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 Post subject: Basic Safety Info for Gun Owners

Sharp Shooter

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Basic Info

Learning the basics of firearms is easy. Handling of guns is governed by four rules which, together, insure that no one would be hurt by accident. Be a responsible gun owner and lead your friends and family members to gun ownership by example.

Image

RULE I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED

RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY

RULE III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET

RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET



RULE I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED

There are no exceptions. Do not pretend that this is true. Some people and organizations take this rule and weaken it;e.g. "Treat all guns as if they were loaded." Unfortunately, the "as if" compromises the directness of the statement by implying that they are unloaded, but we will treat them as though they are loaded. No good! Safety rules must be worded forcefully so that they are never treated lightly or reduced to partial compliance.

All guns are always loaded - period!

This must be your mind-set. If someone hands you a firearm and says, "Don't worry, it's not loaded," you do not dare believe him. You need not be impolite, but check it yourself. Remember, there are no accidents, only negligent acts. Check it. Do not let yourself fall prey to a situation where you might feel compelled to squeal, "I didn't know it was loaded!"


RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY

Conspicuously and continuously violated, especially with pistols, Rule II applies whether you are involved in range practice, daily carry, or examination. If the weapon is assembled and in someone's hands, it is capable of being discharged. A firearm holstered properly, lying on a table, or placed in a scabbard is of no danger to anyone. Only when handled is there a need for concern. This rule applies to fighting as well as to daily handling. If you are not willing to take a human life, do not cover a person with the muzzle. This rule also applies to your own person. Do not allow the muzzle to cover your extremities, e.g. using both hands to reholster the pistol. This practice is unsound, both procedurally and tactically. You may need a free hand for something important. Proper holster design should provide for one-handed holstering, so avoid holsters which collapse after withdrawing the pistol. (Note: It is dangerous to push the muzzle against the inside edge of the holster nearest the body to "open" it since this results in your pointing the pistol at your midsection.) Dry-practice in the home is a worthwhile habit and it will result in more deeply programmed reflexes. Most of the reflexes involved in the Modern Technique do not require that a shot be fired. Particular procedures for dry-firing in the home will be covered later. Let it suffice for now that you do not dry-fire using a "target" that you wish not to see destroyed. (Recall RULE I as well.)


Rule III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET

Rule III is violated most anytime the uneducated person handles a firearm. Whether on TV, in the theaters, or at the range, people seem fascinated with having their finger on the trigger. Never stand or walk around with your finger on the trigger. It is unprofessional, dangerous, and, perhaps most damaging to the psyche, it is klutzy looking. Never fire a shot unless the sights are superimposed on the target and you have made a conscious decision to fire. Firing an unaligned pistol in a fight gains nothing. If you believe that the defensive pistol is only an intimidation tool - not something to be used - carry blanks, or better yet, reevaluate having one around. If you are going to launch a projectile, it had best be directed purposely. Danger abounds if you allow your finger to dawdle inside the trigger guard. As soon as the sights leave the target, the trigger-finger leaves the trigger and straightens alongside the frame. Since the hand normally prefers to work as a unit - as in grasping - separating the function of the trigger-finger from the rest of the hand takes effort. The five-finger grasp is a deeply programmed reflex. Under sufficient stress, and with the finger already placed on the trigger, an unexpected movement, misstep or surprise could result in a negligent discharge. Speed cannot be gained from such a premature placement of the trigger-finger. Bringing the sights to bear on the target, whether from the holster or the Guard Position, takes more time than that required for moving the trigger finger an inch or so to the trigger.


RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET

Know what it is, what is in line with it, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything you have not positively identified. Be aware of your surroundings, whether on the range or in a fight. Do not assume anything. Know what you are doing.


SUMMARY:

Make these rules a part of your character. Never compromise them. Improper gunhandling results from ignorance and improper role modeling, such as handling your gun like your favorite actor does. Education can cure this. You can make a difference by following these gunhandling rules and insisting that those around you do the same. Set the example. Who knows what tragedies you, or someone you influence, may prevent?
Excerpted from: The Modern Technique of the Pistol, by Greg Morrison, Gunsite Press, Paulden, Arizona, ISBN 0-9621342-3-6, Library of Congress Number 91-72644, available for $40


MORE INFO.........

