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Cross-Bolt Safety

  • Common on pump and semi-automatic firearms
  • A simple, push-button action that blocks the trigger or hammer
  • Usually located at the trigger guard or ahead of the hammer
Cross-bolt trigger safety on the trigger guard of a pump-action shotgun

Cross-Bolt Trigger Safety on the Trigger Guard of a Pump-Action Shotgun

Pivot Safety

  • Common on bolt-action rifles and found on some semi-automatic pistols
  • A pivoting lever or tab that blocks the trigger or firing pin
  • Located on the frame (blocks trigger) or on the bolt or slide (blocks firing pin)
Pivot safety on the bolt of a bolt-action rifle

Pivot Safety on the Bolt of a Bolt-Action Rifle

Pivot safety

Pivot Safety on the Slide of a Semi-Automatic Handgun

Slide or Tang Safety

  • Common on some rifles and break-action shotguns
  • A sliding bar or button that blocks the firing action
  • Located on the tang (a metal strip behind the receiver) of break-action firearms or on the side of the receiver on some rifles
Slide safety on the tang of a break-action shotgun

Slide Safety on the Tang of a Break-Action Shotgun

Half-Cock or Hammer Safety

  • Common on single-action revolvers and other firearms with exposed hammers
  • Positions the hammer at half-cock, away from the firing pin
  • Engaged by placing the hammer at half-cock
  • While not a true safety, it is sometimes described as a mechanical safety device by firearm manufacturers
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