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Thread: Winchester 69a “safety switch” not working

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Northeast TN

    Winchester 69a “safety switch” not working

    Greetings to all
    I have just acquired a 69a rifle from the widow of a dear friend which has not been fired since 1977, according to my friend. Too my dismay, I find that the safe/fire switch does not function except very, very erratically (if at all).
    Any words of wisdom would be appreciated.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Way up in the Cascades
    Maybe not too much comfort here, but I think you might be best advised to take it to a gunsmith for repair (assuming that you're not one) as it will need to be disassembled to ascertain what the problem is, and may need something more than the usual de-gunking and reassembly, perhaps the replacement of a small part. Could turn out to be as simple as a loose screw, which you could check for. Issues with safeties also have a certain amount of liability attached should you let someone else borrow or shoot the rifle and an accidental discharge result. So, unless a close inspection reveals an obvious and easily fixed problem, I'd take it to a professional.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    30 miles South of Cheyenne, unfortunately
    Could you please explain what "erratically" means. Not trying to be a wise guy but that description could describe all sorts of malfunctions.

    Generally, those safeties are pretty straight forward and often the problem is caused by someone fiddling with the trigger pull.

    I would suggest you remove the metal from the stock and see if you can determine what is causing the "erratically" functioning.

    If it is something broken or bent or otherwise amiss, and you don't feel confident enough to replace parts, then, D Gs advice to take it to a professional is very sound.
    There are 550 million arms in worldwide circulation. This is 1 firearm for every 12 people on the planet. The only question is , HOW DO WE ARM THE OTHER !!? The Lord of War.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Adna, Washington
    The main issue I have seen over the years is simply old oil and gunk.

    The safety lever pivots on the trigger pin and has a small leg that goes down into and engages the safety

    The safety lays and rides on the one lower flat of the trigger, it is held in place with a screw.
    Between them is a plunger and spring, that is what keeps the safety front and rear.
    So yes these get gunked up.
    Take care when removing the screw and sliding the safety off the trigger as the plunger can go flying.

    Next is the magazine housing is held in place to the receiver by two screws, one front and one rear.
    The rear on goes thru the housing and receiver and is threaded into the ejector.
    If these two screws are loose then they allow the magazine housing to move then the safety will not work correctly
    Since as the safety is moved forward by the lever and the very front of the safety slides under the rear end of the magazine housing.

    This same rear section of the magazine housing holds the trigger spring and adjusting screw for the trigger pull

    I have seen some safeties, that were filed on, and there was no way they would work properly, in that case a new safety was needed and then properly fitted to the magazine housing.

    You have a great rifle there, sounds like it just needs a little TLC


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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check