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Shooting handguns with my brother.


 My youngest brother came to shoot at a pistol match with me. He has some experience shooting a pistol. It’s not very much. He does need to learn more of the fundamentals of how you handle it tactically. But he is very enthusiastic to learn.

 I have my 92FS for him to use at the match. We shared it. I don't own any other 9mm handguns to use. What a great weapon for him to learn with. All the safety features that you can't go wrong with when teaching gun safety. He followed every step. It was about 22 degrees out that day in the middle of January. And the 92FS worked flawlessly for my brother as a first time shooter in that weather.

 The first stage of the match was shooting 6 steal plates at 11 yards. You shoot as many rounds as it takes till all 6 plates are down. Rules are that the first magazine is to hold only 11 rounds. All other magazines after that are 10. I have seen as many as 20 to 25 used. But there are some shooters who do so well that they only use 6 to 8 rounds.

 They let me shoot before my brother so he can watch how it’s done. When you load the first round with the 92FS, you can take the safety off before you holster the weapon. But the hammer has to be forward. Then when you draw to shoot the first round, it will be double action first pull. It was cold and I usually never get the first plate on the first shot. So this time, when I drew the weapon and raise it up to shoot, I cocked the hammer manually. The first plate went down with the first shot. It took me less time to do that then to take the time to waste the first shot on double action pull. I plan on doing that every time from now on. No more wasting that first round.

 SAM 0388

This is a picture of my brother shooting for the first time ever for a competition. They allowed another shooter between us so we can have time to change over the weapon from my hip to his. And during that time I can answer any of my brother’s questions. What is best about the people I shoot with is that we all get along great. Anybody and everybody there is willing to help eachother. Its the best part of being there. After that it came time for my brother to shoot. He never competed before. His experience shooting a handgun involved just plinking. Mostly aiming at the general direction of the target and shooting for fun. This was his first time ever where every round counts and thats it timed. Now, I love my brother. But I honestly was a little worried how he would do. I thought to myself. “Please don’t waste a lot of ammo”. “Please don’t miss”. “Please don’t go to fast”.  “Please don’t break a rule”. To my amazement, and everybody else’s, he did great. He even manually cocked the hammer for the first shot and hit the first plate like he has done it before. The norm is usually to try to shoot the plates down in less than 1 magazine. With eleven rounds in the first magazine, he did it with ten. The first 3 plates went down with his first 3 shots. Then he took 7 more shots to take down the other 3. I think he started rushing it. But he got the right idea. After that, the other stages were like nothing to him. He paid attention to everything and shot groups like he was a natural. I am very proud of him.

 My brother talked a lot about how much he loved shooting the 92FS. Still does. He had so much fun that I foresee him coming out to compete more often. He even talked about how interested he is on possibly purchasing his own handgun. Until then, I would proudly allow him to continue to use my Beretta. 

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Things that go crash in the night...

The word 'gun' conjures up different images, depending on who is thinking it. We think of guns as tools of the trade, as hunting implements, as devices for our hobbies.

Beretta Model 96
And then there are stories that bring the many facets of a gun alive, showing, for example, that a handgun purchased originally for concealed-carry can serve its purpose when we're home, and the threat is not another person, bent on threatening our welfare, but dangerous, nonetheless.

The story below is from Dean Rosnau, who holds a CCW license and a Beretta 96.
When a noise awakens him and his wife in the middle of the night, Dean is prepared for anything. Well, almost anything.

"I was awakened at 0100 by some crashing sounds, clearly coming from the downstairs area of our home. My wife stated, "Something's in our kitchen!"

I jumped out of bed, threw on some pajama bottoms and a sweatshirt, and grabbed my model 96 .40 cal Beretta and an extra mag. (loaded with 180 grain S & W FMJ) I chambered a round and started downstairs, not knowing whether someone or someTHING was in my home. (I am a CCW holder) More noises drew me towards the kitchen. Nearing the kitchen at the end of our hallway, with weapon in a lowered safe position, I suddenly heard a loud crashing noise from the dining room, 20 feet away, and I raised my weapon in that direction.

