2020 KR Training staff gear survey part 4 – home defense, training and competition guns

By far the most common questions I answer online and in person are about what gun(s), holsters and gear to buy. Recently I sent all the assistant instructors of KR Training a gear survey form. In part 1, I listed the guns, sights and gun modifications we use. In part 2, I listed holsters, mag carriers and belts. In part 3, I listed flashlights, pepper spray and medical gear. This post lists home defense guns, training and competition-specific gear.


Mostly carry guns or larger variants of that person’s carry gun

  • Same as carry gun (8 people)
  • Kimber 5″ steel frame 1911 in .45 ACP
  • S&W M&P Shield 9mm
  • S&W M&P full size 9mm
  • Glock 19
  • Glock 34
  • P320 V-TAC
  • Springfield XDM 9mm


Rifles and shotguns

  • 16″ AR-15 .223/5.56 with Aimpoint or similar red dot (7 people)
  • Remington 870 Police Magnum SBS w/ Vang Comp 12 gauge
  • Remington 870 police 12 gauge
  • .300 BLK suppressed SBR AR-15
  • Mossberg 930 w/ Primary Arms microdot 12 gauge
  • Beretta 1301 12 gauge
  • Mossberg 500 12 gauge
  • Mossberg 590A1 12 gauge
  • Ruger PCC 9mm
  • 12 gauge shotgun (did not specify make/model)
  • Marlin lever action rifle .30-30 Win


Weapon mounted lights (pistol or long gun) and other gear specific to home defense

  • Pro Ears hearing protectors
  • Carry flashlights
  • Streamlight X300 on Glock 19
  • X-300 Ultra on pistol
  • Extra ammo/magazines
  • Fenix PD35TAC mounted on rifle and shotgun
  • Streamlight TLR-1
  • Arlo cameras


Guns used mainly for classes, practice and matches

  • STI 2011 USPSA Open Gun .38 super comp (2 people)
  • Briley Platemaster 2011 .38 super comp (2 people)
  • 1911 steel frame custom/gunsmith 5″ .45 ACP (2 people)
  • STI Trojan 1911 9mm
  • CZ Shadow & Shadow 2 9mm
  • S&W M&P Core w/ Trijicon RMR 9mm
  • S&W M&P 5″ 9mm
  • SIG P320F 9mm
  • SIG P320 X-5 w/ Romeo 1
  • Springfield XDM 5″ 9mm


Holsters used mainly for training, practice and competition.

  • Comp-Tac International w/ drop and offset (2 people)
  • Comp-Tac OWB (2 people)
  • Safariland ALS (2 people)
  • BladeTech OWB Kydex
  • Safariland
  • Comp-Tac standard OWB kydex w/ BOSS hanger


  • Safariland
  • Double Alpha
  • Black Scorpion
  • Bianchi EMT belt, modified
  • 5.11
  • TUFF velcro belt


  • Comp-Tac (3 people)
  • Ghost (2 people)
  • Safariland 71
  • Blackhawk
  • Esstack Kwyi
  • GCode
  • Fobus


Items that didn’t fit in other categories

  • ProEars hearing pro (4 people)
  • Pocket Pro I timer
  • PACT MK IV timer/chronograph
  • Coolfire kit for M&P
  • IFAK carried SOB on match/training day
  • Mayflower APC w/ Haley Strategic Multi-Mission Hanger
  • Source Tactical Hydration Carrier
  • Green Mountain Range bag
  • Revision Eyewear
  • Rudy Project Eyewear
  • Burris Scopes (long guns)
  • SIRT pistol

2020 KR Training staff gear survey part 3 – flashlights, pepper spray, medical gear

By far the most common questions I answer online and in person are about what gun(s), holsters and gear to buy. Recently I sent all the assistant instructors of KR Training a gear survey form. The lists below are the flashlights, pepper spray and medical gear we carry. In part 1, I listed the guns, sights and gun modifications we use. In part 2, I listed holsters, mag carriers and belts. Follow up posts will list home defense guns, training and competition-specific gear.


