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How a safety catch works


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There's been a few topics on manual or automatic safety catches, after reading this

 

I thought when a safety catch was in safe mode the gun wouldn't fire. I might be wrong

I thought it best to show how some of the safety catches work, with a little luck over the next few days I'll add some more gun and safety types.

 

Box lock side by side, non auto safe

image_zps9a5dac97.jpg

 

 

Here is where the movement of the thumb catch is transmitted down the trigger lock, safety on

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Safety off

image_zps6ae8dfa2.jpg

 

And it's relation at the trigger

Safety on, with the pin blocking the trigger movement upwards

image_zps30b9dad7.jpg

 

Safety off, pin has moved forward unblocking the trigger leaving it free to move up and in turn moving the sear

image_zps81ea2f2c.jpg

 

Pulling the trigger, safety on, no lift in the trigger

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Pulling the trigger safety off, you can see how little the amount of lift / movement that is needed, look at the blocking pin in relation to the trigger. The upward movement of the trigger is transmitted to the sear which in turn releases the tumbler.

image_zpsfcb5a6a1.jpg

 

 

Here I'm holding out the sear, where the sear disappears out of view you can see a 'cut' in the sear, this holds a similar point on the tumbler, with the tumbler being spring loaded and on release hits the firing pin / primer depending on design (the spring you see in this photo is the sear spring, the tumbler spring is a flat v type hidden away)

image_zps5d561295.jpg

 

 

And looking up into the locked sear / tumbler

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And here's why you should never rely on a safety catch, most only block trigger movement, this shows that the sear is free to move with the safety ON, as you can see a weak or broke return sear spring would allow a jar of the gun to cause a discharge, I've used some orange paint to highlight the pin which blocks the trigger and where the trigger meets the sear

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Sear moving freely with only the spring to give resistance, tumbler released!

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And the trigger plate apart showing sears and how they are separate from the trigger and safety catch workings

image_zpsa3fee27d.jpg

 

Hope this helps folk understand why not to rely on a safety catch

 

More to come soon

Edited by Paul223
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Superb topic, well illustrated. I haven't used a safety catch since I got my 682 7 years ago- I don't touch the trigger til I want it to Fire, and I don't have the Gun closed, loaded or not, pointed at people. Was told when I was a kid that safeties were fallible, whereas good gun handling and muzzle discipline were not.

Would be interested to see other Gun types with their innards exposed, to see just how much safety a safety catch provides.

Good call, will watch with interest.

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Semi automatic shotgun safety catch (as it was mentioned in the other topic that they are more unsafe than an auto 'on' safety as fitted to o/u and side by sides ..... Let's see)

 

Here's the trigger group, borrowed from a beretta

image_zps3968b34e.jpg

 

Safety on

image_zps61d2a56e.jpg

 

Safety off

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Hammer in fired position

image_zpse023559f.jpg

 

This is where the sear engages on the hammer

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And this is the sear

image_zps7abb6aa5.jpg

 

The other end of the sear has a nipple which protrudes towards the safety button, safety on

image_zps8851f70c.jpg

 

Safety off

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A closer look at the trigger / sear and the nipple highlighted with the screwdriver

image_zps3c80736e.jpg

 

And the button, safe

image_zps86d3a898.jpg

 

Ready to fire

image_zpsa4e70c9c.jpg

 

The button physically blocks the sear from moving and whilst not totally fool proof a much better way to provide a safety catch.

Edited by Paul223
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  • 1 month later...

Not as good as Paul's description but here are some pics of my 3800 action stock off with safety on and off. This is a manual safety rather than auto.

 

Top pic safety is engaged which prevents the trigger releasing the hammers but does not prevent the hammer striking the pin. If the sear is dislodged (I think thats the right term).

 

Bottom pic shows with safety off the trigger able to lift the sear and release the hammer onto the pin

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post-21278-0-58274000-1393785770_thumb.jpg

Edited by HDAV
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There are numerous "safety " catches ,some work solely on the trigger as a physical block ,others detach the trigger from the sear and yet others act on the hammers or a combination. All depends on the gun O/U , SxS , sidelock or boxlock . Some work extremely well others hardly a all , dependent on the design ,quality of build and how well maintained. It is not uncommon to see older guns with half the safety features removed due to the trouble caused by the complexity of the design ,Bonehill intercepting box being a good example .One rule that all shooters should stand by is that a loaded gun on safe is still a loaded gun and should be treated as so .

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hi guys,while on the topic of safety catches i was out the other day with my lanber o/u 12g.after taking a shot i noticed the back of the safety catch had fallen off and the catch was in three pieces one being the selector switch,i managed to find the back of the switch which had fallen to the ground so had all three sections....can anyone suguest a good repairer close to mexborough s.yorkshire,im stuffed now till i can get it fixed...cheers for any help..

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