How to use your firearm safely? Learn four “safety first” rules

It is said that, once a year, every weapon shoots by itself. While it is just a trivial saying, it still reminds about one thing – when it comes to firearms, it is never fully safe. Regarding those, that want to try their best at shooting range or learn to shoot with instructor, “safety first” rules were created, to ensure their well-being. Those four simple rules read:

a) Treat every weapon as if it were loaded

According to rule stated in the first sentence of this article, every weapon should be treated as if it were loaded by someone else. What does it mean? First and foremost, while being transported, weapon should always be contained in appropriate case or holder. It should be unpacked on the shooting range in the right spot, not before. It is forbidden to draw it for fun or to showcase. For the same reason you cannot simply point it at another person, animal or object in general. For such kind of entertainment you should try paintball, not a professional shooting range. 

Another connected safety rules forbids looking inside barrel, sticking fingers into it or place any items inside.

b) Never point your weapon at anything you don't intend to shoot

In every moment of your visit on the shooting range, your weapon should be pointed at the safe place. It does not only concern shooting itself, but also proper holstering or cleaning. Target is considered a safe place for the purpose of that rule, but it should be specified by the instructor.

c) Always keep your eyes open for the surroundings

Every shooting person should be observing his or hers surroundings. Obviously, instructor should be listened and obeyed in terms of safety, guarantying that every shot is safe and sound, after proper signals is given. However, reality can be surprising. It is always a chance, that something unexpected may happen in the meantime. That’s why it is worth remembering that not shooting while it is safe is better that to fire while that may cause a disaster. Therefore, when you’ll notice anything out of order or simply worrying, no matter how far from you it is, immediately inform your instructor.

d) Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you intend to fire.

It is worth remembering that it is very close from putting your finger on the trigger to the shot itself. That’s why you have to keep your fingers off the trigger until we intend to fire. In practice, when you are still unexperienced in shooting, an “five seconds rule” should be applied. It states that your finger should lay on the trigger for exactly five seconds: two before the shot, one during it and two after. It is also important to place your fingers that way, so you won’t incidentally slide them on trigger – it is one of simplest way to cause an accident.

What else should you know?

The single most important person on the shooting range is it’s instructor. For all the time you’ll be spending there, you should absolutely listen to what he has to say and obey every given order. It is him, who decides about starting and ending your shooting session. If there is a “stop” commend given, you should stop shooting. As simple as that.

You should also go to him with any concern or questions. It is important to understand his orders well and know exactly what to do in given situation. You should keep him informed in case of any suspicious or extraordinary situation. There is yet another rule: on the shooting range, extra caution is always better than lack of it.