How to Load, Discharge, and Clear a Pistol Safely

How to Clear a Pistol
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How to Load, Discharge, and Clear a Pistol Safely

Gun owners must learn how to load, discharge, and clear a pistol safely to keep it working properly for years to come. 

Key Takeaways 

  • Do not attempt to load, fire, or clear a pistol if you are unfamiliar with it
  • While loading a pistol, add one round at a time into the magazine and ensure they are correctly seated
  • Lock the magazine by sliding it upwards till you hear a clicking sound
  • Disengage the safety latch to unlock the firearm
  • While discharging your pistol, hold it in your dominant hand and point it in a safe direction
  • Clear the firing chamber of any unused rounds by racking the slide backward

Owning a firearm is one thing, but proper usage and maintenance is a whole different ball game.

Often, handgun enthusiasts fail to take correct care of their pistols, which hurts the quality of the pistol in the long run. 

In this write-up, we'd like to take you through different aspects of pistol usage and care.

This step-by-step guide will help you understand how to load, discharge, and clear a pistol safely.

Put aside all the fancy moves you may have seen in movies and let's dive in!

Pointers to keep in mind when loading your pistol 

Loading a pistol can be more complicated than it looks for a new gun owner.

Whether it's your 9mm SD VE or an M&P 380 Shield, very often, new gun owners get irresponsible with their brand-new handguns.

The lack of training and awareness around loading procedures leads to improper handling and accidents. 

To be honest, it's not that hard to master the correct loading technique. With proper safety precautions and simple guidelines, loading your pistol should be smooth sailing.

Take a look at the below steps to get started loading your pistol. 

  1. Exercise caution: Pick the pistol up with your dominant hand and point the muzzle in a safe direction. 
  2. Press the "magazine release" on the handgrip to eject the magazine.
  3. Press down and slide one round at a time under the feed lips of the magazine. Invest in a Speed Loader to make this process a lot easier. 
  4. Make sure each round is fully seated in the magazine. 
  5. Turn the gun sideways and re-insert the magazine by moving it upwards into the "Magazine Well" until you hear a clicking sound. 
  6. Disengage the safety from the side. 
  7. Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until you are ready to fire to avoid any accidental discharge.

Pointers to keep in mind for Discharging your Pistol 

Shooting a pistol isn't something to be taken lightly. Pistol pros know just how important it is to discharge their pistols safely.

If you are an amateur who hasn't gotten around to learning the ins and outs of pistol usage, we strongly encourage you to take the time to learn how to use a pistol safely.

Many different factors go into discharging a Pistol. Showing off and flaunting your newly acquired pistol carelessly can lead to injury or death.

The following tips will help you fire a pistol more maturely and ensure that everyone remains safe during the process.  

  1. Step outdoors: You don't want to operate a firearm for the first time in a closed space unless it’s a firing range. 
  2. Do not point a pistol at anything you don't intend to shoot. 
  3. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
  4. Clear your muzzle to ensure nothing interferes with its line of sight.
  5. Use the palm of your non-firing hand to pull the slide back and release it to chamber a round. 
  6. Keep both your eyes open when aiming down sights (or use an optic) for better accuracy and depth perception.
  7. Grip the pistol in your dominant hand. 
  8. Place your index finger on the trigger and squeeze it gently to fire a round. 
  9. Don't let kids or amateurs handle your pistol.

Pointers to keep in mind for clearing your Pistol Safely 

Unload all the guns before storing them away and load them when preparing for.

Proper storage usually requires that the firing chamber be empty and magazine removed; this includes revolvers and semi-auto pistols. (If you intend to keep the weapon loaded for self- or home-defense, make sure you store it safely for that purpose.)

Plus, don't make the mistake of leaving your firearm lying around unsecured.

If a firearm registered in your name went missing due to sheer negligence and got misused, be prepared to face severe consequences. The pistol must never leave your sight.

To help you out more, follow these steps to help you clear and store a pistol more carefully:

  1. Clear any unused ammunition from inside the firing chamber. 
  2. To do this, release the magazine and slide the chamber back to pop the bullet out from the ejection port. 
  3. If your pistol has a "slide stop, " engage that to lock the slide all the way back.
  4. Use a utility brush, lubricant, cleaning patch, and dry cloth to clean the slide, frame, and chamber.
  5. Do not leave your pistol unattended. 
  6. Store your pistol in a locked container. 
  7. Consider storing the container in a discreet place, far away from kids and anyone you don't wish to see around your firearm. 

Take proper care of your pistol 

After reading this write-up, you should have a good understanding of how to load, discharge, and clear your pistol safely.

Nobody masters anything about a firearm on the first attempt.

You need to practice and get more familiar with your pistol before you start to feel more comfortable.

If you have any questions about the right way to handle or care for your firearms, our knowledgeable staff are here to help.

Be sure to Check out our Gun Blog for more usuful firearm usage tips, and drop by our contact page if you want to ask us a question.

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Under the heading Key Takeaways on how to safely clear a pistol, on the last thing to do Quote "Clear the firing chamber of any unused rounds by racking the slide backward" This should be stated to do ONLY after removing the magazine from the firearm. This is a very important instruction especially for new shooters. Thank you.