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Most, if not all, civilians who have a concealed carry permit carry folding knives. Some pack a blade just for convenience and others as a back-up to their pistol. And while plenty people who carry a knife train extensively with their carry pistol very few have ever trained with their folding knife. The truth is that most people don’t choose a folding knife looking for something that could really do some damage in a pinch, they just buy something that’s “good enough.”

I hear a lot of people with CCW permits say that carrying is a lifestyle and they actively avoid places where they can’t carry firearms. But that’s not always possible. If you carry legally then there are certain places where you are will have to disarm yourself. Places like:

  • Work – most employers don’t allow employees to carry firearms
  • Airline travel
  • Post office, DMV, Courts and other government facilities
  • Schools
  • Sporting events

Unfortunately, most mass shootings occur in places just like these where you’re not allowed to carry. Most concealed carry permit holders put this reality out of sight and out of mind figuring they’ll just avoid these places as much as possible. But if all you have under your belt is firearms training and you get into a hostile situation at a place that prevents you from having a firearm with you, then you are truly defenseless – a one trick pony with no backup.

Studies show that a person armed with a club or a knife can travel about seven yards in about two seconds. It takes about 1.5 seconds for a trained person to react, present a firearm and get off one or two shots. Statistically speaking, unless one is very aware of his or her situation and looking for attack cues, they are going to get stabbed by their assailant. I’m not suggesting anyone bring a knife to a gun fight; I’m just saying not to underestimate what someone with a knife is capable of. Especially if they’re actually trained to use it.

The problem is, guns won’t always help. Women between the ages of 16 and 19 have the highest rates of victimization for violent crimes, followed closely by those 20-24. In cases of rape, half the victims of rape are under the age of 18 years. A full third of all the rapes that occur happen to females between the ages of 12 and 17. The numbers say the average rape victim is a teenager. Here’s the point: by the time women are old enough to legally carry a gun, they have already passed the prime age to be abducted or sexually assaulted.

And there’s no shortage of politicians who are dedicated to banning all civilians from owning guns.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-California – Interview with 60 Minutes (1995)
“If I could have gotten 51 votes in the senate of the United States for an outright ban picking up everyone of them (firearms), Mr. and Mrs. America turn them all in, I would have done it.

Rep. William L. Clay, D-St. Louis
The Brady Bill is “the minimum step” that Congress should take to control handguns.  “We need much stricter gun control, and eventually we should bar the ownership of handguns except in a few cases”

Think it can’t happen? Think back to post-Katrina New Orleans where no one stood up to the police who were confiscating guns. What if you found yourself in a situation where you and your family were forced to evacuate your home because of some kind of natural or man-made disaster? What if on the way to shelter, your guns were confiscated? God forbid you find yourself in a situation where you need your firearm and don’t have it because it’s been taken away from you but you can’t just assume you’ll never be in that kind of  situation.

The only true, practical self defense includes incorporating knife and baton training along with your firearms, or close combat training. It’s not a cure-all, but neither is a gun. By combining other weapons into your personal defense training, you greatly increase your chances of walking away from a bad situation. A bulletproof vest, good quality folding knife, a baton along with awesome pair of combat boots can be extremely effective if you keep a low profile and your head low. And you probably won’t get them confiscated, either.

[Rick Saxby owns]

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  1. I must tell you that I don’t know who you are referring to with the “most” comment.

    I have carried a knife with me since I was 11.

    Once I started to carry a gun, my knife choice changed from utility to self-defense and I got myself a Gerber MkIII.

    I wanted a Gerber because of the reputation and I did not want to have to buy another knife so I choose the best.

    Besides, you never know when your knife will come in handy and having a quality blade that is near indestructible has served me well over the years.

    With my 45. magnum, 38. snubbie, and Gerber all concealed on my person, I am ready to face the day no matter what comes my way.

      • A 45. magnum beats a .9mm any day of the week. You can get a high-capacity clip for it, but then you need a shoulder thing that goes up.

