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Mike Pannone – New CTT-Solutions Class Policy

No student was injured in a CTT-Solutions class or any other Alias class. This is to ensure it stays that way.

There have been several incidents where students in handgun classes carrying in a concealed appendix holster have discharged their pistol while re-holstering with subsequent injury. Therefore, I will be instituting a much stricter program of instruction and range policy designed to make every effort to ensure that all holsters in class are properly worn and safe for use both in and out of class. My evaluation will be based on body type, holster design/location and trigger design/weight. It will be in your best interest to have a belt slide holster and a cover garment suitable for use with it if you are planning to shoot from appendix in the event I deem your set-up unsuitable.

The above mentioned problem is the result of one or more of the following factors:

  • Holster selection- certain body types cannot wear an appendix holster without their stomach forcing the gun into a position where it is pointed at their legs or genitals. When I carry appendix my pistol is not pointed at any part of my body unless I get in an awkward position.
  • Holster location- the holster genre is call “appendix” and if one looks on an anatomical chart, your appendix is not in the center of your body where your navel is. Improper wear causes it to be a safety concern by orienting the muzzle at the legs or genitals.
  • Trigger weight and design- a striker fired gun with a chambered round and an aftermarket lightened trigger is NOT suitable for concealed carry in an appendix holster with a round chambered in my classes. You can carry what you want on your time but NOT IN AN OPEN ENROLLMENT CLASS. I am quite confident in my skills and
  • 1.) I carry a DA/SA CZ P07 which gives me a much greater level of inherent safety.
    2.) When I did carry a striker fired gun the trigger was of stock weight with stock parts.

  • Technique and skill- when one is learning he/she should be going exceptionally slow so as to be able to identify EXACTLY the method by which they manage their gun and garment in conjunction with each other. With bad technique any firearm related task becomes risky and when learning new skills, speed can injure or worse.
  • Attention to detail- Don’t paw at a garment or gun to draw it or try and stuff it back in your holster like a sandwich into a bag. Think of the desired end state and never forget the nature of the device in your hands.
  • When re-holstering strictly adhere to the following steps:
    S-low down, straighten your trigger finger along the frame and well outside the trigger guard
    A-lways ensure the garment is completely cleared from the holster and surrounding area
    F-inal visual check that gun/holster are clear of clothing and finger is outside of trigger guard
    E-nd the action by slowly re-holstering the pistol

    *Other than a mechanical failure of the pistol, negligent discharges when drawing or re-holstering are always due to a mistake by the shooter. These mistakes are overwhelmingly caused by excessive speed and sloppiness. From this point on in every Covert Carry Class I will reserve final say on whether or not your holster is worn properly, in a suitable location and is appropriate for your body type and the pistol being used. It will be a requirement for all attendees to bring a belt holster along with their desired appendix holster. An inexpensive belt holster is worth the investment and should be integrated into any concealment training regardless of primary carry method.

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    29 Responses to “Mike Pannone – New CTT-Solutions Class Policy”

    1. Well done Mike – spot on !!!

    2. Ed Hickey says:

      Yes defitinitly for advanced shooters!

    3. Mario says:

      Can anyone provide documented examples or links to the re holstering injuries mentioned in the article? Looking for any lessons learned on these incidents.

      • JSH says:

        Look on YouTube. A DEA agent shot himself in front of a class of kids (show and tell) while holstering his Glock.

        • Mario says:

          That video doesn’t apply to this discussion. He is wearing his holster strong side and not concealed. He AD’s because he pulls the trigger, and not while trying to holster.

          Im curious to know if any real world examples exist relevant to CONCEALED APPENDIX HOLSTER. I know of many examples of folks shooting themselves while holstering strong side. I don’t know of any for appendix carry and as mentioned in the article “There have been several incidents where students in handgun classes carrying in a concealed appendix holster have discharged their pistol while re-holstering with subsequent injury”.

          When/Where/How did these incidents occur?

        • SSD says:

          There have been other ND over the past few years including a couple recently.

