Changing a safety

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by Alexandro Faria, May 15, 2016.

  1. Alexandro Faria

    Alexandro Faria AH Veteran

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    Hello all,

    For all you smithing kings out there, is it possible to change a safety on an action? As in, changing a winchester safety to a mauser flag safety?

    Sorry if this is a stupid question…

    Thanks for the help, in advance!
     

  2. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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  3. sandman0921

    sandman0921 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Possible....I'd say probably yes, but I wouldn't know how to go about doing it.

    I've seen videos online, and read articles as well, about converting the swing-over, Mauser type safeties to the "Winchester" three-position safeties before, but I can't recall seeing or reading anything about doing the opposite. I know, for instance, in converting a Mauser style safety to a 3-position safety, it involves making a cut in the cocking piece to accommodate the different geometry. What I'm not sure about is once that cut is there, either from the factory or via a previous conversion, if it will interfere with the operation of a Mauser-type safety....

    Here is an article about the conversion from a Mauser style to a Winchester style safety. It is exactly the opposite of what you were asking I realize, but it may give you an idea of what is involved and if it would be possible to go "backwards".....


    http://www.realguns.com/articles/389.htm


    Maybe, some of the gunsmiths that visit this forum frequently could speak up and advise you. My advice would be to talk to a competent gunsmith that understands Mausers and Winchesters if you get serious about doing the conversion.....
     

  4. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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  5. Alexandro Faria

    Alexandro Faria AH Veteran

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    Thanks, guys! @spike.t, if I'm honest, it's what I'm used to and it's what I'm comfortable with. I find the Winchester safety a little frustrating, to be honest.
     

  6. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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    ok thats what i was wondering. if its what you are used to then good. other way round for me and as i hardly use the 2 with the flag safety i get :confused: sometimes when i use them which way is which.......:rolleyes:
     

  7. Alexandro Faria

    Alexandro Faria AH Veteran

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    @spike.t, I know many love the winchester safety, but as far as the flag safety goes, it just works well for me. Nice, simple and visible. Makes for fast handling and so on.
     

  8. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Is it for an open sighted rifle (scope use question) and if so is it possible to graft part of a mauser shroud onto the mod 70 cocking piece??
     

  9. bassasdaindia

    bassasdaindia AH Elite

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    I consider the Winchester type safety to be the best option , all of my CZ's are converted to the Winchester type .

    interesting request IMHO as already mentioned it hinders the fitment of a scope .
     

  10. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH Legend

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    I just spent $500 to do the conversion from flag safety to three position model 70 type on a Mauser. There is a cottage industry making safety blocks like Ed Lapour, Dakota and Recknagel making the cocking blocks for $180-$325 . Installation and bluing is usually $125-$250 for this conversion.

    I've never seen someone want to actively undo such an improvement to go back to an obstructed, less expedient safety before.

    Since there is a milling on the bolt shroud for three position function I'd imagine some work with a micro tig and then dressing it down and re-hardening may be possible. Would probably cost $500 and the gun would be reduced in value by at least $500 for this custom downgrade, assuming that micro tig was used. If a regular tig was used the bolt shroud hardness would be altered and perhaps get you killed.

    You're the first person that wants to do this reversal which should attest to your creative thinking or absolute insanity, you pick. :)
     
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  11. Longwalker

    Longwalker AH Enthusiast

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    I think that a hunter should hunt with whatever makes him comfortable and more effective. This conversion IS highly unusual, but not unreasonable.
     
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  12. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH Legend

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    Except that the request is to make something inherently less safe. Presently the firearm can be safely unloaded while the firing pin is disabled, with the two position flag safety conversion back to 1898 design the gun will be cocked and loaded in an unsafe position in order to unload it. These are the inherent safety flaws of the Mauser design that were overcome through much consideration over the past 110 years. The superior design currently installed also allows for a lower scope mount which aids rapid target acquisition which can save a life and greatly reduces recoil as a lower mount allows for a better cheek weld.

