The 4 (ONLY) Rules of Firearm Safety

The 4 (ONLY) Rules of Firearm Safety(Video)

In the aftermath of what is the Obama desecration of American values, there are a lot of people that are new to guns. This is a good thing and I hope that people will read this article and watch our complementary video with an open mind.

I am a brash, matter of fact person, completely unfit for employment anywhere in the corporate world. What you are about to read and watch are just that- brash and direct. My style will likely not work for you, and that is okay. To date, I have driven away more subscribers than I have gained but I feel it is my responsibility to teach because I see so much information that is based on group-think that is just outright erroneous.

So, without further ado, The 4, and ONLY Rules of Firearm Safety.

1.) Treat all guns as though they are always loaded.

The purpose of this rule is to set the framework for the level of respect that you are to show a firearm.

You can tell right off the bat how much training and experience an individual has by their handling, unloaded or not.

“It’s Loaded” or “It’s Hot”

We have all said this before. In an ideal world we would never have to make this proclamation, because it wouldn’t matter. Unfortunately, we live in a world where the lowest common denominator rules the day.

To be factual, the majority of “accidents” involving guns occur during administrative sequences rather than during the drill or course of fire itself. “Cleaning the gun”, handing a firearm off, and the number one cause, working around a holster.

Plain and simple, the easiest way to ensure that deadly weapon is treated with the respect it deserves is to keep it loaded. When I have a holstered firearm sitting on the counter, none of my friends would pick the thing up and treat it like a toy (For the record I do have non-gun friends). Not because they are all upstanding, responsible people; because they know if it’s my gun, it is most definitely loaded.


2..) Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.

This rule lays out the expectations for discipline when handling a firearm.

For the sake of discussion let’s pretend there is a lightsaber beam coming out of your barrel that is of infinite length. If you don’t know what a lightsaber is at this point, please just go away or use the Google machine. At all times, we want to manage this energy beam to keep ourselves and others from getting cut.
Fair warning, this is where I am going to start making people mad. Notice that in this rule there is no mention of a 180 degree line. Notice there is no mention of a moratorium on warm bodies forward of your position. It only mentions that your muzzle should never cross something you (at least marginally) care about.

To continue, the 180 degree line is an administrative control, not an absolute. It is a setup that is used by a business to organize patrons in such a way as to maximize space. Another good example of this would be a parking lot. The speeds are reduced, and the spaces are very regimented because you have every manner of idiot coming through there. Again, lowest common denominator.

I have no idea what that minimum safe angle is, but it isn’t 180.
For the record, I disagree with order of rules three and four. However, Jeff Cooper forgot more about guns than I and everyone reading this will ever know. So, we will defer to the man.

3.) Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target and you have made the decision to shoot.

The purpose of this rule is to define the level of discretion one should exercise when using a firearm.

Notice the wording. There are two separate actions that must occur prior to touching the trigger. 1.) sights are on target. 2.) You have to have made the decision to shoot (which would require criteria from rule 4, which hasn’t been mentioned yet. See where I am coming from?).
The act of pointing a gun at a live human being and the act of shooting a gun at a live human being are two distinct and separate actions; each of which carry their own physical, emotional, and legal consequences. We don’t touch that trigger until we have sufficient evidence to do so.

Any time we have not yet reached that level, our finger should be straight on the receiver or reaching for the ejection port; NOT on the trigger guard, or any permutation of in or around it. Once you send it you can’t call it back. It is your responsibility to ensure that it is properly addressed. As one of the good guys, “To whom it may concern” is not an option.
4.) Be sure of your target, its foreground, and background.

This is what I personally consider the most important rule of firearm safety. Inside my head, this is why I believe Mr Cooper lists it last. It ultimately governs the parameters by which you may make it rain copper and lead. Do everything else right, win the fight, be legally exonerated, etc, and screw this one up and you are a prime candidate for smoke starting a shotgun down the line.

Let’s start with the basics; be sure of your target. Properly identify it. Statistically speaking, you are more likely to get into a situation after the close of daylight hours. This is a fact, crime rates after dark are just simply higher. Badguys love the cover of darkness. Your EDC needs to be configured to work in this environment. This means a high-lumen, handheld white light must be paired with whatever firearm you choose to carry. For the sake of brevity, I will leave it there. If you want to get into an argument about this topic, perhaps I’ll write another article or make a dedicated video. Willingness is a state of mind; readiness is a state of fact.

