Soldiers, when handling your weapon, don’t be complacent or undisciplined; instead, remember to THINK
. Accidents are more likely to happen in a deployed environment versus garrison because Soldiers become relaxed with weapon handling.
Some of the most common ways unintentional discharges happen are when:
- cleaning, clearing or performing a functions check.
- entering or exiting vehicles.
- retrieving, uploading or emplacing weapons.
- following a change of mission, duty or weapon's status.
- joking or playing around pointing a weapon at yourself or someone else.
- handling a weapon with which you’re unfamiliar.
- becoming distracted and fiddling with a weapon and unmindfully pulling the trigger.
- improper headspace and timing and accidental ricochet or shrapnel incidents occur. (These don’t happen as often but are still a hazard.)
Here are some tips to help stop unintentional discharges.
- Don’t use weapons you haven’t been trained on or that haven’t been inspected for serviceability.
- When clearing a weapon, always remove the source of ammunition (magazine, belt, etc.).
- Never clean weapons with a magazine inserted.
- Always avoid holsters that orient muzzles towards personnel. This should be stated in command policy.
- Use the proper gauge. The M2 and M3 are not interchangeable.
- When firing your individual weapon from the gunner's station, make sure the muzzle has cleared the turret. A good way to do this is to put the barrel over the turret.
- Include guidance on the handling and use of foreign weapons and ammunition in command policy.
- Always THINK weapons safety!
Click on the image above to download a PDF copy of the THINK poster
For more information on safety, visit the US Army Combat Readiness Center