          • Mario says:

            Check… i have no doubt ND’s have occurred and I don’t think their is a vast appendix carry conspiracy going on, but I think top tier instructors and have a responsibility to back up what they publish on the site.Using the word SEVERAL with regards to ND’s paints the picture of a rash of people shooting themselves using this technique. Prove it.
            I hope Mr. Pannone can provide more than just ” there have been ND’s”.
            He should have the ability to provide specific examples of what is written in the article or I will just take is as hot air and this article as a way of promoting his business…. which is fine.

            On a different note. Creating an article for the sole purpose of an instructor stating he is going to keep tight safety standards and ensure that student equipment is used in a safe manner for an open enrollment course – beginner- is not ground breaking and makes me curious as to what he was doing previous. Isn’t the entire article a rehash of what the instructors responsibility was already?

            • mike says:

              Yes Mario, but since this is the internet he’s making sure that people don’t get their feelings hurt and that they don’t feel judged for carrying a certain way. If you’re not sure why it’s necessary to do this go back and look at the SSD articles from when the instructors began banning SERPA holsters and look at the butthurt that caused. Frankly the instructor doesn’t owe anyone an explanation for something they feel is a safety issue in their class, but taking the time to explain it to everyone does everyone an instructive service.

            • Noner says:

              “He should have the ability to provide specific examples of what is written in the article or I will just take is as hot air and this article as a way of promoting his business”

              I do have the ability to provide details but out of professional courtesy I have spoken with the instructor at the specific class and though he gave me a detailed AAR, I assured him I will not comment on the specifics until he posts his AAR.

              On the second part it does not appear that you read the part where I said
              “Therefore, I will be instituting a much stricter program of instruction and range policy”

              I am already very strict about safety and weapons handling but there will be much more scrutiny on the wearing of AIWB holsters and all holsters for that matter in light of this most recent incident. I find it odd that you assume some selfish or nefarious reason for being even more careful in light of a recent shooting accident while never actually attributing it to the fact that I might actually and genuinely give a damn about my students and the shooting public. I have no problems promoting my business and if it were, this would not be the way to do it.

              • Mario says:

                Mr. Pannone,

                Thanks for the reply. Ill be eagerly awaiting the AAR on the incident. You had mentioned “several incidents” in your article so I would have guessed you had a document full of examples to share.

                In regards to your safety practices, I only mention it because this seems like a typical knee jerk reaction and doesn’t address any real problem. You state you are already “very strict about safety and weapons handling”. I believe you. If that is the case why do you need to increase to a “much stricter program of instruction and range policy”? Your S.A.F.E procedure seems to me to be an adequate way of addressing the issue. Did similar procedures not exist before your new safety increase?
                Given proper safety practices like S.A.F.E when holstering do you really think holster location and trigger weight is what causes these incidents? If your answer is yes why do you write “Other than a mechanical failure of the pistol, negligent discharges when drawing or re-holstering are always due to a mistake by the shooter”? Why are you creating gear issues if you already know it is a shooter issue?

                Im not trying to sharp shoot here but I see safety spikes like this stuff often and it just seems like a lot of fluff to me. Strip it down to why people really shoot themselves – the trigger gets pulled – and you can lose the fluff and train your students with safe techniques, which have existed for many years already.

                • Noner says:

                  I am not acting in a knee jerk manner but liability wise I feel it is now necessary to give a FORMAL WRITTEN & DOCUMENTED block of instruction on reholstering. Also I wiill now remove students from the drill or the class at my discretion for sloppily reholstering or failing to safe or de-cock before re-bolstering after they have received the formal block. I really didn’t feel it was necessary to give a formal block but given the fact that all the accidental shootings in classes that I personally know of have been on the draw or the re-holster and overwhelmingly the latter.

                  I would ask in future that if you have a question about something I said or wrote feel free to ask it without disparaging comments about my motives. The “hot air” and “a way of promoting his business” we’re wholly gratuitous and appeared intended to disparage or marginalized my GFM. Again, I actually give a damn about my students and the shooting public and just because I was not willing to air someone else’s dirty laundry doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

                  • Mario says:


                    Believe it or not I first commented on this article to attempt to really get some info on these incidents of folks shooting themselves. I too have a personal interest in utilizing the most current and safest techniques for holstering pistols. The AAR that should exist with these shootings are out there but don’t get a lot of circulation. That was my intent.

