John Boch penned a recent post recommending force-on-force training. I can’t agree enough. FoF is the best real world defensive gun use training money can buy. But it does involve shooting real people with real guns. EXTREME CAUTION ADVISED. Lesser defensive gun training usually involves an inert “blue gun.” In this case, it doesn’t.

desantis blue logo no back 4 smallClearly, the gun involved here was safety checked. Aside from other issues — contact shots? minimum of five rounds? — is that ever OK outside of meticulously supervised force-on-force training?

[h/t everydaynodaysoff.com]

80 Responses to DeSantis Gunhide Question of the Day: Is It OK to Point a Gun At Someone During Training?

    • Jeff Cooper’s first rule of gun handling has been misapplied numerous times over because people forget about the logical exception he wrote about (a gun is to be considered loaded until verified as unloaded by the handler). I would add a corollary to that: “Display that the gun is unloaded to everyone around you.” Chamber flags, removed BCGs, and barrel inserts all work well for that purpose.

      From Cooper’s Commentaries, volume 6, number 2:

      RULE 1: All Guns Are Always Loaded
      The only exception to this occurs when one has a weapon in his hands and he has personally unloaded it for checking. As soon as he puts it down, Rule 1 applies again.

    • +1
      Get a blue gun, or an airsoft or simunitions gun if you need to do force on force training.
      There is NO reason to point a real gun at another human being during training, it’s a rule #1 violation regardless of how many times you checked to make sure it was unloaded.

        • A blue gun guarantees to yourself and everyone around you, that safety with the firearm is moot. You don’t have to worry about chamber checks, you don’t have to worry that maybe someone had an old person moment and they didn’t register what actually occurred. Safety is absolutely guaranteed with a blue gun and with absolute confidence.

        • Right. But why “blue gun only”, was what I was getting at…

          Like I alluded to before, with weapons handling only drills, like in the video, a toy gun will suffice.

      • “There is NO reason to point a real gun at another human being during training, it’s a rule #1 violation regardless of how many times you checked to make sure it was unloaded.”

        Ah, Jeff Cooper’s rules of gun handling. I think you forgot the exception he wrote.

        ————————————-
        Four Rules of Gun Handling
        ————————————-

        RULE 1: All Guns Are Always Loaded
        The only exception to this occurs when one has a weapon in his hands and he has personally unloaded it for checking. As soon as he puts it down, Rule 1 applies again.

        RULE 2: Never Let the Muzzle Cover Anything You Are Not Prepared To Destroy
        You may not wish to destroy it, but you must be clear in your mind that you are quite ready to if you let that muzzle cover the target. To allow a firearm to point at another human being is a deadly threat, and should always be treated as such.

        RULE 3: Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Your Sights Are On The Target
        This we call the Golden Rule because its violation is responsible for about 80 percent of the firearms disasters we read about.

        RULE 4: Be Sure Of Your Target
        You never shoot at anything until you have positively identified it. You never fire at a shadow, or a sound, or a suspected presence. You shoot only when you know absolutely what you are shooting at and what is beyond it.

        ———————————————————————————
        Taken from Cooper’s Commentaries, volume six, number two
        ———————————————————————————

        • No, I didn’t forget.

          My rule #1: Always keep the gun pointed in a generally safe direction. This is true whether the gun is loaded or not.

          I’m not following Cooper’s set of rules. If you are, it’s still a violation of rule #2 so nothing changes.

      • .mil uses blanks with blank adapters frequently with hardly any incidents.

        I did witness one though when some idiot put a live round in with the blanks. Luckily the blank adapter was destroyed but no one was huet

        • No pointing real guns at real people for any reason, except when the SHTF. Unless you are illegally carrying in California, or semi-legally carrying in Illinois. Then all bets are off.

    • NO matter how many times you check and show clear, training with a real firearm does NOTHING to reinforce the “never point a gun at something you do not want to destroy” (shoot/kill).

      Especially with novices, I think this is a very bad precedent. I can imagine how excited they might be with their new-found knowledge and want to demonstrate to their friends when they get home. What could possibly go wrong?

  1. “Real” guns. No. Period.

