The 4 Firearms Safety Rules

 

Stay safe so you don’t end up with extra holes.

There’s a lot of variations of firearm safety rules, but today we’re going off the four biggies from Colonel Jeff Cooper, the father of the Modern Technique of handgun shooting.

Colonel Jeff Cooper
Colonel Jeff Cooper

1. All guns are always loaded

The purpose of this rule is to develop safe habits.

Even if you are home and are absolutely sure your gun is unloaded, you may develop unsafe habits which creep into when you’re on the range with a loaded weapon. If you get used to swinging your gun around in your room, you might accidentally do it at the range.

Negligent Discharge
Negligent Discharge

Always check yourself to see if a firearm is really unloaded before things such as handling or transportation.

Start by removing the magazine.

Removing the Magazine
Removing the Magazine

If you’re using a semi-auto…rack the slide and lock it back so you can visually inspect the chamber.

Checking for Empty Chamber
Checking for Empty Chamber
If it’s dark or you want to REALLY be sure…do a physical inspection of the chamber with a finger.

Physical Inspection of Chamber
Physical Inspection of Chamber

Got a revolver? It’s easy to check if it’s loaded.

Empty Revolver Chambers
Empty Revolver Chambers

Even if someone says it is empty/clear…check it yourself.

2.  Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy

The muzzle is the front of the gun where the bullet exits and the keyword here is destroy. Bullets will mess up physical objects but they will truly destroy human bodies.

Common Calibers in Room
Common Calibers in Room
A great exercise is to Google “gunshot wounds” (NSFW)…I won’t post them directly here for the squeamish but it will instill an even greater sense of the possible damage bullets can do.This rule also builds off of rule number 1.

If the firearm can fire, assume it will fire, and make sure it goes off in a safe direction. This means no playful pointing at other people and also being careful of where the front of the gun “sweeps.”

K31 muzzles
K31 Muzzles

Pay special attention when you’re with friends at the range. If you’re shooting and someone talks to you…be super aware of where your muzzle is pointed.

A great exercise is to Google “gunshot wounds” (NSFW)…I won’t post them directly here for the squeamish but it will instill an even greater sense of the possible damage bullets can do.

This rule also builds off of rule number 1.

If the firearm can fire, assume it will fire, and make sure it goes off in a safe direction. This means no playful pointing at other people and also being careful of where the front of the gun “sweeps.”

K31 muzzles
K31 Muzzles

Pay special attention when you’re with friends at the range. If you’re shooting and someone talks to you…be super aware of where your muzzle is pointed.