How to Know if Your Gun’s Safety Mechanism Is On or Off

A safety is a feature designed to stop a gun from negligently discharging. Granted, not all guns have safeties, sometimes because the placement or design of the trigger makes negligent discharge unlikely. But if you do have a gun with a safety, it’s important to know how to tell when this mechanism is on. The firearms safety and training experts from Gun Safety Training Pros, your premier choice if you’re looking to take a high-quality gun safety course online, explain what you need to know about gun safeties, how they work, and how to determine when they’re engaged.

What the Safety Does

A safety mechanism on a gun physically keeps the firing pin from striking the primer if the trigger is pulled or if pressure is accidentally applied to it. Typically, the safety blocks the trigger in a way that prevents it from moving when the safety is engaged or on.

Knowing when the Safety Is On

“Red means dead” is a common saying among gun owners when it comes to knowing when a safety is on or off. It simply means you’ll be able to tell if the safety is on by checking the indicator on the gun. Oftentimes, it will be red if the safety mechanism is disengaged or off. Therefore, if you see red and you’re not planning to use your gun, you’ll know to engage the safety.

Variations in Safety Indicators

Some shotguns and rifles have slide safeties that let users know whether the safeties are on or off in a different way. With this type of safety, you might see an “F” as an indication the gun can be fired or an “S” to show the safety is engaged. There are also some guns that use green to indicate a safety is engaged. Because of the possible variations in safety indicators, err on the side of caution and check to see how your gun’s safety displays the on/off positions.

While half-cock or hammer safeties aren’t “true” safeties, they are described this way by some manufacturers. If this is what you have on your gun, it sometimes returns to the half-cock position automatically. In this case, there would be no indicator, but you would still be protected from negligent discharges.

Further Protecting Yourself & Others from Accidental Discharge

Knowing how to tell if a gun safety is on or off is definitely a good way to give yourself some added peace of mind. It’s just as important to couple this knowledge with some additional firearm safety steps. For one thing, there’s typically nothing that prevents anyone else who may handle your gun from accidentally slipping the safety into the off position. Get into the habit of checking the safety when you pick up your gun, even if you know you had it on the last time you put it away. Further protect yourself and others by:

• Never pointing your gun at anything you don’t intend to fire at
• Using a properly adjusted and correctly sized holster if you’ll be carrying your handgun
• Properly securing your firearm when you’re not carrying or using it

If you’re not sure how to tell if your gun safety is on or you need training in any aspect of operating your gun safely, don’t hesitate to call on the firearms education pros at Gun Safety Training Pros. We offer the highest-quality firearms safety class available, and we can answer all your questions about handling and using your gun safely. If you’re looking for premier gun safety classes, reach out to the experts at Gun Safety Training Pros. Contact us today at [email protected].

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