Common mistakes pistol owners make contribute to many of the accidents we see both at the range and in gun owner’s personal lives.
Muzzle direction is the most important rule of gun safety. When looking at a handgun in the gun store don’t point it at the salesperson or at other customers in the store. Many gun owners think guns are unloaded in these places so it doesn’t matter. Did you check the firearm properly to see its loaded condition when it was handed to you? Do you know how to pass a firearm correctly to another person? If not these are common gun handling skills everyone should have.
Left to Right Rack
I see a lot of people who have a bad habit of what I call Left to Right Rack. If you point the gun to the left when you rack it (when your a right-handed shooter) you are most likely pointing it somewhere you are not supposed to. Sometimes the person in the shooting lane next to you at the range. Sometimes a family member or a shooting partner when your out on the north 40. Turn sideways to your target and hold the firearm close to your chest this will force you to point it in the safe direction and it makes the gun easier to manipulate. Racking the slide properly will put you on your way to being a great gun handler
Hand in Front of Muzzle
Why would you stick your hand in front of the muzzle? You shouldn’t! Racking your gun from the front of the slide can cause your hand to inadvertently slip in front of the loaded gun’s muzzle. Use the serrations on the back of the slide either with the hand over method or the slingshot method. I see a lot of people reach out in front of the firearm when manipulating the firearm or reaching for something on the benchtop at the range.
Pulling the Trigger on an Empty Gun
I’m not talking about dry-fire. I’m talking about taking the pressure off the cocked trigger of your firearm when putting the gun away or in its case. If you have a 1911 style single action gun learn how to decock it properly don’t pull the trigger and let the hammer fall. On the striker-fired weapons leave them alone. There is no reason to pull the trigger and you are just asking for an accident. Only pull the trigger when you have your sights on something you intend to shoot.
Index your finger on the slide
It takes a little practice but you can learn to index your finger on the gun so that you don’t touch the trigger. This translates into great form when you draw from your holster. Use the micro training technique and practice practice practice.
Soon you will be a great gun handler and Common mistakes pistol owners make will be something you will read about not something you are doing yourself.