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Treat Guns with Respect

10 Rules of Safe Gun handling

Safety starts with you

1. Treat every gun with the respect due a loaded gun.
2. Carry only empty guns, taken down or with the action open, into your car, camp and home.
3. Always be sure that the barrel and action are clear of obstructions.
4. Always carry your gun so that you can control the direction of the muzzle.
5. Be sure of your target before you pull the trigger.
6. Never point a gun at anything you do not want to shoot.
7. Never leave your gun unattended unless you unload it first.
8. Never climb a tree or a fence with a loaded gun.
9. Never shoot at a flat, hard surface or the surface of water.
10. Do not mix gunpowder and alcohol.

Self-DefenseThoughts' Addition to the 10 Basic Rules of Gun Safety

1. Do not engage in a heated verbal tussle or argument when you are carrying a gun.
Don't let that gun turn you into a bully, while driving, while talking to strangers or when you do get into a heated argument. Remember that you have the power of life and death in your hands with that gun.
2. Never touch your gun when you and your wife, a son or a daughter is having an angry exchange of words. Just have the sense to walk away if you can't resolve it. Everything will be resolved later in a calmer tone.
3. IF YOU OR ANY MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY IS EMOTIONALLY DEPRESS, have a big financial problem, etc., have the gun/s locked in a safe and let a trusted family member hide the key so the weapon/s will not be accessible when depression/stress becomes life threatening.
Note: Never use a gun vault safe whose combination you have already memorized. Let your wife or your son change the combination and keep the "new" combination away from you
4. Tell your friends if they want to see that "new gun" you have purchased before you start your drinking session. Remember the #10 basic rule above.
5. When unloading your pistol follow the rule: "Remove the magazine before ejecting the round in the chamber." This is not complete! ALWAYS LOCK THE SLIDE WHEN UNLOADING YOUR PISTOL. This will enable you to see the ammo and the magazine if you did not eject the magazine FIRST. This is not applicable, however, to guns with no slide stop.
6. As much as possible, don't unload your gun in the dark. If you do, lock the slide and insert a finger in the magazine well and barrel to make sure it is clear of ammo. Better leave the action open until good illumination is available especially when you had had a couple of drinks.
7. Never fire your gun into the air. Click here to read.
8. Never shoot at anything you have not properly identified. Always give a verbal warning after you have taken a safe cover.
9. Use your thumb safety as your trigger. For your reference click here
10. For revolvers, keep your fingers away from the headspace since a small part of the blast, and probably some minute metal shavings that escape there, is powerful enough to cause serious hand injury especially for magnum or +P loads. Click here for details

A father investigated noises coming from his coffee plantation. The time was 4:30AM and it was still dark. The coffee beans were ready for harvest. Thinking that thieves are harvesting his coffee (it is so prevalent in the provinces until now in my country), he got his M-16 rifle and sprayed the area with bullets only to discover that his three sons woke up early for the harvest.

This was one of his son's last words: "Dad what happened? Dad you."

The 1911 Thumb Safety as Your Trigger

There are times, especially when you are a law enforcement officer, that you have to point your pistol to an offender for him to drop his knife or to order him to drop down on the floor. If you are carrying a 1911 pistol with fine-tuned trigger weight of just 2.5 lbs. or less instead of the 4-5 lbs. generally used for self-defense purpose, the possibility of accidental shooting is very high unless you are a seasoned police officer with 5 to 10 or more years of service and used to such extremely stressful situation (they call it battle savvy). If your weapon accidentally fires in that scenario, you will surely go through a hell lot of troubles defending yourself in court that will entail your time and finances, finances you have painstakingly saved for years. And if you are a police officer, you can even be fired from service and lose all your retirement benefits.

The 1911 Thumb Safety as Trigger

The thumb safety as your trigger

Img. 1 - This technique was taught to me by a friend, a retired officer of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). Big thanks, my great friend!
View larger image here.
Warning: Be sure your thumb safety is working properly!

Our muscles tighten up without us knowing it under stress or in extremely dangerous situations. If you are pointing your pistol at someone, your thumb can unconsciously push the thumb safety down; and if your index finger is also on the trigger, the possibility of an accidental shooting is not remote.

Here’s the simple technique:

- Use a two hand grip on the pistol. If you are right-handed, the left-hand thumb pushes the thumb safety up with the right-hand thumb pushing down or ready to push down the thumb safety. I prefer the latter.
- If you need to fire that pistol, simply releash the left-hand thumb that is pushing the thumb safety up.
- You may or you may pull the trigger. I prefer not pulling the trigger in this technique. Read below:
WARNING: When engaged, the thumb safety blocks the sear from moving and preventing the hammer from falling. One other cause of thumb safety failure is weak, worn out or faulty adjustment of the sear leaf spring.
Sometimes, and this is VERY VERY DANGEROUS, the pistol WILL ACTUALLY FIRE! (hope you are pointing your gun in a safe direction when this happens!) when you engaged the thumb safety. This indicates that the thumb safety mechanism has serious defects that must be corrected, ASAP! Save your money and don’t buy anything - yet. Immediately take the pistol to a qualified gunsmith for him to identify all parts needing replacement. If your 1911, however, has a firing block, and you are not depressing the trigger, the gun won't fire.