Lever action rifle usage

On occasion I hunt with a Marlin 1895GS. While I am moving with the firearm I keep the hammer on half-cock and the cross bolt safety engaged with a round in the chamber. If I am still hunting I still keep it on half-cock with a round in the chamber but disengage the safety. Is this the best way or am I missing something?


  • 610038B0-7B31-4F65-9DB3-BD5F7E5F902F.jpeg
    3.1 MB · Views: 15


Staff member
Sounds fine to me mate.
The first time I was stalking deer, I was traveling at “Load” - rounds in the magazine, no round in the chamber - and missed my chance at a shot.

I’ve been traveling as you describe whenever I’m out bush now.

Steven Cali

Regular Member
Quantified Performance
When I hunt with my 336 I just use the half cock safety. I deleted the cross bolt because it does not prevent the hammer from falling, and as a result on two separate occasions I was left with a gun that had to be recocked and have the safety switched off, once while there was substantial danger from an aggressive hog. If the safety prevented the hammer from falling, I would absolutely use it, but with its present design, I think it's more of a liability than a benefit, especially if the game in question can hunt you back.

Chad H/BC520

Staff member
I use the cross bolt safety to lower the hammer on lever actions so equipped. Otherwise, I only use the half cock because it's time lost deactivating the two safeties when a deer jumps up in the brush.
  • Like
Reactions: 22F