    There have been times I’ve needed a “training gun” during the course of class when all I had was a real gun. An easy solution: strip the slide/barrel off the top of your (gun) and use the lower frame.

    Any trainer that’s been doing this for a while probably has a whole gaggle of training guns for this reason.

    Pro-tip: If your trainer is sloppy about muzzle control and puts his or her cotton-pickin’ finger on the cotton-pickin’ trigger when merely handling (real) guns, then you should find a new trainer.

    John

      • At IOBC one of the smartest and best soldiers I knew and I were clearing rooms (there were only two of us left at that point) in that fake town at/was at Ft. Benning. It was ’90 and we were using MILES gear. He inserted a magazine and then after charging the weapon said “wait.” He took the mag out and looked in it and it was live ball. We were both stunned and shaken up a bit. Of course, the blank adapter would have impeded the bullet if he had fired at someone but it would have at least been quite bad for the rifle. Not at all saying force on force with real guns is bad, just I that I know from personal experience that things can go wrong. I suspect it is worth the risk for the military.

        • Lieutenant, I’m a little confused here, what exactly was “one of the smartest and best soldiers I knew” doing with a magazine of live ammunition at the MOUT site? Did this ‘smart guy’ forget to turn in his unexpended rounds from the qualification range or did he carry it with him for those ‘just in case moments’ out in the training area?

          Either way he was WRONG and maybe you should reevaluate the comment “one of the smartes and best soldiers I knew”.

        • That was 1990. In the short 26 years since then, I have become not a lieutenant anymore believe it or not. I don’t think we ever put our qualification magazines into our ammo pouches so it is hard to see how they would have come from the qualification range. He was not the sort to break rules either, certainly not the type to intentionally sneak ball into his ammo pouch. I did assume it was largely his fault somehow, though. In the end, a person is not simply defined by the worst negligence you ever saw them take part in. He did come through OCS and was not a newbie from ROTC. He had many pluses on the other side of the scale and the competition was not that great. All people are fallible. You don’t think the Chamberlain, Puller, or even Alexander ever f’d up? You’re being a bit holy Mr. Ranger.

        • I just noticed, perhaps I had forgotten, that Chesty Puller had a negligent discharge of a .45 indoors. Should I reevaluate my notion that he was one of the best soldiers ever?

        • He may not have been the one who loaded the magazine. In those types of training situations it is entirely possible for any number of reasons to have picked up a magazine loaded by someone else.

        • “In the end, a person is not simply defined by the worst negligence you ever saw them take part in. ”

          Yeah, a lot of gun guys absolutely define a person by the worst negligence they’ve ever seen (or heard) them take part in. And they can never, ever live it down. And you’re right, it is a ‘holier than thou’ problem.

        • Action Man,

          perhaps I was a bit harsh in judging your buddy, but I remember IOBC and the folks who went through and there was a number of knuckleheads. I also know that the Army has regulations, policies and SOP’s for reasons, and usually because something bad happened before. Hence strict control of live ammunition in a training environment or the barracks. Your description of the MOUT event was a clear indication that somewhere there was a policy/SOP violation.

          I don’t consider myself “holy” and I’ve made my share of mistakes both in and out of the service. But when it comes to dangerous devices I get serious, that seriousness is born from being a Line of Duty Investigating Officer, having seen the results of negligence and stupidity and failure to follow instructions. It comes from one night riding in the back of an M1008 trying to keep someone alive because instructions weren’t followed. And it comes from being in a training enviroment with a “certified” firearms instructor who had years of military and civilian law enforcement training point a Remington 870 with a chambered slug round at my chest trying to make it cycle.

          I am the way I am because everything is not that big a deal until somebody gets hurt or killed and then it is a BFD. It’s also a BFD if it’s you are someone you care about and they are injured or killed and the “why” questions are asked. The “I don’t know” excuse has a maximum effective range of my nose.

        • He wasn’t my buddy. I got along well enough with him but he was a bit too anal and ambitious for my taste. I suppose I did get along with him better than most though as he was almost (but not quite) a pariah in the class. I can get along with almost anyone and often make a point of being friendly to bete noires.

