Keeping safe with Your Bersa

  1. christophereger
    While you may have been shooting for decades and are no doubt a totally squared away individual, every time you go to the range or even think about handling a gun you need to keep the four basic safety rules well in mind. Bersa's are safe guns, with almost every model having multiple active and passive safety devices as well as (on newer guns) the Bersa Integral Locking System that secures the gun with a safety key when not in use. However, your number one safety is your own adherence to "The Four."

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    1. Treat all guns as loaded. Every year experienced shooters have negligent discharges on guns they just knew were unloaded. Remember, there is no such thing as an unloaded gun. Even if you have never had a bullet in the same zip code as the gun you are about the pickup, there is still that possibility, even slim, that it's loaded somehow. Don't find out the hard way that you were wrong.

    2. Never point the muzzle at anything you're not willing to destroy. Guns are not toys. They are tools that require a trained operator to use properly. Tragically, guns that never should have been pointed in their general direction shoot each year innocent bystanders. It's not funny. It's not a joke. If you need reinforcement on this, Google Jon-Erik Hexum. Hexum was an actor who accidentally shot himself in the head with a .44-magnum prop gun loaded with blanks on the set of the CBS series "Cover Up" in 1984. This guy had earned a BS in biomedical engineering (!) before he became an actor, but apparently didn't take rule number 2 seriously.

    3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target and you are ready and willing to shoot. A modern handgun in your hand is not going to just decide to go off on its own accord. Somehow, the trigger/striker/firing pin has to be actuated. On rare occasions, triggers have been caught on random objects and accidentally depressed. Otherwise, keep the trigger areas clear of objects (including your fingers) until the muzzle of the gun is covering your target, and your sights are lined up. It's just easier that way.
    4. Identify your target, and what's surrounding and beyond it. Your target is paper and in most cases is about 0.004 inches thick. While I haven't done the ballistics on this, I am reasonably assured that every round from the 2mm Kolibri to the .50-caliber BMG is capable of penetrating this amount of target. With that in mind, make sure that the backstop/berm behind your target in the range is capable of catching your round. Not using a backstop at the range? START!

    This rule translates well into real-world defensive shooting instances. Did you know that a 22LR fired from a pistol will penetrate six sheets of 5/8" sheetrock or four sheets of " ponderosa pine and keep going? That's three walls in your average suburban house shot through and through. Keep that in mind if you ever have to use your handgun in a life or death scenario.

    Remember, accidents happen and anyone can have a bad day, but the key is to be as safe as possible at all times. Take a break before you go to the range and repeat these four rules before you load up. If you carry or have a Bersa handgun for protection, brush up on them every day. As long as you keep these rules in mind 24/7/365, you can enjoy a lifetime of responsible firearms ownership in a safe manner.

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