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Safety ON? Safety OFF?
By Popular Demand: Discussions related to Varmint Hunting
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Handloader
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Joined: Aug 22, 2005
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Location: Phoenix, Arizona

PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:56 pm    Post subject: Safety ON? Safety OFF? Reply with quote

When I am on a stand I usually am sitting with the safety in the off position. I have found that most safeties will make enough of a click sound that it will startle an incoming coyote, so I reworked the safeties on two rifles and found that they are too easily moved off safety when in the field hunting. Pushing down on the safety with force will minimize the click but it is still too loud when those yotes are under 20 yards or so.

I hunt with only three other callers and they all sit on stand with the safety off as well. We have hunted together for years and have discussed this amongst ourselves.

When you are on stand is the safety ON or OFF?
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tbox61
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 6:12 am    Post subject: Re: Safety ON? Safety OFF? Reply with quote

Handloader,
Safety on for me! After teaching Hunter Ed for 15 years, we obviously drill into the students, 'Safety on, until you properly identify your target and right before you shoot!'. I stop all of my close coyotes with a bark or whistle anyway, so the sound of the safety coming off, in my case, is not an issue.
Tim

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LittleMagnum
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 6:25 am    Post subject: Re: Safety ON? Safety OFF? Reply with quote

My safety is on, and I think in 99.9 % of the time hunters should have theirs on. Tracking a wounded BEAR all alone, safety would be off. Because I would be going so slow, there would be no way I could slip and fall.
I was Bear hunting over bait and the guide wanted safety off once you were settled in the stand. He said at 20 yards it wasn't worth the noise, plus he said, you pay attention a little more with gun on your lap and safety off.
Taking your safety off at stand, means you need to put it back on before you move. How many times, has you gun slip/slided or hit the ground on stand. It's happen to me more then once. Gun Leaning on a tree. Yes, if the gun is in your hands no big deal.
Biggest problem with safety off is, what happens if you get startled/spooked...............can we say BANG !
Put that coyote in your scope, slide the safety off, if you miss it's you not the safety fault. I think it's Bad Advise and un-safe to have hunters on stand with safety's off and no game in sight.
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popgun
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 10:08 am    Post subject: Re: Safety ON? Safety OFF? Reply with quote

I have to join the side of Safety On. There is flipping the safety off and making a heck of a click. Then there is easing the safety off and not making a noise that critters can hear.
Like the famous hunter, Elmer Fudd, said "You have to be vewwy vewwy quiet".

Keep that safety on.
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robfromaz1977
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 10:56 am    Post subject: Re: Safety ON? Safety OFF? Reply with quote

I HAVE TO SAY LEAVE THE SAFETY ON. I WONT HUNT WITH SOMEONE WHO DOESNT. I ONCE HAD A FRIEND THAT HUNTED THIS WAY AND WHEN I TOLD HIM IT MADE ME UNCOMFORTABLE HE DIDNT LIKE IT. SO INSTEAD OF LEAVING THE SAFETY OFF HE DECIDED TO LEAVE THE BOLT OF HIS RIFLE OPEN WITH A ROUND IN THE CHAMBER. WELL TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT, HE WAS SO USED TO JUST PULLING UP HIS RIFLE AND SHOOTING THAT HE ONCE FORGOT THE BOLT WAS OPEN WHEN HE WAS DEER HUNTING AND BY THE TIME HE FIGURED OUT WHY HIS GUN WOULDNT FIRE THE NICE BUCK NOTICED HIM AND FLEW OUT OF THERE. LIKE POPGUN SAID "KEEP THAT SAFETY ON".
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shrpshtrjoe
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 1:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Safety ON? Safety OFF? Reply with quote

Howdy. Safety on I would rather spook the game then take a chance.

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Handloader
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Safety ON? Safety OFF? Reply with quote

Thanks for your observations and you are all unaminous that the safety should be in the ON position. We get lots of varmint callers in at our gun store and polled them on the matter as well; here the results of 28 customers was divided 50-50. Keep in mind the question was "If you are on a stand calling for coyotes/bobcats with experienced callers, do you leave your safety in the ON or OFF position?"

Many times I am on stand with a revolver and, perhaps, you may use them as well to dispatch the coyotes that may get in close enough. Revolvers have the same real safety that a rifle has -- the trigger. Or you may use a Glock or a Sig, both of which are point and shoot handguns without trigger safeties. My Model 25, 45 Colt, has a double action trigger pull of 6lbs, a tad more than my favorite varmint rifle. The point being, outside of academic discussions, what is the difference? Few hunters I know that use revolvers miss having a safety.

