New Book: The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

If you’re thinking about buying a gun, are new to shooting, or have had a gun forever but just want a refresher, this book is for you. Heck, even if you know a lot about guns, it’s still entertaining – to read yourself or give to a friend.

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition from Insanely Practical Guides

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition from Insanely Practical Guides

In light-hearted style, it will give you easy-to-understand and insanely practical tips about topics including:

  • Types of guns
  • Gun safety tips
  • Things to consider when choosing a gun
  • How to buy a gun
  • How to handle a gun
  • Getting started: A fistful of shooting tips
  • What to expect at the shooting range and what to bring
  • What you need to know about ammunition
  • How to clean your gun
  • Cheat sheet resources to help you find training, ranges and local gun stores

We’ll help you make sense out of all that complicated gun stuff while having a laugh or two. From the chapter “Gun Holsters – Do It Right!”

“Far too many new gun owners purchase a really nice gun, but then skimp on the quality of their holster. Seriously? You wouldn’t drink a Louis Roederer, 1990 Cristal Brut from a red Solo cup. Unless of course you’re attending a Real Housewives of Yulee, FL baby shower. If you’ve been invited to carry the Dubai First Royale MasterCard, you certainly wouldn’t whip it out at the Monte Carlo Van Cleef & Arpels from a velcro wallet. Unless you’re total nouveau riche like Justin Bieber. So why do people think it’s no big deal to buy a $9.95 holster from K-Mart for their brand new gun? It’s not like it’s a life and death investment. Or is it?”

Why do you need “The Rookie’s Guide To Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition?” Go to any shooting range and observe what happens when folks show up without knowing the first thing about their new gun. Not only will you be safe by comparison, you’ll look like a seasoned pro.

The editors at have painstakingly documented all the experiences, mistakes and learnings we’ve seen over the years. In other words, we’ve tried just about everything. We’ve had great successes. We’ve experienced colossal failures. We’ve listened to so many gun show huckster sales pitches that the late Billy Mays would be impressed. And the result? “The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition.”

Loaded with pictures and the comedic illustrations, this book will tell you just about everything you need to know to get started with the shooting sports.



El Paso Summer Cruiser Gun Holster – A Hand Boned Delight

Here’s another holster featured in our new book, The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters:

El Paso Saddlery has a deep and storied tradition of holster craft. Literally.

El Paso Summer Cruiser Gun HolsterPeruse their online catalog and you’ll see holsters like the John Wayne, Patton, Jesse James and Doc Holliday to name a few. The interesting thing is that El Paso didn’t just name these holsters — they made them for the actual folks on the label! You’ll notice dozens of absolutely gorgeous western style holsters and if you’re a fan of spaghetti westerns, and pay close attention, you’ll see plenty of their models in the movies.

The El Paso Saddlery Summer Cruiser is an inside-out design to help it stay in place via friction with your clothing. It has two belt loops that are interchangeable. You can swap loops to fit different sized belts and choose black or brown to better match the belt you want to use.

For a comfortable inside the waistband design, the El Paso Summer Cruiser has a lot of structure. The holster mouth is reinforced with an interior metal band so it stays open to facilitate one-handed reholstering. A sight rail is molded and stitched into the holster that allows for snag-free holstering and reholstering. There’s even an extended leather flap on the inside to help keep the hammer, safety and/or beavertail from chafing your midsection.

Like many other El Paso designs, this one is hand-boned for near-perfect gun fit.

Holster Terminology Alert: Before you start questioning the PG rating of this book, know that hand boning is a process where the wet leather is pressed — by hand — around the specific contours of the gun. Back in the fourth century BC they used to do that with actual bones instead of metal tools, hence the name hand boning. Artisans skilled in the art of hand boning had little to do for centuries however, as gun holsters were not to be invented until the 1800’s. As a result of hand boning, you’ll actually see a pretty good outline of your specific type of firearm shaped into the leather. Hand boning isn’t done just to sound funny or look cool, the very detailed shaping is what provides solid holster fit and retention.

Read about more carry styles and over 120 different gun holsters in The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters – available at! Learn more about our Insanely Practical Guides!

Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

The Real Story Behind The Invention Of The Flashbang Holster…

The Invention of the Flashbang Holster - From The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters – How To Carry A Gun In Your Underwear And More!

At long last, we’ve just published The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters! You can keep up to date with our forthcoming series of Insanely Practical Guides at

Here’s the scoop on The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters:

The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters - Now available at

The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters – Now available at

Let’s face it. Choosing the best way to carry a gun can be a daunting task. Whether you’re new to guns or have been shooting since you were a wee tot, this book can help you understand concealed carry methods, how to carry a gun safely, and the relative pros and cons of over 120 specific gun holster models. We’ll even teach you several ways to carry a gun in your underwear.

