The Fundamentals Of Gun Safety

We’ve had a few gun articles here on ROK and, while I intend for more, it’s time to talk some firearms safety. Operating a firearm can and should be an enjoyable experience and, while it should be detrimental to your target, be that a piece of paper, reactive target, game animal, or even another person in a self defense scenario, you should strive to make sure you and those with you aren’t injured.

The primary movers in the world of US organized shooting are the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) and they both have their safety rules with some overlap. The NRA’s Three Rules are universally recognized and are a good start to the discussion.

The Three Rules

1. Always Keep The Muzzle In A Safe Direction

Downrange would be to our right, presumably.

This rule is the primary rule of gun safety; if it is never pointed at anyone, it can’t hit them, no matter if all other rules are broken. If you’re on a gun range, a safe direction is downrange, and either up, or down, or both, depending on the range’s rules. If you’re carrying a rifle or a pistol around, it’s the same; down or up.

When I travel, I like to point the gun away from me in the car, and I sit it down facing away from me in the hotel. You shouldn’t walk in front of a gun you are not sure is unloaded when it’s lying there, and you definitely should never wave the muzzle around, causing it to point at people. When done in a wide arc, it’s called “sweeping” and is very poor form that will get you asked to go home.

It’s a seriously important rule that is number one in the NRA and CMP books. This is an inversion of the second of the classic 4 Laws of Gun Safety that says “never point the gun at something you are not willing to destroy.”

2. Always Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Ready To Shoot

This is rule two for the NRA, three for the CMP, and four for the Classic Laws. Ever see the video of someone re-holstering a Glock with their finger in the trigger guard, or carrying it Mexican-carry and grabbing at it if it gets loose a la Plaxico Burress? They shoot themselves, and, if anything is more embarrassing than someone else shooting you, it’s shooting yourself.

No holster, safety off, finger on trigger; this guy could seriously earn himself a second ass crack here.

When handling a gun, you should never have your finger inside the trigger guard unless you mean to be firing, or possibly firing, immediately. If you’re building your firing position and getting your natural point of aim on the firing line, have your finger on the trigger. If you’re going to dry fire a gun, check that it is clear, double check it is in a safe direction, then apply your finger to the trigger. If you’re holding someone at gunpoint, keep the gun on him, put your finger on the trigger, and watch his hands for sudden movements.

Good trigger awareness on a 3″ 1911.

The rest of the time, keep your booger hook off the bang switch, and this goes double for any photography of you with weapons. As an aside, in today’s day and age, I don’t recommend being in photos, especially on social media, with guns, due to PC cultures and SJWs.

3. Always Keep The Gun Unloaded Until Ready To Use

This is rule 3 for the NRA, and an inversion of the first of the Classic Laws “the gun is always loaded.” An unloaded gun is a safe gun, because all that will happen with an accidental firing is a dry-fire, instead of a discharge.

Obviously, leave your home protection and carry guns loaded, and load when appropriate while hunting and at the range, but, otherwise, treat the gun with the same respect due a loaded gun.

Rifles on a firing line. Unloaded, bolts locked back, chamber flags in, safeties on, pointed downrange.

Other Rules And Guidelines

  • Be sure of your target and what is behind it. This is the third of the Classic Laws.
  • Use an empty chamber indicator. This is the CMP Rule 2, and means to use a chamber flag on an open action to show it’s locked open when not being fired on a firing line.
  • Use hearing and eye protection. Good plugs, or muffs (or even both) and safety glasses or side shields on eye glasses are always recommended. Obviously, in case of hostile action, you may not have time.
  • Know how to operate the gun. Read the damn manual, and make sure it is in a functional condition that is safe to use, as in not filthy or dirty.
  • Use the correct ammo. Use ammo that is the correct caliber or type for the gun, and that isn’t too powerful. Use commercial ammo, unless they’re your reloads and you know what you’re doing (or reloads from someone you trust that knows what they’re doing).
  • Don’t drink or use drugs prior to shooting. Put this up with “driving or operating heavy machinery.”
  • Store guns safely and securely. Unloaded, clean, and locked up.
  • Use a good holster that covers the trigger and the safety (if applicable.) Remember Stranahan’s first law of concealed carry.
  • Don’t shoot something that will ricochet the round back at you. Steel targets that can’t swing will do this. Be sure to be at minimum safe range for steel, as well, which is usually 25 yards for pistol and 100 yards for rifles.


I’ll cover a few common places and scenarios of gun use here for your reference.

Gun Ranges

Everything is copacetic except the guy behind the camera is downrange on a hot range.

Best thing to do is read the rules of the range (they should be posted) and follow them. Do all the above rules, and observe the hot-cold nature of the firing line. Typically, a firing line is “hot” and you can handle, load, and shoot your guns downrange at your target, but not GO downrange. The opposite state is “cold” and the guns are rendered safe and are not handled during this time (some ranges vary a bit on the degree of what is handling). You can go post your targets during this time.

