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Top Shot Interviews: Paul Marinaccio of Blue Team

Check out the latest in our series of interviews with Top Shot contestants. Joining me on the podcast last night was Paul Marinaccio who had some very interesting things to say about the team dynamic that’s developing on Blue Team. If you’d like to download via iTunes, just click the button below.

Gun Nuts Radio | Blog Talk Radio Feed

In the full interview with Paul Marinaccio we had some really good conversations about what’s happening with Blue Team. It appears that a real rift is developing between Blue Team and Jake, and the previews for next week showed some pretty interesting stuff going down. Tune in next week for Gun Nuts Radio as I talk to the next contestant eliminated from the show!

Cheaper Than Dirt is Now Cheaper Than…Everyone Else!

That’s right, CTD is dropping gun prices, really. This is a permanent price change, not a sale. We are increasing our number of suppliers and dropping our prices on all non-MAP priced guns. In other words, if the manufacturer doesn’t have a minimum advertised price, then we make your future guns cheaper! What does this mean to you? It means you can rest assured that we have the best possible deals on all the firearms you know and love. It means that we are listening to our customers and ensuring that we offer you the best possible deals on the firearms we supply. It also means that we will continue to offer the best in customer service and support to you, our customer. Take a quick peek at some of our great new deals!

Cobra Enterprises FS30

Cobra FS380

$113.80 for a 380 handgun! Cobra Enterprises FS380 is an semi automatic pistol with a 3.5 inch barrel and seven rounds of .380 rock and roll. The chrome finish adds a touch of sophistication and the all alloy frame adds strength to this already great firearm.

Like it? Want it? Buy it here!
 

 

 

 

 

 

Olympic Arms AR-15

Olympic Arms Plinkerplus

$580.10 AR-15! Looking for a great deal on a high quality entry level AR-15? Our Plinker Plus model has all the great features of current AR-15 models but with a simpler A1 rear sight and are priced much lower than the competition.

Like it? Want it? Buy it here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 Gauge Mossberg Persuader

12 Gauge Mossberg Persuader

$247.50 for home defense perfection. High security is fine; high maintenance isn’t. Enter the Mossberg 500 Persuader shotguns, the pump action shotguns you can count on for your security needs. Introduced in 1961, the Model 500 pump action utilizes an aluminum alloy receiver. The gun has a number of desirable features, including a barrel that is fully interchangeable, an easily manipulated top of receiver mounted safety, an anti jam elevator, dual extractors, and twin action bars for smooth and reliable operation. Model #50521 is available as a 6 shot with an 18″ cylinder bore barrel, parkerized finish and includes a pistol grip kit.

Like it? Want it? Buy it here!

Fall Camping—We Can’t Wait!

Finally, our temperatures dropped over the Labor Day weekend! To take advantage of the perfect weather, my friend threw an impromptu BBQ, so we could enjoy the last weekend of the summer and dine alfresco. As we were watching the flame and coals do their thing, my friend brought up something we all thought about all summer, but haven’t actually had a chance to do: camping! Believe me, if you have ever tried sleeping in a tent when it is 108F, you will not do it again! Fall is upon us and it is time to hit it outside; warm days and cool nights—I can’t wait!

Single Burner Butane Camp Stove

Want it? Buy it! Item: CAMP-355

Single Burner Butane Camp Stove

Single Burner Butane Camp Stove

Personally, I prefer to cook over a real campfire, not a charcoal grill when I’m camping. There is nothing like hobo packets, hotdogs on twigs, and s’mores from a real wood fire when you are out roughing it. However, in the morning, when I need coffee STAT, I do not want to wait around; that’s why I always bring along a gas burner. Plus, you can whip up a mean omelet that rivals even the best five-star restaurants. This little stove takes mini butane canisters and it all packs up together in a little carrying case, which is a bonus for me because I really hate lugging so much bulky stuff out to my campsite. If you are just using it for coffee and breakfast, one canister should last you all weekend. For 10 bucks, man, you can’t beat it!

