“Physical Reliance”

You have taken the time to choose the perfect carry gun. You spent months reading reviews and shooting every handgun that you could get your hands on. You rated them on round capacity, frame size, caliber, reliability, and the ability to conceal. You put in the time, you did the work, and you chose the perfect handgun for you.

You did the same thing when it came to choosing a holster. You weighed the pros and cons of leather versus kydex and IWB versus OWB. You tried out appendix carry and strong side carry. You even looked into ankle carry. In the end you, chose the perfect holster and carry system for you.

Screenshot_1You even put in the time when it came to ammo choice. You tried numerous brands of high priced self defense rounds. You shot box after box of them to find out what your particular firearm preferred. You studied ballistic charts and ballistic gel tests. You picked the very best carry ammo.

You then looked into permit classes and other defensive handgun classes. You asked around and looked for recommendations on who the best instructors were. You spent some money and invested into class after class, after class, after class. You did your homework and educated yourself to the best of your ability and as much as your bank account would allow. You have done everything right. Are you finally ready to defend the lives of your loved ones to the best of your ability? Maybe, but maybe not. You put all the time and effort into purchasing the proper gear and getting the proper training, but what about your personal fitness? Can you make a 40 yard dash across a parking lot to get you and your family to cover without blowing out a knee or having a heart attack? Can you you move quickly and effectively? Can you go from being winded and out of breath to being calm enough to take an effective shot in the blink of an eye? Do you have the strength and cardio to hold your own in a physical confrontation? This is all just as important as buying a gun, ammo, and getting training when it comes to defending yourself and others. I know it is not easy, but it is worth it. Do not give up on your self reliance and self defense journey right before the very end. This is a lifestyle that you live, live it well and to the fullest that you can. It may just save your life someday in more ways than one.

-Todd Eccles

-Patriot Defense


Your NRA Certifications Don’t Mean Crap


Over the weekend, I held one of my many permit classes. It is amazing to see the variety of different people that attend. In this last class, I had twenty six people in attendance. I get brand new shooters, experienced shooters, people who can shoot well, and those that need a lot of help. Usually when people call me up to register for the class they give me a quick synopsis of their shooting history. blogpicEvery now and then I get a person that calls me and immediately starts to tell me about their credentials. They start listing them off one by one. It usually goes something like this— My name is so and so and I am an NRA certified instructor, I am a range master, I used to teach in POST academy; in fact, I’ve taught the class that you teach, and by the way have you ever been to Gunsite because if you have not you really should. This immediately sends up red flags. I then spend the first part of class listening to them interrupt my teaching every 10 minutes so that they can add their two cents every chance they get. Then they spend the class breaks trying to push the NRA on anyone who will listen. And if that is not bad enough that is only the first half of the class. The really interesting part is the range portion. This is where they really shine.

I spend a lot of time teaching and reviewing the basic gun safety rules and range safety rules multiple times throughout the class. It is really interesting when the person who is supposedly credentialed by the NRA is the first person to break the major gun safety rules in class. I have seen it all from finger on the trigger, to horrible muzzle awareness, even to approaching the firing line and handling the gun on a cold range when someone was down range fixing a target. It is completely mind blowing what I see.

I do not have a very good way with words, and I find it hard to explain myself in this blog, but I guess what I am trying to say is just because you are NRA certified that does not mean you are above the rules. Your NRA credentials do not mean crap to me. Your POST certs do not impress me. If you are retired Military or law enforcement, again, it does not matter. I do not know you and I do not care who you are. You could be Rob Pincus, you could be Massad Ayoob, you could be Jerry Miculek it makes no difference to me. I will still treat you the same, the safety rules apply to you just like everyone else. It is my class and I will run the line the way I see fit so that everyone is safe and returns home at the end of the day. I do not need your help. The other students do not need your help. You will wait your turn just like everyone else.

Come to class with an open mind and be ready to learn. Ask questions if you have them and be open to new ideas. Pay attention to and practice the gun and range safety rules. If you have questions about them, ask the instructor. If you see the instructor break these rules, by all means call him out and question him. But remember you come to class to learn, not to show off. Please do not be that guy.



Today, as a shooting instructor, I messed up. No, it is not what you think. No one was hurt or injured. I messed up in my approach on how to help a new shooter. At the beginning of my permit class, I always go around the room and have everyone give a short introduction of themselves including their name, the gun they brought to shoot (caliber, make, model), and tell me about their experience in shooting. Some students have been shooting all their lives, some just shot their handguns for the first time two days prior to class, and some are just cracking open the case their gun came in for the very first time right there on the firing line.

