Combat Tactical Academy                           

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What is the best handgun to bring to class or for self-defense?
We've seen 'em all! Big handguns, little ones, cheap ones and expensive handguns. The bottom line is to purchase the absolute best defensive handgun you can afford. Remember only your life depends on what you choose and use. Don't listen to marketing hype. Go to a reputable gun shop who specializes in defensive firearms. Ask for clerks who have personally attended advanced defensive training themselves, and ask them about your choices (unfortunately you won't find many gun store clerks who attend professional defensive firearms training!). We suggest you consider three criteria when you select a self-defensive handgun: criteria
#1 "reliability,"

criteria #2 "reliability,"


criteria #3 "reliability!"

It is extremely important your defensive handgun work each, and every, time you pull the trigger and will work in any kind of weather under stressful conditions! Also, be sure the gun you choose fit your hands.

Ladies: Don't let some well intended husband, boyfriend, father, or male friend pick out your defensive handgun for you. Choose one for yourself! Your selection of a defensive handgun is personal and you need to make 100% certain it fits you and you can trust your life with it! Also don't let someone convince you that you need or can only handle a "wimpy," "cute," little handgun. We've seen small "dainty" petite women using their .357 Magnum and .45s shooting circles around many of the guys. We work with many petite women law enforcement and corrections officers who are able to qualify at their agency with full size Glock 19s and 22s. Handguns, chambered in a standard defensive caliber, are "equal opportunity" tools and you can shoot, manipulate, and handle anything a guy can and usually better. . . . much to a male's chagrin!!

Finally the handgun you choose must be safe and easy to operate at your skill level. There are many good models on the market today to choose from and we do not endorse or recommend any particular handgun/firearm. However, the ones we see a lot at our school and have a decent track record (remember these tools are man made and can fail!) are:

  • Sig Sauer
  • Les Baer
  • Kimber
  • Kahr
  • H&K
  • Smith & Wesson

This is only a list of the most popular handguns that seem to be relatively trouble free and frequent our school. This doesn't mean you shouldn't bring your handgun if it isn't on this list. Bring to class what you use for your self-defense handgun. 


What handgun caliber is best for self defense?
Is the .45 more powerful and a better stopper than the .40? Isn't a .40 better than a 9mm? Okay, lets get one thing straight . . . no handgun caliber is best for self defense. So, which caliber should I choose? Pick the biggest caliber you can accurately, safety, and proficiently put consistent hits onto the target. For some that may only be a .380 or 9mm, while for others that may be a .357 SIG or .45 ACP. At a minimum we suggest 9mm in a full size or compact handgun and a .380 in the subcompact or pocket handgun. The best defensive handguns on the market today are chambered in the most popular defensive caliber's of 9mm, 357 SIG, 38/357 Mag, 40 S&W, & .45 ACP.


What ammo should I bring and how much is enough?
We require you purchase new factory ammo for your class. You've made a big investment in your handgun, carry gear, and now you're investing a day of your time plus tuition to attend a class. Why shortchange yourself with cheap ammo or unreliable reloads.

If you want to use reloads in your own training and practice sessions that is your prerogative . . . when you're at our school surrounded by other students and our staff we want you using factory new ammo to minimize problems and reduce hazards to others and yourself. When our staff attends firearms training, which we do often, we use factory new ammo and always bring more than the minimum outlined on the class syllabus


Why do I need one of your courses when I already know how to shoot?
We hear this question a lot. If you already "know" how to shoot then ponder this . . . shooting a firearm on a peaceful Saturday afternoon under no stress at an inanimate non-threatening paper target, within a known distance, in broad daylight is one thing. Being rudely and suddenly awakened, at 2:37 AM, from the sound of broken glass by a swift moving drug induced intruder armed with a shotgun who is threatening you and your family is quite another! When you're suddenly confronted with vicious and violent behavior and you're defending your life it is not like shooting tin cans with friends at a rock pit or paper targets at your local range.

If you are ever attacked you will rise to the level of training you've undergone. If you are not properly prepared for this kind of sudden encounter then the absence of training and muscle memory results in panic and confusion. This phenomena is called the "flight, fright, or fight mode" When in this mode our brain chemistry is altered. The part of the brain which controls our rational thoughts is bypassed and during an attack the mind and the body relies on "scripted" responses that are programmed during training and practice. If you don't have a "script" to follow then you are trying to withdraw emergency skills from an empty self-defense account! In her book entitled Surviving Deadly Force Encounters, Dr. Alexis Artwohl found that 74% of the police officers she interviewed who had survived a lethal encounter ran on "automatic pilot." These officers survived because of their training. They had practiced the correct steps over and over until these steps and tactics were programmed into muscle memory. Once programmed, and practiced ritualistically, the mind and the body will be able to successfully fight, on "automatic pilot", even when the rational part of the brain is out of gear.

