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When you've got to go.... You've got to go!

by Carrie Lightfoot - Guest Contributor

The ladies' room, potty, doing your business, going to the bathroom, or even powdering your nose. Whatever you call it - we ALL have to do it! The problem is, what in the world do you do with your concealed firearm when you do? 

For some obvious reasons, men have it a little easier in this department, well... most of the time. There is quite a bit of confusion and not a lot of discussion on this “interesting” topic. In a recent discussion on The Well Armed Woman Facebook page, the lack of information clearly results in less-than-safe solutions. So, what should you do? You don’t want anyone in the next stall to see your firearm, freak out and call 911 when you’re simply answering Mother Nature’s call. You don’t want it to fall on the floor and slide over to into the next stall with a mother assisting her young child and you certainly don’t want to do anything that could risk an accidental discharge. So what do you do? 

Photo: Theo Romeo UCD Advocate
The answer is quite simple. The less you do the better! Any time your remove your firearm from its holster you create risk. A well-made "in the pants" or "on the waist" holster should hold your firearm snug, even if you accidentally turn it upside down. If yours doesn’t, get a new one.  Not everyone likes a thumb break but here is a good place where they come in handy. Keep your hand on the HOLSTERED firearm as you carefully slide down your pants and keep your hand on it. Keep the top of your pants up off the floor and out of view from “neighbors”. If you’re wearing a belt, this is even more important as once you undo your belt - the weight of whole package takes on a mind of its own. 

The problems arise when you remove the firearm to get comfortable. Some of you are placing it on the toilet paper dispenser, the back of the toilet and even hanging it by the trigger guard on the hook on the door. These are no safe solutions and yes, even the most responsible and conscientious gun owners can leave and forget their firearms behind. It has happened, perhaps it has even to you. 

Many women are wearing bra holsters and belly bands. With these holsters this challenge is eliminated. For those of you that carry in your purse, as awkward as it may be, place your purse on your lap or even hang it over your body cross body style.  

If for some reason not addressed here you MUST remove the firearm from your body, keep it holstered and hold it or keep it on your lap while you’re “busy”.

All of this “work” just to do your business may seem cumbersome, uncomfortable and even a pain in the neck. The truth is, this comes with the responsibility of safe gun ownership. If you really think about it, we are very lucky to even have the right and opportunity to be a little uncomfortable this way.  So... Give thanks and go take care of business! 

Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and quest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook orTwitter and visit

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

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube


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

Shotgun Shells: The Ins and Outs of Selection (Part 1)


By Brad Wilson - Guest Contributor

How I love my hand loads!
In a previous entry by fellow blogger Adam Brassfield titled “Shell Selection for Waterfowl”, Adam talks about what size shot he would typically use for different types of waterfowl.  What he based everything off of was the size of  bird he would be chasing that certain day.  Adam laid down some great groundwork for new and old hunters that sometimes get mislead on what size shot they should be using.  This is the first thing everyone should take into consideration when choosing shot.  I would recommend reading that post as he has some great information in it.

For the next few segments we will take it a step further now that you understand that using 3.5” BB during early teal season is akin to bringing a SCUD missile to a boxing match.

I could honestly go on for hours and probably lose your attention with everything I am about to throw at you so for the sake of time and attention I will break this up into 3 different segments.  Factory VS hand loads, patterning, and what you can do to manipulate variables to achieve the outcome you are looking for.

After the jump I will talk briefly about factory ammo as well as hand loads….
So the first thing that you need to understand is that sometimes factory ammo can be more of a gimmick than a tried and true performer.  I personally jumped on the Black Cloud bandwagon when it first came out like many others and for good reason.  The ammo was marketed based on the wad design that would not allow the shot to leave the cup (wad) until about 10 yards from the end of the barrel.  This improved long range shots due to the tight patterning and left people in amazement at the shots they were able to take.  What people didn’t understand is that the shot loaded into the shell was no different than any other conventional steel shot.  The misconception lead to folks using the BC on decoying birds, and a lot of misses came as a result.

Then came Hevi Steel by Environmetal.  This stuff is what I like to run if for some reason I run out of my home loads and don’t have time to crank out a few boxes before the next hunt.  When you really look at the physics of this load you begin to understand that this type of load makes more sense because of its actual knock down power or terminal momentum.  This load uses a mix of hevi shot and conventional steel to achieve its effectiveness.

The ultimate way to get the best ballistics out of your gun is hand loading.  I started hand loading last year and haven’t looked back.  I can load heavy, light, fast, slow, or any combination of these to achieve my desired results.  My most recent load is running at 1750 fps with #4 conventional steel in a 1oz 2.75” load.  This has enough terminal momentum to drop ducks out to 45+ yards.  With this kind of performance, all my buddies are asking me to start loading boxes up for them!  I am now a firm believer in hand loading all of my ammunition.

In the next segment of this topic we will be talking about how to find out what works best out of your gun.  Patterning different shells is the key to success!  That Black Cloud just might be the best option for you out of your current configuration.

Brad Wilson is an avid outdoorsman targeting waterfowl and saltwater fish and is a guest contributor for the Beretta Blog.  He can be reached on Twitter or YouTube.

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

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.

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube


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

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