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Bag carry (courtesy

“Students who have taken my knife fighting class will likely remember ‘The Bag Trick,'” Greg Ellifritz writes at “I demonstrate  it in every 2-day class I teach.  My students all give me the same feedback after seeing it ‘That’s so simple, but it’s genius!  Learning  that one technique was worth the price of the whole class!'” So if they already learned it here, should they save their money? Anyway, make the jump to find out what’s in the bag (as if you didn’t know). Meanwhile, I gotta say: if I saw Greg coming up to me with a bag held like that I would wonder if he’d use it as a cudgel. Which he might do, now. Just sayin’ . . .

Bag man's blaster (courtesy


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    • I don’t think Don Pentecost would laugh at a two day knife fighting class. I’ll let you look up who Don is and what he’s about.

      • Gun fighting is not easy to learn, and knife fighting is not an art. You will not clank knives like a swashbuckling pirate, it is not a kung fu movie, and you will get cut. A knife is not a sword. If you have the misfortune to engage another human in knife combat, you will grip the knife like your life depends on it, and you will tear into your opponent like a wild feline. It will not be cinematic. If you want to survive, you will turn on your reptile brain and go feral.

        The prize for winning a knife fight is a trip to your local medical professional for stitches and antibiotics, guaranteed.

        • If you do not know what you are doing the prize will be a trip to the morgue. People do not instinctively know how to fight with knives, or indeed any tool for that manner. In fact, by and large people do not instinctively know how to fight, it has to be learned. Fighting with a knife takes just as much skill and training as any other hand to hand martial art. Just because you wont be blocking your opponent’s strikes blade on blade doesn’t mean you don’t need to know how to block them, and just because you’re very likely to be injured doesn’t mean you don’t need to know how to avoid the worst injuries.

        • Well put! One of the reasons I practice with a gun so much is that I NEVER want to be in a knife fight!

    • Kelly McCann teaches a knife fighting class.

      Craig Douglas teaches a knife fighting class.

      Try doing something outside of paper targets from a booth.

    • Kelly McCann, Craig Douglas(SouthNarc), Tom Sotis all teach knife fighting. Try doing something outside of a shooting booth.

  1. I remember getting mad at my cousin when I was a kid and swinging a paper bag full of books at him not thinking it would do much damage. I felt pretty bad afterward when I damn near knocked him unconscious.

    • I think so, but I wouldn’t advise using it either to pay off your mortgage or to increase penis size.

  2. I don’t see the problem with it. People don’t expect it, thus they don’t pay any attention to it. Best pickpockets in the world steal your stuff not by remaining undetected, but by diverting your attention.

    Same principle.

    Sometimes I think you guys worry too much.

    • Your right, everyone throw away their IWB holsters, just go to your local grocery store for endless supply. What could be more secure than a plastic bag.

      • The trainer specifies that this is a way to carry a weapon in public “ready to go”, not as an alternative to concealed carry. This is a “I have to walk through a dangerous part of town late at night” option. No one WANTS to, and this carry method is less than ideal.. but it also means having the weapon at the ready without attracting too much undue attention.

      • Didn’t say to throw away holsters, always nice to have options.

        Just saying that the unexpected can work too.

  3. As long as you’re carrying a shopping bag from an arts and crafts store no one will be the wiser….Especially if you look like that guy. j/k.

    Now if they made a metal coffee/travel mug big enough to hold a pistol — I’d buy that.

  4. If you’re looking to do a hit, and think you may need to scrub the hit quickly, carrying a handgun in a bag is awesome. It lets you ditch the weapon before contact with local authorities.

    Oh, what? You aren’t a gangster? Well, get a CCL and carry it right and better.

  5. It would be so much more helpful if the commenters here would have read the full article before commenting.

  6. I think most of you are missing the point, as it wasn’t clear in this brief summary. In the original article, he pretty clearly says this is a bad idea here in the States. He says he has used it in third world countries when carrying in a holster was not possible, and if I remember correctly, only when he’s quickly moving from point A to point to B. It’s not intended to be a means of daily carry.

