Rifle Mechanical Safety 101
*When a shooter’s safety is operating “normally” on any gun, be it factory or custom, please be aware: “Normally” would indicate that the safety is operating as it was intended. This brings up a basic discussion of using mechanical safeties.
*In a bolt action rifle when a live round is left in the chamber, with the bolt closed, the action is “cocked” and the firing pin is pointed directly at a live primer! The firearm is configured to FIRE, despite any other outside influences, like a mechanical safety.
*It is important to remember that a safe firearm is achieved through safe handling techniques. To insure a bolt action firearm is safe with a live round in the chamber it is only necessary to raise the bolt handle. A bolt action firearm cannot fire with the bolt handle raised.
*FIREARMS can and DO discharge when safety levers are moved from “SAFE” to “FIRE”! Personally, I will never place a safety lever in the “SAFE” position with a live round in the chamber.
Do not rely on a mechanical safety to do your job for you – best safety practices include always making sure the muzzle is always pointed in a safe direction – even if you are using a mechanical safety, even if you are certain your weapon is unloaded.
*It is especially important to instruct youngsters in safe firearm handling techniques with a live round in the chamber.
Thanks & be Safe!