1911 and flag

Our Approach

People should be able to protect the lives of themselves and others. The God given right to life applies to everyone and is not restricted to firearms.

We train people to avoid conflict, deescalate the threat, and as a last resort, use whatever force is available to prevent loss of life or grievous injury.

The legalities of your defense is at least as important to us as the actual use of force. We go to great lengths to explain the current state of the law as it applies to self defense, defense of others, and defense of property.

Our Story

Custom Defense Solutions started as an assist to the staff of Mid-Carolina Rifle Club in conducting a “Women of the outdoors” program put on by the SC department of Natural Resources.

Once the need for capable and competent instruction on firearms for the civilian population was recognized, we formed CDS and embarked on an intense program of self-improvement of our skills and training techniques.

Meet the Team

We currently have 9 instructors located from Arkansas to Potomac Maryland, and we travel to other locations as needed to provide quality training anywhere.

We partner with SC Personal Protection Services LLC for our Charleston area contingent.


Steve Kelsay

Master  Trainer/Training CounselorI am a native Eastern Kentuckian, and have served in the military as an enlisted soldier and as an Armor/Cavalry and Military Intelligence officer. I have commanded a Combat Support Company, a Tank Company, Headquarters Detachment, and Team Bandit of the 1-16th Infantry Rangers; and was the Director of Special Plans and Operations for MCA Heilbronn Germany. During this period, I worked closely with the Bavarian Border Police (BGS) and the BND in a counter terrorist/counter espionage position. I have worked as a fireman, paramedic, mechanic, commercial diver, sales rep, giant tire specialist for Michelin, computer programmer, and now I am retired from Michelin and the Network Administration Group at the South Carolina Department of Revenue. I do contract diving and Underwater Crime Scene Investigation for thrills on the side. Building on my military experience, I am a USCCA certified instructor as well as an NRA certified chief range safety officer, NRA Training Counselor (Instructor trainer), and firearms instructor in Pistol, Shotgun, Rifle, Metallic and Shotgun reloading, Personal Protection in the Home, Personal Protection Outside the Home, NRA Defensive Pistol, the NRA’s Range Safety Officer, and Refuse to be a Victim programs.  I also have become a South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division concealable weapons instructor. I also teach Kalashnikov Rifle fighting techniques. I am a PADI certified master SCUBA instructor certified to teach all the standard SCUBA ratings as well as 20 specialty diving courses, including Underwater Crime Scene Investigation, Black Water River Diving, and Underwater Archaeology.


Bill Rentiers

Bill Rentiers’ great-great-grandfather immigrated to Charleston, SC from Europe in the late 1850’s.  Bill served 8 years in the military during the Reagan administration.  He left the US Army in 1988, after serving three years as a Communications NCO for a Field Artillery unit in Hanau, West Germany. Bill received his Bachelors degree in Business Administration from the College of Charleston in 1993 and worked for years as a Technical Recruiter. For years Bill worked as a registered lobbyist and the Executive Officer of GrassRoots SC, Inc., non-profit which fights to preserve gun rights in South Carolina. Bill is an NRA certified pistol instructor, and a SLED certified concealable weapons instructor.  He is a member of GrassRoots GunRights of SC, Gun Owners of America, JPFO and the Mid Carolina Rifle Club. Bill has been awarded the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s highest civilian honor!


Michael Stewart

Michael Stewart heads up the Hartsville, Florence and Darlington contingent. Michael is a retired State Police Officer honorably serving 23 years with the South Carolina Bureau of Protective Services. This State Police Agency specializes in Executive, Legislative and Judicial Armed Protection. He has had the best defensive training available anywhere in the world including executive protection training with the FBI. He currently serves as a South Carolina Department of Public Safety Special Constable. He is also an active member with the National Fraternal Order of Police and the International Police Association. Michael is certified to teach SC SLED CWP classes, NRA Basic Pistol, Home Firearms Safety and Personal Protection inside the home. He is also a Chief Range Safety Officer and as such can train and certify NRA Range Safety Officers. Michael is a fifth generation cotton producer and owns and operates Mike Stewart Productions in Hartsville, specializing in voice overs for radio and television. He has hosted live morning radio shows on several major market radio stations and was also the first personnel director for Darlington County. Michael has also been awarded the  Commonwealth of Kentucky’s highest civilian honor.


Destiny Rentiers

A native South Carolinian, Destiny Rentiers attended Irmo High School where she studied AFJROTC and French.  Thanks to her dad, Destiny has grown up around firearms, and is well-versed in firearms safety.Shooting since childhood, Destiny took her CWP course at age 18 and mailed it to SLED immediately after her 21st birthday.  Destiny is an NRA Basic Pistol Instructor and works part-time as assistant instructor with Custom Defensive Solutions.


Al “Mouse” Dillingham

Let us live so that when we come to die, even the undertaker is sorry ~ Mark TwainAllison grew up in a military household and has been all over the world with her military family. Guns were a part of growing up with a serviceman in the house.Allison now resides in Arkansas, and travels back to Columbia to visit and help conduct lady’s classes.Allison works with our female contingent, teaching “South Carolina Concealed Weapons Permit”, “Firearms for ladies (and children)”, and will soon be conducting the “Improvised weapons” and  “Refuse to be a Victim” classes as well as the SC CWP classes.Allison has received the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s highest award to civilians!


Donna Mutryn

Potomac, Maryland Donna was born and lived 7 years in Kingston, Jamaica and grew up in New York City where she was a professional dancer and TV actress, and was selected as Miss Hawaian Punch. Donna was a manager for American Airlines in Dallas, and at Ohare Airport in Chicago before retiring from American Airlines. Donna is an acomplished Krav Maga practioner, and shoots regularly at the NRA national range in Fairfax, Va and at another local range a short distance from her home in Potomac, Maryland. Donna comes to South Carolina to help us train Female shooters and instructors in basic pistol, Combatives, and improvised weaponry. 

Lewis Driskel

South Carolina Personal Protection Services LLC North Charleston, SC

Ramon Guererra

South Carolina Personal Protection Services LLC North Charleston, SC