This book will help you make the right gun holster choice – saving you time and money – while offering a dose of humor while you learn.

“Leather sixgun holsters became popular when a series of low budget spaghetti western films are produced like The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Early design ideas are scrapped when it is determined that spaghetti does not ride well in leather holsters. And it makes many holsters soggy.”

Why do you need a book to choose and buy a gun holster? A few reasons really.

  • At last count, there are 4,187,237 different holsters on the market. Well, that might be an estimate, but there are a lot. If you had a dollar for each of those holsters, you could almost cover the Kardashians’ weekly clothing budget. So how do you choose the right holster with all those choices?
  • Hardly any stores carry a wide selection of holsters. Sure they might carry a couple of brands, but will they have a brand right for you and the model specific to your gun? It’s kind of like trying to find just the right shade of Morning Tropical Ocean Breeze Sunrise interior house paint at your local convenience store. It’s just not likely to happen. And that leaves you the option of having to search and buy from… the internet. And we all know that you can’t always believe everything you read on the internet. Well, except Youtube comments. Those are almost always true and thoughtful.
  • You can’t really try holsters out before you buy. Especially those underwear holsters. Gun store sales staff tend to get a little cranky when you start shedding clothes next to the ammunition aisle.
  • There are many different styles of concealed carry. Every day, innovative gun folks are inventing new ways to safely and discreetly carry guns. The variety of options is great, but how do you know which style of carry is right for you?

The editors at have painstakingly documented all the holsters we’ve tried over the years and provided helpful commentary about pros and cons of different holster styles. In other words, we’ve tried just about everything. We’ve had great successes. We’ve experienced colossal failures. We’ve listened to so many gun show huckster sales pitches that the late Billy Mays would be impressed. And the result? The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters.

“Hugging Aunt Martha can be really weird if you’re not careful. If you carry the gun on one side of your body or the other, you can adjust your hugging style to be more angular. If you carry a gun on one side, and spare magazines on the other, then you have to quickly develop a serious case of Aphenphosmphobia. That’s fear of being touched, which should cover the bases for most hugging encounters.”

The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters topics Include:

  • A brief, entertaining and not entirely true history of holsters
  • Weighing concealment versus accessibility
  • Open or concealed carry? How to start a good bar fight.
  • Ladies only gun holster solutions
  • Belt carry gun holsters – inside, outside and underneath?
  • Body carry solutions. Undershirts, belly bands and harnesses.
  • Ankle holsters. You think your ankles were swollen before?
  • Pocket gun holsters. Don’t worry, we keep things PG rated.
  • You too can carry a gun in your underwear!
  • Stashing guns in your clothing. Pants, shirts and jackets.
  • Off premises parking. Ways to carry a gun not attached to your body.
  • Home, office and car holster options.
  • Magazine carriers and pouches. Ways to easily carry spares.

Loaded with pictures and the occasional comedic illustration, The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters will tell you just about everything you need to know regarding styles of carry and the pros and cons of dozens and dozens of gun holsters from numerous manufacturers.

“As famed concealed carry and armed combat instructor Mayor Michael Bloomberg likes to say, “beware the person who only has one gun, for they likely know how to use it.” Hang on a sec, we may have attributed that quote incorrectly. On second thought, Mayor Bloomberg might have said “beware the person who has a gun, for they scare me to death as I am a panty-waisted, elitist, wimp who relies on others to provide security for me while depriving you little people of your basic rights.” We’ll get that quote straight and report back later.”

Holsters are expensive. And important! The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters will help you make the right choice for your needs and lifestyle without breaking the bank.


Buy The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters at

Remember to keep you with new guides at!

Ammo Review: Winchester Elite PDX1 Defender .45 ACP Ammunition

Winchester Elite PDX1 Defender 45 ACP Ammo box

You can spot Winchester Elite PDX1 Supreme .45 ACP expanded bullets from Google Earth.

When it comes to modern personal defense ammo, there’s good news and bad news.

Good News: There are, at last count, 2,367,912 varieties of quality personal defense ammo on the market.

Bad News: There are, at last count, 2,367,912 varieties of quality personal defense ammo on the market.

Good News: Most of them are good.

Bad News: You can’t shop by brand only. Each caliber and brand should be evaluated separately depending on the gun and barrel length you choose. A load that expands reliably when shot from a 5″ barrel pistol may not when fired from a compact model with a 3″ barrel. Velocity matters after all, and each inch of barrel length can change velocity by 20 to 50 feet per second.