                    Where are the AAR for these several incidents you mention? I understand you want instructors involved to have the time to complete the AAR on specific accidents but that is just 1 incident if I understand correctly. What about the rest? Are there no documented self shootings you can provide?

                    Your inability to provide examples of what you mention in the article lead me to believe maybe you don’t really know of these incidents and were just trying to get some more exposure. Which, as I said previously, is fine. I support your ability to promote as you see fit. But expect to be judged on the quality of the content you put out. This article, for me, was lacking.

                    Ill grant your request for leaving out disparaging comments but I would ask in the future that if you are going to write claims of incidents that occur you actually have something to back it up.

                    Best of luck with your future training and I and hope your new safety protocols are successful.


                    • Noner says:

                      The GFM was not written about the AD that happened, it was about my policy in response to it. There was no need for and I didn’t think it was necessary to review an incident I was not witness to and it was never intended to be an AAR of someone else’s incident, that is for him to do. You came to the article not understanding why it was written and therefore expecting something that was never intended to provide. I see why you felt compelled to comment the way you did (minus the disparaging comments) but it seems you still don’t understand the reason for the post. It was designed to address shortcomings in safe technique, not as a specific AAR of an incident.

                    • Noner says:

                      It was a PSA in response to recent talk of safe use of and an incident with an appendix holster. It was not an AAR of any specific incident.

      • Huch says:

        Here’s one that happened 2 weeks ago at a range in outside L.A. (Burro Canyon).
        Guy shot himself in the abdomen and the round exited the bottom of his sac (ouch).

        The post was written by a guy who was taking a class in the next bay over from a different class where the shooting occurred. The guy who treated the wound (the instructor of the OP’s class that DID NOT have an accidental shooting) chimes in with how he provided treatment and lessons learned. The ironic thing is that the poor bastard managed to shoot himself with a hammer-fired Sig. Don’t know if he tried to holster it while it was cocked or just holstered so fast that he was able to overcome a DA trigger pull.

        There’s no great way to act after blowing your nuts off, but the victim did reach out to the instructor who treated him and offered to reimburse him for any equipment that was used (4″ Israeli bandage and some gauze fyi). I imagine it was a rather humbling experience.

        Here’s a diagram of the wound that makes me wince just looking at it:

    4. Chucker says:

      Glad you mentioned the point about striker fired pistols. Validated my concerns.

      I have a question about this point: “…my pistol is not pointed at any part of my body unless I get in an awkward position.”

      When using appendix carry, doesn’t any bend at the waist (like sitting or picking something from the floor) make the muzzle point at your legs/self? Are you considering these positions ‘awkward’ or am I misunderstanding ‘proper’ appendix carry?

      • Noner says:

        Perhaps this will clear it up. Any gun in any holster damn near can point at your body when assuming any posture but standing up. Take a knee with a belt holster and see where it points. The key is when accessing it where does it point? I am not concerned with the gun in a holster when I move around because I carry quality guns in quality holsters, I am concerned with drawing said gun and the only way I can point it at myself while accessing it is in an awkward position and sitting is not one of them for me. I have never bent over and drawn my gun either. Hopefully that clears it up. You have a gun on your person and at some point it will be pointed EVEN IN THE HOLSTER at something you would not want it pointed at. It is the reality of firearms and firearms carry.

        • Chucker says:

          Got it. Thanks for that.

        • Trajan says:

          Mr. Pannone,
          Could you please clarify your statement “I am concerned with drawing said gun and the only way I can point it at myself while accessing it is in an awkward position and sitting is not one of them for me.”

          Does this mean you don’t believe in drawing from a seated position, or you don’t sweep yourself when drawing from a seated position?

          Also, how do you avoid sweeping yourself with a forward lean? In the recent videos you posted up on youtube, it appears you are sweeping yourself both drawing and holstering (Covert Carry skills, and .97 second draw).

          No disrespect meant, just a curious person who only AIWBs.

    5. John says:

      “certain body types” . . . fatties.

      • Lightfighter says:

        Indeed. Very diplomatic of him to not say it. The truth is that a guy doesn’t have to be huge to have the holster cant inward towards the groin. 20-30 extra pounds will do it easily. Thankfully, I’ve never been in a hurry to holster my gun. I hate press checks too.