Wide variety in models, but mostly SureFire and Streamlight products.

  • SureFire Stiletto (4 people)
  • Streamlight Microstream USB (4 people)
  • Streamlight Protac-2L-x
  • Surefire 6P variants (3 people)
  • SureFire Backup
  • Surefire “Sidekick” Streamlight Nano
  • Fenix PD-35 TAC
  • Four Sevens / Prometheus Quark QT2L Tactical
  • Ultrafire


Everyone that responded carries a tourniquet, some carry additional gear on them, everyone had additional gear in their vehicle.

  • SOFTT-W in pocket (8 people)
  • SOFTT-W in ankle pouch or purse/bag (4 people)
  • SOFTT-W in PHLster flatpack in pocket (3 people)
  • CAT in rear pocket or ankle (5 people)
  • TacMed Solutions ankle wrap
  • Dark Angel med kit
  • Safer Faster Defense SFD Responder ankle rig
  • Immediate Casualty Care Min-E-Med Flat
  • Raven Concealment Pocket Shield
  • Chest seal, quik clot bandage


Some reported multiple products, carried at different times depending on clothing or situation.

  • Sabre Red MK-6 (6 people)
  • None (5 people)
  • POM (4 people)
  • First Defense MK4
  • Kimber Pepper Blaster
  • ASP Palm Defender

2020 KR Training staff gear survey part 2 – holsters, mag carriers and ammo

By far the most common questions I answer online and in person are about what gun(s), holsters and gear to buy. Recently I sent all the assistant instructors of KR Training a gear survey form. The lists below are the holsters, mag carriers and ammunition we carry. In part 1, I listed the guns, sights and gun modifications we use. Follow up posts will list home defense guns (pistols and long guns), medical gear and more.


What ammo do we carry? Some people listed more than one (for primary and secondary guns)

  • Speer Gold Dot, 124 gr JHP, 9mm+P (7 people)
  • Federal HST 147 gr JHP 9mm (5 people)
  • Speer Gold Dot 147 gr JHP, 9mm
  • Speer Gold Dot, 115 gr JHP, 9mm
  • SIG V-Crown 9mm
  • Speer Gold Dot 135 gr +P .38 spl (short barrel load)
  • Federal Hydro-Shok (no bullet weight given)


Lots of variety in belt holsters, with the DeSantis Nemesis the universal choice for a pocket holster.

  • Keepers Concealment “Errand” (3 people)
  • Raven “Morrigan” (3 people)
  • PHLster “Classic” (2 people)
  • Keepers Concealment “Keeper”
  • Concealment Express IWB
  • Comp-Tac CTAC w/ Discrete Carry Concepts belt clips
  • Comp-Tac MTAC (hybrid)
  • Tenicor AIWB
  • Safariland OWB (open carry)
  • Dark Star Gear “Orion” w/ Dark Wing and DSG’s metal clip
  • Dark Star Gear “Hitchhiker” w/ Dark Wing and DSG metal clip
  • Vedder
  • JM Custom Kydex AIWB w/ wing claw
  • Black Point Tactical
  • Raven “Phantom” OWB
  • Comp-Tac “Warrior”
  • FIST Kydex
  • Desantis Nemesis Pocket holster for secondary gun (4 people)

HOLSTERS (Recommended but not currently used)

  • Blade-Tech
  • Dene Adams
  • Dale Fricke
  • Red Hill Tactical
  • Smart Carry


Most carry a spare mag, a few do not. Three reported carrying two spare mags, all others carried only one spare.

