Skip to main content

Course Outline

You should never replace safe firearm handling by trusting the mechanical safety and/or de-cocking lever on a firearm. They are both mechanical devices that could fail.

Mechanical Safety

The following are guidelines to follow when using a mechanical safety.

  • Don’t release the safety until just before you shoot.
  • Even with the safety in the “on” position, be aware that a loaded handgun still may fire if the gun is dropped or struck sharply.
  • Carry older single-action revolvers with the hammer down on an empty cartridge chamber.

De-Cocking Lever

The following are guidelines to follow when using a de-cocking lever.

  • Always keep the muzzle of the gun pointed in a safe direction. Even with the de-cocking lever in place, a loaded handgun still may fire.
  • Use the mechanical safety (if available) in conjunction with the de-cocking lever.
Handgun safety location
Depending on the safety's location, some shooters use their thumb to engage or release a handgun's safety.
  • Unit 2 of 4
  • Topic 4 of 9
  • Page 1 of 5