Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

Bourjaily: The Best (and Worst) Shotgun Safeties

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

The Gun Nuts
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

November 10, 2009

Bourjaily: The Best (and Worst) Shotgun Safeties

By Phil Bourjaily

One of the very nicest features of AyA guns (which I wrote about a month ago, here), were the safety buttons. I liked them so much I took a picture of one. As you can see, they stick up high where you can’t miss them and they practically grab your thumb like Velcro thanks to the sharp hand checkering on top. They snick off easily with a mere flick and are easily among the most positive safeties to operate that I have ever tried.

That brings me to the subject of safeties good and bad: a good safety comes off easily so you don’t even have to ... ... think about it as you raise the gun to shoot.

Personally, I dislike the safety on the Benelli Nova most of all. It is tiny and difficult to find in its spot in front of the trigger guard.  For repeaters, the Browning Gold’s big, triangular, easy to push safety  is the all-time best.

When it comes to O/Us, I have seen more bird’s lives saved by the Browning Citori/Winchester 101 style selective safeties than by any other. These safeties slide side to side to select the top or bottom barrel, and forward to make the gun ready to fire. What happens instead is, in the field when people try to push them forward, the safety slides halfway between “O” and “U” and won’t go forward at all.

The gun stays on “safe” and the bird flies away not only unscathed but unshot-at.

Here is a simple trick to solve that problem forever: if you are right handed, switch the safety over to the left to shoot the top barrel first and leave it there. If you’re left handed, leave the safety pushed over to the right,always. There is no room to explain (and a good magician never reveals his tricks anyway) but I promise that works.

Meanwhile, the subject is safeties: favorites, least favorites, funny stories, horror stories, whatever you got.

Comments (52)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Amflyer wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Least favorite: Mossberg pumps. There are stiff and slippery, although they work with practice.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

In double guns I really prefer two triggers. The safety on the Weatherby Athena d'Italia 2-trigger SxS is prominent, grips the thumb nicely, and slides easily.

I can't say I've ever had a gun with a safety I despised, but if I had a shotgun where the safety doubled as the barrel selector I know I'd sell the gun.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RichardF wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

The WORST Remingtons key to lock the safety. I have had mine majically come on in the field and did not have the key. The onlything to get it off is the key in the gun safe miles from the deer.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from rabbitpolice88 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I love the Mossberg safety, you can take the safety off and your finger is no where near the trigger. When duck hunting you can take the safety off while throwing up and be ready to shoot when the butt of the gun is seated.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

My favorite safety is on the Winchester Model 12 - crossbolt in front of the trigger. Natural position, very fast to operate, and then I am right on the trigger. I find the crossbolts behind the trigger anti-intuitive - I have to think about using them.

Thumb safety is also natural and fast. Selective thumb safeties are a pain, though I think Beretta has the best. Selector in the trigger is best left as a set and forget about it feature. Poor selectors are one of the reasons I prefer double triggers on a double gun. I had a Merkel that required extreme force to operate the safety - like everything else on the gun it had to be broken in with a few thousand operations.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Worse: Auntomatic safety on any double-barrel.

The ones on Svage-Fox-Styevens are the worse offenders. Can't recall if Winchester 23 had an auto saftey.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Christ!! Can't type worth a damn today.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from chadlove wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Best tang safety: Beretta. The safeties on my two BLs are positive without being too firm, and I love how their selector switch works.

Worst tang safety: my Charles Daly Miroku for the exact reason you mentioned on the Citori/101s. Everything else about that gun I absolutely love, but that damn safety/selector switch is an abomination. Mossberg's horrid, stiff, sharp-edged and gritty tang safety is a close second, though.

As for trigger guard safeties, I don't recall ever intensely disliking any particular one. Front/back never really mattered.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bigjake wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

not crazy about the safety on my old stevens 5000, only because of its postion on the tang is too close to the stock, and I have large hands, Im always checking the safety to make sure it hasnt been brushed ahead by hitting my hand.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Armchair Mike wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Worst:

Benelli Nova. The machining is so rough that mine catches just short of "off" and it has cost me more than one duck or at least a chance a a duck. I am very safety conscious, and still I am tempted to take the thing off early to avoid this problem.

Best:

Browning Auto-5. It's behind the trigger, but I honestly had to get the gun out and look to write this. I didn't know where it was; I just knew that when the gun comes up, somehow it's off.

