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The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

We’re giving away 10 copies of our book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition over at GoodReads. Entering is simple – details here:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition by Tom  Mchale

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

by Tom Mchale

Giveaway ends February 24, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Be sure to check out our other books, The Rookie’s Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S and The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters.

Hot off the press! The Rookie's Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S

Hot off the press! The Rookie’s Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S

Now available in print! The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

Now available in print! The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

Black Friday Sale – No Camping Out Required

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun EditionWe were going to have an in-person Black Friday (and today and Saturday) sale event, but the thought of all those people camping out for days outside the office was kind of weird. We decided to be Insanely Practical about the whole thing instead.

Today, tomorrow and Saturday, our newest book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition, is not 10, 20, or even 40, but 60% off!

That’s right, the Kindle version is just $3.99 for these three days only.

Recently featured in American Handgunner magazine, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting is the perfect resource to help you, or a friend, develop safety, confidence and skill with handgun shooting. Filled with tips, ideas, products, lots of photos and even a few cartoons, this book will get you up to speed in no time.

American Handgunner Magazine - Insider column feature

What our readers have to say

“Tom does a great job, in a comedic fashion, of explaining firearms and shooting in general.”
Hank H.

“This is a fun yet serious read. Great for anyone new to guns as well as those with some experience.”
Richard H.

“This a great tongue-in-cheek look at sometimes serious problems in becoming a gun owner. Everyone from rookie to veteran gun owners should read this.”
SixFourCop

Pick up a copy of The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting today! Whether you’re an experienced handgunner, or just starting out, there are plenty of helpful tips, photos, ideas and more that will help you become a better shooter. And it’s all delivered with a dose of fun.

11 Ways To Be A Better Shooting Range Neighbor

Open shooting ranges especially can benefit from good neighborly conduct.

Open shooting ranges especially can benefit from good neighborly conduct.

One of the biggest problems with the shooting sports is that there is no be-all, end-all, definitive guide to etiquette. Miss Manners never published a Sooper Dooper Guide to Shooting Etiquette, and I never recall going to the range for any of my charm and finishing school field trips.

Seeing this glaring omission from the shooting community training curriculum, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a list of tips on how to be a nice shooting range neighbor. If I missed anything, please feel free to comment with your suggestions!

1. Case Your Guns.
No matter where you shoot, you have to get your guns from your home to the range. How you move them up to the range parking lot is your business. How you move them from the car to the shooting table involves your shooting range neighbors. Wandering through the parking lot and into the front door of a secure business waving a few guns around is a great way to have a really bad day. The very best way to do this is to case your guns and move them to all the way to the shooting table fully encased, unloaded and with actions open.

2. Check to make sure everyone has ear protection before you start shooting.
Yes, a verbal “Range Hot” command should, in theory, ensure that folks have their ears on. Just in case, I like to be considerate and look around to make sure everyone is hearing protected before torching off my .890 Glock Magnus ++P++P+++.

3. Don’t booger hook your trigger unless you’re in the act of shooting.

The Media Day range at the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational displayed especially good manners. Note all guns pointed down range, tabled, with chambers open and chamber flags in place.

The Media Day range at the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational displayed especially good manners. Note all guns pointed down range, tabled, with chambers open and chamber flags in place.

As much as we all talk about trigger finger discipline, it’s never too much. With perfect trigger finger etiquette, we will all have a perfect safety record. In the context of this list of “polite” actions, think of keeping your trigger finger visibly out of the trigger as a courteous visual cue to your neighbors. If they see you always handling your gun with the trigger finger out, they’ll feel safer and more comfortable with you as a range neighbor.

4. Be visibly cold to your range neighbors.

Not in social demeanor, but in behavior. When the range is “cold” for target changes and such, make a physical show of acting cold. By this I mean put your guns on the table. Don’t touch them, even if they’re unloaded. Because guns are always loaded right? Again, considering the good range neighbor angle, if you aren’t touching your guns, folks can easily see that you’re not touching your guns. And they feel safe and secure based on your visible behavior. So, looking at it this way, being visibly cold at the range is actually polite.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub.com!

Shooting Tip: How To Never Miss With Your Handgun

All is right in the world when the front sight is in focus.

All is right in the world when the front sight is in focus.