It is a good idea to enlist a knowledgeable friend or a professional shooter in your effort. Most gun owners are happy to teach the basics of the craft to others. They can also inform you about the legal aspects of gun ownership in your area. In some states, buying a gun from an individual is unrestricted. In other states, you may need government permission to buy a firearm or an air gun.

Once in possession of your first firearm, you can proudly say that you are doing your part to "keep guns out of the wrong hands." Tell any anti-gun objector that you are making sure that guns will be used only for good, one weapon at a time.

As with any other tools, begin by learning how to operate them safely. Guns are no different from other mechanical and power tools: if used as intended, they are safe to the users and to bystanders. No one sane would attribute magical powers to a shovel or a drill. Guns aren't any different.

It is best to begin the learning process with a low-power gun. The most common, inexpensive caliber for the purpose is .22 (specifically, ".22 long rifle"). Ammunition of this type is cheap and produces minimal recoil and not too much muzzle flash or noise. For comparison, 500 rounds of .22 rimfire ammunition (suitable for use in handguns or rifles) cost about $10. The same ten dollars would buy only a 50-round box of centerfire pistol ammunition or a 20-round box of rifle ammunition.

The main reason for using this caliber for learning is to avoid being intimidated by the weapon. Starting with a heavy-kicking, loud weapon is a sure way to building a flinch, and to not enjoying your range trip. Just compare the cartridges shown on the left: 20 gauge shotgun slug, 7.62mm Russian (AK47 round), 9mm Luger and the .22LR (5.6mm).
So long as we are just punching holes in paper and learning to shoot accurately, there's no need to put up with the extra expense, noise and recoil. However, larger caliber guns are useful and fun to shoot once the basic skills have been honed.
When choosing guns, consider comfort, reliability and ammunition availability. A light, powerful revolver would be of little use if you can't train with it due to the excessive recoil. An accurate, reliable rifle would hardly be practical if ammunition cost several dollars per round.

Always wear eye protection when shooting. That protects your vision from accidents caused by ejected shell casings, fragments of unburned powder and other debris.

Use hearing protection (ear plugs, ear muffs or both) when shooting. Unfortunately, the use of mufflers on firearms is restricted on the Federal level and outright prohibited in many states. The same states require mufflers on cars and motorcycles. No logic there.

You could begin by practicing with an pellet gun which uses compressed air, CO2 or a spring to propel a tiny pellet. They are similar to real firearms in the basics of safety and marksmanship. Practice with them is cheap, quiet and can be safely done at home, provided that all rules of gun handling are followed. This way people who are apprehensive about guns can learn the safety rules and enjoy shooting sports. Whether targeting a bullseye on paper or making a pop can move from a distance of several paces, shooting with air guns can be a great deal of fun.

The first firearms you buy need not be a pure training gun. Although .22 cartridge is marginally effective for self-defense, it is useful for hunting small game, competing in marksmanship contests and pure recreational fun. It need not be a handgun, either: a .22 bullet is faster and more effective when fired from a carbine. Carbines are also easier to shoot accurately than handguns because of the longer sight radius.

The best way to get started is to talk to your friends and see if they would be willing to teach you. You could also ask for advice on The High Road: it is full of helpful, knowledgeable people who could direct you to ranges and instructors in your area.

Since kids may occasionally come into contact with firearms (and other power tools), teaching them the basics of safety is a good insurance against accidents and misuse. As with the basic sex education, knowledge of safe gun handling could easily be a life-saver.

Moreover, if your kids show aptitude for shooting early on, they may wish to compete in sporting events or go huntings. Outdoor sports which include socializing with responsible adults certainly beat TV and video games as entertainment choices.

