By the term safety in the domain of WEAPONS and FIREARMS, we mean a mechanism or a series of mechanisms that prevent accidental discharge of bullets. Sometimes a shot might be fired even without the use of any intended force like pressing the trigger. These kinds of accidental release of bullets pose a threat to both life and property present at the other end of the barrel. External safety equipment like toggling a switch makes sure that a shot is fired only with the consent of the owner.
However, as technology progressed, new kinds of safety mechanisms were invented and put to practical use that allowed the gun to follow all safety precautions without permission from the owner. Such Technologies came to be known as internal safety or internal safety equipment, thereby reducing the need for constant attention by the owner. Today, technology advanced so far that internal security is overcoming the need to have an external safety in some guns.
External safety selectors, as told earlier, prevent the accidental discharge of bullets. By accidental discharge, we mean firing a shot, and the gun is dropped from a height or banged into some solid object. In simple words, a firearm contains a mechanical hammer; when the trigger is pulled, it strikes the mechanism.
Now, as an added internal safety feature, a mechanical safety along with a spring-loaded hammer is placed in the gun is placed inside the gun. Even if some mechanical problems arrive due to some unprecedented force like falling on the ground, the gun’s internal mechanism will not allow the hammer to strike the firing pin. As a result, the shot will not be fired.
This technology completely eradicates the need to have an external safety switch that we’ll disengage the hammer when the owner is not using the gun. It is an example of how internal safety features are overcoming the need to have an external safety switch. Now letters get back to the question asked in the title of the article, ” Why don’t all guns have an external safety?”
The answer is quite simple: because it is not necessary and if included, the external safety features will be an unnecessary part of the gun, helping only to increase its weight.
Now let us take a few examples of some guns where the internal ones have already removed the external safety features.
Every gun enthusiast in the world must have heard about the series of Austrian handguns known as the Glock. This type of gun doesn’t have any external safety features. Internal safety features include a mechanical block that prevents the firing of a bullet if the mechanical hammer is discharged unintentionally, making the gun drop safe.
Almost all the guns, especially the handguns available in the market, are fall free. Like Glock, many other pistols, including the SIG P 250, don’t contain any external safety features and are drop free.
Another kind of handguns, known as a revolver, does not contain any external safety features and are also drop free.
It is now clear that removing external safety features does not necessarily mean compromising safety as internal safety features, also known as the passive safety features are good enough. However, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to handle you are gun carefully. Each and everyone is a mechanical device and can go wrong anytime, if not held correctly. Always follow the golden rules:
Assume that all guns are always loaded. Until you have unloaded the gun, always assume that it is loaded and is ready to fire so that you take the necessary precautions.
Do not keep anything in front of the muzzle that you don’t want to be damaged or destroyed. Never point at anything or any living being without any cause. Give the motherland at the ground when you are idling.
Keep your finger on the gun only when you’re ready to shoot. Keeping your finger on the trigger while jumping around is not a good idea. Aim at your target and then slow live position your finger on the trigger.
Do not Shoot At anything you are not sure. It might cause potential damage to a living being present out of your field of view.
It doesn’t matter how great a safety feature is if you are extremely careful while using your firearm. No safety feature available in the market is more significant than your common sense. Use it wisely, and it will surely give you benefits more significant than those provided by the external and internal safety features.