Necessary Safety Equipment for Shooting Guns
When we talk about gun safety, usually the first thing that comes up is the four rules or 10 commandments of firearm safety which we will talk about a little later. Gun safety starts with implementing the rules but definitely doesn’t end there. I want to continue on the safety subject but more along the lines of what type of shooting gear and equipment do we need to help keep us safe.
Safety Glasses for shooting
Our eyes are irreplaceable but often forgotten about when it comes to shooting guns. Eye protection may help in many different circumstances. If we are outside, they will help keep blowing dirt out of our eyes and protect you from the wind. For shooting, they will block your eyes from being hit by a stray fragment. In addition to eye protection from physical objects, you can easily find many options to block out the sun at the same time.
Different shades of safety glasses are available: clear, smoke, yellow, rose and more. Depending on conditions outside and your sensitivity to light or glare depends on your choice. If you wear glasses, you may want safety glasses that fit over your prescription glasses or you may want to get prescription shooting glasses. Also, comfort is a factor for any safety equipment. If it is not comfortable, chances are you may not wear it.
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If your eyes are injured, it could change your life forever, it may even end your ability to shoot firearms. Be sure to PROTECT YOUR EYES. Check out these great glasses below like the Wiley X Saber advanced sunglasses and the Smith Optics Elite.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re shooting a Sig Sauer P938 or a Smith & Wesson 500 Magnum you have to be dressed for that command, Commence Firing.
Shorts and flip-flops are not a good idea WHEN GOING TO THE SHOOTING RANGE. Choosing the appropriate clothing when going to the range is important. The shell casing from each shot as it ejects can land on your leg, feet or toes and burn you. Closed-toe shoes and durable pants are the appropriate choices.
HATS: Below is a good example by Trendy apparel of a bright colored hunting baseball cap. One may not think of a hat as safety equipment, however, if you are at an outside shooting range and going down range to check your target, a bright safety colored hat could make the difference of being recognized or not. Shooting or Hunting for whatever game, the same rule applies. A bright colored safety red or safety orange hat could make the difference of being recognized as a person and not a target. THIS IS CRITICAL. Bright Colors Stand out more.
HEARING: Hearing protection is of paramount importance. Once we damage the tiny hairs in our ears, there is no bringing them back. What can happen when we hear a loud noise, is the sensitive hairs in our ears can be damaged. With the next loud noise, more damage is done and so on until we have significant hearing loss that cannot be reversed. Prescription Hearing aids can be used to augment our hearing but it will never be the same. Whether we are shooting, mowing the lawn or doing anything that puts us in the vicinity of loud noise we need to protect our hearing with ear plugs or ear muffs or in some situations both. I know a man who damaged his hearing just riding in a car with the windows down driving at highway speeds. There are many different options available from noise canceling ear muff styles to custom earplugs. Don’t put this off get them today! Not to belabor this, but PROTECT YOUR HEARING.
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Know your Shooting Range Rules
When at the range, be sure to familiarize yourself with the RANGE RULES. Each indoor or outdoor shooting range may have different rules, so make sure you know the rules of the range you are at.
Gun orientation matters
When taking the gun out of the bag or case be aware of which way the gun is pointing. If the barrel of the gun is not pointing down range, turn the bag or case around before removing the gun from the bag or case. Then take the gun out of the bag or case (barrel of the gun) pointed down range and finger off the trigger.
Always be sure if your gun is loaded or not
When using a semiautomatic, take out the magazine and check in the magazine well to show that the gun is empty. Also, check in the chamber to make sure there is no shell in the gun. If the slide is closed, lock the slide back and check inside the magazine and check inside the chamber. When setting the gun down, set it down with the ejection port up so that it can be seen that there is nothing in the chamber with the slide locked back and the magazine out.
When checking targets, changing shooters or reloading you will want to set the gun down just the way we discussed. Always keep the gun barrel pointed down range and level to the floor. Never have a loaded gun sitting on the bench by itself.
Outdoor ranges are different because with an indoor range the targets are retrieved mechanically with a push of a button and sent back the same way. With an outdoor range, the range officer has to call for everyone to stop firing and give directions that you may attend to your targets. Once everyone has checked their targets, the range officer will then give the ALL CLEAR so you can begin firing again and only then you may start shooting.
Gun Safes and storage
As a responsible gun owner, it is important to control our guns. By that I mean, we need to prevent unauthorized access to our guns, especially by minors. That means we need to have a designated place to keep our guns when not in use. For many of us, our guns are in storage mode 95% of the time. We need a safe place for our guns and ammunition when at home. A GUN SAFE is a good way to do that. A safe will keep your guns from being damaged and protect them from natural disasters, break-ins or fires. There are many safe storage solutions (see safe reviews).
There are biometric locks, regular combination locks and more. If these styles of firearm safes are not feasible for you, consider a lock box or bag that locks. They are smaller and can be used to transport hand guns safely. Lockboxes also can have a biometric lock for quick easy access. Lockboxes can be bolted down to protect them from thieves. Another option is a trigger lock. Not as quick as a biometric lock for access but still keeps children from the gun. This, of course, is a controversial topic and you can read more about that here, trigger locks. If you are transporting a gun, it’s not a good idea to leave it unattended in the vehicle as many guns are stolen from vehicles. There are many options for safe gun transport and storage. Researching some of these will make you more comfortable and safe with transporting and storing your guns.
For a more in depth review on safety equipment click here
Rules of gun safety
I spoke earlier about rules of GUN SAFETY. While many people know the rules of gun safety, it is human nature to become complacent and we need to guard against this.
Generally, it is widely known that there are four basic rules to gun safety, these are the only rules but the most common and widely known.
1st TREAT EVERY GUN AS IF IT IS LOADED
2nd NEVER POINT YOUR GUN AT SOMETHING YOU DON’T WANT TO SHOOT
3rd KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT (NOT JUST OFF THE TRIGGER AWAY FROM THE TRIGGER UP ON THE FRAME)
4th BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET BEFORE YOU SHOOT
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As gun owners, we have a great responsibility to use every avenue available to keep those around us safe. We can do that by situational awareness, by knowing our guns intimately and by keeping in practice by using them often.