Tom McHale

Tom McHale

Tom is the primary author of the Insanely Practical Guides series of how-to books. He believes that shooting can be safe and fun, and works hard to make the shooting world easy to understand. If you want to learn about the world of guns, shooting and the American way, check out some of his books. Have a laugh or two. Life is too short for boring "how to" books.

You can find print and ebook versions at Amazon. For more information, check out

Feel free to visit Tom at his website, It's 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 him there.

Areas of Expertise: Shooting, reloading, concealed carry, and all around smart-alecking

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An example of a modern 1911, this Springfield Armory 1911 TRP has a number of tweaks to the original design. Image by Tom McHale.

What Makes a 1911 a 1911?

Love it or hate it, the 1911 pistol is kind of a big deal, even if just for its longevity. Just past the turn of the previous century, the Army figured out it wanted an autoloading handgun with similar ballistic capability to the .45 Colt,…

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The Smith & Wesson M&P 15 OR after the author finished kitting it out. It's all geared up for the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational, and home-defense use.

Transforming an AR-15 into a Home-defense Rifle

A few weeks ago, I discussed my plan of using the upcoming Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational to choose, equip, and practice with guns I’d use for home defense. Since then, I’ve decided to use a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 OR for the…

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There's an almost-uncountable number of self-defense munitions offered on the market today. Which ones perform like they should? Check out Tom McHale's list of his top picks.

Ten Top Self-defense Ammo Picks

With a controversial topic like the best self-defense ammo out there, I have to include a couple of explanations and disclaimers. You have to be careful about blanket statements when it comes to ammo performance. There are just too many variables. For example, you can’t…

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Two of the pistol choice contenders for the author's home-defense/3-gun kit: Springfield Armory TRP 1911 (left) and Beretta PX4 Storm (right).

3-Gunning for Home Defense

In a rare fit of advance planning and organization, I’m starting to think about what gear to use at this year’s Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational (M3GI) match. The event takes place August 12 through 17 in the high desert outside of Bend, Oregon, so…

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