Author Topic: leaving guns loaded  (Read 17787 times)

chuck-ia

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leaving guns loaded
« on: May 07, 2009, 03:39:05 AM »
This topic is brought up quite often on another site, seems like a lot of the guys have no problem leaving their guns loaded for days, weeks, months or even a year, some even seem to brag about touching off a flintlock that has been loaded for 6 months. I have left a gun loaded over night during hunting season, with a tag on the trigger guard LOADED.  I see nothing wrong with that.  But to leave a muzzleloader loaded for an extended amount of time just seems irresponsibe to me. I would not be able to sleep knowing there was a loaded muzzleloader in the house, (not tagged). I dunno, must be I am just weird. chuck-ia

roundball

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2009, 04:14:39 AM »
I've seen those kinds of threads and my conclusion is that different people are going to do what different people do for some perceived benefit to them...my personal feelings are more oriented towards  the technical aspects of it all and not the safety side.

For example, I load a Flintlock in the garage before leaving for a hunt...to eliminate ANY possibility of an extraneous ignition source getting to the main, I completely seal the bore and have the frizzen open and hammer down of course.
I tape the muzzle, then I firmly stick a 1" wide strip of GI OD dry-adhesive duct tape in place across the pan, up over the vent flat, and across the top flat.
I don't remove the tape until I get to a hunting spot and need to prime the lock.
I stick the tape on the off side lock panel to reuse for the return trip home.
IMO, this blocks any/all external ignition source or moisture from the main...and while the tape is a modern concession, its OK with me as I believe it to be more safe and apt to stay in place than a toothpick or feather would be. 

So if someone went to those lengths, I believe a Flintlock so sealed could be kept in the house, "properly stored", and clearly labeled with a large gaudy LOADED label for a night or a month or 6 months, etc.

But the techincal side is my concern for leaving one loaded even overnight...meaning I don't want to give Murphy's Law a single chance to make me miss a rare shot at a turkey or a nice buck because I didn't unload my Flintlock.
So for me, after every hunt I pull or blow out the load, wipe & relube the bore, take it in the house so it thoroughly warms up and dries out over night, then load fresh for the next hunt...no matter if its the next day, next week, next month, etc...that way I'm confident my fresh load will ignite instantaneously.

But as you saw in those threads, there are a variety of individual opinions and considerations involved, none of which are probably much more important than another.

Offline James Rogers

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2009, 05:08:30 AM »
I would not be able to sleep knowing there was a loaded muzzleloader in the house, (not tagged). I dunno, must be I am just weird. chuck-ia

Don't you have ANY loaded guns in the house? I would not be able to sleep at night without a loaded gun or ten in the house.   ;D
I have left a hunting load in my flint guns til I made meat or until I thought conditions they were exposed to warrented a new load.

Daryl

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2009, 05:16:47 AM »
On a 5 day moose hunt @ -3 down to -45C, my rifle was loaded when I got to the hunting area, on the way in.  In the evening, the nipple was covered with a strip of 1/4" leather, cock down on that &  applied a strip of electricians tape over the muzzle.  The gun was stored underneath a tarp, leaning against a tree, as were every one else's guns that hadn't been fired that day.  Every morning, I'd wipe off the frost and snow crystals that accrued around the butt, sling the rifle & I'd head out hunting.  My rifle has been loaded thus for 3 to 5 days in horrifically cold weather, then going off instantly, as it should, when needed. At that time, I was using mink oil from Track for lube as a patch lube.  Taking proper precautions, I don' t see why a flinter couldn't be stored the same way.

If fired, they were cleaned, of course - you want to see a white rifle? Hunt in -40 or so, then take it into a building or tent where the temp is 85F. Instant frosty rifle.  Once it dropped down to -56C. No one went hunting that day.  That's hard on mainsprings TOO. After beeing fired and stored behind the stove and up to temp, they are cleaned, wiped dry, oiled, wiped dry and re-loaded then stored inside until the next day - after that, if unfired, they are stored outside as noted above.  Want a misfire, hunt all day with your rifle in cold weather then bring it  inside overnight, - then, take it out the next day and expect it to go boom.

Of course, hunting in warmer climates would allow bringing the loaded rifle inside at night. If Taylor's flinters have a charge down them, they puts a strip of masking tape on the frizzen's face. Sounds fine to me.  I also like to plug the vent with a 'round pic'. The patched ball plugs it from the other end.

