Carrying Positions

Muzzle direction is all-important when carrying firearms. You can control muzzle direction safely if you use proper carrying positions. When carrying firearms, you must always be aware of the possibility of slips or falls.

Two-hand or ready carry

The two-hand or ready carry is the safest carry for shooters. It gives you the best control of the firearm and muzzle and also allows you to get into shooting position quickly.

Cradle carry

The cradle carry is a safe carry when shooting alone. However, in this carry, the muzzle points to one side. The other person has to walk on the opposite side of the muzzle.

Elbow or side carry

The elbow or side carry is safe when walking in open terrain. However, do not use the side carry when walking through bush. Branches can get tangled around the firearm and push the barrel towards you. Do not use the side carry when others are ahead of you.

Trail carry

The trail carry is best used when you are alone or standing still. Otherwise, it is not recommended.

Shoulder carry

The shoulder carry is the least safe of all carries. In a fall there is poor muzzle control. It must not be used for loaded firearms. Special care must be taken to keep the muzzle pointed upward. Do not use this carry when others are with you.

Sling carry

The sling carry leaves both the hunter’s hands free. However, do not use this carry when walking in dense bush. Your firearm may get caught in brush and be
pulled off your shoulder. Also, twigs and other debris may fall into the upright barrel. If the hunter bends sharply forward, this carry is dangerous to those in front.

Which carry you use will depend on where your companions are and the kind of terrain that you are walking on. Never use a carry that will cause the muzzle to be pointed at another person.