So you see, our classes are not just about teaching people how to "shoot." Our classes are about "life" . . . the continuation of life for you, your family, friends and the general public. If you already "know" how to shoot, then you are at a good place to start. But it is only a "start!" You still have much to learn in order to defend you and your love ones from predatory violent behavior. It is our intention to build upon your previously acquired "shooting" skills/experiences and help you further develop the five essential competencies necessary in self-defense situations including:

  • A self-defense mindset
  • Self-defense tactics
  • Safe & effective gun handling skills when under stress/pressure
  • Self-defense marksmanship
  • Tactical safety


What holster should I bring, buy, or use for self-defense?
Holsters and the selection of a holster is an important decision for people serious about self defense. A good "defensive" type holster is as important as a good "defensive" handgun. You've invested a lot of money in your handgun, now it's time to invest wisely in a good holster. Unfortunately many people buy a $500-$800 high quality defensive handgun and then carry it in a $39 "one size fits all" holster. Invest some time and money in procuring a good holster for your defensive handgun!

Holster Selection Criteria:
  • Make sure the holster completely covers the trigger and trigger guard when the gun is holstered.

  • Make sure the mouth of the holster remains open when the handgun is removed and will not collapse. This is especially important for IWB holsters.
    You need to be able to reholster using one hand! You shouldn't be using one hand to force the mouth open.

  • Make sure the holster belt loops match the size of the width of your belt. In other words, if your belt is 1.5" then your holster loops should be 1.5".
    If the holster only has one clip for attachment then it is not recommended

  • Make sure you purchase a good sturdy double thickness belt. The belt is as important as the holster and should be considered an essential part of the "conceal carry system." Typically a retail store type belt like those from JC Penny's or Wal Mart is not going to work. They are too flimsy and frail causing the holster to move around too much. We've seen them actually break during our courses!

    For private citizens a double thick belt of 1.25" is sufficient (it doesn't scream "cop" or "gun" belt) while police officers usually prefer a 1.5" or 1.75" belt for duty/off duty.

  • Make sure the holster is properly fitted/molded to your exact gun so the holster will retain your handgun without straps in any position/orientation (It should retain the gun in the holster even if you are upside down, laying on the ground, rolling on the ground, running . . .)

  • Finally PLEASE stay away from "one size fits all holsters" that requires a thumb snap and strap to secure your gun in the holster. If the holster comes in a "blister pak" or if it lists a number of handgun models it will fit then that is your first "warning" this is a holster you want to stay away from. For your handgun you will want a holster that is properly molded and is specifically fitted to the leather or kydex holster. With a fitted holsters you will not require a strap to hold the gun in place.

Women usually require a canted or offset holster to accommodate their hips. Holsters built for men don't always fit well on women (NOTE: 99% of the holsters on the market today are designed by men for men). Women usually prefer holsters configured like anoffset holster because they both cant away from their hips and sit slightly lower making the holster more comfortable and easier to facilitate consistent safe presentations from the holster. Usually an IWB holster digs into a woman's side causing pain and making it extremely difficult for them to present the handgun. Most OWB holsters, designed for men, will also cause the same problem for women. However, an OWB is the better of the two choices if no other option is available. Typically women will prefer, and find it more comfortable, to wear their holsters in front of the hip, near the front pants pocket, whereas, men usually have the holster on their side, centered on the pant leg seam, or positioned somewhere over the strong side rear pocket area.

Shoulder holsters, small of back and thigh rig holsters are not permitted.

For defensive purposes you need a holster you can obtain a good Master Grip with either hand and be able to quickly and easily present the handgun and then re-holster with either hand from any body orientation


Can I bring my young son/daughter/grandchild to one of your courses?
There is no cut-n-dry answer to this question but as a general rule anyone 18 or older is welcome to attend our courses without anyone accompanying them. If they are under 18 then it is a "case-by-case" basis and you should call and talk with our office. However, here are some guidelines to assist you in the timing of your decision and when is the proper time to bring your minor to an Combat Tactical Academy course:

They are at an age where they can understand and follow your instructions

AND they will follow our instructions

AND they can understand the concept and reality of death and/or serious injuries as a result of their actions

AND they have develop the morale aptitude to determine right from wrong

AND they have the appropriate mindset and behaviors to respect and appreciate using lethal force in the defense of themselves and other love ones.

Help! I've lost or misplaced my directions to your Academy or I didn't receive my Course Confirmation?
No problem, we've got you covered! Call our office - 888-844-8438 x 5

What if I cannot make it to the course?

All payments towards classes are NON- REFUNDABLE. Due to our small class size, your reservation is guaranteed. Any changes to your reservation must be done in writing 2 weeks prior to scheduled course date. In the event you need to change your scheduled date, a change of date fee of $100.00 per student will be charged. Upon receipt of change of date fee, the balance of any tuition paid will be credited towards another course date taken with in 1 year from original date of course sale. Cancellations, if any must be done in writing 2 weeks prior to scheduled course. In the event of a cancellation with less than 2 weeks notice, tuition will be forfeited.

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