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Chamber flags are an easy way to make sure that a firearm is not loaded. They are designed to occupy the back end of the barrel, giving visual proof that there is no ammunition loaded, and also showing that the weapon is currently out-of-battery and unable to fire.  These flags are required gear for some competitive events and are also reassuring to see at public ranges where everyone may not be entirely sure about the competency of the other shooters on the firing line.

 

 

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There are many different commercial variations of chamber flags available for sale. However, they are easy and inexpensive to make at home. It only takes about fifteen minutes to craft a dozen of them. The only two components needed are sections of trimmer line and a small roll of orange duct tape.

 

 

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If the trimmer line in your garage is on a spool, start buy cutting off a ten inch section. Then, use a sharp knife to cut about six inches of orange tape off of the roll. The trick to making the homemade chamber flag not look like a first grader’s art project is to line the two short ends of the tape up with each other and then press the sticky sides together a little at a time. Keep an eye on the long edges, making sure that they stay as parallel as possible. Then, just stick the trimmer line all the way into the loop at the end, right before the last squeeze on the tape.

 

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Although they aren’t as fancy as the custom monogrammed models, homemade chamber flags work just as well. I’ve started keeping a handful of them in the side pocket of my range bag. It is easy to say “oh, I’ve got an extra” and hand one out to another shooter. At a cost of about ten cents each, it is not a big deal when they get lost, worn out or given away.  Using these chamber flags is a cheap and easy way to make your time shooting just that much safer.

 


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