The polite thing to do is show up, wait till people are done with shooting their strings, and inquire if you might go downrange. Get agreement from all, and declare it cold and go. Once everyone is back, you can go hot, usually by saying “Going hot!” or something similar. The range is then hot until declared cold, and you don’t have to yell “going hot!” before each mag like some idiots. Also, “fire in the hole!” means you’re throwing a grenade, not opening fire, so don’t yell that either. Hell, I need a “how to use a gun range article” to go into this further, stay tuned.

Some pistol ranges have target runners, and you always stay behind the line. These ranges are always “hot.”

Indoor range with firing line rail and target runner systems.

Gun Shows And Stores

Don’t sweep people. Seriously, that’s the number one thing by far. Keep your finger away from the trigger and trigger guard. Ask to handle guns if you want to pick one up, and ask before you rack it, and especially before you dry fire it.

Some guns can be damaged by manually lowering the hammer, like a 1911 pistol, if you don’t know what you’re doing, so if you’re not sure what to do, just ask the guy. No one minds ignorance; people mind you doing the wrong thing when you assumed you knew what you were doing and didn’t.

If she’s not sweeping someone, I’d be surprised, and that pump 12 would put her on her can anyway.


It’s generally a good idea to not have a round in the chamber during periods of complex movement, like getting into and out of a tree stand, even though the commonly available ladder stands and climbers of today are much easier than the “climb a bunch of railroad spikes and sit on a 2×6 in the fork of an oak” stands of yesteryear. Sometimes it’s even better to lift the rifle up after you on a rope, then lower it down when done as opposed to slung over your back, depending on your age, agility, and the tree stand in question.

In a vehicle, it’s usually a good idea to completely unload if you’re going to be casing the gun. If you’re riding shotgun (which is where the term comes from), and driving around looking for game, keep the gun ready, pointed at the floorboard, and you can make the call between an empty chamber, or chambered with the safety on, depending on your needs. Don’t roll up to the local McDonald’s like that after the hunt, however.


Gun safety can be summed up with: Don’t be an idiot, and don’t be a clown. Most unintentional gun injuries occur when someone is forgetful, acting deliberately casual to look cool, or showing off. If you want to show off, hit the bull’s-eye and don’t say much, as that will be enough in itself.

Read More: A Beginner’s Guide To Carrying A Handgun

116 thoughts on “The Fundamentals Of Gun Safety”

  1. I always thought the first rule was “Treat all guns like they are loaded.”
    Edit: Oops, I missed that part in point 3.

    1. That’s more of a first principle. In practice, “treat all guns like they are loaded” means never pointing it at anything you’re not willing to destroy (rule 1) and keeping your finger off the trigger (rule 2).

  2. As an instructor who has trained over 1000 students, I can say this is a good article.
    The most important thing to know is how to unload a gun properly. Every accident I have heard of regarding NEGLIGENT discharge, (we do not call it “accidental” any more) was based on thinking the gun was not loaded.
    You must ensure the ammo delivery system, magazine, cylinder, clip, etc. is removed. And equally important: make sure the chamber is empty! The number one killer is thinking the chamber is empty when it’s not. You MUST actually look into that chamber and make sure you don’t see a cartridge in it. Extractors and ejectors will fail when dirty. So just “racking the slide” is not enough and I catch people doing that all of the time. I have seen pictures of people who died so fast from shooting themselves they didn’t even uncross their legs to get up and run around for a second before bleeding out, all because they thought the chamber was empty.
    Some chambers are “deep” and sometimes you use dark colored ammo. So what. Did you feel all tactical and buy one of those little flashlights with the button on the ass end? Good! Use that when you check your chamber.
    Clearing procedure:
    Remove ammo
    Rack slide a few times if applicable
    LOOK INTO THE CHAMBER FROM THE EJECTION PORT (not the business end of the barrel please – don’t be a retard)
    DRY FIRE the gun downrange (read: at the backstop or target).
    Firearm is now cleared, contain it. If it was not cleared, it MIGHT go bang. (yes a dirty gun does a “light hit” sometimes but it could fire again this is why you look into the chamber)
    Next safety tip, and this is a huge zinger:
    Even in a “non firing” environment, like gun shows, gun stores, etc., when handed a weapon CLEAR IT. Part 2 of “accidents happening because idiots thought it was not loaded” is people being handed a gun and making assumptions. A neighbor earned a hole in his wall from that last year. He took the blame for the shotgun being loaded, understandably, but the woman it was handed to just went and pulled the trigger. And I asked “who the fuck just get handed a gun and just pulls the trigger like a retard?”
    There are also no shortages of stories of guns off the shelf in gun stores having a live round in the chamber.
    So whenever handed a gun that is outside of the environment of “in the process of being fired”, CLEAR IT. No exceptions.
    This advice will save your life. Do you want to get hit in a leg artery and bleed to death in 90 seconds? Do you want to get hit in the spine and be stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of your life? No? Good. Check those chambers.

    1. “Some chambers are “deep” and sometimes you use dark colored ammo.”
      I love deep chambers because I use big white ammo.
      I just had too….