I've left my .69 hanging on the mantle place for 2 month's loaded after a journey behind the neighbour's house looking for 'the' bear. Apparently, it came up onto their rear deck looking for the people's baby. The baby had been wailing, so she brought it inside and a bear showed up 5 min. later.  People are funny - they were anti-gun until that happened. Few min. after than, I was coming hole from hunting, having not fired a shot and she hailed me over, told the story and asked if I'd go shoot that bear.  So- down the green belt i went, looking for it, behind all the neighbour's houses along our street.  No bear was found, so I kept the rifle on the mantle, expecting to go hunting again - didn't happen.  It remained there, loaded from mid. Oct. through to after New Years.  It was taped, and nipple sealed with the 1/4" leather fob so we all knew it was loaded.  I finally got around to taking it to the range to shoot the charge off and it went instantly, as it should.

northmn

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2009, 02:28:20 PM »
I used to do like Roundball, but after consideration tried leaving the guns loaded throughout deer season.  It went off beautifully with one exception when shot ( I am thinking it may have been inadvetantly loaded from a flask containing 777, long story).  I was experimenting with the concept and feel Murphy has no more play with things leaving it loaded during the season.  I did leave them out in the garage.  No children at home at this time, otherwise I would lock them up.  I personally prefer leaving them loaded with one exception.  When I used to duck hunt with a caplock shotgun my companion and I both noticed that if you fire a barrel and loaded without cleaning it will likely hang up the next day.  They do need to be cleaned if shot once. And for a small game gun especially you may want to fire off at the end of the day if you have shot a few times. I actually carry a complete set of cleaning stuff in my deer hunting kit for that purpose.  I think we start tracking too soon in a lot of cses anyway.

DP

chuck-ia

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2009, 03:00:30 PM »
I have a friend who a couple years ago left a gun loaded, the gun got stolen, police recovered it, finally got the gun back and the barrel was absolutley ruined, I would guess the friend had shot it and not cleaned it. I know of one guy here who still (probably) has his gun in his truck, loaded, I know he did 3 months after deer season anyway. The thing about leaving a muzzleloader loaded is the average person would have no idea if it was loaded or not, and would just assume it was unloaded. A  modern gun is pretty easy to see if loaded? I see nothing wrong leaving it loaded during hunting season, if one is careful. I will still hunt with a fresh charge most of the time though. I just feel more at ease after hunting or shooting knowing that my gun is clean, and if I don't touch it in another month, (not likley) it will be ok. chuck

lew wetzel

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2009, 03:38:30 PM »
i would like to leave a loaded gun in my house,but i have 4 kids and my 9yr old boy is well,, all boy!!!!all guns and munitions stay locked up until we leave to go shooting...i have started shooting clays with the boys down at the cabin and they really like it...i got my stepson who is 15 a 20ga...my 9yr old boy i got a 4-10....when i go hunting with my flintlock i load the barrel right before i leave the house and if i dont get anything i make sure to fire it off before i return home....i would feel alot better about having a loaded gun in the house at all times but its not worth the misery if something were to happen...crime does rise when the economy gets bad and if some sucker breaks into my house i got a nice war hawk with a 6in spike for his head...but if i heard them early it would only take a minute or so to get my shells out of the lockbox and my mossberg pump!!!!!

Scott Semmel

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2009, 03:54:07 PM »
I have a neighbor that really left his gun loaded. He brought his muzzleloader (the kind we donít talk about) to me saying that he couldnít get it to fire in preparation for the upcoming season. He said he may have left it loaded since last year. I pulled a conical then scraped out pyrodex pellets checked bore depth and put the puller back on out comes the second conical & second set of pellets, Still not to breech plug pulled a third conical and then a third set of pellets. Iím thinking the best thing that happened to him was that the flash hole was also corroded shut, just canít help but think something bad would have happened had it gone off when he tried to fire it. Admittedly he is a likely candidate for the Darwin Award but I think the moral of the story is when you increase risk of mistakes more mistakes will happen..

Offline Pete Allan

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2009, 04:10:34 PM »
It sure pays to think every thing is loaded when you handle a gun. Some years ago a friend brought in a Savage mod 99 for me to look at and on lifting it out of the case I noticed the magazine indicater said there was 5 rounds in the magazine. I pulled open the lever and out came a loaded round and I noticed the safe was off :o  My friend said the rifle had been standing in a closet since in the late 30s. Good thing none of the grandkids ever dug into great grandpas closet.

Offline Roger Fisher

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2009, 06:04:01 PM »
Assume you mean regards damage to said loaded 'gun'!

Shot then cleaned then reloaded and left sit/hang no problem!

