Some things seem so obvious they don’t need saying. Only when it comes to guns, they do. For example, “always keep a firearm pointed in the safest possible direction.” “Make sure your gun is completely unloaded before cleaning it.” “Don’t leave a gun where a toddler can get it.” There are other more obscure — but equally common sense-based — gun handling rules. For example, “Don’t spin a loaded revolver on your finger.” “Don’t shoot an AK-47 at a wedding party.” Oh, and add to that list, “don’t catch a falling gun.” While that advice seems worthy of a “duh,” careful! You need to think about this . . .
Thanks to evolution, homo sapiens are hard-wired to catch things. This lightning-quick unconscious ability enabled humans’ hunting success (or the other way around) and prevented us from being killed by hard objects flying through the air. Still does (depending on the size of the object).
So when you suddenly fumble a precious item like, say, a gun, you may reach out to catch it without thinking. Worst case, your finger goes into the trigger guard and BAM! Something really bad happens. To you or someone else nearby.
To counter this natural urge to catch a falling gun, first, know this: with freakish and obscure exceptions, modern guns are “drop safe.” They will not discharge simply from impacting a hard surface. Letting a loaded gun hit the deck is not dangerous — especially when compared with the danger of catching falling firearm by the trigger.
Also take this on board: a gun is a thing. Things can be repaired and/or replaced. Humans, less so. If you drop your $3000 Commander-sized Wilson Combat X-TAC onto concrete and dent, ding or scrape it, oh well. Sh*t happens. If you could afford the gun in the first place, you can probably afford to bring it back to its full glory. Provided you’re alive to do so.
Those are conscious thoughts which can help block the subconscious “catch it if you can” reflex. The best way to head this one off at the pass? Practice. Unload your firearm, safety check it, assume your shooting position, then drop it. No need to intentionally damage your firearm; drop it like it’s hot on a carpet, pillow, grass or something else that’s soft.
While you’re at it, you might want to practice quickly and efficiently picking up your gun and getting it into a firing position, while keeping your eyes on a target as much as possible. But don’t do the drop thing too many times. You don’t want to train yourself to fail. Scarily enough, when it comes to a falling gun, you already are. Trained, that is. You have been warned.