Rule one of firearms

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by c3shooter, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Everybody knows Rule 1- Right? You may remember something like this-
    "1. Assume That Any Gun, at Any Time, is Loaded.
    When someone tells you a gun is not loaded, that's fine - but don't believe it until you see it for yourself. If you offend your buddy by checking a gun after he's told you it's unloaded, then so be it. Better safe than dead. Make it a habit to check no matter what.
    "

    So why am I posting here? Was at my local gun shop- the staff are friends, and when you are as addicted as I am, they know your name. Young man brought in an older muzzle loading firearm, looking for some info. Staff was swamped w/ customers, so one of the folks asked if I could look at what he had, and talk with him for a minute.

    What he had was a single barreled percussion shotgun, about 12 gauge, in fair condition- damacus barrel, nice stock w/ brass cap box, etc. He had just been given firearm by grandmother. He was showing me the shotgun- when it struck me- "Sir, have you checked that this is not loaded?" Well, he did not know how to check a muzzleloader. I spoke to one of the staff "Charlie- weapon is not cleared yet." He stopped, walked over, and held the barrel, and we pulled ramrod. Measured ramrod against the barrel, slid the rod home- and it stopped about 2 inches from where it should. Charlie got wide eyed, gently removed the ramrod, and being certain the muzzle was up, informed the customer that, by all indications, the shotgun was still loaded. He had been in the store about 5-10 minutes holding the gun at port arms. The shotgun (not in condition to be fired) was left in the care of the gunsmith, who would pull the load and wash out the charge.

    No, there was no cap on the nipple- but muzzleloaders HAVE fired from a spark when the steel hammer strikes a steel nipple. And while most of us have had Rule 1 drilled into us by a father, uncle, or Drill Sgt- here a young man walked around a busy store with a loaded shotgun. Think about that for a minute.

    Oh- my two boxes of ammo were "on the house".
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  2. skullcrusher

    skullcrusher New Member

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    Great point, C3 as always.

    I would add that today's modern in-lines are more likely to be left 'uncleared'. Powder pellets, saboted bullets and 'waterproof' 209 primer seals make it easier to just not discharge it in leiu of cleaning. I have my ramrod scribed at the empty mark.
     

  3. Highpower

    Highpower New Member

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    Good on you c3! :)

    Here is an 'interesting' situation I experienced several years ago:

    Was at a family gathering (holiday) at my mom's house. A few of us were standing in the kitchen and talking about this and that. Present was my older sister and her fairly new 'significant other' - who happened to be a LEO. He was off duty, in civvies, but carrying his duty pistol in a belt holster.

    Naturally I inquired about what he was carrying. :p
    So he un-holsters the gun and removes the magazine, then hands me the pistol and asks "What do you think?" So of course the first thing I do is make sure the muzzle is pointed to my left, toward the outside wall (away from anyone else) and rack the slide open to check the chamber.

    Surprise, surprise! A .40 caliber hollow point round pops out, and smacks my mom square in the forehead in front of me! :eek:

    Now this guy knew I was a "gun nut". He also knew the pistol was equipped with a magazine disconnect. So I don't know if he was just trying to test me or what, but I think it was a pretty *** - poor way to do it!
    Disconnect or not - I would NEVER hand someone a gun with a round in the chamber around other people. I'm thinking.... what the H E double hockey sticks is WRONG with this guy???

    Thankfully my sister parted ways with him eventually.
     
  4. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    People can never be reminded enough to check and double check the condition of a weapon. Even after watching someone clear a weapon I check it again when it's handed to me. It happens all the time..."I didn't know it was loaded...." or something stupid. Thanks for the reminder c3.
     
  5. zhuk

    zhuk New Member

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    Excellent post, c3. This cannot be overemphasised.



    Spot-on, spittin. This is exactly what was drilled into us during the compulsory pistol/longarms courses...even if you've just seen someone examine & clear a firearm before they hand it to you, do you that again when you take possession. And they do it again after you hand it back to them, purely as an automatic matter-of-course.

    Every gun shop I've ever been to this is followed to the absolute letter...I think if you did NOT follow this they would be pretty damn leery of letting you handle any weapon in stock whatsoever. One reason I do think our insanely strict licensing/compulsory safety course laws pre-licence issue are actually a damn good idea. You don't get any dropkicks just walking into a shop who haven't been thoroughly trained.
     
  6. AcidFlashGordon

    AcidFlashGordon New Member

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    Something like gun safety and awareness can never be overemphasized, as we ALL know. At all the gun shops I visit, I always rack the slide back on a weapon the clerk is showing me even though I saw HIM do it. I've never gotten any nasty looks from any clerk. At the small Mom & Pop shooter's supply I use for FFL transfers from online purchases, the owner even smiles and nods when I perform this simple, easy safety check, especially when I've ordered a weapon online and I've just removed it from its shipping box.
     