Because of restrictive legislation, availability of legal firearms continues to decline. Access to ranges, availability of spare parts and ammunition are likewise being reduced. Because of these factors, it would be wise to acquire at least one defensive weapon now, just against the possibility of an un-anticipated ban. It is best to learn the basics of maintenance and keep a few spare parts in stock.

[Added subsequently...]

RULE FINAL: EVERYONE IS A SAFETY OFFICER

On a shooting range, it will do you and those around you very little good to be completely observant of all gun safety rules if the knucklehead two positions down fires a bullet into your spine while trying to clear a malfunction. You simply must make sure that everyone around you observes these four rules mentioned above, all of the time. Remember - it will very likely be their bullet that kills or maims you.

A stern “MUZZLE!” or “TRIGGER!” command will advise those in the know that they have erred by failing to control their muzzle or keep their trigger finger indexed along the side of the receiver unless the sights are on target. If the person does not understand your attempted correction, make it clear to him. If he violates the rule again, leave the area. Someone is going to die or be permanently injured because of that person, and you don’t want that for you or your people.

1. Always keep the muzzle under control and pointed in a safe direction:

a. downrange if safe,
b. straight down at the ground, or
c. if nothing else is available, straight up in the air.

2. While making sure to keep our fingers off and away from the trigger, remove the magazine.

3. When you are sure that ALL ammunition has been removed, rack the slide back to eject the chambered round, if any. If possible, lock the slide back and visually inspect the chamber to make sure that there is not a live round present. It is also a good habit to make a tactile check of the chamber using your finger. Doing so does two things:
a. it doubly confirms that the chamber is indeed empty, and
b. it allows you to get familiar with how the empty chamber feels, so that if you ever have to check a pistol’s chamber for safety in the dark, you will know the difference between the feel of an empty chamber and that of a full chamber.

Notice that I did not refer to the pistol’s mechanical safety during the unloading process. The main reason is that you should never, ever rely on a mechanical safety; it is a mechanical device and they are known to fail when stressed. Instead, by faithfully executing the rules above, every single moment that you are holding any firearm, your mind and mental discipline become the true safety device.

Simply put, the safety on any firearm is located between the ears of the person using the weapon. As long as that safety is fully operational, any other problem will be avoided, or at least rendered harmless.

Courtesy: http://westernrifleshooters.blogspot.com

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 Post subject: Re: Basic Info for New Gun Owners

Master at Arms

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@shooter
Very infomative share brother. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Basic Safety Info for New Gun Owners

Marksman

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@Shooter
Detailed info provided Sir
A must read for all new bee's and for experienced members for memory refresher !!

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 Post subject: Re: Basic Safety Info for New Gun Owners

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Definitely very uselful. Excellent share Shooter bro.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic Safety Info for New Gun Owners

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Guns go bang. That's what they do. They are used safely millions upon millions of times every year, but the potential for injury and death is always there. For this reason, we need to follow basic safety rules at all times when handling firearms, including handguns like revolvers and pistols, rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders, air guns, etc.

1. Assume That Any Gun, at Any Time, is Loaded.

When someone tells you a gun is not loaded, that's fine - but don't believe it until you see it for yourself. If you offend your buddy by checking a gun after he's told you it's unloaded, then so be it. Better safe than dead. Make it a habit to check no matter what. This is a very important habit to get into.

2. Always Point a Gun in a Safe Direction.

This one should be self-explanatory. It is the bedrock of all gun safety, and is the most important rule. Another way to say it, which Dad taught me many years ago, is, "Never point a gun at anything you're not willing to shoot."

3. Keep Your Finger off the Trigger.

This is something I see way too often. Some doofus will have his or her finger on the trigger of a gun they are simply carrying, looking down the sights of, etc. Don't do it! Keep that finger outside the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot, and after shooting, move it back out of the trigger guard. And please don't be offended that I used the term "doofus" if you have been guilty of this, because I have been a doofus before, too.

4. Know What You're Shooting at.

Your target is whatever you have decided to shoot. And - this is extremely important - it must be a conscious decision when you shoot something. Don't get lax about this. You need to know what you are going to shoot at, what is between you and it, and what is beyond it. Pay attention.

