• Firearms Education

Half Cock, just half assed?

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.

Shoot straight(er).

Get your rifle sorted - proper zero, basic ballistics and confirmed to distance.

Popular articles

Svord 370BB – NZ’s Bush Knife!

The Svord 370BB. Beautiful looks, razor edge, patina's in the most wonderful way. This, paired with a smaller pocket knife is going to cover 95% of all tasks you might need in the bush.

Matching twist rate and bullet weight in rifles.

The are many benefits to understanding and matching the twist rate of your barrel with the projectile weight you are using. Primarily, accuracy.

Getting your New Zealand Firearms Licence – the definitive guide (2019)

The process of applying for your New Zealand Firearms Licence is easy. Learn the steps, get started here and get shooting!

MacPac Supernova Hooded Down Jacket – Long Term Review

Buy Once, Cry Once.This would have to be one of my favourite pieces of...

Suppressor storage: on or off?

Received my newer suppressed rifle back, one of the first questions that sprang to mind was suppressor storage - or off?

PLB or EPIRB?

A comment on my article about PLBs asked what the primary differences between a PLB or EPIRB were.
Kerry Adams
Kerry Adamshttps://thebloke.co.nz
A constant learner with an inquisitive mind, Kerry created Precision Shooter as a way to share what he was learning from the community of experts he found himself surrounded by.Somewhere along the line, he picked up one or two things himself. But don't call him an expert.

Get your rifle sorted.

Send us your rifle, or come out and do it with us. For a session, for a day. Come get the most out of your firearm. We can take your through the whole process.

I know. We all hate popups.
But, the fact remains that eMails are the best way for us to keep you up to date with what is going on at The Bloke.Join over 17650 others who are part of The Bloke community - every week you will get a short update from me. Be the first to know about new resources, upcoming events, courses and more.
We respect your privacy. No SPAM. Ever. Hit escape to make this go away. Apologises if you see this more than once. That's what cookies are for... ;)
It's easy: complete this form and click the button to get the targets.
Get our range of sighting in, testing and fun targets - calibrated for both meters and yards, MIL and MOA.
As well as sending out the targets, we will add you to the shooter's newsletter - updates on articles, events and news relevant to the NZ shooter.