Safety & Responsibility

I’m With ROSCOE is a noir themed snubnose revolver shooting association. At our core, we are about responsibility, education and self-improvement. Safety rules must be practiced every single time until they become ingrained habits. Never forget there are people who would love to use you as an example of an irresponsible gun owner and make us look bad – don’t give them the ammunition.

Safe firearm handling is a martial skill unto itself. It speaks volumes about the depth of your competence as a modern self-defense practitioner. The following safety rules are offered as a guideline and are a fusion of the best work of Jeff Cooper and Andy Stanford:

1) Every firearm is always loaded. Handle every firearm with the same care you would exhibit if you knew the weapon was loaded and ready to fire. This rule is never suspended, including when your revolver’s cylinder is swung open and the charge holes are empty.


2) Always control your muzzle. Never let it cross anything you are not prepared to kill, destroy or buy. Some fellow snub shooters argue that following this rule to the letter will make maintenance and inspection impossible. Neither is true. With a dedicated forcing cone-to-muzzle style cleaning kit (Otis Technology makes one of the best) the snub can be cleaned without having to turn the muzzle toward the shooter. Furthermore, the use of a bore light at the forcing cone end and a mirror at the muzzle will also permit inspections without having to turn the muzzle toward the shooter.


3) Always keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target and you have made the conscious decision to start firing.

This rule often generates a lot of in-class discussions. Consider the example of the “compliant” home intruder held at gun point and lying face-down on the floor. You may need to and probably should keep your muzzle directed at him while waiting (behind cover) for the police. But by the same token, your finger should not be on the trigger. To do so is neither safe nor reasonable. Whenever handling a firearm it is only when your sights are on the target and you have made the decision to fire should your finger be moved to the trigger.

4) Be aware of your target and all things around it.

You have to presume that in a gunfight there will be innocent people to the right, left, and rear of your attacker. You have to also presume that there will be innocent people to your right, left, and rear as well. Clearly your attacker’s gunfire is a threat to everyone including yourself within that 360-degree bubble. If you are forced to shoot in self-defense your disciplined, practiced and morally defensible gunfire is going to be called on to protect every innocent life within pistol shot range within that 360-degree bubble including your own. Failing to deliver fast, accurate and controlled gunfire will only compound the threat to the innocents. Every shot you fire must land in the only safe backstop available: the attacker’s body. It is incumbent on you to train constantly in an effort to produce that standard of shooting on demand when required under stress.

5) Whenever around any firearms you have both the authority and the responsibility of a safety officer.

Anytime you see careless gun handling say something. If a gentle word doesn’t work leave the area and notify the range staff, the local police or both. Not all dangerous gun handling should be dismissed as the mark of a shooting neophyte possessing poor safety fundamentals. History is replete with stories of violent individuals who were inappropriately and publicly mishandling firearms prior to tragic events. Though a cliché range responsibility requires that if you see something, say something.

If you have doubts about any of these rules, please contact us or join us at one of our events. Or attend one of the NRA’s classes (e.g. the Home Firearms Safety Course) where they’ll teach you how to safely handle and unload all types of firearms. Remember you are responsible for knowing the laws regarding firearms and use of force in your area. If you are unsure of those we recommend visiting handgunlaw.us and reading the book The Law of Self Defense by Andrew Branca and Massad Ayoob. When your firearms are not in use, please store them securely. If you are unsure of how to do that, please visit Gun Safe Reviews Guy’s blog.

Most ammunition includes lead primers and lead bullets. Lead is a highly toxic substance that can eventually affect almost every organ system in the body. Lead risks are even greater to growing children. The danger to most shooters actually comes from repeated exposure to very small quantities of lead, rather than a few exposures to large quantities. Some of this repeated exposure occurs from very small particles we inadvertently carry into our homes. While the amount of lead residue on fired cases and in spent primers is very small, the tiny particles dissolve readily in stomach acid, allowing the lead to be absorbed and build up in the body over time. Do not use garments such as hats and caps to collect fired brass at the range. Take precautions not to allow lead particles to transfer into carpets and upholstery in the home. Wash hands well, with soap and water, after handling fired cases (as well as after shooting).

Safety and Conduct Reminder – I’m With ROSCOE is a noir themed shooting association. The era of the 1930s to 1950s invokes an era of manners, class, and treating people with a high degree of respect. This civility is expected to be carried over by the members at our IWR’s events and shooting matches.

In keeping with our historic theme, we will from time to time, touch upon items of particular historical note. We have had articles on whiskey or mixed drinks in our publications. We have offered for sale, custom flasks for our members. Our interest in historic elements does not diminish our collective responsibility to conduct ourselves at the highest levels of maturity. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU HANDLE FIREARMS WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL. – The two do not mix.

Final Safety Reminder – Your gun is not your friend. It is devoid of personality, loyalty, and love. You must avoid anthropomorphizing your firearms. You must constantly remind yourself that firearms are inanimate machines designed for a lethal function. You must actively work to make their safe handling a conscious behavior and not a relaxed routine.