GC-096 The Absolutes of Firearms Safety

The purpose of the Gunfighter Cast podcast is to discuss firearms equipment and training as it relates to self defense from a military, law enforcement and responsible citizen perspective.

Daniel Shaw, retired marine infantryman, current Director of Training for Thunderbird Tactical, 406 N Seneca, Wichita KS (316)613-2336

John McGregor, retired from full time law enforcement in 2014.  Currently working full time in the corporate security field, and part time as an instructor for Sig Sauer Academy, 233 Exeter Road, Epping NH.

John joined the show as co-host in 2012.

Starting up the show again with new theme music from KingHyenX.

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The best equipment and tactics don’t matter if you or someone else gets injured at a training session, competition or trip to the gun store, so this show is going back to basics.

Sponsors:  Ares Gear www.aresgear.com and Dark Angel Medical www.darkangelmedical.com


Absolutes of Firearms Safety

Police Officer shoots self in gun store video

A link to the video can be seen at



Comments repeatedly quote accepted firearms safety rules such as:

Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries Volume Two, 1994 pg 43

  1. All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target. This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for about 60 percent of inadvertent discharges.
  4. Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.

Regularly over the years, I have seen students who could parrot the firearm safety rules but could not put them into practice.  The theoretical application versus the practical application.

Ex. Student on range with other shooters on to right and left.  Can quote “Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.”  Ask same student to lock their slide to the rear and he brings the gun in front of his abdomen, muzzle facing the students to his left, so he can see the slide catch lever and arresting notch.  Theoretical application v. Practical application.  Student is practicing firearms safety skills, then performing a firearms manipulation.

Our goal should be to have a foundation of firearm safety like a computer program that is constantly running in the background.  Everything else we do builds on top of our firearm safety practices.

Foundation are the absolutes of firearm safety. Muzzle management and trigger finger discipline.

Muzzle management:  Keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction.

Safe direction: A direction where, if an unintentional discharge were to occur, there would be no change of personal injury, and the minimal amount of property damage.  

Trigger finger discipline:  Keep your finger off the trigger until you are on target and have decided to fire.

Trigger finger should be pressing into the frame of the weapon with firm pressure.  Firearms are engineered to feel comfortable with finger on trigger.

Mitigate chances of unintentionally pressing the trigger due to startle reflex, postural disturbance and inter-limb interaction.

Reason muzzle management and trigger finger discipline are the absolutes of firearms safety is that they provide redundant levels of safety.  If only one rule is broken, no one will be hurt.  

We never want to intentionally break one rule and rely on the other.  


Theme music by KingHyenX



Please send questions or comments to john@gunfightercast.com

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