Read the Manual

by
posted on July 23, 2013
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Every new firearm comes with instructions, as do optics and most firearm accessories. Most gun owners are a fairly intelligent group, especially the ones who invest time and money to attend a formal training class. Many are well-educated professionals. For every cop who comes to my classes, there are probably two guys with engineering degrees. All of these folks are aware that if they are going to be an armed citizen, they must have some proficiency with their firearms and understand the responsibility that comes with firearms ownership.

So my question is this: Why is there such an aversion to reading the instruction booklet that came with the firearm, optical sight, iron sight or other accessory? The majority of people are pretty good about it, but in almost every class, there is somebody who does not know what the adjustments are for their optic or iron sights. Or they are not sure how to take apart their pistol. Or they don't know what all the controls on their firearm do. Sometimes, this is just time-consuming, as it extends the zero process. Other times it can be downright dangerous, like decocking a DA/SA pistol by means of pulling the trigger while riding the hammer down with their thumb.

I do not mean to rant or embarrass anyone, but I do wish to remind everybody there are many answers inside those owner's manuals, and if you don't have one for your firearm or accessory, it can probably be found on the Internet at the manufacturer's website in the "Support" or "Customer Service" tab.

Take the time to read it, especially if you are about to do some live-fire training or attend a training class. There will be page after page of "warning" and "caution" and a bunch of legalese, but eventually you will get to the part that shows you what the little lever on the upper left side of your AR-15 lower receiver does.

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