When to release the safety catch?

CDSG Shooting Sports

When to release safety catch?

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Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
Following on from on the previous When to Load Up interested in when people actually release the safety catch and in particualr where the Rifle is pointed.

I have a three position catch - 1) Fire, 2) safe but bolt can open, 3) safe but bolt locked.

I use 2) when loading, unloading and for wen shot is imminent and 3) when carrying the loaded rifle.

My ritual is to move the safety catch from 3) to 2) when shot is imminent and then to fully release once I am in the firing position, rifle butt in the shoulder and on shooting sticks / or bipod and ready to take the shot, but rifle is pointing at solid ground and not at any live target.

I also tend to use the set trigger - particularly long shots requring careful aim, and likewise set the trigger with rifle pointing well away from the target.

I then aim at the beast and only put finger on trigger as sights become aligned. Often I may have the catch released for two or three minutes as beast steadies down or awaiting it turning to give the best shot.

As soon as the opportunity passes I reaply the safety catch which also unsets the trigger so again when reaplying make sure pointed in safe direction.

My logic is most dangerous is going from change of state, and if a rifel should go off when releasing the safety the bullet will go into the ground scaring the beast rather than risk a non lethal wound.

But I know others may do something different.


Well-Known Member
I was always told to come up from the scope for a final look round, then release the catch and shoot, straight away, if you feel right.


Well-Known Member
the moment before i pull the trigger , never before, learnt a very valuable lesson once shan't ever make that mistake again,


Well-Known Member
Heym SR20 said:
Stone - what was the lesson?
this was the lesson never to be repeated
not long after getting my ticket i got a 243 (same one i hav today) while out on a stalk about a hour into to it something crossed my mind , had i put the safety on so in my wisdom i reached behind me and found the safety catch (rifle slung over my shoulder at the time) so proceeded to press on the catch to see if it was on safe , when i touched the trigger
you can guess the rest
just to say it shook me up big time , lesson learnt ,to be so young and stupid not worth thinking about


Well-Known Member
i remove the safety catch at dffrent time depends on what position i am in when taking the shot.
1/ if prone or shooting off sticks/tripod, safety only removed once rifle is in position lined up and just prior to shot after final look about

2/ sitting shot as above.

3/ free standing. shot safety removed in same motion of bringing rifle up to shoulder. my look about checks are done prior to the rifle being raised and one more through the optic just before shot.

4/ using the set trigger on my sako(which i only found out about the other day) for a bit of target bashing/zero checking , prone position rifle ready to shoot looking at target through scope , safety off push trigger forward ready for shot. the set trigger on my sako is more sensitive than my misses at certin days of the month......neil
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