    That, and that to undo the sublime current three position safety necessitates a lot of replacement parts as the existing firing pin has been milled and a new bolt shroud must be found along with a two position safety flag and the odds of those mating up perfectly from a donor rifle are slim. I'm not aware of any gunsmith that would make these new parts from scratch and fit them for less than $500-$1000 and most would not take on the liability of making a gun less safe than it was when it arrived. The gunsmith that accepts the work deserves to lose everything they've ever worked for in litigation if a gun made less safe by them harms someone.

    This is no different than when I try to buy a luxury sports car (I don't fit) and I ask the front seat be removed, rails cut, and reinstalled further back. I've undermined the original safety certification of the vehicle. I've changed the operating geometry where the seat belt meets the neck of the occupant. I've greatly diminished the strength of the welded rails under the seat. I've removed stuffing and wire from the seat for more room at the expense of loss of whiplash prevention features. For all the above reasons, no reputable company in the world does this work on any car, especially not on Labron James' Ferrari spyder gts 360. This is dark back alley work in hard cash with no receipts. That's how it gets done.

    The OP is asking for that same dark, back alley work as my Ferrari example but there isn't even a functional justitification like there is in my parallel example (I.e. Too tall to fit in sportscar).
     

  13. CTDolan

    CTDolan AH Elite

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    "Except that the request is to make something inherently less safe. Presently the firearm can be safely unloaded while the firing pin is disabled, with the two position flag safety conversion back to 1898 design the gun will be cocked and loaded in an unsafe position in order to unload it. These are the inherent safety flaws of the Mauser design that were overcome through much consideration over the past 110 years. The superior design currently installed also allows for a lower scope mount which aids rapid target acquisition which can save a life and greatly reduces recoil as a lower mount allows for a better cheek weld."

    The original Mauser safety is 3-position and is as it is for a very good set of reasons (and is every bit as safe as the Winchester, et al). However, it’s definitely not amenable to the use of optics. Therefore, conversions abound. That said, though, the original Mauser remains my strong favorite (and, as I pretty much never use a scope, for me it’s a non-issue).

    Should you wish to convert back to the original Mauser safety, from the more common horizontal 3-position, you‘ll need a new bolt shroud and cocking piece. And yes, it won't be cheap (unless, of course, yours is a Mauser rifle having been previously converted to the Winchester design, in which case it'll be a relatively easy and inexpensive change).
     
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  14. JTEX

    JTEX AH Veteran

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    "Except that the request is to make something inherently less safe. Presently the firearm can be safely unloaded while the firing pin is disabled, with the two position flag safety conversion back to 1898 design the gun will be cocked and loaded in an unsafe position in order to unload it"

    That is not correct. With the Mauser flag safety in the middle position the bolt can be cycled with the firing pin locked.
     
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  15. CTDolan

    CTDolan AH Elite

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    Correct, as mentioned the original (Mauser wing safety) is a 3-position design and is as reliable as any to have ever existed.
     
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  16. JTEX

    JTEX AH Veteran

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    To take it even one step further.... most Winchester style side swing safeties fitted to a mauser are not really three position at all. They are two position. While they are two position they "can" be left in a middle position, sorta...... Making them much less safe than the original flag type that was made to be truly three position.
     

  17. JTEX

    JTEX AH Veteran

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    To get back to the OP......

    It is a very simple thing to do what you ask...changing a Winchester type safety back to the original mausers flag type. All you need is an original 98 shroud and a flag type safety lever and probably but not certainly a replacement cocking piece. All readily available from numrich arms for less than$80.00. No special tools, you can find how to do it on you tube. Simple project.
     

  18. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    The process of swapping out the shroud and lever is simple, but care must be taken with the fitting; the danger is when the safety is "on" it must press the firing pin back off of the trigger sear. If it doesn't engage, the safety is "on" the trigger pressed, the firing pin drops past the trigger sear and is caught by the safety, but then when the safety is turned of "off" it releases the firing pin and since it is already past the trigger sear, it falls forward onto the primer, resulting in an unintended discharge.
     
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  19. The Engineer

    The Engineer AH Member

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    If you have an pre 64 Winchester Model 70 and know someone who has a Model 54 Winchester you could see if the shroud/safety would interchange as I believe the Model 54 had a flag safety.
     

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