April 1, 2024

Top 10 Common Mistakes in Firearm Handling and How to Avoid Them

As a responsible gun owner, I know that firearm safety isn't just about knowing how to shoot—it's about understanding and avoiding common mistakes that could compromise safety and accuracy. That's why I've put together this guide to explore the top 10 errors that shooters often make and provide practical tips on how to steer clear of them. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just getting started, knowing these mistakes and how to rectify them will make for a safer shooting experience all around.

1. Neglecting Safety Basics:

It's easy to become complacent, especially if you've been around firearms for a while. However, safety should always be your number one priority. Treat every gun as if it's loaded, regardless of whether you've checked it yourself.

Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, whether you're at the range or in your home. Your finger should remain off the trigger until you're ready to shoot, helping to prevent any accidental discharges. Additionally, being aware of your target and what's beyond it is crucial. Bullets can travel far and cause damage, so always know what you're aiming at.

2. Inadequate Knowledge of Firearm Mechanics:

Understanding how your firearm operates is essential for safe handling. Each gun has its own unique characteristics and functions, so take the time to familiarize yourself with yours.

Read the owner's manual thoroughly and consider taking a firearms safety course. Learning how to load, unload, and clear malfunctions properly will not only keep you safe but also prevent damage to your firearm.

3. Incorrect Storage Practices:

Proper storage of firearms is crucial for preventing accidents, theft, and unauthorized access. Invest in a quality gun safe or lockbox to securely store your firearms when they're not in use. Ensure that the safe is located in a secure location, away from children and potential intruders.

Store your ammunition separately from your firearms, and consider using trigger locks or cable locks for added security. Remember, responsible storage is a fundamental aspect of responsible gun ownership.

4. Poor Trigger Discipline:

This mistake might seem minor, but it's one of the leading causes of accidental discharges. Keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to fire. It's a simple rule, but it can prevent a potentially dangerous situation.

Developing good trigger discipline takes practice, but it's well worth the effort. Make a conscious effort to keep your finger indexed along the frame or slide of the firearm until you've made the decision to shoot.

5. Lack of Proper Maintenance:

Regular maintenance is essential for keeping your firearms in optimal condition. Neglecting cleaning and inspections can lead to malfunctions and decreased accuracy.

Develop a routine maintenance schedule and stick to it. Clean your firearms after every use and inspect them for any signs of wear or damage. Replace worn-out parts promptly to ensure that your firearms continue to function safely and reliably.

6. Poor Recoil Management:

Recoil can be intimidating for new shooters, but proper technique can help you manage it effectively. Mishandling recoil can affect your accuracy and cause discomfort.

Start by working on your stance, ensuring that your feet are shoulder-width apart and your body is properly aligned with the target. Grip the firearm firmly but not too tightly, allowing it to recoil naturally without losing control. Focus on your breathing, taking slow, steady breaths to help you maintain control and accuracy. With practice, you'll become more comfortable handling recoil and shooting accurately.

7. Ignoring Your Surroundings:

Situational awareness is essential for safe shooting, whether you're at the range or in the field. Always be mindful of your surroundings and any potential hazards. Pay attention to other shooters and range personnel, and follow all range rules and safety protocols.

If you're shooting outdoors, be aware of your surroundings and any potential risks, such as wildlife or rough terrain. By staying alert and aware of your surroundings, you can avoid accidents and ensure a safe shooting experience.

8. Overlooking Personal Protective Equipment:

Protective gear is essential for preventing injury and ensuring a safe shooting experience. Always wear eye and ear protection whenever you're shooting, regardless of the caliber or type of firearm. Shooting can be loud, and the noise can cause permanent damage to your hearing if you're not properly protected.

Additionally, wearing eye protection will shield your eyes from debris, hot brass casings, and other potential hazards. Don't overlook the importance of personal protective equipment—it could save your life.

9. Skipping Formal Training:

While informal instruction and self-teaching have their place, nothing beats formal training from certified instructors. They have the knowledge, experience, and expertise to provide you with structured guidance and correct any bad habits you may have developed.

Formal training courses cover a wide range of topics, from basic firearms safety to advanced shooting techniques. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced shooter, there's always something new to learn from formal training.

10. Lack of Continued Education:

Learning doesn't stop after your initial training—it's an ongoing process. Stay informed and engaged by attending advanced courses, participating in workshops, and staying updated on changes in laws and best practices. Continuous education will not only improve your skills as a shooter but also ensure that you remain a responsible and knowledgeable gun owner.

By understanding and actively avoiding these common mistakes, you're contributing to a culture of responsible firearm ownership. Regular training, education, and adherence to safety protocols ensure that you can enjoy your firearms safely and confidently. So let's keep shooting safely and responsibly, folks!

Blackstone Gun Safety

10749 Oak St NE, Unit #6
Donald, OR 97020

PO Box 408 Donald, OR 97020

(971) 238-2478