Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Rule 1

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by RyanM, Sep 6, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. RyanM

    RyanM Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,412
    Location:
    PA
    (This is my 2,222nd post, hooray)

    Rule 1 of gun safety: all guns are always loaded. Oftentimes, people change this to "treat all guns as if they were loaded." In any case, that's the way people like to interpret it. But that is absolutely, positively wrong. All guns are always loaded.

    That means always keep your guns are loaded, unless it's absolutely necessary to unload them. There is absolutely no such thing as an unloaded gun. All guns are always loaded. Keep them that way. If you get in the habit of always unloading your guns, you come to subconsciously think of them that way. The one time they're not empty, best case scenario is you crap your pants. Again, there is no such thing as an unloaded gun. By always keeping your firearms loaded, that point is driven home.

    You may say that keeping your guns loaded is "dangerous." That's absolutely false. An "empty" gun is considerably more dangerous than a loaded one, as long as it's in mechanically sound condition. You should be genuinely surprised if you pick up one of your guns, clear it, and don't get ammo popping out of it, because all guns are always loaded. They're safer that way.

    I've never had a negligent discharge, and I hope I never will. Because unloaded guns do not exist. I know for a fact that all my guns are loaded. Do you?
     
  2. Blackbeard

    Blackbeard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,722
    Location:
    Behind the Daley Curtain (IL)
    Sounds good but if it were true I couldn't go to the range. Can't transport a loaded firearm in Daleystan.
     
  3. AZAndy
    • Contributing Member

    AZAndy Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,192
    Location:
    Prescott, AZ, USA
    Gonna make dry-firing a bit difficult. ;-) But yes, other than dry-firing, draw practice, or cleaning, my pistols are always loaded and ready.

    A.
     
  4. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    14,832
    Location:
    Elbert County, CO
    Just wait. Like you, I keep mine loaded always and know that they are. I still have a hole from a 250 gr. .452" slug in the basement carpet. ND doesn't necessarily mean that the gun was thought to be empty, it just means that you discharged a round when you didn't intend to. In my example, a combination of a fully loaded SAA and too much gun oil.

    That's why all the other rules take a back seat to rule #2; as long as your firearm is pointed in a safe direction, a ND will only result in some embarrassment and perhaps minor property damage.
     
  5. ranger58

    ranger58 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Messages:
    126
    RyanM

    congrats on the 2,222 posts:),good points to be reminded of on gun saftey.

    R58
     
  6. spencerhut

    spencerhut Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Messages:
    524
    Location:
    ID
    I thought Rule #1 was "Bring a gun" :rolleyes:
     
  7. ShooterMcGavin

    ShooterMcGavin Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Messages:
    630
    It seems logical that on your 2,222nd post, you might give reinforcement to Rule #2 ;)

    Congrats.

    Are these reasons to unload your gun?:
    Storing a gun for long term
    transporting it (in some states)
    shipping
    shooting the last round [at the range]
    -AND ESPECIALLY THE FOLLOWING...
    cleaning
    dry firing
    handing a firearm to a friend

    Onto Rule #2....
    I point my gun or allow it to point (same thing) at my feet regularly, when it is carried in my IWB holster. I point my gun at other people, when carrying in a shoulder holster. My gun points at one of my walls all night, when it is on my nightstand as I sleep. My barrel points all over my house, when I clean my gun.

    I will not go on with the other rules. My point is that it is literally impossible to follow the first 3 rules PERFECTLY. As you can see, my little post started to sound quite pedantic. There is always human involvement. Therefore, there will always be the possibility of danger when handling firearms, just as when driving a car. I think the point of Rule #1 is to KNOW, without a doubt, that your gun is uloaded when you handle it as such (i.e. cleaning). There is a difference between the act of unloading and the state of being unloaded. How do I KNOW, without a doubt, that my gun is unloaded? Shortly after I have stuck my finger in the chamber. That gives me enough time to clean, dry fire, or hand my gun to a friend. If the gun leaves my hand or my immediate sight, it is loaded and deadly, and will be treated as such.

    Ok, I am ready to be flamed. Go easy on me :eek:
     
  8. littlegator

    littlegator Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Messages:
    508
    Location:
    Vegas
    No wonder your feet are afraid of you. :p
     
  9. ShooterMcGavin

    ShooterMcGavin Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Messages:
    630
    I guess I should also acknowledge that you (RyanM) were not making the outrageous claim that it might have seemed I responded to. I was really trying to point out that the 4 rules are flawed, because they were written by humans and must be followed by humans.

    I do agree with your sentiment.
     
  10. M_Olson

    M_Olson Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    159
    Location:
    Hugo, MN
    ok, its been about 10 years since my firearms safety course. i always hear people talking about the 4 rules on here, but no one ever lists them, and i only remember 3 of 4:

    gun is always loaded

    finger off the trigger till ready to shoot
    and
    never point the gun at anything your not willing to destroy.

    whats #4?
     
  11. MakAttak

    MakAttak Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    Messages:
    898
    Location:
    VA
    Rule #4: Know your target and what's behind it.
     
