Beretta Blog

William Starnes

William Starnes has been involved in firearms for over 40 years. This includes recreational shooting, hunting, competitive shooting with both rifle and handgun (plus a little Trapshooting as well). He is an experienced NRA Instructor in multiple disciplines, Concealed Carry Instructor, and Police Firearms Instructor. His law enforcement career spans more than ten years – most of which he served as an instructor, firearms instructor and an instructional designer. He has been designing firearms courses and teaching professionally since 2005 and has also taught courses on self-defense (with and without firearms) for women across South Carolina. Currently, he teaches a variety of NRA courses as well as private instruction by appointment.

Recent Posts

The Beretta Px4 Type C

Posted by William Starnes on Feb 28, 2015 8:25:00 AM


I recently purchased a Px4 Type “C.” For those not familiar with this variant, it is essentially a “slick slide” Px4 with a double action type trigger.

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Topics: Law Enforcement & Military, Concealed Carry, Dynamic Shooting

Using Hearing Aids with Hearing Protection

Posted by William Starnes on Dec 17, 2014 8:25:00 AM


Like many people, I suffer from hearing loss. Within the last year, I finally decided that I’d had enough and purchased a couple of hearing aids.  I had a lot of questions about hearing aids - the first of which was why are the darned things so expensive.  But after learning more about them, I see why.  These are not just amplifiers; modern hearing aids are micro-computers that adjust sound levels based on computerized frequency mapping of the individual’s hearing.  I can’t tell you the impact of hearing sounds that I had not heard in years (truthfully decades).  It was striking and a bit overwhelming at first.  It seems that a person doesn’t notice gradual declines in hearing - the daily losses are so small that you grow used to them.  Then one day you realize that you’re not hearing bits of conversation and nuances of speech.  You start missing out on conversations and compensating for it, then you figure out that something has to change.

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Topics: New Shooters, Other

Impressions On The Beretta Cx4 Storm Carbine

Posted by William Starnes on Sep 30, 2014 3:02:00 PM


I have wanted a Beretta Cx4 Storm carbine since they were first announced years ago. As a Beretta fan and owner of a 96 Elite II, it just made sense to me that I should buy one. I was intrigued by the thought of having a carbine that used the same magazines and ammo as the pistol I carried. As a police officer, I also considered the possibilities of using one as a patrol rifle in place of the standard 12GA shotgun.

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Topics: Law Enforcement & Military, Dynamic Shooting

Effective Gun Training

Posted by William Starnes on Jul 21, 2014 8:59:00 AM


I approached the scene with extreme caution. The dispatcher had relayed the complaint of a man who had been drinking all day long and was now discharging his firearm inside his home. No other information was given, and the complainant wasn’t available. I stopped a block away and asked how long before backup would be on-scene and for more information. As the dispatcher verified that no more information was available, I noticed the second unit pull in behind my car. I motioned, and we both pulled up about five houses from the suspect home.

Neither of us had long guns available, and no more units were on the way. The sounds of gunfire erupted and we could hear yelling.

“Call in the choppers! I’ve been hit! I’ve been hit!”

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Topics: Law Enforcement & Military, Dynamic Shooting

Concealed Carry Equipment Is Important, But…

Posted by William Starnes on Jul 18, 2014 8:45:00 AM


I like crazes. They are fun to watch. It is interesting how many trends are driven by a desire to be “cool.” And quite often in the world of firearms, being cool means having the latest gear, the right firearm, and knowing all about the latest items coming off of the assembly lines. I’ve witnesses a number of crazes in firearms community during the last few decades. Some have stayed, others have faded away. I’m still waiting to see if the “Tactical” phase remains. It seems that everything is tactical these days. A good friend of mine likes to say that a company could double its sales of jock straps if it just calls them tactical jock straps. I laugh every time I think about it, but there’s truth in it.

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Topics: Concealed Carry

How to Find A Gun Expert for Real Handgun Training

Posted by William Starnes on Jul 7, 2014 11:39:00 AM


Critical self-defense skills used to be taught from master to student, and students were chosen with great care. A typical student might spend years on just the basics before receiving his master’s approval. Today we live in a world of fake credentials, instant masters, and impatient students who want to be considered proficient after watching a few videos.
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Topics: Concealed Carry, Self Defense, Dynamic Shooting

Concealed Carry Superman! Nah…Not Really.

Posted by William Starnes on Jun 18, 2014 10:41:00 AM


I came across an old movie from the 1980s today called “Hero at Large” starring John Ritter.  It wasn’t a great movie, but it’s one that I remember because of one scene in particular.  Let me set it up for you.  John Ritter is an out of work actor who is hired to promote a Captain Avenger film.  One day while walking home (still wearing his Captain Avenger costume), he walks in on a robbery at a convenience store.  He startles the suspects and foils the robbery attempt.

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Topics: Concealed Carry

Secrets of Concealed Carry

Posted by William Starnes on Jun 16, 2014 10:17:00 AM


In conflict, direct confrontation will lead to engagement and surprise will lead to victory.
Sun Tzu, The Art of War

It is Saturday evening and you have stopped by the local convenience store to pick up the gallon of milk that you forgot to pick up at the grocery store. The darkness has descended and the street lights have just started to twinkle and light for the night. You get out of your car and confidently walk into the store. Yet when you approach the front of the store with your carton, something causes the hair on the back of your neck to raise. You can’t place exactly what is wrong, but something clearly seems to be. You quickly go into alert mode as you finally recognize what it is - the store is being robbed and the man at the counter has a gun.

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Topics: Concealed Carry

How to Handle a Traffic Stop with a Concealed Carry Gun

Posted by William Starnes on Jun 2, 2014 1:12:00 PM


One of the most frequent questions that I get as a CWP instructor and former police officer is what to do if stopped by a police officer while legally carrying a concealed handgun. The answer depends on the local and state laws where you live, but I think that most situations merely call for a little common sense.

You have to understand that when a police officer approaches a vehicle, they have no idea what they are going to encounter. It may be a 16 year old girl crying because it is the first time she has been stopped, or it may be someone who just robbed a bank who has made up his mind that he is not going to jail. Every traffic stop has the potential to be deadly, and every officer has been through hours of training reminding them of just how serious of a situation it can be.

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Topics: Concealed Carry