There, halfway through the window, was a HUGE bear. My ability to fire was compromised by a home across the road, directly in the line of fire should I have missed. I resorted to yelling..."Get out of here you son of a bitch!"....the bear backed out of the window. I went to the front door, on the wall 90 degrees from where the bear was standing on the deck, and switched on the porch light, in hopes that the bear would get scared and flee. Seconds after the lights came on, there was a huge crash of splintering wood....I assumed the bear went right through the deck rail.

I opened the front door and took 4 steps towards a blind corner leading to the front deck where the bear had been. 20 feet from that blind corner, the bear suddenly appeared in front of me. I stopped in my tracks and raised my weapon. The bear immediately raised it's lips, snarled at me, then started straight for me. As I backed toward the open front door, I squeezed off 4 rounds, striking the bear with all 4 in the chin and forehead. The bear wobbled, but kept coming.

I stepped into the open door, and the bear went down the steps off the deck into the front yard, clearly wounded. Not wanting to let a wounded bear get out in the community, I stepped forward towards the bear, and from 15 feet, put two more rounds in the hind quarters to slow it down. The bear then wobbled more severely, but headed towards my driveway. From 30 to 40 feet, I put the last four rounds into her, then slapped in my second mag.

The bear dropped on my driveway, clearly mortally wounded, and I walked up to it and fired 3 rounds to the head. Done.

This whole event...from the moment I saw the bear in the window, to when she was dead and down, was less than 60 seconds. (Notice the look on my face in the picture... kinda like, 'What just happened?'

Later that morning, the [Department of Fish and Game] came and retrieved the carcass. The sow weighed 322 pounds, and was 'Wanted' for breaking into numerous homes for the past 2 years."

You can view a larger version of this image here.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

10 Gun Wish List


By Jason Parks – Guest Contributor

10 guns I can’t afford....

…right now…

….but wish I had.

In no particular order:

I generally prefer short barreled pistols, but this one is the exception. I have always liked the look and feel of long slide 1911 pistols. I tried to buy or trade one away from a good friend of mine, but he never would let go of it. As long slides go the Nighthawk is the coolest one I have see so far. It comes in 10mm so the only thing that would make it better is if it was in .45 ACP. (Picture courtesy of

In a world where tactical semi-auto pistols reign supreme, I like the direction Smith & Wesson went with this pistol. Given the choice between Smith & Wesson Model 325 Thunder Ranch and a tactical semi-auto, I would have a hard time deciding on which to get. (Picture courtesy of

This is one awesome rifle. I would prefer an original 1895 Winchesterin .405 but would not complain if it was in .30-06 or 7.62x54R. I love old, large caliber, lever action rifles like the .405, but it would be really cool to have one that shoots .30-60 like my deer rifle. Who wouldn’t want to own a piece of history like a Model 1895 Winchester(Picture courtesy of

I am a big fan of .45-70’s and of carbines. The 1873 Trapdoor Springfield is the original .45-70. The Springfield Trapdoor Carbine is the Alpha Prime Numero Uno of .45-70 carbines and I want one. (Picture courtesy of

Every hunter alive wants a double rifle, but few can afford them. Once again, the USSG Double Rifle comes in .45-70, but I didn’t know this one was available until I started this post. As double rifles go, this one is almost affordable. The next step up costs 5 times as much. I might be able to afford this one if I liquidate some inventory and clean the kitchen every night for the next 8 years and vacuum for the next 12 years and.... (Picture courtesy of

A take down, lever action .45-70. What more could I ask for? (Picture courtesy of

Small, stainless and .45 ACP, this Kimber would probably be my first choice for a conceal carry pistol. Sorry Beretta. (Picture courtesy of

