Firearm Safety

All posts tagged Firearm Safety

By Cody GriffinSurvivoPedia

Congratulations!  You just bought your first firearm.

No matter whether it is the latest and greatest in gun fashion, or a used weapon, you will need to learn how to shoot safely and effectively whether for hunting and/or self-defense.  Your best teachers will be commitment to a lifetime of training, practice, and gaining personal experience.

Training to shoot safely and effectively requires practice. Here are some essential tips to follow to make rookie’s training and gun usage accident-free, responsible, and enjoyable:

1. Choose The Right Gun for You

A 5‘2“ 98 pound person would have a ridiculously difficult time shooting a 500 Smith & Wesson Magnum.  In fact, the recoil might hurt the shooter more than a living target, assuming they can control the gun enough to hit the target.  Your handgun or rifle needs to fit you.

Continue reading at SurvivoPedia: The Rookie’s Guideline To Gun Ownership


By Jeremiah Johnson – Ready Nutrition

ReadyNutrition Readers, there can never be enough emphasis placed on the importance of weapons cleaning and maintenance.  We had a piece recently on how to maintain your weapons during the wintertime.  Keep in mind: the game changes completely when you fire the firearm.  You cannot afford to allow that weapon to sit with carbon buildup after you’ve fired it.  The moisture will come into play, and neglected, the weapon will be in really bad shape in about a week’s period of time or less.  If you are taking the tips on a regularly-scheduled maintenance program seriously, then it should be no problem whatsoever to incorporate your cleaning sessions into it after you have fired.

Keep this in mind: If you’ll maintain your car, can you do any less for your weapon…a piece of equipment where cleanliness and function may mean life or death?

Building Your Own Cleaning Kits for Firearms

So, how about a cleaning kit for your weapon?  Here’s what you need: One large “mothership” cleaning kit for general purpose and maintenance, and one cleaning kit that is portable, for what you carry or tote into the great outdoors.  There are plenty of different brands to choose from, and in the manner that fishing gear is more tailored to catch fishermen than fish, the same principle applies to cleaning kits.  You need some basics, and it is the basics we’ll cover.  First, your component parts:

  1. Cleaning rods: brass or steel is preferable; aluminum if there’s nothing else.  You want enough sections to be able to clean out your longest rifle barrel, and extra sections and handgrips for pistols and other rifles, as well.
  2. Bore Brushes: these are often stamped with the caliber (.22, .38, .45, etc.) on the base just past the threaded part you screw into the rod. They are also made for your chamber…to clean where the cartridge is actually seated when fired.  The ones stamped with the caliber are meant to pass through the entire length of the barrel. If you have multiple firearms, consider getting this bore brush kit.
  3. Patch-tips: have an “eye” hole at the end, and are threaded to screw onto your cleaning rod. The larger the eye, the bigger the patch it takes.
  4. Cleaning brushes: You will have some that are made with nylon bristles, akin to a toothbrush, and some with wire/metal bristles. This latter group is especially helpful with carbon buildups.
  5. Patches: can be 1” square, 2” square, and so forth; usually made of cotton or muslin fiber to clean the inside of the barrel and other locations with your firearm.
  6. Pipe cleaners: especially helpful for small holes and other locations that have interworking mechanisms, such as trigger or hammer assemblies. Very useful in cleaning out carbon from around springs, deep within the magazine well, and in front of your firing pins.
  7. Bore light devices: Once again, there are numerous types to choose from. I carry a small “mini Maglite” that uses one AAA battery; however, I recommend the little Plexiglas 90-degree angle “sticks” that are L-shaped.  You place one end into the end of your barrel, and the other end point toward a light source (a light bulb, the sun, etc.) and it will illuminate your barrel.
  8. Lubricant: Self-explanatory here. The function is to clean and also to coat with a light coating.  If you caught my other piece, then you may recall: I recommend 5W/30 Mobil Synthetic Motor Oil, available at about $7 to $8 per quart.  All the name-brand oils (Outers, etc.) sell for little 1 – 2 ounce bottles for about $3 to $4.  You do the math.  The Mobil Synthetic is a better oil, and far less expensive.
  9. Bore Solvent: On this one I don’t cut corners, because other solvents can leave a film…I pick up the brand-name stuff from Outers, RCBS, etc. A small bottle of it will last you a long time if you stretch it.  You need it to clean off hardcore powder fouling…the type coming from when you burn off more than a couple of hundred rounds in a weapon.  Search your catalogs, and you can find volume deals for a gallon at a time.
  10. Cleaning rags, pouches, and other accessories (magnifying glass, scraping tools, etc.)

