Firearm enthusiasts know that there is no better way to spend the day than out at the range. Target practice is fun and exciting, but you also need to know that your firearm is safe. Minimizing injuries when handling firearms is easier when you use these strategies whether you are actively shooting or storing your favorite gun.
Treat the Firearm as if It Is Loaded
You may know that you were the last one to use the firearm and left it unloaded. However, many injuries occur when a firearm owner makes a mistake or someone else gets their hands on the weapon without the owner’s knowledge. Always pick up your firearm and carry it as if it were loaded. Making sure to point it away from people and other objects to avoid hitting them is a critical part of gun safety.
Keep Your Firearms in Good Condition
A well-maintained firearm is a safe one. Over time, older firearms collect gunpowder residue and grime that can cause the barrel to get clogged and other components to stick. Always start by buying your handguns from a reputable dealer. A professional will understand what kind of handguns will be best for a beginner. Be sure to purchase your guns from someone who keeps their supplies in good condition. Then, follow a regular cleaning and maintenance routine to avoid putting yourself in a dangerous situation.
Wear Hearing and Eye Protection
Many of the most common firearm injuries don’t come from a bullet. Instead, you are more likely to damage your hearing or vision while you practice shooting. Firearms are loud, which means that you’ll need to wear earplugs. Find a pair that is comfortable enough that you’ll be able to wear them whenever you use your weapon. You’ll also want to wear eye protection to prevent yourself from experiencing an injury from debris.
Learn How to Hold Your Firearm Correctly
You never want to have your finger in front of the barrel when you shoot. You also want to avoid having your finger slip and pull the trigger before you are ready to fire. Proper hand positioning will help you maintain control over your firearm at all times. Learning how to use a proper grip also protects you from experiencing an injury from the forces of the recoil. Practice holding your firearm correctly every time so that it becomes a natural part of your shooting technique.
Firearm safety is one of those things that involves multiple strategies. If you are new to owning a firearm, then taking a safety course is your best option for avoiding a potentially deadly mistake. After you’ve refined your techniques, make sure to keep it up. Protecting your ears, eyes, and hands are all critical for helping you enjoy many years of shooting to come.
This article is from Brooke Chaplan, a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.