5. Be Familiar With Your Gun.

Take the time to learn about the operation and features of the firearm you are planning to use. The time to learn this is not while you are shooting... that is when you need to be learning about grip, shooting positions, trigger control, etc. When you step up to the firing line, you should already know how to operate the gun you'll be shooting.

6. Don't Shoot at Hard Surfaces (Including Water).

Water might not seem like a hard surface, but its density makes it pretty dangerous. It has a tendency to allow bullets and shotgun shot to ricochet (glance off) and fly off in an unintended direction. Not good. Hard surfaces like metal, rocks, and hard wood can do this too - and they can even send the projectile back to the shooter, which can be hard on a feller, because shooting oneself, even indirectly, can be a pretty nasty experience.

7. Don't Rely on a Safety Mechanism.

Many guns have a safety device to prevent the gun from firing. These are often reliable, but not always. And some guns have even been known to fire when the safety is released, most notably Remington bolt-action centerfire rifles, which naturally leads to the conclusion that safety mechanisms are often useful, but not completely reliable. Use the safety, but don't count on it! Continue to follow the number one rule: Always keep the gun pointed somewhere safe.

8. Load Your Gun When You Need to.

Some, including the NRA, will tell you to keep every gun unloaded until you're ready to fire it. This is not a sensible rule, because guns used for hunting and defense purposes will be needed in a hurry whenever they are needed, and there is no time to be messing around loading your gun when you need it to save your life, or to take the game you're hunting. If you need your gun for defense from human or animal attackers and it's not loaded, it becomes a liability rather than a benefit, and your safety goes down the tubes. So load your gun, and handle it responsibly.

9. Use the Right Ammo.

Make certain the ammunition you're using is right for your gun. Just because the ammo can be crammed into the gun, don't assume it's the right stuff for that popper. The groceries you feed your gun need to match up with the gun's design and strength factors. This is usually marked on the gun. If you have any doubt, contact the gun's manufacturer or a qualified gunsmith.

10. Pay Attention!

It's easy to get distracted when you're having fun, and target shooting can be a lot of fun, especially if you're enjoying it with friends and family. Take extra care to follow safe gun handling rules, and don't be afraid to correct others when you see them improperly handling firearms. They may not like it, but all participants must follow gun safety rules if everyone is to come home safe and sound. And that's what we always want to see!

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 Post subject: Re: Basic Safety Info for New Gun Owners

Marksman

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Very well briefed sir thanks for sharing

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 Post subject: Re: Basic Safety Info for New Gun Owners

Shooter

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Well done. I teach very much the same in my classes.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic Safety Info for New Gun Owners

Shooter

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Thanks for sharing shooter and SA, these are the basic safety rules one should abide by.

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My basic rule is, if someone hands you a gun, or you just pick it up, CHECK to see that the chamber IS EMPTY. even if they just checked it, It is better to be sure, because the Devil will load the chamber when you aren't looking.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic Safety Info for New Gun Owners

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LAGS wrote:
My basic rule is, if someone hands you a gun, or you just pick it up, CHECK to see that the chamber IS EMPTY. even if they just checked it, It is better to be sure, because the Devil will load the chamber when you aren't looking.


:) Now that'll keep me checking lotsa chambers considering the number of guns that are handed over to me regularly these days. :) You're right LAGS.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic Safety Info for New Gun Owners

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Shooter & SA, Excellent share

@LAGS, Devil is always with us :D


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 Post subject: Re: Basic Safety Info for New Gun Owners

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Thanks Nisar


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 Post subject: Re: What did you Learn during your last Range Visit?

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What I learned in the visit before the last one was to
-either get range discipline to the minimum acceptable safety level
-those who do not understand range/firearm safety should be directed to leave
-or pack up and leave yourself
I saw a loaded weapon fall off a horizontal shoulder holster! It did not go off though. While that was an accident, it was mainly due to the fact that we missed the very basic safety concern: It was not safe to use it on a range (we had planned practical shooting), as the weapon is always pointing at the person standing behind. And it is such accidents that lead to the unthinkable.

