How safe are safteys?

Gsxrmike

AH veteran
Joined
Mar 7, 2013
Messages
149
Reaction score
208
Location
Texas
Media
8
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life member, SCI, DSC
Hunted
Zimbabwe, USA
Never put absolute trust in any safety. Years ago I was practicing cycling a Model 70 I was planning to take to Africa. I was at home using snap caps.
I flipped off the three position safety and I heard the firing pin drop. Scariest snap I ever heard. I tried it numerous times and about once out of every 6 tries it would “fire”. I took it to a gunsmith to get the safety replaced. Always make sure the gun is pointed in a safe direction when you disengage a safety.
 

CBH Australia

AH elite
Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
1,837
Reaction score
2,525
Location
NSW Australia
Media
16
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
Sporting Shooters Association Australia, Africa Hunting website!!!
Hunted
Australia and now South Africa
A4B35D06-FA52-4ED7-8D2F-9F1AB6D8E756.jpeg
I caught this Double Rifle safety demonstration by a PH in a recent video uploaded to AH.



View attachment 337415
 

Opposite Pole

AH elite
Joined
Jun 6, 2017
Messages
1,342
Reaction score
2,186
Location
Warsaw & Sydney
Media
100
Member of
SSAA; PZŁ, KŁ Sęp
Hunted
Australia, Poland
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.

Some other break action single shots with decocker are Krieghoff Hubertus, Blaser K95, and all of the gorgeous Johann Fanzoj ones. I’m sure there are more. The design is beginning to be used by other manufacturers too, Steyr uses it for bolt action now as well.

I can’t bring myself to trust a safety. It’s a mechanical feature and mechanisms fail sometimes. I have witnessed a gun go off when the safety was being switched off with a finger well outside the trigger guard. It was at the range with the rifle resting on a sand bag and pointing towards the targets. Other safety rules were followed and no one was hurt. Except the rifle owner that is, he got absolutely terrified. I mean he was unable to shoot anymore that day his hands were shaking so much. So shocking was the experience to him he now only chambers a round when he’s about to fire and preaches to everyone to do the same. Granted we do not deal with DG here.

I carry my O/U shotgun broken and slam it shut when about to fire. I have missed a pheasant once because of it. I think it’s a worthwhile trade off knowing I won’t hurt someone.

Once the primer ignites things cannot be stopped. As mentioned before in this thread and number of others, the real safety is in between the shooter’s ears.
 

BeeMaa

AH legend
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
3,190
Reaction score
5,775
Location
Alexandria, VA USA
Media
109
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life Member, SCI
Hunted
Eastern US & RSA
Some other break action single shots with decocker are Krieghoff Hubertus, Blaser K95, and all of the gorgeous Johann Fanzoj ones. I’m sure there are more. The design is beginning to be used by other manufacturers too, Steyr uses it for bolt action now as well.

I can’t bring myself to trust a safety. It’s a mechanical feature and mechanisms fail sometimes. I have witnessed a gun go off when the safety was being switched off with a finger well outside the trigger guard. It was at the range with the rifle resting on a sand bag and pointing towards the targets. Other safety rules were followed and no one was hurt. Except the rifle owner that is, he got absolutely terrified. I mean he was unable to shoot anymore that day his hands were shaking so much. So shocking was the experience to him he now only chambers a round when he’s about to fire and preaches to everyone to do the same. Granted we do not deal with DG here.

I carry my O/U shotgun broken and slam it shut when about to fire. I have missed a pheasant once because of it. I think it’s a worthwhile trade off knowing I won’t hurt someone.

Once the primer ignites things cannot be stopped. As mentioned before in this thread and number of others, the real safety is in between the shooter’s ears.
I knew about the Blaser K95 and Krieghoff Hubertus.
Only reason I left them out is the OP said "all makes except Keighoff and Blaser..."
Been lusting after a K95 for quite a while.

I understand that rifles are mechanical and mechanical parts do fail.
However when uncocking the Blaser rifle, you can feel the spring decompress.
I feel confident carrying the rifle with the chamber loaded and decocked.
 

bruce moulds

AH legend
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
2,989
Reaction score
4,512
there seem to be different safety rules by some in some parts of Africa.
pictures abound of guys standing with the butt on the ground and 1 or 2 hands on the muzzle(s).
pictures and videos of muzzles swinging or pointing at people with no apparent concern by either party.
this includes innocent trackers!
what other workplace would allow such disregard for worker safety?
a lot of the unawareness of muzzle pointing equates to the over the shoulder muzzle forward carry.
if you are the guy in front, not so much an issue.
when a gun does off, it is a fraction of a second thing, and the result can be awfully permanent, even if it does not result in death.
you cannot un do it.
the pictures we see of such transgressions of basic safety seem to reinforce in some minds that safety does not REALLY matter.
being safe is a responsibility that goes with firearms handling, and does not detract from the experience in any way.
there is no room in this job for playing with yourself.
most responsible shooters avoid being with those who are not, and there is no 1/2 way in safety.
safety is the crux of the matter, but this comes from respect for others in many ways.
bruce.
 

