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This came about by it becoming ‘acceptable practise’ over the course of many years in New Zealand. There is no-where else that I am aware of, in the world that considers this a good practise. Either closed and ready to shoot, or empty.

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06:52

    For those who aren’t aware ‘half-cock’ in New Zealand refers to loading a round into the chamber then ‘half cocking’ the bolt open. On some rifles, there is a position between fully closed and open (bolt can slide back) where a detent will it will hold the rifle in a state of ‘semi-ready’.

    This came about by it becoming ‘acceptable practise’ over the course of many years in New Zealand. There is nowhere else that I am aware of in the world that considers this good practice. For most, it is either closed and ready to shoot or empty.

    The Enfield 303 (a popular rifle with Deer Cullers of old) was one of the few bolt rifles ever to have a true ‘half cock’. I suggest you have a read about it over here – does it sound like these guys would accept it as a ‘safe’ way to carry?

    http://www.enfield-rifles.com/practiceatches_topic5893_page2.html

    Regardless, when most people now talk about half cock, they mean half open – there is a round in the chamber and the bolt it backed off as another layer of protection.

    Which is fine, if, as per the Arms Code / 7 Rules of Firearm safety you only load the firearm when ready to fire. If this is the case, then you are in an active, very aware state of firearm handling, about to aim and pull the trigger.

    What the concern is, which to be totally honest, hadn’t even registered to me that people were doing – was walking around with a firearm in this state. Shouldered, for example.

    To me, it comes down to this – your top priority has to be gun safety. If this means losing animals that surprise you and you don’t have a chance to chamber a round, then so be it.

    In the first ‘version’ of the Arms Code, written in 1968we have this poem:

    You may kill, or you may miss

    But at all times think of this,

    All the game ever bred,

    Won’t repay for one man dead

    Stay safe out there folks.

    Originally published: April 12, 2016

    Lasted updated: June 20, 2018

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