  • Comp-Tac OWB (4 people)
  • Comp-Tac IWB (2 people)
  • Black Point Tactical (2 people)
  • On Your 6 IWB double mag pouch
  • JM Custom Kydex high ride
  • Safariland 71
  • PHLster
  • Esstac Kywi
  • Smart Carry
  • Speed Strip in pocket (for revolver)
  • “None”


  • Blade-Tech NEXbelt EDC (3 people)
  • 5.11 Gunfighter belt (3 people)
  • Wilderness Tactical instructor belt (2 people)
  • Dickies men’s leather belt
  • Wilderness Tactical Frequent Flyer belt
  • Gould and Goodrich 1″ black leather
  • EDC Foundation
  • Ciguera Emmisary Belt
  • Blue Alpha
  • Filson 1.5″ bridle leather double belt
  • “varies with outfit”

2020 KR Training staff gear survey part 1 – carry guns

By far the most common questions I answer online and in person are about what gun(s), holsters and gear to buy. Recently I sent all the assistant instructors of KR Training a gear survey form. The lists below are the guns, sights and modifications we use. Follow up posts will list holsters, ammo, medical gear and other items.


The preferred (larger) carry gun. Some people had two different “primary” carry guns in their responses.

  • Glock 19, 9mm (4 people)
  • Glock 48 9mm (4 people)
  • S&W M&P 9mm 1.0 4.25″or 2.0 compact (3 people)
  • S&W M&P Shield 9mm (2 people)
  • CZ P01 9mm
  • SIG 320 X Carry 9mm
  • STI Staccato P DUO 2011 9mm
  • Glock 17, 9mm
  • Springfield XD 1.0 4″ 9mm
  • Springfield XD mod 2 9mm


Smaller guns, carried in non-permissive environments and/or as backup guns with the primary. Some did not list a secondary gun model.

  • S&W M&P Shield 9mm (3 people)
  • S&W airweight j-frame .38 sp (3 people)
  • Glock 43 9mm (2 people)
  • Sig P365 9mm (2 people)
  • SIG 938 9mm
  • Glock 48
  • Glock 26


  • Dawson Precision “Charger” solid black rear, narrow fiber optic front (6 people)
  • XS F8 night sights (2 people)
  • S&W M&P Shield factory (2 people)
  • 10-8 Performance (solid black)
  • Dawson “Charger” solid black rear, Trijicon HD tritium front
  • Factory rear, Dawson Precision fiber optic front
  • Ameriglo ProGlo tritium set, orange front
  • SIG factory night sights


Some of us are now carrying red dot sights or lasers on our carry guns

  • Trijicon RMR (3)
  • Holosun 507C (2)
  • Deltapoint (1)
  • Crimson Trace LaserGuard, green (1)


  • Polishing of factory trigger parts (8 people)
  • Apex trigger parts (5 people)
  • Ghost Glock connector (2 people)
  • KKM barrel (for M&P)
  • Silencerco threaded barrel/Taylor Freelance sight block (M&P Shield)
  • Grip texturing / Dawson or Talon grip tape (6 people)

Book Review – Into the Kill Zone (David Klinger, 2004)

Into the Kill Zone cover photo

Professor David Klinger, currently teaching at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, served as a patrol officer in the Los Angeles and Redmond, Washington police departments, later earning degrees in sociology, justice and history. During his time in uniform he shot a knife-wielding criminal that was attaching his partner. His 2004 book “Into the Kill Zone: A Cop’s Eye View of Deadly Force” compiles excerpts from interviews with law enforcement deadly force incident survivors with commentary and observations about the ways using deadly force can affect an officer’s life.

Into the Kill Zone back cover crop
Into the Kill Zone back cover cropped

The book is divided up into five sections: Choosing the Badge and Gun, Basic Training, Holding Fire, Pulling the Trigger, and When the Smoke Clears. Choosing the Badge and Gun discusses the decision to become a police officer and accepting the responsibility to use deadly force, if needed, as part of that job. Basic Training covers the ways officers are trained, particularly with regard to survival mindset.

Holding Fire is the most interesting chapter, because it details situations where officers could have shot, but chose not to – in cases where not shooting was appropriate, and some in which it could be argued that firing was the best solution. The “draw but don’t shoot” problem is one that’s far more common, both for law enforcement and armed citizens, and sometimes gets forgotten in discussion of the more exciting details of incidents where shots are fired.

