Handgun 101: Parts and Safeties

Handgun 101: Parts and Safeties

Here is a quick overview of the basic parts of a handgun:

  • The Grip: is the handle part of the gun where your dominant hand first goes to hold the gun. Make sure your hand goes up as high as possible on the grip and hold firmly.
  • The Slide: the slide is the top part of the gun that will move back and forth as you shoot, to eject the ammo casing and load the next round. Keep your thumbs and fingers out of the way of its travel.
  • Trigger: you pull the trigger to shoot. Important: make sure your finger is always off the trigger until ready to shoot. Beginners have the bad habit of leaving the finger on the trigger when handling the gun, which is unsafe. Instead, keep your straight and along the side of the gun while handling the gun.
  • Mag Release: the most common magazine release on handguns is a button that you firmly press to eject, located between the trigger area and grip.
  • Hammer/Striker: When you “rack” (pull back and release) the slide, the hammer gets “cocked” (set back into a firing-ready position). Pulling the trigger then releases the hammer and it hits a “firing pin” that hits the back of the ammo round, causing the gun to fire. In handguns without a visible hammer, there is an internal “striker” that performs the same function.

 Handgun Safeties


For more firearm and handgun safety tips like these, be sure to check our #ShootTheVirus resources

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