How safe are safteys?

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by Hillbilly ZA, Mar 21, 2020.

  1. Hillbilly ZA

    Hillbilly ZA AH Member

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    Hi Folks,

    I have a question about double rifles which applies to all makes except Keighoff and Blaser... (I think).

    How safe is a safety? when you have two cocked firing pins, under tension, waiting to fall into two loaded chambers?

    The reason I ask this question is as follows...

    My mentor, who I have a huge amount of respect for, who taught me all about firearms and how to hunt, also taught me there is one rule about a safety... Never trust a safety.
    However, I was taught to shoot and hunt with bolt action rifles, not, unfortunately, with doubles.

    Now, logic tells me that the most famous firearm houses in the world have been making double rifles for a hundred and ?? years, and certainly in all this time they must have devised ways to make a loaded double rifle 100% safe to carry around cocked and loaded...? Well that is what my logic wants me to believe anyway.
    But I have very limited experience with double rifles.

    So I pose my question to the experienced double rifle hunters here on this forum.
    How comfortable do you feel carrying a loaded, cocked, double with the safety on?
    Do you carry it loaded like that all day with other people around you?
    What if it gets bumped or dropped...?

    Are there different types of internal safety mechanisms used for different internal designs of rifles?
    Are some makes better then others in this regard?

    I am a trails guide and I am considering a double rifle for daily use walking in dangerous game areas. The combi cocking devise of the Krighoff seems 100% safe, but I unfortunately cant afford one of those.
    At best I might be able to afford a well used older second hand double, of what ever make happens to come along in my affordable price category. And when it comes along I need to know if I can trust its saftey enough to walk with clients all day long...

    Many thanks for your comments,

    HB
     
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  2. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Good question. Just in the last few years, one PH has had his arm shot off below the elbow by a client with a double, and another shot through the shoulder (with extensive permanent damage) by a celebrity client using a bolt gun. Nothing wrong mechanically with either rifle - a lot wrong with the respective clients. With respect to a double, you treat them just like a SxS or OU shotgun. When stopped and taking a break, or in your case when describing local fauna or flora to your group, open the rifle and keep it open until time to move out. Should something angry show up out of nowhere while providing your lecture, it can closed and aimed very quickly. When moving out, like walking up pheasants with an OU or SxS, the gun is on safe and the muzzles always in absolute control pointing away from anyone in the party. It is why I despise the muzzle forward "African Carry" for anyone but the first man in line.

    You might look around for a Blaser S2. I love mine, and they don't command the same price as a Krieghoff.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2020
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  3. IvW

    IvW AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Any firearm is just as safe as the operator makes it.

    You hunt with me, as soon as a round goes in the chamber the firearm will be in both your hands. If you are right handed off to the left if left handed off to the right.

    No mechanical safety is 100% safe, irrespective of design.

    When guiding and not hunting then....

    I also guide on DG foot safaris, I never ever carry a loaded rifle in the "African safari" mode, no need for it...neither is there a need for a DR when doing so. Carry a bolt action in an appropriate caliber. If you know what you are doing, more than enough time to chamber a round when things go south....never lead a foot/photographic safari with a rifle with a loaded chamber...no need for it if you know what you are doing.....

    Shit hits the fan. you made a mistake, cycle the action and sort it out and hope you keep your right to guide if it is not justified.....

    Hard for me to imagine the justification on foot safari to carry a chambered rifle(double or bolt) and then end up in a situation where you have to shoot whatever in defense of yourself or your clients.
     
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  4. IvW

    IvW AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Use a bolt action....for guiding on "trails"...or photographic foot safaris.

    Have strict rules with regards to group size and what they wear while out in the bush...
     

  5. kurpfalzjäger

    kurpfalzjäger AH Enthusiast

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    I agree with you.