The Pulling the Trigger section focuses on what officers were thinking and experiencing during the incident itself: the decision to fire, reaction to being shot at (and/or shot and hit), and what they perceived as the shooting was happening. As with the other sections, the focus is more on officer interviews and individual stories and less on lists and data, as would be expected from a sociologist & historian. When the Smoke Clears explores the aftermath, from a personal perspective.

Overall Into the Kill Zone is a well organized, interesting read. For students of defensive shooting, most of the content will confirm what they’ve been taught in classes about mindset and psychology of individual armed combat. The book is available in Kindle and print editions from Amazon and other sources. While I wouldn’t list it as “essential” reading on this topic, (Deadly Force Encounters by Artwohl and Christensen and In the Gravest Extreme by Ayoob would be my top two), it’s certainly worth reading by any law enforcement officer or armed citizen interested in the personal side of the topics it covers.

The video below is a brief interview with Klinger on local television.

KR Training COVID Status

On 5/1/2020, KR Training will resume training on a limited basis, complying with all directives from the Texas Governor’s office regarding class size, social distancing and other preventative measures.

While KR Training will continue to sanitize and clean high contact surfaces and minimize classroom time during our courses, students in May courses will be also be required to sign an additional COVID-specific liability release. We encourage everyone to continue to take precautions to minimize their potential exposure.

In order to meet guidelines, class sizes have been reduced and additional sessions of some classes are being scheduled to accommodate those already registered. Scheduling of courses for July-October, and any discussion of running summer USPSA matches is still pending as we wait on updated guidance from state officials.

See updates at https://www.cdc.gov/ and https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/

Paul Martin has published more general advice on preparedness here.

Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding this issue or upcoming courses.

The Dinkheller Movie

The video of officer Kyle Dinkheller being killed during a traffic stop became a widely used training film. The independent video producer behind the “Officer Involved” documentary has produced a documentary specifically about the Dinkheller incident. I recently ordered a copy and watched it.

The film is very personal, with interviews with Dinkheller’s family and co-workers. Particular attention was given to an incident that occurred prior to the fatal traffic stop, in which Dinkheller was (allegedly) forced to write and hand-deliver an apology letter to a big donor to his sheriff’s campaign, because Dinkheller pulled over (and chewed out) the donor for failing to get out of the way of multiple emergency vehicles heading to a high priority call with lights and sirens. Some of Dinkheller’s co-workers believe that his hesitation to escalate during the traffic stop was influenced by that disciplinary action, which does not appear in his permanent record.

The film includes minimal information about Dinkheller’s killer, and minimal analysis of the incident itself from a tactics or marksmanship perspective. Recommended only for those interested in learning more personal information about the officer and how the aftermath affected his family, friends and co-workers.

It appears that at the current time, the film is not available on streaming services, only as a DVD that can be purchased from the official website.

FPF Training Advanced Concealed Carry class AAR

KR Training assistant instructor Levi Nathan contributed this review of the recent FPF Training Concealed Carry Advanced Skills and Tactics course.

“We do not react to a situation, we respond appropriately.”
That was the phrase that burned itself into my memory as John Murphy of FPF Training said it with a loud and booming voice while discussing the topic when to use force. You *must* think and be able to articulate why you took the actions you did during the course of a fight. And his class was all about that. 

(John Murphy spent a long weekend at KR Training, attending our Force on Force Instructor course on Friday, and assisting with the Defensive Pistol Skills 2 course, running the shoot house, and serving as a roleplayer in the AT-2 Force on Force scenario course on Saturday before teaching his course on Sunday.)

We gathered at the A-Zone Range owned by Karl Rehn of KR Training in Manheim TX. Mr. Murphy did a quick role call and we got started.

First item of the day was watching a few short videos and having a class discussion afterwards. We then transitioned into a Stop The Bleed course, OC (pepper spray) skills and Mr. Murphy’s take on Managing Unknown Contacts (MUC first coined by Craig Douglas of Shivworks).