    • “In the original article, he pretty clearly says this is a bad idea here in the States.”

      Not so fast. Is he teaching this technique in Mogadishu? Looks like he’s teaching students in the US who are loving the trick. Also, he talks about how to use this with a gun. Chances are very heavy you aren’t carrying a gun for self-defense when you are in another country outside the USA.

      My students all give me the same feedback after seeing it “That’s so simple, but it’s genius! Learning that one technique was worth the price of the whole class!”

      • You’re right: it seems irresponsible to teach something like this to students who may use it walking into Walmart. I’ve never been in this guy’s class, so I can’t say that I know exactly how he teaches the technique. I hope he teaches it as a point of information rather than a valid carry option. It’s hard to make such a judgment from an article like this.

  7. While this may be a great way to have a handgun in an inconspicuous but very “ready to use ” state, some scumbag’s attorney, and likely the local prosecutor, will see this as you are “hunting” for an opportunity to employ your firearm.

    The law abiding citizen is expected to consider the consequences of their actions and to be able to articulate “why you need a firearm in such a ready to fire state”. As someone else mentioned brandishing, a prosecutor would probably not appreciate what some think is a clever work around.

    In any event, it’s a great idea until lead starts flying, after that you better have a damn good reason why you’re walking around with you hand on the grip of a pistol in a plastic bag…or the guy you just popped better be Public Enemy #1, otherwise you might find yourself in one hell of a jam.

    Obey the law. Carry within the law. Train with your weapon. Maintain your situational awareness. Don’t look for the fight unless it comes to you, then you mitigate the threat.

  8. Yea, this trick works well with knives and paper bags. Many many moons ago I used this with paper lunch bags and a steak knife with the handle scales removed. If you need the weapon, you stab through the bag, and lunch. It was convenient when traveling by mass transit.
    I’m not sure how well it will work with modern plastic bags and pistols, but it was comforting at times to have a knife in hand, but still concealed.

  9. Hmm. The BATF says a holster with a hole that allows you to shoot while in the holster is illegal. Would a plastic bag fall in that category? Will the BATF start controlling plastic bags the way it tries to control steel wool? 🙂

    This is actually a very good idea for carry for very limited distances and circumstances. The weapon is ready and in your hand but is not visible and you aren’t alarming anyone that isn’t looking for trouble. I’m going to keep it in mind if I ever find myself in a very bad place and need to get out.

    • “The BATF says a holster with a hole that allows you to shoot while in the holster is illegal.”

      You bring up an interesting point. In the case of the regulated wallet holster, it gets reclassified because you are disguising the fact that it is a gun, and you can fire it without removal from the covering. I see a strong parallel.

  10. Many years ago – in the pre-legal-carry days – I had to go down to a bad part of town and rescue a friend who stupidly got himself into a bad situation at a party with a bunch of bangers who took a huge dislike to him. He was in the back yard when I got there, surrounded and being taunted and bleeding from most parts of his face, He was in some serious trouble.

    The bag trick has been around forever, and I used it that night. I walked back there and played the happy friendly naive drunk highschooler, and eventually he and I walked out of there.

    I didn’t need to use the gun, but I doubt I’d have gone back there without it.

    If I had, though, I knew that the bag would keep it concealed until I did. I also knew that the bag would keep most powder residue off of my hands, would make it impossible for people to call out the make and model, and would also make it harder to tell immediately after a shot where the shot had come from, all important points when trying to avoid that whole going-to-prison thing.

    So, if you feel a deep need to let everyone know that YOU think it’s a stupid and useless idea, take a brief second to contemplate that you might not know everything.

    • It’s not a useless idea, it’s the tool of a criminal. Isn’t that where Greg Ellifritz say he got it in the article, from a criminal. Responsible gun owners aren’t criminals. And typically responsible gun owners are aware of their local laws enough that when they worry about, “That whole going-to-prison thing” they aren’t worried about distorting or preventing forensic evidence. If you fired your gun in self defense powder residue and description of the gun aren’t in doubt. See responsible gun owners (tend) not to go to prison because they act in Lawful Self Defense. From your story, “That whole going-to-prison thing” reads a lot more like you and your friend became embroiled in gang fighting and you wanted to beat the charges after murdering someone. Maybe before going on the internet an flaming people for not “knowing everything” you should consider the things you put, into text, where they can be read for perpetuity. The whole story you wrote here is an Antis’ wet dream illustrating why they should take all the guns away and represents some astoundingly irresponsible gun ownership.

