Gun cleaning safety

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July 31, 2012
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September 18, 2012

I recently ran across an article from Feb. 2008 (old by today’s standards on the internet) in which it was describing how a New York city police officer had accidentally discharged his weapon while cleaning, through the floor of his apartment, into the arm of a toddler living below. His excuse was that the electricity was off due to his inability to pay the electric bill.

It occurred to me that this might be a good time to write an article about gun cleaning safety. So, despite the stupidity involved, this incident could have been prevented if the officer had simply followed some common sense rules when it comes to cleaning his weapon.

From the National Rifle association (NRA) gun safety rules we have these tips:

  • ALWAYS, keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. If you live in an apartment building or have neighbors close by, never point your gun in the direction where other people live or towards a space that they MAY be inhabiting.
  • ALWAYS keep you finger off of the trigger until ready to shoot. Now in this particular case, the officer should never have set his weapon down on the edge of a table where it could easily be knocked off and discharged.
  • ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use. Yes this goes without saying but these type of accidents occur all too frequently. ALWAYS check your gun to make sure it is unloaded before handling your weapon, especially if you are taking it down for cleaning.

Regular cleaning is important in order for your gun to operate correctly and safely. Your gun should be cleaned every time that it is used. A gun brought out of prolonged storage should also be cleaned before shooting. Accumulated moisture and dirt, or solidified grease and oil, can prevent the gun from operating properly. Before cleaning your gun, make absolutely sure that it is unloaded. The gun’s action should be open during the cleaning process. Also, be sure that no ammunition is present in the cleaning area.

  • Consult your owner’s manual before you begin.
  • Clean from the breech toward the muzzle if possible with a small amount of Firearm Protector.
  • Minimize the amount of contact between the cleaning rod and the barrel.
  • Avoid skin contact with any metal parts of the firearm. Perspiration causes rust.
  • If you discover a problem with your firearm while cleaning it, take it to a qualified gunsmith. Don’t attempt to repair a firearm yourself even if you think the problem is a minor one!

Your firearm should be protected and serviceable for a long time to come and you and your family should be protected and safe by following these simple common sense rules.
Happy shooting!

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