Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Boomsticks: All &*$%@#! guns are always $%&*?!@ loaded!

As you read below, remember this: The Four Rules Are Life.

#1) All &*%$@>! guns are always ?*%@!?# loaded.
#2) Never let the gun point at anything you are not willing to destroy.
#3) Keep your booger hook off the bang switch until you are ready to fire.
#4) Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

You must break at least two of these rules to put a hole in something important that you didn't want to perforate.

I have seen many lousy examples of gun-handling in my years in the firearms business. Let me, however, share some role models instead:

1) The young clerk at the shop who took to the Four Rules so completely that he carried cordless drills and Windex bottles with his finger indexed along the frame, and subconsciously refused to point even these non-guns at someone. I won ten bucks from a friend by walking in front of him as he reflexively pointed the Windex bottle away from my path, no matter where I went, without breaking the flow of his conversation. When his behavior was pointed out to him, he was astonished; he hadn't realized he was doing it.

2) The salesman who, if you tried to hand him a gun with the action closed, would just stand there with his hands in his pockets and stare at it, occasionally glancing up at your face to see if you were catching on. If the light didn't dawn on you, he would quietly, patiently, and respectfully ask that you open the action on the weapon before handing it to him.

3) The salesman and the customer who, while mounting and boresighting the scope on a T/C Encore chambered in some exotic wildcat caliber of which there wasn't a live round for two miles in any given direction, would carefully (and subconsciously) open and inspect the weapon every time it was picked up off the cradle or handed back and forth between them. The rifle must have been checked fifty times in the half-hour they stood there, but without fail whoever picked it up or handed it to the other would reflexively break it open and check the chamber, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the same act had been performed just a minute ago. It's beautiful to see good habit become conditioned reflex.

In all the years I've been in this gig, I have only once or twice had to look at a customer waving a gun at my midsection and answer the mealy-mouthed statement "But it's not loaded!" by resting my hand on the butt of my pistol and saying "Well this one is, and you're starting to make me nervous."

It's been years since I used that line. In a perfect world, everyone will read Xavier's post and take it to heart, and I'll never have to use it again.


1894C said...

Excellent post and link Tam.

The four rules CANNOT be stressed enough.


freddyboomboom said...


DirtCrashr said...

Ok now you're starting to freak me out because last night I had a dream where I had to unload a 911-type semi-auto. It had a chopped-grip (Commander?) with an alloy Caspian slide - on the back of the slide where the grasping grooves are cut was an engraved oval with "Caspian" in italics (I know they're not like that but my dreams are very visual.)
Each time I dropped the magazine and cycled the action a round came out, and I put the gun down and picked it up and cycled the action and a round came out, and I did it again without inserting the magazine - it kept happening in the dream. The gun was always loaded. It was a bit unnerving.

BobG said...

"Each time I dropped the magazine and cycled the action a round came out, and I put the gun down and picked it up and cycled the action and a round came out, and I did it again without inserting the magazine - it kept happening in the dream. The gun was always loaded. It was a bit unnerving."

Cool! A gun with an infinite magazine! Too bad it was only a dream...

DirtCrashr said...

It's not a dream in Hollywood! :-)

David said...

Reminds me of a hunter safety course I took in Western New York. Instructor had an assistant take a shotgun, check to make sure it was unloaded, and then swing the barrel across the class. Most of us went for the floor. Idiot was trying to demonstrate that you should always treat a weapon as if it was loaded by the response of those who ducked. I and some others almost walked out of the class. I'm still pissed off about it. Moron.

phlegmfatale said...

A friend of mine was on the special effects crew for the movie The Crow. I asked him how Jason Lee came to be killed on the set by a gun I assumed was only loaded with blanks. He told me there was still metal in the chamber from the previous round which became the projectile which robbed the promising young actor of his life. It's amazing how foolishly sloppy people get with something so powerful. I wish the crew who handed the pistol to the actor had been so fastidious with "props."

phlegmfatale said...

oops, was that Jason Scott Lee? I don't know my cute boy actors for the past 20 years or so...

Rustmeister said...

Jon-Erik Hexum (actor) killed himself by placing a .44 magnum to his head and pulling the trigger. It had been filled with blanks.

Brandon Lee was Bruce's son, and died while filming "The Crow". He was killed in a bizarre set of circumstances

Hollywood and guns, talk about your target-rich environment.

1894C said...

This topic has come up at Kim's


I guess I'm the only one that sees violations of the "rules" as problematic.

Anonymous said...

If the rules had been violated, I would be on your side. The fact is they weren't.

staghounds said...

Damn, I do the windex and drill thing too, I thought I was the only one.

And I will NOT accept an unopened gun from another's hand. Several years ago, a gun shop owner I knew in Tam's home town was handed a .45 by a customer. The gun was fired- it may have een defective, I don't know- and the bullet went out the front plate glass, across 6 busy lanes of traffic, through the glass of the store across the street, through an interior partition, and into the brain of a clerk in that store, killing him.


Bullets have no eyes, BUT