How Do I Hand A Gun To Another Person?

In this instance I'm able to protect the trigger on all sides, and allow the shooter to attempt a full grip on the gun. All this, while keeping the gun pointed downrange.

This is one of those things that almost nobody talks about because everyone assumes it must be common sense. The thing is, though, most people don't hand a gun to another person the right way, and, technically this can be a very dangerous thing.

I have personally had someone hand me a loaded revolver with their finger on the trigger while looking at the muzzle. If being on the business end of a loaded gun doesn't wake you up in the morning, nothing will.

It is my goal with this article to address the following question —

How do I hand a gun to another person?

The safest way to hand a gun to another person is to do so with a gun that's unloaded with the action open (So, slide locked back or cylinder open). You want the person you're handing the gun to, to be totally confident that you're not going to shoot him or her. Only under certain circumstances should you ever hand a loaded gun to someone. This includes instruction at the range, but only people who know what they're doing should hand a loaded gun over to someone else.

In all cases, whether loaded or not, always follow the gun safety rules ensuring that your finger stays off the trigger and the muzzle stays pointed downrange or in a safe direction.

In this over the slide grip, I can protect the trigger on both sides while keeping the muzzle in a safe direction. This allows the other shooter to grab the grip of the gun, while my hand is still on it and I can make sure their trigger finger stays straight, off the trigger.

No matter what you choose, there is absolutely no rush in this process when you're at the range handing someone a gun, or an unloaded gun at your house.

This includes reminding that person the status of the gun, to keep their finger off the trigger until they're on target, AND keeping the gun's muzzle pointed in a safe direction or downrange. If they're offended by you reminding of these things, remind them that safety is the most important thing, and that you value their life.

If they're still pissed, find someone else to shoot with.

I tilted the gun up a bit, which isn't necessary to do in the real world. The point is to hand the other person the gun in a manner they can see the empty chamber.

Again, the only truly safe way to hand someone a gun is to make sure it's unloaded first and hand them the gun with the action open, as seen in the above picture. Whenever I hand someone a gun I tend to make sure I can at least partially cover the trigger guard with my own hand as I'm trying to demonstrate in the pictures.

The reason why, is because I'm unsure of the other person's skills. I don't want them to accidentally grab the trigger as they grip the gun. So, I do my best to cover it.

It can be covered from the top or the bottom, whichever feels more comfortable for you. Many folks prefer to take a slide down approach (meaning gripping the gun from the slide with the fingers pointed up toward the sky). I've done both methods and it depends on the gun and how I'm feeling in the moment.

When I say it depends on the gun, it's because the smaller the gun the more difficult it generally is to hand to someone safely. My hands are monstrous as it is and as you can see in the second picture above, my hand is getting pretty close to that muzzle.

Again, the main thing to remember whenever handling any firearm, is to remain safe and follow the rules.

About Joshua Gillem

Josh is a lifelong practitioner and student of the gun. He grew up shooting/hunting with his dad, and was given his first gun, a 12 gauge shotgun, when just a small boy. After high school, he joined the Marines where his love for firearms blossomed as he qualified with an M16A2, an M9, and a 240G. Josh has been writing about firearms and tactics for several years, owns the blog Gunners Den, is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, and believes that each individual person has the right to self-defense by any means necessary. Currently residing in gun-friendly NC, he carries a concealed gun on a daily basis, even in his own house.


  1. tom on March 16, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    Great advice!!

  2. John Wisch on May 12, 2020 at 10:08 am

    Is this a serious question with a stupid picture?

    The answers with magazine out the action locked open, Mask you check the chamber to different times visually, Can’t see Anet finger Bang it to make sure. Now hand it to them with the muzzle down.
    Wow that was incredibly hard.

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