I thought you might enjoy this excerpt from my latest book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition:

Unless you have supernatural vision, you’re going to notice a bit of a dilemma when you go to shoot your first target. Your eyes can only truly focus on one thing, at one distance, at a one time. In handgun shooting, there are objects at three different distances that you need to worry about:

  • Rear sights
  • Front sight
  • Target

When you line up to shoot, there’s a chance that all three of these may appear to be in focus to you. That’s because the human brain is an awesome thing. It’s processing all three and switching back and forth to create the appearance of simultaneous focus. Or something may look blurry. Different people see differently.

However, as a shooter, you’ll need to learn to focus on just one of these objects, and that will be the front sight. It’s OK if the target is a bit blurry – your brain figures it out and you can see it well enough.

Same with the rear sights. They are an aid to getting on target. It’s the front sight that’s most important. This gets tricky when you’re dealing with moving targets or high-stress situations. Your brain naturally wants to zero in on the target. But if you’re not focused on the front sight, you’ll miss.

So when you dry-fire practice (also discussed in The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition) focus on that front sight. Like finding natural point of aim, it’s a habit you want to build so you don’t have to think about it.

One more thought on that front sight. Like a golf or baseball swing, you want to follow through. Following through on your shot simply means keeping your eyes on the front sight until after the shot has left the gun. If your front sight stays on target before, during and after the shot, it’s impossible to miss the target. So for each successful shot, you’re really seeing two pictures – one before and another after.

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition is available in print and Kindle format at Amazon:

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

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

And The Winners Are…

Thanks to all who entered the Ultimate Concealed Carry Giveaway co-sponsored by Team Gun Blogger and My Gun Culture.

Ultimate Concealed Carry Giveaway

With some help from Random.org, the winners were drawn, and here they are:

First Place: Team Gun Blogger Twitter follower Stand-Fast America

Second Place: My Gun Culture Twitter follower Mike Clinton

Third Place: My Gun Culture Facebook follower Tom Jeffries

If you won, we’ll contact you to work out shipping of the prizes. If you didn’t, stay tuned, there’s a really, really awesome giveaway right around the corner.

Want an Extra Set of Eyes Downrange? Try the Bullseye Camera System

Shoot a rifle? How about a pistol? Or a bow? Or an air gun? Or maybe an atl-atl?

If yes, then you need to take a close look at the Bullseye Camera System. It’s like having an extra set of eyes just a couple of feet away from your downrange target, closely monitoring (but never criticizing!) every shot you take.

The Bullseye Camera System goes downrange to monitor your target so you don't have to.

The Bullseye Camera System goes downrange to monitor your target so you don’t have to.

Here’s the Bullseye Camera System in action downrange. Open the case, set up the camera, and you’re ready to go.

Here’s what the Bullseye Camera System does, in a nutshell:

  • Watches your target for every shot
  • Tracks the exact location of each hit in the target area
  • Beams that information back to your shooting bench location
  • Displays a real-time view, on a laptop or netbook computer, of each shot taken
Here’s the Bullseye Camera System in action downrange. Open the case, set up the camera, and you’re ready to go.

Here’s the Bullseye Camera System in action downrange. Open the case, set up the camera, and you’re ready to go.

It’s a little bit like having an insanely high-powered spotting scope zeroed in on your target, only better. Unlike a spotting scope, the Bullseye Camera System tracks each shot individually throughout your shooting session. The system monitors target status and all previous shots, so no matter how many holes are in your target, the most recent one will be clearly flashing on the laptop screen at your shooting bench. Not only that, you can choose to mark shots with colored dots for future reference.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub.com!

Shooting At Night Photos From The Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational

The Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational was a dual purpose event. The first two nights provided shooting industry media an opportunity to shoot the match before the pro 3 Gunners arrived for the Friday and Saturday night competition. Sponsoring vendors also set up demonstrations at the range during daylight hours to test out some of their latest gear.

Here’s a look:

Why not hold a 3 Gun match in the middle of the night? It works for match sponsor Crimson Trace!

Why not hold a 3 Gun match in the middle of the night? It works for match sponsor Crimson Trace!

It looks so easy in the daytime, doesn't it?

It looks so easy in the daytime, doesn’t it?

These targets are about to get perforated by a full-auto FN SCAR.

These targets are about to get perforated by a full-auto FN SCAR.

