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How to Clear & Make Safe Your Pistol

There are times when you must stop firing and clear the firearm. Clear & Make Safe is the action of unloading the firearm, confirming the magazine is out and there is no round in the chamber, and safely returning the firearm to the bench or the holster.

In the event you need to unload the gun and make it clear, you need to first come to compressed ready position. Take a deep breath and verify that your trigger finger is straight on the frame. With either your strong hand thumb or your support hand thumb, depress the magazine catch/magazine release button to drop the magazine. Stow the magazine in a mag pouch or pocket, or set it on the bench if you are working at an indoor range. Remember, there still may be a round in the chamber!

Next, rack 3x times (one rack for each word) while saying, “Is it clear?” If there is a round in the chamber it will be ejected. Inspect your firearm to ensure it is clear of any ammunition.

If a Range Safety Officer or other shooters on the line want to verify that your firearm is empty and clear, you can roll the firearm towards them — always keeping your finger off the trigger and the muzzle pointed down range — for them to look into the chamber and mag well.

Finally, engage your mechanical safety and either safely reholster or deck your firearm onto the bench or table.

In the A Girl & A Gun Shooting Journal, there is a dry-fire drill for practicing the Clear & Make Safe command. Here Tatiana Whitlock walks you through the process of showing clear:

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