Firearms Safety Rules

  1. Treat all firearms as though they are loaded.
    1. Every time you pick up a firearm, the first thing you do is point the muzzle in a safe direction and check to see if it is loaded.
    2. Be sure the chamber and magazine are empty and that the action is open until ready to be fired.
    3. If you do not understand how to determine if it is loaded, do not accept the firearm until someone has safely shown you that it is unloaded..
    4. Read your instruction manual carefully before you handle new firearms.
  2. Always point the muzzle in a safe direction.
    1. Control the direction of the muzzle at all times.
    2. Do not point a firearm at anything you do not intend to shoot.
    3. Never rest a muzzle on your toe or foot.
    4. Keep your finger out of the trigger guard until the instant you are ready to fire
    5. Always keep the safety on until ready to fire; however, the safety should never be a substitute for safe firearm handling.
    6. Be sure of your target and what is in front of and beyond your target.
  3. Know what is in front of and behind your target.
    1. Determine that you have a safe backstop or background.
    2. Handle the firearms and ammunition carefully.
  4. Avoid horseplay with firearms.
    1. Never face or look down the barrel from the muzzle end. Be sure the ammunition you intend to shoot correctly matches the gauge or caliber you are shooting.
    2. Always carry handguns with hammers over an empty chamber or cylinder.
    3. If you fall, be sure to disassemble the gun and check the barrel from the breech end for obstructions.
  5. Know your safe zone-of-fire and stick to it.
    1. Your safe zone-of-fire is that area or direction in which you can safely fire a shot. It is "down range" at a shooting facility.
    2. Be sure you know where your companions are at all times.
    3. Never swing your gun out of your safe zone-of-fire.
  6. Wear hearing and eye protection.
    1. While shooting, you must wear hearing and eye protection at all times.
      • Firearms are loud and can create noises which are damaging to a person's hearing.
      • There can be a gradual loss of hearing due to outbursts of noise over many years.
      • The damage could also be immediate, especially if your ears are next to a muzzle blast.
      • Vibrations from the blast are enough to create loss of hearing.
    2. Wear glasses to protect your eyes from escaping gases, burnt powder (especially in black powder shooting), and other debris.
  7. Don't drink alcohol or take drugs before or while handling firearms.
    1. Alcohol and drugs impair normal physical and mental body functions and must not be used before or while handling firearms.
    2. These substances affect emotions, making it easier to lose control.

Steel Target Safety

In steel target shooting, there are many considerations that require critical awareness. Failure to follow normal and range safety practices can result in serious injury or death. All purchasers of our targets assume full responsibility for using the targets in a safe manner. Patriot Products, LLC manufactures the safest and most reliable targets we are aware of, but proper use of them is the responsibility of the purchaser. In order to minimize injury, you should always adhere to the recommendations below, and all recognized normal use and safety practices.

Shooting steel can be hazardous!

  1. Always obey the Firearms Safety Rules listed above.
  2. Always wear hearing protection and wrap-around shatter resistant eye protection.
  3. Always stand at least 10 yards from the target when using handgun calibers.
  4. Always stand at least 100 yards from the target when using shotgun slugs.
  5. Always stand at least 100 yards from the target when using rifle calibers like .223 and .308.
  6. Never use rifle calibers on handgun rated targets.
  7. Never use ammunition that exceeds 3,000 feet per second at the muzzle.
  8. Never use ammunition that travels below 750 feet per second.
  9. Never shoot BBs, steel shot, or air gun pellets at steel targets.
  10. Never use more powerful ammunition than the target is rated for. (Green tip, armor piercing, etc.)
  11. Never shoot on steel that is cratered, pitted, or damaged in any way.
  12. Hard ground surfaces under the target should be covered with plywood or boxed pea gravel.
  13. Targets should be placed with a 3 foot late ral and deep offset from the adjacent target.
  14. If shooting multiple targets, angle of engagement should not exceed 20 degrees.
  15. Use only non-toxic paint on steel targets.
  16. Inspect all targets before using for damage, functionality, etc.
  17. Shooters and observers must wear long pants (no shorts), long sleeve shirts, a cap or hat with a brim, and closed toed shoes.
  18. Instructors and observers should stand behind the shooter and observe all safety rules.
  19. If using frangible ammunition, it is the responsibility of the Rangemaster to test fire all frangible rounds to determine the following:
    1. that the projectile pulverizes completely on contact
    2. that the projectile does not damage the steel target at the distances you intend to shoot from