Safety and the 4 laws of gun control

Firearms saftey is a matter of personal responsibility. The shooter is always responsible for his actions and safe gun handling. Safety violations, as defined by the USPSA/IPSC rule book, swiftly lead to disqualification from the day's competition.

The following are the basic principles of safe gun handling:

The Four Basic Rules of Firearms Safety*

1. All guns are always loaded.
Treat every gun as if it was loaded, at all times, no matter what. Think and BELIEVE every time the gun is handled, it could fire.

2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
Be conscious of the direction your muzzle is pointed at all times. This includes at yourself, any other person, animal, or property unless you are either intending to or do not care about destroying or killing that person/object. NEVER handle a gun behind other people or bend over with a gun in your hand on a shooting range.

3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are aligned with the target.
Pay attention to what you are doing while handling a firearm. DO NOT let your finger contact the trigger until the gun is on target.

4. Be sure of your target and its surroundings.
Pay attention to what is going on around your target. YOU are responsible for the terminal resting place of the bullet, intentionally fired or not, no matter what happened.

Target Tips

Target Tip #1 - Saving money while patching 

Here's a nifty way to save some targets, and money when patching. Whenever you're applying patches to a target where the bullet hole is very close to the scoring line, try keeping the patch off the scoring line itself. A little care in this area can get a lot more patches on a target, as well as save some time and costs in replacing targets. Often, the scoring lines get covered up fairly quickly, and the target becomes more difficult to score. 

Target Tip #2 - When cutting targets 

Whenever you find the need to cut a target, please always use black masking tape, or paint to replace the non-scoring border of the cut target. This way you'll eliminate any potential scoring problems. 

Target Tip #3 - More about cutting targets 

If you have to cut a target, it's always easier to find a specific area or corner on the target to cut from. The "shoulder" or a corner on a target usually make a good reference point as shown from points "A" to "B" 

This method shown in this particular drawing also leaves a fair portion of the "A" Zone for scoring. 

Target Tip #4 - No Shoots 

A handy way to make sure that a match doesn't get delayed while patchers hunt for white patches, is to staple a sheet of white patches onto the back of the target stand that's holding a No-Shoot target. Just be careful to make certain the sheet of white patches isn't visible from the front of the target stand. 

Target Tip# 5 - Target Stands 

In many cases, targets are fixed to wooden uprights or cross-members. It is recommended that whenever possible, the uprights that the targets are attached to should be cut back so that they do not extend past the top of the target. This results in a much improved visual presentation.