I always check a closed weapon that is handed to me. I always hand it back with an open chamber and a stern look in the other man's eye.
Proper etiquette would require the salesman to hand you a pistol with the slide locked back, chamber open, for inspection. A revolver would be handed to you with the cylinder swung open for inspection. A rifle would have the bolt locked back. Since he handed you a closed chamber, it was he who violated proper etiquette, not you. Thus your checking the closed chamber handed to you should not raise protest. Make sure you hand the weapon back with the chamber open.
Among experienced gun handlers and salesmen, this is how they instantly know if they are dealing with another experienced handler or a novice. Checking that closed chamber sends a subtle message that you know what you are doing. Handing it back chamber open tells the other person you damned sure know what you are doing.
This etiquette comes from the military. An inspecting officer is always handed a rifle or sidearm with an open chamber that has been checked by the bearer in the officer's presence. This occurs with formal inspections and changing of guards. It is courtesy. Note too, that when the officer hands the weapon back, the chamber is open, whether he has manipulated the action or not.The bearer then again checks the chamber before placing the weapon at rest.
Keep your booger hook off the bang switch too.
Labels: Gun Safety