Firearm safety

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Firearm safety

Post by LenV on 2/19/2018, 12:46 am

We all know you don't show up at a match with loaded magazines in your pistols. Sometimes the Range Officer will even give you a glare if you show up with empty magazines in your pistol. But what is really the safest way to store and transport a firearm. I made an experiment one time at my local gunshop and proved to the owner that a magazine in was the safest way to transport/transfer. I set two pistols down behind the counter both empty but one had the magazine in and the other obviously had the magazine removed. Everyone that looked at the pistol with the magazine in checked to see if it was loaded. Less then half of the lookers checked the one without the magazine. Yes, I know that anyone with training would have checked both of the pistols. Which way was the safest way to store it?

Len
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Re: Firearm safety

Post by Blsi2600 on 2/19/2018, 1:50 am

My opinion would be with the magazine out and a 8 or 10 inch YELLOW zip tie inserted as an empty chamber indicator.  

Gently close the slide to hold the indicator in place. 

Muzzle forward in the box. 

Required that way at a big match I think.

This method of transport should go well with the LEO if you were stopped for any reason.

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Re: Firearm safety

Post by james r chapman on 2/19/2018, 4:57 am

Well, when you clear a pistol don't you first drop the mag, then check the chamber.

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Re: Firearm safety

Post by MarkOue on 2/19/2018, 6:16 am

No question about this when at a shooting range.  Magazine out, action open, Empty Chamber Indicator inserted.  Other shooters do not know how safe you are or are not. Plus, we all make a mistake or two in our lives.  

As Blsi recommended, a brightly collared zip tie may be inserted in the magazine well.  This one isn't normally needed but when extended grips are on a pistol it is.  Why, because a pistol on a shooting bench with the muzzle pointing downrange is hard for a range official to see if a magazine is in that pistol.  Some ranges may however require a magazine indicator inserted in all semi-auto pistols.  

When I arrive at the range my pistol(s) are snugly secured in my shooting box with the magazines out and actions closed.  When given permission to handle pistols (or revolvers) the first thing I do after loosening the box gun retainer and grasping the pistol is to, while pointing the muzzle downrange, open and lock the action.  If for some reason I need to step away from the bench I insert an EIC.

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Re: Firearm safety

Post by cdrt on 2/19/2018, 7:12 am

Just to throw something into the mix; current CMP rules require EIC's to be inserted when bringing firearms on to the range, whether in a gun box or not.  See rule 3.6.1 in the current Rifle/Service Pistol rule book.  Most of us have them in the gun box with the action closed and no mag inserted.
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Re: Firearm safety

Post by dronning on 2/19/2018, 7:46 am

Mag out
They make these little plastic dummy round with a small "flag" on them that you insert into the chamber and then you close the slide on them.  I have used them in the past to transport guns but I have managed to lose them all.
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Re: Firearm safety

Post by BE Mike on 2/19/2018, 8:07 am

LenV wrote:We all know you don't show up at a match with loaded magazines in your pistols. Sometimes the Range Officer will even give you a glare if you show up with empty magazines in your pistol. But what is really the safest way to store and transport a firearm. I made an experiment one time at my local gunshop and proved to the owner that a magazine in was the safest way to transport/transfer. I set two pistols down behind the counter both empty but one had the magazine in and the other obviously had the magazine removed. Everyone that looked at the pistol with the magazine in checked to see if it was loaded. Less then half of the lookers checked the one without the magazine. Yes, I know that anyone with training would have checked both of the pistols. Which way was the safest way to store it?

Len
Your observation just shows that the average customer doesn't follow the safety rules. The safest way to store your pistols is to visually check the chamber to insure that they are unloaded.
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Re: Firearm safety

Post by Bullseye_Stan on 2/19/2018, 9:18 am

I transport my pistols with an empty magazine in the gun.  It makes opening the slide and exposing the chamber for visual examination and inserting an empty chamber indicator as needed much easier.  This is typical from my observations of other shooters.  Plus, an empty magazine in the gun reduces space, clutter, and guarantees you have at least one magazine.  I don't see any safety issue, but will put an orange flag in my .22 since it also doubles as a dry-fire plug.  This transport method is also good for long-term storage. 

Also, if the guns are always pointed down-range both when the box is opened and when handling the firearms then I am comfortable.  If the rules require no-magazine, slides back, empty chamber indicators in place for transport and storage, then I would question those rules.  However, for competition, if it is required to show the firearms arrive on the range with no magazines, slides back, empty chamber indicators in place while in the box - then that's what would happen for that event.

There is more than one path to safety.  Some will say that by going 'above and beyond' what is typical is inherently safer.  Others disagree, in that using some visual identifier induces complacency and due diligence is always needed in that the chamber should always be opened and checked, the gun always pointed down range and considered loaded.  Relying on empty chamber indicators, which helps the range officer, is an invitation to complacency IMO.

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Re: Firearm safety

Post by dronning on 2/19/2018, 9:41 am

When it comes to firearm safety I take the "belt and suspenders" approach.  All guns are loaded until I personally clear it and prove it safe.  I don't trust anyone with my safety and having a mag inserted in a gun, at least to me, is one more step away from being safe.

If you hand me a firearm I clear it EVEN if I see you clear it before handing it to me.  Nothing personal.
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Re: Firearm safety

Post by willnewton on 2/19/2018, 11:26 am

I showed up to a new range and part of their check in for first time users is to open and “show clear” every pistol you have brought to the range.  I told the attendant that was not a problem at all and proceeded to pull out the couple of pistols I had brought from my range bag and open the gun rugs holding them, knowing they were totally clear and safe.

Except that it was odd that my .22 had a magazine in it.  Out of habit, I do not leave magazines in my pistol unless they are being fired.  On ejecting the magazine, we both saw it was loaded with bullets.  HOLY CRAP.  I apologized profusely to the attendant and said that was totally unlike me and had never happened before.

 The attendant replied that it was OK, but if a round had been chambered I would not have been allowed on the range for 24 hours and have to pass another check.  That is precisely why they do that check, because they catch new and experienced shooters making mistakes ALL THE TIME.

Truly, I feel safest on the line with dozens of BE shooters around me and least safe on the range when it is me and ANY other shooter at all.  I watched in horror as the only guy on the range next to me took a break to watch me shoot singlehand BE and when I was done pointed his loaded and cocked .40 at me while he told me how cool I was.  I very calmly asked him to stand still and stepped two feet to the right and then asked him to lower his pistol to the bench before he killed me.  He truly had ZERO idea of what he had just done. I packed up right then and left, letting the management know what just happened on the way out.

The proper amount of safety is an over abundance of it.
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Re: Firearm safety

Post by Bullseye_Stan on 2/19/2018, 1:24 pm

A few weeks ago we had a guy, who was a very experienced Bullseye shooter, fire a round either right before or during the three minute preparation period.  No damage was done and after a brief inspection by the range officer, the match proceeded as usual.  But if that fellow hadn't followed the golden rules of treating every firearm as if it were loaded and always keep the muzzle pointed down range then it would have been an event that would have required reporting, probably would have stopped the match, and some sort of mandatory safety meeting would have happened.

Mistakes happen, expect them and have a contingency plan for when they occur.  Good safety practices always outweigh any safety 'feature'.  While I haven't tried this, I think a round could be chambered with part of a visible empty chamber indicator in place which will allow the round to fire.  That would be rare and uncommon, but feasible.  I don't mean to state or imply safety features aren't good or useful, but they can and do fail.

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Re: Firearm safety

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