Practice this important aspect of gun handling (with an unloaded rifle) until you can perform each of the steps - described below - with skill and confidence. But before you do anything with the rifle, please first read completely through this manual.
1. Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. (See Rule 2, p. 34).
2. Pull the slide handle rearward. Engage the bolt lock so that the bolt is held open. Check the chamber to be certain it is empty. Engage the safety. (See Figure 1, p. 6).
3. Remove the magazine from the rifle. (See Figure 5, below).
Figure 5. The safety should be in the "Safe" position when the magazine is being removed or inserted. When the forward section of the magazine latch is pushed in (pivoted upward), the magazine is released. One way of removing the magazine is to cradle the rifle in the left hand with the palm under - but not against - the magazine. Use the right forefinger to fully depress the magazine latch and the magazine will drop free. Another way (illustrated) is to depress the latch with the thumb and at the same time grasp the magazine between the thumb and forefinger and draw it out of the gun.
4. Load the magazine by sliding up to four (4) cartridges into the magazine throat-opening as described below. (See Figure 6). The Ruger Deerfield Carbine is designed to function properly only with standard Ruger 4-shot rotary magazines loaded with factory .44 Rem. Mag. cartridges of the correct type. (See "Ammunition", p. 9)
Figure 6. To load the magazine, press the rim of the cartridge against the magazine rotor at the widest section of the magazine throat until the cartridge enters far enough to be pushed to the rear end of the magazine. Each succeeding cartridge is pressed against the body of the top cartridge and slid to the rear of the magazine until a maximum of four (4) cartridges are in the magazine
NOTE: The .44 magnum magazines for the Ruger 96/44 lever action rifle and the Ruger 77/44 bolt action rifle will not fit into the Deerfield Carbine rifle due to dimensional differences. Do not attempt to use either of them in the Deerfield Carbine.
5. Insert magazine into the firearm, with bullet end of the cartridges toward the muzzle. (Magazine cannot be seated if reversed).
6. Load a cartridge into the chamber by fully retracting the slide handle (which will automatically release the bolt lock) and then releasing the handle. Don't touch the trigger. Do not 'ride' the slide handle as it moves forward. Do not apply force to the slide handle to chamber a cartridge. If a cartridge does not readily chamber, eject it from the rifle, lock the bolt open, remove the magazine and see MALFUNCTION WARNING, p. 17.
7. The rifle is now fully loaded. If the rifle is not to be fired immediately, the safety should remain "ON" (See Figure 1, p. 6). Only when you are ready to fire at a selected target, move the safety to the "off" position. The rifle will fire a single cartridge each time the trigger is pulled and released until all the cartridges in the magazine, and the one in the chamber, have been fired. Firing will automatically reload and recock the rifle. NOTE THAT EVERY TIME THE TRIGGER IS PULLED, IF A CARTRIDGE IS IN THE CHAMBER, THE RIFLE WILL FIRE - BE CAREFUL!
8. Immediately following the firing of a shot, and if a subsequent shot is not to be fired at once, put the safety "ON" while the rifle is still pointing in a safe direction down range. The safety should be moved to the "on" position as soon as firing is completed, and it should be "on" at all times except when the rifle is on target and being fired.
9. The bolt does not remain open after the last shot has been fired, nor does the bolt automatically lock open when the magazine is empty. When firing is completed, put the safety "ON" and manually retract the bolt, lock it open, and visually check the chamber to be sure it is empty. If the bolt is shut, the shooter should always assume that there is a cartridge in the chamber. Don't rely on your memory to know if a gun or magazine is loaded. Visually inspect the magazine and the chamber.
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