Sep 062020


Administrative Gun Handling is the area of gun handling where all the accidents happen. What is administrative gun handling? Its loading and unloading, cleaning, transporting, holstering, or unholstering. As a matter of fact, its anything you do with a gun besides shooting it.

Loading and Unloading-

Many people don’t handle their handguns properly. Some struggle with basic manipulation of the slide to load and unload the gun. They twist and turn and point the muzzle (rule number 2) (muzzle direction) in places that are considered unsafe or inappropriate. If you rack the gun from right to left or left to right you are probably doing it unsafely. Someone can be in the shooting booth next to you and you are pointing the muzzle at them. You could be out on the prairie and someone your shooting with might be standing next to you.

Many people struggle with these standard gun manipulations because they were never taught how to do it properly. If you can’t do it properly then you are probably operating a gun that’s not for you, or you have never been shown the correct way to do it. I see many people who violate (rule number 3) (finger off trigger) while trying to manipulate the slide to load and unload the gun. Get professional help and training on how to manipulate the slide properly on a semi-auto handgun.

Cleaning a Handgun-

is always an area of administrative gun handling that has some accidents. Clearing the gun properly is the first step. Check the gun multiple times to be sure it is unloaded. Remove all the ammo from the area. If you learn proper manipulation of the slide and keep your finger off the trigger it’s hard for things to go wrong. Always visually and physically inspect the chamber and the mag well for any ammo that may be present. If you can clear a gun properly (unload) it’s pretty hard to have an accident while cleaning a handgun. Have fun cleaning your gun.

Transporting a Gun-

in an automobile, a purse or manbag is an administrative gun handling area where accidents happen because people don’t think. Guns should always be holstered or cased. Why? Because something can activate the bang switch (trigger) by mistake. A properly holstered or cased handgun can not be fired. Proper holsters are a must. They must retain the gun so it doesn’t fall out and they must cover the trigger and trigger guard completely so it can not be fired without an intensional act of exposing and then accessing and pressing the trigger.

administrative gun handling

Holstering and Unholstering Accidents

happen frequently to both civilians and law enforcement. Many people think they can learn to draw a handgun from a holster without professional training. Many think youtube is a substitute for a professional firearms trainer. Only one in a hundred firearms instructors are certified to teach draw from the holster. A person that is an NRA certified Pistol instructor is not certified to teach draw from the holster. Many instructors that try to train people properly have not had the training themselves. Anyone using an improper holster for the handgun risks having an accident. Many of the carry positions or methods of on-body carry are inherently dangerous.

This is because you are pointing the muzzle at yourself or someone else in the process of getting the gun on target from the holster. The biggest problem is that you can not see yourself doing it when you are practicing. It takes a trained professional to watch your draw and diagnose the dangerous and unnecessary movements in your presentation of the gun. Many of the unnecessary movements slow down your draw time.

Most of these Administrative Gun Handling accidents happen when people think a gun is unloaded or when they can’t keep their finger off the trigger. Learning to properly and safely manipulate a handgun removes a lot of the negative things that can happen in gun handling situations.


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

Nov 062011

Safe Gun Handling Loading and Unloading a Pistol

Pistols Fire a cartridge in the chamber of the barrel like a rifle. Proper loading and unloading a pistol is paramount

Ammunition in removable magazine Energy of fired cartridge causes the gun to load a new cartridge. Just pulling trigger fires gun until it is out of ammunition.

Fires single round in the chamber then requires reloading Usually used for hunting.

A double-barreled single shot.

Caution! If this loading and unloading a pistol procedure is performed incompletely or in the wrong order, a cartridge could remain in the chamber and the gun could still be loaded!

Semi-Automatic Pistols contain cartridges in two locations: the barrel’s chamber and a detachable magazine. If a user does not follow the correct sequence when unloading a semi-auto pistol, a cartridge may remain in the chamber even when the magazine is removed.

Load and Unload a Pistol Properly

To unload a semi-auto pistol, perform the following actions. Remember to keep the pistol pointed in a safe direction with your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard.

1. Press the magazine release and remove the magazine. (The magazine release is usually just behind the trigger guard, although a few pistols locate this at the bottom of the magazine.) Set the magazine aside.

A pistol is not unloaded just because the magazine is removed. Ammunition may be in the chamber, ready to fire.loading and unloading a pistol

2. Pull the slide to the rear while keeping your hand away from the ejection port. Lock the slide to the rear using the slide stop.

3. Visually and physically examine the chamber of the barrel for the presence of a cartridge. If a round was in the chamber, it should have been extracted from the chamber and ejected from the gun. Look into the chamber. Feel that the magazine has been removed and the chamber is 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 revolvers in the near future.  Safe gun handling is everyone’s responsibility. If you see someone loading and unloading a pistol or handling any gun unsafely explain to them why they should do it properly. Let’s make Safe Gun Handling an attitude. Don’t handle guns without an attitude towards safe gun handling.

links to other articles of Interest

Concealed Carry Permit Renewal
Concealed Handgun Definition in Colorado
Intervention With a Concealed Handgun
Choosing  A Defensive Firearm
Having a Sound Self Defense Strategy
Learn To Shoot