    2. Just throwing this out there for anyone who might be new, but would recommend spending time with an instructor or someone with lots of experience on firing ranges (military/police). If you do not know anyone, call the local sheriffs department and ask them about recommendations for a certified instructor. Not only will this help with learning the essentials of basic marksmanship, but you develop a solid (safe) weapon handling behavior that will become instinctual in the future.

      1. “experience on firing ranges (military/police). If you do not know anyone, call the local sheriffs department and ask them about recommendations for a certified instructor”
        Military and police, and even sherrifs will become almost impossible to find any of them to want to help you out. Reason being: coming civil war, and the police and military are detaching themselves from the civilian world to prepare to do whatever is mandated by the elites.

        1. Your post: “…Almost…coming..detaching..prepare…mandated…”
          I only know what I know and my “people.” We are prepared, spirtually, morally and physcially. We have no fear. We pray for the rest of you.

    3. This is good advice. I’ve seen rounds go off at hunting camps when a shotgun fell of a truck or a trigger got snagged on a branch. All after the guy thought it was clear because “of course the chamber is always clear”.
      More and more I have noticed gun stores (at least around here) have been handing customers guns from the counter that have trigger locks. (They will remove them upon request). I am a big fan of this. Most stores don’t like you dry firing the guns anyhow so why not put on a simple trigger lock when just showing guns to people who might not have safety first in mind.

    4. Funny. This should be simple and obvious but for some people, it isn’t.
      Famous last words: “I’m sure its fine…”

  3. Ugh, sweeping is the worst! Go into any sportsmans store and its like being in front of a firing line.
    Any advice on dealing with pretentious asshole gun shop employees?

    1. None of them will rebuke safety. That is, they won’t risk of reputation of being known as a place where people can walk in and be told they have to accept having guns pointed at them.
      Let them know it’s unacceptable. If you catch them not checking the weapon when they pull it from the rack (and even if you see them do it, YOU check it when handed to you), call them out on that too.
      In the end, the best way to deal with them is to go somewhere else. Let their boss know why.

    2. Speak to the manager immediately. If they offer excuses, contact the regional manager. Let them know that safety is one thing you never, ever, fuck around with when it comes to firearms.
      At least the stores in my area have a strict always point at the rack behind them policy.

    3. Not to pile on, but the best gun stores I have been always had a clay pigeon, duck, etc.. in a roof corner of the store. Clerk always pointed it out when someone wanted to get a site picture.

    4. Call them on it; period. I had to school a Cabela’s employee and a father when they handed a ten year old boy a Ruger 10 22 and he proceeded to sweep it right towards me. I caught the barrel, pulled the rifle from the kids hands and let both the employee and father have it.
      Then I calmly taught the boy that you NEVER point a firearm, even if you think it is unloaded, in the direction of people. Next day Cabelas had a sign up stating the same for folks that think firearms are toys.

      1. You really do like getting into other people’s business don’t you?
        At most gun stores around here if a customer were to physically grab a gun from another customer that would have probably got you drawn on by a store employee at the least and probably proned out. If you are reading this. NEVER EVER do that. It is a good way to get yourself shot.
        If you are in a store and see poor firearm handling tell an employee. If it is an employee allowing it to happen then tell the manager. If it bugs you too much then just leave and find another gun store.

        1. This was close enough to have the barrel nearly strike me in the face. That isn’t getting into someone else’s business, that is dealing with an unsafe situation. Get over yourself, I don’t care what your personal firearm preferences are.

        2. Yes it is getting into someone else’s business and it isn’t correcting a safe it is creating an unsafe one. You never touch a gun unless a store employee hands it to you or you are the member of the party. I have worked in gun stores and if I saw a grown man grab any gun, especially from a child, you can bet I am going to draw on him and assume he is going to be stealing that gun.
          Folks out there NEVER EVER do that.

        3. John, you a sensitive one. Someone comments somewhere else and you’re on a mission. Funny, the staff at Cabela’s were profusely apologizing to me. You’re entitled to your opinion, nonetheless.

        4. No I am more concerned about people thinking that was responsible behavior being excused under the guise of “safety”. It was wholly irresponsible. And people reading this should NEVER EVER do something like that. You are giving horrible advice and couching it as “safety” that is dangerous stuff.

    5. There’s a few different types of gun shops, might be worth an article. Thanks for the idea.

      1. I only go to independent gun shops. “Big box” ones may have the occasional steal, but that is about it. Their margins are a lot higher then your neighborhood gun store. Plus if you ever have a problem there is a guy that can fix it and they will rarely charge you for the fix if you bought it from them (don’t need a warranty when the local guy stands behind his product). Plus the guys at the independent family owned stores know what they are talking about. The guy behind the counter is probably not a shooter and has never shot the product he is selling you.

