Safe Unloading and Clearing Procedure for the Carbine

Jan 1st, 2011 | By | Category: Tips and Tricks

All maintenance and weapons handling tasks start with a proper weapon clearing procedure. Running our courses we have seen our share of unsafe, crazy unloading procedures, if they are done at all!

First things First!

Remember the Cardinal Rules of Firearms Safety:

  1. Treat every weapon as if it is loaded.
  2. Keep you finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
  3. Never allow your muzzle to cover anything you are not willing to accept the responsibility for destroying.
  4. Be aware of your target and what is around it.

Now that we have the basic safety rules in place we can get to the actual clearing of the weapon.

Be mindful of the workspace.  Loading and unloading procedures occur in the workspace where we have better tactical and visual control of the weapon.

You will also notice that at no point do we clear by “firing”, that is Rule 2 –  Keep your finger off the trigger until you make are ready to fire. There is never the need to press the trigger during a clearing procedure.

Carbine clearing steps

  1. With the weapon in the workspace rotate it clockwise 90 degrees to visually inspect the safety and make sure it is in the SAFE position. If the weapon is on released hammer, the weapon fired and not cycled, then on an AR style rifle the safety will not move to the SAFE position. If this is the case go ahead to the next step and continue to be mindful the weapon condition.
  2. Depress the magazine release and allow the magazine to fall free of the weapon. If you have a full or partial magazine you want to maintain control of the magazine as you would during a tactical reload.
  3. Maintaining the workspace rotate the weapon counterclockwise until you can clearly see the ejection port. Do not over rotate the weapon so you are staring directly at the ejection port or any brass, live or spent, may eject into your face.
  4. While observing the ejection port, use your support hand pull the charging handle fully to the rear and hold.
  5. At this point you should look at three spots for a live round or spent brass while looking through the ejection port:
    • observe the magazine well and make sure there is no brass or live ammunition;
    • observe the bolt and make sure there is no brass or live ammunition attached;
    • observe the chamber and make sure there is no brass or live ammunition.
  6. If you are training, have your training partner verify step 5 and verbally agree by saying “clear.”
  7. Release the charging handle.
  8. Finally,  rotate your weapon to visually inspect the safety and make sure it is in SAFE position

If you followed these steps your weapon is now safe, but remember we ALWAYS follow the Cardinal Rules of Firearm Safety, so even after clearing your weapon continue to follow all Cardinal Rules of Firearms Safety. The life you save may be someone you care about.

Happy (and safe) shooting!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
Safe Unloading and Clearing Procedure for the Carbine, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Article by Ric.


Ric has seen 18 years of decorated military service in the United States Marine Corps including earning the Combat Action Ribbon for Action during Operation Desert Storm He has over 20 years of varied civilian law enforcement in a variety of assignments including: Uniformed Patrol where he served as a field Training Officer, Mobile Tactics Team member, Resort Area Operations, Firearms Instructor, and is currently serving as a Major Crimes Investigator.

Leave Comment