 

 

 

SOG Hand Axe

Want it? Buy It! Item: 62930

SOG Hand Axe

SOG Hand Axe

If you are building your own fires, you will need to chop wood- either purchased wood (always too big) or found wood, none of it will ever be the right size. You need a good, sturdy axe to chop it all up. It gives you something to do, and plus, chopping stuff up is just fun.

The SOG hand axe is built to be a handy tool on camping trips, especially camping trips like mine- not too primitive, but no air conditioned cabins or RVs either. The G-10 scaled handle gives you a good, non-slip grip. A solidly-built axe, with a 2.4-inch, 420 stainless steel blade, already sharpened and ready to go!

 

 

 

50% Wool Blanket

Want it? Buy it! Item: CAMP-217

50% Wool Blanket

50% Wool Blanket

I heard a rumor that it dropped down to 48F at some point this morning. If I had been in a tent with just a sheet, believe me, I would have been freezing! And not happy. Hey, I am hot-blooded, what can I say? Either way, if it really is going to get that cold while I am camping, I will want a blanket. Being out in nature, camping, and getting chilly while sleeping comfortably and having this nice warm wool blanket to throw over me just sounds snuggly, doesn’t it?
If not, you can always use it as a picnic blanket, card-playing blanket, concert blanket, dog blanket, moving blanket, sun-bathing blanket, star-gazing blanket, book-reading blanket, emergency blanket… should I continue?

 

 

 

Camo Rope

Want it? Buy it! Item: ROPE-110

Camo Rope

Camo Rope

It is always a good idea to have some rope with you everywhere you go. On camping trips, you can use your rope to tie down your cooler lid so raccoons cannot take all your food, or tie stuff up in a tree to prevent bear raids, and tie your float to a tree, so you don’t get too far off shore while you’re lazing in the lake. With the leftovers, you can make bracelets and beer cozies!

Totally bargain priced, this super strong camo rope is made of polypropylene that holds 750 pounds and is 75 feet long.

Tracking Your Prey

Call me a softy, but when I shoot a deer, I like to kill it immediately. I hate tracking deer in cold, muddy environments, and I especially hate to cause unnecessary suffering on the part of the deer. I usually hunt in south and east Texas, so our whitetail deer are not normally very large. I use a .270 or 30.06 caliber round with one of a couple scoped bolt action rifles, so as long as my gun is properly sighted in, I usually do not have a problem. There are occasions however, that despite a perfectly placed shot, the deer just seems to be able to run forever. I chased a deer that had a hole in its heart 200 yards in the thickest, briar patch infested scrub brush you have ever seen. Tracking deer is something that most deer hunters will have to do eventually, so it is best to be prepared.

Preparation starts at home. Gather some supplies together before you leave for your hunt and put them in a bag. Any small pack or dump pouch will do, my backpack/hydration bag works perfect for me. Gather up a flashlight, some snacks, water, hydrogen peroxide in a squirt bottle, and a roll of biodegradable flagging ribbon. If nothing else gets packed, the flagging ribbon and the flashlight are the absolute must have’s.

White Tailed Deer

When you first take the shot, and the deer doesn’t go down, watch its reaction, if it jumps when it’s hit, it might be a heart or lung shot. It will most likely not get very far if this is the case. If your shot went awry, and you hit it in the leg, you might see it go down, and try to stumble away. Should this happen, it would be a good idea to deliver a finishing shot before you attempt to approach your prey. A gut shot is the worst type of scenario. The deer is going to be wounded and frightened, and will probably run quite a distance before it decides to bed down. If it is a gut shot, the deer might run with its tail down.

When you shoot, don’t jump out of the stand immediately. Make a note of where you shot the deer and watch where it runs. It will most likely head to thick brush to hide. If you follow the deer too soon, it will hear and smell you coming and keep running. Go to the spot where he took the hit. If you see a great deal of fur, you might have grazed the deer. If you don’t see too much hair, you probably have a body shot. If you see bits of bone, a leg shot is probable.