Screen Shot 2019-01-15 at 2.40.19 PMI have them all give a quick bio of themselves so I know what to expect and I can understand the skill level of those attending. It aids me in assigning them shooting lanes and which groups to have them shoot in. For example, I do not want to put all the newcomers in the same group shooting at the same time. I like to spread them out so that they can all receive adequate instructio Students can feel a lot of things if they are new to shooting and all of a sudden it is their turn to shoot and they step up to the line and shots start ringing out and brass starts bouncing off the ground and across the table in front of them. It can be stressful for some people. I try to search these students out and help them the best that I can. If it is really distressing to them, I have been known to to let them sit it out or leave and come back after class to get one on one instruction so they can finish up their permit requirements. This has always worked in the past. I have always been very good at noticing these students and helping them. Today, I had a group of students that just needed the shooting portion of their permit class. They had taken the classroom portion from another entity so instead of having them for the full eight hours and getting to know them, I had them for just the last four hours. We went through safety and shooting fundamentals and the range rules, all something that should have been gone through in the classroom portion of their class but was not. I had them go through the introductions and then on to the shooting. I handed out the shooting lane and group assignments the best that I could based on the limited information that I had, and then we proceeded to fire the qualification rounds. One of the gentlemen in the class was very unsure of his gun and it was very clear right away. He broke some safety rules (which everyone does as they are learning) but I right away got him straightened out on that.

Screen Shot 2019-01-15 at 2.40.29 PMHe seemed nervous and apprehensive. I worked closely with him even having him wait until after the other students shot and then had him finish his drill so I could focus solely on him, but he was still having a hard time. I would help him by going over the list of things to remember as he prepared to shoot—stance, grip, sight picture, and trigger press. Sometimes he would get it right and sometimes it was like he just could not remember. About half way through the shooting portion I was standing next to him (as I do for all new shooters) and instead of firing one round at a time he let loose with a volley of three rounds that ran from the bottom of the target holder to the top of the target. Right then and there I called for a break. I pulled him aside and had a chat with him. He apologized profusely and stated how nervous he was. He told me that when I was helping him with how to do things that it was all just too much, that it made him anxious. After the break, we all went back to finish the shooting portion. I am happy to say that he did improve immensely by the end of class, but I had to adjust my approach to instructing him. Instead of going down the list of things that needed to be done I encouraged him when he got things right and that seemed to do the trick. Though I still feel like I cheated him out of the first half of the class. I will help any student that needs the help. I will stay late after class, I will reschedule, I will do whatever needs to be done to help you become a confident shooter and help you through a permit class. But what you need to know is that your permit class is not necessarily a shooting class. It will teach you the laws, the safety rules, the mindset, and make sure you know how your gun functions; but it will not get you dialed in and turn you into a super proficient shooter. If you want that or you are very new to shooting handguns, you really need to look into continuing classes or even a private class before you take your permit class. Do not get me wrong I will do what I need to do to help you, but you have got to invest in yourself and be willing to do your part as well. -Todd Eccles -Patriot Defense -1-13-19



It is something you have thought about for awhile. It is something that has plagued your thoughts off and on for the last few years. You have decided to get a concealed carry permit. There are many reasons why a person might decide to do this. Some people will faithfully carry a firearm everywhere they legally can, some want to be able to take it to reciprocal states because they travel, and others just want the permit because it makes purchasing a firearm a little easier when it comes to the background check and NICs paperwork.1


Carrying a firearm should not be taken lightly. You are carrying with you a tool—one that while being used to defend your life can actually end another. It needs to be respected and needs to be carried with a sense of responsibility. You need to feel the obligation to continue training. You cannot grow lax carrying a firearm. You need to understand that carrying a firearm is no small undertaking. It will not necessarily be easy, in fact, it may be a hassle, but as Clint Smith says, “Carrying a gun is not supposed to be comfortable; it’s supposed to be comforting. The gun that’s with you is better than the one that’s home in the safe.”


If you are going to carry a gun every day, you need to make some decisions ahead of time. You need to decide why you are carrying in the first place. Are you carrying to protect yourself and your family, or are you carrying with the thoughts of possibly stopping an active shooter? Where is your line in the sand? Will you huddle down on the floor of the theatre gun at the ready with your family and wait for the fight to come to you, or will you search it out and hunt down the shooter? You need to think about possible scenarios and how you will react. Doing this now saves time and may make the difference in whether you live or die.



