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Manipulations and handling as a point of firearms safety.


Eric Loden
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Manipulations and handling as a point of firearms safety.

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Continuing our discussion on firearms safety, from general principles into good practices we need to understand how The Universal Safety Rules can be applied when we are handling our firearms. (Discussed in more detail in our previous article "Always start with safety."

All firearms owners should be  able to manipulate their weapons safely. This includes basic techniques such as checking the condition of a firearm, along with loading and unloading the firearm safely.  In order to prevent  a negligent discharge when simply handling the firearm every student must learn and constantly maintain good trigger finger discipline.

This is the practice of keeping your finger off the trigger and on a safe reference point on the frame, until ready to shoot. Having this trained muscle memory into your hands takes practice. If your trigger finger is straight and in line with your muzzle this also helps to maintain muzzle consciousness.  

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Other techniques that should be learned to aid with muzzle consciousness are the appropriate ways to remove and return your firearms from cases, slinging or placing a weapon on a rack, presentation from and safely returning to a holster.   

Besides loading and unloading safely, all shooters should know how to perform function and safety checks. Knowing how to inspect your firearm for damage, possible barrel obstructions, and appropriate working functionality.  

Shooters should also know how to properly identify malfunctions that may occur with their weapon, and know how to safely clear temporary stoppages, and when the issue is beyond the scope of normal malfunctions and maintenance.

The shooter should know when to take the weapon to a professionally trained gunsmith.  

Another safety rule that is not always stated but should always be followed is to never attempt to catch a falling weapon.

More about firearms safety coming soon! Future topics will include: (Click on the text to read the associated article.)

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