Adapted from the Rohrbaugh R9/R9s Manual. Used with the kind permission of Karl Rohrbaugh. The Rohrbaugh R9/R9s is the world's smallest/lightest 9mm pistol.
Most of these warnings apply to all types of firearms. These precautions should become second nature to anyone handling a firearm.
1. FIRST AND FOREMOST: ALWAYS KEEP THE PISTOL POINTED IN A SAFE DIRECTION. Never point any gun loaded or unloaded at anything you are not willing to destroy. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE OF FIREARMS SAFETY. Even in the event of an accidental discharge, no harm will result if the firearm is always pointed in a safe direction.
2. ALWAYS assume that every gun is loaded and ready to fire until you personally establish that it is not. Know how to check any firearm to establish whether it is loaded. Know how to clear (this involves making sure the firing chamber and magazine are unloaded) any firearm you touch. NEVER rely on someone elseís word that a gun is unloaded. CHECK IT YOURSELF. Your first action upon picking up a firearm should always be to check whether it is LOADED!!!
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. This is a basic rule of firearms safety!
4. ALWAYS keep a firearm unloaded until it must be ready for use. Only loaded firearms can discharge accidentally.
5. NEVER carry your pistol with a round in the chamber unless circumstances make it absolutely necessary (for example, if you are an on duty police officer). It is much safer to carry a semi-automatic pistol with the chamber UNLOADED. In the vast majority of circumstances, the additional protection against unintentional discharge offered by an empty chamber is much more important than the few seconds it will take to chamber a round.
6. ALWAYS be careful of where a gun is pointing when you or anyone else is handling a gun, ESPECIALLY when you are loading, unloading or operating any other mechanism of the gun. This is when most accidental discharges occur. NEVER let the gun point at you or others when you are manipulating its parts.
7. NEVER RELY ON ANY MECHANICAL SAFETY. Mechanical safeties can break or fail. FIREARMS SAFETY DEPENDS ON YOU,THE USER.
8. Never shoot at a hard, flat surface or at the surface of water. This could cause a ricochet, which may result in possible injury to you or someone else.
9. Before each loading or use of the pistol, check to insure that the bore (the inside of the barrel) is unobstructed and free of grease or excessive oil. Insure that your pistol is unloaded before checking the bore. Recheck the bore if anything occurs which might cause an obstruction (such as dropping the pistol). Firing any firearm with a bore or chamber obstruction can result in serious injury to the shooter or bystanders.
10. Keep your pistol free of rust and corrosion. Rust and corrosion can cause sufficient barrel obstruction to result in extreme overpressure on fir- ing which can result in structural failure and serious injury to the shooter or bystanders.
11. ALWAYS USE EYE AND EAR PROTECTION WHEN SHOOTING. Repeated unprotected exposure to gunfire can lead to ear damage and hearing loss. Use of safety glasses reduces the chances of injury from flying particles. Take no chances. It only takes a second to have an accident that injures for a lifetime.
12. When shooting any semi-auto pistol, make sure all other persons are safely to the rear and left of the shooter. Semi-auto pistols usually eject hot fired cartridge cases to the right, or the rear (over the shooter's head) upon firing.
13. When shooting, keep your eyes, thumb, fingers and other body parts clear of the area immediately to the rear of the slide and the ejection port. Upon firing, this pistolís slide will move rapidly and forcefully to the rear. The moving slide can cause serious injury. Do not grasp your pistol in such a way that either of your hands will touch the slide while shooting.
14. While shooting, if you have a misfire or notice any unusual sound or recoil upon firing, CEASE FIRING IMMEDIATELY. With your finger away from the trigger, completely unload the pistol by removing the magazine and clearing the chamber, then check the barrel for obstruction. A misfire can result in a barrel obstruction, which is extremely dangerous. A bullet stuck in the barrel can often be removed by tapping the bullet out with a wooden dowel.
15. There are occasions when a round of ammunition fails to fire as expected. This can involve a "hang fire." If your pistol fails to fire upon pulling the trigger, keep the pistol pointed in a safe direction and wait at least fifteen seconds. There may be a delayed discharge. If the round does not discharge, remove it from the chamber and inspect it. Any variation from normal in the firing pin indentation in the primer of the cartridge is reason to have your pistol inspected by a professional gunsmith.
16. ALWAYS be sure of your target and insure that there is a safe field of fire. You may miss the target. Be sure there is nothing you donít want to hit in the direction you are shooting.
17. ALWAYS store guns unloaded, in a safe, clean, dry place OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. Firearms should ALWAYS be stored separately from ammunition. Both firearms and ammo should be stored in locked boxes or safes. Any gun which is not on your person should be locked away.
18. NEVER mix alcohol or drugs with shooting. It is unsafe and just plain stupid.
19. ALWAYS hold or carry your pistol so that you can control the direction of the muzzle if you fall or stumble. Dropping guns or allowing an impact to a loaded gun accounts for many accidental discharges.
20. NEVER pull a gun toward you by grasping its muzzle. If it snags on something and fires, it will be pointed at you.
21. AVOID attempting to load or unload a gun when you are inside a vehicle or building. There is usually no safe direction in which to point the gun.
22. NEVER make alterations to any parts in your gun. Any adjustments that may become necessary should be performed by a qualified gunsmith. Alterations will void the warranty. Do not risk your safety or the safety of others by making modifications to your firearm.
23. NEVER LEAVE AN UNATTENDED GUN LOADED. EVER. Store unattended guns unloaded, locked if possible, and separately from ammunition. Ammunition should also be locked away. INSURE that unattended guns are beyond the reach of children. Your gun is YOUR responsibility.