It is imperative that you learn your states lethal force laws, what you can and cannot do, the proper way to responsibly carry a gun, and gun safety rules. You need to learn basic handgun manipulation and shooting fundamentals. You need to learn defensive tactics such as the proper technique for safely drawing from a holster, drawing from concealment, mag changes, and getting off the X. There are many things to think about and much to be responsible for when venturing into the armed lifestyle. It is definitely not something to be taken lightly. Knowledge is power.



-Todd Eccles

-Patriot Defense


“Practice and muscle memory”

Remember when you were a kid and you were learning to ride a bike? Or think back to the time you were learning to do anything new for the first time. What was the one thing that you were constantly told? Practice, practice, practice. Over time and after hours of repetitive practice that thing or that movement became second nature to you. You did not have to think about it anymore. It just kind of happened as long as you continued to practice it. Sure, if you stopped practicing you you could still be successful at it, but as time went by it became less and less natural.

The old expression, “just like riding a bike,” is often used to describe something that comes second nature and is easy to do. It implies that we know everything about an activity and can pick up right where we left off. When it comes to shooting a handgun, this could not be further from the truth. Yes, you might remember the mechanics and the safety rules of shooting, but the actual activity of shooting will be a different story.

As you learn to shoot, you develop muscle memory that corresponds to your trigger press, grip, stance, and sight picture. You train your muscles to react to recoil and to respond accordingly when you draw and re-holster your firearm—especially when under stress. Learning to control your breathing and calm yourself is very hard to do if you have not shot your firearm in a few years.

I see it all the time. Guys show up to my class and tell me how good they are (or more correctly how good they once were). They tell me about their military or LE service and all about their years of experience when it comes to handguns, and then I see them shoot. You can tell that they have not shot a handgun for years let alone actually held one in just as long. Do not get me wrong they probably were very efficient at shooting in years past, but their negligence now shows.

I know people who have taken a class and then never fired another round from their concealed carry weapon even though they faithfully carry it every day. I am not asking, in fact, I am actually begging you. Please go to the range once a month, shoot 10, 20, or 30 rounds. Anything is better than nothing. Take a refresher class. Do something. You are carrying a firearm to protect you and your loved ones and that is great. But just carrying one around as some kind of totem does not actually do anything—being able to efficiently use it does.

-Todd Eccles

-Patriot Defense


"Practical not Tactical"

When I started Patriot Defense, my goal was to teach people how to be proficient when using a handgun for self-defense.  I wanted to focus on safety, basic shooting fundamentals, and move on from there into self-defense type of training.  My focus was on the average Joe; the person who took their kids to soccer practice every week; the person who goes grocery shopping with a pack of kids in tow; the couple that likes to travel and drive around the country in their motorhome; the first time dad with a new baby and wife that he wants to protect; the single woman who lives by herself and wants the security of knowing that she can protect herself if she has to. Pretty much anyone who wanted to take a common-sense approach to learning how to defend themselves with a firearm. By stressing this common-sense part of it, I coined the phrase and developed the business motto of “Practical not Tactical”.zx

I am astounded at all the videos that come across my Facebook and Instagram feed on a daily basis. The videos of self-proclaimed operators that strap on the first drop leg holster that they can find and then do asinine drills to show off their self-proclaimed skills. Most of these are horrific at the least and dangerous at the most. I have seen people shooting at each other, shooting past each other, and even setting up fireworks to shoot back at them to simulate incoming fire. I do like to see people training as that is the one thing that gets very overlooked by those that carry a gun every day, but let’s use common sense and practice things that are safe and pertinent to developing our skills as a concealed carry holder. Making ourselves look like a Jackwagon does not accomplish this. Horrible videos like this amazing display of idiocracy are going to get someone hurt or even worse killed.

zvLet’s instead focus on things like shooting fundamentals, target acquisition, getting off the X, and drawing from concealment. You do not have to be a tactical, drop holster wearing, Mall ninja to be able to defend yourself and your loved ones effectively. Are there more than just the basic shooting fundaments to learn? Yes there are, but find a competent instructor to teach them to you and not the latest YouTube video. Training is the key. Continuing education is always a good idea. Just make sure that it is safe and practical.


-Todd Eccles

-Patriot Defense