Firearm Safety Tips & Maintenance

  1. Handling of a Firearm

Never point your gun at anything you do not intend to shoot. This is important when loading or unloading a firearm. In the event of an accidental discharge, no injuries will occur as long as the muzzle is pointing in a safe direction.

A safe direction means a bullet cannot possibly strike anyone, taking into account possible ricochets and the fact that bullets can penetrate walls and ceilings. The safe direction may be up or down depending on the situation but never at anyone or anything not intended as a target. Even when “dry firing” with an unloaded gun, you should never point the gun at an unintended target. Always ensure you know exactly where the muzzle of your gun is pointing at all times.

Firearms should be unloaded when not actually in use

Firearms should be loaded only when you are in a designated shooting area, ready to shoot. When not in use, firearms and ammunition should be secured in a safe place, separate from one another. It’s your responsibility to prevent unauthorised individuals from gaining access to firearms or ammunition.

Unload your gun immediately once you have finished shooting.

Whenever you handle a firearm or hand it to someone visually check the chamber, receiver and magazine to be certain it doesn’t contain any ammunition. Always keep actions open when not in use. Never assume a gun is unloaded, check for yourself

  1. Don’t rely on your gun’s “safety”

Treat every gun as though it can fire at any time. The “safety” on any gun is a mechanical device which, like any such device, can become unusable at the worst possible time. The safety serves as a supplement to proper gun handling.

Never touch the trigger on a firearm until you actually intend to shoot. Keep your fingers away from the trigger while loading or unloading. Never pull the trigger on any firearm with the safety on the “safe” position or anywhere in between “safe” and “fire.” It is possible that the gun can fire at any time, or even later when you release the safety, without you ever touching the trigger again.

Never rest a loaded gun against any object because there is always the possibility that it will be jarred or slide from its position and fall with sufficient force to discharge.

  1. Be sure of your target and what’s beyond it

Use the correct ammunition for your firearm, never use damaged or substandard ammunition. Read all warnings, including the gun’s instruction manual and on the ammunition boxes.

Using incorrect ammunition can destroy a gun and cause serious injuries. It takes one cartridge of improper caliber or gauge to wreck your gun. Be certain that the ammunition you are using matches the specifications that are contained within the gun’s instruction manual and the manufacturer’s markings on the firearm.

Firearms are designed, manufactured and proof tested to standards based upon factory loaded ammunition. Do not use improper reloads or ammunition made of unknown components.

Ammunition that has become very wet should be discarded in a safe manner. Do not spray oil or solvents on ammunition or place ammunition in excessively lubricated firearms. Using such ammunition can cause poor ignition, unsatisfactory performance or damage to your firearm and harm to yourself or others.

  1. If your gun fails to fire when the trigger is pulled, handle with care

Occasionally, a cartridge may not fire when the trigger is pulled. If this happens, keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Keep your face away from the breech. Then carefully unload the firearm and dispose of the cartridge in a safe way.

Any time there is a cartridge in the chamber, your gun is loaded and ready to fire even if you’ve tried to shoot and it did not go off. It could go off at any time, so ensure your muzzle is always pointed in a safe direction.

Discharging firearms in poorly ventilated areas, cleaning firearms or handling ammunition may result in exposure to lead and other substances known to cause birth defects, reproductive harm and other serious physical injury. Have adequate ventilation at all times and wash your hands thoroughly after exposure.

  1. Always wear eye and ear protection when shooting

This is for your protection, always wear protective shooting glasses and hearing protectors while shooting. Exposure to shooting noises can damage hearing, and adequate vision protection is essential. Wearing eye protection when disassembling and cleaning any gun will also help prevent solvents or other substances from contacting your eyes.

  1. Be sure the barrel is clear of obstructions before shooting

Before you load your firearm, ensure that no ammunition is in the chamber or magazine. Be sure the barrel is clear of any obstruction. Make it a habit to clean the bore and check for obstructions with a cleaning rod immediately before you shoot it. If the noise or recoil on firing seems weak or doesn’t seem quite “right,” cease firing immediately and be sure to check that no obstruction or projectile has become lodged in the barrel.

Placing a smaller gauge or caliber cartridge into a gun can result in the smaller cartridge falling into the barrel and acting as a bore obstruction when a cartridge of proper size is fired. This can cause a burst barrel or worse.

  1. Don’t alter or modify your gun and have it serviced regularly

Firearms are designed by experts to function properly in their original condition. Any alterations made to a firearm after manufacture can make it dangerous. Don’t jeopardise your safety or the safety of others by altering the trigger, safety or other mechanism of any firearm or allowing unqualified persons to repair or modify a gun.

Your gun is a mechanical device that will not last forever and is subject to wear. As such, it requires periodic inspection, adjustment and service. Check with the manufacturer of your firearm for recommended servicing.

  1. Learn the handling characteristics of the firearm you’re using

Not all firearms are the same, carrying and handling firearms varies in accordance with the mechanical characteristics of each gun. Never handle any firearm without first having thoroughly familiarised yourself with the particular type of firearm you are using and the rules of safe gun handling in general.

You should always read and refer to the instruction manual you received with your gun, or if you have misplaced the manual, simply contact the manufacturer for a free copy.

Having a gun in your possession is a full-time job. You must know how to use, handle and store your firearm safely. Do not use any firearm without having a complete understanding of its particular characteristics and safe use.

Speak to us and get expert advice!!