  12. ShooterMcGavin

    ShooterMcGavin Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Messages:
    630
    Be sure of your target and what is beyond/around it.
     
  13. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Messages:
    11,691
    Location:
    North Idaho
    Storage

    For those of you worried about long-term storage, that's what gun locks are for.

    When you know you're going to store the gun unloaded for any amount of time, then you employ a cable lock.

    This way, it's obvious and visible that the gun is not loaded, there's no way someone will play with it and hurt themselves, and you won't be tempted to do something truly stupid, like trying to defend yourself with an unloaded gun.

    Cleaning, inspecting, handing to a friend, and dry firing are all short-term activities during which you temporarily unload the gun. You have to double check when you do that, because they're more dangerous when unloaded.

    Under normal circumstances, when you look in your safe, you will immediately know which ones are unloaded and dangerous, as they'll be the ones with the locks on them.

    The unlocked ones are, of course, loaded and ready for use.

    [There's no "ha-ha, only serious" smiley; rats]
     
  14. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    13,233
    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    "That means always keep your guns are loaded, unless it's absolutely necessary to unload them."

    No thanks, never have kept all of my guns loaded and I never will.

    To each their own, but I just don't see any value in your scheme.

    I know a man with 1200 shotguns in his collection. You think he needs to keep all of them loaded?

    When you pick a gun up you open the action and check it. Simple.

    John
     
  15. tydephan

    tydephan Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Messages:
    2,142
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    Holy Toledo!

    Is that a typo?

    Does he own a Mountain called Gander?
     
  16. Mainsail

    Mainsail Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,079
    Location:
    Washington
    Huh, when I remove all the cartridges from my firearm, it’s unloaded. I can then treat it like it’s unloaded and dry fire it, clean it, or disassemble it. So I guess I regularly violate (your) rule one. Here’s the four rules as I know them:
     
  17. sacp81170a

    sacp81170a Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2,410
    Location:
    Farmington, AR
    I don't see what's so hard about adding 4 little logical words: "until you confirm otherwise". Simple. It's loaded unless I've checked it to make sure. Otherwise, how are you supposed to check the barrel of your hunting rifle for obstructions? Don't want to point a "loaded" gun at your own head, eh?

    I understand your sentiment, but guns aren't magical articles subject to different laws of physics than other dangerous objects. The electrical wire is "hot" until I confirm otherwise. The water is too shallow to dive into until I confirm otherwise. It would be nonsensical to stop and say only this thing or that thing exists in any condition until you check for yourself. You should always check when dangerous tools or actions are involved, however. Dangerous habits are what kill, not tools.
     
  18. RyanM

    RyanM Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,412
    Location:
    PA
    1200 shotguns? Holy crap. Although the ones that are handled and/or shot regularly should indeed be kept loaded. No such thing as an empty gun, and an empty gun is more dangerous than a loaded one anyway.

    And I'd say Arfin summed up what I was trying to say perfectly.

    Are you perfect? Have you never missed a single detail, ever, in your entire life? Are you able to open a Where's Waldo book to any random page, and immediately find Waldo, every time?

    It's possible to forget the chamber, or forget the magazine. It's possible that the extractor may fail, and leave a round in the chamber. It's possible that you might not see the round in the chamber. The LCI might fail, especially if the extractor is broken.

    Therefore, when handling an "unloaded" gun, in any way, for any reason, you must still point it in a safe direction, and otherwise act as though it's loaded. When dry-firing, you must point it in a safe direction (I use a wall in the basement, low enough that there's nothing but dirt, should the bullet make it through the wall), as though it were loaded and you had no choice but to fire the gun in some direction, for some reason. You must still assume the gun is loaded, because it might be. The only allowable exception would be if the gun is very clearly empty, with the action open and a "flag" or something inserted in the chamber, or if it's in enough pieces that it can no longer function.
     
  19. sacp81170a

    sacp81170a Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2,410
    Location:
    Farmington, AR
    No, that's why rule 2 exists. Never point a loaded gun at something you're not willing to destroy. If I haven't checked it, it's loaded.

    So you admit that there is a logical exception, and that is when you have visually and physically checked that a gun is unloaded. The problem we have here is one of semantics, and I believe it has to do with what we mean by "check". For the record, to check a weapon, you ensure that there is no magazine in the well, no rounds in the cylinder, or, for rifles and shotguns, no rounds in the magazine. Open the action, and visually and physically confirm that there is no round in the chamber. This means you look and stick your finger in the chamber to check. Then you are assured that it is unloaded.

    The problems that people get into usually involve missing one or more steps of this check procedure. Ammo out, chamber clear. Too many times you hear about people assuming without checking or taking someone else's word that a firearm is unloaded. It's loaded until you personally have checked, even if it's only been handed to your buddy for a second for him to look at. Proper etiquette is for you to hand a weapon to him in such a manner that he can easily check for himself, i.e., action open and toward him, and he hands it back in the same manner. I do this all the time, and the habit is contagious if you follow it conscientiously. For the record, I have had ND's, and it's always been because I broke rule #1 or #3 (booger hook off the bang switch).