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 Post subject: Re: What did you Learn during your last Range Visit?

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Sorry six_shooter no pics. We were all too bizi shooting and keeping time. But next time we'll try to keep one shooter designated for the pics.
@Saif, bro i guess shoulder holestors should not be disallowed, since a majority of shooters like to carry pistols in shoulder holestors and they do provide for a pretty quick draw. However once a shooter is doing shooting his spell, he should verify to atleast one other member that his weapon is empty, unloaded and mag out before being inserted into the shoulder holestor with the safety on.

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 Post subject: Re: What did you Learn during your last Range Visit?

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@FK
Shoulder holster should not be generally disallowed, but in the sort of scenario we usually are in, with so many shooters around, it is best to avoid. Further, a vertical holster might still be acceptable, but a horizontal holster defies the basic range safety requirements. It is next to impossible to keep a track of all what is going around. The lesson was learnt luckily without any untoward incident. Future sessions, I will be very strict with safety precautions at the range, regardless of the person(s) involved.

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 Post subject: Re: What did you Learn during your last Range Visit?

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I dont think that would be something that will be appreciated brother. Everyone has a right to practice, with their preffered technique of carrying a sidearm. It just wouldnt be fair to people. Safety does come first, but we do have to respect the rights of everyone comming to the range. There could be safetly highlight specially chalked out for such people, but to simply tell them not to practice would not only be wrong ethically it would also be against their rights.

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 Post subject: Re: What did you Learn during your last Range Visit?

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Fahad bro, I am a bit surprised at your opinion. Safety comes first, and anything that is not safe does not come without trouble. Muzzle pointing at any direction other down range is not acceptable. While this may be off-topic here, but this is absolute in terms of safety and not a point to be discussed, appreciated or not. It would not be fair to others when is muzzle is pointing in their direction or any direction other than down range, would it? A horizontal shoulder holster is a big no for range use. If I were on such a range, I would either ensure it is not allowed, or simply leave.

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 Post subject: Re: What did you Learn during your last Range Visit?

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I would not be comfortable with a guy carrying in a shoulder holster at range. We can never be sure if the gun is unloaded with safety on.


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 Post subject: Re: What did you Learn during your last Range Visit?

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Saif Bro. I think we should leave this conversation to some one like range master or to decide ourselves. We are discussing without even any rights of being a range master neither anyone who is official announced as alike (No offence). Talking specifically ablout the ASCC range even we all enjoyed a friend's (not mentioning the name) act of practical shooting keeping all the possible variants of safety even we have experieced which is not allowed to be best of my kowledge in any club of our beloved country which I don't want to discuss (If safety comes first). We should not be over cautios about safety by destroying the liberty of freedom by pointing towards small things like holsters etc. which was the main reason that we choose ASCC in comparission to anyother range available in town and as far as your comments "A horizontal shoulder holster is a big no for range use. If I were on such a range, I would either ensure it is not allowed, or simply leave" then how come LEA do thier practices as their official gun holsters are shoulder one and even they are walking in front of high profile personalities pointing thier barrel towards some one for which they are there. IMHO, a freedon of choice should be given keeping said safety in view like a gun should not be chambered, external safety should be engaged or mag should be out etc. which can be only take up by professionals like range master and one should be allowed to shoot as he likes.

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 Post subject: Re: What did you Learn during your last Range Visit?