  4. Very good article. Heres my rules that i enforce with clients at my ranch.
    1. Treat every gun as if it is loaded. Seriously, adopt the mentality that all guns are always loaded at all damn times. The most dangerous people to be around are the ones that say “at my property all guns must remain unloaded”. Cause then 2 other guys start saying the same shit and after hearing the words safe and unloaded 50 times, people become complacent and assume that all guns are unloaded at the property.
    2. Finger off the trigger at all times. Dont touch the trigger untill you have made the decision to shoot. I do combat drills and 3 gun drills with guns. I run and shoot for fun. I never touch the trigger until the instant i decide to shoot. People trip and fall all the time. Dont have a finger on the trigger. If you accidentally drop your gun, dont try to catch it. Let it hit the ground and then pick it up.
    3. Dont point a gun at anyting you are not willing to destroy. Pretend a plasma laser sci-fi beam of death is always projecting out your gun barrel. Dont let that beam cross any person, animal, ect.
    4. Know your target, what is behind the target, and what is in front of the target. Ive seen guys take shots at a target 20 yards away and the bullet bounced of the ground and hit shit on a road 300 yards down range. On a hot summer day during a drought, those bullets love to bounce around.
    5. If you drink, limit yourself to no more than 2 beers. Everyone that says drinking and guns dont mix is a pussy. A beer complements a range day just as good as it complements a steak at a fine restaurant. Just be a responsible man.

    1. I don’t think you can emphasize number one enough. All guns are always loaded. Repeat til it sinks in.

    2. The police should be taught number 4. Remember when they shot that guy in NYC… and shot 11 other people?

    1. I DID notice that. Google image search turns up random things. I wanted “indoor pistol range.” 🙂

    1. I’d have shot his @$$ the minute he picked it up and waved it around. Strictly out of self defense.

        1. Actually, I wouldn’t have been there with retards, alcohol and a firearm. As if this dummy was going to listen to anyone saying, “Dude, put the gun down.”

        2. Well he probably wouldn’t have understood you since he is Russian. Plus isn’t your “gun safety” plan is just to grab guns from random people who you think aren’t using them properly? Basically if you are reading this guy’s comments just don’t do anything he says.

        3. You were the guy who couldn’t take a joke. And please stop giving horrible gun safety “advice”. It is actually dangerous, like really dangerous. That is the only reason I responded to your stupid “advice” to grab guns from customers who are using them correctly was absolutely insane and horrible…

        4. John, there was no joke. I shared my experience. You, on the other hand, are sharing to carry an unloaded gun concealed (IWB or OWB, take your pick). IF you are ever in a situation where your life or the life of someone you love is immediately threatened by a person with a gun, you are going to get people killed. Having to take the time to chamber a round will be enough time for an aggressor to shoot both you and your loved one as you are making your intent clear by drawing a pistol.
          I brought up that your firearm has multiple safety devices to prevent that and that the only way they fire is to pull the trigger. And I pointed out that DA striker fired firearms take a LOT of pressure (usually around 11 lbs) to “accidentally” fire. Your Glock also has a trigger safety to defeat a bad draw unless your finger is on the trigger. You took that personally and stated you wouldn’t take the chance of accidentally shooting someone due to a “bad gun draw”. Used the “what about the children” argument for added impact.
          Doing so in your own home is circumspect, as you will not be in a split second situation and will have time to chamber a round. Most folks, I hope, will hear someone entering their home. Sure, keep it unchambered at home then. But if you have friends who you think will play with your handguns, then it really won’t matter, will it?
          Most striker fired pistol owners do not even like some of the newer handguns that have a manual safety (Ruger SR series and some H&K) for the very reason of having to operate the safety in a life and death situation. And having to pull out a pistol to resolve a problem had better be a life and death situation.
          In short, you carry for show as there is no way you have trained to draw, operate the slide and fire before being shot. So, who is giving bad advice?

        5. So grabbing a gun out of someone’s hand in a gun store is not bad advice?
          Carrying without one in the chamber is common. Ask around and you will hear many people tell you tell same.
          Also one doesn’t carry IWB (obviously concealed) to feel like a “man”. What someone does do is put non-sense comments about guns on the internet to do so.
          If my life is literally the difference of me racking a slide or pulling the trigger then at least it is my life and my decision ended it. You can’t say the same about an accidental discharge.
          Play with your guns as you see fit. Ignore safety and shake around your bravado if you see fit. Just stop acting like you are the sole authority on the matter. Also stop giving horrible advice like grabbing guns out of people’s hands at stores. If anything is likely to get you shot it is not an accidental discharge it is doing something like that.

    2. I think my favorite one is when the African soldiers give a monkey (or some simian) an AK47.

  5. I don’t live with children so I keep my home defense firearms loaded and several around the house, but NEVER one in the pipe. I figure if someone can come up on me so quickly I can’t rack a slide or pump the shotgun well then they deserve taking whatever they want from my house because of their skill and mastery of stealth.
    When I carry I will rarely ever have one in the pipe either. That is mostly because I carry Glocks and there is no safety. Again, I don’t know what kind of situation I might be in where I wouldn’t have a few seconds to rack the slide. Also, it doesn’t have a safety.
    I like the range tips. There is always that one a**hole who wants to act like he is ex special forces by yelling random military type terms without really knowing meaning then shooting a tricked out AR-15 without being able to hit paper at 50 yards. Just don’t be that guy. Like seriously don’t ever be like that guy.

