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Discussion Starter #1
I own a Marlin 336 and I find the cross-bolt safety to be a pretty good design. The safety seems to me to be the ideal way to carry the weapon, i.e. "cocked & locked". Having taken Hunter's Safety courses, I've become aware that fiddling with a hammer is the most dangerous activity with a lever-gun. Ditto with a 1911.

But I hear all sorts of folks complaining about that safety. Cooking up schemes to remove it. Frankly, I don't understand.

Please educate me.

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Don't carry a hunting rifle with the chamber loaded, crossbolt safety or not. Usually rifles don't have a firing pin safety to prevent discharge if dropped. Carry chamber empty and cycle the lever when you need to shoot.

Crossbolt safeties are easy on, but they are also easy off. Besides that, the old 1800's guns didn't need them, and the 1900's didn't either until a bunch of lawyers sued Winchester.

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[This message has been edited by dsk (edited 12-08-2001).]
 

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If one likes the safety, fine. I don't. A lever-action rifle is properly carried with a round in the chamber and the hammer on half-cock (which, unlike on 1911 pistols, is a true safety notch). To fire, the hammer is cocked as the rifle is mounted, the sights are acquired, and the trigger pressed.

With the cross-bolt safety, doing as described will result in a shot being fired only if the safety is not engaged (and it may well have been bumped "on" inadvertantly). As to the notion of abandoning the traditional carry mode for the lever action and carrying "cocked and locked"; it can't be done. The safety does not "lock" the hammer. You can carry "cocked", but it's not "locked". If the trigger is bumped or otherwise pressed, the hammer will fall, without effect....UNLESS that cross-bolt safety has been bumped "off".

A fellow named Murphy will do his best to ensure that the "safety" is on when firing is desired and off when it's not.

All in all, the cross-bolt safety is a worthless and potentially dangerous addition to a weapon that has had a suitable manual-of-arms developed for it for more than a century.

Last, but not least, this superfluous safety is an insult and affront to qualified and capable shooters. It is a surrender to the idiots and the shysters who represent them when they hurt themselves through their own foolishness.

That's why I don't like them.

Rosco

P.S. One may certainly carry the lever action with an empty chamber and work the action to chamber a round while mounting the rifle. No less authority than Jeff Cooper recommends this mode in THE ART OF THE RIFLE. I respect and admire Jeff Cooper, but I disagree with him on this. Cooper was never a lever action afficionado...having cut his teeth on the bolt action. Carrying a lever gun with an empty chamber obliges one to make considerable noise readying the piece. This can spook game or bring lethal attention to bear on the noisemaker in a combative situation. Also, if one carries the rifle in this mode and if the rifle is prepared for taking a shot that subsequently isn't taken, it requires a great deal of tomfoolery to put the rifle back into one's preferred empty-chamber mode...so as to continue with the hunt or the fight.



[This message has been edited by Rosco Benson (edited 12-08-2001).]
 

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Rosco Benson, that was a great answer. I learned a lot from just a few paragraphs.
DAL
 

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i will preface this with the fact that i do not like the cross bolt. but i HAVE found one use for it, and in fact as of yet have yet to have it engaged (intentional or otherwise) except in this situation. i own a marlin 1894 and when removing the bolt to allow "from-the-chamber" cleaning, i engage the cross bolt, Marlin recomends this as a failsafe agaist damage if the hammer should fall while the bolt is out. for those who don't know, if the hammer falls without the bolt in place sever damage can result.

as i said as of yet i have not had the cross-bolt engage without my direct intervention. and i do not use it as a safety against discharge, as others have said that's what the half-cock notch is for.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all for your input on the matter. As I suspected, I disagree with 99% of your collective reasoning both from my years of experience with lever guns and accident facts.

There are of course only 3 rules to firearm safety and rule #3 must be violated in order to lower a hammer to half-cock. It is this violation that has resulted in the lever-gun being deemed the worst gun you can start a youngster on, even though they are usually the best handling firearms for the money.

Bird hunters who carry Remington shotguns are used to cross-bolt safeties. I don't read threads where 1100 owners remove their crossbolt safety.

I admire Mr. Cooper, and with most things he is right. But I see the value in the cross-bolt safety, if nothing more than to allow you to unload the gun.



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I would tend to share Rosco Benson's opinion for the reasons he states - and states very well at that.

But, I really just do not like cross-bolt safeties in general. They tend to be noisy, although you can "squeeze" them on/off using opposing controlling thumb and fingers. I really prefer the tang safeties on a shotgun (and some rifles like the first Ruger 77 rifles).

I especially do not like the ones on many guns located right behind the trigger. Not that I can not effectively use them, and I own, and have owned guns that have them. But I do not think that a safety device so close to the trigger is such a good idea (especially if you are wearing heavy gloves - or your hands/fingers just happen to be numb with cold).

I think the fact that such guns as the Marlin were produced and used for such long spans of time before they suddenly decided to add the "safety" speaks for itself - rather like the "firing pin locks" that have been added to some pistols.
 

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I hunt with a Marlin 45-70 Guide Gun. Carry it loaded, hammer back safety on. Took a doe at 60 yards last Saturday, no safety related problems. I find the safety to be of great benefit. Quick on,quick off when needed. I have never had an instance where it was bumped off or on by accident.
 

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Let's see......

1) They are really ugly.

2) "Lawyer" solution to a non-existent problem.

3) Did I mention they are really ugly?

:D Regards, NAA
 

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I am with LAK on this one. The idea of a safety that close to a trigger seems almost foolish IMO. (I don't know WHAT they were thinking when they built the safety for the SKS). I just don;t like the idea of reaching around near the trigger to manipulate the safety. I can imagine a scenereo where someone who is in attentive is staring at a nice 8 pointer while fumbling around for the safety and having an AD. :eek:
 

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Thank you, Dave. I just try to call 'em like I see 'em (trying to give all due credit to those who taught me how to "see 'em").

I appreciate your appreciation.

Rosco
 

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Being an old guy who has a life time of using Winchester and Marlin lever guns WITHOUT the cross bolt safety I find them annoying. I have never had a problem without it and I am very used to not having it to worry about. Bottom line, I use the half cock safety and ignore the cross bolt. I would prefer it was not even there. Watch-Six
 

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I'm with Roscoe about carrying a hunting rifle with an empty chamber. I've been a hunter for over 36 years. I have enough trouble getting game to stand still and wait on me without spooking it with the noise of opening and closing a bolt, racking a slide, operating a lever, or whatever.

As for cross bolt safeties location of the trigger guard, it's what I've used for most of those 36 years and I prefer it. A top tang safety, IMHO, is a wasted motion. There is no good reason for your thumb to be headed there in the absence of the safety. However, if you're going to fire your finger is on its way to the trigger guard anyway and it's a short stop to flick the safety on your way.

No NDs with crossbolts in 36 years. I'll stand on that record.

YMMV
Randy
 
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