Skeet Shooting: How To Safely Handle A Shotgun

 

Skeet shooting is a great way to brush up on your shooting skills or simply to blow off some steam on some clay pigeons. Handling firearms always presents some element of risk to your health and safety. Whether you are skeet shooting competitively or simply for fun, it is important to know how to handle a skeet shooting shotgun safely.
Skeet shooting needs to be an activity that you feel comfortable with in order to avoid hurting yourself and others. Since skeet shooting can be a highly enjoyable experience, you need to know that you will be no worse for wear when you leave the range. The most common firearms used for skeet shooting are the double-barreled over and under shotguns, so beginners and pros alike will benefit from brushing up on their shotgun safety knowledge.
Let’s look at some the best tips for safely handling a shotgun on the skeet shooting range.

Muzzle Safety

The most important rule when it comes to gun safety, for any firearm, is to always point the muzzle in a safe direction. The general rule of thumb is that you should never point a firearm at something that you do not intend to shoot. Mistakes and accidental discharges are always possible, even when you are sure that everything else is safely in place and that the gun is unloaded.
When you are handling your shotgun and walking from place to place on the range, make sure that the muzzle is pointed downwards. This is even more important when you are loading and unloading a gun.

Trigger Safety

Most shotguns have a safety build into the trigger. This is in place to prevent the trigger from moving when the feature is turned on. This important piece of a shotgun is crucial for preventing accidental discharges and injuring yourself or others. In general, the safety should always be on when the gun is not being fired. The user of a shotgun also needs to be familiar with how the safety works and how to turn it on and off.
However, safety features cannot be treated as a guarantee that the gun will not fire. Trigger safety devices can always fail and if you have blind faith that a trigger safety will prevent the gun from firing then accidents may happen. Especially if your rifle has been modified in some way, there is also a chance that the trigger may be able to be pulled even when the safety is on.
Use your common sense and treat the safety feature as a useful tool that has its limitations. As an added precaution, you should also keep your shotgun unloaded when it is not in use.

Target Safety

When preparing to shoot your shotgun, then be sure of where you are aiming. You should only be aiming down the shooting range where the targets will appear. However, it is also important to keep an eye on what lies beyond your actual target. Any errant shooting can potentially harm people who may be in the distance.
Make sure the coast is clear and that you only aim and shoot your shotgun when it is safe to do so.

Read Your User Manual For More Information

These tips provide some general rules for handling and using a shotgun safely. However, it is important that you fully understand how to use your shotgun safely. Read up in the user manual for your shotgun for more specific safety information that may apply to your firearm. Make sure to follow the guidelines and best practices outlined there to avoid any accidents or harm to yourself or others.

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