I grew up watching Steve McQueen bring in the bad guys with this gun on Wanted Dead or Alive. Ever since then, I have wanted a Mare’s Leg. There are several out there now to choose from, but I like Henry's brass receiver and octagon barrel. (Picture courtesy of

If I were to take up Cowboy Action Shooting full time, this pistol would be my first choice. I prefer short barreled revolvers especially when it comes to single action pistols and the ease of loading and unloading a top break pistol is obvious. (Picture courtesy of

Like I have said, I like light, short barreled guns. I also prefer semi-automatic shotguns over pump or double-barreled shotguns. I didn’t add this one to kowtow to Beretta. I have a semi-auto shotgun that I am very happy with. It is not a Beretta, and it is not a 12 gauge. But if I needed a new shotgun, the Beretta A400 Xplot Light KO would be at the top of my wish list. (Picture courtesy of


I might be able to afford this pistol if I could ever find one. If you are not familiar with this revolver, it is a .38 caliber pistol that has the capability to shoot 25 different types of ammunition including .357 Magnum, 9mm, all types of .38’s and 7.62x25. This is one of those if I could only own one gun types of pistols. In a survival situation, this pistol is the one to have. (Picture courtesy of

So what guns are on your wish list?

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.

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You can follow Jason on Twitter @thejasonparks

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Crutching Around With A CCW


By Jason Parks – Guest Contributor

I have some questions that I want you to think about for a minute:

How does someone with a permanent physical disability carry a concealed weapon?

How much more time does it take for them to draw and fire compared to someone without a physical disability?

How can they avoid a confrontation if they cannot quickly extricate themselves from a dangerous location?

What affect does having a physical disability have on your situational awareness?

Do laws take into account a person’s physical disability if they are forced to use their weapon?

Now I want you to consider this scenario:

A man is home in bed with his wife. The sound of breaking glass wakes him up. He lies there for a moment listening. Did he dream it or was it real? His wife is still asleep beside him. Then he hears it – the sound of the deadbolt unlocking and the slight squeak of a door hinge that he has been meaning to oil.

He realizes that someone has just broken into his home.

He wakes his wife up and tells her what’s happening. She grabs the phone and calls 911. He gets out of bed and into his wheelchair. He is paralyzed from the waist down from a car wreck. He gets his pistol and flashlight from the drawer of his night stand.

His wife has been shooting a few times, but is not that familiar with guns. He is armed and ready, but his two children’s rooms are between him and the intruder. To get to their rooms he has to wheel himself out of his bedroom and down the hall to their rooms. He can’t simultaneously hold the pistol and the flash light and wheel himself into the hallway.

What does he do?

Most people don’t think about the challenges that people with physical disabilities face when it comes to CCW and personal safety. I think about it because a little over two years ago, I broke my left femur while walking. Believe me, I wish I had a great story to go with it but it was simply that I stepped wrong and broke it. The bone was brittle, and it shattered because of the radiation treatment I received when I had cancer. For a good story, remind me to tell you about the chainsaw incident.

Anyway, I have been on crutches for two years, two months and counting. I recently acquired my concealed carry permit so all these questions have been on my mind along with figuring out how to best carry a concealed pistol while on crutches. The standard stuff just doesn’t work. I Googled “concealed carry”+”disability” a few weeks back and got a lot of links that I have not looked at yet. I wanted to be able to take you on this little jaunt into figuring all this out with me.

So what do you think? Is it harder for someone with a physical disability to protect themselves and their families?

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.

