and his wife in the middle of the night, Dean is prepared for anything. Well, almost anything.

"I was awakened at 0100 by some crashing sounds, clearly coming from the downstairs area of our home. My wife stated, "Something's in our kitchen!"

I jumped out of bed, threw on some pajama bottoms and a sweatshirt, and grabbed my model 96 .40 cal Beretta and an extra mag. (loaded with 180 grain S & W FMJ) I chambered a round and started downstairs, not knowing whether someone or someTHING was in my home. (I am a CCW holder) More noises drew me towards the kitchen. Nearing the kitchen at the end of our hallway, with weapon in a lowered safe position, I suddenly heard a loud crashing noise from the dining room, 20 feet away, and I raised my weapon in that direction.

There, halfway through the window, was a HUGE bear. My ability to fire was compromised by a home across the road, directly in the line of fire should I have missed. I resorted to yelling..."Get out of here you son of a bitch!"....the bear backed out of the window. I went to the front door, on the wall 90 degrees from where the bear was standing on the deck, and switched on the porch light, in hopes that the bear would get scared and flee. Seconds after the lights came on, there was a huge crash of splintering wood....I assumed the bear went right through the deck rail.

I opened the front door and took 4 steps towards a blind corner leading to the front deck where the bear had been. 20 feet from that blind corner, the bear suddenly appeared in front of me. I stopped in my tracks and raised my weapon. The bear immediately raised it's lips, snarled at me, then started straight for me. As I backed toward the open front door, I squeezed off 4 rounds, striking the bear with all 4 in the chin and forehead. The bear wobbled, but kept coming.

I stepped into the open door, and the bear went down the steps off the deck into the front yard, clearly wounded. Not wanting to let a wounded bear get out in the community, I stepped forward towards the bear, and from 15 feet, put two more rounds in the hind quarters to slow it down. The bear then wobbled more severely, but headed towards my driveway. From 30 to 40 feet, I put the last four rounds into her, then slapped in my second mag.

The bear dropped on my driveway, clearly mortally wounded, and I walked up to it and fired 3 rounds to the head. Done.

This whole event...from the moment I saw the bear in the window, to when she was dead and down, was less than 60 seconds. (Notice the look on my face in the picture... kinda like, 'What just happened?'

Later that morning, the [Department of Fish and Game] came and retrieved the carcass. The sow weighed 322 pounds, and was 'Wanted' for breaking into numerous homes for the past 2 years."

You can view a larger version of this image here.

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube


This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

When you've got to go.... You've got to go!

by Carrie Lightfoot - Guest Contributor

The ladies' room, potty, doing your business, going to the bathroom, or even powdering your nose. Whatever you call it - we ALL have to do it! The problem is, what in the world do you do with your concealed firearm when you do? 

For some obvious reasons, men have it a little easier in this department, well... most of the time. There is quite a bit of confusion and not a lot of discussion on this “interesting” topic. In a recent discussion on The Well Armed Woman Facebook page, the lack of information clearly results in less-than-safe solutions. So, what should you do? You don’t want anyone in the next stall to see your firearm, freak out and call 911 when you’re simply answering Mother Nature’s call. You don’t want it to fall on the floor and slide over to into the next stall with a mother assisting her young child and you certainly don’t want to do anything that could risk an accidental discharge. So what do you do? 

Photo: Theo Romeo UCD Advocate
The answer is quite simple. The less you do the better! Any time your remove your firearm from its holster you create risk. A well-made "in the pants" or "on the waist" holster should hold your firearm snug, even if you accidentally turn it upside down. If yours doesn’t, get a new one.  Not everyone likes a thumb break but here is a good place where they come in handy. Keep your hand on the HOLSTERED firearm as you carefully slide down your pants and keep your hand on it. Keep the top of your pants up off the floor and out of view from “neighbors”. If you’re wearing a belt, this is even more important as once you undo your belt - the weight of whole package takes on a mind of its own. 

The problems arise when you remove the firearm to get comfortable. Some of you are placing it on the toilet paper dispenser, the back of the toilet and even hanging it by the trigger guard on the hook on the door. These are no safe solutions and yes, even the most responsible and conscientious gun owners can leave and forget their firearms behind. It has happened, perhaps it has even to you. 

Many women are wearing bra holsters and belly bands. With these holsters this challenge is eliminated. For those of you that carry in your purse, as awkward as it may be, place your purse on your lap or even hang it over your body cross body style.  

If for some reason not addressed here you MUST remove the firearm from your body, keep it holstered and hold it or keep it on your lap while you’re “busy”.

All of this “work” just to do your business may seem cumbersome, uncomfortable and even a pain in the neck. The truth is, this comes with the responsibility of safe gun ownership. If you really think about it, we are very lucky to even have the right and opportunity to be a little uncomfortable this way.  So... Give thanks and go take care of business! 

Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and quest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook orTwitter and visit

Make sure you follow Beretta on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube


This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Crutching Around With A CCW


By Jason Parks – Guest Contributor

I have some questions that I want you to think about for a minute:

How does someone with a permanent physical disability carry a concealed weapon?

How much more time does it take for them to draw and fire compared to someone without a physical disability?

How can they avoid a confrontation if they cannot quickly extricate themselves from a dangerous location?

What affect does having a physical disability have on your situational awareness?

Do laws take into account a person’s physical disability if they are forced to use their weapon?

Now I want you to consider this scenario:

A man is home in bed with his wife. The sound of breaking glass wakes him up. He lies there for a moment listening. Did he dream it or was it real? His wife is still asleep beside him. Then he hears it – the sound of the deadbolt unlocking and the slight squeak of a door hinge that he has been meaning to oil.

He realizes that someone has just broken into his home.

He wakes his wife up and tells her what’s happening. She grabs the phone and calls 911. He gets out of bed and into his wheelchair. He is paralyzed from the waist down from a car wreck. He gets his pistol and flashlight from the drawer of his night stand.

His wife has been shooting a few times, but is not that familiar with guns. He is armed and ready, but his two children’s rooms are between him and the intruder. To get to their rooms he has to wheel himself out of his bedroom and down the hall to their rooms. He can’t simultaneously hold the pistol and the flash light and wheel himself into the hallway.

What does he do?

Most people don’t think about the challenges that people with physical disabilities face when it comes to CCW and personal safety. I think about it because a little over two years ago, I broke my left femur while walking. Believe me, I wish I had a great story to go with it but it was simply that I stepped wrong and broke it. The bone was brittle, and it shattered because of the radiation treatment I received when I had cancer. For a good story, remind me to tell you about the chainsaw incident.

Anyway, I have been on crutches for two years, two months and counting. I recently acquired my concealed carry permit so all these questions have been on my mind along with figuring out how to best carry a concealed pistol while on crutches. The standard stuff just doesn’t work. I Googled “concealed carry”+”disability” a few weeks back and got a lot of links that I have not looked at yet. I wanted to be able to take you on this little jaunt into figuring all this out with me.

So what do you think? Is it harder for someone with a physical disability to protect themselves and their families?

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.

Make sure you follow Beretta on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

You can follow Jason on Twitter @thejasonparks.

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube


This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

All Posts