A recent post on this forum got me thinking about rifle safeties. They perform their function--preventing the hammer from striking the firing pin--in a number of different ways. These range from preventing the trigger from being pulled (SKS) to a physical barrier preventing the hammer from falling completely (the cross-bolt on newer Winchester and Marlin lever guns and some of the T/C in-line muzzleloaders). After thinking about it, I have decided that I have some very distinct preferences. In general, a safety should be reliable, easy to operate, and hard to disengage accidentally. I think that the combination half-cock/cross-bolt safety on the leverguns is one of the best. It is also highly disliked by a number of traditionalists because it is not, well, traditional. When I was younger and caught up in the thrill of the chase, I caught myself carrying a pre-64 Model 94 Winchester with a round and the chamber and the hammer cocked. While this is basic young, naive stupidity fueled by adrenaline, it also convinced me that a backup system would be highly desirable. Unfortunately, it took an accidental discharge to drive the message home. Fortunately, the only thing to suffer was a mesquite tree in the wrong place at the wrong time. I find that the crossbolt on the leverguns is well placed and easy to use. Another very good safety is the three-position safety on the Ruger M77 Hawkeyes. The above mentioned incident has made me very cautious when unloading a gun. Falling into the so-so category are the two position safeties in all of their varieties. One of the more irksome things is that for some the safe position is forward and others the safe position is back. This is a mite confusing going from an old Marlin 22 WRM bolt gun to a new one. The worst safeties? I have two candidates. Both of these are military rifles. The first is the simple trigger block on the SKS. Every time I shoot the gun I think about how easy it would be to break. The second is the safety on Mosin Nagant. It may be just me, but I find that the safety on my two old hex receiver guns are almost impossible for me to engage. There must be a trick I have never learned. Granted, this is battle rifle designed for sustained fire under very adverse conditions. But I tend to get paranoid at the best of time. Thoughts?