Safety notches are found on single action revolvers, much like the half-cock safety of lever actions, the safety notch is an intermediate hammer position. By engaging the safety notch, the loading gate can be opened and the cylinder is free to rotate, allowing the chambers to be loaded or unloaded. As with any safety, it is a mechanical device and can fail, if the revolver being used has a hammer mounted firing pin, the hammer should rest on an empty chamber until ready to fire.
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