Don’t shoot!

In elementary class, I taught how to properly charge and discharge a semi-automatic pistol using the MRI mnemonic Magazine, Rack, and Inspect charging and discharging aids. One student remarked, “I wish I knew before I shot myself.” I was naturally intrigued by his comment and asked, “Did you shoot yourself? How did you do that?”

“Well, I discharged the gun and I did exactly what you just said not to do.” I drew my pistol and saw that the bullet had fired, removed the magazine, aimed the pistol at the palm of my left hand, and pulled the trigger. The hollow point, a 45 ACP bullet, passed through the fleshy part of my left hand and caused very little damage – I was lucky. Before you ask, I have no idea why I aimed the pistol at my hand. I know better, I was thinking of something else and I didn’t pay attention to what I was doing. ”

GSW input GSW output

We all have mental failures, so we have four rules for firearms safety. They are:

– Treat every firearm as if it were always loaded.

– Always point the weapon in a safe direction – this depends on the environment and circumstances.

– Keep your finger out of the trigger and out of the bow unless you have intentionally fired.

– Be sure of your goal and what is behind it

The MRI process is another layer of security for the administrative charging and discharging of pistols (or other semi-automatic firearms). If you follow the MRI steps without any problems, you will not experience an unexpected bang.

First, grasp the pistol with the shot (trigger finger pointed correctly at the frame) and point the pistol in a safe direction. Then use the MRI to unload as follows:

M – Tray: remove the tray if it is inserted

R-Rack: Pull the slider back and lock it back

I – Inspection: Visually and physically confirm that the pistol is indeed unloaded

Note that at no point in the MRI process will your finger enter the trigger. If for any reason you must drop the hammer or striker, check twice physically and visually to make sure there is no charge in the chamber before touching the trigger.

The trigger case (I’ll shorten it to TGH) is another measure we can take to stop for the last time before the trigger is accessible in the loading or unloading process. Trigger protection cases are designed for very specific applications in non-permissive environments and I do not recommend them for everyday wear; however, they have another useful application.Many manufacturers make bow case cases and there are a number of designs. Since I don’t use it as a case, I choose a simple design that only covers the bow.


Sample cases for trigger protection    

TGH does exactly what the name suggests – it covers the bow. When you charge and unload your pistol anywhere but within range, the TGH will prevent you from touching the trigger during the process, which serves as an additional safety precaution. When I charge or discharge an EDC pistol at home, I first deploy the TGH and then complete the task.

TGH alone is also useful when you are administratively storing or removing the EDC pistol. If I store the pistol in the carrying case, I will remove the TGH and insert the pistol into the case. If I upholster EDC for the evening, I’ll attach TGH and then put the gun on the bedside table. (Note: All members of my household are responsible adults. If children were present, I would not leave a loaded pistol accessible on the bedside table.) Using TGH is a deliberate act that encourages you to pay attention to what you are doing.

I added a paracord cord glowing in the dark to my TGH (you can buy a paracord online). The glowing paracord allows me to determine the position of the pistol in the dark and retains enough light to be visible throughout the night. If something wakes me up and I have to grab a gun, TGH will prevent me from accidentally touching the trigger. The glowing paracord tells me exactly where the pistol is located and where to grab the cord if I need to uncover the trigger.

Glow in the dark Paracord

When attaching the TGH to the pistol, always stand directly from the bottom of the bow – never from front to back. Even if a properly designed TGH does not touch the trigger, direct movement when mounted on the pistol makes unintentional pressing of the trigger when the TGH is positioned. When removing the TGH, simply pull straight down. These TGH placement and removal techniques also ensure that your hand does not get lost in front of the pistol.

For more on MRI process and use of TGH

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David Berry

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