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Old December 4, 2023, 11:20 PM   #1
Bucksnort1
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Ithaca Over and Under Safety Question

I have an SKB, 12 gauge, over and under I purchased in 1967. It's the only double barrel shotgun I've used where the safety does not engage when breaking open the gun. It has never done this.

Was this gun designed to do this?
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Old December 5, 2023, 08:39 AM   #2
rc
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If the safety works when you apply it, then I would believe that was normal. I don't know of any firearm that has auto engaging safety but my experiences are limited to things I've shot. An old Savage O/U did not have auto safety. It is much more common on break barrel springer air guns.
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Old December 5, 2023, 09:46 AM   #3
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the auto safety may have been disabled, for shooting the clay games, pushing the safety off every time you shoot is a pain in the rear. for the absent minded hunter it may be a virtue, when reloading on the move after missing your shots.
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Old December 5, 2023, 10:20 AM   #4
jaguarxk120
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What eastbank has said!!

All of my O/U's have manual safeties.
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Old December 5, 2023, 12:50 PM   #5
Bucksnort1
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I had a side by side 20 gauge, brand evades me, that would go to safety when opened.
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Old December 5, 2023, 05:16 PM   #6
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Not that this has a direct application to what you have, but might give you an idea how/what the makers were thinking...

I have my Grandfather's Ithaca 12ga SxS that he had made to his order (stock. barrel length, chokes) in 1909.

Double triggers (of course) and it has a 3 position safety. Other guns of that era I have seen don't.

Center is safe, forward is fire, and if you break open the gun, it moves from fire to safe.

However there is a third position, all the way back, the gun is on "fire" and it does NOT go on safe if you open the action.

O/U guns are often used for trap & skeet, it is entirely possible (and I think likely) your gun was originally, and intentionally made so that the safety was NOT automatic when the gun is opened.

People often thought in different terms back then, and I think Ithaca figured it was perfectly fine the way they made it. If you wanted the safety on, you put it on. It didn't go on by itself, possibly getting in the shooter's way. Missing the next bird or clay pigeon because the safety put itself on, and the shooter didn't realize it was a worse "sin" than the tiny risk of not having the safety on, until the shooter put it on.

It is possible the gun came from the factory with the automatic safety and some previous owner had that feature deactivated, I don't know that model gun well enough to say, but I think it most likely it didn't come with the automatic safety. Its possible that back then the automatic safety (going on safe when the action is opened) was an option, and the gun was simply ordered without that option.

Its not as flaw, its a feature.
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Old December 6, 2023, 11:13 AM   #7
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My SKBs have never had an automatic safety - a feature I prefer; NONE of my shotguns from a variety of makers have an automatic safety - they aren't needed. Want the safety on? Push it on; want it off, push it off
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Old December 6, 2023, 01:43 PM   #8
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Or none at all

My LC Smith SBT has no safety at all, a very good thing. A safety on a dedicated SBT gun is right up there with tits on a boar hog with regard to usefulness.
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Old December 6, 2023, 04:29 PM   #9
Jim Watson
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SKB general owner's manual says:

Side-By-Side
Automatic Safety
Opening the action automatically engages the safety. For firing position, push the safety lever forward.

Over/Under
Manual Safety
Move the safety lever to the rear position to engage safety. For firing position, push the safety lever forward.
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Old December 6, 2023, 11:29 PM   #10
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Jim Watson,

Thank you. This means the gun has not functioned properly from day one.
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Old December 7, 2023, 03:27 PM   #11
FITASC
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Quote:
Jim Watson,

Thank you. This means the gun has not functioned properly from day one.
No that's not what it means

Quote:
I have an SKB, 12 gauge, over and under
Quote:
Over/Under
Manual Safety
Move the safety lever to the rear position to engage safety. For firing position, push the safety lever forward.
It means it has always functioned properly since day 1
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Old December 7, 2023, 03:28 PM   #12
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And if you don't want it, take some pics, put the specs with the pics in the classifieds and I am sure it will sell quickly if priced right
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Old December 11, 2023, 02:42 PM   #13
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Look up Diamond Gunsmithing in Ithaca, NY.

The late ownwe was Les Hovencamp, who was the Cheif Engineer at Ithaca.

I believe the Son has open the business, he might know what to do.

SKB were imported by Ithaca in the 60's.

Good Luck, you might need a simple cleaning and Lubrication.
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Old December 11, 2023, 05:10 PM   #14
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Changing the safety from automatic to manual engagement is a very easy and common modification.

Some people don't like the firearm changing status by itself. Others like the safety to go on after closing the breech.

SKB is still in business, although now they import shotguns from some top tier factories (Akus and Akdas) in Turkey instead of Japan. Easy to find on Google.

(not all Turkish shotguns are built as cheaply as possible, just like every American cheeseburger isn't excellent.)
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Old December 13, 2023, 10:23 PM   #15
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I have a Fox/Savage side by side from the early 60s that has an automatic safety, but my Ithica over/under from the 70s period only has a manual safety.
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Old December 14, 2023, 09:30 AM   #16
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My question is how many pumps, and autoloading shotguns have
automatic safeties?
At the trap range safeties are not used, since guns are not loaded till
the shooter is at the firing point.
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Old December 14, 2023, 10:42 AM   #17
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none that i know of, but i do have a remington single shot 510-x .22 that when you work the bolt it also pushes the safety back on.
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Old December 14, 2023, 12:32 PM   #18
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Quote:
My question is how many pumps, and autoloading shotguns have
automatic safeties?
None. Because no one would buy them.

Note that the automatic safety feature is only found in break open guns. Single shots, doubles and O/U. The safety is operated by the action being opened.

How many people are going to want a pump or semi auto where the safety goes on every time the action is opened, and because of that would have to be moved to off every single shot??

Nobody wants that, nobody would buy that, it kinda goes a long way to negating the utility of a repeater.
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Old December 18, 2023, 09:51 PM   #19
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I really consider trap to be so highly evolved over the couple centuries it has been shot that it really does makes a safety superfluous thanks to well defined rules and procedures.. This is a good thing, the safety is between our ears.
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Old December 19, 2023, 04:52 PM   #20
FITASC
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The same holds true for any clay game, as well as pigeons and Helice. Even hunting, if you want the safety on, put it on, leave the decision to the person handling the gun.
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Old December 19, 2023, 05:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
I really consider trap to be so highly evolved over the couple centuries it has been shot that it really does makes a safety superfluous thanks to well defined rules and procedures.
I have not seen a single barrel trap gun with a safety catch at all.

There was a report of a cheat going down the gun rack at a trapshoot flipping on the safeties of pumps, autos, and O/Us. Nobody ever used a safety and did not check, they just shouldered a locked gun, called Pull!, and could not get off a shot. At high levels of Trap, you will not likely recover from missing the first bird.

I took the cross bolt safety off my 1100 TA
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