Whether you are an avid hunting enthusiast or want to polish your shooting skills at the range, you have to be careful with firearms around. Mishaps do happen even with the best hunters and shooters, and it makes sense to follow gun safety rules at all times. It becomes all the more vital when you are outdoors because there will be people around, and you will not want to put lives in danger.
Moreover, medical help isn’t around in the wild, and accidents can be hard to handle in this situation. The best thing you can do is to avoid such mishaps in the first place. Just going the extra mile with gun safety outdoors can prevent accidents and save lives. Here are some simple tips that can help you prepare for a safe and enjoyable shooting spree.
Keep the Gun Unloaded When not Shooting
As a rule of thumb, firearms should not be loaded until you are in the hunting ground or on the target range. It is crucial to ensure that guns and ammunition are secured in a safe place when not in use. Even when you are at home, lock them up in a safe and hide the key in a secret location. It is a good idea to store guns and ammunition separate from each other so that an unauthorized person is unable to access them together. You have to be extra careful if a youngster is joining you on the shooting trip because they may try to access the weapon out of curiosity. Unload the firearm when you are back from the field. Be cautious while traveling too, you must make sure that the gun is under lock and key at all times.
Handle the Weapon Consciously
Just keeping the gun inaccessible for an unauthorized person is not enough. You also need to be conscious while handling it because you may injure yourself if you aren’t careful. Never perform any awkward action, such as crossing a fence or climbing a tree with a loaded gun. Following the common-sense rules with handling firearms goes a long way in preventing mishaps. Treat it as a dangerous weapon rather than a plaything. Keep the trigger locked at all times, unless you are hunting or shooting. Visually check the chamber to ensure that the gun isn’t loaded when you hand it over to someone.
Be Extra Sure of your Target
While you have to be watchful all the time when you are outdoors with a firearm, the real work starts when you get down shooting. You cannot afford to go wrong with the target because a bullet is dangerous if fired wrongly. It is best to invest in gun optics and accessories if you plan to pursue hunting or shooting for the long haul. With these accessories, you have the confidence that you will not go wrong with the target. Besides identifying your target with surety, look beyond to ensure that the bullet will not hit anyone or anything accidentally.
Know your Gun Inside Out
Firearms are sophisticated weapons with complicated features and mechanisms. Moreover, not all guns are the same, so you cannot be too sure about weapon training. You may have to carry and handle different guns differently. It is vital to thoroughly familiarize yourself with a firearm before you take it outdoors. Read the manual to know it inside out, from loading to unloading, handling, and carrying it safely. You can even consider professional training from an expert before you start using the weapon on your own. Never use a gun without a complete understanding of its mechanisms and characteristics because you can risk yourself and others around.
Get your Gun Serviced before Every Outing
Owning a gun is a responsibility, and you must do everything it takes to ensure safety. Never step out for a shooting spree without getting the weapon serviced because it may need cleaning, repair, and maintenance. Even if you go on trips often, servicing should be a habit every time you plan a trip. Firearms are mechanical devices, which makes them susceptible to normal wear and tear. Even if you do not use it for an extended period, follow a servicing schedule recommended by the manufacturer. Also, never alter or modify a gun because it is meant to work in its original condition. An altered weapon can be dangerous, so steer clear of such ideas.
Use Correct Ammunition for your Gun
Apart from gun safety, you need to be watchful about ammunition safety as well. Always use only the correct ammunition as mentioned in the manual specifications. Improper ammunition is dangerous as it can cause the weapon to explode, and the person handling it can get injured. Firearms are designed and tested with specific ammunition and work safely only with those. It is a risk that you should not take at any cost. You need to be conscious about ammunition disposal too. Discard bullets that are wet or damaged. Always buy quality ammunition from a trusted seller.
Invest in Personal Protection
It is also crucial to invest in personal protection if you regularly go hunting or shooting. Buying body armour is a good idea as it will keep you safe from stray bullets in the wild. Do not miss out on eye and ear protection because they will keep your vision and hearing secure. Glasses protect you against twigs, clay target chips, and falling shots. You should even wear them while disassembling and cleaning the firearm. Hearing loss is another concern for shooters who are out for sprees frequently, so do not skimp on safety accessories.
Gun safety is not a choice for shooters and hunters. It is something you have to prioritize at home and outdoors. It is wise to invest in the right accessories you need to keep yourself and others safe. Also, following all the common-sense rules will keep you covered without spending a single dollar. Just keep safety on priority every time you step out, and you will have a great time!