Archive for the ‘chamber check’ Category

snap-capssnapcapshotgun snap capDry-Fire-Snap-Capsdry fire practieproper handling of weapon at home

Reaching goals and finishing the work that we had originally organized for ourselves are all marvelous accomplishments. But regular practice matters too, and even when it seems to fall into redundancy and repetitive boredom. The art of regular practice also brings its future rewards and adds a nice structure to our lives.

Within the martial arts of guns, one great practice represents the use of snap caps. They are hard polymer plastic, bullet lookalikes, and they are often of burgundy red color. Gun stores usually sell them in all pistol, shotgun and rifle gauges: from .22 rounds to .45 rounds, from 10 gauge to 30 gauge, and from .17 rounds to .308 rounds.

In the Wild West Days of the States, about a hundred and forty years ago, cowboys, farmers, ranchers, soldiers, warriors, outlaws, bandidos, circus performers, cooks, miners, sheriffs, posses, and all sorts of other types, regularly practiced their dry firing techniques in order to become proficient shooters. They practiced their stances, draw, reach, deholstering, aim, sights, breath, trigger squeeze and holstering their weapons. They didn’t have snap caps in those days, so they had to dry fire without live ammo, or they used live ammo out in the desert, which could get expensive.

The problem with dry firing weapons like the Colt Six Gun Shooter and the Winchester Lever Action Repeating Rifle was that dry firing eventually dulled the firing pin and the trigger mechanism. The hard metal on metal hits, and without any live ammo to give some type of cushion, weakened the weapons’ performance. Imagine going into real combat with some real live ammo – and not having your weapon work properly. This was one of the real and terrible fears of gunslingers back in those days.

Live firing with snap caps is a safe and effective technique for acquiring the martial arts of firearm use.

Now we shooters are lucky in that snap caps allow us to practice in our homes without worrying about severe noise or destroying our weapons through dry firing without anything between the firing pin and the trigger mechanism or bolt-action area. The snap cap has the same shape of the real bullet, except it doesn’t explode and it is perfect for receiving the force of the firing mechanism.

These days, visiting the live fire gun range is expensive, unless you have access to someone’s land for shooting or live near a free use shooting range. But even the amount of ammo normally used in one day of shooting is not cheap. Many shooters go through hundreds of rounds, firing most of their weapons, such as rifles, shotguns and pistols.

The dry firing technique at home with snap caps allows the shooter the ability to practice in private and not have to spend a great deal of money during one day of live fire. Nothing beats the actual practice and skill building of live firing however. But snap caps allow that reinforcement of good skills, which can eventually help produce a good shooting day at the range.

At home, I often practice with snap caps in particular situations. For example, I will use snap caps for dealing with potential jams, malfunctions or stovepipes in my weapons, then practicing safety drills, clearing the jams, and return firing.

I use the snap caps for stance, holstering, drawing the weapons, sight alignment, aim, breathing, proper trigger squeezing and holstering my weapon once again. I will often practice shooting the weapon with one hand, and then with two hands. With my pistols, I like to switch back and forth between left and right hands. Sometimes, while I was live firing, I have heeled, anticipated or flinched when shooting my weapons. I use the dry firing of snap caps to help correct such bad shooting habits.

At home, I also practice imaginary self-defense scenarios, where I move out of cover and try shooting back at a target, or reaching for a weapon nearby when doing another task, such as Internet surfing, and then facing a serious threat, and immediately afterwards, returning quick succession of dry fire. Dry firing with snap caps is not that loud, except for the movement of bolt metal in the chamber. I still use ear plugs with my dry fire practice however.

Snap caps are very simple to use because the shooter simply loads the snap caps like normal live bullets into the chamber or magazine. The racking and ejecting of the snap caps is often the same as live firing with brass, steel and shotgun casings. Instead of a used casing flying out, the snap cap ejects completely.

Before going to your weapons for dry firing snap caps, use the safety protocols. The number one protocol is to check the weapon for any live cartridges in the chambers and in the magazines. I like to leave green zip ties in the chamber-bore area after doing a dry firing round.

The main safety concerns with snap caps refer to keeping the caps in a completely separate place from the live ammo. All live ammo should have its special place for storage in your private abode. Nothing could be worse than to have your snap caps lying around near the live ammo, and then mistakenly loading a live cartridge or cartridges with the snap caps.

The sound and damage of a live round going off in your home could ruin your life forever. These terrible negligent discharges do happen. Keep all snap caps in a particular site for regular dry firing practice. Store the live ammo in a completely different area of your house.

The other safety concern is just getting finger tired, bored or lazy. After dry firing repeatedly, the mind can start to lose its awareness. This is the time to stop the snap cap practice and return to it for another day.

With the amount of money spent driving out to the range and going through lots of ammunition, the dry firing of snap caps allows gun owners to practice the martial arts of firearms within a place of residence.

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Firearms-SafetyCaution dangerous toolshot in the legshot in the foot

The terrible news stories never end. First, I read about a top state spy honcho, while representing a pro-citizen disarmament government, who shot his weapon’s laser sights at foreign visitors. Next, I glanced at some story about an irresponsible gun owner that allowed his gun to blast off as he was testing it in front of people. If he was lucky, then nobody ended up wounded or murdered. Sadly, this has not been the case from previous collected accounts of negligent discharges.

