Lee Enfield Half-Cock Notch

Half Cock Notch Is Not A Safety


Lee Enfield Half-Cock Notch

Lee Enfield Half-Cock Notch shown just behind the bent. Both bear on the trigger sear when engaged.

Q: I know that the half cock notch on the hammer of traditional lever-action rifles is a safety, but can you tell me why the Lee Enfield striker needs a half cock position since it already has a side safety. Trevor Phelan

A: The half cock postion on the Lee Enfield is not a safety. It was put there only to reduce the strain on the firing pin spring when conditions required that the rifle be kept loaded for long periods of time. It permits partial lowering of the striker when the gun is cocked without allowing the firing pin to touch the primer. Several other guns make provision for partially unloading the tension on the mainspring that appear to be half-cock safeties, but are not actually intended to serve that purpose.

 

 

 


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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.

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