Shot then not cleaned then reloaded and left sit/hang for weeks/months ( In particular flints with the open vent) plenty of problems in the breech. :o

Offline hanshi

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2009, 07:35:54 PM »
Having done all my hunting (so far) in the deep South, weather extremes are not a problem.  I've left rifles loaded for almost the entire hunting season (with no priming in the pan) that fired just fine later on.  Never had a problem that developed in the bore.  This, of course, was with an unfired rifle with a well lubed (greased) patch.  I really like spit and water based lubes but would NEVER leave such a load in a gun for more than a one day hunt.  With kids grown and long gone safety issues are simplified.  I normally rotate rifles.  I clean and rest the rifle if it has been fired while giving another one a chance on the next outing.  Long ago when my only handgun was a cap & ball revolver, I kept it loaded all the time and never had a problem.   It was my bedside insurance.

I, like Roundball, load prior to leaving the house.  Since I hunted alone I didn't use any tape but always left the frizzen open and hammer down.  I use my ramrod to check if the rifle is loaded before attempting to load.  I also use a bore light to double check.

Tom
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Offline Dphariss

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2009, 08:29:26 PM »
i would like to leave a loaded gun in my house,but i have 4 kids and my 9yr old boy is well,, all boy!!!!all guns and munitions stay locked up until we leave to go shooting...i have started shooting clays with the boys down at the cabin and they really like it...i got my stepson who is 15 a 20ga...my 9yr old boy i got a 4-10....when i go hunting with my flintlock i load the barrel right before i leave the house and if i dont get anything i make sure to fire it off before i return home....i would feel alot better about having a loaded gun in the house at all times but its not worth the misery if something were to happen...crime does rise when the economy gets bad and if some sucker breaks into my house i got a nice war hawk with a 6in spike for his head...but if i heard them early it would only take a minute or so to get my shells out of the lockbox and my mossberg pump!!!!!

A 9 year old needs to know how to safely operate, clear or/or check for loads every firearm you own especially handguns. Locked up or not.
This is the ONLY way. You must drill into their heads to clear any firearm they are handed or they handle and test them now and then.
I raised two kids and other than the son putting BP in the woodstove and getting singed there were no problems. His father had gotten a little pink on one cheek once from a similar experiment though I was older.
Assuming you can keep all the guns locked up and the kids will be safe is silly.
Do you lock up all the knifes too? What if the neighbor kid whacks your kid with the 6" spike??
They have to be trained. A kid that clears every gun he handles will not have any "accidental discharges".
Check how long it takes to get out your locked up Mossberg and then see how long it takes to get from the back or front door to where its stored.
Chances are there will never be a need but if there is remember, when seconds help is only minutes away.

Dan
He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine

Offline JCKelly

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2009, 11:55:09 PM »
The idea of driving with a loaded rifle of any sort somewhere in the trunk . . . is not my idea of gun safety.

Loaded carry gun in holster, yes.
Powder & ball in something that might point as it so chose during an accident, no thank you.
Yeah, yeah, the pan is empty/no cap on the nipple.

Well, I don't personally know any of you guys, but I can assure you all that if you keep loaded muzzleloaders around I will always keep my distance from your household or cabin, thank you.

Loaded guns go bang, and they are known to have a mind of their own regarding the timing.
 
If the animal is so @!*% dangerous you feel you need to keep a loaded muzzle loader around, sell that obsolete thing & buy a real cartridge gun. Don't store it loaded either. One can load such a weapon very quickly when needed, hadn't ya heard?

Why is keeping loaded guns around even a point of discussion?

Offline K. Moyer

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2009, 12:16:40 AM »
I bought a .32 cal Traditions Crockett rifle off one of the gun auction sites. It was located only 35 miles from the house, so my daughter and I went to pick it up. It was like new, in the box with all paperwork etc. The guy said he shot the gun in the early small game season and this was now the end of December, never gave a thought to the gun being loaded so we brought it home. Dropped the ramrod down the barrel when we got home and it made a "thunk". Walked out to my range, capped the gun, aimed at the target and "BOOM" two holes in the 25 yard target. The gun must have been double loaded. I never keep my guns loaded, blow them out or fire them each night during the season. Could have been a real nightmare if my seven year old wanted to handle that gun. I check them all now! Lesson learned!
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roundball

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2009, 01:32:55 AM »
The idea of driving with a loaded rifle of any sort somewhere in the trunk . . . is not my idea of gun safety.
By that logic it would mean "shooting boxes" can't be carried in vehicles because they contain cans of blackpowder, lead balls, etc...the imagination could run wild with all the stuff they could cause in an accident...better leave them home.