      • Is this the same US military that comes up with the rules for how to carry firearms at posts (i.e. unchambered, etc)? If so, I wouldn’t take it as a good authority.

      • I come from the civilian world. Our audience here is civilians.

        I will say that I know the military is taking a dim, dim view of people with sloppy muzzle control outside of some narrow windows when they do certain training.

        John

  2. Guns are not magic. If you are practicing to shoot another human then you cannot be scared of a gun suddenly becoming loaded. Just make it an obviously unloaded and unloadable gun. Otherwise toy guns are just as dangerous since you cannot be trusted to handle a real one if you cannot control it’s ability to be loaded or fired.

    And none of this is horseplay. It’s them horses that get folks killed.

  3. Why is a real gun necessary? There are plenty of trainer type guns and air soft guns that look and feel like a real gun without the risk involved with using a real gun.

    If it is just sound than use a gun that can only fire blanks. Use a combination of blank only guns and air soft. I can’t see any reason a real gun is necessary. I maybe missing something and if I am please tell me. I didn’t see a reason in this article to why it has to be real.

    Tragedies do happen. Just like recently with the Punta Gorda PD in FL.

    • Fake guns that look, feel, and function like the real thing provide training value without safety value. If they can easily be mistaken by the inexperienced operator for a real gun, then the protocol for insuring it is not the real gun is the same as for insuring that your real gun is not loaded.

      The only serious training injury I have ever treated was from a blank firing weapon.

      • How can a fake gun provide no safety value? You treat it like a real gun with safety checks as it is a training exercise and even with a mistake it won’t be life and death.

        The FL woman would be alive today if the gun used was not a fully functional gun. I still don’t see the reason or need for it to be a functioning gun for FOF training.

        • NorincoJay, you are right, I should have said that the fake gun that looks like, feels like, and functions like a real gun gives no safety benefit over a real gun. The reason for this that if the gun, to the novice, looks and feels the same, the novice may just pick up the real gun thinking it is the fake gun. The checks that you would do to prevent that from happening are the same kinds of things you would do to make sure the real gun is not loaded and can not fire. So no benefit.
          I’m not saing that prop guns are bad, just that it is ok to use real guns as well, as long as you put sound safety checks into action. In fact, sometimes that is all that is possible. I’ve taught soldiers and police all over the world. We did not always have a dummy M240B, DSHk, M60, M16A2, etc available.

  4. Yes, if proper security protocols are followed. Guns are not magical. They do not load themselves. The risks can be eliminated. Humans do far more dangerous things every day.
    As a note, a great deal of my firearms training, starting in Basic, was done with my actual duty rifle. First emtpy, then with blanks, then with Simuniton. And that’s done with hundreds of, primarily young, men and women “shooting” at each other at a time.

    • I am with Mr. Taylor on this one.

      The protocol for training with real firearms is simple:
      (1) All participants place all, I repeat, ALL firearms that will be used on a table.
      (2) All participants place all, I repeat, ALL magazines that will be used on a table.
      (3) All participants place all, I repeat, ALL other firearms and magazines that will not be used in a box.
      (4) Two or three people verify that every single magazine and firearm on the table is unloaded.
      (5) Two or three people question/inspect each participant to ensure that they have no remaining firearms or magazines on their person.

      After following that simple protocol, everyone is safe to use any firearm and magazine on the table.

      It really isn’t hard.

    • It’s not the firearms that scare me. It’s the people holding the firearms. Like Officer Coel. Fuck that.

  5. I will give her credit she did raise the muzzle after he handed it back to her.

    I read where some will zero in on the assailant’s weapon and will shoot at it vice center mass. I think that is the point he is trying to make. Make people understand if you are in danger you will be putting a criminal down, some might hesitate at that moment, leading them to be disarmed.

    #tangunsmatter, Canik TP9SA she’s got there. Wonder how the coup in Turkey is going to affect them.

  6. Oh hell no.

    There are no circumstances under which I would allow anyone to point a gun at me without severe consequences.