        • I thought the same thing james, that’s why I bought it.

          It cost me a little more than $800 for the gun, it is a six shot revolver and can take any longcolt round as well as a 454 casull round up to 300 grains.

          I had to get a custom made shoulder rig to carry it in, but I plain love the beast!

          • So.. you bought a .454 and you’re shooting long colts through it.

            A Desert Eagle in .50AE would be more practical as a defensive/carry arm than that.

            I would add to all this:
            Pics or it didn’t happen.

      • Not to mention the Gerber MK III has a 6.88 inch blade. If I remember correctly that length is illegal in most states. I think the standard in 5 inches. In my state it is 5.5 inches and the total knife can’t be over 7 inches if it has a fixed blade.

      • I can conceal my .460 Smith and Wesson XVR revolver just as well as a bowling ball. The biggest gun I’ve concealed is a Glock 35 on my hip.

        I call bullsh!t on the “concealable .45 magnum.”

        • call bullshit all you want bub, it is a fact.

          like I said, go to frontierleatherworks dot com and go half way down page 2 to see the rig. The gun is on page one, mine has a 3″ cylnder and a 3″ barrel and is concealable under my arm.

          So, check the facts with a quick web search before you come off like a know it all.

    • Standard pressure .45 Long Colt is enough to kill a horse (this is what it was designed for). Why would you load it to magnum pressures to defend against a human being? Overpenetration is guaranteed, follow up shots are slower, and for what?

      • I try to live my life under as few simple rules as possible and one of them that applies to this and is the answer to your question:

        “It is better to have & not need, than to need and not have.”

        A copper jacketed hollow point 255 grain longcolt is my first round of choice and if a second shot is needed then a copper jacketed hollowpoint 454 casull round with 300 grains is what is up next.

        The whole point of having rounds like this is IMO so that you are able to shoot through things and still hit your target with enough force for it to be leathal.

        • One word: Overpenetration.

          If power like that was practical for self-defense, everybody would carry rifles loaded with FMJs.

        • wow, this reminds me of that old mall ninja thread a few years back. gotta keep a G3 in the trunk for those extended shootouts, right?

          oh and if you think i’m a jerk, i’m with James on this one, pics or it didn’t happen. i wanna see a pic of that beast in your custom shoulder rig (or is it the thing that goes up?). don’t tell me you don’t have a cam, with cell phones and all these days…

          • Just because I made an informed choice on what and how I carry it does not mean it would work for others.

            If you want to see my rig & weapon then just go to the place that I got it from: frontierleatherworks dot com

            They are some of the true americans left and if look on page 2 halfway down you will see my double shoulder rig, it has two ammo pouches under one arm and the weapon under the other. All silver & black with liberty head coins for pouch closures. He was kind enough to throw in the two extra straps & handful of chicago screws for nothing so I could attach my Gerber MkIII to it at no extra charge.

            I would recomend his hand made work to anyone who has decided what their everyday carry weapon will be.

            It always amazes me to see people spend close to a thousand dollars on their weapon and accessories and then trust it to a $20. nylon walmart special.

            • I see plenty of guns on that page, even with the horrible 1996-style layout. The closest thing I see that remotely relates to what you’re talking about is the Wildley, but that’s a semi, not a revolver, and you’re definitely not running .454s through one of those.

              I see a couple shoulder rigs on page 2, but none of them specify a 45.magnum/.454 with a three-inch barrel.

              Who is the manufacturer of this weapon? What is its designation or model number? What are the specifications? Cost? Availability?

              I carry an FNP45. It has a TLR1-S light attached to the rail. Here’s a picture of it I took the day I bought it.

              I did some research and decided to go with Raven Concealment Systems for my holster and magazine carrier. Here’s a link to the exact holster they made for my pistol.

              See what I did there?

              • Well james,

                I am sorry that I did not give those details, but I can assure you it is a real gun.

