Jeff Cooper's Rules of Gun Safety - Complete ~ A Newbie Necessity Thread

This is a discussion on Jeff Cooper's Rules of Gun Safety - Complete ~ A Newbie Necessity Thread within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Lots of new members here. Make these an integral part of your life. Jeff Cooper's Rules of Gun Safety RULE I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS ...

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Thread: Jeff Cooper's Rules of Gun Safety - Complete ~ A Newbie Necessity Thread

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    Post Jeff Cooper's Rules of Gun Safety - Complete ~ A Newbie Necessity Thread

    Lots of new members here. Make these an integral part of your life.


    Jeff Cooper's Rules of Gun Safety

    RULE I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED

    RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY

    RULE III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET

    RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    RULE I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED

    There are no exceptions. Do not pretend that this is true. Some people and organizations take this rule and weaken it;e.g. "Treat all guns as if they were loaded." Unfortunately, the "as if" compromises the directness of the statement by implying that they are unloaded, but we will treat them as though they are loaded. No good! Safety rules must be worded forcefully so that they are never treated lightly or reduced to partial compliance.

    All guns are always loaded - period!

    This must be your mind-set. If someone hands you a firearm and says, "Don't worry, it's not loaded," you do not dare believe him. You need not be impolite, but check it yourself. Remember, there are no accidents, only negligent acts. Check it. Do not let yourself fall prey to a situation where you might feel compelled to squeal, "I didn't know it was loaded!"



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY

    Conspicuously and continuously violated, especially with pistols, Rule II applies whether you are involved in range practice, daily carry, or examination. If the weapon is assembled and in someone's hands, it is capable of being discharged. A firearm holstered properly, lying on a table, or placed in a scabbard is of no danger to anyone. Only when handled is there a need for concern. This rule applies to fighting as well as to daily handling. If you are not willing to take a human life, do not cover a person with the muzzle. This rule also applies to your own person. Do not allow the muzzle to cover your extremities, e.g. using both hands to reholster the pistol. This practice is unsound, both procedurally and tactically. You may need a free hand for something important. Proper holster design should provide for one-handed holstering, so avoid holsters which collapse after withdrawing the pistol. (Note: It is dangerous to push the muzzle against the inside edge of the holster nearest the body to "open" it since this results in your pointing the pistol at your midsection.) Dry-practice in the home is a worthwhile habit and it will result in more deeply programmed reflexes. Most of the reflexes involved in the Modern Technique do not require that a shot be fired. Particular procedures for dry-firing in the home will be covered later. Let it suffice for now that you do not dry-fire using a "target" that you wish not to see destroyed. (Recall RULE I as well.)





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    Rule III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET

    Rule III is violated most anytime the uneducated person handles a firearm. Whether on TV, in the theaters, or at the range, people seem fascinated with having their finger on the trigger. Never stand or walk around with your finger on the trigger. It is unprofessional, dangerous, and, perhaps most damaging to the psyche, it is klutzy looking. Never fire a shot unless the sights are superimposed on the target and you have made a conscious decision to fire. Firing an unaligned pistol in a fight gains nothing. If you believe that the defensive pistol is only an intimidation tool - not something to be used - carry blanks, or better yet, reevaluate having one around. If you are going to launch a projectile, it had best be directed purposely. Danger abounds if you allow your finger to dawdle inside the trigger guard. As soon as the sights leave the target, the trigger-finger leaves the trigger and straightens alongside the frame. Since the hand normally prefers to work as a unit - as in grasping - separating the function of the trigger-finger from the rest of the hand takes effort. The five-finger grasp is a deeply programmed reflex. Under sufficient stress, and with the finger already placed on the trigger, an unexpected movement, misstep or surprise could result in a negligent discharge. Speed cannot be gained from such a premature placement of the trigger-finger. Bringing the sights to bear on the target, whether from the holster or the Guard Position, takes more time than that required for moving the trigger finger an inch or so to the trigger.





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    RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET

    Know what it is, what is in line with it, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything you have not positively identified. Be aware of your surroundings, whether on the range or in a fight. Do not assume anything. Know what you are doing.



    SUMMARY:

    Make these rules a part of your character. Never compromise them. Improper gunhandling results from ignorance and improper role modeling, such as handling your gun like your favorite actor does. Education can cure this. You can make a difference by following these gunhandling rules and insisting that those around you do the same. Set the example. Who knows what tragedies you, or someone you influence, may prevent?

    Excerpted from: The Modern Technique of the Pistol, by Greg Morrison, Gunsite Press, Paulden, Arizona, ISBN 0-9621342-3-6, Library of Congress Number 91-72644,
    Pistology, OD*, Bark'n and 1 others like this.

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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    Gotta follow the rules!
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    A welcome reminder to all!
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    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    be sure of your target and whats beyond it

    but ua, its the rules we live by

    understanding the rules is equally as important as following them

    as an aside, i am a point shooter ( a step beyond snap shots)
    and thus often have my finger in the trigger guard before the guns sights are on target--
    but my eyes are on the target and thats where the bullets go.
    to each according to their abilities; there is something to that.
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    In an actual Self Defense shooting scenario we cannot always know what is beyond our intended threat.
    Example: If there a Privacy Fence somewhere behind & beyond your threat - you would have absolutely no way of knowing if little kids were playing in a sandbox behind that fence. There is just no way to know in the seconds that you have to react.
    That is one really important major reason why it's SO important to practice enough that you can actually hit what you are shooting at.
    And a very good reason why we avoid Spray & Pray self-defense.



