What is Muzzle Discipline?

Muzzle discipline is the practice of keeping the muzzle of a firearm pointed in a safe direction at all times.  When on a firing range, the muzzle must always be pointed “down range” towards the range backstop, even when not in use.  The firearm shall be held horizontal and parallel to the walls.

Muzzle: The end of the firearm barrel that releases the projectile

Muzzle discipline pertains to every movement of a firearm, including the movement from a table or holster, to shooting position and back, while removing a firearm from a case and back, and when showing it to a friend.


The 3 Most Common Undisciplined Muzzle Mistakes:

    1. “Inappropriate racking of the slide”  When the pistol is oriented sideways when the shooter is racking the slide and pointing the muzzle at a firing line neighbor.
    2. “When a shooter gets excited”  When a shooter makes a good hit on a target and turns around with a pistol in hand to tell or show a friend.  Remember, handguns are small and it is easy to turn around with one in your hand.
    3. “When not shooting”  Most people think that muzzle discipline only applies when a firearm is in the firing position.  They wave the muzzle around when loading, reloading and while putting it down on a table or in its case.

Muzzle discipline is intended to minimize the potential damage caused by an “unintended discharge” of the firearm.

man holding pistol at a shooting range showing the proper muzzle discipline