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  1. #1
    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    Half cock

    I was reading a book the other day (My 2nd pastime) to which I came across a sentence that stated the half cock on the lee enfield action was never meant as a safety.
    And that its primary function was to relieve tension of the FP spring rather than leaving the weapon fully cocked also that the weapon could be brought to the ready quickly and reasonably quietly by pulling the striker knob backwards.

    I have tried or experimented (empty chamber!) with what happens if the bolt handle is not all the way down when the rifle fires it will drop to the half cocked position. Is the information that I came across correct as to the function of the H/C position. TIA

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  3. #2
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    I think Peter gave us this lecture once upon a time.
    Last edited by browningautorifle; 01-30-2017 at 01:16 AM.
    Regards, Jim

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    Nope........ It is purely a mechanical safety. If you USE it as anything else, then it can fail disasterously. And if something CAN fail, guess what WILL happen.........

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    Advisory Panel Parashooter's Avatar
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    It may not have been the design intent, but an important function of the "half-bent" notch is to catch the striker assembly should it be released by some action other than the trigger being pulled and held. This most commonly occurs if the safety is not fully "on" and then the trigger pulled, allowing the cocking piece to move forward just off the sear nose - but arrested by the safety's "hook". If safety is then moved "off", striker falls and rifle could discharge inadvertently were it not for the sear then catching in the half-bent notch.


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    Last edited by Badger; 02-02-2017 at 09:32 AM. Reason: Fixed image for poster to show in-line with post..

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    I see exactly what you\re saying Parashooter........ But cutting to the quick, what you're describing is 'mechanical safety' - exactly why it's there........

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    Advisory Panel Parashooter's Avatar
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    Agree completely, Captain. Just trying to show the youngsters how the "mechanical safety" function can benefit innocent bystanders!

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    Really Senior Member Sentryduty's Avatar
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    While I don't agree with the practice, when I was younger it was very common to see civilian hunters use the half-bent position on Lee Enfields in the manner described by Cinders.

    Their "folklore" reasoning was that safeties are not to be trusted.

    My thoughts were if you cannot trust the safety and the sear, why are you hunting with a defective rifle?

    I think this was woodsey folklore and adapted practice from the other common hunting rifle, the Winchester 1894, which had no dedicated safety only a half cock and grip safety.

    Over the years I have seen all manner of workarounds, and mechanical superstitions to excuse the root cause in nearly every case: poor weapons handling.

    - Darren
    1 PL West Nova Scotia Regiment 2000-2003
    1 BN Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry 2003-2013

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    We used to see those poor souls, some of whom REALLY ought to have known better, dropping their No2 and L9 Browning hammer down into the half-cock position. It only took a millisecond of distraction and you'd got yourself an ND. One of my bosses was notorious for doing it, sat with it across his lap in the car.

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    Really Senior Member 5thBatt's Avatar
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    Fwiw appling the 'safety' to a loaded & cocked firearm does NOT render a firearm "safe"

  17. #10
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    It does! According to the Military Training Regime, especially if there are proceedings to follow. Just think about 'MAKE SAFE'. Comments Gil?

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