Then there's that 20-26 gallon tank of exremely flammable gasoline slung up under the vehicle...better leave that at home too.
Quote
Why is keeping loaded guns around even a point of discussion?
Because interested people like to discuss things of interest, weigh the pros and cons of how to do things, learn from each other, etc.

chuck-ia

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2009, 01:39:48 AM »
Just curious as to how other people handled their muzzleloaders. Different strokes for different folks I guess. Mine will still be unloaded and cleaned after using, (same day). As far as modern guns loaded in the house, I think that is up to the individual, I do think that a loaded muzzleloader for home protection is, well, probably not a good idea, better than nothing though. thanks for the replys, chuck

Daryl

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2009, 01:50:44 AM »
Chuck - here in BC, a muzzleloader isn't loaded, by law, unless it's primed or capped. Works for me.

Mike R

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2009, 03:02:47 PM »
I was going to stay out of this...but the devil made me do it...Typically I do not keep a MLer loaded--if I don't shoot anything with it hunting that day I shoot at a [safe] target and then clean the gun. Just me.  But on the question of loaded guns in the house in general---anyone who thinks they have time to load one in an emergency has not lived in a dangerous place before--I have.  I am happy for those who feel that safe.  I was raised by an FBI Agent father who put on his loaded revolver every morning and went off to work.  He was also a hunter and taught my brother and I safe gun handling from when we were toddlers.  His hunting guns were empty in the house and only loaded in the field, but that Colt snubby was always loaded--and my father was the least paranoic guy I ever knew. I raised two kids and always had at least one loaded gun in a safe place--but taught them how and when to handle a gun.  Like my dad, my hunting guns are loaded only in the field/woods, but I have a loaded revolver handy and my wife is an expert shot with it.  We have had to defend ourselves a couple of times with it. 

Mike R

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2009, 04:32:57 PM »
tg what is "funny" about those who are so ignorant of gun safety that this forum has to explain the dangers of leaving an unattended gun loaded?


...or why do we need to explain the dangers of having an unloaded gun when you need it loaded?  Some states/areas do require home gun safety rules of various kinds--my area does not, however I keep the loaded one out of sight, out of reach of children.  My kids knew and know better than to mess with any of my stuff without supervision--others' kids are never left unattended in my home.  It is a matter of how you control the situation--nothing is foolproof. An unloaded gun can be loaded by someone other than you--and if the ammo is locked up separately from the gun, both are useless.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2009, 04:35:02 PM by Mike R »

Offline Collector

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2009, 06:11:36 PM »
In response and a bit more...

Just for giggles, just how often are the police present when a violent crime and/or a crime against a person is being committed? 

I grew up in a home with and have maintained my home with at least one, if not more, loaded and adult accessible personal protection firearms, at all times.  My father still does and he's 85.   

But, given these days of constant consternation over the rights of the criminal class and the diligence and lengths with which prosecutors offices will go to protect their rights, you'd best know exactly what to say and how to handle yourself, if in fact you actually have to use a firearm in defense of yourself or anyone else.   

You have the right to remain silent... and, it's the first right people forget or elect to ignore.

No warning shots- ever.  Shoot until no threat exists- period.  If asked, you were in fear for your life (no more and no less a statement.)  You'd be happy to cooperate, but you want immediate medical attention first (no more and no less a statement.)  Get medical attention.  Call your attorney.

The police are NOT bound by any LEGAL requirement or LEGAL precedent to actually protect you. 
« Last Edit: May 09, 2009, 04:47:01 AM by G.Hansen »

Daryl

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2009, 06:17:12 PM »
Since we cannot have a loaded firearm in a dwelling we do face a conundrum here.  Considering the threat here is usually with blades, that is good.  We find ourselves having to lock up all guns, BUT - there's the cutting variety of defence weapons one may have handy - both Taylor and I have ready access to some nice cutting blades - of Japanese design - long and short.  Someone threatening me with a lock-blade might not get more than 4" to 6" past the Katana's tip!

Of course, Taylor has some claymores, but they are a bit unwieldy in a dwelling. Then there's the Bess with bayonet attached for hallway  defence and execution.

Then there's the case of the judge asking the women why she shot him 6 times - "because it went click when I pulled the trigger the seventh time!"
« Last Edit: May 08, 2009, 06:18:28 PM by Daryl »

Offline Dphariss

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2009, 06:35:08 PM »
I typically hunt with a rifle that uses one ounce of lead and 150 grains of powder.
If I hunt an area and go to my vehicle to drive 8 miles and hunt again should I shoot it to make it "safe" in my vehicle?
Then clean it and reload? Maybe 3 times a day?? Not going to happen. Since I hunt probably 4 days a week during the season this can result in a lot of powder and lead not to mention the cleaning, drying, reloading. Shots fired where its better not too if you are hunting.