Good News: We’re freaks and love doing all this testing and verification work on your behalf. Of course you always need to make sure your ammo of choice functions properly in your specific gun.

Bad News: Justin Bieber is still a celebrity.

Good News: For you young bucks out there, Selena Gomez is back on the market.

Bad News: There are only 2,367,843 different loads of defense ammo left for us to test now that this one is done.

With all that said, we recently tested out the Winchester Elite PDX1 Defender .45 ACP 230 grain personal defense ammunition.

With all the comings and goings of test guns, we ended up testing out the Winchester PDX1 ammo in a full size 1911. In this case, a Springfield Armory TRP Armory Kote. This model features a 5″ long barrel, so consider that we were getting maximum velocity for this particular load.

The Winchester PDX1 Defender ammunition is a bonded design. This simply means that, well, the outer jacket is chemically bonded to the inner lead core. I know, the terminology is pretty complex. There’s a really good reason for bonded bullet design. If projectiles pass through barriers like glass, wood, steel, clothing, or bone, then bonded ones tend to stay in one piece. Staying in one piece means they retain more weight while traveling into and through their intended target. Going back to high school physics, if more weight is retained, then penetration depth in increased. It’s mathematically sound. Do some multiplication, carry the one, then divide by the cost per box of twenty. Easy!

Winchester Elite PDX1 Defender 45 ACP Ammo expanded

Most projectiles expanded to over .80 inches in diameter. That’s about thumb width.

One unusual note about the Winchester PDX1 bonding design. The bottom of the projectile is “open” and you can see the lead, so it “looks” like more of a traditional jacketed projectile. No matter – just be aware that it’s bonded and not jacketed.

The Winchester PDX1 bullets are hollow points and scored for even expansion performance. Winchester claims that the projectiles will expand to 1.5 original diameter. According to the box, muzzle velocity is 920 feet per second which results in 432 foot-pounds of energy given the 230 grain projectile weight. Also according to the box, velocity at 5 yards should be 916 feet per second yielding 428 foot-pounds of energy.

We tested velocity at the range with a Shooting Chrony Beta Master Chronograph, placed 15 feet down range, and clocked a 1.3 boatloads of shots. If you need a translation, 1.3 boatloads is about 2 1/2 (20) round boxes. After doing some serious math, we figured the average velocity, launched from a 5″ barrel Springfield Armory TRP 1911, to be just about  911 feet per second – right in line with what the box says.

To see how these rounds expanded, we fired another boatload through 4 layers of light canvas and into a wet pack backstop. ‘Wet pack’ is derived from the latin words ‘wet’, meaning has water, and ‘pack’, meaning old newspapers that were cluttering up the office.  As you can see from the photo, expansion was dramatic most of the time. Most rounds expanded to just over .80 inches while one in the photo expanded to .86 inches. And yes, you can see that one from Google Earth.

It probably goes without saying, but function was trouble-free. The cartridge cases are nickel-plated for visibility, slippery-ness, and corrosion resistance. And they’re fully reloadable if you’re into that.

All things considered, the Winchester Elite PDX1 Defender .45 ACP ammunition proved itself worthy. We’re adding it to our Ammunition Buyers Guide.

You can buy Winchester Elite PDX1 Supreme Ammunition here.

SOG Twitch II Partially Serrated Folding Knife

We stopped by the SOG booth at the 2012 NRA Annual Meeting and had a great discussion with the nice folks at SOG about everyday folding knives.

SOG Twitch II pocket folding knife

The best feature of the SOG Twitch II folding knife is it’s easy one-handed opening

We quickly ended up checking out the SOG Twitch line of pocket folders. Available in at least three different sizes, with several finishes, and with straight or non-serrated blades, there’s a Twitch model to suit most personal preferences. We ended up choosing the SOG Twitch II folding knife with a 2.68 inch blade and 6.2 inch overall length. Ours features the half-serrated blade. A little more difficult to sharpen, yes, but we were looking for a handy rope cutter.

Here’s what’s sooper dooper handy about the SOG Twitch II Partially Serrated Folding Knife:

While many folders can be opened with one hand with relative easily, the SOG Twitch II takes convenience to a whole new level. For one-handed opening, most folders rely on your thumb pushing the blade out using either a blade-mounted knob or some other form of protrusion on the top side of the blade. The Kershaw Ken Onion Vapor II works like this and it’s been a favorite of ours for years.