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You can follow Jason on Twitter @thejasonparks.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

The PSA Shootout

by Phil McNaughton- Guest Contributor

Springtime is wonderful in South Central PA.  Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and if you listen closely, the musical dings of lead pounding steel echo through the countryside.  That's right, it’s spring, and it’s time for the PSA Shootout.  Held annually at the Palmyra Sportsmen’s Association, the PSA Shootout is the largest knock-down steel match in the country, bringing in nearly 600 shooters for an all-steel speed shooting match. 
There are 6 stages, with 25-35 falling steel targets per stage.  With approximately 180 plates, at 600 shooters... Yeah, that's well over 100,000 rounds downrange over the course of the 4-day event.
The game is pretty simple: shoot all the plates until they are down, as fast as you can.  There are 4 handgun divisions:  Stock Auto (iron sights, no comps), Open Auto (optics, compensators, etc), Stock Revolver (iron sights, no comps), and Open Revolver (optics, comps, etc).  Shooters can enter multiple divisions with different guns. 
Automatics are downloaded to 10 rounds in a magazine, and revolvers are limited to 6 shots before a reload.  The start position is either holstered, or gun in hand with the muzzle touching the table, and reloads can be done off your belt, or the table.
The stages contained large plates, spaced closely together for those clutch-dumping speed runs, along with just enough small plates so you had to slam on the brakes and really see that front sight.  Someone in Texas must have read my post about the Star, and decided to teach me a lesson by stacking 2 stars on top of each other in Stage 1. 
Although my Beretta 92G Elite II ran flawlessly all day, the rest of my squad fought with an abundance of gun malfunctions.  Failures to feed, fire, eject, and who knows what else seemed to pop up on every other run.  At least one shooter had to break out the back up gun.  This is one of those events where folks like to see how light they can load their ammo, but I try to stay away from the sub-power factor bunny fart loads.  It might shoot soft, but it might also not cycle your gun reliably, or knock down the steel.
This was my first year at PSA, I managed to squeak by in 60th place, out of 271 shooters in Stock Auto.  I had solid runs all day, with only 1 stage that disappointed me... yeah, the one with the stars...
So next spring, if you’re looking to start your shooting season off with a bang, or a ding, try the PSA Shootout.  You'll see some old friends, meet some new ones, and have a blast.  Just bring your safe attitude, your favorite pistols, and ammo.  Lots of ammo.
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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Things I've learned at the range


by Phil McNaughton- Guest Contributor
A few thoughts and theories from my time on the trigger, in no particular order...
I shoot faster when I slow down. 
Brussels sprouts make great targets.
Your worst day at the range is still better than your best day at the office.  Unless you work at the range.  Then you are just lucky, and I hate you. 
When you leave the range, nobody will remember how accurate you were, or how fast you were.  Everyone will remember how safe you were. 
Shooting is universal.  Lots of folks do it; lots of folks want to do it.  You may be surprised at who you meet at the range.  You may be surprised at who is waiting for you to take them to the range.
Real shooters know guns.  Hollywood doesn’t.  Learn from the former.
Don’t leave the gun shop empty handed.
Safety doesn’t take a backseat to experience. 
My Beretta will function in rain, snow, sub zero, or triple digit temperatures.  I may not.
They are called “sights” for a reason. See them.
Empty brass is more valuable than gold.
You can never have enough magazines.
Sooner or later you will have a box full of holsters that you don’t wear, or don’t have guns for anymore. 
People will buy a gun simply because it looks cool.
The gun you bought today will be on sale next weekend.  
The only thing you should take seriously at the range is safety.  Everything else is just fun.
The day I stopped worrying about scores is the day I became a better shooter. 
There is no such thing as a “double tap.”  Pay attention to the sights with every shot.
Dry fire until your fingers bleed.  Get bandages and start again.
Someday when you are working on your favorite gun, that little spring will fly across the room into oblivion.
You will buy parts for guns that you don’t own. 
Sometimes steel plates will stay standing after a hit.  Just because they hate you.
My shooting buddies are not really friends.  They are family.