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:) bro as i said, i belive in safety measures but not to the extent where people feel uncomfortable. Safety measures can be implemented without actually getting into a situation which is disliked by people. Shooting even though a very serious matter is also a HOBBY, which people revert to for relaxation.
I saw a video, a couple months back, if i can find it again, i will certainly pm you the link, where some LEA agents were practicing with horizontal holestors, and their practice session included firing a weapon at an assailant standing behind them, while the weapon was still holestored. Vertical holestors a pretty much a practical no no, since they dont allow the proper draw required in a real life situation.
Every shooter has every RIGHT to PRACTICE carrying a sidearm however he or she feels comfortable with. Someday godforbid, their life or the life of a loved one of their's might be put in jeopardy, just becoz they dint have enough practice.
So lets be a little tolerant and lets all be a little more vigilint. If you have a good eye for safety measures, try to work around it. If you try to take a stand against it, it will pretty soon become a battle of egos. So lets lay down a few guidelines here, so we all can enjoy this healthy sport and hobby.
Oh btw on a lighter note, real life incident, a friend of mine, while playing cricket, adorned with all the safety gear, got hit by a really fast ball. Lets just say, that incident left one of his testies very very lonely. But he still plays cricket :)
So taking up further space over this topic i my opinion is useless. People who bring or like to practice in shoulder holestors, please be very very careful, your weapon should be strapped in at all times when not firing, keep the chamber unloaded and keep the mag in your pocket or your mag pouch and still keep the safety on. Infact your drills should also start from a pistol that is NOT chambered. For people who are around, kindly stand clear of the shooter while he or she is doing their drill, give them some space and soon as they are done, they should be made to declare and show their weapon clear, empty the mag, put on the safety, holestor the pistol and strap it in.
Regards.

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 Post subject: Re: What did you Learn during your last Range Visit?

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@braveheart:
why not follow your own advice and not comment on range safety not being a range master yourself? (no offence).
We are all (including yourself) authorized to emphasize on safety (every one is a range master, remember?). If one does not practice safety religiously, he is not in the company to be with in this sport/hobby. As said, he leaves, or I leave. Regarding LEA and stuff, I would be no indifferent to them on the range when practicing. They, and anyone else, is free to do what they like in their real lives, which is not my concern. This is not limited to horizontal shoulder holsters only, and is more of a general safety thing covering all and any aspect related to safety. Just check what precautions are done at practical shooting ranges world wide.

@fahad khalid:
Safety cannot be compromised, but a bit of common sense would help. You could use a vertical shoulder holster for that matter, as the problem is with horizontal holsters. This should solve most of the problems of practicing with (limited)freedom of gear. The drill you have suggested is good, but how vigilant can one be in a crowd of shooters at the range? And if ego is in going for safety first, I would rather be egoistic for a change.

Since this discussion is getting a bit intense, I will make another thread, or merge in an existing thread about safety.

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 Post subject: Re: What did you Learn during your last Range Visit?

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There are specific globally accepted safety rules for a shooting range and we must accept them whether we feel comfortable with them or not.

If certain type of holster(s) are not allowed at the range due to safety concerns, then this should be followed without questioning.

If anyone wishes to practice a specific drill, then he should request the Range Master / Safety Officer and obtain permission. After this, it is the RMs/SOs responsibility to ensure that safety is ensured, there is no one standing behind the shooter wearing such a holster and who is about to practice such a drill. The RM should also try to arrange the shooting lane which is preferably isolated and towards one side of the range. Even before letting the shooter go ahead with live firing, he should request the shooter to do the drill a few times without any rounds so that the RM also gets an idea of the safety concerns associated with any such drill and take necessary precautions, as necessary.

We need a qualified experienced Range Master at the ASCC range and I believe, one has already been hired and will be there once it officially opens for ASCC members.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic Safety Info for New Gun Owners

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Merged relevant in basic safety thread. Reading the fundamental safety rules above again was refreshing.

@SA, the new hiring process at ASCC is still underway actually. Nothing is finalized yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic Safety Info for Gun Owners

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I don't believe horizontal shoulder holsters are permitted on New Zealand ranges, as the muzzle of the pistol would clearly be breaching our 180 degree rule.

Kind regards,
Mark

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 Post subject: Re: Basic Safety Info for Gun Owners

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I agree with SA to follow global rules for safety and will follow them as a bible and I do follow them.
At ASCC range master is finalized as you know I am very much in touch of the management because of my personal relationship they have unofficially informed me about it and whatever I think was right I had advised them. It will be announced shortly.
Dear SA,
There is no specific drills that we are talking about for which a special permission is to be required but thanks for your valuable input/comments and will try my best.

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