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

Mistakes Rookies Make At The Shooting Range – And How To Fix Them

Posted by Tom McHale on May 22, 2017 8:53:49 AM

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Every activity that involves other people has given standards for etiquette. You know, the customary rules of behavior that experienced folks just seem to know even though there may not be flashing signs on the wall explaining said expectations.

For example, when dining at Chez Raison d’Etre, you’re not supposed to drink out of the finger bowl even though it appears to contain perfectly good water. Apparently, you shouldn't ask for a straw for your Champagne de Saint Gaul Orpale Blanc de Blancs either. Don’t ask me how I know.

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Topics: Firearms Safety, New Shooters, Handguns

Two Mistakes Rookies Make With Concealed Carry - And How To Fix Them 

Posted by Tom McHale on May 12, 2017 8:25:56 AM

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Everybody has a first time. You know what I mean. You might start to perspire. Perhaps you develop a nervous tick. Everyone I know is, at the very, least anxious their first time. And if we’re all honest with ourselves, there’s probably more than a bit of outright fear bordering on panic. That’s right: I’m talking about the first time you go out in public carrying a concealed firearm.

It’s OK. All of those reactions are perfectly normal. And if anyone tells you they didn’t have any trepidation their first time, they’re probably fibbing. Not only is some healthy apprehension expected, but it's also probably a good thing. After all, you’re venturing out into the world carrying a lethal weapon. Of course, you have no intention or desire to use it. It’s there in case you experience that really bad day that far too many others have encountered. The world can be an ugly place.

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Topics: Concealed Carry, New Shooters, Self Defense

10 Ways To Conceal Carry

Posted by Tom McHale on May 5, 2017 1:15:04 PM

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Choosing the right method of carrying a concealed gun from the myriad of options isn’t a big deal, right? After all, the only downside of making the wrong choice is that it can get you killed.

That’s a harsh statement, but then again, carrying a gun is serious business. The various methods of concealed carry have pros and cons that you need to carefully evaluate and weigh against your particular routine. Choosing a carry method based on convenience or comfort alone can lead to a false sense of security, and that’s where the danger lies. If you ever need to use your gun in self-defense, your carry method needs to facilitate the act of you getting fast, reflexive, and consistent access to your gun in time to do something about the problem at hand.

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Topics: Concealed Carry, Self Defense, Handguns

Two Mistakes Rookies Make In Handgun Shooting – And How To Fix Them

Posted by Tom McHale on May 2, 2017 8:55:12 AM

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Being a rookie is one of those life necessities. Every time we learn a new skill, we’re rookies for some period of time. It’s not a bad thing; it’s just our required learning period. In sports, the “rookie” label often applies to a player's first year in the big leagues. When it comes to handgun shooting, you can shorten your “rookie season” by learning and implementing the proper techniques right away. Let’s look at a couple of the most common rookie mistakes and discuss how to banish them to distant memories.

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Topics: Concealed Carry, New Shooters, Competitive Shooting, Handguns

A Handy Upgrade for the Beretta 1301 Shotgun

Posted by Tom McHale on May 13, 2015 10:30:00 AM

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I’ve been testing out a new product from Mesa Tactical for my Beretta 1301 Tactical shotgun: The SureShell Aluminum Shotshell Carrier. Called a side-saddle by some, this piece of gear allows you to carry extra shells on the side of the receiver for quick access.

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Topics: Competitive Shooting, Self Defense, Dynamic Shooting

Exactly How Precise Is A Shotgun?

Posted by Tom McHale on May 12, 2015 4:12:00 PM

 

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At this point, you might be thinking, “He's using the words precise AND shotgun in the same sentence? Is this guy nuts?”

Well, that depends. I’m talking about whether a shotgun can be “precise” or not. We won’t discuss my sanity just yet. The potential precision of your shotgun depends on careful matching of your particular gun, choke tube (if applicable) and ammunition. And when I say careful matching, I’m not talking about specifying a brand of ammunition. I’m talking about specifying a brand, shot size, shell length, and velocity / power factor - basically all the things that uniquely define a particular box of shotgun shells.

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Topics: Law Enforcement & Military, Self Defense, Dynamic Shooting

Handgun Laser Myths... Busted!

Posted by Tom McHale on Mar 27, 2015 2:30:00 PM

 

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Years ago, I had a feeling that lasers were a good thing for a self or home-defense gun. I’d only used them on the range for practice, and at home dry firing, but it just seemed so sensible to me. All of the “marketing messages” sounded pretty rational. 

“You can focus on the threat and still aim accurately.”

“They help you aim in low light conditions, when most self-defense encounters occur.”

“Lasers allow you to shoot accurately from unconventional positions.”

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Topics: Concealed Carry, Self Defense, Dynamic Shooting

College Students Shooting the Clay...

Posted by Tom McHale on Mar 20, 2015 3:29:01 PM

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If you want to see the next generation of competitive clays shooters, look no further than the Association of College Unions International (ACUI). This non-profit organization is much broader than clays shooting or even sports as a whole. Its purpose is to bring together college union and student activities professionals from hundreds of schools across the globe.

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Topics: Clay Shooting, Competitive Shooting

A Handgun Laser Primer

Posted by Tom McHale on Mar 2, 2015 8:40:00 AM

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If you want to start a bar fight, just bring up the topic of using lasers on handguns. Although they’ve been mainstream for years, there’s still an amazing amount of controversy, disinformation and downright bunk floating around out there. With that in mind, we figured it’s time to do a series of articles that together, will offer a comprehensive guide to handgun lasers.

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Topics: Concealed Carry, New Shooters, Self Defense, Dynamic Shooting

Benefits of Using a Handgun Laser

Posted by Tom McHale on Jan 31, 2015 2:40:49 PM

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Last time, I discussed the types of handgun-mounted lasers and how they operate. Now, let’s take a look at the “why” behind mounting a laser on your handgun. In other words, what are the benefits? Next in this series, we’ll talk about what some consider drawbacks. I consider most of the perceived drawbacks myths, but you can make your own decision when we get to that point.

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Topics: Concealed Carry, New Shooters, Self Defense, Dynamic Shooting