There are two differences with the SOG Twitch II approach. First, there is some spring assist action at play which helps snap the blade open. More importantly, activation is done with your index finger on the back side of the knife. Simply press on the exposed tab and the blade virtually flies open. It’s one of the easiest knives we’ve seen to open single-handed. This makes the SOG Twitch II perfect for those vitally important everyday knife chores. Like opening stuff.

The even niftier thing about this design is that the tab used to flip open the blade positions itself as a finger guard when the blade is open. Smart.

If you’re uncomfortable with how easy the blade opens, no worries. The SOG Twitch II features a positive locking tab on the back of the knife. It will securely lock the blade closed if you like. A removable belt clip rounds out the package.

All in all, this is the handiest folder in our knife drawer. It comes from the factory razor-sharp and so far has not lost it’s edge.

Available Here SOG Twitch II Partially Serrated Folding Knife

Buyers Guide: Crimson Trace Green Laserguard for Glock LG-452

My Gun Culture Shooting Buyers Guide

We reviewed one of the first pre-production Crimson Trace Green Laserguards for Glocks (LG-452) a couple of months ago and found it, well, awesome.

Crimson Trace Green Laserguard LG-452 for Glock

Crimson Trace Green Laserguard LG-452 for Glock

What’s the big deal?

This. Green lasers are highly visible. Day, night, dusk, twilight, bright sunlight – you name it. We found that you can use the Crimson Trace Green Laserguard in sunny conditions with no problem. We tested it an outdoor shooting range in full sunlight and found the green laser dot easy to spot at 25 yards.

What’s really impressive is the visibility in “traditional” laser conditions, i.e. indoors or in low light. The speed at which your eye picks up the green laser in comparison to the red is simply amazing. The green dot really jumps out at you.

Green lasers drain suck power like Rosie O’Donnell consumes donuts, so for now, the Crimson Trace Green lasers are available in Laserguard configurations as there is more space for battery. Also, be aware that you’ll get about 2 hours of constant use. This is plenty considering the unit as a manual on/off switch to save juice when you’re just practicing.

Like other Crimson Trace Laserguards, this one uses an instinctive activation button. Just pick up the gun and it’s on.

Available Here Crimson Trace Green Laserguard for Glock LG-452

Hot Caliber Custom Jewelry – Key Ring A Bling Bling

Hot Caliber Hammer KeychainHot Caliber makes some cool stuff for shooting aficionados.

The basic idea is that, through thousands of rounds shot at steel, they’ve figured out how to get nice flattened bullet patterns. These are reproduced – exactly – into silver jewelry via some sort of top-secret lost wax technique. Whatever that is.

The Hot Caliber Hammer Key Ring is sure to start a conversation about your passion. Featuring a sterling silver limited edition flattened bullet, sterling silver frame, and nickel-plated brass key ring, this is one unique piece of bling.

Available Here Hot Caliber Hammer Key Chain

Buyers Guide: Crimson Trace Lightguard for 1911 LTG-701

My Gun Culture Shooting Buyers Guide

Although not invented by the late John Moses Browning, may he rest in peace, the Crimson Trace Lightguard for 1911’s was invented by the Association of Optics Genii – that’s plural for more than one genius by the way. Or so we’re claiming.

Springfield Armory TRP 1911 with Crimson Trace Lightguard for 1911

The Crimson Trace Lightguard for 1911 LTG-701 mounted on a Springfield Armory TRP

When we did a full review of the Crimson Trace Lightguard for 1911’s we found that it does a wonderful job of complementing 1911 handguns that are not equipped with a tactical rail. As 1911 dimensions vary a bit from model to model, Crimson Trace has engineered this piece of equipment to fit the following 1911 models: Kimber, Ruger, and Smith & Wesson – either full size or compact. Since we had a Springfield Armory TRP in for review, we tried the Lightguard on that one as well and found it to fit perfectly.

This accessory adds 100 lumens of bright light to your rail-less 1911 without bulk or duct tape as it leverages the trigger guard for support. The unit features an instinctive activation pressure switch so it’s on when you are. A positive on/off switch allows for daylight practice without battery drain.

This is a well designed, and very handy add on, for your 1911. Highly recommended.

Available Here Crimson Trace Lightguard for 1911 LTG-701

Glam Gun Girl Shooting Lady in Formal Wear T-Shirt

My Gun Culture Shooting Buyers Guide

Gun Girl Formal Wear with Pistol Reverse Logo ShirtFun juxtaposition of lady in formal wear with a pistol. Very Bond-villain-ish…

Shirts styles are customizable.


Available Here Glam Gun Girl Shooting Lady in Formal Wear T-Shirt

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