Now as we mentioned in the beginning, what you can do for ease of simplicity is work from the “mothership” principle: consolidate the majority of your supplies in one box/chest, and “work” off of smaller, independent “kits” for individual firearms.

You want the ability to clean each weapon no matter where it is.  If they’re consolidated in one location?  Fine, but you want the ability to throw together a pouch with all of the supplies and materials listed above specific to any firearm.  Tote the kit with you along with the firearm when you leave home, away from the consolidated supplies (the mothership).  You will find that you can build numerous “kits,” or pouches for each firearm.  Keep them all together until the time you take the firearm away.

The rule of thumb: if the firearm is away from the home, the cleaning kit should be with it.  You will find military issue nylon pouches (they have three snaps) are exceptionally useful for these individual kits.  They hold all of the rods (broken down), your brushes, patches, and a small bottle for your oil.   This photo shows an issue kit you can order from for $16.20 called a UTG Model 4/AR15 Cleaning Kit Complete with Pouch

Although specifically for an M-4 (AR-15), as it is a 5.56 mm/.223 caliber weapon, you will find it can be used for a variety of different weapons cleaning applications.  Use your imagination, as necessity is the mother of invention.  You want to keep your cleaning kits and supplies in a water-tight, sealable case that will prevent moisture and perhaps take a beating.  Supplement this kit with cleaning rags and a small tool kit.  Patches you can make from something such as a white or cream-colored bedsheet that has outlived its original use.

Use your creativity and your imagination to make what you want and tailor it to your use.  Bottom line: your weapon can’t take care of you unless it is properly taken care of.  You can be smart and use some of these tips to lessen the bite to your wallet.  Just don’t cut corners when it comes to maintenance.  When you’re done at the range, either take it down and clean it there, or take it home and clean it right away.  Practice hard, clean those firearms, and keep in that good fight!  JJ out!

About the author:

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.


Gun Cleaning Kit

By  SurvivoPedia

A gun is only safe in the right pair of hands, but safety means much more than good shooting at the right time. You must pay attention to what you’re doing when cleaning your guns, follow the proper procedures and, just as important, use the right tools!

Poorly manufactured tools can ruin parts of the gun and also wear out faster. If you are in a long term post-crisis situation, the wrong gun cleaning kit can be just as bad as none at all.

So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the best tools on the market, based on my personal experience, not just a number of stars on Amazon.

What to Look for When Choosing Your Gun Cleaning Kit

When choosing a good quality cleaning kit for your firearms always buy the best quality tools that you can afford. If you just want to get a cleaning kit to be used only at home then purchase a universal multiple set. These cleaning sets usually come in a wooden or metal case and have a small diameter cleaning rod plus all the necessary cleaning tools for pistols, rifles and shotguns.

Continue reading at SurvivoPedia: How To Choose Your Gun Cleaning Kit


By Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog

Keeping a firearm in the home for self-protection and security is a decision which comes with a great responsibility.

Safety, safe handling and storage, a clear understanding of gun safety, training, as well as the support for having a firearm by other adults in the household – are circumstances that must be considered by a responsible owner of a firearm for home security.


Your biggest responsibility is being sure that children cannot access loaded firearms.

Kids are curious. Most kids have not been trained and disciplined to understand the true responsibilities that come with a firearm. Even if your kid (or young adult) has been trained and disciplined to properly respect the gun, there’s the situation when others may be visiting (for example). Just remember that fatal accidents can occur when children discover firearms that adults thought were safely hidden or out of reach.

When you are keeping a firearm for home security, the purpose is to have the firearm readily accessible to you. Not to others. Treat it as your weapon and your responsibility.
Where to keep your home security firearm?

A handgun can be ‘worn’ on your person, or it can be readily accessible in a quick-access case, pistol safe or gun safe. Even if there are no other people living in the household (perhaps just you, or you and your spouse), some may choose to leave a firearm openly accessible, although perhaps out of sight (e.g. in a closet, a drawer, etc..). Personally, I don’t like that notion. If you leave the home (without your firearm) and someone breaks in, your firearm will not be locked up. If you have guests over the house – you may not think about the fact that you have an accessible firearm which is out of your immediate control (what if your guests have kids?). In any event, I highly encourage a lockable gun safe or pistol safe (or multiple safes for various purposes). There are all sorts of sizes, shapes, and accessibility attributes to various gun safes

Continue reading at Modern Survival Blog: Firearm Safety For Guns Kept For Home Security



Most new gun owners can’t wait to get out to the range and start shooting. While practicing makes our list of top 6 things to do; there are some other equally important things to take care of first.

