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Old February 2, 2013, 06:56 PM   #7
Rainbow Demon
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Join Date: September 27, 2012
Posts: 397
The rush to market smaller pistols with safety features came about after a widely publisized accidental death of a child that had found his mothers purse gun and managed to cock and fire it.
For the most part they simply built the double action pocket pistols with horrendous trigger pulls that a small child couldn't over come. The single action feature was often eliminated completely. S&W introduced their "Lemon Squeezer" grip safety. Some manual safeties were developed, just as a few modern revolvers have added a manual safety.
Revolvers firing when dropped was another matter, and more likely to happen to an adult than to a child.
The old "five beans in the wheel" method was the safest, but most prefered to carry fully loaded if possible, and one might easily miscount or let the cylinder revolve without noticing. Also once cocked but not fired it was a hassle to lower the hammer on the proper cylinder should you need to go back to safe carry mode.

I have an old off brand .38 here with much of the lower part of the hammer broken away from being dropped while on half cock, and have seen the same pattern of failure on several 1851 hammers.

PS
Some SAA users would file or whittle a notch in the rim of two cartridges so that when lined up they could rest the hammer nose in the opening between chambers, so they could safely carry with six shots at the ready.
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