In sports it’s not as simple as “Practice Makes Perfect”. In fact, “Practice Makes Muscle Memory, Muscle Memory Makes Habit, and the Correct Habits Make Perfect.” It’s the same with gun safety. Routine is of paramount importance.
When you have a routine you’re training yourself to do things correctly every time. If you ever stray from your routine you correct yourself and get back on track. This is what military and law enforcement personnel do. Why? Because it works. If you do this well, you don’t even need to think about it. You’re just executing the right steps because it’s second nature to you.
Keeping a routine is not only important when it comes to tasks like shooting a gun or replacing a magazine. It is also important (and arguably more important) for gun safety.
Make a routine for yourself when you get home from the gun range. When you walk in that door, where does your range bag go? Where does the gun go? Do you just leave everything on the floor until you sit down, have something to drink? Maybe a snack? Or maybe watch a little bit of the game before you put your gun away?
Make a routine and stick to it. Ideally, your routine should be centered on safety. Your routine for coming home from the range is could be follows:
- Take shoes off.
- Take range bag to the safe.
- Remove gun sleeve from range bag.
- Remove gun from gun sleeve.
- Remove magazine from gun.
- Slide rack back 3 times to make sure chamber is empty.
- Lock gun in safe.
- Put ammo away.
- Put range bag away.
Nothing, and I mean NOTHING should interfere with these steps. You really gotta go to the bathroom? Sorry. That’s gonna have to wait.
Mistakes happen when you don’t stick to your routine. And with guns, especially loaded guns, mistakes can be fatal.
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