Having firearms especially when you are out hunting with family and friends can be exciting. But as fun, as it may be, it is very crucial to know how to handle your firearm with safety so that you do not end up compromising your safety or that of another person. There are many rules that every firearm owner should observe when it comes to gun safety.
If you have the basic firearm safety tips mastered, then you can be confident of using firearms without hurting anybody or anything around you accidentally and you can be able to commit to a more professional shooting style.
To ensure you are still able to enjoy that time out in the wilderness, on the range, or hunting for game, this post will guide you on some things you should know about gun safety.
Tip 1: Treat every firearm as loaded
For instance, if you are teaching a beginner how to hunt, your firearm will be probably unloaded. Even if you are 100 percent sure that your firearm is not loaded, it is always a very safe idea to treat every firearm as loaded.
You should never make an assumption that a firearm is not loaded. To be sure, always check the magazine, receiver, chamber to ensure that your weapon has no ammunition. Further, you should only have your firearm in the ready action position (round in the chamber) when you are out there aiming a target for target shooting.
Again, when you are handing over a firearm to another person, it is important to ensure that it is unloaded. You can also lock the bolt or the cylinder in open position such that when a person pulls the trigger, no bullet can fire.
Additionally, if you do not intend to use your firearm for some time, always ensure that it is unloaded. Many states also discourage carrying loaded guns when traveling so to comply with those rules, unload your firearm when you are moving from one point to the other.
The video below shows us a few reasons why every firearm should be treated as loaded, as well as with the utmost care and respect:
Tip 2: Ensure your muzzle points a safe direction
This is a very important tip for firearm owners and it is also a principle established early on in military training institutions. If firearm owners ensure that the muzzle points in a safe direction, there would be no gun accidents.
The next thing you need to ask is what is a safe direction? A safe direction refers to the direction in which a bullet cannot strike anybody when there is an accidental shot.
When choosing a safe direction, have in mind that a bullet can penetrate walls and ceilings and can ricochet off hard surfaces. As a general rule, you should never point the muzzle at something you do not plan to shoot. It doesn’t matter whether your firearm is loaded or not.
This is very important in cases of accidental discharge. There can be no injury if you had pointed the muzzle in a safe direction.
Tip 3: Keep fingers off the trigger
Accidents happen by unexplainable means. But there are ways in which you can prevent accidents from taking place, especially when it comes to gun safety.
With firearms, cases of accidental discharges are very common. If you leave your finger off the trigger, then there will be no chances of an accidental shooting. In the military, this is referred to as trigger discipline and is a number one gun safety rule.
For instance, if you have a pistol, there an index point where you can rest your fingers instead of the trigger. In other firearms, it is better if you remove your hand from the trigger. Again, when you want to shoot, aim and point at the target first before pulling the trigger.
I know quite a number of people can find it hard to keep the finger off the trigger because it is something they are used to. Make it a habit and with time you will always have your finger off the trigger. This is an important tip to keep in mind to avoid accidental discharges.
Tip 4: Be sure of the target and other things downrange
When you are shooting, know your target well and everything beyond the target. Before you make a shot, ensure that you know where the bullet will strike and that no one or anything else beyond the target can be injured. It is also important to note that the target doesn’t stop the bullet completely.
In some cases, the bullet can go through the target and reach other things around. Ensure there are no animals, people or anything beyond that you can potentially injure when shooting.
When you shoot, the bullet can go through the target and reach other things beyond. If you have other people you are shooting with, ensure that you stand side by side.
Tip 5: Eye and Ear Protection
When you are out for shooting, ensure that you have the right gear personal protective equipment. This means you should have proper eye and ear protection to ensure that you are safe.
Every shooter should have eyeglasses and ear protection when shooting. Shooting is associated with a lot of noise that can end up damaging your ears. Impact sound protection that regulates sound spikes are the best form of hearing protection for regular shooters to keep the loud impacts away from their ears but still enable audible communication to speak to your friends while hunting, or talk to others on the range.
Shooting glasses play a huge role in preventing springs, solvents and other particles from getting into your eyes as well as casings from other shooters that might be standing next to you.
In as much as this tip is for your own personal protection, it is very important. Shooting also becomes easier and fun when you have the right ear and eye protection.
Other Important Gun Safety Tips
- Make sure the barrel is clear of any obstruction before you shoot
- When your firearm fails to fire after pulling the trigger, handle it with care
- Do not alter your gun
- Ensure you maintain and clean your firearm frequently
- Do not leave a loaded firearm unattended
- Do not use alcohol and other drugs when using a gun because it can impair your judgment.
Owning a firearm is not enough. You need to go the extra step and know how to handle your firearm with safety. By doing this, you will reduce cases of accidental gunshots that take place.
There are many more gun safety tips out there. Do not depend entirely on your own gun safety tips. Read more to find out what you need to know about handling firearms with safety.
I believe the above tips will help you when you are out there hunting or target shooting. They are important tips for every firearm owner. Have them in mind and you will enjoy using your weapon without hurting people and things around you.
About Gloria Stokes:
Gloria Stokes is a passionate writer and editor who loves to read and write articles over weaponry and loves to travel. She has completed her weapons engineering from the Cranfield University.
Over to you…
Do you know anyone that needs to brush up on their gun safety rules? Share this post with them as a bit of safety inspiration.