    1. Glocks are striker fired but for all intents and purposes behave as a double action pistol. They take a lot more trigger pressure to fire as they actually “cock” as a part of the trigger pull. So, if I’m in a situation that I suspect I may have to use a firearm (which is whenever I conceal carry), there is a round chambered in my DA striker fired Kahr. Those firearms have multiple safety systems to prevent a round going off if you drop the firearm. But it’s cute to call a chamber “the pipe”. Try that line at the range with experienced shooters for a laugh.
      You need to read your firearm manual instead of going on here about “your Glock”. Take a training class as well; these aren’t playthings to impress people with.
      People differ with shotguns in that it is usually not going to be in a street gunfight. A lot of folks with a shotgun for home defense believe that the sound of loading the chamber with a round can serve as a deterrent to a home invader. Personally, I don’t like letting someone breaking into my home to have that advantage. Round in the chamber, safety on. You break in my home, I assume you have bad intent.

      1. Good comment. Legally, the Glock is a double action pistol. This was done so that police could carry it, as it had to be “hammer down” or the equivalent thereof. In reality, I find that the glock has a humongous take-up, then trigger pull like a stiff single action, so it’s like a half-double action. Glock triggers are fine, but not wonderful. It’s like eating a Quarter Pounder, it works great, but it’s not a sublime experience.

        1. It’s something that one gets used to. There’s a lot of take up prior to the break, but it is manageable to me. There are other striker fired handguns I greatly prefer over the Glock. The CZ-75 is one of my favorites, but my Kahr 9mm is really easy to conceal and gets carried a lot. Ruger has some nice striker action handguns these days as well as the Springfield “X” pistols.
          Luke, I’d like to see something about choice of ammunition. I know you can’t write everything about everything, but a simple note about selecting ammunition for home defense is a big deal.
          Quite often, fully jacketed handgun loads can and do go through an attacker which increases the odds you may strike a bystander. Hollow points do not. Folks who use upland game loads for shotgun home defense will find the opposite; they don’t penetrate a home invader as buckshot will. In short, buy ammunition to suit the purpose of your firearm.

        2. I believe your assessment of the Glock trigger action is right on. It isn’t great, it isn’t the worst, but it gets the job done. Glocks are not my favorite handgun but they one of the most reliable models out there.

        3. Will do, buddy. Rifle article is next; it’ll be a 2 part, then I could get into ammo in one of the upcoming ones. I try to get other topics in there as well.

        4. Great initial photograph! I own several Project Childsafe cable locks. They are on every firearm I own except those loaded for home defense. Then they go in the safe which is NEVER left open and untended. Safety is ALWAYS first and helps prevent us losing our 2nd Amendment Right to stupidity.

        5. Only pistol I’ve got right now is a Sig 40, great great gun. Double action as well, but of course single action on the first racked round. Many people probably don’t think about his but the single action first shot is very easy to make accurate. If you’re not in a flurry of bullets battle, you can always pull the hammer back manually to defeat the double action (on my gun anyways), only shot a Glock once and ran through the mag quickly..

      2. Yes I am aware how a Glock operates. I own several. I am also aware several safety features on a Glock even though it does not have a physical safety. But, if you knew anything about a Glock and even though it is very rare there are many recorded incidents of them firing when you have a round racked and load by accident. In the .00001% likelihood this might happen I still would prefer not to take the chance. Thanks for the lecture though. Would you also like to post how long your penis is too just to up the bravado a bit?
        “The pipe” is actually a commonly used term gun owners around here use as slang. Maybe it is a regional slang term that you have never heard or maybe you are just a troll.
        “Your Glock” is a phrase I never used. I was referring to the model of gun I usually CC or occasionally with OC. I don’t rack a round when I carry mostly because there is no physical safety on a Glock (yes I know there are internal ones) and I don’t want to accidentally discharge one in the very small chance my trigger gets caught on something, I do a bad pull and hit the trigger, etc. Many Glock owners will carry without a round racked. In fact most I talk to have the same practice. And yes, I carry in a proper holster either IWB or OWB and it does cover the the trigger and fits properly.
        And I didn’t say anything about the sound of racking a round being some sort of deterrent for a home invader. Again, I do it for safety reasons. I have several firearms around my house and although I don’t have them just lying out they are not exactly hidden. I would prefer that if a guest finds one and says “cool” and starts playing with it because they are not familiar with firearm safety a round doesn’t get accidentally discharged. It takes me about 1-1.5 seconds to chamber a shotgun round on a pump. Given the layout of my house and where I keep my various firearms I can’t think of a way I would not have this time before a home invader would come upon me short of an actual ambush. And in the exceptionally rare instance that I am ambushed in my own house you are probably at hand to hand at that point in time if you aren’t already completely f*ed.

        1. I hear you, but I’m not telling you how big my crank is; this isn’t a gay survey. The things you bring up about accidental discharge is why a person should train, train and then train some more with the firearm they are going to carry in public.
          Many handgun owners do not train to that point, as ammo isn’t cheap. All of these things can be practiced with “snap caps” in your home. At the range, it is good to practice drawing the firearm, acquiring target and firing. Particularly if you own a firearm for self defense; practice how you will use it. If you don’t trust yourself or your training, it is good you carry with an empty chamber for you and everyone around you.
          With shotguns you mentioned you leave them unchambered too. I don’t believe anybody told you this was good or bad. I pointed out the different philosophies some people have.
          I don’t allow guests in my home to get anywhere near the places I keep firearms. That is a matter of safety and prevention of being sued. Seems like another good topic regarding firearms.
          As for “slang” regarding firearms, I have always found a strong link between people who do that with folks that are careless with weapons. Call it my personal safety agenda.

