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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
With all the noobs and boobs running out to buy guns these days, I thought I'd go through a quick Safety Check List. These are a few things that have kept me alive and the people around me alive and un-perforated low these 58 years. In no particular order, as most all gun safety points are concurrent with each other:

* Never touch a firearm that you do not intend to hold with confidence and authority. By that I mean that when handling firearms a person should have control of the weapon. It's not going to bite and it must be held so that it will be under your complete control.

* Never point or allow the muzzle to sweep anything you do not intend to put a hole in. Guns are relatively simple in this regard. The bullet comes out of the muzzle and travels in a, more or less for all intents and purposes, straight line until something stops it. It's just physics, not magic.

* Upon taking a weapon into your possession and keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, open and lock open the action, clearing the chamber and magazine. If the magazine is detachable, drop it. If the magazine is integral, clear it in the prescribed manner for the particular make and model.

* Check the chamber again.

* At no time, cleared or not is it ever acceptable to cause or allow the muzzle to cover another person or something you do not want to perforate.

* Do not touch the trigger. Of all the gizmos on any gun the one thing that will invariably set in motion the mechanism for causing a discharge is to touch the trigger. That's what it's there for and unless your intent is to set those mechanisms in motion, DO NOT TOUCH IT.

* In crowded areas, like gun shows, there is absolutely no reason what so ever to aim a firearm at anything other than the floor. If you do, you will at some point cause or allow the muzzle to cover something that doesn't need to have a hole in it. Obviously fit and feel are important. A gun show is not the place to figure this out.

* Firearms are equipped with safeties. They are not to be trusted. A firearm "On Safe" is not "Safe" unless all other safety precautions are followed.
note: In my experience, I have seen two rifles discharge upon clicking the safety off. I
was holding one of them in my hands and was standing next to the fellow using his
rifle while hunting on the other one. Both of them were sporterized Mauser 98s
with Bueller safeties. Both were, coincidentally 25-06s, one with a set trigger and
the other with a Timney trigger. My friend was ready to take a shot at a buck and
flipped the safety off, the rifle fired. I was unloading my rifle upon returning to my
after hunting and flipped the safety off to open the bolt and it discharged at that
time. In both instances the bullet caused no damage because the muzzle was
pointed in a safe direction.

* If I follow the procedures described above in clearing a weapon and hand it to you, I expect you to do the same. If you hand me a weapon, I am going to clear it as well. No matter how many times you and I stand there and hand a weapon back and forth, my expectation is that it will be cleared each time it changes hands. If I clear a weapon, set it down and come back to it in 5 minutes, I check and clear it again.

* There are no good excuses for lapses in gun safety, only excuses.

* There are some firearms that lend themselves to safety more than others. Double barrel and break open shotguns simple break the action open. Double action revolvers (most), swing the cylinder open. There are others that by their design require more care and attention. Single action revolvers (older models) require loading at half cock, going to full cock and then de-cocking. Most Semi-autos require cocking and de-cocking. Lever, pump, semi-auto and some bolt action rifles and shotguns (without detachable magazines) require cycling the rounds through the action to unload. Extra care and attention must be exercised when doing this to keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Many times people become more concerned with where the cycled rounds are falling than where their muzzle is pointed.

* The statement "it's unloaded" is grounds for an asswhoopin if the muzzle covers me.

* When I clear a break open firearm I look through the barrels. Semi-autos and pumps with detachable magazines I clear by dropping the magazine, opening the action and both looking at and sticking my little finger in the chamber, and unloading the magazine until I can touch the follower. Semi_autos, pumps and lever actions I cycle to clear all rounds, look at and stick my little finger in the chamber and look to make sure I can see the follower in a tubular magazine. Double action revolvers the cylinder is unloaded and checked and single action revolvers are clicked and rotated 13 times after clearing all rounds from the cylinder. That means I have looked at each chamber twice and one of them 3 times. After doing this the firearm is handled and treated as if it were fully loaded.

* Before hunting with or firing any firearm and after having cleared the weapon to the best of my ability, I open (or remove) the bolt and check the bore to be sure it is clear of any obstructions. On nearly all but bolt actions and break open actions this process requires looking down the bore from the muzzle. I feel that checking the bore is a necessary part of gun safety and there is simply no other way to accomplish the check. It is done ONLY after clearing the weapon and double checking that clear.