Bearbait1

AH senior member
Joined
Feb 16, 2020
Messages
95
Reaction score
124
Hunting reports
Africa
1
I thought it was just customary to point your rifle at others while hunting in Africa. Watching African hunting shows they don’t go 5 minutes without someone pointing their rifle at someone else.
 

Bearbait1

AH senior member
Joined
Feb 16, 2020
Messages
95
Reaction score
124
Hunting reports
Africa
1
As a teenager I was hunting quail with a sxs 20ga and after shooting and reloading I closed the action and 1 barrel fired. My dad was sure I must have hit the trigger so he tried it and the same thing happened. One of the firing pins was stuck in the fire position so it would automatically fire when the action was closed.
 

Opposite Pole

AH elite
Joined
Jun 6, 2017
Messages
1,342
Reaction score
2,186
Location
Warsaw & Sydney
Media
100
Member of
SSAA; PZŁ, KŁ Sęp
Hunted
Australia, Poland
I understand that rifles are mechanical and mechanical parts do fail.
However when uncocking the Blaser rifle, you can feel the spring decompress.
I feel confident carrying the rifle with the chamber loaded and decocked.

Yes but the Blaser design is not a safety but a decocker. I typically carry my R8 with a round chambered as I do my Krieghoff double. Both are safe as they are not cocked. I still follow usual safety rules and avoid pointing the gun at anyone. The safety of my other firearms however, I do not trust. This is just my opinion on the matter. Perhaps this is all in my head but even with handguns I comfortably carry my P229 round chambered and hammer down, but couldn’t bring myself to carry a G19 with a chambered round and ended up selling it.


Been lusting after a K95 for quite a while.

Good to know it’s not just me ;-]
 

IvW

AH legend
Joined
Dec 20, 2016
Messages
3,938
Reaction score
7,953
Location
South Africa
Media
62
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
BASA, CHASA
Hunted
South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia,Zambia
I thought it was just customary to point your rifle at others while hunting in Africa. Watching African hunting shows they don’t go 5 minutes without someone pointing their rifle at someone else.

Not with me they wont...loaded or not...
 

discap

AH member
Joined
Oct 22, 2015
Messages
17
Reaction score
20
Location
Wichita, KS
Member of
SCI
Hunted
USA ,Mexico, Namibia, Argentina, Texas
Hmmm surprised I am the first one to address this but here goes. I don't trust safeties on most guns, but there are exceptions. Here is a gunsmith perspective

The vast majority of safeties are simply devices that keep the trigger from being pulled. Included in this list are most (but not all) boxlock rifles and shotguns, most bolt action rifles and the occasional sidelock shotgun.

Most sidelock shotguns and rifles have not only the trigger blocking mechanism but also a hammer blocking mechanism often called an "intercepting sear". On a typical SxS the "safety" that you work with your thumb simply slides a block over the trigger to prevent an accidental pull. Internally there is a "hammer block" that prevents the hammer from hitting the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled simultaneously. Always an exception. I have two FAMARS Castore sidelock hammer guns and neither has the "intercepting sear". I also have a very high grade Francotte sideplated boxlock that has intercepting sears.

The only thing that keeps the hammer from falling on any gun is the contact between the sear and the hammer. This contact point is no thicker than you thumbnails. So just imagine that your nails are pressing the edges against each other, you move one and it loses contact and bang. If you drop the gun there is nothing (on most guns) to keep the sear from disengaging and allowing the hammer to fall.

So for me a trigger block is only slightly more effective than the trigger guard. An intercepting sear is a real safety device.

Still carry my guns open until needed. Many don't have a "thumb safety". I shoot mostly damascus hammer guns.

Bill
 

IvW

AH legend
Joined
Dec 20, 2016
Messages
3,938
Reaction score
7,953
Location
South Africa
Media
62
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
BASA, CHASA
Hunted
South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia,Zambia

IvW

AH legend
Joined
Dec 20, 2016
Messages
3,938
Reaction score
7,953
Location
South Africa
Media
62
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
BASA, CHASA
Hunted
South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia,Zambia
Only real safety devise is between your ears......
You point any firearm loaded unloaded on safe irrespective of what safety it is you will have it from my side paying client or not.....
 

tarawa

AH veteran
Joined
May 29, 2009
Messages
219
Reaction score
35
Media
14
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
3
Member of
SCI, NRA
Hunted
USA, Canada
I like the way my hammer guns work. Rebounding hanmmers. I always carry them un-cocked. The hammers can’t drop unless the triggers are pulled. I still follow all the safety rules.
 

mark-hunter

AH legend
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
2,232
Reaction score
3,003
Media
30
Articles
2
Hunted
Namibia - Kalahari, Namibia - Khomas highland
Having in mind, to carry a double rifle break open, as @Red Leg has mentioned, I have a question for carrying a bolt action.
Has anybody tried, used, practised or suggested as PH (with focus on african safari) to ask the client to have a round chambered, but bolt handle in upper postion, and bolt actually being unlocked - making it impossible to fire accidental shot, even with faulty safety.

