There is nothing in any of the hints that we’ve seen in these pages that has any greater importance than safety.
Mistakes may seem innocuous and unimportant, but one little error can seriously injure another person, yourself or someone’s property.
I recently shot sporting clays with some one that is switching from shooting left handed to shooting right handed with a left-handed over/under. The lever was the only real difference. After this person shot, they brought the gun down and in order to open the gun, pointed the muzzle at a group of people no more than 30 yards from where we were standing. The shooter hadn’t thought about the gun pointing in an unsafe direction when they opened it.
She knew the gun was empty, but you should never point a gun at anyone even if it’s ’empty.’ That’s how accidents happen. Imagine doing that after you had only fired one of the two shots.
You always have to think before, during and after the shot and make sure you keep safety as your first priority. During the process of learning to shoot with your ‘off’ hand, you must be even more aware as there are no familiar moves.
Safety has to be a habit. You must pay attention to all of your actions and to the actions of your shooting companions so that an accident doesn’t happen.
And yes, I said something to the shooter; she was not aware of what she was doing but remained aware of it for the rest of the day.
We, ourselves, are to make sure that we and our shooting companions are handling firearms in a safe manner.
Remember the term ‘M.A.T.’
Muzzle- Keep it in a safe direction before, during and after taking your shot.
Action- Keep it open until your turn, and then close it only when it is safe to do so.
Trigger- Keep your finger away from it until you are sure it’s safe to shoot and then only when your gun is pointed in a safe direction.
Barry Hartmann is an NSSA Master Level and NRA Certified shotgun instructor who can help you improve your skills at American Skeet and wingshooting. To contact Barry, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or give him a call at (918)803-2393.