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Safety Position for Rifles

Updated: May 21

The CMA safety rules require rifles to be carried in the so-called safety position. How is the safety position properly executed and when does it need to be applied?

Purpose of the Safety Position

The purpose of carrying the rifle in the safety position is to establish a safe environment at 2-Gun sports shooting events. All persons attending the event should be able to feel safe and comfortable.

How to Do the Safety Position

The correct safety position is as follows:

The rifle needs to be

  • unloaded (chamber empty, no magazine inserted)

  • chamber flag inserted

  • bolt forward

  • manual safety engaged

The shooter holds the rifle

  • at the pistol grip or at the buttstock

  • the forend resting against his shoulder

  • the muzzle pointing upwards

CMA Rifle Safety Position

When to Use the Safety Position

The shooter has to use the safety position whenever he is carrying the rifle. Exceptions are when the shooter is actually shooting a stage or when the rifle is completely stowed away in a suitable transport bag or container.

The shooter can only take the rifle out of the safety position on command of a safety officer or when in a safe area.

The shooter is allowed to deposit the rifle in a designated area such as for example a suitable rifle stand. The muzzle has to be pointed upwards at all times and all safety rules have to be obeyed.

CMA Rifle Stand

The match organizers have to provide adequate safe areas and suitable possibilities to deposit the rifle safely when not in use.

Neutralized Rifle

When a rifle is safely stowed in a transport container, it is considered neutralized. Safely stowed means that

  • the rifle is unloaded (chamber empty, no magazine inserted)

  • chamber flag inserted

  • bolt forward

  • manual safety engaged

  • the rifle is fully stowed away and the transport container is properly closed

If the shooter is carrying the transport container or the container is deposited for example on a table, then the muzzle of the rifle may be pointed in any direction.

The transfer to and from a transport container is only allowed in a safe area.

When a rifle is disassembled, the individual parts themselves are not considered to be firearms anymore. For example, if the bolt is fully removed, the rifle is completely non-functional. However, since this may be difficult to determine by the other persons present at a live fire event, it is not allowed to carry or deposit a disassembled rifle in any other way than an assembled one.

A common misconception is, that inserting a chamber flag renders the rifle neutralized. In CMA, this is not the case. A rifle with a chamber flag inserted remains a firearm and is to be treated as if loaded regardless.

I hope that these explanations are helpful and clarify what is meant by the safety position.

Thanks for reading and safe shooting!




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