    6. Joshz says:

      The reality is.. I don’t want to shoot my dick off.

    7. Tetsuo says:

      • There’s nothing to be gained by being the fastest to reholster. The fight is over. Take your time.
      • Be wary of anyone who tells you looking at your holster when reholstering is a bad thing. Make sure clothing doesn’t get between the gun and holster. If you need to look, do so.

      +1 to Noner for giving a damn about his students.

    8. JB says:

      If you’re too fat to appendix carry, you should maybe spend less money on shooting classes and more money on a gym membership.

      And good on Mike for taking time to respond to all the overly sensitive butt hurt.

    9. Ryan Burch says:

      I’m one of those guys with 20-30 extra pounds, and I’ve found I can carry appendix with no issues with the right gun. I’ve found barrel length is the deciding factor, with 4″ barreled guns, the gun rest comfortably parallel to my thigh in every position I’ve put myself in during my limited testing.

      My 3.5″ kahr works in certain holsters but in others it tips down pointing at my femoral artery. One of the reasons a 4″ XDS is in my future.

      There are risks and rewards to every carry method. Appendix is no different. Certainly instructors should take great care to make sure the risks don’t exceed the rewards for each student.

    10. SC says:

      The other issue with AIWB carry in a class environment is that an instructor can’t watch the student reholster when walking behind the line. The instructor can clearly watch students reholster in a hip holster and provide on the spot corrections.

      Lots of people know how to properly reholster AIWB/IWB/OWB/etc but do they do it perfectly every single time? A student can demonstrate a perfectly safe reholster and then 2 hours later have brain freeze and screw it up. I’ve seen trained, competent shooters try to reholster shirts and jackets multiple times without realizing it. Because they were using a hip holster I could see and correct it immediately. I would have never seen it if they were carrying AIWB.

      I carry AIWB everyday but I fully understand various instructors restricting it in open enrollment classes.

    11. AB says:

      I would hesitate to force an alternate holster position on those not practiced with it. Seems like that could be more dangerous than the original problem.

      In a situation where the individual may be more practiced with AIWB carry but deemed unsafe to use their preferred method, I can see the following issue:
      In most behind the hip concealment methods you are much less likely to see your holster and also more likely to sweep other students on the line during both holstering and drawing. If the student is already not competent enough to re-holster in the manner they are accustomed to, then such a situation would be compounding the issues.

      In regards to some of the discussion above, not the PSA itself;

      I find some of the arguments against AIWB positioning and muzzling yourself somewhat suspect, logically. As Mario and another pointed out, you’re (the instructor’s) primary issue is either with a) muzzling yourself or b) sloppy drawing and re-holstering.

      Assuming you have quality equipment and are not committing (b), then (a) is irrelevant. If (a) is the concern, then you had better only be drawing from a OWB race holster, because muzzling yourself in some form during various positional draws from concealment is an ever-present truth. Base on this, you can only logically have an issue with (b), which makes certain comments about center-line carry (which boils down to a dressed up reference to the age old shooting one’s genitals off) grasping at best.

      As an additional note, I do not understand the comment made about striker fired pistols. The weight of the trigger does nothing to effect the inherent striker safety from the plunger. If that is not the issue, then it must be about competent re-holstering. If that is the issue, then see the above about muzzling yourself – the problem then should logically be the same regardless of carry position or firing mechanism; making the point invalid.

      I’ll close saying that from a ‘unknown variable student safety’ standpoint and not a personal competency standpoint the PSA specifically makes perfect sense – I just wish it hadn’t been backed up in the comments with what seems to me logically flawed points about muzzling oneself. Either conscious and controlled muzzling of one’s self during weapon deployment or re-holstering is acceptable when unavoidable for competent individuals – or it’s not and the entire industry needs to re evaluate carrying a chambered round in general.

    12. Ed Hickey says:

      Yo fellas especially Mario I can’t believe you guys are doubting what MP said. The man is a Marine, a Force Recon Marine a Green Beret & then on top of that he just happened to be a Delta operator. Very disappointed to read this! Show some respect & don’t doubt whatever this man says.