No matter whether you purchased a gun for sporting, hunting, or safety, doing these simple things will ensure your safety, and the long term usefulness of the gun.

1. Get and Read the Owner’s Manual

If your gun didn’t come with an owner’s manual, get one from the manufacturer. They will usually send one for free. Most manufacturers have manuals on their website that you can download and print for yourself, or you can write to them and get a copy for free. Failing that, consider using one of the many books available on basic gun assembly, dis-assembly, and maintenance.

Once you have the manual, read it cover to cover to learn about the different parts of your gun and how it operates.

Firearms are complex and potentially dangerous weapons in the hands of those unfamiliar with the way they function. They are also just as dangerous in the hands of someone that takes advice from others that seem to think they know more than the manufacturer when it comes to suitable ammunition, breaking in the gun, and maintenance requirements.

Never take the word of someone else, even if they are a professional gunsmith over what you find in the owner’s manual. If in doubt, write to the manufacturer and ask for further clarification. Until you are absolutely certain that all your questions are answered, do not fire the gun.

2. Don’t Assume Your Gun Is Clean and Ready to Fire

Once you’ve read up on how to clean the gun, you must take time to practice disassembling, cleaning, and lubricating it. These steps are vital to ensuring the gun will fire effectively, safely, and reliably.

Most new guns come coated with a protective grease to protect against rust and corrosion. Unfortunately, this coating is ineffective at lubricating the various internal moving parts of the firearm and barrel. The gun must be disassembled, lubed, and inspected for hidden damage.

Even if you bought a brand new gun, factory errors do occur, and damage can also happen in shipping. If you purchased a used weapon, you have no way of knowing what substance the previous owner may have used to clean and maintain the gun, or if he did at all.

If your firearm didn’t come with a cleaning/lubricating kit, you will need to purchase one. Choose a cleaner that removes factory grease, lead, copper, and powder fouling. After removing all of the factory grease, your firearm needs to be properly lubricated.

It should be noted there are many formulas on the market.  Modern synthetic lubricants work best and are many times better than old oils.

Never use WD-40 or any other cleaning agent not specifically made for firearms. Doing so could cause damage to the bluing of the gun, or lead to serious injury to yourself and others around you once the gun is fired.

Before you go dropping any lubricants into the cracks and crevices of your firearm, be familiar with how to field strip and reassemble your firearm first. You should apply lubricant to each of the moving parts of your firearm such as the slide rails, hinge pins, recoil parts, and trigger assembly.

You may also use a thin coating of the modern synthetic lubricant on the outside of the barrel and other exposed metal parts as a rust preventative. Be careful to apply just enough lubricant to get the job done.

(Video first seen on National Shooting Sports Foundation.)

3. Select Proper Ammunition

The barrel on most guns is marked with the type of cartridge recommended by the manufacturer. Most cartridges come in a variety of bullet weights, measured in grains, and styles.

Since there are redundancies in ammo types, one cartridge may be suitable for both hunting and self-defense, while others only for specific purposes.

Recently, specialty ammo has become more popular than broad range options. Do the research and consult with the manufacturer’s manual as to which bullet weight and style is best for your firearm and your intended purpose.

Varying from the manufacturer’s specifications in this area can substantially shorten the working life of the gun, lead to malfunction, may even cause the gun to backfire or injure you, and may also void your warranty.

4. Fire the Gun Properly the First Time

Before loading a full magazine and firing, you need to break in the barrel and test fire the gun.  Typically, both steps can be accomplished together. To begin, test fire the gun by inserting a single round and shoot the gun. Next, clean the barrel with the synthetic lubricant on a patch followed by one or two dry patches.

While not everyone agrees with the practice of single-shot test firing, it gives you a chance to experience the weapon’s recoil and other firing characteristics without another bullet being ready to fly from the barrel.

This is especially important if you have never fired a gun before and might become startled by the sound, shell ejection, or many other things that may cause you to drop the gun or otherwise lose control of it. Even seasoned gun shooters should follow this practice, since you never really know when a gun will stovepipe or do something else that causes you to lose control of the weapon before you learn what you need about how the gun will handle from a first test fire shot.

Variants of this process involve changing the number of rounds fired before each cleaning. For example, you fire one shot, clean the barrel, then fire two shots and clean the barrel again, then fire three shots and so on. Bear in mind that this initial effort, however inconvenient, will reward you with a lifetime of safe and reliable shooting.