Everything is a trade off of course but considering the firearms accident rate in the US you are far safer with a loaded gun than driving your automobile.
My father arrived at the main gate of an USAF base a few years back for an appointment at the base hospital. He have a fully loaded 30-06 in the "Easy Rider rifle rack". The SP at the gate asked if it was unloaded, Dad said it "it was not much good unloaded" the SP cleared it and sent him on his way with a caution not to load it on base.
He lives in "rural" Alaska and has good reason for keeping it loaded. He is well past having little kids around.

Security.
The world has never been a safe place. We have a considerable number of people in the US, at least, that will kill you for the color of your skin or a pair of sneakers.
I came back from an "unpleasentness" overseas and after discharge I bought a couple of guns I was familiar with. I carried a 1911 Colt, condition 1, on my person or in my vehicle if I left the house.
One day in 1975 or 76 I told myself this was silly. So I quit doing so. Within DAYS a cab driver was forced out of his cab and shot twice in the back and left to die within a few miles of my house (he was found crawling down the shoulder of the road in the snow) for less than 10 bucks. I decided that I would go back to the armed citizen mode.
If I have on a coat, vest or jacket I am always armed and might have one in a pocket even then unless in a govenment building or other area where its specifically prohibited.....like in Canada.

I tend have a serious knife around when I pass though Canada and I try to remember my bayonet training.....
Dan
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chuck-ia

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2009, 08:45:39 PM »
I should have been more specific in my original post, dealing with muzzleloaders only. If one wants to sleep with a loaded 357 more power to them. This is just me but I won't put away a loaded muzzleloader with the intention of cleaning or unloading it when I have time, one reason, if something happened to me my wife and kid would have a gun in the house, which in the first place know nothing about guns, that is loaded. For me accidents can happen easy enough being cautious. I have read numerous times about someone buying a used muzzleloader and find out it is loaded, did they just forget it was loaded? Or did they die in their sleep? I just don't think (unless you are into muzzleloaders) most people have a clue as to how to check if a muzzleloader is loaded, just assume it is unloaded. Not trying to start an argument or anything, just my thoughts about it.  chuck

Mike R

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2009, 11:02:25 PM »
I should have been more specific in my original post, dealing with muzzleloaders only. If one wants to sleep with a loaded 357 more power to them. This is just me but I won't put away a loaded muzzleloader with the intention of cleaning or unloading it when I have time, one reason, if something happened to me my wife and kid would have a gun in the house, which in the first place know nothing about guns, that is loaded. For me accidents can happen easy enough being cautious. I have read numerous times about someone buying a used muzzleloader and find out it is loaded, did they just forget it was loaded? Or did they die in their sleep? I just don't think (unless you are into muzzleloaders) most people have a clue as to how to check if a muzzleloader is loaded, just assume it is unloaded. Not trying to start an argument or anything, just my thoughts about it.  chuck

I agree with this--better to err on the side of safety.  As I said I unload [shoot] my MLer at day's end if coming back to civilization--that way it is always clean and ready to load next trip--the mind can play tricks on you and memory can fade--I once years ago cleaned my gun after a day trip and left a patch in the bore.  Cannot remember why, but forgot it was in there--next trip I loaded atop it and it was blocking the vent hole--of course when I tried to shoot something with it, it misfired.  Didn't know why until I pulled the load.  I approve of those who mark their loaded rifles so as to refresh memory or warn others.  As for transporting loaded guns between hunting areas on a given day, Okla said you could not transport a loaded gun in a vehicle around the public hunting areas in the state, but relented with MLers--you had to uncap or unprime them, however. I did that.  Here in Lousyanna nearly anything goes.  I always place safety first--in the case of home defense, the issue is more complicated.

Offline hanshi

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Re: leaving guns loaded
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2009, 01:12:53 AM »
I keep a loaded snubby in the bedroom and a knife on my person all the time.  When I leave the house I have the knife and my cane, which I've been trained to use as a weapon.  I've been trained to use a large variety of objects as weapons but the cane is always with me by necessity.   Though I'm permitted, I seldom carry a gun.  During hunting season it's not unusual for me to have a flintlock charged with ball at home for several days or weeks.  It's never primed.  Our only children, now, have 4 legs.  G. Hansen is correct; police are under no requirement to protect you.  Protection starts and ends with YOU! 
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