Shooting soda cans is more fun when they are full.  And shaken.
There will always be one clay bird that refuses to break.  Don’t let it win.  Go find it.  Then step on it.
Practice the things that you don’t like to do.  Chances are you need it.
Introduce someone new to the firearms hobby.  Every chance you get.
If you wear a tank top at the range, you will inevitably get burned.  In places you don't want to be burned.
It doesn’t matter what gun you shoot, somebody will make fun it. 
Practice.  Do it a lot.  Do it often.  Do it safely.
A guy loves to watch a girl shoot.  Unless the girl is a better shooter than he is.
Spend less time talking about shooting, and more time doing it.
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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Practical Shooting 101

by Phil McNaughton-Guest Contributor

Welcome to Practical Shooting 101.  There are no textbooks in this class.  All you need is your favorite firearm, a safe attitude, and the desire to have fun! 

What did you do during your last range trip?  Did you stand on a firing line and shoot a static paper target?  If you said yes, that’s okay.  The fundamentals of basic marksmanship should be practiced early and often in one’s shooting career.  Nevertheless, consider your shooting abilities beyond static target shooting.  Have you ever shot at a moving target?  Have you ever shot at a target while you were moving?   What if you have to engage a target from an unusual position, like under a table or over a barrel?  These are the sorts of things you encounter in practical shooting competition. 

The textbook definition of practical shooting would be using a firearm to engage targets in a dynamic scenario.  Practical shooting finds its roots in law enforcement and military training.  The people who protect us don’t know what they will encounter in the real world, so they need to know how to run their gun in any situation.  Practical shooting gives everyone a chance to learn these same skills.

What do you actually do in practical shooting?  The courses, targets, and procedures vary between the disciplines, but the fundamentals are the same.  Get the gun in your hand and engage the targets, avoid the no-shoot targets, move as necessary, and manage your ammo.  The timer is running, and accuracy is a big part of the score.  The goal is be fast and accurate.

In addition to improving our gun handling skills, practical shooting has a lot to offer the competitor in all of us.  The various sanctioning bodies have local, regional, national, and international matches, which draw major sponsors.  There are divisions for almost any firearm and classification systems that allow shooters of similar abilities to compete against each other.  No matter your skill level, your equipment, or where you live, there is a place for you. 

Gun owners have the ultimate responsibility of safety, and practical shooting will reinforce the safe mindset.  Thousands of competitive shooters prove every year that you can draw, move, and shoot your firearm quickly, and accurately, all while not hurting anyone and having a lot of fun. 

What does this have to do with Beretta, you ask?   There are many national and international wins for the Beretta pistol in the practical shooting scene.  I have competed with the 92FS, the PX4 Storm, and the M9A1.  Although I have tried other guns, I keep coming back to Beretta, simply because they always work.  When the pressure is on at a match, I only have to worry about how I will perform, not how the gun will perform. 

Your homework for next time:  check out some of the info on the web about practical shooting.  It’s one of the most challenging and exciting shooting sports, and we always need new folks. 
Next time we’ll talk about the gear you need and how to get started.  Class dismissed. 

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My first time with Beretta

(by Aaron Spuler - guest contributor)

I was introduced to the Beretta 92FS by Lieutenant John McClane during the holdup at the Nakatomi Plaza in 1988 (Die Hard). I was eleven at the time. I'd shot plenty of guns on a fairly regular basis with my uncle, but my firearms knowledge was not that large. I did, however, know what I liked. The Beretta 92FS was a highlight of the film. Who can forget the scene at the end when John has it taped to his shoulders and shouts “Happy trails, Hans” as he pulls the 92FS out and takes down the last two terrorists?

I was reacquainted with the Beretta 92FS three years ago while taking the Texas Concealed Handgun Licensing course. Another individual at the course had a Beretta 92FS and achieved a perfect score during the live fire exercise. I told myself then that I would get a Beretta 92FS of my own one day...

I have to say that the 92FS is my favorite handgun to shoot out of all that I own. I have trained my wife on all of my handguns, and the Beretta 92FS has become her favorite as well.

What was your introduction to Beretta?

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