                Manufactured by:


                The official brand name is:

                Raging Judge Magnum

                Bullet loads it can take:
                45LC/410./454. casull

                It is a 6 shot revolver with a 3″ cylinder and 3″ barrel DA/SA

                It is a solid stainless steel gun and weigh’s in at 5 lbs unloaded.

                It cost me over $800.

                The soft foam grip with hard rubber strip on the back is the best handle I have shot with yet and not only fits my hand like a glove but it also helps with the recoil.

                As far as availability to you I have not the faintest Idea, Im not a gun dealer.
                I just went into my local gun store, saw it, felt it out and up, liked it, so I bought it.
                I wanted a high powered handgun and I love the versatility that it gives me with the different loads.

                When you say taurus to most people the 1st reaction is “ugh” another piece of junk!

                I have run over a thousand rounds through this gun and I have had zero problems with it. About 400 rounds have been the casull, most of the rest were 45.LC, and a few different shotgun rounds just for fun!

                I love this gun and what it can do and frontierleatherworks dot com can really take care of all your needs for any kind of sheath or belt or bandoleer and it is money well spent IMO.

              • OK – thanks! Yeah, I had a suspicion that you were talking about the Judge, but I just couldn’t be sure – you were being kind of cryptic there for a while.

                I’ve actually considered getting myself one of those revolvers. I figured it would make a nice car gun.

              • Your welcome James.

                Before you plop down close to a grand for one of these guns I would strongly recommend you rent both the regular judge and the raging judge.

                Some people just plain do not like the explosion of a 454 casull round going off 2′ in front of their face.

                You can feel the backblast that comes out the sides, the kick/rise is tough but not uncontrollable, and the noise it makes scares the crap out of people who are not ready for it.

                The Magnum version with the 6″ barrel has a rail-like top that you could mount a scope or whatever onto it.

                I must also say that all the 45LC & 454 casull rounds I have shot are very accurate and use high quality propellents. Steel or brass cases, all lead, hollowpoint, copper jackets, and even stainless steel jackets, have all fed flawlessly through this gun.

      • I like the .45 Colt so much I sold all my .44 Magnums. I can shoot a bigger, heavier bullet, faster, out of my .45 Colt than the .44. With my .45 Colt carbines, I can come close to equaling the 45/70 in close quarters. Bigger is better, and I’ll take all the edge I can get.

    • I’m going to make a “guess” here, but I’m “guessing” that spymyeyes still lives with his mom.

      Ga’ head… Tell me I’m wrong!

  2. Good article. In a real hot combat situation, I question just how many (or few) CC holders (even trained ones) can react fast enough to a competent ambush attacker. Each state and city can have very different laws about carrying knives, batons, etc so readers should consult an attorney before carrying. I have read of a case of a man who was arrested while re-filling his gas tank at the gas station because a cop noticed he had a billy club protruding out from underneath his driver’s seat. The man plead guilty to carrying an illegal weapon to avoid jail time (in that area) and as a result lost his right to also own a gun.

    I have read that men are the victims of violent crime at a rate 4X that of women.

    Careful with quoting rape statistics since the way they are increasingly being tabulated is getting more inaccurate all the time. As an example, if a happily married couple of twenty years gets equally drunk (or even if the drunk man is too drunk to want sex and his drunk wife pushes the sex) and they have intercourse, the USG’s CDC now considers that a case of a woman being raped (not the man being raped). The SGI sexual grievance industry also considers it a rape if a womyn says that she really wasn’t in the mood for wanting sex yet her boyfriend was persistent with his asking her and she wanted to please him so she did it to keep him. The SGI advocate and counselor trolls then report that in their report as rape which goes into the statistics the government reports and the mass media wails on about.

  3. I carry a Swiss Army knife, not because it’s “tactical”, but it allows me to have a sharp knife, regular and Phillips screw driver, scissors, tweezers, and a wire stripper in my pocket. Probably a terrible knife to fight with, but very useful for me in everyday life. So I guess my knife realistically isn’t good enough to be a back-up weapon. Something I’m gonna hafta ponder on a while.