When looking at blood, take note of where the blood lies. If it is up high, in tall grass, you might have a shot to the heart or lungs. If there are air bubbles in the blood, you have a lung shot, and you won’t have to track your prey very far. Blood that is very dark red with bits of green in it indicate a gut shot, and you might be in for a long trek. If the blood trail gets thin, or you aren’t sure that what you are looking at is actually blood, use your hydrogen peroxide spray bottle, the blood will bubble up just like it does on an open wound. As you get into the woods, liberally use your flagging ribbon. Tie it around trees or branches at eye level or higher. Keep your ears open too, a deer falling on the ground can make a very audible “thud.” Remember not to let yourself get thrown off by tracks. If it is a trail often used by deer, you may be following the wrong buck.

Image Courtesy of Matthew J Obrien

While on the trail, don’t move forward until you see the next drop of blood. If you loose track, and don’t see any blood, move back to the last spot and search for more sign. Should you not see any blood at all, try to look for the path of least resistance. You could get lucky and pick up the trail again, if you still don’t see any, move back again and use your spray bottle. Take your time and don’t try to rush, if it gets dark, who cares, you have your flashlight and flagging ribbon, right? If the blood trail abruptly stops, look around for a spot with heavy brush. A deer on the run will try to bed up in order to hide, especially if it is running out of energy. Typically, this is where the deer will expire. Once it lies down, it usually won’t get back up.

Keeping these simple tips in mind will make it a bit easier to track your prey the next time it runs off. I figure there is no reason to shoot an otherwise harmless animal unless you intend to eat it, so recovering your prey is the most essential part of your hunt.

Today We Remember

Patriot Day

Ten years ago today, all our lives changed forever. Before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the New York City skyline featured a powerful symbol of our great country’s financial and social dominance. The assault left our county stunned, but united. In the days following the attacks, a feeling of national pride swept America and we stood together as a united front ready to fight terrorism and rid the world of evil. The event stands beside national tragedies like Pearl Harbor and Hurricane Katrina.

In the last 10 years, many things have changed. Airline security has increased dramatically, and the government formed the Department of Homeland Security. Every year on September 11, we observe Patriot Day, a national day of mourning.

Most Americans can tell you exactly what they were doing when it happened. I remember 9/11 being the primary reason I joined the service. I, like many Americans felt the need to stand up and do something about what was happening on the world stage.

Take some time this day to remember, and reflect on, those who we lost, not only in on 9/11, but those whom we have lost in the War on Terror.

ATK: Ammo for Uncle Sam, and for Us, Too

If you are an American shooter, chances are you have done business with Alliant Techsystems, even if you did not realize it at the time. If you have bought ammo from Federal, Fusion Ammunition, CCI/Blazer/Speer, Estate Cartridge, or Black Cloud, you have bought from ATK. If you have scopes or accessories from Weaver, Blackhawk!, Simmons, Redfield, Eagle Industries, or RCBS reloading supplies, you have bought from ATK.

ATK only became its own company in 1990. Its parent company, Honeywell, decided to “spin off” all of its defense and security businesses into a new company. Since Honeywell had been building national defense related products for the government since WWII, this was a big deal. Alliant Techsystems set up shop in Minnesota and instantly became a major player on the corporate world stage and in the years since they have slowly acquired dozens of smaller companies under their corporate umbrella, growing larger and larger.

The companies building ammo and accessories for the civilian market are actually only a fraction of what ATK does. The majority of their work is in aerospace and national defense. One of their companies builds the vast majority of solid fuel rocket engines in the U.S., from little ones that launch Sidewinder missiles to big ones used by NASA. ATK companies also build parts for the satellites that those big boosters launch. Sensors used in aircraft patrolling our borders are made by ATK’s defense oriented companies, and they have even developed a self-contained, remote controlled 25mm autocannon called PAWS that fits on a pallet and can be mounted anywhere from the side door of a cargo plane to the back of a Humvee. Yes, we want one too.

