1. Handle Your Gun As If It Is Loaded - Even if you have a perfect track record for unloading your firearm before putting it away, always assume it is loaded. Remember, accidents frequently happen when someone is absolutely sure their firearm is unloaded; everyone makes mistakes.
2. Only Point Your Gun at What You Want to Shoot - It is best to keep the barrel of the weapon pointed somewhere neutral like the ground except when you are actually aiming to shoot.
3. Keep Your Finger off The Trigger When You’re Not Firing - Until you are ready to actually squeeze a round off, don’t put your finger on the trigger. You never know what kind of distraction could make you clench your finger and fire a deadly shot.
4. Know What You’re Aiming At - Never fire at something you haven’t completely identified. This tip is important for two reasons. The first is that you don’t want to accidentally hurt another person by shooting at them. Secondly, you need to know the type of material your bullet will be striking in case of ricochets.
5. Don’t Depend on Your Gun’s Safety - The safety mechanism on your gun can be a very handy feature, but don’t rely on it entirely.
6. Become Familiar with Your Gun - Know your weapon as well as you can. Know how to disassemble and reassemble it. Know what parts are the most likely to malfunction. Know how your weapon is sighted in. Know what types of ammunition it can safely fire. Know its range and its capabilities.
7. Always Clean Your Gun - Always clean your gun after use. This allows for optimal firing conditions. If you neglect this process long enough, it can impede the firing process and even cause unsafe conditions.
8. Handle Misfires Properly - If your weapon misfires, don’t confront the issue immediately. Keep your weapon aimed at the target for half a minute or so to make sure the problem isn’t a delayed fire. Once you’ve waited, carefully remove the faulty ammunition and check it for signs of malfunction. Make sure there is no obstruction remaining in the barrel of your gun.
9. Decide What You’re Comfortable With - The weapon you feel the most comfortable with should be your go-to weapon.
10. Practice! - Practice shooting as often as you can. Practicing often will improve your muscle memory and help you react more accurately in situations.