Parting shot:

Two barrels need two triggers. If the auto-engaging safety bothers you, have a gunsmith disconnect the linkage. This is simple, and it can often be done as an outpatient procedure.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from spentshell wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Chadlove - My BL-3 will go to safe after firing the first barrel...sometimes. Any ideas?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Robert C. Turpin wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I have a Browning A-5 made in 1934 in Belgium. The safety is inside the trigger guard. You push it forward with your trigger finger to fire. I once read they were called a "suicide" safety.

Silvertip

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from spentshell wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I prefer a thumb safety over a trigger finger safety. I have never had any that I hated.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Armchair Mike wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Silvertip, my Auto-5 is the Miroku-made one from the last production year. I haven't seen the safety inside the trigger guard. Do you like it?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Best - Mossberg's top safetys "just look down" !
Worst- Benelli's

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from chadlove wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Spentshell, do you mean the safety switch itself actually moves or the gun sometimes won't fire after the first shot?

If it's the latter then it might not be your safety. The BL's (and I think 686 guns as well) have inertia triggers so sometimes that second trigger might not be getting set after the first shot.

If it happens again you might try tapping the receiver or the buttstock with your knuckles and then trying that second barrel again. If it fires then it's probably a trigger issue rather than a safety.

Either way, I'd have a good gunsmith look at it. I've never had any trigger or safety issues with either of mine and I don't know if the triggers are user-adjustable or not.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from cliff68 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I dont't like the crossbolt safeties that are behind the trigger, just seems unnatural. I would much rather have the safety ahead of the trigger on a repeater.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I love my Mossberg 500's top thumb safety. Positive, easy to find and use. I don't like any of the safetys on my remington gun though. They are behind the trigger on the trigger guard and its always awkard to use them.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Spentshell,

May need separate the receiver from the stock; soak the receiver in kerosene for a couple of hours. Use kerosene since the fluid won’t harm the metal finish. After two-hours take a toothbrush to all internal parts and lightly oil with G-96 type oil. Make certain the inertia lever sets the 2nd shot…both directions with trigger releases and a smack. On my 686 these parts were gold-plated.

Be careful separating the stock from receiver so as not to crack the wood.

Beretta O/U’s need this cleaning after 10 or 15-years,

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from senkoman12 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

i love the mossberg safety though i can use pretty much any safety though im not the most enthusiastic about the remington safety

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from HogBlog wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I'm definitely a fan of the tang safety. My Mossberg 500, Savage/Stevens 311, Savage 110, Browning A-Bolt... there's a reason they're in the field as much as they're in the safe. In the meantime, my Remington 870 and 742 spend most of their time reclining in the comfort of the safe. I don't like those crossbars... I realize it's mostly a factor of what I've grown accustomed to, but I've shot a lot of guns, and any time I get preference, it's a thumb-operated safety.

By the way, thanks for the tip about the Citori. My girlfriend just won one at the duck dinner last spring, and we'll be taking it to the field for pheasants and waterfowl real soon. Good to know about setting the selector to the left... makes sense based on simple physiology. If the right thumb is pushing, it's going to exert pressure to the left as it goes forward (and vice versa).

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Between you and me Phil;most of my MISSES are due to the safety.
That's my story, and I'm STICKING to it!

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jersey pig wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

the only safety on a long gun i ever really had probles with was the automatically engaging thumb safety on some of my doubles. the safety is safe and reasonable easy to manipulate but the auto engaging of it has caused me some confusion in mid flush (i know, i know, it's my own fault) and let a few birds live longer. but the most importatant aspect being the actual safeness of it is indisputable. rather have one that is too safe.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rweedin wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

The Remington 870 saftey is perfect. It's right behind the trigger and for a lefty (me) shooting a right handed gun it's a simple flick with the middle finger before you fire with the index.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tony C. wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

It's not a shotgun, but I'm trying to get used to the 3 position safety on a Ruger 77 centerfire rifle. My other rifles have all been 700s, 7400s and Browning A-Bolts.

The Ruger is locked up with the safety at its most rearward position. You can move it to the middle position (half safe?)and can work the bolt.

Flip it to the next position and it's ready to fire. It's different from anything I've used.

I carry it with the full safe on, but hunt with it on half safe so I can engage a target with a quick flip of the safety.

