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Insanely Practical Guides: Learn about shooting, concealed carry, reloading and more!

Insanely Practical GuidesHello, my name is Tom McHale. I’m the creator and primary author of the Insanely Practical Guides series of how-to books. You can find them all right here or at Amazon.com.

I also write lot’s of articles for various shooting related magazines and websites. You’ll find my work at Beretta USA, Outdoor Hub, Guns America, Bearing Arms, AmmoLand, Grand View Outdoors, Shooting Sports Retailer Magazine and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

I help explain complicated things to people in a fun and easy-to-understand way. I believe that life is a bowl of fruit loops and that things don’t have to be so complicated, although I suppose excessive techno-jargon keeps lots of well-intentioned lawyers in business.

There’s no need to feel ignorant or shy when you’re embarking on something new. We’ll help you feel comfortable and acclimated in no time at all.

If you want to learn about the world of guns, shooting and the American way, check out some of my books. Have a laugh or two. Life is too short for boring stuff.

My personal website, My Gun Culture, is a half-cocked but right on target look at the world of shooting and all things related. If you want to learn with a laugh about guns, shooting products, personal defense, competition, industry news and the occasional Second Amendment issue, visit me there!

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New Book! The Insanely Practical Guide to Reloading Ammunition

Learn how to reload ammunition the easy way with the Insanely Practical Guide To Reloading Ammunition!

Learn how to reload ammunition the easy way with the Insanely Practical Guide To Reloading Ammunition!

When I started reloading, I made lots of mistakes. I learned the hard way by screwing things up on occasion. Yes, I had fun, but my learning process might have been more fun if someone had taken the time to explain the procedures and equipment to me. In plain non-engineering oriented English.

Fortunately, that’s what we do here at Insanely Practical Guides. Nothing would make us happier than to have a million or so folks start reloading their own ammunition.

This book is not a reloading manual. Great companies like Hornady, Sierra, Lyman and others publish those. They invest millions of dollars in fancy equipment like ballistic test barrels, strain gauges, piezo transducers and plenty of Cheezy Poofs and Red Bull for the lab staff — all to develop safe and tested load recipes.

The Insanely Practical Guide to Reloading Ammunition is an instructional guide that will walk you through the steps of reloading your own ammunition in a fun, and more importantly, easy to understand way. Reloading manuals are great resources for understanding safe and tested load recipes. While most include an introductory section that talks about the reloading process and equipment, none that I’ve found show you, step by step, exactly how to do it in an easy to understand way.

Think of reloading manuals as sheet music. And this book as Mrs. Clutterbuck’s piano lessons you took in third grade. If you develop a sudden urge to play Carnegie Hall, or even Bodean’s Wet Whistle Bar and Bait Shop, you could just order sheet music from the internet. But it probably wouldn’t be the most direct path to ivory key success. Take some lessons first, then order the sheet music. We’ll all thank you!

Although we think reading this book will be a far more pleasant experience than weekly lessons in Mrs. Clutterbuck’s den, the idea is the same. We’ll teach you how to do the steps. Then you’re off to fame, fortune and custom ammunition.

Loaded with pictures and simple and useful illustrations, this book will get you started reloading your own ammunition in no time!

Topics include: 

  • Why take up reloading?
  • Is reloading right for you?
  • What equipment do you need?
  • Cleaning and processing brass.
  • The reloading process: step by step.
  • Pistol caliber reloading.
  • Rifle caliber reloading.
  • Buying reloading components.
  • Advanced equipment options.
  • Introduction to advanced topics.

Both Kindle and Print versions are available now at Amazon!

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New Book, The Rookie’s Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S

The Rookie's Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S is available now in print and Kindle formats.

The Rookie’s Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S is available now in print and Kindle formats.

First time gun owners are buying firearms in record numbers. That’s why Insanely Practical Guides creates fun and easy-to-understand books that help new and experience shooters alike learn everything they need to know about shooting safely. The newest guide, The Rookie’s Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S, helps new owners learn how to operate, maintain and safely shoot their Springfield Armory XD-S. Readers of this book will become knowledgeable and confident, while having a laugh or two in the process.

The Rookie’s Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S is available now in print and eBook versions through Amazon. The print version retails for $12.97 while the Kindle version sells for $9.97.

With just under 15 million background checks completed in 2013, it’s clear that more Americans than ever are buying guns for sport and personal protection. But how do new gun owners learn how to safely shoot, maintain and keep their guns? The Insanely Practical Guide series of books by columnist and author Tom McHale teaches new and experienced shooters alike. With an un-intimidating and insanely practical approach, Insanely Practical Guides books help new shooter learn about safety, operation and technique. The Rookie’s Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S is the third Insanely Practical Guide book, following The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters and The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition.

In light-hearted and plain English style, The Rookie’s Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S provides easy to understand tips and advice. This book includes:

  •  A guided tour of the Springfield Armory XD-S
  •  How to shoot the Springfield Armory XD-S
  •  Step by step cleaning and lubrication instructions
  •  Holster options for concealed carry
  •  Lasers, lights and sights for the Springfield Armory XD-S
  •  Ammunition options for the XD-S
  •  Practical tips and tricks
  •  And more!

Author Tom McHale created Insanely Practical Guides to help explain complicated things to people in a fun and easy-to-understand way. The topic of guns and shooting doesn’t have to be so difficult and intimidating, although excessive techno-jargon keeps lots of well-intentioned lawyers in business. There’s no need to feel ignorant or shy when embarking on something new. Insanely Practical Guides books will help new shooters feel comfortable and acclimated in no time at all. Life is too short for boring books.

