1. All guns are always loaded / toutes les armes sont toujours chargées

2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not prepared to destroy / ne pointez jamais votre arme sur quelque chose que vous ne voulez pas détruire

3. Keep your finger off the trigger til your sights are on the target / ne mettez le doigt sur la détente qu’au moment où vos organes de visée sont alignés sur la cible

4. Be sure of your target / soyez sûr de votre cible

You are welcome.


I presume this is Soviet counterpart to Col. Cooper First Rule of Gun Safety – all guns are always loaded.








You can easily spot a non-Swiss picture of a Mq31/K31 by the position of its safety.

It’s really something that is bugging me. 

Do americans not put the safety in the right spot or something?

Most pictures you’ll see of a Mq/K 31 outside Switzerland will have the safety off (the ring in vertical position), when here it’s bad form to switch it off when not ready to fire (so, normally, when you’re shouldering the gun). It’s not something that awful, it’s just disturbing.

Guilty as charged.


I will try to make a habit of doing of that in the future. I always use the safety if I am hunting or actually carrying a gun but when I am at the range or at home, I clear guns before I take pictures(and if I am not shooting them I take out the mag and clear the chamber) so I never really thought to put the safety on. I Will keep in mind from now on.

Interesting. I also do not usually engage the safety when handling cleared firearms or shooting at the range, instead leaving the action open and magazine unloaded/detached. I attribute this to how I was brought up to handle firearms e.g. treat them as if they were always loaded, do not touch the trigger until ready to fire, and leaving the action open when not in active use. I  was also taught the concept that mindful handling is the most effective safety, not just relying on a mechanical one (especially when I remember shooting my uncle’s old side-by-side shotgun with no mechanical safety).

However, when I am CCing any pistol that is not a revolver, I do always engage the safety before putting it in my holster, and if I carry a loaded rifle on a hike for whatever reason, even to just go check a target, I also engage the safety.

Honestly, it’s not that big an issue, it’s mostly an obversation about cultural differences. Like you shouldn’t really drink anything but white wine or tea with fondue (note that it’s really early in the morning, that I just woke up, so my English is probably rubbish).

In most Swiss shooting ranges (the “undynamic” ones), you have to carry your gun with chamber cleared, magazine removed, bolt open and with the safety on. This standard may seems overkill, but remember that Safety Rules weren’t widely used in Switzerland until the end of the Eighties (so a lot of seniors are still doing it “the good old way”, when NDs were common events and not the exception), that in proportion of the population, a lot of people are shooting (for sport, military obligations or recreationaly), and that you can have on the same line beginners and old geezers not knowing or caring about the rules. The negative point is it may induces some complacency with strictly “sport shooters” that don’t live with the gun, seeing it mostly as a integrated golf club.

I’m also the first to admit the safety ring on the Mq 31 isn’t the most ergonomical available – and that you should not rely on a mechanical safety, especially on a gun which is at least sixty years old to avoid accidents. Jeff Cooper’s safety rules rules.

I agree this is a very Swiss thing, and Mq 31 being a very Swiss rifle, this is something I’m aware of, especially when most pictures are made with a closed bolt. 

Where it may apply to you (or not, this is your rifles, shooting methodology and ultimately your business) is that if your gun have a safety mechanism, you probably should account on it not only when carrying and “dynamic” shooting, but also in training, for the sake of consistency.

And cerebralzero, I admire your capacity of questionning yourself.



You can easily spot a non-Swiss picture of a Mq31/K31 by the position of its safety.

It’s really something that is bugging me. 


The kind of gun control measure I can live with. It seems to predate the efficiency and simplicity of Cooper’s four rules, but from my experience, kids with a sound gun safety instruction, unveiling the mysteries of firearms, tend to not do dumb things with guns.

Grey Villet—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Caption from LIFE. ”Wide-eyed fascination is displayed by boys as Rankin holds his revolver with the cylinder opened to show them there are no shells in it.”

Gun safety school session in Indiana in LIFE archives. Via Forgotten weapons.


Song of a gun (8) : Johnny Cash, I hung my head

Rule # 1
Treat all guns as if they are loaded. 

Unloaded guns cause the more accidents than loaded ones. Always treat all guns as if they are loaded. 

Rule # 2

Never let the muzzle of a gun point at anything you do not want to destroy or kill. 

This rule is especially important for those supervising novice shooters.  When a child holds a rifle for example, if he hears a noise to the side, and turns his head, the weapon tends to follow.  Similarly, if you make a great shot, and look back to brag to your friends,  don’t let the weapon follow your gaze.     

Rule # 3

Keep your finger straight and off the trigger.

fingerstrait.jpg (5823 bytes)

At all times you must keep your trigger finger straight, and off the trigger.  Only once you have aimed and have your target in the sights should you permit your finger to gently rest on the trigger.   This prevents accidental discharges should you stumble, trip, or be subjected to some unexpected event.    

Rule # 4

Be absolutely sure
of your target, and
what is behind it.

M1shooter.jpg (8306 bytes)

Hitting a target even under the best conditions is a very challenging thing.  If TV and movies were real, the good guys would kill far more innocent bystanders than bad guys.  Bullets tends to miss, ricochet, penetrate through, and fall from the sky at velocities just as deadly as when the bullet left the barrel.  If your bullet misses that deer or shoots over the top of that hill, you can’t bring it back.