        2. I do train and shoot a good bit. I probably go to the range at least twice a month. And I can tell you that even the most trained person can have an accidental discharge. And all that you need is one accidental discharge that hits a kid or family member and you will change your life forever. If you truly had a “personal safety agenda” I think you would understand this concept.
          I like alone and have guns strategically placed throughout the house. Again, they are just lying out, but they aren’t exactly hidden either. Most guests I have over are good friends. But having one in the chamber is always a bad idea. Plus you should really give yourself the 2-4 seconds it takes to cycle the first round to conduct a mental assessment of whether or not you need to pull the trigger. Again, on unjustified shooting is going to change your life forever.
          As for slang even most of the gunsmiths in this area use it. I have seen no strong link with the use of slang and anything. Maybe it is just a regional thing or maybe you are just making things up.
          I think you are just trying to make up for bravado with what you lack downstairs.

        3. You’re entitled to your opinions on what constitutes how you wish to handle your firearms. You are ultimately responsible for that. That’s probably the most important thing; if you’re going to own firearms you are responsible for them.
          I could care less otherwise. Like anyone else here, I share my experience. You getting offended and constantly asking these questions about my d*ck is beginning to concern me. Taking what I had to say personally is showing more about you.

        4. You were the one who made it personal by suggesting I did not know what I was talking about. And if you can’t take a joke about how you swaggered in and tried to be all macho and superior, oh well.

    2. Upon reflection, after the article got sent to editorial review, I believe “fire in the hole” is actually “I’m detonating explosives here” as opposed to “I’m throwing a grenade” although it may be for both. It is NOT “I’m about to shoot,” so I was right there.

      1. Actually, you’re right both times.
        “Fire in the hole” was likely started when firing cannon; the original (circa 13-1400) black powder cannons had a small “touch-hole” at the breech (rear) which allowed a continuous trail of powder from outside the tube to be lit (touched off) and travel to the main charge inside the tube. The phrase was likely adopted by miners when they began using explosives circa 1600.
        While it is still used by black powder shooters to indicate that live fire is commencing, it is clearly neither common knowledge nor common range usage any longer.

        1. true, then after muzzle loaded guns came the breech loaders & rifling, and everything changed dramatically.

    3. Lol. no doubt. I too keep a full mag in a pistol, but as you stated, never EVER one hot in the chamber. I’ve also become close enough with my weapons to rack the pistol, or the shot gun pump quietly enough that an intruder has no chance in hell.

  6. You think that “pump 12” would set her on her “can”? Lol, you obviously haven’t seen women handle guns.

    1. Take a closer look at the photo. And I’ll give you background that I had an aunt that farmed, hunted, fished and ran a trap line so I know women and firearms. We hunted pheasant, turkey and deer together in Iowa for decades. I got to see a lot of women get knocked on their cans thinking that it was easy because another woman was doing it. (Most end up dropping the loaded shotgun and were never allowed to touch one again.)
      Given her positioning of the stock, she won’t get knocked on her backside. What she WILL do upon firing is severely hurt her collarbone as she has the stock tucked very high and inside towards her neck. The other faulty position is to tilt her head to “post” her cheek on the stock. Shotguns are not handled in the same manner as a rifle, so this position will also become painful upon firing. She’s in a position to take a beating. Then she will sit down hard on her backside to cry. (Or drop the shotgun and risk someone else being shot.)
      But good on you for pulling on the “not ALL women” stuff. I’ll bet most of us didn’t know that.

      1. Cool story. She looks like she could handle that gun. I can handle a 12 gauge. Other girls I know that shoot can handle a 12 gauge. I’m sure there are some that can’t but it’s the fact that he thinks she wouldn’t be able to when he doesn’t even know her and makes assumptions about women and guns.

        1. I am pointing out that he may have already noticed her positioning before making the picture comment. You’re pretty defensive, aren’t you?

        2. Most of my pictures come from simple google image searches. I was looking for something to show bad sighting down a gun barrel in a crowded area, so that one got picked. I have no knowledge of the woman, but I get to assume what I like in an article I write, and my reception here is pretty good, so I must be doing something right. You’re welcome to contribute an article for review (the link is at the top of the page.)
          For what it’s worth, I teach rifle shooting in two organizations, and, speaking of that, I need to finish the rifle article people are wanting.

        3. Not sure what sighting would have to do with a gun putting “her on her can anyway” because of it being a “pump 12” but ok. And yes, but you know what they say about assuming. Oh no, better hurry on that article people are wanting, lol, like I care or something.

        4. Thanks for the extra comments, it boosts views. Sighting had nothing to do with knocking her over, the recoil would. It was two separate comments.