    • A good swiss army knife is a must have for anyone who ever has a need where tools are not available.

      Mine broke so I switched to a quality pair of pocket-pliers that has everything the swiss army knife had.

    • I actually carry a Victorinox Swiss Army Knife at all times on my key chain. Not much for combat, but good for everyday use.

    • I’m starting to think about getting murse, what with the revolver, speedloader, folding knife, Leatherman and Swiss Army knife–on top of the usual keys, wallet, kleenix and whatever odd items I picked up (have kids running around, not that uncommon for me to find a matchbox car in my pocket at the end of the day).

      And that’s to just walk around the house. Go out for a bike ride, or a hike, and the load just gets heavier…

  4. I’m liking the knife posts!

    I carry a Kershaw Talon II. It’s like the P’Kal folder from Spyderco designed by SouthNarc of Shivworks. It’s great for in your face defense.

    While it looks funny, the blade is under 3″ and is sized much like an ordinary pocket knife.

    • I love my skeletool, but I wish the blade was longer. 154cm is a sweet material, though. Just wish I would have waited for the serrated blade (which I’ve seen in pictures on the net, but not in person).

  5. How does one go about maintaining a low profile when you are wearing a bullet proof vest and combat boots?

    Batons are illegal in California. Don’t know why, but there are a lot of things in California that avoid ready explanation.

    A defensive blade MUST have a locking blade, or you risk losing your fingers if it closes. In California, fixed bladed knives must be carried openly–which makes it hard to keep a low profile when not camping, fishing or hunting. Always check you LOCAL regulations on knife length. California imposes no length limit, but most urban areas do, and the rules are not even close to uniform. For example, California state law allows the open carrying of knives, even swords, but LA bans both.

    Last thought. In a knife on knife fight, you will get likely cut unless you have some means of fending off your attacker to keep his blade out of range. Therefore, avoid a knife fight unless you have no other option.

  6. The chance that I will get involved in any sort of bad situation, with or without my gun (or knife), is vanishingly remote. I’m not really prepared to  train to become some knife ninja or sweat through Midwest summers in combat boots when I could use my time and energy to get in better physical condition (which could help me react more rationally under stress), not drive like an idiot, and get Constitutional Conservative/Libertarian politicians elected. 

  7. I don’t carry a knife very often, but when I cross state lines to a state where I cannot legally carry, I keep a Kershaw in my pocket and a hatchet underneath the front seat of my car. I’m not talking about some kind of “tactical” tomahawk. I mean a hatchet with a very sharp blade on one side and a rectangular hammer on the other.

    I’ve have always considered a BFK to be a lot scarier than a gun, but a hatchet is the scariest of all.

    • I found some of those tools at a flee market for $5.00 each. I bought 3 of them so I could keep one in each car and have one for my workshop.

      It is a good multi-tool made out of one piece of steel, square hammer on one side with a hatchet on the other with the pry-bar being the handle. It also had a nail-head pulling hole right in the middle that also works quite well.

      With some minor care, they have been in great shape for 10 years and counting.

    • You want scary? I’ll give you scary:

      Filipino Iron Wood Flat Stick
      “Iron Wood Stick has a piece of forged steel sandwiched between two pieces of extra hard Gijo wood.
      …the steel in-between the Gijo wood slabs is hand filed into saw teeth, exposed beyond the wood. When you strike with this “stick,” it not only breaks what it hits but rips”.

      Filipino War Axe
      “the Igorot Head Hunting Axe was once used as a standard battle weapon for killing their enemies”

  8. Not to defend ANYTHING that witch Feinstein says, but; the quote she made on 60 minutes about not having the votes to get Americans to turn them in was made after the passage of the Brady Bill and was in reference to “assault weapons”, not all firearms. And not that she wouldn’t like to do that too. But if we’re going to quote our enemies, we should put it in the proper context. Just sayin’.

