reliability of safeties in the woods

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by mainecoon, Nov 28, 2014.

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  1. Fast Frank

    Fast Frank Member

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    One more opinion:

    I will only have a round in the chamber when the rifle is in my hands, under my direct control.

    If there is a need for a chambered round, that's where the rifle needs to be.

    I'm a believer in the four rules, and that I am the safety device that makes the rifle harmless.

    If the rifle is going to ride on the sling, it's chamber empty.
     
  2. Agsalaska

    Agsalaska Member

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    OK. BUt if you are sitting in a deer blind 30 minutes before sunup do you put the safety on?
     
  3. Agsalaska

    Agsalaska Member

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    ...
     
  4. Agsalaska

    Agsalaska Member

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    Yep.
     
  5. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    That is really the only way to carry a slung rifle in reasonably ready condition.
     
  6. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    I have the luxury of being the only hunter on my property. When actively hunting I carry a round in the chamber, safety on, unslung and held tight against my chest. The only time I sling my rifle is in the dark walking to a stand.
     
  7. Boxhead

    Boxhead Member

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    I do not walk with a round chambered in my rifle. Simple and fully safe.
     
  8. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    Which is, of course, perfectly fine.

    Until you come upon a shot at a deer and scare it off in the process chambering a round.

    Or until you find a need to rapidly respond to a dangerous predator and have to chamber a round first.

    However...if it works for you and what you hunt (or otherwise need a long gun for in the woods), more power to you.

    :)
     
  9. HexHead

    HexHead Member

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    Depends on the gun. With a Blaser R8, when you engage the safety, you also uncock the action and lock the bolt.
     
  10. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    That was always my thinking as well. Why go to the trouble to look for game if your equipment isn't ready when you find it? Chambering a round is noisy and makes a lot of game-spooking movement.

    As long as I keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction (which is easy when hunting alone) then whether I have the safety on or a round chambered is almost irrelevant in terms of human safety.

    Hunting is an inherently dangerous activity--after all you left home with the intent of killing something. The trick is to make sure it isn't you.
     
  11. patriot53

    patriot53 Member

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    Fine points...I hunt in BIG Bear , country, Grizzly, even large Blacks, Mountain Lion, Wolves
    Moose...no way I'm stepping out without one in the pipe.
     
  12. Davek1977

    Davek1977 Member

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    While hunting, I routinely carry muzzle up slung over the shoulder, round chambered. I cover a lot of ground on foot when hunting through varied terrain, and have never had an issue with this style of carry
     
  13. ford8nr

    ford8nr Member

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    ??

    The safety is on ANYTIME I'm I'm my blind, unless I'm ready to shoot.
     
  14. Ar180shooter

    Ar180shooter Member

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    Slung over my shoulder, chamber is empty, action locked.

    Stalking/walking with the rifle in hand, chamber loaded, safety on, action locked.

    In a stand/blind, safety on, action unlocked (with 3 position safety, to make it easier/quieter to get the safety off should a deer/bear come by).
     
  15. Davek1977

    Davek1977 Member

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    This...while I don't TRUST any mechanical safety, I do USE them, and the safety remains engaged until my finger is ready to squeeze the trigger. There's no logical, reasonable reason to have a round chambered, and the safety off, ANYTIME...let alone a 1/2 hour before you can actually even start hunting while hanging out in a deer blind. What purpose would such behavior serve?
     
  16. B!ngoFuelUSN

    B!ngoFuelUSN Member

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    Excellent comments. I agree completely though never really thought about unloading the chamber when climbing. I always felt that the 'belt and suspenders' of 4 rules and a safety was sufficient. But in order to keep earning my kids title of being a 'safety sally', I'll add the climbing/unloading thing as well. Seems like a good idea.
    Thanks,
    B
     
  17. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    I can think of a LOT more than a few times, that I would have went hungry, "IF" I had been walking around with the chamber on my rifle empty!!

    DM
     
  18. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    why?
     
  19. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    'Cause he didn't pack a lunch?

    Sorry...couldn't resist!

    I don't know about big game hunting, since all my experience has been on small game and varmint. I'll leave the opinions on that to others. But it's safe to say that if I went rabbit hunting without shells actually loaded in my .410 double barrel, I'd have never taken a single rabbit by having to load up just before the shot. Same if I used a rifle. It's challenging enough to hit a rabbit that's just been flushed out of the brush.

    Squirrel hunting would be different. I can see where I'd have time to chamber a round in one of my .22's due to the tree climbing behavior of squirrels.

    Varmint hunting would vary, depending on the nature of what I'm shooting and where I'm at. Hunting groundhogs across a large field wouldn't present a problem to load an empty chamber just before shooting. But alert predators like foxes or wild dogs would present more of a problem if a round wasn't chambered and ready to go.


    Even so...I wouldn't go hungry because I don't depend on hunting to provide a major source of food. I can't speak for anybody else, though.
     
  20. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    If you are still hunting for deer, you are walking, albeit at a very slow pace interrupted by a lot of scanning. You hunt loaded.

    Every bird hunter with a shotgun hunts loaded. It's ridiculous to even try it otherwise.

    What some are proposing is that they only are "hunting" when they set up an ambush site and then prepare their firing lane - which is a good tactic and exactly what blind and stand hunters do. Even for ground hog and sometime for squirrel. But that does take off the table those incidents when you inadvertently spook game who you didn't see on the way to that position. Not all game immediately runs off, and one tactic deer do use is to simply lay low and don't move. If you can see it before it decides to react, then you can bring the firearm to bear. Loading it with the accompanying racking and clacking is just telling the animal you aren't really serious about bringing it down.

    In which case keep it on your shoulder and continue to parade to your stand empty. I'm thinking the real interest is to do exactly that - display the firearm so other hunters can see and admire it. Your call, your gun, your time in the woods.

    I go to shoot a live animal and kill it, I have enough natural impediments, legalistic requirements, the environment, and my own bad habits getting in the way. All those add up to hunter success ratios being as low as they are.

    Not being comfortable with carrying a loaded firearm isn't one of them. It is an individual thing, if you can't carry it loaded in the woods, I don't suspect you will ever carry one concealed going about your business in town.

    "I might do something wrong and the gun could just Go Off!" isn't a confident attitude - I'm sure not going to question it when it's already in doubt and the answer provided by the one carrying the gun to do so unloaded.

    If that is a solution for some, please don't think it's the best answer for everyone.
     
  21. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    walking around with one in the pipe is fine as long as you treat it like it could go off at any time so you keep it pointed in a safe direction, etc.

    being cavalier about muzzle discipline because you think it can't go off because you flipped some stupid lever is a good way to get somebody killed.
     
  22. Casefull

    Casefull Member

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    This discussion reminds me of why I hunt alone if possible. I have almost been shot more than once by others incompetence over the last 45 years. You probably will not shoot yourself with a long gun if it goes off accidentally. Go to the pistol section and read all the idiots that carry with a round in the chamber and not safety with the possiblility of having to shoot about the same as lighting striking them...and dragging the firearm out of pockets and holsters.
     
  23. LRShooting

    LRShooting Member

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    Out of stupidity when I was younger, I did that while riding a fourwheeler. I hit a ditch, saftey flipped off, I flew over the fourwheeler and BOOM. Over my head.

    Lesson was learned and I am one of the safest people in my area now. I spent some money ensuring they stay safe to. Although I must admit my pellet gun is capable of taking down coons, groundhogs, and some other similar sized game and it has no saftey which is my fault. Mainly due to modifying crappy trigger into a extremely crisp short trigger with light pull. That gun never is loaded until the target is in sight.
     
  24. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    You are right!

    When you are out in a remote area for an extended time, living off what you shoot to eat, you can't let too many opportunities get by! Many times one chance is all you get and who knows when that next chance will come. You better be ready for "anything" that comes by, duck, deer, squirrel or what ever runs or flies by!! OR just go hungry...

    There is NO going home to get more food or what ever, when you've flown out into the bush, or to an island rainforest location for a few weeks or even longer. And, I prefer extended trips/hunts like that out in the bush, many times by myself...

    DM
     
  25. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Moderator Emeritus

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    How I hunt varies, from walking over miles of country to just sitting and looking. I'm usually by myself, with nobody within miles of me. All in all, as long as the muzzle is pointed up, there's no physical danger to anything but my eardrums if Something Bad happens. So far, fifty years of success. :)

    On the rare occasions that I've hunted from a tree stand or a box blind, I just keep the bolt handle up, with a round in the chamber.
     
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