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Old February 8, 2010, 02:23 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: August 23, 2008
Location: SoCal
Posts: 6,442
EdInk, I suspect your objection is with a safety that automatically engages, not safeties in general. Guns with auto engaging safeties are usually field and/or youth models. These can usually be converted to manual operation. Here's an extract from the Ruger O/U instruction manual:
The RUGER® OVER AND UNDER SHOTGUN has a safety selector
combined with a barrel selector for convenient use. The safety selector is located
at the top rear of the receiver.
The safety selector can be moved from the “Fire” position to its “Safe” position
whether or not the mechanism is cocked. Fully opening the shotgun cocks the
mechanism. The action can be opened with the safety “on.”
Whenever the action is opened, the safety automatically moves rearward to its
“on,” or “Safe” position
(the letter ‘S’ visible forward of the safety thumbpiece on
the top surface of the receiver). If the safety thumbpiece is moved forward to
cover the letter ‘S’, the safety is in its “off” or “Fire” position and remains in that
position until moved back to the “Safe” position manually, or until the action is
opened again. Keep the safety “on” unless actually firing!
NON-AUTOMATIC SAFETY AVAILABLE – The automatic safety in the Ruger
shotgun is generally desired for field guns. However, the automatic safety can be
replaced by a non-automatic safety upon request if the shotgun is returned to
our factory.
(Bold emphasis added)
For the comp shooters, factory safeties are frequently blocked. Some guns have a hole in the trigger assembly, while not discussed in the owners manual (for obvious reasons), pinning the hole locks the safety on off. Why?… because the safe gun handling practices of comp shooting don't include trusting a safety.

One aspect of comp shooting that always bothered me was the very small percentage of shooters (couples) who'd bring toddlers to matches. They'd leave the kid(s) unattended while they shot. I still have visions of a 3-year old riding a tricycle down the gun club's main path. He'd stop at each field so he could snap the triggers and slide the safeties of every gun in the club racks he could get to. It didn't last very long before somebody grabbed him. But, it showed that the unexpected can, and will, happen.

At a Skeet match, many years ago, my squad leader (a seasoned competitor - subsequently in the NSSA's Hall of Fame) finally shot his first 100-straight. At the end of the day he proceeded me in the sudden-death shoot off squad. Imagine our surprise when he called for his first pair and his R-3200 wouldn't fire because the safety was set. He'd didn't even have a chance to shoot before he was out. We don't know if he been sabotaged, or if, in the excitement, he'd been mindlessly fiddling with his safety. (My comp guns have the little pin added that lock out the safety.)
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