I went to shoot a deer last year and had it on half safe thinking it was on fire. Luckily, the deer stayed put while I fiddled with the safety and I got it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from deanlikes2fish wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

i have had 2 mossberg safeties freeze on me and snap off while hunting rabbits in super cold weather in mi. real safe.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from wvboy1022 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I have never had a problem with our Charles Daly safty, cant say the same for my grandpas old western fields 20 gauge

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Teodoro wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I like the Rem. 870 safety. I don't have to think about it. The ones in front of the trigger guard drive me nuts, though I've no clear reason on why, you'd think the smoother, one-direction trigger-finger motion woudl be easier.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Best all time safety was the Browning Auto 5 inside the trigger guard. Push the safety off as the weapon comes up and pull the trigger. Second best is, um, uh, well, ah. Best was the Browning.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Wags wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I like the safety on my Red Label. It is selective (though I don't think I've ever used that feature) and I've yet to have a problem. Of course I will now that I've said it out loud on the very next covey rise.

I personally can't stand the trigger guard type safeties. I started bird hunting with a Stevens Model 67L and the safety was on top. After a brief relationship with an 870 Express the Red Label and I were introduced and that's where I remain today. Safeties up top where I can work them with my thumb are what I am used to at this point. Would take a lot of practice to break the habit now.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from coho310 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I was shooting a Remington 12 gauge and it has a nice safety on it,didn't find out what model,we where fishing and we got distracted because the trout were biting good that day at Arrowrock reservoir.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

To Tony C - It's a "copy" of the ol' Winchester safetys.
The mid-position is to un-load the weapon while still on safe.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Curveman wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

"When it comes to O/Us, I have seen more bird’s lives saved by the Browning Citori/Winchester 101 style selective safeties than by any other. These safeties slide side to side to select the top or bottom barrel, and forward to make the gun ready to fire. What happens instead is, in the field when people try to push them forward, the safety slides halfway between “O” and “U” and won’t go forward at all." Push up-shoot! Practice with me Mr. Petzl, thumb ready?: "left, right, up, down..."

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from lanberfan wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

The most unusual (to me) safety I've seen was on a Darne Halifax sliding breech sxs, with double triggers; it's a small wing on the left side of the receiver which rotates up for safe, down to fire. Apparently it works, but I'm much more confident in the tang safety on my Mossbserg 935 or the reversible trigger guard safety on my Ithaca Deerslayer(due to cross dominance, I shoot from the left).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from duckcreekdick wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I think the most dangerous safety is the one found on certain L.C. Smiths. From the middle position, you push it forward to fire and when you break open the gun, the auto safety feature works. But again at the middle position, if you push the safety rearward to fire and break open the gun the auto safety feature does not work. There is a small window on top of the safety to let you know if the gun is on safe or not. Not a shotgun for the beginner or a careless hunter.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Robert C. Turpin wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

to Armchair,

I like the safety inside the trigger guard. It is fast and I have never accidentally pushed it to the "fire" position. This old A-5 is the 'round knob' style on the buttstock. My dad bought it from a guy about 1955 for $40.00! This included the leather mutton-leg case and a web shell belt.
When I started shooting it I noticed the forestock was cracked. I took it to my friend Joe Badali at Browning. He gave it back to me with a brand new stock. I asked him how much it was going to cost me. He said, "There are two prices. Either free or more than you can afford. Which would you prefer?"
It's nice to have a friend who used to work for Browning.

Silvertip

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from wingshooter54 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Best all time O/U shotgun safety? The Remington 3200's.
Simply flip it from side to side. I have had 4 Browning Gold sporting and field guns, and their safeties are the best on a repeater. As far as sxs's go, if it has "SAFE" inlaid in gold ahead of the safety, I like it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

For some reason, I have always been able to adapt to what ever safety was on the weapon. Must have been because of all the different types I fired in the Army?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

The worst? I'd have to say the AK-47 safety, frigging gawd aweful thing to have on a battle rifle, pretty much have to completely remove your hand from the grip/trigger area to use it, and they are always too tight when new. gotta bend the lever out a little to lessen the pressure required to move it. Even the SKS has a better safety, heck the mauser had a better safety!