Getting ready to shoot! Note the LED shoes!

Getting ready to shoot! Note the LED shoes!

A horde of targets...

A horde of targets…

The Central Oregon Shooting Sports Association range facility was fantastic.

The Central Oregon Shooting Sports Association range facility was fantastic.

The business end of a Colt Competition Rifle.

The business end of a Colt Competition Rifle.

Jawin' with Ryan from GunTalk Television.

Jawin’ with Ryan from GunTalk Television.

Colt Competition shooters providing some spotting assistance. Wyatt Gibson, with the binocs, toop top Junior honors.

Colt Competition shooters providing some spotting assistance. Wyatt Gibson, with the binocs, took top Junior honors.

Lot's of really sweet rifles were on hand at Media Range Day.

Lot’s of really sweet rifles were on hand at Media Range Day.

Will you see Ryan Gresham working the MGM spinner target on a future episode of GunTalk Television? I guess we'll see.

Will you see Ryan Gresham working the MGM spinner target on a future episode of GunTalk Television? I guess we’ll see.

Caleb Giddings and Chris Cerino in a little long-range snubby revolver shooting challenge.

Caleb Giddings and Chris Cerino in a little long-range snubby revolver shooting challenge.

Just a little bit of muzzle blast...

Just a little bit of muzzle blast…

Jerry Miculek waiting for the match to start.

Jerry Miculek waiting for the match to start.

The Nosler stage had a variety of short range targets and some long range rifle plates in the distance.

The Nosler stage had a variety of short-range targets and some long-range rifle plates in the distance.

Kay Miculek tries to break daughter Lena's concentration prior to the start...

Kay Miculek tries to break daughter Lena’s concentration prior to the start…

A good pre-match omen! The weather was perfect throughout.

A good pre-match omen! The weather was perfect throughout.

A pre-match stage briefing. No, it's not dark enough yet!

A pre-match stage briefing. No, it’s not dark enough yet!

Kind of creepy?

Kind of creepy?

Belt-mounted chem lights were used to identify competitors and range officers. A brilliant safety precaution!

Belt-mounted chem lights were used to identify competitors and range officers. A brilliant safety precaution!

Note the last two popper targets falling to a barrage of 12 gauge shot from a box-magazine Saiga.

Note the last two popper targets falling to a barrage of 12 gauge shot from a box-magazine Saiga.

The Stage planners had a great time hiding shotgun targets behind barrels. Twice as hard to find in the dark!

The Stage planners had a great time hiding shotgun targets behind barrels. Twice as hard to find in the dark!

Stage walk through.

Stage walk through.

House clearing with a light and laser-equipped AR-15.

House clearing with a light and laser-equipped AR-15.

Highly-visible green lasers were popular.

Highly-visible green lasers were popular.

Note all the brass in the air from the full auto PWS Diablo. This side match was during daylight hours.

Note all the brass in the air from the full auto PWS Diablo. This side match was during daylight hours.

This car got pretty beat up by by four straight nights of grenade catching.

This car got pretty beat up by four straight nights of grenade catching.

Nope. Not quite dark enough to start the evening events.

Nope. Not quite dark enough to start the evening events.

Jerry, Kay and Lena Miculek gearing up.

Jerry, Kay and Lena Miculek gearing up.

A Primary Weapons System Diablo and an AAC suppressed Glock - some of the required gear for a house clearing stage.

A Primary Weapons System Diablo and an AAC suppressed Glock – some of the required gear for a house clearing stage.

Gearing up before sunset.

Gearing up before sunset.

Top Shot winner Chris Cheng strategizing for his first stage of the night.

Top Shot winner Chris Cheng strategizing for his first stage of the night.

Taking aim at some handgun targets in the dark.

Taking aim at some handgun targets in the dark.

Note the path of the light and laser. The green one at left shows the path of the shotgun laser.

Note the path of the light and laser. The green one at left shows the path of the shotgun laser.

Nothing quite like a little machine-gunning in the dark!

Nothing quite like a little machine-gunning in the dark!

Getting ready to unleash the SAW, which of course was equipped with night vision optics!

Getting ready to unleash the SAW, which of course was equipped with night vision optics!

A time lapse view of a stage in the event.

A time-lapse view of a stage in the event.

