8301 S IH 35 Frontage Rd, Austin, TX 78744


Injuries, They Suck

With an active lifestyle it is hard not to see the occasional injury. Add a lot of mileage as an athlete and you can expect to see the negative side of all those miles.

All In, All the Time

Carrying concealed is something you either go all in or just walk around edges. Very few take the plunge or at least on a long term basis. Once you reach the level where you truly are carrying everyday your gear selection becomes essential. Add your work conditions and other obstacles and finding a good system becomes complex. The mistake many make is investing in one system then being so shut off it becomes your only way. At some point you find yourself looking at the round hole as a square peg.

The Path Less Traveled

When I carry, I typically have my go to or standard load out. It solves 50% of all my known problems for a good load out. I enjoy the comfort and capabilities it provides. I have been shooting these platforms for long enough to know them like the back of my hand. When something changes and I have to move off my beaten path I do so cautiously, but optimistically. Moving off the beaten path can be the result of several different factors or just one big one. It really doesn’t matter, the point is can you accommodate or improvise. To avoid being disadvantaged.


I get asked all the time what I carry. Truthfully I rarely answer. Partly because I keep the information close to my chest, but also because it changes periodically. I will go from my go to blaster, to the one I reserve for special occasions, to the one I use because I’m being lazy. I feel as though I have good coverage to manage most of the crazy thrown at me or that I might walk into on my own. Lately, I discovered a flaw in my plan. It happened while on vacation, but it gave me great insight into changing things up on my load out. The catalyst was managing some injuries. These injuries forced me to carry well outside my normal load outs.

Some Things Don’t Change

The good news is principles transcend. It doesn’t matter, to a certain extent, what you may be holding as long as you apply the same principles. There will always be subtitles, but they mostly go unnoticed if you are focusing on the right thing at the right time. What I was pleasantly surprised by was the ease of my new carry method. When I say ease, what I’m talking about is my existing equipment I could make work. I didn’t have to go out and buy anything new or different. What was not easy was the changes meant I was sore in places I haven’t been sore in a long time. It took some getting use to carrying in this new configuration, but I’m already well adjusted and acclimated. Since then I’ve been putting a lot more time into this new load out. Practicing, shooting and sourcing additional supporting equipment. Maybe I should have given this more thought before my vacation, but I didn’t. Now, I have the advantage of the lessons learned to move forward.

Having used this setup at my last instructor course it gave me that comfortable feeling again. Don’t let your environment or equipment make all the decisions, think through how you can best accommodate or improvise.

Author: Jeff Gonzales

Technical Vs. Mechanical

Over the years I have seen enough students struggle with various shooting errors, like I’ve seen a lot. An excuse begins to form it is not them, but their gear.

We Are All Human

I get it, I’m human and fallible big time. In other areas of my life I often forget the lessons I’ve learned on the firing line. I overlook the simple fact it is not my gear, but me. With ego’s being so fragile these days it shouldn’t be surprising. It is hard to accept the rarity of gear issues. I will caveat my statement with when you select quality gear designed for the mission at hand. More importantly, we loose an important means of growth when we fail to self critique through our own failures. When we refuse to acknowledge our short comings we lean towards a self fulfilling prophecy of sorts.

It Is Always the Indian

On the firing line, the difference between a mechanical versus a technical issue is not frequently observed. I had a recent conversation with a student who didn’t realize their lack of experience was preventing them from seeing the real issue. They blamed the “possibility” of gear failure rather than looking at the real problem, instead of acknowledging most gun related issues are operator error. I’m not saying they are not possible, I’m saying before you try to blame the gun or create some wazoo need to carry this or that, look inward. Be genuine in your self evaluation and ask yourself if it is possible you could be the culprit. Start with this question, what could I be doing wrong. Not, what is wrong with my gun.

But Then Again

There comes a point when you realize maybe it is mechanical versus technical. Recently, I experienced this issue first hand. I literally was going crazy because I refused to blame my gun. I was owning up to the responsibility it was me and me alone. I started trouble shooting my technique at a microscopic level. Employing the very corrective strategies we teach in class. I literally refused to believe it could be anything other than me. What was funny, less than a week ago I experienced a similar issue with a different gun. I opted to consider the first issue was a fluke, but two guns and you really have to look more closely.

Thank Goodness

I was getting frustrated because I know my skill. I know my capabilities, when I see problems my natural instinct is to think I’m in a rut. A lot of times, my go to solution when in a rut is to transfer the gun to my weak side. Do some hard work from that perspective before returning to my strong side. I can vividly recall the instant where as I was about to transfer the gun to my weak side. Right as I was transferring the gun, I used my weak hand trigger finger to test the integrity of the front sight post. To my absolute relief, it moved…pretty easily I might add. As I correlate my dry fire with a crystal clear image of my front sight and compare it to my windage issues from live fire I can see the pattern more clearly. I’m more than relieved to know in this case, it wasn’t me…it was my gun.

I encourage you to always look inwards regarding your shooting errors first. Eliminate any an all possibilities, then whatever you are left with; however improbable is your answer.

Body armor consideration

Anytime the subject of mass shootings and body armor come up there is a call for head shots. Again, I hate to break the news to you, but you are not that good.

Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

Yes, some folks might be able to make heads shot, but at what range. Is it realistic to expect everyone be able to deliver a head shot at extended ranges on demand. I’m not saying it is not, what I’m saying is the average person fails to put in the minimum work to be proficient with a standard defensive response. Do you think it is reasonable to make a head shot at an extreme range under stress. I feel like this is wishful thinking at best, recklessness at worst. I’m all for the immediate stop to a deadly threat. How you do so will be dependent on the situation, but more importantly you’re skill. Should you fail, the consequences may be more than you bargained for in the first place.

Hard Versus Soft

Wearing body armor is not an end all be all. It doesn’t mean the head shot is the only available shot. You can still hit the torso covered with armor to great effect. Let’s look at what history has shown us from the recent mass shootings. Has any of the armor been more than level IIIa protection. Most of the news does not indicate the suspect was wearing hard armor, or rifle grade ballistic plates. Most if not all accounts indicate it was soft armor only. Still, it is capable of stopping some ballistic threats. Here is the key, you have to realize any armor, no matter how advanced is degradable. Even the best armor can only sustain so much damage before it is compromised. Most are designed to stop multiple projectiles spread out over a large surface area. Concentrated in an area and multiple shots have a better chance of penetrating the armor.

Getting Punched in the Gut

A real outcome to torso shots is blunt force traumaIf when wearing soft armor only. While the armor may stop the projectile from penetrating the body, it does nothing to stop the projectile’s energy. This energy has to be absorbed somehow and while spreading it across a wider surface area armor can dissipate the energy, it is still a tremendous amount of force. I have been around armor most of my adult life. When you wear it to save your life you take a vested interest in learning how it works. The part they don’t tell you is the back face deformation can still kill you.

Effective Fire Gets Results

Back face deformation is the energy transmitted through the armor into the body. It is generally measured against molding clay with a minimum depth to be acceptable. While we were so busy making awesome armor to stop threats we forgot to worry about the projectile’s energy and where it was going. Many of the hard armor is referenced as conjunction armor, meaning it must be used in conjunction with soft armor to minimize fragmentation and back face deformation. So, stop worrying about the head shot and direct your fire at the largest target zone you have with rapid and repeated hits. You are going to get a response, you may not get penetration, but you will get a response. This response may or may not stop the threat, but it may slow the body movement down or allow you the time necessary to make the more precise head shot.

Bad guys wearing armor is not as big a game changer as some people might believe. Rapid, repeated and accurate hits on the torso will have an effect.

Author: Jeff Gonzales

Gun Free Zone Trap

Gun free zones equal criminal empowerment zones. Places where criminals can and do get away with murder because they know no one will stop them.

Liberal Logic

I have been opposed to gun free zones since their inception. This is a classic example of liberal logic with deadly consequences. We do not have a gun epidemic in this country, we have a stupid problem. Where some people are too clouded in their own biases to see the real world. Ask yourself this question, why would a criminal commit a crime? What compels another human to commit murder? The truth is a bit hurtful in that it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what compelled them to commit such heinous crimes. The fact of the matter is they did.

Curb Appeal

We may want to better understand the motives that lead to these horrible acts. That to me makes sense, but if we are truly going to dig deeper then we cannot bury what we find. For instances, why have the overwhelming incidents of mass shootings over the last several years been committed at gun free locations. Rather than try to figure out what propelled them to commit these crimes why don’t we start asking what lead them to choose their locations. In the past, the pattern was to right perceived wrongs. The Columbine shooting and several others of that time frame fit this narrative. More and more of the recent events happened for other reasons, but why did they choose the locations specifically.

Soft Targets

Why haven’t we asked these questions. If we were to ask these questions I bet we would get some interesting responses. I cannot begin to speculate or speak on their behalf, however if I were to look at this from a force protection perspective the locations they choose are soft targets. They have no visible security presence, no measures specifically targeting these types of attacks, no deterrences in place to prevent these atrocious acts of violence. When I operated in high risk zones through out the globe it was interesting to see how other countries interacted with their host nation.

Please Stop, Or I Will Be Forced To Ask Again

Most of the time, if they knew they were being surveyed as a potential target and most are, they don’t bother to tell terrorist they cannot bring bombs or guns to their facility. The operate under a completely different premise. The terrorist are already going to commit these acts, so how do we stop them. I’m not saying these force protection measures need to be adopted stateside. I’m saying it is a different mindset about the very nature of those who want to do harm.

Face The Facts

There is no illusion about force protection measure being “feel” good. They have to be good because people’s lives are at stake. Feel good initiatives are terrible, they fly in the face of practical solutions. If lives were lost because of a feel good initiative overseas there would be consequences. We know gun free zones don’t work, they enable criminals to commit murder because they know they can empose their will. They know they can do so without fearing for their own lives. Once confronted by a disciplined and armed fighter the outcome can be significantly altered. The real question is why would we continue to ignore this outcome.

It cannot be said enough, in a fair fight, one where both parties are armed the outcome is no longer left to being one sided. Now, each side is in charge or their own destiny and may the better party win.

Author: Jeff Gonzales