SHOOTING SAFELY - Tips on Using Firearms and Muzzleloaders
Review these basic tips to keep you and those around you more safe while hunting.
FIREARMS SAFETY: Four Primary Rules of Firearms Safety
The following checklist, comprised of only four items, is easily remembered with the acronym ACTT:
- A – Always treat every firearm as if it were loaded.
- C – Control the muzzle of the firearm at all times.
- T – Be certain of the Target and what is in front of it and beyond it.
- T – Keep your finger outside of the Trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.
Following are recommendations to ensure a safe experience:
- Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
- Never rely solely on the gun’s “safety” mechanism.
- Handle every gun as if it was loaded.
- Do not use alcohol or drugs while handling a firearm.
- Never smoke in the proximity of a muzzleloader.
- Use an intermediate device, such as a measure, to pour powder into a barrel.
- Keep flask and powder containers away from flames and sparks to prevent an accidental explosion.
- Use only powders specific to each muzzleloader and recommended by that firearms manufacturer.
- Place percussion cap on nipple only when ready to shoot.
- The gun is safely unloaded only after removing the bullet, powder and percussion cap. If using a flintlock muzzleloader, remove the bullet and powder, and un-prime the flash pan.
- Use the recommended loading materials, the correct powder charge, the right diameter and weight bullet and the correct lead material.
- Never use plastic (poly) patches. These are different from sabots.
- Treat a misfire as though the gun could fire at any moment.
- Make sure the gun is unloaded before attempting to clean it.
- Make sure the projectile is firmly seated on the powder before capping and firing.
- Never blow down the barrel of a muzzleloader to clear or extinguish sparks.
FIREARM RANGES: RULES
There are 17 public firearms ranges in the State. If you are planning a visit to one of the ranges, be sure to familiarize yourself with the rules of the range.
FREE FIREARM SAFETY VIDEOS
- Safety videos from National Shooting Sports Foundation available here .
- Safety videos from Midway USA available here . These include videos on the following topics:
- Safely firing a shotgun
- How to safely handle a firearm
- Using the correct ammunition for your firearm
- Know your target
- Firearms safety in the tree stand
- Firearm safety on a public range
- and many more!