Beretta Blog

Tom McHale

Tom McHale was born helpless, hungry and shooting-deprived. He's finally given up the corporate life to pursue his passion of creating slightly offbeat, but educational, content related to guns and shooting. So far, he's published six books and nearly 1,500 articles on various topics related to shooting and self-defense.
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Recent Posts

Why You Shouldn’t Use Reloaded Ammunition for Self-Defense

Posted by Tom McHale on May 11, 2018 8:02:00 AM

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Maybe you don’t even reload your own ammunition. That’s OK, read on anyway, because this article still might apply to you.

For purposes of this discussion, let’s consider a universe containing two types of ammunition: practice and self-defense. Practice ammunition is designed to do one thing – go forward in more or less a straight line. As a bonus feature, it should also drill holes in paper or cardboard targets and make a clanging noise against steel plates. If a practice round doesn’t go bang once in a while, it’s no big deal and presents a training opportunity to work on your malfunction drills.

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Topics: Concealed Carry, Self Defense

Pros and Cons of Pistol Optics

Posted by Tom McHale on May 10, 2018 11:30:17 AM

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Some decades ago, conversations over newfangled inventions for guns went something like this...

Hold on there son; you want me to put a thing made of GLASS on top of my trusty rifle? Are you kidding me?

The discussion was about the idea of adding a scope to a rifle to perform the task of accurately getting sights on target. For hundreds of years, shooters had relied on a solution of simplicity and extreme durability: iron sights. Adding a potentially fragile, and more importantly, unproven invention had to be just asking for trouble, right?

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Topics: Concealed Carry, Self Defense, Dynamic Shooting

What Makes a Perfect Carry Pistol

Posted by Tom McHale on Apr 23, 2018 2:26:24 PM

Beretta PX4 Compact Carry Pistol

I suppose that any pistol you have handy during a personal defense emergency is a perfect carry pistol, right?

Technically speaking, any handgun that shoots reliably can be a carry pistol. Large or small, mouse gun or big-bore caliber, double-action, single-action, or striker-fired. The usefulness of a concealed carry tool depends more on the skills of the user than on the hardware. However, assuming that one’s commitment to training and practice comes first, there’s nothing wrong with finding a pistol that’s optimized for concealed carry. In fact, the right features can provide a significant advantage to the skilled user.

So, what defines a perfect carry pistol?

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Topics: Concealed Carry

Sight Science (how to use handgun sights)

Posted by Tom McHale on Apr 6, 2018 11:53:27 AM

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There’s a lot more to handgun sights than meets the eye. OK, so that little play on words was entirely on purpose, but it’s true. While sights seem simple and even mundane, there’s quite a bit of thought and sophisticated science put into the design of effective handgun sights.

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Topics: Concealed Carry, Handguns

Do You Need Two-strike Capability In Your Pistol?

Posted by Tom McHale on Jan 12, 2018 4:17:11 PM

handgun 2 strike capability

I think some issues, preferences, and beliefs just get passed around the gun community with few stopping to consider and evaluate what they really mean. You know, things like “The batteries will just run out of your laser or light when you need it most!” Or maybe, “It only takes one .45 ACP bullet to end a fight.” You know the drill and have probably heard dozens of such nuggets of wisdom passed down.

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Topics: Concealed Carry, Self Defense, Handguns

Handgun Lasers Aren't a Crutch; They Add Capabilities

Posted by Tom McHale on Jan 8, 2018 1:17:39 PM

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Laser sights get a bad rap from gun know-it-alls. You’ll hear pithy and condescending comments like these…

• Laser sights are a crutch.

• Lasers are only for people who can’t use iron sights properly.

• Laser sights are slower.

• What are you gonna do when you’re laser battery runs out in the middle of a gunfight?

• Lasers are delicate and will break at inopportune times.

• Serious shooters don’t need them.

Those folks are missing the point. Completely. Lasers add capabilities to your existing knowledge, skills, and equipment without taking anything away. Who wouldn’t want that type of tradeoff?

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Topics: Concealed Carry, Self Defense, Dynamic Shooting, Handguns

How Natural Point of Aim Can Improve Your Handgun Accuracy

Posted by Tom McHale on Nov 27, 2017 10:15:06 AM

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If there was a way to let your body do more of the work of getting and staying on target, wouldn’t you want to take advantage of that? Of course, you would! It’s not so much about doing more of the work as it is about getting, and more importantly, staying on target. The bottom line is this. If you can allow your body to “naturally” assume more responsibility, then you can shoot more accurately and more consistently. Having to force your body, arms, and hands to make accurate hits leads to fatigue and therefore inconsistency.

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Topics: New Shooters, Handguns

How to Draw from a Holster

Posted by Tom McHale on Nov 27, 2017 9:21:50 AM

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If you own a handgun, you need to know how to draw from a holster. Even if you don’t plan on carrying your handgun concealed, you’ll need a holster if you ever plan to attend a training class. You're planning on that, right? A good holster is also a handy, and safe, accessory that you can use at many outdoor shooting ranges. If you do plan to carry a handgun for defensive use, then it’s imperative to know and practice proper holster use.

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Topics: Concealed Carry

Getting a Gun for Self-defense? You Need These Five Things

Posted by Tom McHale on Nov 14, 2017 12:48:00 PM

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Even though aggregate crime rates have been trending dramatically down over the past two decades, the world feels like a dangerous place. Maybe you’re thinking of getting a gun for self-defense. Whether you intend to use it to protect your home or to carry it on your person (being careful to follow your state’s laws on the matter), there are some other things you’ve got to have.

Here are the top five things that you need besides the gun itself.

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Topics: Concealed Carry, Self Defense

Tips for Carrying Concealed Inside the Waistband

Posted by Tom McHale on Oct 26, 2017 11:14:58 AM

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The great thing about Inside the Waistband (IWB) holsters is that you get to go to the clothing store and order pants a full size larger than normal. Larger pants allow you to stuff a big, fat handgun fit between your pants and your tender midsection. 


Let’s think about this for a minute. I’m really about a 36-waist size, although I am sharing that information with you in confidence and I really expect that you won’t tell anyone else. When I go to buy pants, I have a choice of whether to buy size 36 or, if I add the margin for IWB carry, size 38. Hmmm. What to choose... 36 of course! Yes, we’re all just a little bit vain, right?

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Topics: Concealed Carry