  7. My thinking about this is definitely different from most people’s so I expect some dissent and probably at least some name calling from the more narrow minded, but I’m willing to accept that. Here goes:

    If you are uncomfortable when someone friendly to you points a safety checked, unloaded gun at you, what do you think you’re gonna do when a random mugger points his probably loaded gun at you? You’re gonna freak, that’s what, and freaking out is never a good response. People who are anal about muzzle discipline have trained themselves to be afraid of guns and they’re not going to respond well if one gets shoved in their face. They’re going to panic, they’re going to get emotional, and they’re not going to respond to a threat well. I would go as far as to say that if you can’t hand a loaded gun to someone you trust and let them point it at you without getting nervous, you very well may have problems at game time. Now by no means am I saying you should be lax or careless with your gun safety or gun handling, just learn not to freak out if you get muzzle swept.

    • “If you are uncomfortable when someone friendly to you points a safety checked, unloaded gun at you, what do you think you’re gonna do when a random mugger points his probably loaded gun at you?”

      I’d shoot the bastard.

  8. Having had real loaded guns pointed at me many times, I have to say NO. NEVER. In a training or demonstration situation, it’s my opinion a real firearm should never be used.

    I was demonstrating proper handling to a new gun owner just a few months ago and used a 1960s Star Trek Phaser since I don’t own a blue gun. My point with the newbie, you never never never point a firearm at someone. I think I was teaching muzzle discipline also. Finger off the trigger and pointed in a safe direction ALWAYS!!!!

    • “My point with the newbie, you never never never point a firearm at someone.”

      How does that work out for him in a self-defense scenario? Don’t forget that FOF training is a scenario designed to replicate a situation. In a FOF scenario, you will want to point guns at people and mock shoot at them.

  9. 1) Only a safety nazi will say “you need a blue gun” or “you need an airsoft gun.” What people should do is display to others that a gun is unloaded prior to using it as a training tool. I can take the bolt carrier group out of my BCM and know without a doubt that it will not fire.

    2) The YouTube channel “Practically Tactical” did a story on this guy about nine months ago. Short version: NRA credentials and concealed carry permit were stripped for after he was arrested for shooting someone. See https://www.facebook.com/practicallytactical/posts/960163620697141.

    • Yeah well a “safety nazi” will likely never have an accidental discharge and shoot someone. Anytime you introduce more steps, or make things more complex, you increase the chance for error. There is no arguing that point. It’s just that simple. The more basic, the more simple things are, lessons the chance of a mistake.
      If you never use a real firearm, there is no need to take steps to insure the safety of that weapon.
      Calling someone a safety nazi is offensive. In my opinion then, someone using real firearms and taking extra steps to insure they are “”safe” are foolish. Essentially, you are dismissing a basic firearm rule that you treat all guns as if they are loaded. There shouldn’t be an (except) to that rule. An example of making a mistake in that rule was that cop in Florida who shot and killed Mary Knowlton in a demonstration. So much for those “steps to insure safety” JoeG. Tell the family your idea on insuring a gun is safe to Mary Knowltons family.

      Keep it simple: Never point a real gun at someone. If you don’t agree, fine, then we agree to disagree, but don’t be calling people safety nazis because you disagree.

      • “Essentially, you are dismissing a basic firearm rule that you treat all guns as if they are loaded. There shouldn’t be an (except) to that rule.”

        Ah, Jeff Cooper’s rules of gun handling. I think you forgot the exception he himself wrote (see below, but essentially “all guns are always considered loaded until verified otherwise by the handler). I would add a corollary to his rule: “Display that the gun is unloaded to everyone around you through effective means.” Chamber flags, removed BCGs, and barrel inserts all work well for that purpose. You can practice all four rules safely with a real weapon without having to resort to blue guns.

        “Calling someone a safety nazi is offensive.”

        Remember: The goal in any training is to mitigate safety concerns. If you wanted to eliminate safety concerns, you wouldn’t shoot at all because you never know when you will have a catastrophic failure that injures you. A foolish individual is someone who doesn’t give a damn about safety. A safety nazi is someone who 1) complains when they don’t see someone safety check a gun in a video and/or 2) doesn’t give a damn about practicality and uses a Star Trek prop as a teaching tool. There needs to be a good balance of both.