Mossberg 500 safety is good if you replace that plastic piece of crap they use as a selector. Either get an aftermarket one made of metal or do as I did and make one out of brass. Fold over a strip of 1/16" thick brass the width of the selector area into a P shape when viewed from the side, cut to length, solder into a solid piece and then drill a hole for the attaching screw.
File or sandpaper it to break any sharp edges and attach.
Should last about forever and absolutely won't break!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JD wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Sorry, I am a lowly pump gun guy after all these years; never desired to carry a showpiece or fancy shotgun in the field. Started with a Model 12 in 16 Ga. Many pheasants, geese and ducks later I was able to get a 12 Ga M-12. That was my gun for most of my life,then came steel shot etc. I got a M-1300 Winchester because the safety was in the right place, ahead of the trigger just like those M-12s.

If I can deviate just a bit, those infernal cross bolt safeties on lever guns should be placed up that legal department's rearends! I find them useless, if there must be a manual safety in place of the half-cock I guess the tang safety is a better choice.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

JD-
Amen to that. A safety on a lever gun or exposed hammer pump is an abomination. John Moses Browning would be appalled at the ruination of his creation.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ricefarm wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I like the safety on the Mossberg 500, find myself doing too much fumbling at the wrong time with the Remington 870. Obviously an issue that has no right or wrong answer, just a matter of your own personal quirks that decide what works best for you. But if we all agree to disagree, how in the hell are we supposed to have any kind of argument?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jordjohn44 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

My favorite safety is the slide back on my J.C. Higgins 20ga bolt. it is so smooth going back and I don't have to take time to get my finger on the trigger after taking it off. I also don't mind the safeties on Remington 870's. Just push the little button and you are good to go.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from z41 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I always thought a winner was Remington's 3200 safety which was safe in the center and to the left you fired one barrel and to the right you fired the other barrel. My friend had one and really liked it. To me it was the most logical- I don't know why they dropped it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

To me only one safety is SAFE and thats the safety onthe model lloo and their Auto rifles. I got some dbles and never can seem to get the hang of it, with you finger near the trigger guard when hunt,comes natural to puch the pin over. Don;n know a lot about teh sear on either type safeties, but feel the slide bolt is safer at the Guard.Wish there was a standard for all the guns, but all mfger trying to out do the others. I was in a gun shot some time a go and the owner had been in business ofer 30 years. He did not know that a Savage rifle had a 3 position safety. Now, I really want to buy any type gun from him. I dislike the Win 70 safety or Mausers in general, but I understand they safe? But if the 2 position safety on or off is un-safe, ther are many unsafe guns about,Love teh trigger on the new MArlin XL7. Sure eliminates any over travel or creep. But that has never bother me other than at the range,when hunting I just pull the trigger till it fires.It can have 2oz or l2 lbs of pull but i never know the difference.I got a Custom Mauser with dble set triggers. I has a high end setting of 12 oz, gun ws made for a small man or woman for Africian hunting, A eaut of a gun with orig Mauser action, nevr been drilled or tapped. I use when hunting l00 yds or less, as need the scope now with agd old eyes.Shoot-um-straight and often.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from spentshell wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Chadlove and Mark-1,
Thanks for the info! I think that's just what the doctor ordered.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Armchair Mike wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

To Silvertip,

Funny you should mention the forend crack. That's a common Browning malady. Here's what those of us without friends like yours have to do the night before a hunting trip to solve the same problem:

http://armchairoutfitter.com/2009/03/09/the-night-stocker/#more-190

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael C. Gugino wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

Being a lefty, the best safety is a thumb/tang. if i was right handed, forward on the trigger guard would be fine. as mentioned, with those 3postion safties on some old sxs guns (l.c. smiths, ithacas/lefevers) one needs to be (i think) more mindful. I wouldn't want my young hunter carrying one. more for them to have to think about, and more for me to worry about.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from theobsession wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

on my remington model 11 the safety is to stiff any tips on how to get it to slide better?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

theobsession-
You failed to mention whether your Model 11 has the safety inside the trigger guard, or is the cross bolt type behind the trigger. Either/or, on a weapon as old as a Model 11, more than likely all it needs is a detail strip and clean. If that does not work, liquid graphite will slick up anything short of a total weld job.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jwallen wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