    Fortunately, because I was following rule #2, nothing was hurt. That's the way the rules work. For someone to get hurt, you have to break two or more of them and breaking two or more of the rules is no accident, it's negligence.
     
  20. Mainsail

    Mainsail Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,079
    Location:
    Washington
    That’s a lot of “you must” statements. Since my firearms cannot possibly load themselves, I can dry fire it wherever I determine it’s prudent. If I want to track the cat as it walks across the room, I can. It’s unloaded because I unloaded it and checked to ensure it was unloaded. If I am any less than 100% sure that it’s unloaded, it takes only the briefest moment to check.

    Lets examine the four rules, using your logic:
    “1. All guns are always loaded.”
    According to this, you shouldn’t be dry firing at all! Neither should you clean it or allow anyone else to touch it.
    “2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.”
    Well, you don’t want to destroy the top of your safe. You don’t want to destroy the bottom of your holster either. You probably don’t want to destroy the cellar wall.
    “3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.”
    On the target? That requires you to get pretty close. Wear your eye protection!
    “4. Be sure of your target.” Know what it is, what is in line with it and what is behind it.”
    Well, if you violate all the other rules and get to the point where you’re actually pointing your gun at something, say an elk, how do you know that there isn’t a little school girl standing behind the elk? You can’t be sure of what’s behind the elk, right?

    That is, of course, sarcasm. My point is that you have to know not just the rule in its rote abbreviated form, but also what it’s protecting against and why it’s a rule. If your intellect is lacking, such that you feel you can only be safe if you’re obedient to a mechanical repetition of the rules, you may be better off not owning any firearms whatsoever.

    My guns are either loaded or unloaded. I treat them as though they are loaded until I have positively determined that they are not. Don’t treat your firearms with a condition of fear, but with respect for what they are and what they are capable of doing.
     
  21. boredelmo

    boredelmo member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2006
    Messages:
    720
    Location:
    Austin/Houston, Texas
    Between my father and i, we have approx 30 firearms. Keeping all of them loaded just wouldn't make sense.

    Keeping them unloaded just in case you ever slip up on rule 1 is not too bad.

    No matter how perfect we are, there are too many variables. Some loaded firearms go off when dropped, im pretty sure dropping a gun is an accident. You can say youve never dropped your camera/cell phone a few times right? Of course you didn't mean it.

    But of course, rules 1 will have a different interpretation from person to person
     
  22. XD Fan

    XD Fan Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,012
    Location:
    Stuck up here (rural Missouri) and got Dixie on my
    Wow, 1200 firearms of any kind...cool.

    I do not keep any of my guns loaded. I know many here think that is fool hardy. I will endure your disapproval. I agree that "empty" (emphasis on the quotation marks) guns are dangerous, however I have never had an ND with a gun I thought was unloaded. Why is that? It is because I never pick up a gun without checking to see if it is loaded or not. If I have just wacthed someone unload a gun, I check it after they hand it to me. If they hand it to me with the action open and the magazine out, I check it again. I treat my guns as loaded except in the above mentioned situations of cleaning and what not.

    As to whether it is possible to follow the letter of the four rules, I think we are really getting into semantics. It is the spirit of the rules that is important.

    Even when we establish that a gun is unloaded, we still live by the spirit of the four rules. Yes we may clean it, dry fire it or "track the cat":what:. However, we would (should) never track our child or jump out of a closet and point a confirmed unloaded gun at our spouse to see the expression on his/her face. Obviously these are things we should never do no matter how sure we are that a gun is unloaded. Even if I had a cable lock through the action, I should not be pointing a gun at a person. In that sense I still treat it like it is loaded.

    Hey, Ryan. Congrats on #2222.
     
  23. SteveS

    SteveS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    866
    Location:
    MI
    I get it.

    Huh, so all guns are always unloaded unless they aren't? Thanks, but no thanks. I have gotten by all these years with "treat them as if they were loaded" and "always check."
     
  24. RH822

    RH822 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2006
    Messages:
    419
    Location:
    Indiana
    I was raised with my fathers version of the rules, very similar.

    Treat every gun as if it is loaded, until you check that it isn't.
    Never point a gun at anything you don't intend to shoot.
    Pay attention to what's behind your target, bullets can go a long way.
    and my favorite,
    Never use your scope as binoculars, people tend to get nervous when some jackass is pointing a rifle at them.

    As for keeping all my guns loaded. The only loaded gun in my house is the one I have with me. The way I see it, if a bad guy wants a loaded gun...he can bring his own, I sure as hell ain't gonna supply him one.

    RH
     
  25. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    13,233
    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    Holy Toledo!

    Is that a typo?
    _______________

    No.

    Visualize a collection containing a lot of old English shotguns. Visualize a gun room with a house built up around it.

    I understand that his grandmother has her own collection, but hers might still be in England.

    John
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page