Top Junior Shooter Wyatt Gibson of Team Colt Competition receives his award.

Top Junior Shooter Wyatt Gibson of Team Colt Competition receives his award.

Lena Miculek took the Top Ladies Prize.

Lena Miculek took the Top Ladies Prize.

Once again, US Army Marksmanship Unit shooter Daniel Horner took top overall honors.

Once again, US Army Marksmanship Unit shooter Daniel Horner took top overall honors.

 

Top 10 Shooting Industry Masters Fun Facts

Tisma Juett is only serious about two things: shooting and leading the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s (NSSF) First Shots program. When it comes to something as serious as the Ruger/Smith & Wesson Rimfire Rodeo, stand back! I’m pretty sure I felt all the available oxygen being sucked out of the area when Tisma started to focus. And when it comes to getting new people into the shooting sports, the game rises to a whole new level. One of her first projects upon taking the reins of First Shots was to schedule a series of events literally surrounding Washington, D.C. I think that’s called “throwing down the gauntlet.” Dear politicians: you think you got game? Ha! You’re rookies!

Tisma Juett is serious about two things: Shooting and NSSF First Shots. Shown here taking aim at the Ruger/Smith & Wesson Rimfire Rodeo event.

The NSSF Team, left to right: Bill Brassard, Tisma Juett, USA Shooting 3-time Olympian Matt Emmons (just photo-bombing here), Randy Clark and Steve Sanetti

Hosting free beginner First Shots seminars requires cash, and that’s where the great folks at FMG Publications step in. Publishers of American HandgunnerGuns MagazineAmerican Cop, and numerous special issues, FMG has hosted theShooting Industry Masters event to benefit First Shots and USA Shooting for 11 years now.

The NSSF Team, left to right: Bill Brassard, Tisma Juett, USA Shooting 3-time Olympian Matt Emmons (just photo-bombing here), Randy Clark and Steve Sanetti

The NSSF Team, left to right: Bill Brassard, Tisma Juett, USA Shooting 3-time Olympian Matt Emmons (just photo-bombing here), Randy Clark and Steve Sanetti

Not familiar with the Shooting Industry Masters? Let’s take a quick look at the top 10 Masters fun facts:

1. NSSF First Shots Benefits! Over the past 11 events, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised and donated to NSSF First Shots. That’s a lot of green that helps emerging “green” shooters become safe and proficient.

2. Olympic shooters can be bought! While the IOC might frown on the outright cheating and bribery, one of the fun parts of the Shooting Industry Masters is that teams can “purchase” a ringer from the U.S. Olympic Shooting Team to help improve their scores. It’s OK though, the competition is just for fun and fundraising.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub.com!

The Seven Deadly Sins of Handgun Shooting: Bleeding All Over the Range

Crossed thumbs shooting grip

This grip technique may cause you to bleed all over the shooting range. Not recommended.

This week’s Seven Deadly Sins of Handgun Shooting Tip involves keeping (most) of your body parts attached.

Specifically, we’re talking about your thumbs. You see, opposable thumbs are one of the things that give us humans a real advantage over the rest of the animal kingdom when it comes to important things like opening Pringle’s cans and getting those straws into juice boxes without making a big mess.

Dan Akroyd Julia Child SNL

Don’t do this! Image: NBC / Saturday Night Live

Admittedly, the odds of actually slicing off one or more thumbs is fairly low, but the wrong thumb position may cause you to bleed all over the shooting range. We don’t recommend it. I can share this new-shooter tip from a vantage point of, ummm, let’s call it personal experience.

Remember Ghostbusters? And how it’s really bad to cross the streams of the Proton Pack particle accelerators? Well there’s a similar rule of thumb (pun fully intended) for shooting semi-automatic pistols. Don’t cross your thumbs as in the picture. Sooner or later, that thing called a slide is going zoom backwards at Warp 17 and slice the dickens out of the webby, sensitive skin between your thumb and your index finger. Again, trust me, I know this from experience. And as a side note, the bottom of the slide on a Series 1 Colt Woodsman is really, really sharp. Just as a disclaimer, this happened a really long time ago – back when I thought I did not need any instruction on how to properly shoot a pistol. Don’t worry, I’ve learned many things the hard way since then.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub.com!

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 MyGunCulture.com 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.

Enjoy!

 

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