How Range Safety Isn’t As Bad As You Think
This video was made for gun range personal. However, even if you don’t plan to manage a gun range, there is some great gun safety information. Also, for your information, I’ve included the transcript.
Transcript[00:00:06] He has been on the firing line. [00:00:29] Safety is the most important concern as a firearms instructor. You’re responsible for the personal safety of your students, bystanders and yourself by recognizing common safety violations. You can correct potentially dangerous mistakes or better yet prevent them from happening in the first place. [00:00:55] Safety begins the moment the student picks up a weapon. The cardinal rule is this. Always assume a weapon is loaded until you find out otherwise and never point a weapon at someone or something you don’t intend to shoot. Once students are on the firing line communications becomes important. [00:01:17] Each individual needs to hear and comply with basic tower command. Your job as an instructor is to make sure students follow those commands. You must watch closely for potential safety hazards and be ready to step in quickly to prevent a violation. For this reason, it’s important to know the basic hand signals used to communicate with the tower. [00:01:45] A thumbs up sign means, yes to indicate no. Raise your open hand above your head making a tea with both hands means time outs a handheld steadily over the head and turned one way then the other means edge or face the targets and a single finger moved in a circular motion means we’re ready to go. [00:02:10] At the indoor range communication with the control booth is done by the microphone while interfacing with the control booth is important. It’s just as necessary to maintain good instructor student communications when talking to a student. [00:02:28] Keep your instructions brief and to the point. Remember that the rest of the class is waiting to continue their exercise related to this. [00:02:39] Never talk to a student while the tower is speaking. [00:02:43] This way you won’t miss a command and neither will the student the student needing assistance should raise his free hand to get the instructor’s attention. But don’t count on it. He won’t load just that. Some students will attempt to turn around and are in line with their weapon in hand. Keep that weapon pointed down. I always approach the student from the gun side. That way you can catch his hand before he points the firearm at you. The key is in being alert. Watch your students carefully do your hands right here in hand and if another line instructor is working with an individual. Be prepared to watch his or her students as well. One final word when working as a line instructor stand far enough behind the students to get the big picture from this spot. You can move up and down the line watching your students closely. Now let’s focus on specific safety concerns first and foremost is safety equipment. Notice the problem here. The student remembered his ear protection but while attempting to get them on began pointing his firearm in an unsafe direction. Everyone at the range including instructors should wear adequate safety gear for eyes and ears. Be alert, however, trying to replace them in the middle of an exercise could prove hazardous Another common problem is unsafe. Movement on the firing line a student should never turn or step off the firing line with a gun in hand. [00:04:28] But Lovo Let’s go ahead and get your turn around here and get you back up to the. [00:04:35] Notice the unsafe direction in which this student is pointing her gun. Many students fail to realize these walls are not bullet proof. [00:04:46] That wasn’t pointed down the alert to the dangers of the situation. It’s a common error and a potentially serious one. [00:04:57] Another common violation on the firing line is bending over this commonly occurs while loading students will drop their ammunition and bend over to pick it up. [00:05:09] The problem, of course, is that in the process of bending over they might be placing themselves in the path of someone else’s loaded gun. As a firearms instructor, you can’t overemphasize the importance of this lesson for don’t stop bullets. [00:05:26] You’re bending over one of these weapons can be pointed right at your head. OK. [00:05:31] Just as you can’t over emphasize the importance of always pointing your weapon in a safe downrange direction. Notice how this student pulls his revolver back toward his chin after shooting at this point you can clearly see the weapon is pointed in an unsafe upward position let’s see how the instructor corrects the student keep the web pointed down range all the time when you’re trying to come straight out to the target when you finish she comes right back. As we see again in slow motion, the correct procedure is to keep the muzzle of the weapon always pointed down range until it’s ready to be holstered. Any accidental discharge will then do minimal damage. And keep this in mind when working in an indoor range here the concrete floor and steel ceiling may cause bullets to ricochet dangerously be especially alert at the outdoor range where the danger of bullets exiting the confines is very real. [00:06:36] And let’s face it Accidents do happen especially when a student draws a weapon with his finger on the trigger. [00:06:44] It can happen as quickly as this here a line instructor shows the correct way to draw the weapon using holsters that cover the trigger guard is one way to prevent these accidents. [00:07:01] OK when authorities say I they went to the fire six found six rounds of. [00:07:23] Danger once you got your back on this game and check your students to make sure no one is holding a weapon only then can the line be declared safe. [00:07:46] An unloaded weapon should be carried with the cylinder open or in the holster. But perhaps the most important safety rule is the most obvious. Treat every weapon as if it were loaded. [00:08:04] Enforcing just this one rule can make every instructor’s job a lot easier. That was good that you never checked. Never trust your memory. We’ve already looked at a number of safety rules which apply to all firearms. At this point let’s review specific safety concerns associated with various types of weapons used at the center. Here are some things to look for when working with semi-automatic handgun shooter students loading semiautomatics should be watched carefully making sure they keep their fingers off the trigger. As always make certain their weapons are pointed in a safe direction. Pay close attention while students charge their semi-automatic. Here you can see a student retracting the slide in such a way that the pistol is pointed sideways. An accidental discharge now could shatter her elbow or even injure a fellow student. My mother pointed down range. Now let’s bring you the proper technique is. Notice the instructor is pulling the slides