  7. Jess

    Jess New Member

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    my husband gets so annoyed with me because I won't take a weapon from him unless he shows me its clear. I also ask him to prove that any he lays down to clean (in the living room) are clear. He thinks I should trust him, I think I should only trust my own eyes:cool:
     
  8. Gabob

    Gabob New Member

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    Actually it is fairly common to find antique percussion muzzleloading shotguns loaded with no cap on the nipple. They were left this way to be immediately available with just the addition of the cap. I have seen several loaded this way.

    Had one brought in to have the nipples replaced. As usual I checked with ramrod and it was loaded. Pulled the newspaper wadding and dumped shot. Dug around and dumped the powder. Nipples resisted penetrating oil. I decided to heat with propane torch. BOOM !!! I had not dug all the powder out. No damage except to my nerves
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  9. Highpower

    Highpower New Member

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    Actually there is a BIG difference in leaving a firearm in that condition in ones own personal hunting shack - v.s. where the gun is around OTHER bodies that might not be aware of its condition.

    And you damn sure don't transport a weapon in that condition in a vehicle or walk into a place of business with it! I don't care how the 'good ol boys' are used to doing things... :mad:

    Just sayin.
     
  10. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    Scary, reminds me of the local deputy who shot himself in the toe at a local gunshow with a .22 magnum rifle that his 9 year old kid had been toting around the show for an hour or so. I can't recall if the deputy bought the gun for the kid or if it was the kid's grandfather. Pretty pitiful if neither grown man checked the rifle closely enough to notice it was still loaded, much less the condition of the rifling/barrel. IIRC, the deputy was/is a firearms safety instructor when needed; i don't think i will need stumpy's help.
     
  11. SeanCucf

    SeanCucf New Member

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    Anyone ever have a gun store clerk NOT clear a weapon before handing it to you? Happened to me at a small local shop. I just seemed so irresponsible and unprofessional to me that he handed me a weapon without clearing it. Hell, he didn't even remove the magazine.

    I don't go back to that shop. I'm just not comfortable there.
     
  12. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

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    Excellent points all...as someone once told me when going over the 4 basic steps of firearms safety; cemeteries are full of people killed by "unloaded" guns.
     
  13. BILLYBOB44

    BILLYBOB44 Active Member

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    The second most important First Rule..

    I am as drilled as most anyone around of the importance of clearing a firearm prior to any handling. With that said, I believe in the rule "Never point a firearm at anything that you do not intend to shoot" There are very few people who have been around firearms for a lot of years that have not had an accidental discharge of some kind. The direction that a barrel is pointed is critical during ANY handling of a firearm. Most on these boards will not admit accidents, but during my 40 years of firearms usage, I have had three accidental discharges--2 out of 3 did no personal damage--We will NOT discuss the Third!!:eek::eek:
     
  14. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

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    Excellent post, spot on +100; c3!!

    In my first CCW class the instructor held up a loaded (armed) mouse trap and stated, "Look at my new pistol"; then handed it to the first person in the class and told them to pass it around.

    Yup, every person in the class accepted it and passed it to the next. Being last, I took it from my buddy, disarmed it and took it to the instructor.

    I'm sure had it been a pistol, folks would have checked it early on, but it was a lesson they won't ever forget!
     
  15. Highpower

    Highpower New Member

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    The second most important First Rule..

    Quoted for truth.
    Fortunately the few AD's I have experienced only resulted in the shot being off center of my intended target. Even though I was mostly lined up on target and ready to shoot, having the gun fire before you intend it to - is an unsettling experience. (A very light trigger pull that breaks before you expect it to...)

    After you experience one AD, you don't forget it. But it doesn't guarantee it won't happen again. :(

    VERY good point BB!
     
  16. Dzscubie

    Dzscubie New Member

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    Dune, I like that! can I use it in my training program?
     
  17. Dzscubie

    Dzscubie New Member

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    Everyone no matter how well trained or attentive to detail will someday have a brain fart. That being said everyone should ALWAYS strive for perfection and never, ever, hand or accept a weapon without making sure it is unloaded and in a safe condition.

    You would not believe what a 45acp will do to a Mr. Coffee with a full pot of coffee,,, took me an hour to clean the kitchen and wife would not let me patch the hole in the wall as a reminder, she even put a frame around it. :mad: (oh yeah, not Linda this was my 2nd wife)
     
  18. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    I was reading over this thread again and I had to ask myself. Am I the only one who make an effort to hand a weapon off with the slide racked back or cylinder open? This way, the weapon can't be fired no matter what.
     
  19. BILLYBOB44

    BILLYBOB44 Active Member

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    You are right

    You're right Spitty. The ONLY way to present a weapon to another is in the open position. That way, you know-they know+the world knows, that the weapon is cleared..:D
     
  20. zhuk

    zhuk New Member

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    We would get chewed out by the RO if anyone didn't do this...rank newbies get one (or maybe two at the outside) friendly warnings before he starts to crackdown. Put the gun on the 'safe area' table - slide open. Unholster for any reason - slide open. Hand off to anyone - slide open.


    Hopefully, that way it gets to be an automatic reflex.