    I never do "African or Rhodesian carry" with a loaded rifle , even if it is on safe.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2020
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  6. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    One of the reasons I have the K gun.
    Philip
     
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  7. Bruce

    Bruce AH Elite

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    BASIC rules ALWAYS apply..
    1) Treat all firearms as loaded
    2) Always point the firearm in a SAFE DIRECTION.
    3) Keep your finger OFF the trigger until ready to shoot.
    4) Know your target and what's behind it.
    PS I agree with IvW ... Use a bolt action for tour guiding!!!
     
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  8. crs

    crs AH Fanatic

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    Red Leg summed it up for double gun and rifle safety- whether hunting birds, rabbits, big game, or shooting clays. Be safe rather than sorry.
     

  9. Jfet

    Jfet AH Elite

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    1. Always point the barrel of a firearm in a safe directions.
    2. Always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
    3. Always treat all firearms as loaded.

    These and many others rules are your safeties
     
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  10. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Elite

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    This is why I really like the Blaser and Krieghoff systems of decocking.
    Not sure if there are other companies making a similar system on a double rifle.
    Probably why the Blaser S2 and K-double guns command the price they do as well.

    What is interesting is that there are several Kiplauff rifles available with a similar system.
    They are available from Merkel (K5), Haenel (Jaeger 9) and I'm sure a few others.
    Wonder why they don't offer this on a double.
     

  11. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I caught this Double Rifle safety demonstration by a PH in a recent video uploaded to AH.



    Screen Shot 2020-03-22 at 08.22.48.png
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020
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  12. Bruce

    Bruce AH Elite

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    Yip.. Also picked that one up!
    It's called COMPLACENCY!!!
     
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  13. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Brickburn, you're joking right?
     

  14. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Safeties are mechanical, all mechanical things can fail. Some safeties may be better than others, but even those are only safe until they are not.
     

  15. CBH Australia

    CBH Australia AH Fanatic

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    I grew up on that rule. Never trust the safety!
    I teach the same if I’m instructing a new shooter. They probably work ok and may not fail but if it does fail and cause injury then you are liable.
    We have heard I didn’t know the gun was loaded or the safety was on.
    We need to be careful and responsible. Never trust the safety is just good practice.
    A quote that I heard when being assessed for work provided firearms was something like “ When you make the decision to fir e the shot you set in motion a series of irreversible events that you and you alone are responsible for”
    Possibly adopted from military I’m not sure. Regardless of our personal experience it’s something to remember alongside the previously stated rules, and if you don’t trust a safety you are taking further precaution.
     
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  16. WebleyGreene455

    WebleyGreene455 AH Enthusiast

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    "Africa Carry" makes zero sense to me and just goes against all my common sense when handling a rifle. Especially when considering this: Yesterday on a long walk in 80-ish-degree temperatures, the hand gripping my stick got sweaty within 20 minutes. Holding a probably-already-slick steel rifle barrel in hotter, dryer temperatures where your body can and will sweat easier? Gonna risk loosing your grip all the faster.
     

  17. IvW

    IvW AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    A double rifle in those wide open spaces....What exactly they hunting? DG mountain reedbuck with a DR as back up rifle....need I say more....

    The P in PH stands for Professional, obviously not applicable to all....
     
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  18. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Can't make it up.
     

  19. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I will go against the grain here on African carry. I like it and do it. Muzzle directions is just as paramount as any other means of carry. You have to be aware of its direction at all times regardless method. Obviously you don't point your muzzle dead ahead when using this carry unless as RedLeg says, you are in front.

    I also like the upside down method for a scoped rifle. The scope makes it awkward to grasp the rifle at balance point, but upside down, your hand can wrap the mag area with fingers between rifle and scope.

    The 'Dan'l Boone' cradle works too but there again you have to be careful, especially when stooping or leaning to get thru thickets, its easy to have the muzzle go off in all directions.
    Carry method is the least of worries. Its paying attention. About the only carry I don't use is port arms, pretty useless in the field.

    The real safety is between our ears.
     

  20. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Just took the screen shot. No joke.
    I just about fell over when I saw it.

    If you want to watch impeccable gun handling; Watch the client. She was awesome.
     

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