* Crossing fences with a loaded firearm is inexcusable. The firearm should have the action cleared and laid flat on the ground on the opposite side of the fence. It should never be leaned against the fence or held while crossing. Firearms should never be leaned against a tree or vehicle in an upright position. Any time a firearm is not in your direct control it should be unloaded.

* Entering or exiting a hunting blind should ONLY be done with an unloaded firearm.

* A firearm should be cased ONLY after it has been cleared completely.

*Obviously, there are instances when firearms are loaded and ready to fire. In concealed carry situations, having an unloaded gun is about like having no gun at all. Extreme care and attention should be maintained in these situations. The fully loaded gun should be treated exactly like an unloaded gun (except for the checking the bore part).



I'm quite sure there are more rules. Feel free to add to or amend any that I have written. Perhaps Newbies reading this will learn something and the experienced will be reminded. We all need reminding from time to time. I never lose the opportunity to point out the damage done by hunting bullets to animals killed. I point out that bullets have no conscience and they do the same damage regardless of what flesh and bone they encounter.

Alan
 

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Don't mix exlax and sleeping pills. Nothing to do with guns just good advice.
 

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You about covered the safety part but I have a Remington 25-06 I have had for years and I love but it has discharged twice when coming off safety. Once when I was going to take a shot at a deer, I clicked off safety and it fired. I don`t know who was surprised the most, me or the deer. Second time muzzle was pointed down and it discharged in the ground. I had 2 different gunsmiths look at it to no avail. I am VERY careful when I take it out now. I`m VERY careful around firearms anyway but I don`t trust it so it stays in the safe a lot. I hate it too cause I love that round.
 

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"You talkin to me?"
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looks like a good sticky to me,, good job very detailed and to the point
 

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Older Remington model 700s have the same safety issuses. Its a well documented problem and there is even a fix available through Remington. There is a movie about it called (Remington under fire). The Taurus 24/7 is also able to fire upon being dropped. Complacency with firearms leads to accidents.
 

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Ruler of Ramnation
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Each and every year I see the headlines where a hunter or his buddy pulled out the rifle from behind the truck seat and shot himself or his buddy.
Safety is between your ears. Has nothing to do with guns. Guns are mechanical devices. I've seen guys get their fingers cut off around industrial equipment. Again....safety is knowing what you're dealing with. Nothing more and nothing less. Most of the time...education is key to avoiding accidents. Unless you're under a corporate policy for training....this means it's left up to you to decide what is safe and what is not.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, but I didn't make it up. It's tried and true principles of Gun safety. Some of it I learned by watching and learning with the eyes and ears on the front and sides of my head and some of it I learned by my Dad tapping it none-to-gently into the back of my head. I didn't go into actually shooting or range rules.

Alan
 

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Ruler of Ramnation
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Thanks, but I didn't make it up. It's tried and true principles of Gun safety. Some of it I learned by watching and learning with the eyes and ears on the front and sides of my head and some of it I learned by my Dad tapping it none-to-gently into the back of my head. I didn't go into actually shooting or range rules.

Alan
Actually....all of that sounds kinda dangerous, and lacking in many ways....even if you can't spell or write English well. This is exactly what the government wants and is looking for. Any reason you might not be fit to own a gun. How do we sway their decisions now?
Keep talking.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, Mr. Rod's comments not withstanding......... I'll continue.


* Public and Private Range rules speak for themselves. Either follow them (whatever they are) or you'll be asked to leave. They are in place to create the safest shooting environment possible. Sometimes they may seem unreasonable or overly cautious but there is probably a reason for that.

At our little, very private shooting range we follow a few very simple rules.

* Never touch a firearm if anyone or anything (dogs, etc.) are in front of a line perpendicular to the shooter. There was once a fellow who got tired of walking down to the 100 yard target so he said he would just stand off in the brush while we shot and he would check the targets. I don't think he ever did understand my reaction to that suggestion. I stopped just short of calling him stupid in front of his sons. He doesn't come around any more.

* One loaded firearm and one shooter on the firing line at a time. Not hard to do. One time and just one time I deviated from this rule. There was a discussion about volume of fire vs. aimed fire. Myself, my three sons and one friend stood abreast and shot. I shot an SKS as did two sons, the friend shot an AR (20 rnd mag), one son shot an SKS with 30 rnd mag. The rule was to shoot as fast as possible at the target 50 yards away. 80 rounds later we checked the target. Two shots had hit the perp and they were superficial wounds at best. Then I had one of them signal me to shoot with my 94 Winchester. I had 2 seconds to shoulder the rifle, aim and fire. I may have gotten lucky but I made my point with a dead center shot. I use this example to dispel the notion that High Capacity Magazines or Semi-Auto rifles are more dangerous than any other weapon.

