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Click And Booms

Click And Booms

I’m intrigued with the general aspect of safe gun handling; and since I do it every day, it’s important to me. What I call the “click and boom” versions of gun handling are of particular interest to me. There are two things in life very loud in the overall audio spectrum — a gun that goes click when it’s supposed to go boom, and a gun that goes boom when it’s supposed to go click.

Heidi and I were teaching an Urban Rifle class some time ago and had a student who was overweight. He said he couldn’t go prone or kneel because his “knee was bad.” Yeah, his knee was bad because of the buncha’ pounds “we” were overweight.
Heidi and I do this drill where students do a back-and-forth sort of movement to make or break contact. We’ve done it safely in our teaching environment, without incident, for 28 years. For a day and a half, Heidi has repeatedly told this guy to get his stinking finger off the trigger while he is not on the target. I think that’s a basic rule? You guessed it, while moving forward, out of breath, overweight and damn finger on the trigger, he takes the safety off — and his sights are not on a target — and torches one into the ground.

By the grace of a higher being, no one is forward, and it’s basically a “wet spot in our shorts” drill. Heidi went forward and reprimanded him firmly; and he had it coming. So a suggestion for the go to school, shoot in a match, 3-gun wanna’ be cool tactical operators and such folks — lose some weight. And keep your finger off the trigger until the sights are on the target.
And before everyone launches on the editor, eat what you want and be what you want, but try to be what you are, not what you imagine you are. My Mom had a saying as we grew up: “Act your age.” Solid advice from an 84-year-old sage.

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  1. Lt. John Miller says:

    I’ve been a firearms instructor here at our County law enforcement range since 1990 and have seen my share of negligent discharges over the years – only one incident has resulted in a police officer shooting themselves (while drawing their service pistol)and they recovered and returned to full duty. Our courses of fire have changed with the times as many other ranges have evolved I’m sure. One thing never changes on our range – if you cannot be safe, you cannot be on our range. That hefty-bag would not have made it past the first stages of training with a ‘fickle-finger’ problem. You can’t afford it for the sake of the rest of the class. Anyone who cannot get that simple concept in their heads doesn’t need to have a loaded weapon in their mitts.

  2. As a retired Deputy Sheriff who spent 28 of his 30 years as a part time and/or full time firearms instructor and competitive shooter, I had to make a comment on a new cable show called Triggers: Weapons that changed the world. The episode I watched was devoted to the Colt 1911, and I have never seen such blatant disregard for safety protocols in my life. These include pointing a weapon at one’s feet, a Cowboy six gun twirler spinning, twirling, and shooting loaded revolvers, muzzles pointed everywhere but downrange, and to cap it off, a shooting contest between two guys who would run ahead of each other while one was still shooting downrange. I have thrown Captains off my shooting line for way less than that! We harp and harp on safety, and yet this show disregards all we hold sacred on the range. Safety!

  3. Regarding the article, Clint makes a valid point about making sure the chamber is empty. I personally make one exemption: I have a laser target system wherein a laser replaces the bullet and there is a sensitive target device that one “shoots”. It works for practice at home, and the area where this laser target is located is in a “Safe Direction” just in case.
    While I know he dislikes snap caps, I lack the resources to “wear in” a new pistol (ammo co$ts) so I use a snap cap and do a lot of dry firing. There is a red canned air “snorkel” glued onto the tip of the snap cap that extends past the muzzle and I use that as a guarantee that what’s in the chamber is non-fireable. Why? Because any number of my handguns have stiff triggers out of the box and the only way to make them more user friendly is repeated dry-firing (something else Clint dislikes). Sorry, I can’t afford to send new pistols to a gunsmith to do what I can do with a snap cap and several hundred dry fires.
    Mind: this is at home and is always conducted in “safe” areas and in “safe” directions. The minute I leave home, the simple rules apply again: “All guns are always loaded”.

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