5. Practice, Practice, and then Practice

It’s recommended that inexperienced shooters enroll in some kind of training to educate them on proper gun handling and shooting techniques.


Unfortunately, most basic training classes only teach you how to point your gun down range, aim at a fixed target, and pull the trigger. This type of training won’t teach you how to stalk prey and hit a moving target for hunting purposes, or how to use your weapon in a home-defense combat situation.

For that reason, you should consider taking an advanced training class that teaches you how to use your gun for real survival purposes. Always practice what you learned as often as possible at a firing range so that your skills grow and develop.

6. Always Know the Gun Laws in Your Local Area

Gun laws vary from state to state, and in some cases, from county to county.  Although hotly contested, some require weapons and certain magazine types to be registered. Most states also require concealed carry permits, while others allow you to carry your gun in plain sight as long as you have the proper permits and registration for the weapon itself.

Check with your state and local governments to see what laws apply to you and the specific gun type you purchased.

Ultimately, everyone has their own idea of what steps to take after purchasing a firearm.  Whether your gun is intended for hunting, home-defense, or everyday target shooting, safety should always be paramount.

The more familiar you are with your firearm, its parts, and its ammo, the more effective you will be when it comes to actually shooting, whether your target is a piece of paper down range, a deer in the woods, or an intruder on your doorstep.

Find out more about using guns for defense survival on Bulletproof Home.

This article first appeared at Survivopedia: Did You Buy a Gun? The First Things To Do After

pistol chamber check

By Adam C

Nowadays, we seem to entrust firearms manufacturers to add features to our guns in order to protect us from our own stupidity.

External safeties are the oldest of these creations and now falling out of vogue, but there are also two other nanny devices that have been fitted to modern handguns for our own “protection.” The first of these is a magazine disconnect, which is a device that impedes the handgun from firing if there is no magazine installed in the weapon. Basically, if you drop your magazine in a gunfight, this gizmo makes sure that you will never be able to return fire, even if you did have a few loose rounds in your pocket and you can get one into the chamber. This feature was mainly designed for those people who think that all you need to do to render a firearm safe is to drop the magazine (sarcasm).

The second feature that’s making its way into modern firearm design is the “loaded chamber indicator.” Usually, this is a metal tang on the side of the gun that displays the chamber condition. When a cartridge is inserted into the chamber, this tang sticks out from the slide somewhat, and the edge of the tang has a painted surface to display to the shooter that there is in fact a chambered round. Some guns use a plunger on the back of the slide that pops up to display the same thing.

While the loaded chamber indicator seems like a good idea, doing an actual chamber check is a better idea. What’s a chamber check? It’s a bit of an old school maneuver that allows you to quickly, safely and accurately verify that there is a round in the chamber, and you should do one every time you holster your carry gun for the day.

How To Defend Yourself And Your Family Against The New Breed Of Lowlife Criminal Scum

Here’s how it works:

  1. Point the gun off to a safe direction.
  2. Ensure the safety is on, if so equipped.
  3. Tap the magazine floor plate to ensure the magazine is seated properly.
  4. Using a strong hand grip on the gun, use your weak hand to pull back the slide a quarter inch or so. An easy way to do this is to take index and middle fingers of your weak hand, and place them on opposite sides of the slide on the serrations. Then, using your weak hand thumb as a brace point, pull back the slide ever so slightly.
  5. By pulling the slide slightly back, you should see the end of the cartridge in the chamber.
  6. Release the slide, and ensure it goes back into battery properly.

About the only thing you can do wrong while executing a chamber check is to pull the slide too far back, which will of course either eject the chambered round or cause the gun to go out of battery with a misfeed. With practice, however, a chamber check can be executed rapidly and safely, and not only that, it is the ultimate way of verifying that you actually have a round in the chamber; a chamber check also relies on the good old fashioned Mark II eyeball in your skull as opposed to some fancy gizmo. Execute a chamber check before you strap on, and be 100 percent confident that you’re locked – and loaded.

The following video, not by the author, shows how to chamber check a semi-automatic pistol

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This article first appeared at Off The Grid News: The Easiest And Best Gun Safety Check?

gun safety


Firearms and ammunition are a common part of many preparedness-minded people’s stocks. However, far fewer preppers take the time to learn even elementary gun safety which could potentially expose them and the people they intend to protect to unnecessary danger. This post is going to cover some of the basics of gun safety, including the “Four Rules” that many enthusiasts have memorized. Even if you have a good deal of firearm experience, I recommend that you take the time to refresh yourself once more: a little safety never hurt anyone!

