What Is The First Step For Both Loading And Unloading A Firearm?

What is the first step for both loading and unloading a firearm? Can you do it the right way? Or are you gonna add another firearm fatality to numerous other casualties already in the books of records?  

As sad as it may sound, there have been so many cases of firearms accidents not only in the US but across the world .These accidents have happened to both experienced and inexperienced gun holders.

For certain, some firearm-related accidents are purely unintentional, but many others emanate from utter carelessness of firearms users. It is for this reason that every firearm holder must be in a position to load or unload a firearm without causing accidental miss-fires.

So, what is the first step for both loading and unloading a firearm? The first step for both loading and unloading a firearm actually boils down to 3 key things: Open the action, keep your firearm safety on, and make sure your finger is safely away from the trigger guard.

Now, let’s cut to the chase and explain what goes into loading and unloading a firearm.

How to Load a Firearm Correctly: A Step-By-Step Guide

 Step 1 – Observe safety

 Always ensure your firearm is in safe mode. You’re advised to point your firearm in a safe direction (upward/downward) while loading it. Also, cock the handle to ascertain that the movement of the trigger is smooth.

Step 2 – Check loads

It is imperative to verify whether or not the rounds have been inserted into the magazine. The magazine can be with or without rounds but the firearm is loaded. You need to also check the barrel if it is loaded.

Step 3 – Inspect the barrel condition

Open the action to be sure the barrel is free from any obstructions. Small bits of mud, excessive oiling, and snow can increase the firearm pressure. This makes the barrel to burst when you fire, causing an injury to the shooter or bystander.

Step 4 – Sight

Check whether the sight is okay.  Ensure that you are able to see the front between the rear sights. Note that using shooting glasses is recommendable if your sight has a problem.

Step 5 – Load your gun

After ascertaining that the firearm is in good condition, you can now load the gun.

Warning: Be absolutely certain that you are using the correct ammunition.  It takes just a single cartilage of incorrect caliber to wreck firearm havoc. Also, avoid using wet ammunitions. It can cause very serious personal injuries.

How to Unload a Firearm Correctly: A Step-By-Step Guide

Firearms should always be off-loaded when not in use. Use the following steps to unload your firearm;

Step 1 – Point the muzzle in a safe direction 

Ensure that the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction either downward or upward. A safe direction is where the load can’t hit anyone even if the gun fires accidentally.

Step 2 – Unload

Open the action to unload the magazine and the chamber. The action should always stay open after unloading the firearm.


It is always advisable to never assume a gun is loaded or not loaded. Every time you get your firearm, be sure to conduct a visual check for verification purposes.

Something else worth noting is that cleaning and handling of ammunitions should be done in a well ventilated room. This helps minimize exposure to lead and other chemical substances that can cause health problem.

Hopefully, this guide will help you steer clear of mistakes when loading or unloading your firearm!

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