Practical Shooting Tips
The exhilarating sport of Shooting is a prestigious but expensive and dangerous hobby or fad. Even so, for sports minded individuals, money and risk is no big deal compared to the excitement and pride this game could give to one.
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Talking by experience, if one is a first timer, usually they feel excited and proud but the fear for the consequences in case accident happens during try outs by and large may give them a hesitant feeling. However, the sense of pride and being looked up to in the society especially if one is a member of a popular gun club, can let one forget the scary side of the game too.
Basically, amateur shooters should be familiar with the following commands which are usually directed by Range Officers:
- “Load and make ready” – the shooter by this command, should insert the magazine and put the gun in the holster.
- “Are you ready?” – the shooter should answer to this question, if not, the Range Officer will proceed to the next command.
- “Standby” – two to three seconds later, the shooter will hear a beep sound, then the shooter should shoot the target immediately.
- “If you are finished, unload and show clear”
- “Pull trigger” – pulling the trigger should not be upward nor downward but towards the target.
The following are important signage’s and other safety instructions to tag along:
- Cold Range – no one is allowed to carry their firearms with inserted magazine or with cocked hammer inside the range.
- Safety Area – is the only place where the shooter can touch, disassemble/assemble, clean and dry fire the firearm.
- Cease Fire – firing must cease immediately. Anybody can give this order if he/she witness unsafe handling of firearm.
- Dropped handgun – the shooter should not pick-up unless told to do so by the Range Officer.
- Empty shells – the shooter should wait for the signals before picking up empty shells or unspent bullet.
- Eye protector and ear protector – wearing is a must when a competitor.
- Moving between firing position – when a shooter are required to move to the next firing line the handgun must be in a safe position. The finger should be out of the trigger guard and handgun shall point downrange at all times.
- Jammed hand gun – competitor should raise his hand and shout “JAMMED”, to alert the Range Officer.
Safety Procedures inside the Firing Range
- Make sure that your firearm is unloaded when you enter a firing range. Check for load in a safe area.
- Handle your firearm only in the firing line or safety area with the approval of the Range Officer. Obey your Range Officer.
- Load firearm only upon advice of the Range Officer.
- Never hold your firearm if there are people in front of you or with people downrange.
- In a firing line with no barriers, the person to your right is always given priority unless stated otherwise.
- Always announce that you are “FIRING” before you start shooting to allow other people to prepare for your firing.
- Always wear eye and ear protectors when firing and while inside firing ranges.
- Follow the 180 degree safety rule. When allowed to handle your firearm, always point the muzzle of your firearm downrange.
- Make sure that no magazine is inserted inside your pistol and keep your hammer down unless you are allowed to shoot.
- After clearing your firearm of ammunition, cock the hammer and pull the trigger with the muzzle pointing downrange to fully ensure that the firearm is cleared of any ammunition.
- Holster (if allowed) or bag firearm if firing. If you are to place the firearm on a table, open the cylinder of the unloaded revolver or pull back and lock the slide of the pistol.
- Follow at all times the Rules of Gun Safety.
Rules of Gun Safety
Consider Every Gun as Loaded
Every gun has the potential for danger. Accidents happen because they thought the gun was empty. If you always assume that a gun is loaded, you avoid accidents.
Never Let the Muzzle of a Gun Point at Anything You Do Not Intend to Shoot
If a gun is fired accidentally, the chances of harm is avoided if it is pointed in a safe direction. Do not let the muzzle or the hole where the bullet exits point at people, at surface which can be penetrated and where there may be people behind.
Keep Your Firearm Finger Off The Trigger Until You Are Ready to Fire
A gun will not fire unless the trigger is deliberately pressed. Do not touch the trigger until you have set your gun sights on a target and you are ready to shoot.
Be Sure Of Your Target and What Is Around It
When you have made a decision to shoot make sure you know where the bullet will end up. If you miss, the bullet can hit an innocent bystander or go through a wall and hit someone behind.