Readers can also keep up with Tom at his website, MyGunCulture.com.

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I’m not the rookie I was a few years ago, but I learned a lot & thoroughly enjoyed the read. Very good info peppered with sarcasm and snark equals my kind of book!

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

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

“How do you make that first trip to the range, gun store, or even a friend’s house to check out a gun or two without looking like a total doofus? Like all new things, learning how to handle guns can be intimidating. But how do you take the first step now that Miss Manners’ Sooper Dooper Guide to Shooting Etiquette is out of print?”

Let’s face it. If you’re thinking about buying a gun, are new to shooting, or just haven’t immersed yourself in the gun culture, guns and shooting can be intimidating! Loud noises, armed people and gun stores an be scary. Never fear! This book will make you comfortable, and knowledgeable, in no time. And you’ll have a few laughs in the process.

“Like any new endeavor, the first visit can be fraught with uncertainty and doubt. But never fear, we’re going to tell you exactly what to expect, so you can walk in with confidence and have some serious fun. Fortunately, checking into a shooting range is a lot less stressful than passing through a TSA checkpoint.”

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

“Hunting with the newly invented firearms was problematic as many animals were reluctant to stand in front of cannons long enough to be converted to SPAM. In response to complaints of supermarket butchers everywhere, the “hand-gonne” was invented. Simply a downsized cannon mounted on a pole, the hand-gonne struggled for popularity mainly because no one knew how to pronounce the word gonne.”

Go to any shooting range and observe what happens when folks show up without knowing the first thing about their new gun. The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition will teach you the basics of visiting ranges and gun stores and help you with basic shooting instruction.

“Water tends to run downhill. Asparagus tends to find it way from kids’ plates to the dog under the table. And Michael Moore’s muffin top tends to hang around his knees. The point is, all things tend to gravitate towards their natural state. And that’s where natural point of aim comes in. Natural point of aim simply means assuming the stance and position where your body naturally wants to point the gun.”

The editors at MyGunCulture.com have painstakingly documented successes and failures we’ve seen over the years. 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.

“Not too long ago, a visit to a local gun store would more than likely involve meeting Clem, Bodean, and Clem’s other brother Clem. Fortunately, those days are mostly behind us. Many gun stores have gone full-auto retail and implemented 20th century customer-centric ideas like hiring helpful sales staff, designing functional and attractive showrooms and running water.”

Loaded with pictures and comedic illustrations, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting will tell you just about everything you need to know to get started with the shooting sports. We also address mysterious gun terminology and those shooting myths that spread like the flu on a budget cruise ship.

“If someone tells you about the knockdown power of a given cartridge, immediately run to the nearest library and ask to borrow a copy of Physics For Dummies. In it, you might find mention of a guy named Isaac Newton. While his brother Wayne was busy developing a fine singing career in Las Vegas, Isaac focused on important issues related to motion of objects. For example, if you buy the biggest gangsta pistol on the market, will it knock you over backwards when you fire it?”

Enjoy!

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“If you are planning on this way of life, or are already living this way of life, this a very good source of information. The humor is just a plus.”

The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

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Invention of the Gun Holster

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“Entirely too much fun was had in the production of this book. You’d think such a through rundown of many of the holsters and carry methods out there would be dry and boring. You’d be wrong. This book is informative and fun to read.”

The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

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El Paso Saddlery Pocket Max Gun Holster

Here’s another fine holster featured in The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

El Paso makes an excellent pocket holster. Here’s why.

El Paso Pocket Max holsters

A pair of El Paso Pocket Max Holsters. Note the points that help the holster stay in your pocket during the draw.

The El Paso Pocket Max is constructed from horsehide, which tends to be stronger and more rigid than cowhide. It uses an inside-out construction so the rough side of the leather “grips” the interior of your pocket. This helps ensure that the holster stays in the pocket when you draw the gun. Not only is pulling a holstered gun out of your pocket less intimidating to most experience street thugs, it can be downright embarrassing. Talk about a total loss of street cred…

Another unique feature about the El Paso Pocket Max is the pointy leather tip at the very top edge of the holster. El Paso calls this the “grip tip” but that’s just a complex engineering term for “pointy thing.” The grip tip has an important purpose. It tends to catch on the inside fabric of your pocket when you pull the gun and holster upwards. This is a second feature (in addition to the roughed up surface) to help ensure that your holster stays in your pocket, where it belongs, as you draw your gun.

One last thing that we really like about the El Paso Pocket Max is the design of what you might call a stability flap. Note the “wing” that extends from underneath the barrel position. It’s made from a double layer of horsehide and helps to keep the gun in the proper upright position. This is particularly important for semi-auto pocket pistols where there is a lot of weight riding up high in the grip of the gun in the loaded magazine. With less sturdy pocket holster designs, this can allow your gun to torque, twist and turn while you’re going about your daily activities. Next thing you know, your pocket gun is completely upside down just when you need it most. The leather “wing” tends to keep things oriented in the proper direction — upright.

We highly recommend the Pocket Max. It’s functional, durable and reasonably priced for what you get.

The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters - Available at Amazon.com

The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters – Available at Amazon.com

 

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

Peruse 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 Amazon.com! Learn more about our Insanely Practical Guides!

Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters now available at Amazon.com