The Four Rules: a basic guide to safe handling

The Four Rules are a simple list of the most basic rules to use your weapon safely. They are used to teach almost every shooter, young and old, and are among the simplest and most important things to know before you ever use a firearm. The list is as follows:

  1. Always treat every weapon as if it is loaded. Some instructors prefer to say that “All weapons are always loaded”, but both basically mean the same thing. Whenever you pickup a rifle out of a safe, draw a handgun from its holster, or load up a shotgun to take it to a range, you always treat it as if it could fire off a shot. The idea behind this rule is to ingrain this attitude so much that even in unfamiliar situations and circumstances with weapons you’ve never seen, you’ll never forget to treat it with the proper gravity and respect it deserves.
  2. Never point a weapon at anything you do not intend to destroy. That really says it all, doesn’t it? You can’t accidentally shoot someone because “I thought it was unloaded” if the weapon isn’t ever pointed at them. This rule is also good for any shooter who has the bad habit of thoughtlessly “muzzle-sweeping”, or swinging the muzzle of the firearm where a bullet could potentially fire out and hit people, when carrying.
  3. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it. Hunters in particular know this rule, as they must be extremely careful to know for certain that the deer or squirrel they’re shooting at truly is a deer or a squirrel. All of the “sorry I thought you were a -” comments in the world don’t help someone who just took buckshot to the chest. Being sure of what is beyond your target is also important, because that bullet isn’t always going to stop when it impacts what you’re shooting at. Is there an innocent person 100 feet downrange? What about a piece of metal that could ricochet a round and cause it to hit someone else? You need to know what will happen once the bullet is fired and it is travelling downrange, or you need to not shoot at all.
  4. Keep your finger off of the trigger until your sights are on the target. It doesn’t matter if the safety is on or if you’re just trying to get that cool shot for a picture, your finger never gets near the trigger until you are ready to fire and destroy something. Unless you are in a combat zone with enemies all around, you should always be concerned that a muscle twitch, stumble, or shock could cause you to twitch that trigger one time and fire off a shot you never intended.

Additional safety tips

Those four rules will do much to keep you safe when holding a firearm, as they all work together to protect everyone present aside from a potential target from being shot. They are not perfect, and you always need to be aware of what is going on around you, but they will do much. However, there are some other helpful tips that can assist you in keeping safe around firearms in other situations as well.


If its not on your person or nearby for protection, it should be in a locked safe. As I have heard many, many times, “I never want to be shot with my own gun”. Thieves and looters can case your home, looking for signs of weapons that they can steal when you’re not present or asleep. A safe won’t stop them forever, but it’s superior to the old “stick it on the top shelf of my closet” method. A locked safe also assists in protecting children and irresponsible/stupid adults from themselves, since they shouldn’t be able to access any weapon in your home without your direct approval.

Some argue that weapons should be disassembled and/or unloaded first before storage. Aside from local, state, or Federal regulations that demand certain storage methods, my recommendation is to choose what is safest in your situation. A weapon that is unloaded or disassembled is not as easily accessed if you need it in a hurry, so take that into consideration before making your final decision. The last thing I will say is that regardless of your decision in this matter to still always treat the weapons as loaded.


Please, for the love of safety, use a holster. I don’t care where you carry on your person, but use a holster. Shoving a gun into your pants is just asking for it to fall, catch on your pants, or somehow accidentally discharge. Rifles and shotguns should have slings or some other method of carrying them if you won’t be able to hold them in a safe position the whole time.


I do not recommend having weapons and children in the home without teaching them the proper respect and safety lessons for firearms. Kids are curious, and it’s much much safer for everyone involved if the child knows that he shouldn’t ever play with guns and what he should do if another child starts behaving unsafely with one. That said, even the most mature and respectful child is still not an adult, so always always always supervise them closely with any weapon including BB guns. Beyond that, take every step possible to ensure that they cannot handle your weapons without having your direct approval. Lock the weapons away securely, and never leave weapons unattended.

What if I or another member of the household refuses to use a firearm?

I still recommend learning enough to know how to handle one properly. Even if you do nothing more than pick one up to keep it out of the hands of scum, you need to make sure that you won’t hurt someone else with a firearm accidentally. Furthermore, if down the line someone in your group or family should happen to pickup an interest in using a weapon, you can educate them in safe use. Regardless of your opinions on firearms, you should at least know enough to avoid those who refuse to use them safely. An accident waiting to happen could easily end up being worse than having an actively hostile person among you.

Your thoughts?

Let us know what you thought of this basic safety lesson in the comments below!

This article first appeared at Prepared For That: Using a Survival Firearm Safely