Rules and Guidelines of Firearm Safety

Guns do not have to be scary and if properly used, they are not.  They can be fun and safe to use at the same time.  If it makes it easier, just challenge yourself to be better than the boys, gives good incentive.  To enjoy your new pistol, shotgun, or rifle however, safety is the number one most important aspect when using any firearm.  Below are necessary rules to know when beginning to understand your new gun.

1.    Always practice with someone who has experience.

Practice is important but practicing alone can be dangerous , especially if you are new to firearms.  Always have someone with you that has sufficient experience dealing with firearms.  They will be able to help you more than you can help yourself.  Not only will they make sure you are safe, they will make sure that you are learning how to use your firearm properly for the future.

2.   Every firearm should always be treated as if it were loaded.

Is it loaded? It does not matter.  Every firearm should always be treated as if it is loaded. Whether there is enough ammunition in the gun to take out all the cattle at the national stock show or none at all, I would not want to be the person to accidentally shoot my friend in the foot or worse (hypothetically, of course) . Make it a point to be familiar with the correct way to check to see if a firearm is unloaded. If you are unsure about a certain firearm, never assume it is unloaded and always have someone help you check. Never point your firearm at anyone or anything other than the pre-designated target.  Be smart.

3.   Know your target and the surrounding area.

Whether you are practicing at an indoor or outdoor range, always know what your target is.  Especially at outdoor ranges, know when there are other people in the area.  You must not only keep an eye on yourself but also where those that may be nearby are at all times.  We do not want any accidents because you were not paying attention.  Always be attentive even if it is not your turn to shoot.

4.   Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.

If your firearm has a safety, it should always be on until ready to fire.  Even if your firearm does have a manual safety, your finger should never be on the trigger until it is time to fire your gun.  Just because you are not ready does not mean your firearm will not go off.  It will do exactly what you tell it to, when you tell it to do it.  Some firearms only take merely a tap on the trigger to go off.  Always keep your trigger finder straight and away from the trigger and the trigger guard. Practice keeping your finger along the side of the gun, above the trigger.  Be safe not sorry.

5.   Know your boundaries

Know the rules of whatever establishment you are learning or practicing your soon to be awesome shooting skills.  If there are restrictions at the range, follow them.  There is no need to disrespect those that are helping you or that are allowing you the use of their establishment.  Be respectful to others and their rights as well.  You are not the only one learning.

6.   Wear hearing/eye protection.

Always wear ear protection when firing or around the firing of a gun.  If you would like to continue hearing music and the voices of your loved ones, it is important to protect your hearing from any damage they could suffer during shooting practice.  If you think the big over-sized, plastic earmuffs will make you look silly, there are much smaller alternatives that slip right inside of your ear called ear plugs.  Remember though, if shooting earmuffs are your only option, better to protect your ears for the future. Along the same vein, it is equally important to wear eye protection. There is a lot of flying debris in the air at a gun range, so pick up a stylish pair of safety glasses and keep your eyes secure.

7.   Don’t be scared.

Confidence comes as we get more accurate and comfortable with our guns.  The more confident we are that we will learn correctly and be responsible with the privilege we have to own a firearm, the easier it will be to not be scared of them.  It is our right and privilege to own a firearm and you must be proud to uphold such.

While these are basic guidelines to follow while learning, listen to those who are helping you learn to use your firearm correctly.  ArmedGirl is not responsible for misuse or any accidents caused by you and your firearm.


Vocab – “Casing”


A casing refers to the metalletic material which houses the powder, the primer, and the bullet. Usually this term is found when describing the outer components of either a handgun or rifle round. Shotgun rounds are not referred to as casings, but rather shells.

Any bullet which can be fired from a gun needs to be placed inside a loaded casing in order to store the powder and create enough pressure for the bullet to leave to gun at a high rate of speed. Below is a picture of a case and its other components:

Example of a casing, showing the powder, primer and bullet

The casing is also what is left in the action of a firearm after the bullet is fired. Casings can either be ejected in a semi-automatic fashion through the recoil of the gun, or casings can be ejected using a manual action such as a bolt or lever.

Other terms: cartridge, brass


Vocab – “Magazine”


In firearms, a magazine is a spring loaded device which holds ammunition which will be feed into the gun. Generally, magazines are primarily seen with semi automatic pistols and rifles, but there are other types as well. Magazines can either be external or internal. An external magazine, like the one shown below, is inserted into the bottom of a firearm in the magazine well. Internal magazines are integrated parts of a firearm which cannot be removed. Ammunition is inserted into the magazine in a stack, so that as the gun fires, one round is ejected and another is fed into place in the chamber of the firearm.

The picture above illustrates an external magazine for a Glock handgun. Notice how this particular style of magazine allows for the cartridges to be “doubled stacked”. This mean that they are inserted into the magazine in a staggered pattern, in order to create a higher capacity magazine.

An AR-15 semi - auto, with a magazine highlighted

The photo above features an external magazine for an AR-15 rifle. This is the same style of rifle that US military personal carry. As mentioned, magazines can also be internal. The photo below features a pump-action shotgun with an internal magazine tube.

Loading shells into the magazine tube of a pump action shotgun

Internal magazines can also be found on many bolt action rifles and semi – automatic rifles. Regardless of the various types of magazines, the main purpose is always to provide the shooter extra ammunition close at hand after firing the first shot. Any firearm referred to as ‘single shot’ can be thought of as a firearm without any type of magazine.

Other terms for MAGAZINE:  “mag”

The term CLIP is very often incorrectly used when referring to a firearm magazine. A clip is metal device which holds ammunition in place so that the shooter can push the rounds down into an INTERNAL magazine of a firearm. Generally, a clip does not stay attached to the firearm, after the rounds are inserted.


Owning Your Family’s Safety

Women are taking a stand and not in the form of picketing.  They are standing up for their own safety and the safety of their families.  A recent release from CBS Local in New York shows that there has a been a 13 percent rise in women’s gun sales since 2005.  13 percent more women are becoming aware that the police cannot always get there soon enough when we are in a dangerous situation.

A cell phone can only make a call that can take an average of eleven minutes for emergency personal to arrive. All it takes is a second for a dangerous situation to turn into a fatal one for yourself or loved on.  The article interviews a women who has taken an interest in her safety and that of her children in the last year.  She practices shooting not just for fun, but also so she can stand up for her family and know how to effectively use her firearm if ever at risk.  Skeptics believe having a gun in a home is putting your family “at risk”.  If women know how to safely use these firearms they own for protection, there is nothing unsafe about it.  The news release and video are below.  You can decide which decision is more educated.


Brand new firearm site for women

Welcome to We are a brand new website that will be adding some great content in the next few months. Check us out for answering any questions you have from a female perspective.