How Guns Work: An NRA + OutdoorHub Infographic

Note: This article was originally posted on NRA Blog:

How Guns Work

USA -( Let’s face it – firearms are just plain fun to shoot. It doesn’t matter whether you’re plinking cans in the back 40 with a .223 Rem., or punching paper at the gun range with your .300 Win. Mag., shooters and hunters love the smell of gunpowder in the air.

In celebration of cartridges big and small, we partnered with OutdoorHub to bring you a detailed look into how guns work. While the infographic will be most instructive to newcomers, we think avid shooters will find it interesting, too.


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Jim in Conroe

Four basic rules of gun safety


That’s what I thought too


The NRA has three basic safety rules, which predate Col Cooper’s four rules. In my experience as a basic instructor the NRA’s rules are easier for new shooters to understand and learn to follow.


Jim in Conroe

Well, as to the NRA rules (, I think students would be better off with Col Cooper’s four (or some common variation of them) and the NRA would be better off adopting them as well. Treating every firearm as loaded and being sure of your target would take precedence over keeping the gun unloaded until ready to use it, especially in the context of handling weapons on the firing line or carrying a firearm for self defense. But I suspect this point of view has been expressed before, and the powers that be at the NRA are not willing to… Read more »


Col. Cooper did an excellent job of teaching shooters to be experts. In that situation, his rules mostly work. The NRA, and I, are teaching non-shooters to be shooters, a different situation. Coopers Four Rules are, “1. All guns are always loaded. 2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. 3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target. 4. Identify your target, and what is behind it.” His first rule, All guns are always loaded, isn’t a rule, in that it doesn’t tell non-shooters what to do or not… Read more »