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Rifle safety

What you need to know

Internal view of a rifle

Internal view

Rifle set up and safetySafety

On ranges, carry your rifle barrel up – if a round is fired towards the ground, there is a danger of ricochet. Always check after firing that your chamber is clear, and remove the bolt once you have finished firing your rounds. Many ranges insist on breech flags to show the rifle has been cleared.

A rifle bullet can maintain a lethal velocity and energy for several miles, so always be mindful of where there are public footpaths, houses, livestock etc. Never take a shot without a proper backstop.

Never point your rifle at anything other than a target (be it paper or quarry); never have your finger inside the trigger-guard until you are ready to take the shot and are sure it is safe.

The safety can vary from rifle to rifle – and this should never be entirely relied upon. Safe gun handling is the only true way to prevent accidental discharge.