How To Use a Gun Safely and Correctly

father teaching his kid daughter on shooting a gun

Did you know that there were nearly 500 accidental and preventable gun-related deaths in 2018 in the United States? This represents approximately 1% of the total number of deaths related to guns in the same year. 

Owning and operating a gun is a great responsibility. People who want to get in possession of a gun should take a gun safety course and learn how to handle one correctly. Whether you own a small handgun or a large sniper rifle, keep reading to find out the golden rules of firearms safety and correct handling.

Always Point the Gun in a Safe Direction

Whether the gun is loaded or unloaded, you should make a habit to point it in a safe direction. This usually means away from you and away from others. If you are walking and carrying a heavy gun, point it to the Earth for safety purposes.

If you need to put the gun on a table, make sure that it always points away from people or animals. This is the most important rule of safe gun handling and it will prevent accidents and injuries that could be fatal.

Check What's Behind the Target as Well

Some guns are very powerful and have tremendous muzzle velocity. This means that the speed of the bullet when it exits the barrel can be almost 3,000 ft/s. As you can probably imagine such insane speed can penetrate a body and keep going, potentially hitting other targets behind it.

That's why you should always be careful at what you're shooting at and what's behind your target. If you do target practice in an indoor or outdoor area, make sure that there's nothing behind the object you're shooting at.

If you go hunting, keep this advice in mind as well, particularly if you're targeting small game. Your friends should always be on your side of the field and not scattered around the area where they can be injured accidentally.

Make Sure That You Unload the Gun When Not in Use

Whether we talk about a small pistol or a modern rifle, firearms should be unloaded when not in use. This means taking away the cartridge and depositing the ammunition in a separate place. This piece of advice is particularly important if you store guns inside your house and you don't live alone.

Even if you're taking a break from your hunting session and you're putting a gun on a table, you should unload it first. This gives you more peace of mind and protects the rest of the group, especially those who are not trained in gun handling and safety.

You Should Always Wear Ear and Eye Protection When Shooting

Ear and eye protection are designed to keep you safe while practicing in a shooting range or when you go hunting. Make sure that you follow these safety guidelines and wear your goggles and headphones. 

The protective eyewear will shield your eyes in case small debris is blown towards your face when shooting. The headphones will provide sound insulation, so your hearing is not affected when shooting for several hours in a row.

You can find a plethora of safety glasses and headphones online. These pieces of equipment are specially designed to protect individuals of all ages and they usually come at affordable prices.

Make Sure That Nothing Obstructs the Barrel Before Shooting

This tip will help you particularly if you haven't shot your guns in a while. You never know if dust, debris, or even small insects got inside your gun while you were away. Although they might not be able to stop a bullet, uncleaned debris can affect its speed and direction.

On top of that, small debris can also do minor damage to the firing mechanism of your gun. Use a soft brush to clean the barrel of your gun and get rid of all the dust, lint, small pebbles, insects, and dirt that might have accumulated there.

Treat All the Guns as If They Are Loaded and Ready to Fire

This is another golden rule when it comes to safe gun handling. If you get accustomed to this piece of advice, you will avoid most accidental injuries that can occur when a loaded gun is improperly handled.

For example, never rest your finger on the trigger, even if you know that you just unloaded the gun. You should only touch the trigger when you want to fire at a target. Never pick up a gun and assume it's unloaded. You should check first and then use it as you wish.

You Should Always Hand Firearms Unloaded

Similar to handing a knife, handing a gun should be done cautiously. You should always unload the gun before handing it to someone else. This prevents accidental injuries and ammunition wasting.

Secondly, you should grip the gun over the trigger area and hand it with the muzzle pointing down. This is one of the safest ways to do it. You can also grip over the sliding mechanism and hand it with the muzzle pointing away from both of you.

Practice with these types of handing methods and see which one fits you the best. If the gun is too large and heavy, you should grip it with both hands, point it downwards to the Earth and hand it unloaded to the other person.

Use the Correct Ammunition When Shooting

Trying to shoot with the wrong bullets can be dangerous. It can also deteriorate your gun and render it useless after shooting a few rounds. Make sure that you check the inscriptions on your gun and cartridge. It usually says what types of bullets are compatible with this model.

Once you have read the inscription, go to the nearest gun store and shop for ammunition that features this number. The gun store owner might be able to help you find the right ammunition for your gun type.

If you shop for ammunition online, search based on the serial number of your gun. Your weapon's manufacturer website also specifies what types of bullets are compatible with your gun. You just have to find a reputable gun store online and shop for the right type of bullets.

Clean Your Firearms on a Regular Basis

Remember that a gun needs to be cleaned from time to time, especially if you fire it often. That's because a lot of ash and gunk can accumulate inside the barrel and obstruct the firing process in the future.

Luckily, there are tons of gun cleaning kits available online and at most gun stores. You just have to find one that's compatible with your weapon. Such a kit usually includes a few brushes for the barrel, lubricant, wipes, and tissues, etc. 

Cleaning your gun is a simple process that doesn't take very long. It should be done once every few months or as often as the gun manufacturer instructs. This will ensure that your gun operates optimally and at the same time, it also prolongs the lifespan of the gun.

If you're looking for high-quality gun cleaning kits, tactical spikes, holsters, and other accessories then please check out Spikes Tactical and browse their affordable products.

You Should Never Shoot on Hard Metallic Surfaces

Some gun owners test their weapons to see what happens if they shoot on concrete, stainless steel, or other hard materials. This can be really dangerous. The bullets can change their direction upon impact and injure someone or damage your personal belongings. Try not to engage in such experiments for your own safety and wellbeing.

Similarly, don't attempt to shoot your gun at the water. You never know what's behind the surface of the water and what damages you could do. Submerging your gun is also a bad idea because most guns available for consumers are not designed to work underwater.

Be Careful If You Pulled the Trigger and No Bullet Was Fired

This usually happens if you fire a dud which is an unusable type of bullet. If this happened to you, try pulling the trigger 1 or 2 times more. Wait for half a minute with the gun pointed at your target and see if something happens. If the bullet still didn't go out, you should be cautious with the gun.

Pull out the cartridge and inspect the gun but make sure that the muzzle is always pointed away from people. Chances are that you fired a dud and you probably need to reload your gun with another cartridge and see how it works. If you're still in doubt, take the gun to a gun store and let the professionals out there handle it.

Now You Know How to Safely Operate and Store a Gun

Owning and operating a gun is not rocket science, but it's a matter of always being vigilant and assuming nothing. If you never owned a gun before, go for a small tactical weapon designed for beginners. It will help you understand its basics and learn how to use one correctly.

For more useful advice on how to safely operate and store your guns, feel free to check out the other articles on our website to learn more.

 

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