Gun Safety-Loading and Unloading a Semi-Auto Handgun


Gun Safety-Loading and Unloading a Semi-Auto Handgun

Gun safety is the process of handling firearms in a safe manner. When loading and unloading handguns these techniques are primary skills that must be trained so that gun handler will follow the proper procedures and be safe. Most accidents happen during administrative handling of handguns. Loading, Unloading, Cleaning and Transporting of firearms all fall into this category.

1. Checking a gun to see if it is loaded or unloaded properly. (#1 Rule ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED)
Proper Procedure
a. Point the gun in Safe direction (#2 Rule KEEP THE MUZZLE POINTED IN A SAFE DIRECTION)
b. Remove the Magazine first
Finger off the trigger and trigger guard (#3 Rule KEEP FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER AND TRIGGER GUARD UNTIL ITS TIME TO SHOOT)
c. Lock the slide back (pointing the gun in a safe direction). If a round was in the chamber let it fall to the ground without picking it up. Bending over to pick something up with a gun in your hand is a gun safety violation
d. Do a visual and physical inspection of the chamber and magazine well (Pointing In A Safe Direction) All these procedures are done while POINTING IN A SAFE DIRECTION. What is a safe direction? (#4 Rule KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT’S BEYOND) A safe direction is any direction you are willing to launch a bullet. For me and my students, I teach it’s pointing in a safe direction you have chosen straight ahead and parallel to the floor or ground, usually at a target or target area. Not Left or Right or Up and Down. These are not safe directions for gun safety and in most cases become bad gun handling habits.
e. Place the gun down on the shooting bench ejection port facing up in slide lock and muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
f. Unload your magazine from your support hand to your primary cupped hand

To load a handgun properly reverse the order

-Load your magazine
-Pick gun up in shooting hand finger off the trigger and muzzle pointed in a safe direction (see micro training video)
-Insert the magazine
-Put the gun into battery by either pulling the slide or releasing the slide lock keeping your finger off the trigger and pointing in a safe direction

2. Passing a gun properly from one person to another.
Proper Procedure
a. Point the gun in a safe direction
b. Remove the magazine. All while keeping your finger off the trigger and trigger guard
c. Lock the slide back (pointing the gun in a safe direction)
Do a visual and physical inspection of the chamber and magazine well (while pointing in a safe direction)
d. Grab the gun in slide lock position with your support hand over the open slide and pass it keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Gun Safety is a learned skill pass it to your friends and family.

Jeff Cooper’s Four Rules of Firearm Safety:

  1. All guns are always loaded.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
  4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

Other articles of Interest:

Micro Training What Does it Mean
Gun Safety is Infectious-Infect everyone you know
Muzzle Direction-the most important rule of gun safety
Gun Safety Pueblo Colorado

May 272012

Muzzle DirectionThe most important safety rule is and always will be the NRA’s first rule of gun safety. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. If you never followed any other gun safety rule this would be the one to burn into your vast cranial space. All the other rules are important but this one takes care of all the others.

Muzzle Direction is your Responsibility

Safety rule #2 always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot ??  Let’s say you slipped for a moment and violated rule number 2 if you have followed rule number 1 you most likely will not injure anyone or destroy any property that you did not intend. You have just had an embarrassing gun safety moment. You can live with a little embarrassment from time to time, but can you live with injuring or even killing an unintended victim.

Remember Gun Safety is contagious

Gun Safety and safe gun handling are contagious you teach someone the safe way, and they teach someone the safe way, and pretty soon everyone has caught the disease. Safe Gun handling is a disease and only you have the cure.

In my last couple of tours as a range safety officer at Pueblo Municipal Shooters, I noticed that most people without some type of current gun safety training tend to violate the muzzle direction rule. In my training sessions, I always do a little pre-test on gun safety and loading/unloading and more times than not a trainee will violate either the muzzle direction or the finger on the trigger rule. These gun safety rules are without question the most important things you can understand about gun safety.

Jan 012012

Handgun Types

Safe gun handling and unloading requires you to know the name of essential parts of your handgun. Self-defense handguns usually fall into two common types—revolvers and pistols. “Revolvers” hold ammunition in a cylinder which rotates into a firing position before each shot is fired. “Pistols” store ammunition in a magazine but fire it from the chamber of the barrel.

Safe Gun Handling Loading and Unloading Revolvers














Safe Gun Handling

The main components of a revolver are shown in the picture above. Most self-defense revolvers are “double-action,” which means that pulling the trigger cocks and releases the hammer and rotates the cylinder.  Single action revolvers are also common. When the hammer is cocked by pulling the hammer back unitl it locks the trigger performs a single function (single action) releasing the trigger.
The cylinder of these revolvers usually swings out for rapid loading and unloading.

