Semi-automatics, revolvers, long guns... ask questions and offer tips on safe, accurate shooting here.
 #2140  by Wynder
As an organization that promotes not just open carry, but that citizens carry however they choose, I felt it important to begin a thread containing safety rules and general guidelines while handling firearms. Please feel free to contribute.

I'm of the school of thought that there's no such thing as an 'accidental discharge' when an adult is handling a weapon and, to an extent, a minor. 'Accidents' occur due to negligence and complacency. Follow these rules strictly and to the letter each and every time to avoid negligent discharges.

General Firearms Safety Rules
1. The firearm is always loaded -- treat it as such.

When moving the weapon from Location A to Location B when it's not holstered, lock the action open. Even when you'recertain that the firearm is unloaded, still obey all of these rules. It's when we become complacent that negligent discharges will occur.

2. Never point the firearm at anything you are not willing to destroy.

Regardless of what it is, something or someone will be seriously damaged or injured if a bullet hits them. Always keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction -- holstered, your weapon is safe. Down range is a safe direction. The ground is generally a safe direction, provided you are not pointing straight down or at water... be careful of riccochettes. Up is NOT a safe direction -- what goes up will come down and, if you've ever seen that episode of CSI where the guy shot into the air in a populated area and hit someone a quarter of a mile a way, you'll know that the bullet can maintain quite a bit of velocity.

3. Keep your finger off of the trigger until you're ready to fire.

If you're carrying a weapon, even with the action open, keep your finger off of the trigger and on the frame of the weapon. If you're holstering your firearm keep your finger off of the trigger and on the frame of the weapon. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF OF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO FIRE. This is a crucial rule -- if you're on target, you're on the trigger. If you're off target, your finger is on the frame. It's the easiest rule to break and the rule that, if broken, has the potential to be the most lethal error.

4. Be aware of your target and what lies behind it.

The bullet part of the cartridge, especially if it's a full metal jacket, has quite a bit of penetrating power. Soft targets or flimsy backstops may only slow down the bullet; however, if it doesn't fragment and doesn't loose enough velocity, it is still lethal. I recall the story about an officer who was attempting to shoot a snake at a lake, missed and wound up hitting and killing a young child who was down the embankment. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you cannot escape and you must use lethal force to defend your life, if you are in an urban area, do your best to realize that you will have tunnel vision, but be aware there are other citizens and houses around. Take care to place your shot with extreme care!

5. Never grab for a falling firearm. (My Rule)

This is my contribution -- primarily being a range and competition shooter, I've had the occasion to accidentally brush my firearm from the bench when reaching for it. Most modern firearms have safety mechanisms to prevent the weapon from firing if the trigger isn't pulled (Glock style trigger safety) or a secure grip is on the weapon (1911 style grip safety). It is much safer to allow a firearm to fall to the ground than blindly grab at the weapon, possibly pulling the trigger with the muzzle in an unsafe direction. Allow the weapon to fall. If you don't have a weapon with one of these safety mechanisms in place, you're best option is to purchase the best retention holster possible to prevent the weapon from falling out of your holster if you find the need to run, fight or sit.

Please feel free to add safety tips for cleaning your weapons, range rules and etiquette and anything else that shooters and the general public should know about firearms and their safe use.
 #2141  by Wynder
Children and Guns
You should teach your children at a very early age what they should do if they were to ever encounter a firearm if they're out and about playing:
  • STOP!
  • Don't Touch.
  • Leave the area.
  • Tell an adult or a police officer.
The NRA has a great non-political, non-biased cartoon for kids that reinforces these rules.
 #36168  by Tony T
Preventing unauthorized access to your firearms.
Last edited by Tony T on Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 #36171  by Tony T
There is no such this as an accidental discharge, the correct term is negligent discharge.
 #36182  by RangeRat
I'm seeing some experienced, and inexperienced people exercising less "muzzle discipline" than would be expected. It frequently occurs during reloads where the shooter is 100% involved in the reload task and muzzle control becomes an afterthought.

I'd like to see these people keep the muzzle and direction of the weapon as the top priority.

I also see it when something unexpected happens. A shooter gets some splash back in the face and they instinctive cover / check their face while not remembering they are handling a weapon.

Another example is when someone drops or fumbles a magazine. They'll try to catch it, or when they retrieve it they will carelessly swing around - again, because they are preoccupied with the secondary task and ignoring the primary task of safety.

If the weapon is never pointed in a dangerous direction, then you are eliminating many of the potential problems.

I recommend that people practice magazine reloading and fumbling when doing empty-weapon exercises. Have it drop out, bounce, and chase it down with an unloaded weapon in a safe area and pay 100% attention to your position, the muzzle position, and your [trigger] finger position the whole time. Your reloads may not go as expected, so be prepared to adapt to a mishandled reload or draw in a safe manner.

I personally think of the weapon's muzzle as a high-powered laser that is always on. I don't want that laser touching anything it's not supposed to, even for a millisecond.

Be Safe <( ^ . ^ )>
 #37370  by Tony T
Hey, Steve! Careful with that .460.

 #37373  by Jacques
Wynder wrote:... weapon ... weapon ... weapon ... weapon ... weapon ... weapon ... weapon ... weapon ... weapon ... weapon ... weapon ... weapon ... weapons...
Rob used a taboo word 13 times... helping to reinforce "The Antis" message...

Here's my new gun advocate pet peeve...



The dictionary defines the word weapon as an instrument of attack or defense in combat, as a gun, missile, or sword. The Brady Bunch and the rest of the "antis" have most of the public brainwashed that "weapons" are bad, neglecting the word "defense" in the definition. Thus the word/term weapon has been cast as bad and as such has no use in civilized society.

The military have weapons to protect my liberty.
The police have weapons to serve and protect.
Criminals have weapons to commit a crimes.

These may all use their "guns" as offensive tools and as such are classified as weapons.

But I, as a civilian have a gun, pistol, revolver, firearm, sidearm, Colt, Glock, Sig Sauer, CZ-75, H&K or other non-"W" description...

Every time we as responsible gun owners continue to classify our guns in the same negative light that "The Antis" do, we help to depreciate all that we do to promote responsible gun ownership and defensive open or concealed carry.

Personally, I have stopped referring to any defensive implement as the "W" word and call it what it is... a gun, missile, or sword... unless I'm referring to those who indeed have weapons as stated above.

A gun is an inanimate object that can be used in many ways. Mine will never be used offensively; therefore it will never be a "W"! The only time it may be considered a "W" (and I hope I NEVER have to experience this) is when it's used in "defense in combat" and even then only by definition.

Thank you and good night...