This is not meant to be argumentative rather, perhaps, a bit contrarian. When I have guided elk and deer hunters, many feel they are violating one of the Ten Commandments by sitting on a stand with the safety OFF, afterall, that is the way most of us were trained. And, I agree, when walking about and hunting the safety should be ON. OTOH I see no problem on stands with it OFF as the real safety is the human brain and adhereing to the standard of keeping one's finger off the trigger until the target is acquired. I believe that far too many people rely on the safety of a firearm to prevent ADs and I have seen a few too many safeties that were defective.

Sometimes I have observed people becoming a tad too complacent because they believed in their firearm's safety and got a little careless in letting the muzzle cross human flesh inadvertently. It doesn't matter if the gun is loaded or not, on Safe or not, muzzles don't cross unintended targets and fingers are never on triggers unless it is for a declared dry fire or to destroy (hit) something. Many times customers with less than formal training come into the store with loaded weapons and are usually unaware of same. These are the critical issues IMO that if they were fully understood would eliminate the need for a Safety on any firearms in the first place. But, I admit that is a minority viewpoint.

Keep it safe.

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grimel
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 9:42 am    Post subject: Re: Safety ON? Safety OFF? Reply with quote

Well, I don't care how you do it, if you follow the rules of gun safety it does NOT matter.

I do, how ever, take exception to drilling into hunter's ed students safety on until ... what the heck is that? How about just sticking to the basics like keep your finger off the trigger until ....?

NEVER EVER depend on a mechanical device for gun safety.

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tbox61
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 9:54 am    Post subject: Re: Safety ON? Safety OFF? Reply with quote

Grimel,
I agree with you on the safety part. Guess what I failed to imply was that 'safety on, (finger off of the trigger), until you property identify your target and right before you shoot'. Sorry for the confusion, as we ALWAYS stress that a safety is a mechanical device that can fail, in fact it is a test question on our Kansas test.
Tim

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Blaine
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 5:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Safety ON? Safety OFF? Reply with quote

Safety ON......even though it is only a mechanical device and can fail, if a gun is dropped, there is far less chance of it discharging if the safety is ON. A possible missed shot opportunity is not reason enough to chance a fatal accident.....period.

Blaine

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mikekuzara
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 6:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Safety ON? Safety OFF? Reply with quote

I always hunt with the safety off. Of course I also hunt with a Springfield 30-06 and always close the bolt with the trigger depressed, lowering the firing pin. When I get ready to shoot I have to lift up the bolt handle and lower it again to cock the firing pin. My other gun is a NEF Handi Rifle, so there is no safety, you have to cock the hammer. I never climb into or out of anything with a bullet in the chamber, so I would have to vote safety off in the particular circumstance of a stand while coyote hunting. Of course, out here in Wyoming, you rarely see another person while coyote hunting, let alone have a chance to send a shot in ther direction.

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grimel
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 7:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Safety ON? Safety OFF? Reply with quote

tbox61 wrote:
Grimel,
I agree with you on the safety part. Guess what I failed to imply was that 'safety on, (finger off of the trigger), until you property identify your target and right before you shoot'. Sorry for the confusion, as we ALWAYS stress that a safety is a mechanical device that can fail, in fact it is a test question on our Kansas test.
Tim

I feel better now. Getting busted with the finger on the trigger when not shooting is grounds for losing the rifle for a few weeks.

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with seven hundred dollars and his thirty ought six.

Lindy Cooper Wisdom

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 7:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Safety ON? Safety OFF? Reply with quote

As a still hunter I keep my finger off the trigger and my thumb on the engaged safety during the stalk. When I near and identify my target the safety comes off and I continue the stalk. If I'm using my .30-30 Win. The hammer is at half cock and the lever is down a bit activation the trigger block. I can apply pressure to the lever and pull the trigger and bring the hammer to full cock in that order without making a sound when I am ready to shoot...The safety is always on at the carry. I do, however, believe that the only safety on any firearm is the person carrying the firearm.

I agree with tbox61 as far as the safety being "a mechanical device designed to fail"

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roklok
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 8:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Safety ON? Safety OFF? Reply with quote

as I see it the difference between a 6 pound trigger on a revolver and a rifle is a huge one. Two stage rifle triggers aside most rifles fire with a very small trigger movement while a revolver ( or a double action pistol) although similar in pull weight require a deliberate long pull to fire.I have carried a S&W 640 .357 DAO in a in the pants holster daily for ten years,I wouldnt dream of sticking a loaded rifle with the safety off down my pants!!! As for lowering the firing pin on a loaded bolt action and lifting the bolt handle to cock,this is not safe either as the firing pin is resting on the primer and a jolt could cause a discharge.
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grimel
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2005 1:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Safety ON? Safety OFF? Reply with quote

You might want to think about the firing pin resting on the primer comment. There is the firing pin spring to consider (and for any jars to overcome).

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with seven hundred dollars and his thirty ought six.

Lindy Cooper Wisdom

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