  11. There was an incident last week in Arizona where a home owner investigating a possible burglar was shot dead by a poor excuse for a cop. That would be one instance where the bag carry would be ideal. You walk outside with the bag in hand as though you were taking it to the trash. Might save your life from Barney Fife.

  12. How about just putting a J frame in your coat pocket. You can keep your hand in there, if need be, and even fire straight from the pocket. It is far easier, less conspicuous, and more practical.

  13. Great way to carry a firearm to assassinate someone. Going about your day and wanting a defensive firearm carry method? Not so good.

  14. I can’t speak for Greg Ellifritz’s experiences abroad but I feel there needs to be a reality check here for this “trick” within the United States. Note: Laws very by state, after an hour of reading I can’t seem to find a definitive stance on weather this is “concealed” or not in my state. The argument if this is concealed or not is a dangerous game any one who uses this gets to play in court for themselves.
    The real issue is, where the hell, within the US, does anyone think they are going where they need to have a gun right in their hand!? Seriously!?
    FBI statistics across the board indicate that crime is lower then ever before and America is safer then ever. If you are considering going into an area where you think you need a gun IN HAND because its “so dangerous” I have one question, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING THERE!? Leave! Don’t go walking around some dark neighborhood in the middle of the night where you think you might get shanked, with a gun in your hand wrapped up in a bag. There are good things to be said about stand your ground laws but techniques like this just ask for trouble. What would a person using this say to a court if they actually did have to fire their gun in self defense? “Well, I knew I was gonna get attacked if I went there so I grabbed my gun and wrapped a bag around it so that when some punk attacked me I could shoot him without a thought.” Yeah that will sound good to a jury, that won’t easily be described by a prosecutor as a premeditated murder…. I am not an expert on all laws I know, but seriously this kind of thing is just irresponsible. And more importantly people who take this kind of “technique” seriously just prove all the things the Antis say about gun owners: That all gun owners are just weapon wielding nuts, who are so disconnected from reality and reason they fear that they must be armed to the teeth at all times in order to support their overblown super-hero ego.
    I can’t believe how many positive comments i have seen about this “trick” here. It’s terrifying because its just the kind of thing the Antis want to see. News Flash: Nowhere in America is SO dangerous you need to walk around with a gun IN HAND! That’s whats so WONDERFUL about this country, we have gun ownership and the streets are NOT an active war zone.
    Finally, If you live somewhere where you carry a gun because you are scared you will be killed literally at any moment walking down the street, and you WANT to have a gun in your hand at any time because a holster might be too slow or inconvenient, you need to seriously evaluate more choices in your life then your mode of carry…. Like maybe you should move. Or maybe you have an unrealistic view of the world around you. Carry because you are licensed, carry because it’s your right, carry because you are proud to be American, but for God’s sake don’t carry (and admit it is) because you are scared. It just makes everything thing the Antis say to demonize gun owners true, and it’s just not true of America.

  15. I use a “bag trick” all the time in sketchy countries… Hit the grocery store, get SEVERAL plastic bags so you can triple bag that bottle of wine (or whatever).

    Way better than nothing.

    On a similar note, only a fool carries a camera bag when traveling… always use a grocery bag for the same reason. (Tip worthless if you’re gonna dress like a tourist anyway…)

  16. you can shoot a wrist rocket loaded with a pachinko ball from inside of a yard waste bag. the alley squirrels catch on quickly and continue to mock me. but the terrorist on drugs damned blue collar tweaker chip- gophers are moving back to the country. and all the pigeon feeders think i’m taking out the trash.
    the black plastic bags from the liquor store are opaque rather than translucent and will accommodate a phelps revolver. propriety suggests removal of the hornitos bottle prior to deployment.


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