The foreground.
Just as important as knowing, with certainty, that what you are shooting at, absolutely, positively has to die, is knowing those bullets are going where they are supposed to be. Going back to Rule 2. Not only are you very likely to have friendlies in the mix, but a whole host of other things that can alter a trajectory.

A.) Properly Clearing Your Cover.
I cannot think of a single course that I have attended that didn’t stress the use of cover/concealment. If you do not clear your cover the best case scenario is the bullet disintegrates in your face. Yes, that’s the good option. The bad option, the bullet skips off the surface or punches through it with an erratic flight pattern.

B.) Target Obstructions.
If you can use cover/concealment so can they (insert mental image of insurgent performing the Afghan spray and pray). This is why it is important that we only shoot at what we can hit. All it takes is a Ficus plant a few yards between you and Jihadi-Jim to turn a perfect shot into a wide left miss.

In both these instances, contemplate for a second what happens to you if that 124gn JHP tailspins into a 6 year old? A miss is a miss. (Racks Shotgun)

The Background
You are in deep do-do if you miss. What about if you make a clean hit, and it skippidy-do-dahs right through Crusty, the crack-head and strikes a mother of four at full expansion? Is that as bad as a full miss? I don’t know. There is some legal precedent that could keep you away from Bubba but I look inside and know, I wouldn’t be able to tolerate myself. (Duck stops don’t matter when you just need one; better make it 3-1/2)


Only 4 Rules? What about ear and eye protection? 

There is no mention of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the 4 Rules of Firearm safety because it is not a requirement. 
Gasp!! How dare you insinuate…hold your water there dude.  

Just like wearing elbow-long, latex gloves and a mask to protect you from GSR are not a requirement, we know that eye and ear protection are not a requirement for shooting, rather a choice. If we were to be assaulted in the middle of the mall, we wouldn’t say “time out” and put on my eye and ear pro. No we would shoot without them. We would however follow the 4 Rules. In fact, the IDF does not wear eye protection at all. Although, living in close of proximity to Palestinians, I would suggest eye pro for other reasons.
You see eye and ear pro is an American administrative control instituted by your range. When you shoot off a structured range, perhaps hunting, PPE is a choice. A damn good choice, but a choice nonetheless.

Like the Constitution, the Four Rules of Firearm Safety are absolute. They cover everything and be applied to every situation. Both are set in stone. Both are dead (not living and breathing). Nothing need be added.

Now to be clear, I am not advocating that you go out and set up drills with your buddies down range. Not at all. Doesn’t that run contrary to what I have been preaching this whole time? No, because most of you suck, and your friends probably do too. If you want to do that kind of stuff seek out a reputable instructor, that has the requisite experience to put you in such an environment.

This one is going to rub you the wrong way, Safe Space Warriors. If you don’t have confidence in your ability to put consistent, combat effective hits on target, in a controlled environment (IACE), with someone you care about standing next to it, then you have absolutely no business bringing a lethal weapon into a public venue. If you get geeked up about standing next to a target when someone shoots at it IACE, then you should seriously evaluate whether you are fit to carry. When the adrenaline goes from 4-11 you are likely more of a danger to yourself and others than you are to any threat.

You will not rise to the occasion, you will not fall back on your practice, you will only rise to the level of training that you have mastered under stress.

In closing. Check your ego, get some training, and Suck Less.

Shell Shock Technologies

Recent field Test of the Shell Shock Technologies NAS³ Ammunition casings reveals they are good to go and shuts up nay-sayers.

IF you are here because you want to say “Shut up and take my money!” then Click HERE to go to the SST merch page

VSO Makes nothing off this link

TWO Videos:

Short version:



Full Version:

We have also taken the liberty of going through these letters from the manufacturers and cleaning them up. The only thing we found through our testing that was contrary to claims from the manufacturer was the SST cases DO NOT come out cool to the touch. Our appraisal through qualitative analysis is they actually come out hotter.




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Hearing Protection Act; Don’t Hold Your Breath

PEOPLE! You need to keep buying suppressors. DO NOT wait for the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) to become law! While we here at VSO will be vehemently supporting this bill when it is introduced to the next Congress, there are important issues of which you need to be aware.

