The Armed American Complete Concealed Carry Guide to Effective Self-Defense – Review

ArmedAmericanProduct: The Armed American’s Complete Concealed Carry Guide for Effective Self-Defense – Review
Publisher: Concealed Carry University
Best Warranty/Return Policy/Source @ $199.00: Amazon
My Rating: 9.5 on a scale of 0-10 scale

This is a review of the training program known as The Armed American’s Complete Concealed Carry Guide for Effective Self-Defense.


Uniqueness of this Training Program

Expertise in the area of weapons is most commonly found among former or current military and police, and it should encourage us to know that our forces are well schooled in this area. Regrettably though, when it comes time for the average Joe or Jane to be exposed to training in the use of weapons, it is often found that the instructors only know how to deal with training from the military/police perspective and perceive, and sometimes even treat, the average citizen as if they were a “grunt in the final weeks of military boot camp”. This is not the sense you will get from the training offered in The Armed American’s Complete Concealed Carry Guide for Effective Self-Defense. This ‘Complete’ Guide is perfect for Beginner, Moderate, and Advanced skill levels. Whether you enter the program never having fired a handgun before or if you have carried as a private citizen or police officer for years, I can assure you, you will learn something valuable.

The Instructor

Patrick Kilchermann boasts no military, police or any other kind of systematized training background, he is not some “over-the-hill” pumped up commando…nor is he cocky or aggressive. He merely reports that at one point in his life, as he says “I found myself kneeling on the floor with a gun at my head and vowed never to go down in such a wimpy way again”…that day he was lucky. As a result, he decided he would become the best at self-defense and he would teach others similarly…some have lamented his lack of “professional” training…well, “professionals” usually do that, they “put down” those they consider less professional then themselves (normally to enhance their own image). I seriously noted their criticisms and found they never challenged Patrick on any fundamentally important issue but only on minor, insignificant things dealing with stuff they had “dogmatized” as being significant. You will not be humiliated, diminished or insulted in any way, Patrick is kind and respectful. In his teaching, he presents facts not opinions and he clearly has no loyalties to any specific handgun manufacturers, calibers, or methods of instruction, etc. As one report states: This program submits itself to the reality of a violent attack, and expects only that the viewer will as well”.

Pat is a relatively young man, highly passionate and obviously skilled in the art he has decided to master. His sincerity, integrity and character are clearly in evidence. Some criticize Pat’s background and involvement in other areas prior to taking up this challenge, as if in so doing it somehow diminishes the value and effectiveness of his presentation. If that is the case, then FrontSight, Inc. one of the nations premiere firearms training facilities with locations in Alaska and Nevada should be shut down because its founder and director, Dr. Ignatius Piazza, is a former practicing chiropractor…actually one article I researched for this review also claimed Patrick is a chiropractor…which ended up being wrong, so how much more of his review was accurate(?), nevertheless, maybe their prejudices have gotten away from them and they’re getting their highly-skilled, gun-totting educators confused. Nevertheless, hog wash, be cautious of those who declare themselves “professionals”.

The Training Program

The training is highly organized, deals first with fundamental issues, debunking up to 20 commonly held myths of the gun community…a few I myself held to be true until I considered his logic and proof. This program is comprehensive; some might say full-spectrum, dealing with mindset and myth debunking all the way through range training and gear selection. Understand, no two people will usually agree completely on anything, especially in the highly opinionated gun community, so be sure there will be nay-Sayers challenging his take on things but what I can say in all sincerity is that Pat’s teaching, in my opinion, is honest, sincere, accurate and thorough.

Does it teach you everything you need to know? Heck no! It is a topic just too full of particulars for any one program to do it all. Are there better programs? Probably! Can you get the better programs for the same cost or less. If you can, I haven’t found them!

For what Pat offers, you will not touch the thoroughness, comprehensiveness, or attention to detail for anything less than several hundreds of dollars more. Will you still need comprehensive range time? I hope you will! …it is the nature of the beast. Do I think you will be able to do less range time as a result of this training? I do.

In addition to the program, The Armed American’s Complete Concealed Carry Guide for Effective Self-Defense, Pat also offers another program called Master Handgun Mastery; however, I haven’t been exposed to it at this time. You can be sure I will review it in the future.

Negatives: This is a long program. It is 7 DVDs, each one being at least two hours. Pat might have been trained in the art of preaching because he utilizes a common preaching technique, which is: Tell them what you are going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them. While it does make the training long and repetitive, it is done so people remember the training more easily and I believe it is effective.

Summary: One of the greatest dangers in the concealed carry community is the presence of a false sense of confidence. The thinking that “since I have a gun, I am safer, competent and able to handle all circumstances that will come my way”. If a program does nothing but change this deadly mindset, it is well worth the price of the program…after all, one hour with a good attorney will cost you more than the cost of this program. Some have said this program should be mandatory for all concealed carry permit holders. Perhaps, but certainly it should be the standard against which all other programs are judged.

