If you happen to be a gun owner, you probably know a thing or two about safety. The proper and safe handling of guns is of the utmost importance in order to prevent injuries. All weapons should always be handled as if they are loaded with your finger off the trigger. When not in use, it is wise to unload weapons for proper storage with the slide locked back and a gun lock in place to keep it that way, indicating that the weapon is clear. In the absence of a gun lock, other items can be substituted to get the job done, such as paracord.
There are basically two methods of using paracord to indicate a clear weapon. The first method of locking your slide back with paracord is the string clearing method. This actually takes very little paracord to pull off; the actual length will depend on the barrel of your firearm but it should not require more than about six inches.
To use this method, start by clearing the weapon by ejecting the magazine and racking the slide back several times. Once you know the weapon to be clear, lock the slide back so it cannot move. Then take a piece of paracord and thread it into the muzzle, through the barrel, and out the chamber. If it is easier for you to do this in reverse from the chamber, down the barrel, and out the muzzle, that will work as well.
Once the paracord is in position, gently release the slide and allow it to move back into position. The goal is to leave paracord sticking out of both the chamber and the muzzle as a clear indicator that the weapon is unloaded. Allowing the slide to release will hold the paracord in place.
Another method you can use to signify an unloaded firearm involves more paracord. The concept is much the same in that you need to eject the magazine, rack the slide several times, and lock the slide back before continuing.
Once this is done, you will thread the paracord through the firearm in one of the same ways as discussed above. The only difference is that you can use more paracord and bring the two ends together and tie them in a knot. Utilizing this method allows you to keep the slide locked open if you wish as the knotted paracord will not move. However, if you prefer to release the slide, that is also an option.
Firearms should always be handled safely and stored secured out of sight when not in use. It is important to restrict access to them by children at all times. The safest gun in your home is an unloaded gun, and paracord can be used to ensure your weapons are clear. All it takes is a little bit of time and a piece of paracord to signify an empty weapon, making for a cheap and easy method of assuring that all is 'clear.'