ATK’s largest responsibility regarding national defense is running the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence, Missouri. Back in WW2, the U.S. ran six small arms ammo-manufacturing plants, but Lake City is now the only one left. The government still owns the plant, but ATK has operated it since 2001. That makes ATK at Lake City the sole source for 99% of the 5.56 NATO, 7.62 NATO, and .50 BMG ammo used by every branch of the U.S. military. How much ammo do they make? Operating at maximum production capacity for the last few years, Lake City has managed to crank out an average of about 1.4 billion, yes BILLION, rounds a year, and still they barely meet the demands of fighting our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In May 2011, the US Army decided that they really liked the 100 million rounds of M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round ammo that ATK had built so far. ATK had helped develop the new round, which uses no lead in its copper and steel bullet construction. The Army was impressed with its superior stopping power, especially at extended ranges, and its improved barrier penetration. They signed a new $488 million contract for ATK at Lake City to crank out this latest generation of 5.56 ammunition, along with more badly needed 7.62 and .50 cal ammo for our troops.

There are some concerns about Uncle Sam putting all of its ammo production eggs in one basket at Lake City. Although ATK is working on a $242 million modernization project there, it will not actually result in an increased capacity to make more ammo than the plant currently produces. Producing 99% of our military ammo in one place has physical risks as well; although the plant is well guarded and safety rules strictly followed, a terror attack or industrial accident could potentially cripple America’s ability to wage war. The primers used in making the military ammo also contain a less obvious national security risk—of the 13 chemicals used to make the primer compound, 10 of them are imported from outside the country. For example, four of the chemicals can only be found in China, and two can only be found in Mexico. If either of those countries were unwilling, or unable, to export these chemicals to us in the future, we would need to come up with a new way to make primers. However, solving these issues is not up to the private company doing what the government tells them; it is up to our policymakers.

ATK is the company trusted by our military to make the billions of rounds of ammo needed by our troops around the world. ATK’s parent company, Honeywell, was one of the early adopters of the “Six Sigma” quality control process, in which 99.99966% of products manufactured are expected to be free of defects. Put another way, this means 3.4 defects per million products made. The ATK subsidiaries building products for the civilian market are held to the same standards, and as a result, their quality is recognized throughout the industry. When making your next high-quality ammo purchase, do not be surprised if the brand you choose turns out to be an ATK-owned company.

High Quality AR-15 Parts Made in the USA

USA made!

Our friend, Shelley Rae, over at Gun Nuts Media made a blog post this week about the different, high-quality parts on her AR-15. Reading about her build is a good place to start when you are ready to rev up your stock AR-15. Isn’t one of the reasons why we love the AR-15 rifle so much is because we can customize it? Shelley mentioned quite a few different companies’ accessories she has on her rifle. What’s better? All of today’s recommendations are made in the USA!

Like Shelley, we recommend these four items today:

Daniel Defense XV Upper

Want it? Buy it! Item: 2-DD9015

Daniel Defense XV Upper

Daniel Defense XV Upper

If you want a truly customized AR-15, you will need to build it from the ground up. The upper and lower assemblies are the first two parts who will want to purchase. The Daniel Defense XV upper in 5.56mm NATO is a great price. It has a 16-inch Chrome Moly Vanadium Steel, cold-hammer forged barrel with a 1:7-inch twist; a good twist rate if you are wanting match-grade performance out of your rifle. The bolt carrier group is MIL-SPEC MP-tested and has a properly staked gas key. This upper assembly also includes an A1 birdcage flash hider, front and rear sights, and a M4 polymer handguard. Daniel Defense manufactures their parts right here in the USA and each part is inspected and hand-assembled.

