Safety Rules for Revolver Shooting

The following information comes from Manual of Police Revolver Shooting by R. M. Bair. Manual of Police Revolver Instruction is also available to purchase in print.

The officer should train himself to be extremely careful at ALL times in the handling of his revolver or any firearms. There are no accidents with firearms. All supposed accidents have been caused by carelessness in some way or another and regardless of how familiar he becomes with firearms, he should always be extremely careful and carry out all SAFETY measures to the last NTH. The following are a few SAFETY RULES that will be well to observe:

  1. NEVER handle, point or look over the sights of any firearms handed to you without first opening the arm to be sure it is not loaded.
  2. NEVER glance into your pistol or revolver hurriedly and decide it is not loaded. Look once to see that it is not loaded and then look again to be sure you have not made a mistake.
  3. NEVER load or cock a pistol or revolver on any range unless you are at the firing point and facing the target.
  4. NEVER turn around to talk to any person behind you when at the firing point without first lifting out the cylinder of a revolver or locking back the slide of an automatic pistol, and laying either one down on the shooting bench before turning around.
  5. NEVER leave the firing point with a revolver without lifting out the cylinder of a revolver or locking back the slide of an automatic pistol.
  6. NEVER in case of misfire, open the revolver for at least ten (10) seconds and keep the revolver pointed toward the target.
  7. NEVER fire a shot until you know your shots are in alignment with the target, as close as you are able to hold them. You are only wasting your time and ammunition if you do not take pains with every shot.
  8. NEVER talk to a shooter when he is at the firing point.
  9. If a pistol or revolver is handed to you or you should pick it up, always look to see that it is not loaded and then look again to be sure you have not made a mistake.
  10. A revolver should be loaded with the muzzle pointing toward the ground about a yard away from the feet. NEVER load a revolver if anyone is standing in front of you.
  11. A revolver should only be loaded on the range after you have taken your position at the firing point and after the command LOAD has been given by the Range Officer.
  12. Always be careful to see that there is no obstruction in the barrel of a revolver such as a cleaning patch, heavy grease or oil or any foreign matter. For at the time of firing there is a great possibility that the barrel will be bulged or bursted, causing injury.
  13. A shot should never be fired while the officer is running. In the case of a running gun fight, the officer should stop and fire deliberately.
  14. If running with a loaded revolver drawn from the holster, the officer should be careful to see that the hammer is not raised or cocked, that the trigger finger is not on the trigger and that the muzzle of the revolver is pointed toward the object to be shot.
  15. In a running gun fight where the fugitive turns to fire at the officer, the officer should fall to the ground (where he makes a very small target), grip the revolver with both hands, rest both elbows on the ground and fire deliberately.

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Safety Rules for Revolver Shooting

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