We had a short break for lunch and then we headed to the range. The range portion was extremely informational. All the videos we had watched, MUC skills and discussions about accuracy under stress came together. Shooting drills were often very short, extremely fast paced, timed and some data or metric was being collected. My personal favorite part was when we got to draw, fire 2 shots at a 4 inch group at 3 yards. Using a timer, you were told exactly what your draw to first shot, your split time and then final shot was and if needed, critique on your drawing or shooting technique. I was pleased to learn how to control split times down to the quarter second, it wasn’t easy, but I learned how.

It all came together seamlessly. I doubt anyone questioned why we were shooting small groups at fast paces under stress, because that’s how most gun fights for armed citizens go. Another key point is Mr. Murphy knew when to tell spicy jokes and when to be completely serious. 

An unexpected but welcome training technique was, at random times (when guns were in holsters and no one was on the firing line), he would start yelling “RIGHT LEG TOURNIQUET! RIGHT LEG TOURNIQUET!” until everyone clued in and put a TQ on their leg. It was timed. Not everyone completed the task successfully but it was homework. 

Overall I highly recommend this course to anyone who is thinking of getting training. If you are competent at drawing from concealment and can hit a 5 inch group at 5 yards in 5 seconds, then take this course. It will be an overview of all the street skills you need for EDC and it will help you find what you are good at, if you can articulate your actions and what you can improve upon.  

10/10 will train with John again.

(KR Training will be hosting FPF Training again in 2021, details to be announced later this year. FPF Training is hosting KR Training’s Advanced Handgun course June 13, 2020. FPF Training hosts their own classes and traveling trainers at their Culpepper, VA facility and teaches many road courses at locations all over the US. Visit their site for more information.

Texas State Senate testimony

On February 26th, I joined about 100 other Texas gun owners and testified before the Texas Senate committee on State Affairs. They were soliciting input from citizens on what changes we would like them to consider in the next session. The top two issues most brought up were constitutional (no permit, no training) carry, and eliminating or reducing the number of gun-free zones.

What I spoke about was a little more specific: modifying SB 1857, the bill that directed DPS to create the 2 day School Safety/Active Shooter course that I and a few hundred other License to Carry instructors are certified by DPS to teach.

Screen capture of my testimony

We were originally limited to 3 minutes (or about 300 words), but due to the large number of people present, our time was cut to 2 minutes per speaker. I wrote out what I was going to say, and submitted a written copy of it as part of my testimony.

My name is Karl Rehn. I represent myself and my company, KR Training.  I have been a firearms trainer since 1991, certified by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, the Department of Public Safety, NRA, Rangemaster and the Force Science Institute. 

In response to the passage of Senate Bill 1857, DPS created a 2 day training course to teach armed teachers the skills they need to protect students.  I teach several sessions of this course each year to church security teams and school personnel.  There are several hundred instructors certified by DPS to teach this class, but adoption of this program is severely limited by school district policies prohibiting permit holders and graduates of this higher level course from carrying on school property.

Active shooter incidents in White Settlement, Sutherland Springs, and Tyler all provide examples of armed individuals taking immediate action and saving lives.  Statistics show an average of 6 people are shot, per minute, in active shooter situations. Police response times are measured in minutes. An armed person present when the attack begins can act in seconds, as the defenders in White Settlement did.  Data from schools in which permit holders are allowed to carry report no problems, and none have been shot in error by responding police. 

When the carry permit law was passed back in 1995, cities were not allowed to make their own rules adding new restrictions on permit holders, because our state constitution clearly states that regulation of the wearing of arms is a state power.  Despite this, school districts have been allowed to make their own policies and override the judgment of the legislature and the experts at DPS that created the armed teacher course.

School district administrators are not experts in firearms training. The trainers at DPS that designed the course and set the standards are the best qualified to assess whether an individual has the ability to carry safely at a school.  The Legislature needs to amend SB 1857 to mandate that any graduate of the DPS-developed School Safety course, school employee or visitor, be allowed to carry on K-12 school grounds, including at sporting events and other functions. 