 

Advanced Armament BLACKOUT Flash Hider

Want it? Buy it! Item: 2-AACO100197

 

Advanced Armament BLACKOUT Flash Hider

Advanced Armament BLACKOUT Flash Hider

If you do not plan to suppress your AR, this Blackout non-mount flash hider is an affordable option from Advanced Armament. We all want high-quality accessories, without a jaw-dropping price tag and here is one such product. The Blackout flash hider successfully eliminates your muzzle flash and is made of high-strength, corrosion-resistant aerospace alloy.

 

 

 

 

 

Midwest Industries AR-15 Low Profile Rear Sight

Want it? Buy it! Item: ARR-803

Midwest Industries AR-15 Low Profile Rear Site

Midwest Industries AR-15 Low Profile Rear Site

What good is your rifle without good sights? A little more expensive, but well worth it, these sights from Midwest Industries lock into place solidly and provide an extremely low-profile design, allowing you to add a red dot or other sights. The ball detent design is battle-proven; offering a surface to grab onto even in the worst conditions and the windage knob is easy to use.

 

 

 

 

 

Ergo Grip AR-15/M16 SureGrip Tactical Deluxe Grip Kit

Want it? Buy it! Item: 60120

Ergo Grip AR-15/M16 SureGrip Tactical Deluxe Grip Kit

Ergo Grip AR-15/M16 SureGrip Tactical Deluxe Grip Kit

One of the most affordable, excellent quality additions to add to your AR-15: Ergo Grips feel great in your hand, and offer better control over your rifle. And, you don’t need a bunch of hardware and parts to install it.

 

It’s Like Golf, with Guns!

I know it isn’t the year 1902, and I am not a rich, English aristocrat sipping single malt scotch and wondering what the common people are up to today. I am, however, going to talk about an exciting sport that is very easily obtainable by today’s working man or woman. If you have never had the pleasure of shooting sporting clays, you are missing out on a potentially great time. Now that the summer heat is just beginning to taper off a bit, shooters and outdoorsmen alike are dusting off their guns, grabbing their ammo boxes, and heading out to the ranges all across our great nation. On your trip to your favorite gun range, you might take a detour just this once, and find your local sporting clay range (mine has both).

Clay Pigeons

With its roots coming from England, sporting clays is a shotgun shooting game in which a device presents clay pigeons to the gunner in ways that mirror the flight pattern of game birds, or occasionally rabbits, in their natural habitats. Course designers lay out the shooting grounds in stations (also called stands or “butts,” the British term) with each station representing one type of bird or a combination of game; a rabbit and a grouse, for example.

During the course, shooters get to engage about 100 birds across 5 to 10 stations. The fun of the game is that you never know where your targets are coming from, or how fast they will fly through the air. The original purpose of the sport was to imitate shooting live quarry.

When shooting clays, a shotgun is used. These guns vary widely, but the most common types in use are over and under, side by side, automatic, and pump shotguns. The side by side and over and under shotguns are advantageous due to the fact that they can fire successive shots almost instantly, giving the shooter more time to aim. Semi automatic shotguns are becoming more popular due to their increased availability, growing reliability, and lower cost. Somewhat less popular are the pump shotguns, which most serious clay shooters consider less desirable.

Sporting Clay Shooting

In the United States, the National Sporting Clays Association is the main governing body for competitive clays. The NSCA currently has over 22,000 members and over 600 clubs that host registered and recreational shoots. The organization is non-profit, and keeps records of their members’ scores in competition, registers shoots for the clubs and associations, holds national championship competitions each year, and provides a myriad awards for outstanding achievements.

The best way to get better at shooting is to compete. Shooting in a competitive environment will undoubtedly increase your skill as a shotgunner. Sporting clays offers a safe and fun environment to increase your skills, and allows us simple commoners to compete in an activity that the upper crust of English society once reserved for themselves.

Hydrographics—Camouflage from your Bathtub?