    • Senator Feinstein knows and appreciates the security a carry handgun can provide. She herself got on the bandwagon when first the circumstances of her life forced her to walk a short distance through a higher-risk neighborhood. She did the right thing and bought a revolver and obtained a CCW permit. This allowed her to walk in the area in which was located the hospital where her husband was being treated. She’s onboard. She gets it. She didn’t expect to be attacked by a licensed carry, but by a criminal carrier, the same thing you may fear. She just doesn’t want you onboard. “Guns in First Class Only” is what her behavior says.

  9. In addition to my firearm, I carry a knife, but not for self-defense. If I want a backup weapon, I’ll carry another gun.

  10. I used to carry a pocket size folder but stopped when it became obvious that they were prohibited just about everywhere guns were, work, airports (if flying), courthouses, schools. Probably okay in a bank or post office, but since there is no metal detector there, seems like a gun could go there anyway. Not sure what Virginia law is but I kept the blade under 3.5 inches. Last time I was in a courthouse I had to take a little 1.5 inch fingernail blade off my keychain and put it in the car.

    • Check out They have made out of zytel that are not picked up by metal detectors. my wife and I have been carrying them for years. On plains, in court houses, anywhere we go. We never go anywhere unarmed. They don’t have much of an edge on them but you can get them pretty shar with an emery board. I also carry a CRKT M-16 knife with a clip point blade. It has a wonderful little leaver that when pushed forward makes the knife as strong as a full tang knife. I have not gone willingly unarmed since I was about 8 years old. Grew up in a very rough neighborhood on the South side of Chicago.

  11. 2 3/4″ blade, 7 inches over all, lock blade. Imperial Stainless, Ireland, nothing special, grooved handle, plastic. No opening studs, just thumb and snap, clean it like I clean my pistol, often. Had to go back and put it in the car when I went to get passport in Houston, but that was the only time.

  12. Caption: “Even as he expertly wielded his knife to stave off frontal attacks, the backne stealthily crept up on him from behind.”

  13. If you are placed in a position where you cannot effectively protect your family, yourself and others, you are in the wrong place and need to leave. Most skilled martial artists will tell you this up front, even they don’t want to mix with weapons if they have a choice because they’ve done their math and checked their results several times.

    When government places you in this position it’s your choice and their rules. If you allow them to victimize you and your family, it is your fault. Stay away from these situations or you will be victimized by being stomped, stabbed, shot etc. by the criminal element or stomped, shot, detained/arrested, criminally charged and looking for bail money or awaiting your initial appearance with a public defender. The best outcome that you can hope for is to cop to a misdemeanor plea because they will never admit that they were wrong. YOU, must now prove your innocence and nobody in the system will give a rat’s a*s anyway. I assure you, this is true.

    • If you are placed in a position where you cannot effectively protect your family, yourself and others, you are in the wrong place and need to leave.

      That’s entirely true, but sometimes you just have to go to the Post Office.

  14. It’s a felony to carry a knife with a blade larger than 2 1/2″ on to postal property. They also have signs at my post office parking lot that says “15 minute parking only.” Yeh like that’s going to happen!

  15. Tell your model that he’s going to want to put his thumb on the pommel of that knife. The very first time he stabs something with it and his hand slides down the blade and cuts all of his flexor digitorum tendons, he’s going to drop the knife and not be able to pick it (or anything else) up. Pop was a butcher all his life and taught me a couple of things about knives and edged tools in general.
    I cut a couple of those tendons in a plate glass accident and they’re a bitch to re-construct. And no, you really can’t pick anything up. I know.


  16. My family studies Tae Kwon Do. No weapon martial arts cant be taken from you and also helps with situational awareness. I also notice students of martial arts walk differently. Predators dont like sheep with teeth.

    When I studied stick fighting we also practiced with canes. They are allowed in all places and work great as a weapon. Particularly the rutan ones.

    Be safe and keep your head up!

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