Permit me to say one more thing. The criticism has been made that Patrick has gleaned materials from many sources which are commonly available (yes and therefore you and I don’t have to do that work), packaged them in a slick DVD format (it is slick and well done and I’m sure cost a fortune to produce) and offered them to the unsuspecting public (let the buyer beware, they say). What offends those who criticize Patrick, I believe is that he hasn’t paid their little gun instructors clique any money for his expertise…how dare he? He didn’t pay homage to the “self appointed powers that be”…I say, “Good for him!”…true American entrepreneur-ism.

While this training program can be found at various sources, some perhaps even cheaper, I prefer Amazon because if you are dissatisfied (maybe you decide Patrick didn’t deliver) with a purchase for whatever reason, Amazon make returns, refunds or exchanges relatively painless.

Let me know what you think. Do you agree with my review? If you have gone through the program and disagree, please offer your insights.


20 thoughts on “The Armed American Complete Concealed Carry Guide to Effective Self-Defense – Review

  1. I love how your review is thorough and complete. You give the review on the instructor and his background, which builds credibility. He seems like a very respectable coach/trainer. Also I like how you give an easy way for us who are interested in tryin out the program, to purchase. Finally, I like how you explain Amazon’s return policy, because not a lot of people know the importance of WHERE you should buy your product. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hello, Rhyan! It was good of you to visit my website and I really appreciate your thoughtful comments. Detailing the points you like is very important to me because it helps me to know how to assist my readers in making decisions regarding the purchasing of self-defense products. When looking for a good product, it is hard to find out the unbiased facts from someone who has the product, has used the product and is impressed with it. Have you considered purchasing such a product?

  2. Hi Dave!
    Wow you did a thorough job in reviewing this program designed to properly train people how to use a concealed firearm. Certainly the issue of gun control in this country is a hot-button topic; and one certainly not about to disappear at any time soon.. Some people obviously are on both sides of the fence. This gentleman who designed his training appears to do a incredibly thorough job in the entire program.
    One thing though about this review, particularly found at the top of the article when you first presented the basics of the training program. I noticed that you did not immediately reveal the cost of the DVD’s. One had to click the link to find out the cost. Just thought that it would have been better to present the bottom line figure in terms of $$ right on the page so that readers would be able to immediately know of the costs involved – just my two cents!
    Other than that very minor issue, you created an excellent article in your review of this program!

    1. Hey Jeff, thanks for stopping by and giving me your input regarding the review of the program, The Armed American Complete Concealed Carry Guide to Effective Self-Defense…WOW, is that a mouthful for a title. You are correct about gun control being a hot-button topic in the United States these days. To some us us, the topic is two sided…you see, to us Gun Control means “hitting your target”; whereas, to others in means controlling other people’s decisions regarding how they will protect themselves and their families and property.

      It never occurred to me to put the price upfront. The reason, I guess, was because I was focused on the review being the issue, not the sale of the product…but, thinking about it, I think you are probably right. Not putting it up front could give the impression I’m trying to hide something. Actually, I personally think the price is really cheap considering what you get. There are eight long-length DVDs…actually when you view them you’ll be surprised at how detailed and thorough they actually are, each one comes in it’s own casing and the entire set fits into a very nice “library” style box…very classy. There is nothing about this program, in my opinion, that is less than first-class.

      So, tell me, did the price throw you off? Were you disappointed? I’d really like to know.

  3. Hi Dave,

    Great review, The false sense of confidence is way beyond scary. My father taught hunter safety to a few thousand kids over the years in Eastern Washington. People just do not realize all the factors involved in being competent and responsible with a weapon. You noted the negative as the length of the course, but investing the time is a small price to pay when it could save a life someday. I think your site and your message should be seen by all.


    1. Thanks Mike for your thoughtful comments. I could not agree with you more. The more I learn the more I realize how little I know. Being a hunter and shooter all my adult life, I am even now astounded at the realities I never picked up on. It’s only in the last ten years that I learned we are only half as good in a gunfight as we are on our best day at the range…and that is scary!!!
      I am trained in science and I understand the geometric principle “a little mistake in the beginning, is a big mistake at the end”. WOW, we watch TV programs and my wife says “Honey, why couldn’t the cop just have shot that young shooter in the leg?”…I want to scream. So I explain “a little mistake…”, consider the distance, consider (other than on TV) the cop is probably shaking like a leaf and the difference between hitting the young guy firing the gun and getting shot by him is the difference between the width of the leg and the width of the chest…15 to 20″. While I’m not happy anybody is getting shot, I’m a lot more comfortable with the bad guy, regrettably in this case a young kid getting it than the cop.
      Can’t get me started, I just go on and on. Thanks for your comments. Keep safe! PapaDave

  4. I actually have a concealed weapons license. I have had mine for 12 years. The course I took was an all day class lasting approximately 12 hours. So, the length of the videos would be about right. There was a lot information someone needs to have in order to pass the test given at the end of class. You need the certification from the class in order to obtain your license. Do you know if he offers the test and certification?