First off, I am going to link to a video by my friend, Adam Kraut, of The Legal Brief, of The Gun Collective. This video explains the procedural hurdles that lay ahead of the bill in Congress:

To echo Adam’s points, this is the best shot we have had in a while to start dismantling the NFA. It is YOURresponsibility to put your congressional leaders on blast.
Moving on. You have nothing to lose… except the initiative. The bill includes provisions to refund tax paid after the introduction of the bill. In doing so, you are out nothing and you have already started your clock. Should the HPA pass during the interim, your suppressor will only become available faster than the antiquated system allows. However, what we cannot discount is the power of commerce in driving public policy. Many silencer companies are on the board of the American Suppressor Association (ASA) (you know the people who wrote the bill) and will likely be called upon to testify in support of this bill. One of their key arguments for loosing the restrictions on these items is the huge demand for them. We sent a huge neon-sign of a message when the Obama administration enacted 41F. The Bureau still has not recovered from the massive paper dump that the American people sent their way. By holding off on purchasing these items YOU are artificially skewing the data that will be presented to congress about the demand for such devices; even in the face of such draconian regulations. So, in other words, you are hurting the chances for this bill by not buying.
The last point I would like to make before wrapping up is a lesson from recent history. Right before 41F there was a buying spree. Anyone who had considered going through the motions did…all at once. The first wave got the nice cans (me). After that, it was slim pick’ns and many got locked out because silencers simply did not exist. Think of this-How much more demand for these things will there be if/when the HPA becomes law? To put it in real-world terms, I bought an Rugged Obsidian .45 from Silencer Shop 3 months before 41F. They just received their first shipment of those cans (the best .45 can on the market mind you) this week. It is November, 16th, 2016 at the time of this post. You are telling me that the company responsible for +50% of all Form 4’s in 2016 just got resupplied, 6 months later?
PEOPLE, if this bill passes we are talking solid Unobtainium for the foreseeable future. Everyone keeps saying “Yeah they will be cheaper after HPA passes”. I say maybe 5 years after HPA you will see some prices drop. It is simple supply and demand. Some companies only produce 300 cans a YEAR at maximum capacity. The suppressor market is just simply unprepared to meet such demand and, at this point, has not reason to build inventory for such an event. THAT is how you go bankrupt.
I do not sell suppressors. I do not make cans. The only benefit I get by lecturing you on this topic is the opportunity to influence this situation and hopefully push it over the top. Long and short., go buy a silencer, NOW. If HPA becomes the law of the land, awesome. If it goes bad for us in the Senate, then you are already moving and lost no time.
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One last thing, You can look up your Senators by Clicking HERE Tell them to support the HPA or they are done next election.

Remington R51 TRY 2: NO DICE

THE REMINGTON R51. Sigh… I really wanted to like this pistol.

Here is a video review of the pistol, Filmed on 09/17/16 using a “Gen2” R51.

From the video description:

“The R51 is Remington’s first attempt at a small frame semi-automatic pistol. Specifically speaking, this firearm was produced for concealed carry by those with limited dexterity. To do this Remington employed the operating mechanism of the original Model 51, a Pedersen action (hesitation lock). The form of the weapon has also been brought up to date, sporting properly rounded surfaces conducive to drawing from concealment, generous serrations where needed and ambidextrous controls.

That is all the good stuff we can say about it- it’s a beautiful gun, but it doesn’t run. The pistol was announced at the 2014 Shot Show and released to the market some months later. The initial fielding of the gun was so inundated with issues that Remington issued a recall on the pistol. The pistol featured in this video is from the new release of the pistol earlier this year (2016).”

We had high hopes for this gun because it is an “old meets new”, a melding of new technology and old concepts. However, it seems that we are bearing witness to the modern manifestation of why the Browning design is so prolific in today’s handgun market.


For this video and initial testing we used ~150 Rounds of Prime Performance+ 124gn 9X19mm FMJ. Of those rounds used, we experienced a total of 12 malfunctions (failure rate of 8.0%) of the following denominations:

Type 1:  9

Type 2: 2

Type 3: 1

Prior to testing, 1 box (50 rounds) of Blazer Brass 115gn 9x19mm FMJ was fired through the handgun. VSO personnel were not present for this range session and did not document. The owner remarked that there were “several malfunctions” but did not specify type. This string was conducted with the firearm still in retail condition. Prior to VSO testing, the firearm was cleaned and Lubed with LPS 1 and inspected for damages/interferences. None were apparent.

While this test is far from scientific or statistically significant (sample size of one), based on our results we cannot recommend the Remington R51, at any price point, to be used as a tool in defense of life and liberty.


This test is not the “end-all-be-all” and we would be interested in testing this again, different gun(s), probably duplicate with a wider range of ammo. Is this something you would like to see?

Reference materials:
Military Arms Channel R51 initial Review:

Foreshadowing the future of the R51:


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