I have always preferred a tang safety and double triggers for my shotguns; I also like the older Ruger 77 bolt guns with the tang safety. I never have liked any of the safeties in the trigger guards. It always seemed to be an accident waiting to happen. For this reason I have gotten rid of all of my pump and auto loader guns except for the Mossberg pumps and the 930 and 935 autoloaders. I have been looking at the BPS as another choice. With my side by side and overunder guns when I get in the thick stuff I break the gun a little. Then snap it shut and take the safety of to fire. With an auto safety it moves to safe every time you move the lever to open it. With rifles most of our big game hunting is done in open country and I leave the barrel empty with the bolt closed and the firing pin forward. The bottom line is don't ever trust any of them, always carry as if they could fail and discharge.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from richm0ke wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

When my hands are frozen and stiff during deer season the safety on my Maverick 88 is a huge pain. Its stiff and far away at the front end of the trigger guard. But, I guess, I haven't missed a deer(or any other game) because of it yet.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from rabbitpolice88 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I love the Mossberg safety, you can take the safety off and your finger is no where near the trigger. When duck hunting you can take the safety off while throwing up and be ready to shoot when the butt of the gun is seated.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from bigjake wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

not crazy about the safety on my old stevens 5000, only because of its postion on the tang is too close to the stock, and I have large hands, Im always checking the safety to make sure it hasnt been brushed ahead by hitting my hand.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Between you and me Phil;most of my MISSES are due to the safety.
That's my story, and I'm STICKING to it!

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Amflyer wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Least favorite: Mossberg pumps. There are stiff and slippery, although they work with practice.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

My favorite safety is on the Winchester Model 12 - crossbolt in front of the trigger. Natural position, very fast to operate, and then I am right on the trigger. I find the crossbolts behind the trigger anti-intuitive - I have to think about using them.

Thumb safety is also natural and fast. Selective thumb safeties are a pain, though I think Beretta has the best. Selector in the trigger is best left as a set and forget about it feature. Poor selectors are one of the reasons I prefer double triggers on a double gun. I had a Merkel that required extreme force to operate the safety - like everything else on the gun it had to be broken in with a few thousand operations.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Robert C. Turpin wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I have a Browning A-5 made in 1934 in Belgium. The safety is inside the trigger guard. You push it forward with your trigger finger to fire. I once read they were called a "suicide" safety.

Silvertip

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Best - Mossberg's top safetys "just look down" !
Worst- Benelli's

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from chadlove wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Spentshell, do you mean the safety switch itself actually moves or the gun sometimes won't fire after the first shot?

If it's the latter then it might not be your safety. The BL's (and I think 686 guns as well) have inertia triggers so sometimes that second trigger might not be getting set after the first shot.

If it happens again you might try tapping the receiver or the buttstock with your knuckles and then trying that second barrel again. If it fires then it's probably a trigger issue rather than a safety.

Either way, I'd have a good gunsmith look at it. I've never had any trigger or safety issues with either of mine and I don't know if the triggers are user-adjustable or not.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I love my Mossberg 500's top thumb safety. Positive, easy to find and use. I don't like any of the safetys on my remington gun though. They are behind the trigger on the trigger guard and its always awkard to use them.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Spentshell,

May need separate the receiver from the stock; soak the receiver in kerosene for a couple of hours. Use kerosene since the fluid won’t harm the metal finish. After two-hours take a toothbrush to all internal parts and lightly oil with G-96 type oil. Make certain the inertia lever sets the 2nd shot…both directions with trigger releases and a smack. On my 686 these parts were gold-plated.

Be careful separating the stock from receiver so as not to crack the wood.

Beretta O/U’s need this cleaning after 10 or 15-years,

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from HogBlog wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I'm definitely a fan of the tang safety. My Mossberg 500, Savage/Stevens 311, Savage 110, Browning A-Bolt... there's a reason they're in the field as much as they're in the safe. In the meantime, my Remington 870 and 742 spend most of their time reclining in the comfort of the safe. I don't like those crossbars... I realize it's mostly a factor of what I've grown accustomed to, but I've shot a lot of guns, and any time I get preference, it's a thumb-operated safety.

By the way, thanks for the tip about the Citori. My girlfriend just won one at the duck dinner last spring, and we'll be taking it to the field for pheasants and waterfowl real soon. Good to know about setting the selector to the left... makes sense based on simple physiology. If the right thumb is pushing, it's going to exert pressure to the left as it goes forward (and vice versa).