* Hang fires or misfires. I hate em. In a rifle the prescribed method of dealing with them is to wait 30 seconds and eject the round. The first reaction is to pick it up and look at the primer. You have to overcome this first reaction. If the round ignites out side of a chamber it will be relatively harmless as the case will go backwards and the bullet will likely not move much at all. If, on the other hand, you happen to be holding it and looking at the primer and it ignites, might get hit in the face as physics takes its course. I spot them and leave them lay for several minutes. After a few minutes I will give them another try. They normally fire but if they don't I follow the same procedure and them throw them as far as I can into the brush. I have had very few hang fires and not very many more misfires but it's good to know what to do.

I am really concerned when I have a misfire in a revolver though. On a single action revolver, no matter what you do after the misfire the cylinder is going to rotate out of line with the bore. I don't know what would happen if a cylinder fired out of line with the bore but I know it can't be good. Even on a double action like a Smith or a Colt you still have to swing the cylinder open and at that time and until you can get it ejected it is contained in the cylinder. Recently I had this occur on a new to me revolver. I was not getting a good strike and the primers were not igniting. In those situations I always eject right away and do not continue shooting while the misfire is in the cylinder.


Gotta go. To be continued.

Alan
 

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Jesus Saves
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More than excellent advice! Thank you for sharing this. I am one of those noobs who just received my XDM 2 days ago and will definitely read and re-read your post. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It is certainly not the end all of advice but it will do for starters. Probably the most important thing to remember at all times is that no matter what, once sent on it's way, a bullet cannot be called back. There is no "do over". Everything up to that point is within your control.

Alan
 

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Absolutely great post. Gun SAFETY above all else. If you don't intend to kill it, don't point a gun at it.
 

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Very useful information this is. I know 3 rules for firearm safety. Can anyone tell me is this right or not?



  1. Always point the muzzle in a safe direction
  2. Keep your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.
  3. Keep the action open and the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it.
 

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My dad gave me my first BB gun when I was probably about 9 and had died a few years later when he just started to introduce me to real guns. I've been kind of left to learn about guns on my own since no one I know was into guns the way I was, but I can say that I am incredibly thankful to the fact that the one thing he did teach me well before he died was the most important thing - gun safety. I've always been the safest and most conscientious around guns out of everyone I knew and its just something that just comes naturally and intuitively after a while. I'm amazed at how may people who are 20+ years older than me who are working behind the counter at gun shops and at ranges that don't follow some of the rules you mentioned. Just a couple experiences of mine:

- I was checking our AR15's at a local shop and the guy behind the counter was sweeping me with the barrels as he was handing them to me. He was also missing a pinky, but I'm not going to jump to conclusions

- I remember I was at the range years ago and this older man had, I assume, his son with him who was probably about 5 or 6 and first of all, the guy was breaking the rules of the range by wearing ear plugs rather than muffs, but then stopped paying attention to his son, who was holding the rifle and unintentionally started pointing it directly at someone else's back. One of the workers at the range had to go in and chew him out, but then a little bit later, his son had the rifle in his hands and was letting it point sideways down the range at everyone. Its unbelievable, its morons like this (the father, not the kid) why some ranges have such strict rules that can ruin the fun of shooting.

Aside from these things that I remember specifically, I always observe behaviors that are unsafe in some way wherever I go. Its weird, it seems like something that is so simple to me, and I'm sure to a lot of people, but yet so many people disobey so many of the rules you mentioned, which leads me to believe that it must be a skill. So if you can't master this fundamental skill first, you have no business shooting.
 

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One thing I wish people would pay more attention to at the range is the tendency to point the gun sideways when racking the slide or checking the chamber. It's very instinctive - you're facing down the range, so you naturally turn the gun sideways to examine it. It's pointed away from the person handling the gun... but it's also pointed directly at the people in the next station.

This scares the crap out of me, because most of the time I don't notice what's going on in the station next to me. At most ranges, the walls are opaque so that you can't even see what is going on. You're really dependent on good range officers watching for that sort of thing.
 
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