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Thread: Muzzle Awareness & Charging

  1. #1

    Muzzle Awareness & Charging

    Some help please on clarifying the following issue.

    Whilst studying for my DSC1, I have read that you must always be aware of your rifle muzzle which is self evident, however, advice says you never point it at the ground and the next says you should never point it in the air. Without fail I see stalkers with their guns slung over their shoulders with the muzzle at a 70 degree angle. What is the correct position to ensure maximum safety and to answer the safety question under examination.

    In addition, there is conflicting information on whether to have a chambered round whilst stalking or wait until the final approach- again clarification required on accepted practice please.

    Thanks for any advice

  2. #2
    Hi

    I always carry you rifle loaded on the shoulder strap when in the field-as do most people-with the safty applied.

    When accompanied hill stalking, it is common to carry the rifle underloaded in a rifle case & then chamber a round when in final fireing position.

    Many people do carry a rifle slung muzzel forwards at about 70 degrees-this is common for woodland stalking & especially with europians-safty applied & fully loaded.

    Regs Lee
    Last edited by lwcdart; 07-04-2010 at 13:30. Reason: spellllling

  3. #3
    All of the above apply in real situations, generally in UK , I apply the saying " there are less aircraft in the party than feet" so carry muzzle up, If loading or unloading, a safe direction is usually understood to be towards the ground.
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by firsttimer View Post
    Some help please on clarifying the following issue.

    Whilst studying for my DSC1, I have read that you must always be aware of your rifle muzzle which is self evident, however, advice says you never point it at the ground and the next says you should never point it in the air. Without fail I see stalkers with their guns slung over their shoulders with the muzzle at a 70 degree angle. What is the correct position to ensure maximum safety and to answer the safety question under examination.

    In addition, there is conflicting information on whether to have a chambered round whilst stalking or wait until the final approach- again clarification required on accepted practice please.

    Thanks for any advice
    I use the Continental way of carrying my rifle, this is over one shoulder, the rifle being upside down muzzle pointing straight out in front of you horizontal. This is the best way I think of carrying the rifle because you can hold the barrel whcih means the muzzle is visible all the time and all you need do is roll it off your shoulder into a firing position, either freehand or off sticks.

    Chambered rifle whilst stalking is up to the individual, of course if your crossing fences etc you make the call on its own merit.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lwcdart View Post
    Many people do carry a rifle slung muzzel forwards at about 70 degrees-this is common for woodland stalking & especially with europians-safty applied & fully loaded.
    +1 for me

    willie_gunn

  6. #6
    As a guide what rattles my cage is the amount of people with sound mods on their rifles who think they are safe.
    They stop to glass with the rifle on their shoulder sweep the ground with their bins and the muzzle flashes past my forehead.
    Carry em muzzle down.
    This is not the case for none moderated balanced equipment.
    rant finished.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jager SA View Post
    I use the Continental way of carrying my rifle, this is over one shoulder, the rifle being upside down muzzle pointing straight out in front of you horizontal. This is the best way I think of carrying the rifle because you can hold the barrel whcih means the muzzle is visible all the time and all you need do is roll it off your shoulder into a firing position, either freehand...
    And this is why I usually insist on carrying the rifle myself when I have Continental guests, having been on the receiving end of an ND from a German client's 8x68S.


  8. #8
    Muzzle awareness is something that is very much drummed into everyone who owns and uses and firearm, and rightly so!!

    Much depends on where you are and the species you are stalking. If you are stalking on your own in a wooded environment, there is no harm with the rifle being loaded, safety firmly on, and the muzzle pointing upwards, although with the T8 moderators now available I often carry the barrel pointing downwards.

    If you are stalking on the open hill, and will obviously be doing a great deal of walking and of course crawling, as a rule the rifle need not be loaded until you are in on the deer and prepared to take the shot. In many cases the guide/stalker will carry the firearm for you and will not give you the rifle until in place, in amny cases the weapon will be in a slip which keeps it clean and also prevents any accidents.

    What they will not do, and having guided many times in Scotland is allow someone to crawl behind them a loaded or even unloaded weapon for obvious reasons.

    On occassions I have had clients crawl with a rifle, but then only next to me with the barrel pointing the other way, with a loaded mag but nothing under the bolt.

    But the golden rule is to be aware of the muzzle, in particular when unshouldering the rifle, make sure it is not pointing the wrong way, and that there is no one behind you, make sure when unloading that the barrel is pointed at the floor, (no rocks nearby) and poiting away from anyone when unloading the breach. Take the mag out first, or drop the floor plate to ensure the mag is empty then unload the breach, with your finger well away from the trigger. That way you know there are no stray rounds left in the rifle, as it would not be the first or last time that someone miss counted the rounds out of a rifle, as a famous well known stalking club official discovered a few years back, whilst blowing a hole in the wall of the club house

    Be safe and be sensible and you will not go far wrong.

    ATB

    Sikamalc

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by www.yorkshireroestalking. View Post
    As a guide what rattles my cage is the amount of people with sound mods on their rifles who think they are safe.
    They stop to glass with the rifle on their shoulder sweep the ground with their bins and the muzzle flashes past my forehead.
    Carry em muzzle down.
    This is not the case for none moderated balanced equipment.
    rant finished.
    You're right, with a bipod and heavy moderator rifles tend to slip back on the shoulder. Yet when you are 5'8" and walking through mud and bracken and high growth it is hard to carry muzzle down. So I just make an especial effort to keep the barrel of the carried rifle skyward. Whether experienced or not, muzzle awareness is something we have to be constantly vigilant about. So many rifles now are muzzle heavy.

  10. #10
    I don't recall being asked that question specifically on my DSC1 a few years back - we were questioned during the range day on good safety procedures such as proving the weapon clear, safe loading, and safe carrying positions for various scenarios.

    Unless it's a multiple choice question, I would just explain the the examiner which types of carry you would use in which conditions, and why, making sure that you cover the question of the safety being on, and whether or not you would be loaded/unloaded at the time.

    For instance, while out stalking on my own I might carry the rifle slung over my shoulder, muzzle up and unloaded, until I reached the periphery of my intended area. If that area was close to where I parked up, I would probably load up and have a round chambered, safety on, right from the start. When I got to the point that I figured I'd be likely to encounter deer, I'd shift the rifle to a forward position, muzzle down, to enable a faster, quieter, move to sticks if a deer showed. Safety stays on until the last moment.

    If I was out with a guide who preferred to take the lead (so that I, as the gun, was behind him) I'd be more likely to carry the rifle using my left arm so that the muzzle was pointing up over my left side (away from the guide in front of me)...

    Anyone who's taken the DSC1 recently able to comment if this question is still part of the general safety test or now comes into the multiple choice section?

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