I have also perused news items about guys showing off their guns to their friends, forgetting that they had recently gone out shooting, and then messing around with their weapons while a live round was in the chamber. The stupid guy then murders his friend that was sitting right across from him. So many lives destroyed over some fool showing off his new weapon!

There are other stories about cops, and cop leaders, demonstrating the proper use of weapons, and then having them shoot off live bullets in front of a shocked audience. Sometimes, the round destroyed some inanimate object, while other times the cop gangers shot themselves with permanent consequences. For all of us that handle weapons, we all must repractice basic gun safety.

Guns are tools. But they are very specific tools. Guns are tools specific for extermination, whether at an old TV that only plays static, or against a rabid, four-legged animal ready for a meaty bite, or even against a human, a two-legged ‘animal’ ready to do some serious violence. We must all safely handle these tools of extermination, so that we do not destroy ourselves, our families, or our friends.

The first step for using any gun or any weapon is not shooting it live, or even disassembling it and then the reassembly. The first step before holding any weapon, is learning, memorizing, checking, and then constantly reviewing the basic gun safety rules. The alternative is just one negligent discharge within a few seconds that can horribly alter our human existence. In one fleeing moment we could destroy our lives and the lives of others.

The first safety rule is to treat all guns and weapons as if they had live rounds inside, meaning ‘loaded.’ This basic rule is not paranoia, but a safe way of always pointing the weapon in a direction where it will not hurt any living being or dangerous object, such as a closed gas canister, and at the same time, always checking the gun safety, releasing the magazine, (if there is one), and examining the chamber. Even if the gun has not been used for a long time, the owner has to do the same procedures. He or she has to make sure that the weapon points at an area that will cause the least amount damage, if the gun happens to discharge a round. Next, he or she has to perform the gun safety check: magazine check, (if there is a magazine inserted), and a chamber check to see if it is free of bullets.

Finding a safe area to point a weapon is hard. If you live above or below someone, then you cannot point the weapon at most surfaces, because almost all bullet rounds go through walls, doors, windows, floors and ceilings. Even pointing the gun at a regular old wall is dangerous because you just don’t know who there is on the outside, on the other side of the wall, or just standing around your place. The point of this lesson is that you never want a negligent discharge.

If you live in an urban environment, the sudden, loud ‘bang’ of a weapon firing is enough for a snitch, cowardly neighbor to call on the donut brigade. When the cops show up later at your door, good luck in not allowing the police gang to push you out of the doorway and then search your personal space. Cops always find some evidence for some crime. The police can then say that the gunshot gave them the probable cause. In some anti-gun Amerikan big cities, a civilian negligent discharge is an actual crime. This is one of the reasons some gun people live in out in the rural parts where guns are prevalent. Gunshots tend move in and out with the wild animal noises.

The second rule about pointing the weapon in a safe direction, also implies that we need to see the target and what is behind it. Since we consider all weapons loaded, we also need to handle and store our weapons in such a way that if a negligent discharge of a bullet does go off, the bullet will do the least amount of damage to the target right in front of it. After we check the gun’s chambers, with no magazine, (or an empty magazine), and the safety on, then we should lock the weapon and store it inside some container. We should place the container in such a way as to have the barrel facing a hard surface, and where there is usually no human contact or pressurized structures behind the surface.

We should never point the weapon at our faces or bodies in order to check for obstructions in the barrel. The gun owner has to do the safety check first, and then disassemble the weapon second. After cleaning and reassembly, the gun owner can then inspect for the barrel for obstructions. After reassembly, the gun owner can also check both the safety and trigger functions – not pulling the trigger itself.

This is the third rule. Never put the finger on the trigger unless you are ready to destroy something. The trigger mechanism is the final act for extermination. Once the owner pulls the trigger even slightly, it can never return back. The round will fire and then come the consequences. This is the reason that all guns come with trigger guards. Even the slightest pressure on the trigger can set it off. We should keep the trigger finger on the frame, and only put that finger on the trigger when all other options are not available in a combat situation. We are now ready to commit devastation. This mentality also implies that we are in the right mind.

The fourth rule is extremely important. Never handle a gun or any weapon while partying with friends, while anxious or mentally preoccupied, after imbibing some alcohol, and don’t even make the gun a common conversation piece for bragging rights, or just to talk about your day shooting with someone. It is better to keep quiet about your weapons, then letting your neighbors or acquaintances find out what you possess. When things get nasty in the Empire, that same neighbor or acquaintance may become the snitch narc that will turn you into the police. Talking about your gun to other people often moves into showing off your gun to other people. When drinking alcohol or mentally preoccupied, you will probably not do any safety checks. A fun get together between friends could turn into the most terrible act we could ever do.

In all my many years of handling weapons, hunting trips, military experience and plinking with friends, I have had one negligent discharge. Luckily, I was not hurt, and nor did I really blast anything important. But as they say, one mistake is one too many, and this is especially true with firearms. I learned my lesson because I startled myself and I felt an acute shock that I could commit such a mistake. I swore that I would never do such a negligent act ever again and I returned to the gun safety protocols. I am still a fanatic for firearm safety. That one embarrassing experience solidified the first and only rule with handling any weapons: safety, more safety, and even more safety.