Perusal of these forums would lead you to think that the rebounding hammer is to annoy those with guns that have it, and to make those with guns without it to feel superior! :lol:
Seriously now, it is a safety device to keep the hammer from impacting the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled to the rear. Like from a fall or blow. Its another redundant safety feature. Is it better? Marlin (and others) seem to think that if one safety feature is good, then two (or three) must be better. Some marlin owners seem to think one is too many! Particularly the cross-bolt safety. You'll have to make up your own mind on that. I don't have a problem with it, but then I'm relatively new to Marlins and I've never had one with only the half-cock safety(?). I always assume the safety is not on when I'm not firing, and always assume it is when I'm going to fire, so I move it to "fire". I don't hunt, so there's never the issue of losing game 'cause I forgot (duh) to move the safety to fire. I think its a non-issue.
There, I've probably opened up the hornet's nest (again). 8)
I like the half cock safety. don't care for the crossbolt safety, and have no opinion on the rebounding hammer. I have had a unintentional discharge when unloading a 336rc in 30-30 but it was held in a safe direction and served as a reminder of accidents can happen which is why you take safety precautions. I believe it occured during rapid ejection and my son probably hit the trigger while levering. But I had taught him about always pointing it down away from anyone or anything just in case an unintentional discharge should occur. Frankly it made him more cautious than anything I could have or had said. I understand why companies add safety devices to try and protect themselves, but reality is it is totaly in the control of the person handling the rifle. If you are traversing a dangerous area, you should not have a round in the chamber. So don't see the need and figure the person who discharges a firearm is responsible for the result. Guess that isn't popular anymore.
(This post edited Yup your right I misspoke when I said misfire, Thanks.)
As it is bound to cause some confusion in the future, what you had happen was an un-intentional discharge (or firing), Sure-shot. A mis-fire is more commonly understood to be when you pull the trigger with a round in the chamber, safeties off, and the gun doesn't fire. The cartridge doesn't go off. A troublesome situation in itself.