        “An example of making a mistake in that rule was that cop in Florida who shot and killed Mary Knowlton in a demonstration. So much for those “steps to insure safety” JoeG. Tell the family your idea on insuring a gun is safe to Mary Knowltons family.”

        According to news reports (e.g. http://goo.gl/OophVO), she was killed by a live round fired from a revolver that should have been loaded with blanks. The department failed her and her family. The way that they should have done what they tried to do is as follows:

        1. Place all weapons and factory-sealed boxes of blank ammo on a table.
        2. Unload all live ammo and move it to a different area.
        3. Open the action, finger each of the cylinders and barrel.
        4. Open the boxes of blanks and carefully verify each round is indeed a blank.
        5. Carefully load each cylinder and inspect the rounds as you do it.

        As such her family has a prime lawsuit for negligence.

        On a simple note, do you dry fire your guns? There is no difference with the safety protocol of dry firing.

        ————————————-
        Four Rules of Gun Handling
        ————————————-

        RULE 1: All Guns Are Always Loaded
        The only exception to this occurs when one has a weapon in his hands and he has personally unloaded it for checking. As soon as he puts it down, Rule 1 applies again.

        RULE 2: Never Let the Muzzle Cover Anything You Are Not Prepared To Destroy
        You may not wish to destroy it, but you must be clear in your mind that you are quite ready to if you let that muzzle cover the target. To allow a firearm to point at another human being is a deadly threat, and should always be treated as such.

        RULE 3: Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Your Sights Are On The Target
        This we call the Golden Rule because its violation is responsible for about 80 percent of the firearms disasters we read about.

        RULE 4: Be Sure Of Your Target
        You never shoot at anything until you have positively identified it. You never fire at a shadow, or a sound, or a suspected presence. You shoot only when you know absolutely what you are shooting at and what is beyond it.

        ———————————————————————————
        Taken from Cooper’s Commentaries, volume six, number two
        ———————————————————————————

  10. The gun student did not point her gun at just “someone”.
    Her instructor did the dumb thing and stood in front of the shooter.
    Dumb. Stupid.
    At some point in time it will be necessary and appropriate to point the unloaded gun at someone
    for instance when the student is taking a Gun Retention and Gun Takeaway Class.

    In that situation, the gun has to be modified so that it is incapable of even being loaded but still
    can be holstered and drawn.

  11. Depends on what you are training FOR… what you expect to be able to do with that training in an emergency. If you are training for competition, or marksmanship alone, by all means be as “safe” as you can be with fake guns…

    If you are training for real self defense situations, you’d best be/get comfortable handling and training with a real gun. You don’t get to develop good habits in the middle of a gun fight. They’d better be in place well ahead of time. If you’ve spent the last 20+ years with an all out phobia against pointing something at people… I’m wondering how you will suddenly overcome that Pavlov compulsion long enough to actually… you know, point the gun at the guy trying to kill you! Will you actually have time to get past all those years of training NOT to do something?

    Any training situation needs to be staged carefully, equipment tested, checked and handled properly by all participants. Any training that involved pointing real guns (or any guns) at people would be a dangerous activity, for sure… and not one I’d enjoy if the others were strangers.

    But remember the last time you drove down a freeway? Lots of strangers pointing seriously dangerous and BIG weapons at you, probably for hours at a time. Life is dangerous. We probably need to learn to deal with it. So yes, training like this with real guns, at least some of the time, is probably a very good idea.

  12. In the army we did it all the time. And probably pretty inapproprietly by civilian standards. Even playing games like “red or Amber”. But, that’s what happens in militaries full of young dumb men. So Id say no, for most people at least. Use airsoft or paintball instead.

  13. I would say it varies with the level of competency of those involved.

    Trustworthy people with experience in a tightly controlled situation where everyone is checking and rechecking each other’s work and real guns are fine.

    Noobs at a CCW or NRA pistol class or any other situation; hell no.