    1. Hi Vicky, being summer I was tied up for several days and unable to respond, my apologies. Thanks so much for your comments. These videos are not so much oriented around qualifying for a certification class as they are assisting a person to develop the correct mind-set relating to carrying a concealed weapon. It is one thing to be able to shoot a firearm and hit a target, it is quite another to shoot an individual…even one who is threatening your life or the life of a loved-one. To my knowledge the author does not offer the test or certification. I wish you the very best and keep safe! PapaDave

      1. hey! I appreciate your comment. I reviewed the material your comment was related to and I couldn’t find any reference to me stating that every state required a test; nevertheless, you are correct, some States do not require a test, actually I believe it is currently 26. Thanks for clarifying that point. Keep safe! Papa Dave

    1. Greetings, Ralph!
      I have to admit, I’m a bit confused. You mention a posting in the American Rifleman February issue relating to 2 free DVDs…I’m not sure why you would think I have access to the link. I wish I could help but I’m not quite sure how. If you can provide more info, I’ll see what I can do. Keep safe! Papa Dave

  5. Interesting. I’ve always thought about the carry-over from martial arts to self-defense. Things like MMA probably has a better carry-over than traditional competition sports martial arts. But I see actual self-defense as something different. I recall Bas Rutten, a former MMA fighter teaching self-defense classes and his moves there were much different than those in a ring or octagon.

    1. Thanks, Wing for your comments. To be truthful, I have no knowledge whatsoever about MMA. If someone is inclined and physically skilled, I have friends who have a sincere regard for the sport. Truth is, they also carry a weapon for self-defense. Some find it “fun” to “mix it up” but there comes a time for most when taking or giving a punch or kick is just out of the realm of possibility; hence, the saying of John Colt, or was it Sam Wesson, who said: “God created man and (Colt) Smith & Wesson made them equal.” Keep safe! Papa Dave

  6. I tend to find video presentations like this semi useful in certain cases but video instructions without practical professionally supervised instruction tend to have a lot of legal fall through the cracks. People also tend to think that videos are a cure all for everything when, burning ammo is needed instead. I’ve been teaching both citizens in 3 states since it became legal in them & law enforcement-military in addition to Boy Scouts for 30 years. Everything from a .22 single shot to a 105mm and everything between..

    1. Greetings Chris! I appreciate your comments and I believe in my review of the video presentation I specifically made dealt with the issues you have mentioned. Not everyone has the time, motivation, inclination or resources to make shooting such an integral part of their lives, my hat is off to you. My targeted audience is the person who thinks, because they took an 8 or 12 hour course one time, that they are therefore skilled in all factors related to self-defense and concealed carry. Such a person is unlikely to go to the range more than once or twice a year…heck, most law enforcement agencies and the military don’t require much more. If I can encourage people to watch some videos…to spark their interest, they may take the further steps to “burn some ammo”. I figure it this way, if I can help prevent a well-meaning citizen in a lethal encounter from finding themselves woefully short in training and skill, then me and my family live in a safer environment. Just trying to improve the odds of surviving. Keep safe and keep training! Papa Dave

  7. I purchased his program a few years ago. Not that I needed it, because I have been an LEO for over 40 years. I purchased it as a supplement to help others in the family I was training for their civilian CCL. After reviewing all the CD’s I wrote a negative review on Amazon giving it only 1 star. This video series is intended for beginners and had some serious safety problems. The author also had a series of weekly audio presentations. One of which he used to accuse the officer in Ferguson, MO of wrongdoing, this after the most liberal justice departments in history cleared the officer of wrongdoing. The author later recanted his comments, but it showed a clear bias against the police and a general lack of understanding of how street level confrontations evolve in a matter of seconds. Not the kind of trainer I wanted to expose students to. Fortunately I asked for and received a refund. The current sales price is $79 on Amazon, down from the original $199.