        5. I don’t really care about your views but that’s sad that you do. I bet you need all you can get. I don’t recall you saying anything about the recoil but I’ve witnessed the recoil of one first hand and didn’t get knocked over so it’s not that bad.

        6. You were BRUISED by a 12 gauge? See my comments above on butt stock positioning. You’re doing it wrong.

        7. Maybe, I probably just bruise easily though because my brother was there helping me position it right and have the right stance. He was in the army and knows everything about guns so if it wasn’t positioned right he would of told me but I’ll take a look at your comments.

        8. You’re cheek should be solidly in contact with the gun. Only time you get the raspberry on the cheek is from a loose facial mount on the weapon. Learned that quick from my best friend growin up, he won the world championship in his age bracket shooting trap, a true badass with a shotgun. If there is any gun a person should become one with, it’s a pump shot gun. It’s utility and reliability exceeds that of most any other weapon.
          Especially if you’ve got a longer slug barrel on the gun, there’s little you can’t accomplish with it in short order. I’d say a pistol next, then rifle after that in order. In the old west, it was common practice to carry the gatt on your side, to fight off the villains until you can get back to the home stead and finish them off with your long gun.

      2. When I first joined the Canadian military they were still using the 7.62N C1A1. During basic some of the guys were scared of the weapon so they wouldn’t pull it in tight to their shoulder and cheek. When they fired the recoil smashed them in the face. We came off the range with a few of the guys having black eyes and chipmunk cheeks.

        1. I have always been amazed at the sheer lack of actual weapons training given in boot camp in the US. I guess it’s the same in Canada. They put it in their hands and expect them to know what to do. Again, I contend that a shotgun is different, but where the butt of the stock is placed in the photo would have done damage whether a shotgun or .308.

        2. Ha, I scoped myself with my buddy’s .30-06. Hadn’t shot a rifle in years, shot using a tree branch rest, didn’t hold it tight, and had my head too far forward. Had a nice trip to the emergency room afterwards to get super glue poured into the gash above my eye.

  7. Only once did I ever have a gun unexpectedly fire on me. And it was only my 3rd time holding a weapon. I was squirrel hunting with 2 other guys and a hunting dog. I borrowed a friend’s POS single shot 12-gauge with no trigger guard, just an open trigger, and a stock that was literally the size of a BB gun rifle. Man did that fucker kick hard.
    However, I was smart enough to always have the gun pointed down, or straight up in the air. The dog treed a squirrel, we’d surrounded the tree. I lowered my loaded weapon while scanning the tree as we were in a triangle pattern around it.. just couldn’t spot the little SOB. when I lowered my gun a small dead branch from a sapling grabbed the trigger (very hair trigger, this gun was probably 80 yrs old too) and discharged the gun into the ground. I got “the look” from the other guys. Fortunately a few of the basic rules taught in gun safety courses – keep the gun pointed down or up unless aiming, and never allow the gun to align anywhere near another person – saved our asses.

    1. I gave someone “the look” once. He swore seeing the red paint ring on the safety meant SAFE (it means the opposite.) He shot the ground to prove his point. Oops.

  8. Another good point that’s rarely discussed is there are many people who idolize guns. Always have them out, playing with them for no reason except to show off or feel gangster. A brother of this dude I know was doing his usual, playin around with his gun for no reason.. not to clean, or adjust, or fire, just to have out, shot himself in the neck a month back and died.
    When we were kids my friend’s cousin and his little brother (apx. 13 yo) were told by their dad on New Years Eve to grab the shot gun to fire off a few rounds. Much like you see on the movies, the kid slid the pump forward to load it.. probably no knowing his dad kept some in the tube for home protection.. well if you have your finger on the trigger and pump it forward, it fires the gun. Poor kid shot his cousin in the neck and killed him as they both were passing through a sliding door on the way outside to celebrate NYE…<< multiple mistakes there, both on parents part as well as the kids.. but damn.

    1. To add to this, my neighbor… one of the best I’ve ever seen with a pistol, always had this fetish with cleaning guns and handling them as well. A gunsmith in his own right, and typically very, very careful with weaponry.. managed to put a .22 rifle round through his ceiling next door to me. A first for him as well. Obviously he made a big mistake, but again, point it in a safe direction always.

      1. Seriously, they can be fun, but should not be treated like toys. It annoys me when people act like guns are the coolest thing and they want one just so they can look and feel cool (the people I notice who have said this are the last people I’d want to be around with a gun lest I end up shot because is stupidity).

    2. To add to that, don’t shot guns in the air. Bullets will come down on people, animals, windshields, etc.

  9. Awesome article. Thanks for writing. Figure some if not almost all should be common sense, but you never know. Didn’t know about the hot/cold gun range rules – good to know for if or when I do own a gun and go shooting.

  10. Nice article but now you need to do another and that one is Ammunition as you need to be more specific. For Home Defense I have a shotgun I suggest low velocity tactical buckshot I fired some recently and I will tell you it does not kick and handles well.

    1. That can become a dick measuring contest and best left to the individual. Some of us are well beyond buckshot vs slug debates and may confuse new gun owners.