    Personally I wouldn’t use a real gun (unless it had been modified with like a rubber barrel) unless I personally knew everyone there or knew their creds were top notch and impeccable and even then if I didn’t know them I’d need to see them act in a way that matched their creds before I’d be involved.

    No, sorry, I don’t generally just trust my life to people I met 20 minutes ago. As an ex girlfriend said to me at one point “It’s not a you thing, it’s a me thing”.

  14. Simunition guns ARE real guns. In a revolver, the chambers have rings inserted to prevent real rounds from being chambered. A semi-auto has a replacement barrel with a modified chamber that prevents real rounds from being chambered. The AR has a modified BCG (I don’t know how that gadget works). You can’t use any indicator in the muzzle because the paintball won’t come out. So yeah, in FoF you do get “real” guns pointed at you. That probably accounts for the multiple safety checks.

  15. Not just no….He’ll no.

    I comfortable handling a weapon that I have checked.

    If you have checked a weapon and consider it safe…..and then point it at me….I consider it a threat.

    Sorry…that is just stupid. Not ignorant. STUPID.

  16. When I’m instructing a friend who’s new to shooting, I don’t teach the 4 Rules by the letter. I show them, hands on, what is a safe direction and what makes it safe at the time, then how to safely clear whatever firearm they’re going to be shooting. I remind them as we go, and next time we go shooting I make sure they remember how.

    The Rules are fine and all, but if you just recite them over and over they lose their meaning. The objective is to be safe. Getting yourself in the proper mindset to think about what you’re doing, being deliberate about it, and minding your surroundings when handling a firearm, is how you accomplish that objective. If you don’t believe you ever break the “treat it as loaded” rule, you must either never clean or otherwise handle your firearms, or you live on the moon.

    Extra measures may be necessary in the right situations, like around strangers or larger groups. At a public range, I take comfort in knowing that RSOs heavily police the 180-degree line and locked open actions. When any geek off the street can and will be shooting, you must practice safety for the lowest common denominator. But in a properly focused training class, a certain amount of “rule breaking” can be done. It’s easy enough to keep live ammo away from cleared firearms if you don’t have your head up your ass.

    You limit your speed according to the conditions of the road.

  17. Considering that we pointed our service rifles at each other with blank ammo, blank adapters and laser (MILES) gear on them during training, I would say yes with caveats.

  18. In a “basic” course of any kind (NRA Basic Pistol for instance) so many people have either never been around a firearm before, or they have never received formal safety training. If I am demonstrating grip, stance, sight alignment, etc., even with a blue gun, I NEVER sweep anyone. Ever. I never want a muzzle sweep to be seen as acceptable to new shooters even with an inert gun. If they see you do it because “It’s ok, it’s unloaded” then it becomes a part of their new-formed learning that could translate into a disaster at the range.

  19. I’ve had simunitions training and I see the value. BUT- it’s not worth someone dying. Since humans seem incapable of following some basic safety rules all such training should utilize guns specially modified to accept only simunitions ammunition (or blank ammunition, etc, depending on what is needed).

    • Simunition guns ARE real guns. In a revolver, the chambers have rings inserted to prevent real rounds from being chambered. A semi-auto has a replacement barrel with a modified chamber that prevents real rounds from being chambered.

  20. jwtaylor: Correct, OTOH, I was the senior facilities engineer at a military installation.

    1. The security forces will ALWAYS try to cover it up if there is a negligent round going somewhere.

    2. When someone tells me they were an armorer in the military, I never go to the range with them.

    3. Regardless of the bullshit that nothing happened, someone dropped something and it was loud: Look for holes in walls, stop signs, damaged floor tiles, holes in the carpet, easy to see how windows fare, plus pictures moved, holes in cars, desks, trucks and planes. It’s great when they tell you for security purposes you can’t go into a room when there was nothing going on except firearm training.

    4. Senior officers don’t want to know. I’ve been told more than once to make it go away.

    5. Tough to say nothing happened when you show up and a couple guys have wet their pants, this happened more than once.

  21. So, is the gun culture going to become like the sickening Libs who look for every opportunity to be offended? This is what the media and Internet has brought us to.