In this case to make rifle ready to fire, it will require only turning the bolt down?

I know for a case when a hunter has installed low scope on mauser 98 rifle, with wing safety on the bolt.
This safety can not be operated due to scope position, so he was suggested (by gunsmith) just to carry with unlocked bolt, as "it will be even more safe", then to rely on trigger type of safety.

In another case, same type of rifle, my friend has just installed trigger with trigger safety, ignoring the wing safety, and rendering it out of use. But in the same time, relaying on functional trigger safety. (which in my opinion is less safe then wing safety, or unlocked or open bolt)
 

bowjijohn

AH veteran
Joined
Oct 27, 2020
Messages
128
Reaction score
335
Media
2
Articles
1
I knew about the Blaser K95 and Krieghoff Hubertus.
Only reason I left them out is the OP said "all makes except Keighoff and Blaser..."
Been lusting after a K95 for quite a while.

I understand that rifles are mechanical and mechanical parts do fail.
However when uncocking the Blaser rifle, you can feel the spring decompress.
I feel confident carrying the rifle with the chamber loaded and decocked.
I was running “charge box” drills this week with some clients.

I usually run these drills with Mauser 98 action rifles

For the first time we ran the drills with an R8 in .22lr - backstops were not suitable for magnum calibre

we still had the rifle with closed bolt over empty chamber and the cocking device in fire position - much as I would a standard CRF action

even with the R8 I cannot bring myself to carry a rifle with a round up the spout
 

BeeMaa

AH legend
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
3,190
Reaction score
5,775
Location
Alexandria, VA USA
Media
109
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life Member, SCI
Hunted
Eastern US & RSA
I knew about the Blaser K95 and Krieghoff Hubertus.

I was running “charge box” drills this week with some clients.

I usually run these drills with Mauser 98 action rifles

For the first time we ran the drills with an R8 in .22lr - backstops were not suitable for magnum calibre

we still had the rifle with closed bolt over empty chamber and the cocking device in fire position - much as I would a standard CRF action

even with the R8 I cannot bring myself to carry a rifle with a round up the spout
Everyone has a preference and it’s completely understandable that you would prefer what you are most comfortable with.

I would say that whenever handling a firearm, there are inherent risks. What one determines an “acceptable level” of risk is also a very personal decision. However, there have been technologically advancements to reduce the risk. There was a time when there was no “safety” on a rifle at all.

Nothing is fool proof. Common sense still applies. Although it seems to much less common in recent years. We are handling firearms…act accordingly.
 

Bert the Turtle

AH fanatic
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
883
Reaction score
1,179
Media
5
Muzzle control is the only safety I trust- I can tell if you are pointing a weapon at me or not. As far as I'm concerned, the only purpose of a safety (decockers like a Blaser or an actual firing pin blocking design aside) is to keep the weapon from firing if the trigger gets caught on brush or some such (which is why I've never understood the point of a safety in the trigger such as on a Glock). If it fires, muzzle control should ensure no harm comes of it but it will spoil the hunting for a while.

african carry is a vestige of a different era and makes perfect sense in the context of a gun bearer. He walks in front of you with the rifle already pointed in the generally right direction. It is a fast way to get into action when someone else is carrying the rifle for you. Unfortunately, it is still practiced by people who have long since forgotten why it was done that way in the first place. It is a slow way to get into action if you are carrying your own rifle. But it looks cool.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
38,689
Messages
748,102
Members
70,730
Latest member
TabathaSch
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

eballo wrote on doubleboy's profile.
Is the Parker still for sale?
hunt 65 wrote on Bullthrower338's profile.
You ever sell the Hyme 458 Lott?
Bob Nelson 35Whelen wrote on jwp475's profile.
@jwp475
If you need help with your Whelen loads please PM me
Bob
xausa wrote on Challer's profile.
I don't know where you're located, but I'd be happy to let you try out my Krieghoff. I'm located in West Tennessee and the local gun club has a skeet layout and is located not far from my farm. We're about five miles from the Kentucky state line and about 100 miles west of Nashville.
I just joined today, I live in Louisiana. I joined mostly because of all of the 35 Whelen discussion as I am now very interested In the 35 Whelen. I have an 1885 Highwall that J.E.S.S. rebored to 35 Whelen

Also own 338s 375 and both a 416 rem and Rigby
 
Top