Everybody hates the rules, especially safety rules.  Cool firearms instructors post videos on YouTube breaking the rules. Sometimes, you can bend the rules and get away with it and sometimes exceptions will bite you.

I have learned much of what I know about the rules from mistakes, mostly the mistakes of others.

Which rules?  Why Jeff Cooper’s rules of course, as copied faithfully from the sacred text;  Cooper’s Commentaries volume 6 number 2.

  • RULE 1
    ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED
  • RULE 2
    NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT PREPARED TO DESTROY
  • RULE 3
    KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER TIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET
  • RULE 4
    BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET

What about situations off the range, outside the rule book? These rules don’t apply with dummy cartridges, right?  When I practice weapons manipulations at home or demonstrate them in a class, I use dummy rounds.  I prefer the ST Action Pro rounds because their distinctive bright orange plastic and empty primer pocket makes them obviously different from live rounds. I like them even more now, for reasons I will explain below.