Tips From The Workbench–Shop Safety

with Ken Brooks
AGI Instructor and Owner of Pisco Gunsmithing

This subject has been covered before, but is important enough for AGI Instructor Ken Brooks to take another look at a major safety concern for gunsmiths. What can you do to reduce the danger of customers bringing loaded weapons into your shop?

Sometime it may be necessary for a gun to come in loaded, say if it was completely jammed up and the owner was unable to remove the cartridge. But that is not the usual case. If you handle other people’s guns at all, please watch this video, use common sense, treat every unknown gun that comes into your shop as if were loaded, and stay safe.

13 Responses to Tips From The Workbench–Shop Safety

  1. Treat every weapon as loaded every time you pick it up until verified. In the service I handed my m16 to the gunny and didn’t inspect when he passed it back. It had a blank round in it and I got Royal ass chewing. Never forgot again

  2. I hope you used this as a “teachable moment” in your shop.
    For the last 5 years since I retired I have been a shooting sports director at a Boy Scout camp. BEFORE the boys ever get a chance to shoot their first shot I have them participate in a safety drill.
    We get in a circle. A gun is passed from person to person ’til it comes back to me. The boys MUST check magazine and chamber, keep the bolt open and the gun pointed in a safe direction, and use 2 hands to pass the gun. When the next boy takes the gun, the FIRST thing he is to do is to CHECK THE GUN AGAIN! Maybe you should have some NRA safety posters posted in the shop. Whether constant practice, or by subliminal suggestions from the signs, we all need to be vigilant when it comes to safety,

    • I like the sound of your practice round. The only weapon that can be considered safe is one that has been disassembled to the point it is physically unable to fire. I still find myself checking it.

  3. I have never heard of a “loaded gun fee” but think it’s a good idea to put some consequences to help them remember. What do you believe is an appropriate fee for a bone head that just doesn’t get it? It’s happened to us a couple times.

    • If you want to charge a loaded gun fee, it should be enough to get their attention, but then again not so much as to drive away their future business or to seem like a “punishment”. If you have an hourly rate, I would suggest a half-hours charge at that rate. After all, that is probably your minimum and would cover the waste of your time clearing the gun and explaining to the customer that he/she did something wrong.

      You always have the discretion to not charge this fee if you think it was an honest mistake and not bone headedness, or to charge more or even tell the customer to get lost if was done with complete disregard to safety.

      This is just my opinion as a businessperson–I would love to hear what others think would be a fair rate.

      • OK, charge for UNLOADING the gun, but don’t do a”loaded gun fee.” It sends out the wrong message even though the net result is the same.
        Some neophyte comes in and wants a gun worked on or sold and is not familiar with guns – a “Loaded Gun Fee” may be a bad idea. In stead, do a few minutes of teaching and refer him/her to an NRA firearm safety course.

        Now, it’s a different story with the BOZO who knows it all and waltzes into the store with a loaded gun.

  4. Also,,, All this applies when just working in a Gun Shop.
    I have had people come in, very upset during hunting season, and thrown loaded jammed guns on the counter. On one instance a 12ga. went off and destroyed several rifles in the display behind me.
    Also be careful with people trying out holsters with their supposedly empty guns. I have had folks holster a gun with their finger on the trigger only to have the weapon go off.
    Best policy,,, And I don’t care if your James Bond, every customer with a gun has it inspected by the door before they are allowed in the store.

    • I agree wholeheartedly. I wouldn’t have a problem with it at all. Anybody doesn’t like it doesn’t belong. It’s all about safety, the# 1item for gun handling.

  5. Just a tip, always give a gun back to the customer with a cleaning rod in the barrel and the breach open. This will indicate there is no obstruction left during cleaning or repair. Not to mention making sure you didn’t make a mistake.

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