Mike Morton explains how to use the safety catch on your PCP effectively
Q. What’s the best way to use the safety catch on my PCP?
A. It’s worth remembering that some guns were never fitted with a safety catch. This device is meant to assist gun safety, but it can never be a replacement for good, responsible handling. The first safety rule for any type of gun, air or otherwise, is never to point it at anything you don’t intend to shoot.
Not all safety catches can be deployed in an uncocked state – but I’m not a fan of applying them even when you can, because it can be difficult to determine the state of a gun that’s had the safety applied. For example, I know shooters who like to use the safety when their gun is in its bag. But whenever I remove one of my own guns, I always prove – both to other people and myself – that my gun is uncocked and unloaded, and it can be hard to do that with the safety engaged. It’s also worth insisting that your fellow shooters prove to you that their guns are safe too.
You will have to devise a system that works for you, but I only like to apply the safety catch when I’m hunting and need to be ready to take a shot when quarry presents itself. If I’m shooting at the range, I will only cock the gun when I’m actually ready to fire. It can be useful to apply the safety if there is some sort of distraction that’s interrupting your shooting or your concentration, but it’s better to fire off a pellet at a safe backstop and remove the magazine, if it has one, so you can then deal with that distraction in the presence of a perfectly safe gun.