straight back back up. This keeps the muzzle pointed down range and her elbow out of harm’s way. Here’s a common safety precaution discourage students from placing the thumb of their weak hand behind the rear of the slide. This could cause the thumb to be cut when the slide cycles. Here’s a more preferred method. [00:09:34] Let me show you something here. If you take control of the weapon, I don’t regret. You have your thumb right over here. That slide works back it’s going to eat right into that arm to try to put your thumb right down along the side thumb over thumbnail good tight grip this way. OK. Let’s take a look and see how you do it. They control the gun get you two handed grip right down right over thumbnail just like that. I could take that. Got that. OK. [00:10:00] Many students unload a semi-automatic by working the action first to clear the chamber. Only then do they remove the magazine. This can cause an accidental discharge. Here’s why. Working the slide with the magazine still in the gun. The student may have inadvertently loaded another round this pistol was charged and is ready to fire. As a firearms instructor, it’s vital that you watch your students unload their weapons and we have him out. It’s also critical that you make sure all weapons have been uncovered before being holstered. First on the firing range. Never take anything for granted. And as an instructor saying Don’t assume anything until you’re certain all the weapons are empty and the line is safely locked to in the trunk. [00:10:58] OK go ahead Mr.. [00:11:11] Now let’s review some safety rules involving long arm weapons. One cannot overstate the danger of a shotgun blast particularly when multiple shot is you. For this reason, it’s crucial that the student and instructor know where the muzzle of the weapon is pointed at all times. It’s easy to see how that accident can happen. Notice when the student turned toward the instructor how her shotgun muzzle swept the line if that gun pointed down range. [00:11:43] Now don’t let us swing side to side. [00:11:46] It can happen just as easily with a rifle. Remember it’s up to you to ensure that all the weapons remain pointed in a safe downrange direction next to you. It’s also vital to make sure the muzzle of any long arm weapon is kept level with the ground not pointing up where around can clear the protective berm and possibly injure someone who may be passing by. [00:12:11] We got to keep a level under the ground so when you fire itdoesn’t raise it up. Just keep it right level. [00:12:16] Now let’s consider loading technique. Special attention must be given when a student is working with an AR 15 semiautomatic rifle. See what happens when this T-shaped charging handle is not secured before releasing the bolt. If a student’s cheek were placed here as it would be for firing a serious laceration could occur that he had a weapon. [00:12:41] Now let’s watch how a round is properly. Very important. The T-shaped handle is pulled back, and the bottom of this bolt latch is pushed in to lock the bolt in position. The charging handle is then pushed forward into a secure position. Only at this point is the top of the ball pressing releasing the spring-pressured both thereby chambering a round. At last, let the ball go forward. Pay special attention when students are clearing a long arm weapon. Here a student is clearing the A.R. 15 notice how he first moves the selector switch into the position for safety. He then removes the magazine. The bolt is locked to the rear, and the Chamber is inspected. This weapon may now be transported in the port arms position. Check the chamber. [00:13:37] Go ahead and bring it to a port position. There are other concerns for long arms particularly with respect to the shotgun. Here the student is committing several errors which could jeopardize her safety. Consider her stance. Notice how the student’s body is Bladud to her targets. This kind of stance will allow the shotgun to slip during recoil. Here you see that her middle finger is placed right next to the trigger guard. That finger could be seriously injured when the weapon recoils. Finally, note the position of her head and cheek. If she is in this position, the stock will slap her in the face. [00:14:21] Now let’s see how the instructor corrects these errors. Say that what’s going on in my left hand. The instructor’s stance is squared to the shoulders her cheek is pressed firmly against the shotgun stock to prevent injury during recoil. Also, notice the position of the butt of the gun securely held in the pocket and away from the shooter’s bicep. See how the instructor keeps the thumb of her shooting hand away from her nose. All these precautions will help prevent injury due to recoil. Moving forward you can see the proper positioning of the middle finger as an instructor. It’s your job to reinforce correct firing technique. Doing so will result in more than just high students scores. Will create a safe and injury free learning environment. At the end of the exercise. Inspect all shotguns visually and physically to make sure they are empty. Look inside here. Bring it out here. Check to make sure that students have the slide to the rear. Action open and safety on the safety on again emphasize the importance of transporting any long arm rifle or shotgun in the proper position. [00:15:39] Now let’s move into the area of special weapons, in this case, the U.S. The important thing to watch out for when students handle a newsie is malfunctions which can cause potential problems while making the weapon safe. [00:15:55] Let’s review how it’s done. Here’s a newbie with a malfunction. Notice the instructor first real cocks the weapon by pulling back the cocking knob. She then removes the magazine inspects the chamber and reinsert the magazine then returns the weapon to the student to clear the weapon. After firing has been completed follow this procedure first recollect the weapon locking the bolt to the rear. Next, inspect the chamber remove the magazine then visually and physically check the chamber area. The bolt is then released by pulling the trigger. You then reset the safety switch to s. This is the procedure that must be used to ensure and is safe there can be no confirmation. Inspect the weapon completely. By now you should realize the firing range is no place for carelessness. The briefest lapse of attention could result in a dangerous even deadly mistake. It’s not easy as a firearms instructor you must be alert at all times. You must be quick to spot a violation and even quicker to step in and correct it. It’s a mentally exhausting job, but it’s crucial when knowing what to look for help. So does knowing how to prevent or correct safety violations. [00:17:27] However it’s on your shoulders. Safety is ultimately the responsibility of each and every firearms instructor. [00:17:35] It’s commitment to your students and yourself for the cause