You should never replace safe firearm handling by trusting the mechanical safety and/or de-cocking lever on a firearm. They are both mechanical devices that could fail.
The following are guidelines to follow when using a mechanical safety.
- Don’t release the safety until just before you shoot.
- Even with the safety in the “on” position, be aware that a loaded handgun still may fire if the gun is dropped or struck sharply.
- Carry older single-action revolvers with the hammer down on an empty cartridge chamber.
The following are guidelines to follow when using a de-cocking lever.
- Always keep the muzzle of the gun pointed in a safe direction. Even with the de-cocking lever in place, a loaded handgun still may fire.
- Use the mechanical safety (if available) in conjunction with the de-cocking lever.