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Best all time safety was the Browning Auto 5 inside the trigger guard. Push the safety off as the weapon comes up and pull the trigger. Second best is, um, uh, well, ah. Best was the Browning.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

In double guns I really prefer two triggers. The safety on the Weatherby Athena d'Italia 2-trigger SxS is prominent, grips the thumb nicely, and slides easily.

I can't say I've ever had a gun with a safety I despised, but if I had a shotgun where the safety doubled as the barrel selector I know I'd sell the gun.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RichardF wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

The WORST Remingtons key to lock the safety. I have had mine majically come on in the field and did not have the key. The onlything to get it off is the key in the gun safe miles from the deer.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Worse: Auntomatic safety on any double-barrel.

The ones on Svage-Fox-Styevens are the worse offenders. Can't recall if Winchester 23 had an auto saftey.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from chadlove wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Best tang safety: Beretta. The safeties on my two BLs are positive without being too firm, and I love how their selector switch works.

Worst tang safety: my Charles Daly Miroku for the exact reason you mentioned on the Citori/101s. Everything else about that gun I absolutely love, but that damn safety/selector switch is an abomination. Mossberg's horrid, stiff, sharp-edged and gritty tang safety is a close second, though.

As for trigger guard safeties, I don't recall ever intensely disliking any particular one. Front/back never really mattered.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Armchair Mike wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Worst:

Benelli Nova. The machining is so rough that mine catches just short of "off" and it has cost me more than one duck or at least a chance a a duck. I am very safety conscious, and still I am tempted to take the thing off early to avoid this problem.

Best:

Browning Auto-5. It's behind the trigger, but I honestly had to get the gun out and look to write this. I didn't know where it was; I just knew that when the gun comes up, somehow it's off.

Parting shot:

Two barrels need two triggers. If the auto-engaging safety bothers you, have a gunsmith disconnect the linkage. This is simple, and it can often be done as an outpatient procedure.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from spentshell wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Chadlove - My BL-3 will go to safe after firing the first barrel...sometimes. Any ideas?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from spentshell wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I prefer a thumb safety over a trigger finger safety. I have never had any that I hated.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Armchair Mike wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Silvertip, my Auto-5 is the Miroku-made one from the last production year. I haven't seen the safety inside the trigger guard. Do you like it?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from cliff68 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I dont't like the crossbolt safeties that are behind the trigger, just seems unnatural. I would much rather have the safety ahead of the trigger on a repeater.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from senkoman12 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

i love the mossberg safety though i can use pretty much any safety though im not the most enthusiastic about the remington safety

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from rweedin wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

The Remington 870 saftey is perfect. It's right behind the trigger and for a lefty (me) shooting a right handed gun it's a simple flick with the middle finger before you fire with the index.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from deanlikes2fish wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

i have had 2 mossberg safeties freeze on me and snap off while hunting rabbits in super cold weather in mi. real safe.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Teodoro wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I like the Rem. 870 safety. I don't have to think about it. The ones in front of the trigger guard drive me nuts, though I've no clear reason on why, you'd think the smoother, one-direction trigger-finger motion woudl be easier.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Robert C. Turpin wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

to Armchair,

I like the safety inside the trigger guard. It is fast and I have never accidentally pushed it to the "fire" position. This old A-5 is the 'round knob' style on the buttstock. My dad bought it from a guy about 1955 for $40.00! This included the leather mutton-leg case and a web shell belt.
When I started shooting it I noticed the forestock was cracked. I took it to my friend Joe Badali at Browning. He gave it back to me with a brand new stock. I asked him how much it was going to cost me. He said, "There are two prices. Either free or more than you can afford. Which would you prefer?"
It's nice to have a friend who used to work for Browning.

Silvertip

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from JD wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Sorry, I am a lowly pump gun guy after all these years; never desired to carry a showpiece or fancy shotgun in the field. Started with a Model 12 in 16 Ga. Many pheasants, geese and ducks later I was able to get a 12 Ga M-12. That was my gun for most of my life,then came steel shot etc. I got a M-1300 Winchester because the safety was in the right place, ahead of the trigger just like those M-12s.