    Quote Originally Posted by claude clay View Post
    be sure of your target and whats beyond it

    but ua, its the rules we live by

    understanding the rules is equally as important as following them

    as an aside, i am a point shooter ( a step beyond snap shots)
    and thus often have my finger in the trigger guard before the guns sights are on target--
    but my eyes are on the target and thats where the bullets go.
    to each according to their abilities; there is something to that.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

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    As a follow "Cooperite", this is an excellent thread topic, QK.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Diligentia Vis Celeritas"

    "There is very little new, and the forgotten is constantly being rediscovered."
    ~ Tiger McKee

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    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET

    Know what it is, what is in line with it, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything you have not positively identified. Be aware of your surroundings, whether on the range or in a fight. Do not assume anything. Know what you are doing.

    I choose to include the bold in the header, he places the same words within the clarifying statement.

    many ( if not all ) the rules in a SD situation become secondary to surviving the encounter.
    you do what you have to to negate the threat but--hers the rub--but the better trained you are, the less the chance of your endangering innocents
    while doing what is necessary for your (and your loved ones) survival. but not all are as well trained as they intend to become when the moment calls for action.
    you still must act to the best of your ability. and range rules go by the wayside when in a SD situation.

    spray & pray
    given that studies have reported civilian shots on target at 89%, i do not see much evidence of people, even in the moments of crisis shooting irresponsibly.
    and the news would be all over an instance of that nature--I'm sure it has happened, i just can not remember reading of it. please post if you know of any.
    I'm not referring to 'crazy' people shooting in crowds, rather i am asking for SD actions where a number of shots were fired wildly, recklessly.

    whats beyond the fence--assume it is something you do not intend to shoot cause it has yet to present itself to you as a threat.
    and if you think that you are going to miss your target, perhaps it is due to distance rather than accuracy and distance works for you also.

    if you have 'seconds' to react--thats is a lot of time
    decisions during fights, the observations made to arrive at those decisions; typically occur in fractions of a second.

    much like riding a bike and having to avoid say, being cut off by a car as you are passing through an intersection:
    if you have to think about what you are going to do, how you are going to re-act....than your sure to be needing that helmet and
    be picking gravel out of your knees and elbows. if you are capable, as virtually all who have ridden bikes are of letting your body and reflexes do the reacting, you just observe and supply input; curse the driver and continue on unscathed.

    what does this have to do with guns?

    i put forth that the more training you have the more likely that your shots will be on target; fast, instinctively.
    and the more training you have, the less likely it is that you will even have to fire the gun.
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    I've modified the II & III to be more precise.


    RULE I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED

    RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE POINT IN A DIRECTION THAT SHOULD IT DISCHARGE IT WOULD CAUSE HUMAN INJURY.

    RULE III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOU MAKE A CONSCIOUS DECISION TO SHOOT.

    RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET AND IT'S BACKSTOP
    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

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    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgb View Post
    I've modified the II & III to be more precise.


    RULE I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED

    RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE POINT IN A DIRECTION THAT SHOULD IT DISCHARGE IT WOULD CAUSE UNINTENDED HUMAN INJURY.

    RULE III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOU MAKE A CONSCIOUS DECISION TO SHOOT.

    RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET AND IT'S BACKSTOP
    Nicely done sgb, this reads now as applicable everywhere; even in a SD situation.
    and it allows for point shooting; as decision goes to direction. well said!
    i added one word (unintended). if you think it does not fit, may we discuss it please?
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    Amen to all.

    Most times (and I say most because I'm not perfect), even when I've watched the husband drop the mag out and empty the chamber right in front of me, I check one more time for safety and for reinforcing a good habit.

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    The 'unknown' safety rule: Never try to catch a dropped gun

    The 'unknown' safety rule: Never try to catch a dropped gun The 'unknown' gun safety rule: Never try to catch a dropped gun - Detroit Firearms | Examiner.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ring View Post
    The 'unknown' safety rule: Never try to catch a dropped gun

    The 'unknown' safety rule: Never try to catch a dropped gun The 'unknown' gun safety rule: Never try to catch a dropped gun - Detroit Firearms | Examiner.com
    Oh, good one.
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    Good posting. Jeff Cooper's rules have always superceded the NRA rules in my book.

    P.S. Important addition to the rules, Ring. Thankfully, I'm more likely to use my foot to slow a falling object then to use my hands...sharp items excluded!
    "Historical examination of the right to bear arms, from English antecedents to the drafting of the Second Amendment, bears proof that the right to bear arms has consistently been, and should still be, construed as an individual right." -- U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings, Re: U.S. vs Emerson (1999)

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    sgb
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    Originally Posted by sgb
    I've modified the II & III to be more precise.


    RULE I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED

    RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE POINT IN A DIRECTION THAT SHOULD IT DISCHARGE IT WOULD CAUSE UNINTENDED HUMAN INJURY.

    RULE III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOU MAKE A CONSCIOUS DECISION TO SHOOT.

    RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET AND IT'S BACKSTOP

    Quote Originally Posted by claude clay View Post
    Nicely done sgb, this reads now as applicable everywhere; even in a SD situation.
    and it allows for point shooting; as decision goes to direction. well said!
    i added one word (unintended). if you think it does not fit, may we discuss it please?

    I like it -
    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

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    If I were an FFL, I would include this in a box on all firearms transfers with a place to initial: I have read and understand these rules.
    Americans understood the right of self-preservation as permitting a citizen to repel force by force
    when the intervention of society... may be too late to prevent an injury.
    -Blackstone’s Commentaries 145–146, n. 42 (1803) in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

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