To unload a revolver, perform the following safe gun handling actions. Remember to keep the revolver pointed in a safe direction with your finger outside the trigger guard.
1. Activate the cylinder release. (Depending on your model, it may need to be pushed forward, pulled back, or pressed inward.)
2. Swing the cylinder out of the revolver. This will make the rear of the cylinder visible.
3. Visually and physically examine the cylinder chambers for ammunition. Look into each cylinder. Feel the rear of the cylinder to confirm no ammunition is present.
4. If cartridges are present, point the revolver up and press down sharply on the ejector rod. This extracts and ejects cartridges in the cylinder. Re-examine the chambers to confirm all of them are empty.

Safe Gun Handling is a gun owners responsibility

Safe gun handling is an attitude. You should be aware of all safe gun handling rules and procedures. I will do a piece on safe gun handling for shotguns in the near future.  Safe gun handling is everyone’s responsibility. If you see someone handling a gun unsafely explain to them why they should do it properly. Lets make Safe Gun Handling an attitude. Don’t handle guns without an attitude towards safe gun handling.

Jul 312011

Stolen Gun

Stolen Gun Pueblo Colorado

This week I had my 22 cal pistol stolen from my truck. It was a 22cal Smith and Wesson 22A semi-auto and it was my practice gun, and gun I trained my students on when I needed a small caliber gun to do so. I hope the guy or gal who got the Stolen Gun Pueblo Colorado from me  enjoys it as much as I did.  When I went to the store Saturday to buy some bird seed I noticed that they had a Ruger MK III on sale so I thought well maybe I will try this on for size since I needed to replace my regular practice gun. I have a good friend who has one and she thinks its the greatest thing since Budweiser Beer. So I ran to the range the second I got it and voila its a great gun to shoot and feels very comfortable in my hand.  Out of the box I hit the target right where I wanted and remarkably I didn’t hit the hostage (private joke) I’ll tell that story another day.

Locating my Stolen Gun Pueblo Colorado

But here’s the important part of my story, I didn’t have the serial number of the pistol for the police, and I know I preach all the time about storing your guns safely so that it can not be acquired by anyone unintended to do so. Do as I say not as I do……..

REWARD for Stolen Gun Pueblo Colorado

Had I recorded the serial number we may have been able to catch these fine upstanding citizens when they  go to pawn it or sell it somewhere. I will give a reward for the recovery of this gun. I doubt that any of the people bright enough to shop in the middle of the night at my truck will be reading this.

This  Stolen Gun Pueblo Colorado was nothing special, it was just a gun that a good friend traded to me sometime back and now it is gone. I shot thousands of rounds thru it and I hope it was wore out.

Record the descriptions and serial numbers of all your guns so that if this ever happens you might be able to help take these great late night shoppers off the streets. Just for the record I like my new Ruger better..

Store guns so that they are inaccessible to children and other unauthorized users.  If you think you know of any Stolen Gun Pueblo Colorado report it to the proper authorities.

Dec 282010

If the 3 rules of safety were always followed there would be no accidents with guns. Just take any accident report in the news or media and apply the 3 major rules and see if you can find a scenario where that is not true.

  1. Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction
  2. Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot
  3. Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use

If these rules were always followed there would be no gun accidents. Gun Safety is an attitude….you should have one.!!

Jan 232011

One of the important rules of safety in Gun Training for self defense or in just target shooting is to be sure of your target and what is beyond. You are responsible for the bullet from the time it leaves the gun until it comes to its final resting point. When plinking or target shooting a backstop is needed so that your bullet will not go beyond its intended destination, like at the indoor range, or outdoors where their is a large hill or mound of dirt called a berm. Most times when target shooting people use FMJ Full metal jacket ammo or ball ammo. This ammo has a lot of penetration great for target practice but maybe not so good for personal protection. The new personal protection rounds that are on the market now are for that personal protection scenario where what is beyond your target may be another person or a crowd of people. It could even be a wall to another room where children or family are sleeping. These bullets are designed not to over penetrate their destination by breaking up or distorting and loosing their energy after they hit the intended target.  Here is a video showing these type of rounds in use

I recommend that you use standard personal protection ammo that police officers most often use. Federal Hydra Shok, Speer Gold Dot, or Federal HST

Talk to the experts at the gun shops about all these types of rounds. While they are more expensive than regular target ammo, these rounds definitely have there place in your arsenal for self protection.