More on the Safety Deletes and Their Function

More on the Safety Deletes and Their Function

Posted by Honus Titcomb on Jun 7th 2019

Beartooth Mercantile presently offers two different styles of safety deletes available for the Marlin Lever action rifles; the regular safety deletes and safety delete with saddle ring. The regular safety delete simply replaces the factory cross-bolt safety with a piece of steel that resembles the appearance of a screw. The safety delete with saddle ring replaces the factory cross-bolt safety with a saddle ring and stud on the left side of the receiver and appears to look like a screw on the right side.

While the regular safety delete is relatively easy to install, it also allows the factory hardware to be reused. The factory cross-bolt safety is held in place with a small set screw, spring and detent ball. The factory hardware is sufficient for holding the regular safety delete in place when installed correctly.

Factory hardware shown with regular safety delete and allen wrench

Factory screw, spring and ball shown with allen wrench and regular safety delete

The safety delete with saddle ring offers more uses than the regular safety delete; therefore, requiring more consideration during install. if the shooter enjoys a more western-style, the saddle ring addition does add visual appeal to the rifle. However, the saddle ring is still functional and one needs to consider if the ring will be used in the field or just installed for aesthetics. The saddle ring can be used to secure the rifle into a scabbard or used to attach a single point sling. If it is used in either of these ways, the factory hardware is not adequate for installing the safety delete with saddle ring. To properly secure the safety delete in place, the factory hardware must be replaced with an 8-32 set screw sufficiently long enough to engage the length of threads in the receiver and the divet in the safety delete. The factory hardware will allow the safety delete to rotate in place if the saddle ring is twisted since the system is spring loaded. The spring, factory screw and ball must be replaced with one longer screw to eliminate possible rotation.

In order to install a longer screw, the hole that the factory hardware is installed must have its threads continued all the way through. This can be done with an 8-32 tap. A person must take care when doing so to prevent cross threading or damaging the factory hole in the receiver. If the owner is not comfortable tapping the receiver, they should take the rifle to a qualified gunsmith. The factory hole in the receiver is in an awkward position and is not easy to access with your basic tap and handle. The hole and threads are also not perpendicular to the surface they penetrate.

If a person does not wish to use a tap on their receiver, an alternative involves using the factory hardware minus the spring. If only the steel ball and factory set screw are used, the screw can be tightened against the ball and create a reasonably secure install. This method will prevent the saddle ring and stud from rotating if it is snagged. The reuse of the factory screw and ball would be adequate for most people and their use of the rifle and it does not require modifying the rifle. If the saddle ring is subjected to heavy use, including the use as a sling attachment point, it would be best to tap the remainder of the hole and use the appropriate set screw.

Location in receiver of factory screw, spring and ball. Must be modified to securely install safety delete with saddle ring

It is ultimately up to the owner of the rifle if they want to modify their receiver to secure the safety delete with saddle ring in place to a degree that allows functional use of the ring. It is possible to install it with the factory hardware if eliminating the cross-bolt safety is the only goal. However, one must consider that it is possible to snag the saddle ring and turn the safety delete enough to prevent the rifle from firing. Rotating the safety delete will put it in a position that prevents the hammer from engaging the firing pin. Due to the fact that the regular safety delete would have to be rotated with a screwdriver after it is installed properly, using factory hardware is not normally an issue. The safety delete with saddle ring can be rotated more easily with factory hardware installed and this is why using a longer set screw instead is recommended.

Blued Safety delete with saddle ring before and after install

Determining whether or not disabling the factory cross-bolt safety is appropriate is the responsibility of the firearm's owner or user. By purchasing this product and installing it you are assuming all responsibility and consequences that may result from altering the factory cross-bolt safety that comes with the firearm. Disabling the factory cross-bolt safety can result in an increased possibility of accidental discharge that could result in injury or worse. Additional caution and special attention should be used when using a firearm with a disabled cross-bolt safety. Always treat a firearm as if it could discharge at any moment to avoid accidents.