Everyone makes mistakes. The problem is, with guns, you don’t always get a chance to learn from your screw ups until it’s too late.
Gun safety should always take precedence, whether you’re at the range, out in the field or just carrying your firearm from one place to the next.
Here are 8 individuals who got some expensive lessons on gun safety, and the rules that would’ve kept them a little less embarrassed and lot safer.
1. Wear eye and ear protection
This boy wears hearing protection but skips out on the eye protection, and catches a shell to the eye as a result. He also receives the mocking laughter of the camera operator, whom you can only assume is a brother. We’re guessing he won’t forget the glasses from here on out.
2. Never look down the barrel of a loaded gun
This guy defines dumb luck by looking down the barrel of his loaded gun after it jams. The gun suddenly fires and manages to only shoot his hat off. Things could’ve been so much worse than a ruined wardrobe.
If you get a misfire in your shotgun, keep it shouldered and pointed it away from you for at least 30 seconds.
3. Be familiar with your firearm and know how to operate it
YouTube is full of boyfriends giggling at their girlfriends’ struggles to control overpowered firearms, but it’s not quite as amusing when they’re knocked out cold. Know the power of the gun you’re firing and start on a smaller caliber if you’re new.
Be aware of how to hold the gun properly, firmly gripping it with both hands and bracing the stock against your shoulder.
4. Keep the muzzle away from your extremities at all times.
In the TV show Doomsday Preppers, this shooter blames a “misfire” for shooting off part of his thumb. But misfire or not, it never would’ve happened if he’d kept his fingers away from the dangerous end at all times. If this guy is going to survive Armageddon, he has a lot to learn about self-preservation.
5. Keep the gun pointed away from yourself at all times
This video is especially great because a gun safety instructor is there to catch the mistake and be appalled. In a move to adjust his earmuffs and preserve his hearing, this guy nearly took off the rest of his head by pointing a loaded gun at it.
The shooter is lucky to only get the scolding of his instructor as a lesson for always pointing the gun in a safe direction. It may have hurt his feelings, but not as much as a bullet would.
6. Keep the gun pointed away from others at all times.
This young lady is fortunate the only harm to come of her gun safety fail is a ticked off boyfriend. Always assume the gun is loaded with the safety off and could fire at any moment, keeping it pointed away from others.
The lady’s defense of, “I don’t know how to do this,” should never apply – know all gun safety rules before even thinking of picking one up.
7. Check the barrel for obstructions and use the correct ammo
It’s not clear what caused this hunting rifle to explode, but the most likely suspects were dirt or ice in the barrel, or incorrect or overloaded ammo.
A routine check on the barrel (with the rifle unloaded, action open and barrel removed if possible) can mean the difference between a firearm in one or two pieces and more importantly, in your own well-being. Also make sure you are using the ammo detailed on your firearm and inspecting ammo for damage before loading it.
8. Don’t set your firearm on fire
We saved maybe the dumbest for last, and that’s some stiff competition. Firing an automatic weapon with one hand while the handguard is on fire and later flashing your friend with the muzzle is maybe the perfect storm of gun safety fails. The fact that this guy is alive may disprove natural selection entirely. Just, don’t do any of this, ever.
What are some other classic gun safety rules and mistakes?