Clicks And Booms

Both can be very loud.

Although it is construed by many to be boring, I am somewhat intrigued with the general aspects of the safe handling of guns, and since I do it every day it is important to me. The versions of particular interest to me are what I call the click-and-boom version of gun handling. Generally speaking, two things in life are very loud in the overall audio spectrum: a gun going click when it supposed to go boom, and a gun going boom when it is supposed to go click.

So I thought I would tell you a few stories about click and booms as I approach the age sometimes referred to as the “golden years.”

The Girl And The Finger!

I have this girl I’ve hung out with for at least the last 14 years—my wife Heidi. She is a bright chick and quite an accomplished shooter in her own right. Even more importantly, she can teach a firearms class very well across a broad spectrum of guns. A while ago she and I were teaching an Urban rifle class. Rifles, like other weapons in training, often require movement—you know, to do all the really cool operator stuff. This one “operator” in the class, unfortunately, was a bunch of pounds overweight and couldn’t go to prone or kneeling, “’cause my knee’s bad.” Yeah, the knee is bad because of the buncha pounds “we” are overweight.

Anyway, Heidi and I do a drill where students do a back-and-forth sort of movement to make or break contact. As a school/training institution, we have done it well and correctly without incident for 28 years. Heidi told this dude for a day and a half to get his finger off his trigger while he is not on the target (I think that’s a basic rule?). So you guessed it. While moving back and forth out of breath, overweight and finger on the trigger, he took the safety off and torches one into the ground. By the grace of a higher being, no one is hurt and it was basically a “wet spot in our shorts” drill. Coolly, the girl goes forward and reprimands him firmly—he had it coming.

So a suggestion for anyone who wants to go to a shooting school, shoot in a 3-gun match, be a cool tactical operator and other such folks: Lose some weight, go for a walk, tie your own shoe strings, don’t eat stuff bigger than a human head at one sitting—and keep your finger off the trigger until the sights are on the target. And before everyone launches on the editor, eat what you want and be what you want, but try to be what you are, not what you imagine you are. I can climb every hill around where I live, but some I climb slower than others. And I can always remember what I was in the “good ol’ days.” In reality, what I am today is something other than what I remember being when I was younger.

My Mom had a saying as we grew up as kids, “Act your age.” Solid advice from an 84-year-old sage.
Story By: Clint Smith Photos By: Heidi Smith

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2 thoughts on “Clicks And Booms

  1. DetroitMan

    As somebody who frequently introduces non-shooters to the sport, I love Snap Caps. They let me train people in all aspects of handling firearms, without undue wear caused by bolts slamming on empty chambers. The “newbies” always feel better having practiced loading, unloading, and cycling with dummy ammunition before handling the real thing. I feel the product is misaligned in this article.

    Repectfully, snap caps were not blame in the accidental discharge. It was entirely the father’s fault. He should not have mixed snap caps with live ammunition, which created a risk. He should not have pulled the trigger on a chambered round without first checking very carefully that the round was indeed a snap cap. And, as the author rightly points out, a snap cap is not necessary to relieve the pressure on a striker.

    Used correctly, snap caps are a wonderful training and function testing tool. Combined with unsafe practices they become dangerous, just like any firearm or firearm-related product.

  2. Brice Alden

    A day and a half is an inappropriately long time to be telling someone an important safety rule and to be met with continual non-compliance. After two or three warnings (or maybe even after one warning) he should have been ejected from the program or given intensive training with an unloaded weapon until his dangerous habit had been broken. I wonder if a good lawyer could argue that allowing such a dangerous person to remain in the program for a day and a half was negligence.


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