If I can deviate just a bit, those infernal cross bolt safeties on lever guns should be placed up that legal department's rearends! I find them useless, if there must be a manual safety in place of the half-cock I guess the tang safety is a better choice.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jordjohn44 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

My favorite safety is the slide back on my J.C. Higgins 20ga bolt. it is so smooth going back and I don't have to take time to get my finger on the trigger after taking it off. I also don't mind the safeties on Remington 870's. Just push the little button and you are good to go.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jersey pig wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

the only safety on a long gun i ever really had probles with was the automatically engaging thumb safety on some of my doubles. the safety is safe and reasonable easy to manipulate but the auto engaging of it has caused me some confusion in mid flush (i know, i know, it's my own fault) and let a few birds live longer. but the most importatant aspect being the actual safeness of it is indisputable. rather have one that is too safe.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tony C. wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

It's not a shotgun, but I'm trying to get used to the 3 position safety on a Ruger 77 centerfire rifle. My other rifles have all been 700s, 7400s and Browning A-Bolts.

The Ruger is locked up with the safety at its most rearward position. You can move it to the middle position (half safe?)and can work the bolt.

Flip it to the next position and it's ready to fire. It's different from anything I've used.

I carry it with the full safe on, but hunt with it on half safe so I can engage a target with a quick flip of the safety.

I went to shoot a deer last year and had it on half safe thinking it was on fire. Luckily, the deer stayed put while I fiddled with the safety and I got it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wvboy1022 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I have never had a problem with our Charles Daly safty, cant say the same for my grandpas old western fields 20 gauge

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Wags wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I like the safety on my Red Label. It is selective (though I don't think I've ever used that feature) and I've yet to have a problem. Of course I will now that I've said it out loud on the very next covey rise.

I personally can't stand the trigger guard type safeties. I started bird hunting with a Stevens Model 67L and the safety was on top. After a brief relationship with an 870 Express the Red Label and I were introduced and that's where I remain today. Safeties up top where I can work them with my thumb are what I am used to at this point. Would take a lot of practice to break the habit now.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from coho310 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I was shooting a Remington 12 gauge and it has a nice safety on it,didn't find out what model,we where fishing and we got distracted because the trout were biting good that day at Arrowrock reservoir.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

To Tony C - It's a "copy" of the ol' Winchester safetys.
The mid-position is to un-load the weapon while still on safe.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Curveman wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

"When it comes to O/Us, I have seen more bird’s lives saved by the Browning Citori/Winchester 101 style selective safeties than by any other. These safeties slide side to side to select the top or bottom barrel, and forward to make the gun ready to fire. What happens instead is, in the field when people try to push them forward, the safety slides halfway between “O” and “U” and won’t go forward at all." Push up-shoot! Practice with me Mr. Petzl, thumb ready?: "left, right, up, down..."

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from lanberfan wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

The most unusual (to me) safety I've seen was on a Darne Halifax sliding breech sxs, with double triggers; it's a small wing on the left side of the receiver which rotates up for safe, down to fire. Apparently it works, but I'm much more confident in the tang safety on my Mossbserg 935 or the reversible trigger guard safety on my Ithaca Deerslayer(due to cross dominance, I shoot from the left).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from duckcreekdick wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I think the most dangerous safety is the one found on certain L.C. Smiths. From the middle position, you push it forward to fire and when you break open the gun, the auto safety feature works. But again at the middle position, if you push the safety rearward to fire and break open the gun the auto safety feature does not work. There is a small window on top of the safety to let you know if the gun is on safe or not. Not a shotgun for the beginner or a careless hunter.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wingshooter54 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Best all time O/U shotgun safety? The Remington 3200's.
Simply flip it from side to side. I have had 4 Browning Gold sporting and field guns, and their safeties are the best on a repeater. As far as sxs's go, if it has "SAFE" inlaid in gold ahead of the safety, I like it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

The worst? I'd have to say the AK-47 safety, frigging gawd aweful thing to have on a battle rifle, pretty much have to completely remove your hand from the grip/trigger area to use it, and they are always too tight when new. gotta bend the lever out a little to lessen the pressure required to move it. Even the SKS has a better safety, heck the mauser had a better safety!

