I was taught to carry the rifle muzzle down with my right hand ensuring that the muzzle was pointing where I wanted it, I am also not happy walking behind someone with a moderated rifle carried muzzle up, probably for the same reason as you, its all to easy for the muzzle to angle down in motion, this I believe was the reason for the person who taught me insisting on muzzle down and muzzle awareness, 2 lessons I have always followed (if you see me with my rifle slung and muzzle up its because I have emptied it first............ but dont take my word for it ! ask! I'm not going to get upset )Nope - is because following them you looking straight down the barrel of a loaded gun. Frankly if any body points an unloaded gun at me I am not happy - All Guns are ALWAYS Loaded.
I take no offence because I do not hold that view. I don't think any body else has stated that in this thread either. I certainly did not. Your post however seems to pick up on some of my post but you have either misunderstood or misconstrued what I actually said. Please look at what I said again. Of course the rifle is less dangerous if there is no round in the chamber...it is even less dangerous if you leave it behind locked in the cabinet.I just do not buy the argument that loading a rifle quickly is more dangerous than carrying it loaded on safe. Sorry, no offense to those that hold this view, but I think that is complete cobblers.
Risk and hazard...I would have thought that unless your rifle has a decocking system à la MO3 or Blaser or a 3 position / firing-pin-locked safety, the most likely time to get a mechanical failure AD or ND is when chambering a round. Once chambered with the safety engaged and with no bolt/mechanism movement involved, there is lower risk.
So if you are carrying with no round chambered the risk of not focussing on muzzle awareness whilst chambering and setting safety before aligning the rifle with the target is likely higher...purely through giving some attention to your quarry and notwithstanding "buck fever".
I do quite a lot of walked up rough shooting and will often carry a my gun loaded and closed with barrels to the sky. This has always seemed safer to me than closing a gun towards dogs or beaters in front when something gets up. Of course there are the risks of tripping with a loaded gun which this thread relates to much more, but I suppose you have far more control over it than you do with a slinged rifle. Not that that will make a huge amount of difference if you trip.I've looked at this thread again. I'm guessing that most must be deer stalkers only? And have never carried a loaded shotgun either as a walking gun on a driven day or when walking up grouse or snipe or similiar? I can't understand a lot that's been written. If I carry a loaded firearm with a chambered round I carry it at "high port". If I need to sling it I unload the cartridges. I am not a fan of the German method of carrying a loaded round with a round chambered and the rifle slung over the left shoulder with the muzzle down.
Do you think there are people looking at this web site (i.e. the Steyr one) who think that the photo and what is going on is completely fine as this is the way it is done in their area? Or has this just been a mistake on the part of a photographer/agency/communications department that has found its way onto the web site and people in the area are looking at it in the same way we do? Clearly there are some things I do (carry my Blaser with one in the chamber) which others quite reasonably disagree with though, to be honest, I don't see how anyone can reasonably support what is happening in that photo.Talking of muzzle awareness, this is from the Steyr site...
In fact I was actually even more abstract than that...in as much as I didn't actually take a position (or confess to or condone) carrying with one loaded in the chamber, I just mused on the higher risk levels of mechanical fiddling as per your description....hence my response to Dodgyknees' comment.This situation sort of supports or demonstrates some of the principles of your position Alan that, potentially, carrying a rifle (carefully) with one in the chamber can be safer by preventing mechanical fiddling with it at a time when the shooter might have additional stress.
Off hand, and I'm sure there are others with a better understanding of the mechanism who could do better than me, there weren't many ways I could imagine the Blaser firing when the user believed it to be uncocked. One that occurred to me, and it is a long shot I will admit, is if you'd previously cocked the rifle and, on uncocking, some obstruction had kept the spring under tension though blocking its movement. If this obstruction were to move of its own accord or when subject to a knock then the spring might launch the firing pin on its way. Another, even less likely, possibility was if the spring were to break in a manner that left the firing pin free to move and if the rifle were then to be dropped with considerable force it is possible the firing pin could move forwards to strike the primer. Based on my very limited knowledge of how the Blaser works it seems that both these modes of failure need multiple mechanical failures in the mechanism plus very bad luck.I could not think of sufficient "what-ifs" that could cause an un-cocked Blaser to discharge on its way to the ground.