Camouflaging rifles used to be problematic.  After degreasing the rifle, a base coat of paint had to be applied with a spray can or airbrush.  The base coat was followed by additional coats of different colors to eventually create the camo pattern.  If you wanted a really nice job you could carefully mask areas of the gun with masking tape before spraying, or you could just “free hand” with a spray can over and over again until it either looked right or became a dripping, sticky mess.  Guess which method I usually did?  Paint laid on too thick starts chipping and peeling, and cleaning solvents eat through it quickly.  It can gum up controls such as safeties and magazine release buttons.  Doing the job right is time intensive and there is a lot of trial and error.

Multicam is very difficult to paint, but easy for hydrographics.

Now there’s a better way.  You can camouflage your entire rifle by dunking it in your bathtub, using a process known as hydrographics.  The heart of it is a sheet of film that looks like Christmas wrapping paper, in a camouflage pattern (as an official redneck I just repeated myself there).  One side of the film is water soluble, and the film is placed in a tub of water with that side down.  The film floats on the water until the other side of it is sprayed with an activator (think hairspray), which dissolves the top side of the film and makes it super sticky.  Now the dissolved film is floating suspended on the top of the water, like motor oil.  Slowly dunking your rifle into the water wraps the film around it, coating the entire thing in the camo pattern immediately.  After giving it a bit of a stir to let any loose bits of film fall away, the rifle is carefully removed from the water, making sure not to touch any remaining film on the way out.  Then the rifle is sprayed down with a clearcoat to help add some scratch resistance to the camo pattern coating.  All done!  The coating is durable enough to help protect the metal parts underneath it from rust, but also thin enough to not fill up the slots in screws or limit the travel of important pins and detents.  It has proven to be very resistant to gun cleaning solvents, scratches and abrasions—resistant enough that dipped rifles are starting to be offered straight from high quality manufacturers.

Dozens of companies specializing in hydrographics have sprung up in the past couple of years, and the results obtained by professionals who get in a lot of practice with the process are going to be of the highest quality.  For do-it-yourselfers like me, companies are now selling kits with everything you need to try dipping on your own.  New hydrographic film patterns are being created all the time, so competition shooters have been using it to put flaming skulls and other crazy designs on their brightly colored custom guns.  Of course, firearms aren’t the only items being coated either.  Anything that can be safely immersed in water, and which the film will stick to, can be coated.  The process is being used by the custom car industry to give car dashboards and other parts the look of being made with exotic wood or carbon fiber.

Of course, a lot of shooters will always prefer the classic look of blued metal and a checkered wood stock.  To some, the AR-15 will always be “the black rifle.”  But we all like to customize our guns sometimes, and hydrographic dipping allows you to personalize your firearm in a vivid way, without having to mess with paint at all!

A black rifle no more, this AR is has been customized by its happy owner.

We Own the Night

Night Vision

The United States Military has a distinct advantage in many areas. Superior training, better logistics, smarter leaders, and most of all, the best equipment money can buy. What sets us apart from other militaries, aside from the obvious brave and heroic troops that put their lives on the line everyday, is money. Our defense budget falls somewhere between $700 and $900 billion dollars annually. China is in second place with $114 billion. France, the United Kingdom, Russia, and Japan all float between $51 and 61 billion dollars a year. After that, the numbers quickly become inconsequential. As a result of our colossal buying power, we are able to outfit our individual soldiers with the latest technology. As early as the World War II, our soldiers have been adopting the tactic of owning the night.

Germany developed night vision for military use in early 1939. By the end of the Second World War, the German army had outfitted as many as 50 Panzer tanks with early versions of night vision. The Nazi’s issued the “Vampir” man portable system for infantrymen alongside the some Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifles toward the end of the war. The U.S. military had a parallel development program. The M1 and M3 infrared night sighting devices, also known as the “sniperscope” or “snooperscope,” were introduced by the U.S. Army in WWII. Night vision has enjoyed an increasing role in every conflict since then.

Night vision works by increasing the effectiveness of the available ambient light. There are five generations of night vision, starting with Gen 0. The different generations all produce higher image quality, less distortion, and longer tube light.