Mossberg 500 safety is good if you replace that plastic piece of crap they use as a selector. Either get an aftermarket one made of metal or do as I did and make one out of brass. Fold over a strip of 1/16" thick brass the width of the selector area into a P shape when viewed from the side, cut to length, solder into a solid piece and then drill a hole for the attaching screw.
File or sandpaper it to break any sharp edges and attach.
Should last about forever and absolutely won't break!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

JD-
Amen to that. A safety on a lever gun or exposed hammer pump is an abomination. John Moses Browning would be appalled at the ruination of his creation.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ricefarm wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I like the safety on the Mossberg 500, find myself doing too much fumbling at the wrong time with the Remington 870. Obviously an issue that has no right or wrong answer, just a matter of your own personal quirks that decide what works best for you. But if we all agree to disagree, how in the hell are we supposed to have any kind of argument?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from z41 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I always thought a winner was Remington's 3200 safety which was safe in the center and to the left you fired one barrel and to the right you fired the other barrel. My friend had one and really liked it. To me it was the most logical- I don't know why they dropped it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

To me only one safety is SAFE and thats the safety onthe model lloo and their Auto rifles. I got some dbles and never can seem to get the hang of it, with you finger near the trigger guard when hunt,comes natural to puch the pin over. Don;n know a lot about teh sear on either type safeties, but feel the slide bolt is safer at the Guard.Wish there was a standard for all the guns, but all mfger trying to out do the others. I was in a gun shot some time a go and the owner had been in business ofer 30 years. He did not know that a Savage rifle had a 3 position safety. Now, I really want to buy any type gun from him. I dislike the Win 70 safety or Mausers in general, but I understand they safe? But if the 2 position safety on or off is un-safe, ther are many unsafe guns about,Love teh trigger on the new MArlin XL7. Sure eliminates any over travel or creep. But that has never bother me other than at the range,when hunting I just pull the trigger till it fires.It can have 2oz or l2 lbs of pull but i never know the difference.I got a Custom Mauser with dble set triggers. I has a high end setting of 12 oz, gun ws made for a small man or woman for Africian hunting, A eaut of a gun with orig Mauser action, nevr been drilled or tapped. I use when hunting l00 yds or less, as need the scope now with agd old eyes.Shoot-um-straight and often.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from spentshell wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Chadlove and Mark-1,
Thanks for the info! I think that's just what the doctor ordered.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Armchair Mike wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

To Silvertip,

Funny you should mention the forend crack. That's a common Browning malady. Here's what those of us without friends like yours have to do the night before a hunting trip to solve the same problem:

http://armchairoutfitter.com/2009/03/09/the-night-stocker/#more-190

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael C. Gugino wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

Being a lefty, the best safety is a thumb/tang. if i was right handed, forward on the trigger guard would be fine. as mentioned, with those 3postion safties on some old sxs guns (l.c. smiths, ithacas/lefevers) one needs to be (i think) more mindful. I wouldn't want my young hunter carrying one. more for them to have to think about, and more for me to worry about.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from theobsession wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

on my remington model 11 the safety is to stiff any tips on how to get it to slide better?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

theobsession-
You failed to mention whether your Model 11 has the safety inside the trigger guard, or is the cross bolt type behind the trigger. Either/or, on a weapon as old as a Model 11, more than likely all it needs is a detail strip and clean. If that does not work, liquid graphite will slick up anything short of a total weld job.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Christ!! Can't type worth a damn today.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

For some reason, I have always been able to adapt to what ever safety was on the weapon. Must have been because of all the different types I fired in the Army?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jwallen wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

I have always preferred a tang safety and double triggers for my shotguns; I also like the older Ruger 77 bolt guns with the tang safety. I never have liked any of the safeties in the trigger guards. It always seemed to be an accident waiting to happen. For this reason I have gotten rid of all of my pump and auto loader guns except for the Mossberg pumps and the 930 and 935 autoloaders. I have been looking at the BPS as another choice. With my side by side and overunder guns when I get in the thick stuff I break the gun a little. Then snap it shut and take the safety of to fire. With an auto safety it moves to safe every time you move the lever to open it. With rifles most of our big game hunting is done in open country and I leave the barrel empty with the bolt closed and the firing pin forward. The bottom line is don't ever trust any of them, always carry as if they could fail and discharge.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from richm0ke wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

When my hands are frozen and stiff during deer season the safety on my Maverick 88 is a huge pain. Its stiff and far away at the front end of the trigger guard. But, I guess, I haven't missed a deer(or any other game) because of it yet.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment