VI – Self-Defense

A Directory of Holster Makers

Image of an OWB leather holster by Urban CarryUsing a holster to carry your defensive firearm is necessary to 1) secure the trigger from negligent discharge, 2) consistently position the gun for safe and rapid deployment, and 3) achieve sustainable comfort for long periods of time. John Correia of Active Self Protection identifies the three critical qualities of a holster as: 1)cover the trigger guard completely, 2) hold the firearm securely, and 3) allow access to the firearm reliably. Holsters are generally made of leather, KYDEX® (thermoplastic acrylic-polyvinyl chloride composite), or a combination of both.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Why Do You Carry a Gun for Self-Defense? ]

Holsters use a variety of methods to secure the handgun until it’s needed. The most common retention method (known as “Level Zero” or “Open Top”) is nothing more than a snug fit to keep the firearm in place as you move about (walking, running, jumping, bending, etc.) while allowing it to be quickly retrieved without an extra step.

Image of an IWB KYDEX® holster by Comp-Tac

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Checklist: Matters to Consider When Deciding on a Handgun ]

For an added level of retention, holsters (“Level 1”) are also available with a top strap or some type of release lever, usually activated with either the index finger or the thumb. These holsters can provide further confidence that your gun, especially when open carried, will remain in the holster until you need it.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, A Directory of Firearm Podcasts & Video Channels ]

The following are the different styles of holsters available to keep your defensive gun readily accessible in a variety of settings and clothing considerations:

Image of the Flanker Shoulder Holster by SwapRig Holsters

  • Inside the Waist Band (IWB)
  • Appendix Inside the Waist Band (AIWB)
  • Outside the Waist Band (OWB)
  • Cross-Draw
  • Shoulder Holster
  • T-Shirt Shoulder Holster
  • Belly Band
  • Pocket
  • Ankle
  • Chest
  • Drop-Leg
  • Thigh
  • Bra
  • Leggings
  • Fanny Pack / Backpack / Sling Pack
  • Off-Body Carry (OBC)

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Self-Defense Training Directory ]

An abundance of holster creators are available online. Here’s a directory of links to a few of them (we highly recommend SwapRig), as well as articles about holsters:

Why Do You Carry a Gun for Self-Defense?

If a family member, friend, or stranger asks why you carry a gun for self-defense, tell them:

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Concealed Carry Daily Prayer ]

I exercise my US Constitutional right to concealed carry a firearm and I diligently train in the civil right of self-defense because I’m pro-life and pro-social justice, since malicious and violent criminals and terrorists don’t have the right to steal a person’s life, liberty, and happiness.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, USA State Constitutions Providing for Armed Self-Defense ]

The civil right of the US Constitution’s 2nd Amendment does not grant me the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense, it precludes the government from infringing on my natural right to do so.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Worldviews and Emotional Assumptions in the Gun Civil Rights Debate ]

Criminals, terrorists, and the dangerously mentally ill act suddenly and make our nation more violent. Law-abiding, responsibly prepared gun owners save and protect lives.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, 15 Truths About Defensive Gun Use ]

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Why Use and How to Choose Pepper Spray

If you carry a gun for self-defense, you should also carry pepper spray. Even if you don’t carry a gun, you should carry pepper spray, also known as oleoresin capsicum (“OC”).

Using a firearm for self-defense is always the very last option in a lethal attack situation. But you shouldn’t rely solely on a gun as your only means of self-defense. FBI/DOJ crime statistics tell us we’re 5 times more likely to be faced with a non-deadly threat, against which only non-deadly defensive force is legally appropriate, than we are a deadly threat.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, The 5 Elements of Self-Defense Law ]

Under what circumstances is the use of pepper spray as a defensive tool lawful and advisable? What conditions have to be met before you can use pepper spray in self-defense? Pepper spray is a non-deadly form of self-defense and can be used to stop any reasonably perceived threat of non-deadly harm, which means almost any degree of harm. So long as you use it defensively and not offensively, generally speaking you should be within your rights.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Checklist: Categories and Their Items for Every Day Carry (EDC) ]

In the following video, Chris Baker of Lucky Gunner says, “OC gives you a force option that’s somewhere between harsh language and shooting somebody. We all know that statistically, we are very unlikely to end up in a situation where we need to use our firearm to defend our life. Much more common are situations that call for some kind of intervention that’s less than deadly force. Maybe someone is behaving in a threatening way, but they don’t have a weapon and they have not done anything yet that would warrant using deadly force. That might be a good time to deploy some OC.

15 Truths About Defensive Gun Use

While Gun Murders Are Unlawful, Gun Homicides Are Not Necessarily Unlawful.
Don’t be fooled into misreading homicide statistics reported in the media. Not all homicides are social ills. Some homicides are justified lawful killings in self-defense or defense of others. For example, the intended rape victim who manages to kill her rapist in the act has committed a homicide. Would we prefer that she had been raped? The potential homicide victim who kills their attacker, rather than get killed themselves, has committed a homicide: lawful self-defense. Would we prefer that the victim of the attack have been killed?

According to attorney Andrew Branca, author of The Law of Self Defense, “a homicide (the killing of one person by another) can be

  • unlawful and intentional—what is traditionally referred to as murder—or
  • unlawful and unintentional—what is traditionally referred to as manslaughter or criminally reckless homicide—or
  • lawful and intentional—usually self-defense or defense of others—or
  • lawful and unintentional—accident or misadventure.”

Don’t be deceived when people talk in generalities that the number of gun deaths or homicides have increased and therefore more laws are needed to infringe on the civil right to keep and bear arms. Maybe the homicides being reported are of criminal aggressors attempting to murder and maim and rape innocent people, and they were killed by their victims or by people stepping up to defend those victims.

A murder is a homicide that’s unlawful; a self-defense killing is a homicide that’s lawful.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, The 5 Elements of Self-Defense Law ]

Here are 14 more points everyone should understand about guns. Read about them in depth at