  • Generation 0—Scopes defined by their large size, and relatively low image intensification. They relied on an infrared light source. These devices tended to be heavy, and displayed a large amount of image distortion.
  • Generation 1—These were the first passive devices that did not rely on infrared light sources, instead they magnified ambient light to create an image.
  • Generation 2—Devices utilized an improved image-intensifier tube, which resulted in a much brighter image, especially around the edges of the lens.
  • Generation 3—Systems use an improved photocathode that increases image resolution and light amplification.
  • Generation 4—Gen 4 allows scopes and goggles to automatically adapt to changing light conditions. The Gen 4 tubes have a more sensitive tube, which gives a much better image, but have a slightly lower tube life than Gen 3.

During Operation Desert Storm, the Iraqi Army was ill equipped to fight a nighttime war. The United States and its allies issued night vision devices to individual troops and major weapons systems. Operations increased during twilight hours, which allowed our troops to move and engage targets with a distinct advantage in the desert environment. For the first time, the American public viewed the war on live television through the use of night vision technology mounted on news cameras. The coverage of smart bombs hitting targets at night helped defined the Gulf War as a “Living Room War.”

Night vision has come a long way since its inception during WWII. As technology progresses, we have to wonder what improvements will come during the next generation of conflicts that we will inevitably face. Unfortunately for us, night vision along with stealth technology, are readily available to the highest bidder on the international weapons market.

Shoot Safe this Labor Day Weekend

Guns and alcohol do not mix. This Labor Day weekend we at Cheaper Than Dirt! would like to give everyone a quick reminder to have a safe and relaxing weekend. We know that the vast majority of our customers are responsible gun owners, and would never endanger someone else’s life by drinking alcohol and using firearms. If you are going to the range, remember not to get tanked before you go. We know that most of you all know your basic gun safety rules, but hey, a quick reminder never hurt anyone. So here goes…

Always Point in a Safe Direction

Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction. This is the primary gun safety rule. A safe direction means that you pointed it so that even if it were to go off it would not cause injury or damage. The key to this rule is to control where you point the muzzle or front end of the barrel at all times. Common sense dictates the safest direction. Always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. When holding a gun, rest your finger on the trigger guard or along the side of the gun. Until you are actually ready to fire, do not touch the trigger.

Always know what is behind your target. Putting a cardboard target on the side your house is probably not a good idea. Make sure there is an earth barrier of some kind behind what you are shooting at. Know how to use your gun safely. Fiddling with the slide on a loaded pistol of which you are unfamiliar, is a quick way to hurt yourself or someone else. Always make sure you are proficient on the piece of equipment you are using before you try to operate the gun.

Trigger Finger Discipline

Be sure the gun is safe to operate. Never fire a filthy or gummed-up weapon. Do not fire a gun that has some sort of stoppage in the mechanical components or the barrel. If a stovepipe jam has caused a lodge in the barrel, never fire another round to get it out. Seems crazy, but it’s been tried. Use only the correct ammunition for your gun. If you are unsure of the type of ammunition the gun requires, take it to a qualified gunsmith, they can help you. Wear eye and ear protection when shooting. This is a rule that I used to be guilty of, that is until I had burning powder catch the corner of my eye. I never shoot without glasses now; I like my vision in tact thank you. Store your guns so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons. This would include children and would be criminals. A gun safe is a perfect place for your collection of firearms. Make sure that you bolt the safe to the frame of your home, and that only the proper people have access to the combination or key. Simply hiding your guns under your bed won’t deter a burglar.

These simple gun safety tips are always a good idea. As far as we should be concerned, you can never really be too careful with a firearm. Proper gun safety is part of being a responsible gun owner. Remember, the more people who lose their minds and get hurt or killed in a gun related accident, the more ammunition the other side has to take away what the Second Amendment gives us the right to have.

Have a fun labor day and happy shooting!