      1. New gun owners need to know what they should be shooting if they are going to get a gun. Remember the picture of the girl with the shotgun above, well low velocity buckshot handles very well.

  11. In case the SJW’s are too obtuse to grasp the message here, allow me to spell it out for you. Roosh is now Carrying!

  12. When I teach gun safety and shooting, I add one ALL the time (NRA certified pistol, rifle, shotgun):
    ALWAYS assume a gun is loaded AT ALL TIMES until you prove otherwise. And even if you cleared the gun and know it’s empty, if it left your sight, it MUST be treated as loaded.
    In the past, some anti-gunners have slipped into NRA classes, trying hard to ‘create’ a gun accident by slipping a cartridge into a firearm. Any time you handle a gun, clear it.

  13. Liberals talk about saving lives from gun deaths all he time. But they only talk about banning guns. They way you save lives is public sefety gun campaigns. Articles like tis one.

  14. Good article. I only take issue with one thing. Every firearm in my safe is loaded. One thing I didn’t see mentioned is never lean a gun up against something. It can fall over and it usually falls toward you. Especially when you’re climbing over a fence.

    1. You may load as you see fit, of course. I do lean guns in door frames or against trees. They should not have a round chambered when doing so.
      My grandmother told the story of how her brother came in with a rifle, set it down, they ate dinner, it fell over, went off, and nearly shot one of the other brothers. The whole family pulled out the Rosary and ran through it 9 times, one for each of them, in thanks. Working class Slovenian Catholics knew how to be grateful.

  15. Gun safety is a bit like driving. You can be as safe as houses but it only takes one idiot to ruin it for everybody.
    In this situation be like a cat. Remove yourself from the situation.

    1. Sometimes you don’t get the warning. Some things like sweeping and not keeping it downrange though, yeah, agreed. I find that having some decent class II body armor (under shirt, not really seen) is also a good investment at public pistol ranges.

  16. Chamber indicators are adult pacifiers and should be melted down. They give a false sense of security. If you pick a firearm up and the first thing you don’t do is check the chamber and put it on safe you shouldn’t be handling firearms in the first place. Also all of my firearms are loaded or magazines for them are close at hand in my safe.

    1. Yep. Always taught that first thing to do when handed a firearm is verify it’s status. Even if God were to hand you a firearm and say it’s unloaded, you check and verify. Not because you don’t trust God but because it’s a habit you must follow every time.

  17. I wanted to add another point but separate post. Do not buy pink guns for your girlfriends, wives or daughters! This drives me nuts these days. Guns are not toys, pink cammo is kind of cool but not on a gun. I see to many potential accidents happening because of this trend. I prefer my rifles flat black or slightly cammo patterns but none of this crazy cammo you see out there. The more it looks like a toy the harder it is to teach proper safety and ensure it Is utilized.

    1. Agreed. I purchased a Ruger 22/45 Lite, which has a variety of barrel shrouds, most of which are goofy and “toy” looking. I purchased the one with the vented normal brushed steel hood, opting NOT to get the cutesy blue/pink/yellow toy look. Similar line of thinking.
      Great shooting little plinker that keeps you trained for the controls of a 1911 without having to constantly pay for .45 ACP.

  18. Good article. Just a comment from this Canadian veteran – most Americans are ENTIRELY too casual about gun safety. Guns are like fire, or an attack dog, or a motor vehicle – unless you have complete command and control, it will wind up killing you or someone else.

  19. Basic rule to safety is ‘don’t do anything stupid’
    Everything else is about why folks do things that are stupid- lack of knowledge/training, rushing/laziness/mis-placed motivation etc.
    Oh, second rule of safety is ‘alcohol makes you stupid’

  20. once the white boomers are gone they will move more aggressively to cull gun rights.
    all the immigrants can’t seem to comprehend why our freedoms make us a better country. they immediately want to vote them away, fucking retards.

  21. “In a vehicle, it’s usually a good idea to completely unload if you’re going to be casing the gun. If you’re riding shotgun (which is where the term comes from), and driving around looking for game, keep the gun ready, pointed at the floorboard, and you can make the call between an empty chamber, or chambered with the safety on, depending on your needs”
    Running around with a loaded gun ( chambered or not ) in the vehicle -while hunting- will get you an automatic loss of hunting privileges for one year ; if caught. At least in all of the states I hunt in here in the East

    1. Must be the North East. Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina don’t give two shits what you do on your own property with a firearm, in a vehicle or not. Hunting isn’t a privilege.

  22. We teach crossing the street, sex ed and drivers ed. Why is gun safety not something you learn in middle school?

    1. When I went to school we did learn gun safety. There was even a .22 range in the basement and the school had a rifle team. If you were over 16 you would even bring your own rifle (ammo was supplied by coaches though). This wasn’t the 60’s either. This was the 80’s. The gun range went with renovations in the 90’s and the rifle team lasted until the early 2000’s (dismantled because of Columbine of course).

  23. THIS IS MY RIFLE THIS IS MY GUN THIS IS FOR FIGHTING THIS IS FOR FUN!!!!!!!!! And I’d love to have fun with Roosh.

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