I recently spent a weekend with LTC Dave Grossman, training at Thunder Ranch. As always happens when gun guys get together, we talked about all things guns. I recalled a comment the colonel had made the last time I was at his seminar, The Bulletproof Mind. He mentioned that we should all carry rifles close at hand, and that he kept an AR-15 pistol for home defense.
Clint Smith, owner of Thunder Ranch, chimed in that he often carries an AR pistol in 5.56mm when he travels. He cited a trip to a large Oregon city where he sat at lunch, 1911 on his hip and an AR pistol in a discreet case across his lap. He uses a case that looks like and sports a tennis company logo. Clint is a truly exceptional pistoleer, but knows that shooting people with rifle calibers works better.
One of the reasons Sensei Grossman likes an AR pistol is his research on what is coming to America: read Terror at Beslan. Very few civilians have the contacts, connections, and ability to analyze what is going on as does LTC Dave Grossman. He cites the assault on the shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya as what we can expect. He envisions Islamic terrorists in the Mall of America (near Minneapolis) shouting “Allahu Akbar” as they slaughter Black Friday Christmas shoppers. Think about it. Given the large Somali population in the Twin Cities, the concept isn’t far-fetched.
I usually carry two pistols, and am a better-than-average pistol shot. But we did a drill at Thunder Ranch that put it in perspective. Each shooter shot pistols at a steel target at 75 yards, with less than 50% hits. We each then shot carbines at the same target with 100% hits. Add in the factor of a lot more energy when the round hits, and the choice becomes a no-brainer.
My concealed pistol license allows me to carry a concealed pistol, not a concealed weapon—knives, nunchaku, short-barreled rifles, or shotguns are not covered. My answer is to carry an AR-15 pistol in a discreet case.
Anyone who looks will spot a gun guy if he wears tacticool stuff—camo clothing, vests, ballistic nylon in earth colors—all of which scream “kill me first.” In order to avoid this, I reached out to SneakyBags.
SneakyBags builds just what it sounds like—bags that look like “anything” bags—sports gear, travel gear, you name it.
They do not look like gun bags, but my AR pistol fits perfectly in the 26-inch-long light purple bag with nondescript logo. Velcro straps hold the gun, magazine, and installed optic securely in the bag. The pistol is in Condition Two: empty chamber, hammer forward, magazine inserted.
Pockets hold spare gear, mags, and, if possible, a suppressor. These little suckers are really loud, so if you want to hear after the shot, stick in plugs or screw a can onto the muzzle. I used a Gemtech The One suppressor with QD mounts and it was very effective. The flip side, though, is that if you need it, you really need it, and noise doesn’t matter.
Another consideration is that long guns in vehicles are in many states regulated by Fish and Game, not the police. The reasoning is usually that loaded long guns in vehicles are for illegal hunting, so most states prohibit having a loaded long gun in a car or truck. But having a loaded AR pistol in a SneakyBag is as legal as any other pistol. It’s also legal if the loaded pistol is visible within the vehicle.
I still have an M4 in a case behind the seat, but the pistol can be loaded and next to me while I’m driving. Should bad stuff happen while I’m driving, I don’t have to dig for and load the carbine. I shot a coyote at 40 yards using this method.
So it’s the day after Thanksgiving, 2018. You and someone you care about are looking for that perfect present when shouts and shots break out. A hometown mutt, radicalized by ISIL on the Infernalnet, has decided this is the time to strike a blow for Islam. He pulls a weapon and begins to attack shoppers randomly.
You push your companion to the floor in a shop behind you, drop to a knee, and pull your SneakyBag from across your back to your chest. You unzip the bag, release the straps, draw and charge your AR pistol, and go to rollover prone behind something made of concrete.
As the mutt draws near, still shouting and shooting, quietly say Merry Christmas and send him a 5.56 present.