Here is a link to the entire 9+ hours of testimony. My part is around 7:05-7:09.


The course was originally developed specifically for armed teachers. I’ve found that the course has wider appeal, particularly for church security personnel, and I’ve enhanced the course by incorporating the slides from the ALERRT Civilian Response to Active Shooter course, the DHS Stop the Bleed course, training in how to draw from concealment (taken from the NRA CCW curriculum), and two additional shooting tests: the officer shooting test from a major metro Texas city police department, and the FBI agent qualification shooting test.

Each time I teach the School Safety course, I submit paperwork to DPS. They have records on everyone that has attended the course. DPS currently prints “instructor” on carry licenses held by instructors. It would be simple for them to also print “school” on the license for those that have passed the School Safety course, indicating that person has had a higher level of training. The law could be modified to allow holders of that enhanced license to carry places regular permit holders are currently prohibited, such as schools.

Most of those testifying really wanted the restrictions on carry in prohibited locations removed, and the training requirement eliminated. What I’m proposing is a much smaller step forward than they wanted, but one I think has a better chance of passing. And just like the original carry permit program, with its 10-15 hour training course and restriction only to concealed carry has led to the 4-6 hour course, the blended online/in person course, and open carry, getting the law changed to allow some permit holders to carry on school property would be a small step forward that could lead to improvements in the future.

The reason there were 100+ gun owners testifying at that committee hearing was because Rachel Malone, the Gun Owners of America Texas lobbyist, organized them. She sent out info on how to structure a 3 minute talk, ran a practice session the night prior to the hearing, rented an AirBNB so 15 people that came in from out of town to testify had a place to stay, ordered pizzas for people to snack on when it became apparent that none of us would get to speak before 3 p.m., and ran a Facebook Messenger chat keeping everyone updated. As a result of the collective effort, gun owners outnumbered the “Moms Demand Action” folks, and the gun owners that spoke did a good job speaking for the cause.

I’ll be returning to the Capitol March 11th to give the same testimony to a committee specifically discussing school safety.

KR Training February 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to the KR Training February 2020 newsletter!

We’re continuing to add some new classes to the training schedule. Register in advance to hold your spot; some classes in March and April are already sold out!

Courses marked with an asterisk (*) are Defensive Pistol Skills challenge coin program core courses. All the courses taught by KR Training staff can be counted toward the “elective” hours needed to earn your coin.



KR Training instructors John Daub and Tracy Thronburg attended and passed the Force Science certification course held at DPS HQ in Austin in February. Also shown in the picture are Andrew Branca and Marty Hayes, who traveled to Texas to attend the course. John and Tracy join Karl and Sean Hoffman as graduates of this 40 hour course on KR Training staff.


Classes of interest to instructors and coaches coming up this spring include:

*To attend the NRA CCW Instructor course, you must be an NRA Basic Pistol instructor and have taken the NRA CCW student class. Sign up for the Apr 17 NRA CCW student course to meet the CCW student class requirement.


John and Karl recently updated some of the material in their Strategies and Standards for Defensive Handgun Training book, including adding a new appendix discussing red dot sights. Those that bought the e-book automatically got the update. If you bought a print copy, you can download a PDF with the updated Top 10 Drills and red dot appendix by clicking this link.


KR Training can accommodate physically handicapped people in most of our classes.  Our training building is single story and has wide doors so wheelchairs can easily maneuver in and out of our classroom.  Our range is flat.  We have had a Wounded Warrior in a wheelchair in some of our classes and currently train a person that has to use a cane.  Please don’t think being mobility impaired will prevent you from learning in our classes.  Contact us for additional information.

Keep up with the interesting links we share in real time. Follow KR Training on Facebook or Twitter. Subscribe to this newsletter or follow this blog (right) for more frequent posts and information. Send me an email to schedule your private weekday training session.

We look forward to training you!
Karl, Penny and the KR Training team

A testimonial from Greg Ellifritz of Active Response Training about Karl Rehn and John Daub's book, Strategies and Standards for Defensive Handgun Training.