Where is Your Muzzle Pointed?
I watched a video of a group of hunters loading up on a boat and heading out to hunt. One of the hunters spoke a reminder indicating, “to be safe, you should always point your firearm in the air.”
While in a boat, “in the air” may be a great way to point your muzzle, it is not always the safest direction.
How can you determine which way you should point your firearm? Let’s ponder some of the safety rules.
- Always point the muzzle in a safe direction – At the trap range a gentleman was showing off his new pistol. He was in the parking lot, just behind stand number two. As he displayed the pistol, he had it pointing down range. (What was also between him and “down range?”)
- Be certain of your target and what is beyond (In general, this applies to what your muzzle is pointing toward and what is beyond, even when you’re not acquiring a target.) – In the example above, the gentleman made a mistake. He was not at the firing line. There were five shooters, including my daughter, shooting trap right in front of him. In this scenario, downrange was NOT a safe direction.
- Treat every firearm as if it is loaded – Ordinarily, downrange would sound like a safe direction. We approached him and requested that he not point his new pistol at the shooters ahead of him. He said, “But it’s not loaded.” NEVER, assume a firearm is unloaded. ALWAYS treat a firearm as though it might have a round in the chamber. Don’t become a member of the “I thought it was unloaded” statistics in the emergency room.
- Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot – I’m certain none of you do this, but since Hollywood constantly forgets this rule. I’ll remind you–put your finger straight out, above the trigger until you have successfully addressed the 3 safety rules listed above and know it is safe to shoot.
In conclusion, remember to open up your eyes and look around before you touch a firearm, pick it up, or point it in the direction of something you’d never inted to destroy.
Be safe, at the range and in the field. Happy Hunting!