    1. Hey JS, thanks for your observations and your LE service.
      I did not hear the author’s comments regarding the Ferguson incident. It is my opinion we should be cautious making judgments on others who are forced to make life and death decisions under life and death circumstances unless we actually witnessed the events…regrettably, even being there isn’t always 100% reliable, considering angles, position, weather, bias, etc. However, just because I might not like a person’s comments relating to a politically charged event, doesn’t mean I throw out everything they’ve ever done.
      As I noted in the last comment before yours: “My targeted audience is the person who thinks, because they took an 8 or 12 hour course one time, that they are therefore skilled in all factors related to self-defense and concealed carry. Such a person is unlikely to go to the range more than once or twice a year…heck, most law enforcement agencies and the military don’t require much more. If I can encourage people to watch some videos…to spark their interest, they may take the further steps to “burn some ammo”. I figure it this way, if I can help prevent a well-meaning citizen in a lethal encounter from finding themselves woefully short in training and skill, then me and my family live in a safer environment. Just trying to improve the odds of surviving.”
      Glad to hear Amazon has reduced their cost, hopefully more people will avail themselves of the training. Tell me, did you actually view ALL of the DVDs? I did and I’m glad I did. Keep safe and keep training! Papa Dave

  8. Well reasoned and balanced review.
    I bought Pat’s 7 DVD set a couple years ago after getting my CCL in my now home state WA. I was surprised, and a bit distressed, that you can get a carry license without any competency or training requirement (yea freedom, boo safety insanity!) – not even given a booklet with the license about carry & concealment laws in our state or the least safety suggestions or training encouragement come with the permit. I grew up with guns and got safety training at home back in MT where guns were commonplace. But I knew I didn’t know or had trained enough to make lethal force a part of my everyday walk-about reality.
    Here’s where Patrick came in. His training covered some old ground but filled in a whole lotta cracks in the hows & whys of hardware and technique – but more important focused on foundations of mindset and intent – of what it means, takes, and costs to bring lethal empowerment to real life scenarios. I wanted knowledge and skills to balance the burden of responsibility inherent in exercising lethal force – where bad guys aren’t clearly deprecated from good guys and events unfold and explode faster than you can think your way through them.
    Kilcherman’s set is a great place to start that foundation – especially if new to world of firearms and don’t what to buy or how to start. I didn’t find any other programs that comprehensive – certainly not at this price. Kilcherman is not my guru, but is a well reasoned advisor. I’ve been back to buy some of his other videos and his new “3 seconds” series is a real wake-up call. Basically collections of security camera / police cam footage of actual gun engagements with critique of the decisions and effectiveness of the “good guy’s” actions. Common threads are: 1) situations come unexpected out of the blue; 2) perpetrated by people familiar with violence & acting with intent; and 3) it all goes down faster than you even knew it was starting. This is the reality of what we “think” we’re prepared for by carrying.
    It’s training well worth having at any price and even then just scratches the surface of what’s required. If you invest 1/10 of the time getting through the material as Pat did in producing it, you will easily get your money’s worth and will give you a foundation for comparison with the million hours on YouTube supporting or contradicting it.

    1. Hey, David! Please, please forgive my lengthy delay in responding to your post! Many events have taken my attention away from my website to other more urgent events requiring my attention. I could not agree with you more. Actually, it almost feels like I wrote your post myself.
      As I approach my very senior years with the accompanying decreases in stamina, dexterity, physical prowess, etc. the need to shift from body to mind becomes so much more demanding…we have to learn to think better and to perform from knowledge we’ve transferred to determination and from determination to muscle memory, based on practice. As you so aptly said, “…it goes down faster than you even knew it was starting.” Downright scary!
      So for me I follow a basic mindset, first, avoid places and people more likely prone to violence. Second, present time, and circumstance, conscious…sometimes we just need to “circle the block” before exiting the vehicle. Third, don’t overreact and be aware, these days, someone is almost always filming (regrettably they may not provide evidence if the offender succeeds). Finally, present your weapon only when you intend to fire…wouldn’t it be the pits to get arrested for brandishing a weapon when the threat was genuine..though thwarted by the visualization of your weapon.
      One of my grandchildren once asked, “Papa aren’t you allowed to wear your weapon openly in our State?” I responded, “Yes I am.” She retorted, “Why don’t you, don’t you think it would scare bad people off?” To which I responded, “Sweetie, I’m old, fat, slow (and some would say ugly)…personally, I don’t want to give some young, athletic buck cause to think about whether or not he can ‘take me’. Better the confrontation be his initiation not mine and while there will be nothing to look forward to about it, perhaps seeing the surprise on his face might make it a little less distasteful.” (being a wonderful granddaughter she responded, “You’re not that ugly, Papa.”) I already said too much.
      I’d like to recommend two resources just in case you are not familiar with them. The first is the US Concealed Carry Magazine, I’ve been a member for several years and it has great articles…one of the reasons I’m not writing as much, they do an excellent job. Next is a training facility in your part of the country, FrontSight in Nevada. While I’ve been a member for many years, life has never afforded me the opportunity to actually get out there and take one of their courses but I have watched their many videos. Getting to FrontSight is on my bucket list.
      Again, my apologies for the delay, and I wish you the best!
      Stay safe! Papa Dave

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