10 golden rules for shooting

As hunting season creeps in with the arrival of September soon to come, let’s take a look at ten of the golden rules for going on a shoot and handling any form of firearm. Whether you are a beginner looking for tips on how to start or a seasoned pro wanted a re-cap on the some of the basics, read on below:

Be Aware

Always have one eye on the bead and the other on the range. If you are a seasoned shooter you may know the ground like the back of your hand, but others may not be aware of the dangers of taking a ‘short cut’ to the next stand, right through your firing line. Be sure to have a thorough look around your stand before firing to avoid any accidents.



Don’t get too used to being handed a gun without checking it. Some people might be so foolhardy as to give you a closed gun, so in this case, just ensure that you open up the gun and check the barrels are clear. Make this a habit, so you don’t accidentally get caught out and hurt yourself or somebody else.



Similar to the above rule; always treat a gun as if it’s loaded. Never take for granted that someones gun is empty, as they might have left shells in it. Make it a habit to keep that finger off the trigger or even in the trigger guard until you know you are ready to fire.



Keep your gun broken and unloaded at all times when not in use, only ever put shells into the gun once you are at your stand with the muzzle facing down your firing line.



You would be surprised how many times we see this, especially for beginner shooters. Excited by the heat of the moment, they take the first shot and turn right around to either cheer or ask for advice, pointing the loaded barrel at groin height with a loaded gun. Please never turn around in the stand without breaking the barrel first, unless you want to give your old man a heart attack!


Break it

Always keep your gun broken at the shooting ground, whether that’s walking around, grabbing a quick cup of tea or finding your next stand.


Accidents happens

We all are aware accidents happen, but not if the gun is broken and unloaded. Never leave cartridges in the gun when it’s not in use. As you remove the gun from the gunslip, make sure to break the barrel to avoid any errors.



Pump action, and Semi-autos can be very difficult to tell whether they are loaded or not due to not being break barrel. If it’s your gun, keep it unloaded as you would a break barrel and perhaps stick something at the end of the barrel like a bit of hi-vis tape to show yourself and others the gun is unloaded.


The slip

No matter how big your shooting ground is, there will always be some form of walking, whether that’s from the truck or from stand to stand. As long as you keep your gun stowed in its gunslip wherever possible, then there should be no problem. If you cannot house it in a slip, make sure it is broken.


No pointing

Whether you want a new profile picture, are being featured in a magazine or checking your friend’s eye dominance, you may at some point have to look straight down the barrel. Nothing is quite as unnerving as that, so just double-double check that the gun is 100% empty. And remember if it isn’t pointing at anybody, it isn’t going to hurt anybody.


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