  22. Random story… This one time out in Okinawa, several platoons were shooting live rounds at another platoon due to some failure in signals. I think the radio died, not sure, but the LT ended up having to crawl onto the hillside and signal with an air panel or something. Fun times.

    As for pointing guns at people in training, well, government never spends money in the right places so any kind of airsoft, sim rounds, or even bloody paintball guns are out of the question, the real deal is all we got. I suppose picking up a stick and screaming bang bang could work, but screw it, we got a corpsman on site, if someone gets shot its good training and you get to make that Tricare work for you! *Tongue in cheek!*

  23. Rule one may have a temporary exception, but it doesn’t negate rule two. When justifying bolt practice in front of the televisor, he said he wouldn’t be happy about destroying it, but he would be ok if it came to that. He did not say he personally verified it was unloaded so it was ok.

    • “Rule one may have a temporary exception, but it doesn’t negate rule two.”

      Ah, Jeff Cooper’s rules of gun handling. What most people don’t understand about scenario based training is that you are supposed to point guns at “threats.” In real life, you wouldn’t ordinarily want to shoot him; however, you are supposed to in the scenario. Thus, no safety “rule” is broken.

      ————————————-
      Four Rules of Gun Handling
      ————————————-

      RULE 1: All Guns Are Always Loaded
      The only exception to this occurs when one has a weapon in his hands and he has personally unloaded it for checking. As soon as he puts it down, Rule 1 applies again.

      RULE 2: Never Let the Muzzle Cover Anything You Are Not Prepared To Destroy
      You may not wish to destroy it, but you must be clear in your mind that you are quite ready to if you let that muzzle cover the target. To allow a firearm to point at another human being is a deadly threat, and should always be treated as such.

      RULE 3: Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Your Sights Are On The Target
      This we call the Golden Rule because its violation is responsible for about 80 percent of the firearms disasters we read about.

      RULE 4: Be Sure Of Your Target
      You never shoot at anything until you have positively identified it. You never fire at a shadow, or a sound, or a suspected presence. You shoot only when you know absolutely what you are shooting at and what is beyond it.

      ———————————————————————————
      Taken from Cooper’s Commentaries, volume six, number two
      ———————————————————————————

  24. Well, I’ve been using real guns in training for the last 15 years in my current job, and for over 6 years in the USMC Infantry. And I’ve pointed those unloaded guns at real people, and they’ve pointed them at me. I’ve also used red guns, blue gun, blank guns, air soft guns, Simunition guns, Taser training cartridges, and paintball guns.

    At the end of the day, safe use is about instructors and students who can foresee and mitigate danger. For instance, you can practice weapon takeaway drills with red guns and still break fingers.

  25. Safety is about habits and redundancy, but bit about what you can get away with in a given situation.

  26. Most people cannot get themselves out of the safety and range mindset.
    It depends upon the context of the training. This sort of training is used to teach a narrow set of skills. When presented to me, it was first to get me out of the “Freeze!” mindset. Later, it developed into a series of retention and hands on techniques. It should not happen outside of a very strict environment following very strict guidelines with active participation between training partners. This is certainly not something for beginners or intermediate level folks. Such training is physically and mentally demanding. It is neither comfortable nor fun. I have no desire to do it again.

  27. I look down the barrel(s) of guns all the time. Of course I’ve verified that they’re unloaded. There’s no ammo allowed near my bench at any time.

    The people who go ballistic at “rule 1 violations” would have a cow if they saw how I look at people’s gun fit for shotguns.

    – verify gun is unloaded
    – customer mounts shotgun
    – I get on a stepstool or small ladder while customer is pointing shotgun upwards, I put the muzzle beneath my right eye and I look back down the rib at the customer’s face.

    That’s how gun fitters have been doing gun-fitting for years and years.

  28. I wouldn’t be comfortable at all with a real gun, even safety checked, being pointed at me for training. Use a blue gun, paint marker, or airsoft. They’re all fairly easily attainable, and you can’t have a one-in-a-million accident where a live round finds it’s way into the chamber.

  29. Ask Mary Knowlton. Oh wait. You can’t. She’s dead because a dumb ass cop shot her during a dumb ass training exercise.

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