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Old May 24, 2013, 12:36 AM   #26
Sarge
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I put a free spin pawl in my old Vaquero and I couldn't be happier with it.
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Old May 24, 2013, 01:03 AM   #27
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You can have it all on a single-action revolver with a transfer bar and have six rounds safely on board to boot. It's called having your cake and eating it too.
Yes, well I must've imagined having three dozen single actions, including several New Model and Old Model custom guns with light triggers tuned by some of the finest pistolsmiths in the country. If New Models were "just as good", I wouldn't own any Colt, USFA, Pietta, Uberti or Ruger Old Model sixguns.

Sorry but there IS a difference.
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Old May 24, 2013, 01:19 AM   #28
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A splendid example of the 'middle bolt notches' mentioned earlier in this thread:


http://www.gunsinternational.com/-Co...n_id=100300441
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Old May 24, 2013, 06:49 AM   #29
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Thanks everyone for the answers for my question of "how much force with hammer down would it take for the gun to go off." The consensus, not much.

My next question in regards to all of this is something similiar that I always wondered. If you carried a gun with 6 rds, and the gun on the safety notch, how much force then would it take for the gun to go off? IIRC I read that the safety notch was not reliable on the older 1st gen SAAs, but what about a newer one, say a 2nd or 3rd gen, or even a Ruger Blackhawk? Is the safety notch worthless, or is it simply a popular opinion not to trust it?
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Old May 24, 2013, 09:07 AM   #30
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The force required to defeat the (un)safety notch will vary according to the dimensions of the notch, sear tip and the quality of material and hardening of those parts by each manufacturer.

Consequently, there is no pat answer to your question. I don't consider ANY of them 'safe'.
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Old May 24, 2013, 09:35 AM   #31
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Yep, several of Keith's guns had the 12-notch cylinders. There were also quite a few percussion guns modified so. Personally, I think it looks pretty cool but I'd never use it. Not a fan of dropping the hammer from half cock and despite what some think, it's just not worth it just to have that sixth round.

I wouldn't trust the safety notch either.
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Old May 24, 2013, 10:17 AM   #32
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the "1/2 cock"...

... don't go off 1/2 cocked now, but this is what I heard...

... my understanding as to why "the real" cowboys of the day didn't carry on 1/2 cock, was that if the gun got dropped, while 1/2 cocked, it was relatively easy to damage it, & it could take a months salary to repair the gun, & the cowboy would be without his side arm for a week or two... if the hammer were down all the way, there was much less of a chance of damage if dropped, even if the gun landed on the hammer...
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Old May 24, 2013, 10:29 AM   #33
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The sixgun will operate without a safety notch. It won't without a half cock notch. At least not very easily. However, if dropped, what will usually break is the thin trigger nose (sear), not the hammer notches. Then the gun is useless for anything but slip hammering.
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Old May 26, 2013, 09:02 PM   #34
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Quote:
I like smooth actions and nice trigger pulls as much as the next fellow. You can have it all on a single-action revolver with a transfer bar and have six rounds safely on board to boot. It's called having your cake and eating it too.
I agree completely - a Ruger "New Model" action can be very finely tuned despite having a transfer bar.

A lot of the negativity about transfer bars are connected to the transfer bar "upgrades" Ruger "offered" for the Old Model actions that were originally no-safety. This setup was a Rube Goldberg nightmade even worse than Maurice the FrankenRuger . It was less reliable and far worse in feel to the New Model action.

(Maurice's trigger (2005-era NewVaq) is very good. Cocking stroke is...well "funky" is a start, as it drags rounds past the magazine that is trying to push a round into the spot one left of the hammer - and succeeds only once an empty chamber comes up in front of it, at which point it gives this massive "klunk" as it slams a round home...which actually tells you that you're down to your last two rounds so...)
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Old May 28, 2013, 04:45 PM   #35
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The real problem back in the day was when on a horse, ànd the hammer catches a tree limb, cocks it, then flies forward striking the round ... Ouch!!!
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Old May 29, 2013, 01:26 PM   #36
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Why did so many old time cowboys limp?

Quote:
Elmer Keith observed that when saddling a horse with the stirrup looped over the saddle horn, the stirrup slipping and falling on the hammer would fire the gun.
Usually, if you drop the stirrup loop over the saddle horn, it will stay there. However, the common practice of just flipping the stirrup up over the saddle seat then tightening the girth strap often means the horse takes a step sideways, the heavy stirrup iron slithers down, and falls in a the perfect place to strike the hammer of the SA when worn on the right side. BANG!
(if there is a round under the hammer)

The "safety" notch on a Colt SAA (aka 1/4 cock notch) is there to catch the hammer if it slips when being cocked. That's all it's for. Colt literature (post 1900 anyway) advises against carrying the gun with the hammer in that notch.

I've got 10 "new model" Rugers, my first was back in 83. I'm fine with the trigger pulls, and they all work exactly the same way. I don't want a Colt or clone, simply because they work ..differently. (also, they feel "small" to me).
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Old May 29, 2013, 02:50 PM   #37
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I wouldn't run from a 4 3/4" blue & case-colored Colt; but otherwise I am in the same camp, 44AMP. I do have the hots for an early, blue/CC New Vaquero with the short barrel. I find myself shooting fewer heavy loads through my old Vaquero and the new version does handle nicer.
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Old May 29, 2013, 05:32 PM   #38
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New Family member

Just picked up my Colt Peacemaker, 2nd. Gen. (1956, its birthday!)

I love the Colt, but have also owned a few Freedom Arms big boys, .454 and .475 Linbaugh, and a few Rugers, .357 and .44 mag.

Single Actions are great tools, toys, and made for boys...
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg Colt S.A.A..jpeg (163.4 KB, 4 views)
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Last edited by WildBill45; May 29, 2013 at 05:33 PM. Reason: add word or two
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Old May 29, 2013, 07:22 PM   #39
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My first revolver was an original 4&5/8" Ruger Blackhawk 357. Later I added one in 45 Colt. Then a 30 Carbine model. All are gone now.

Just hate the New Model system. Hate the open gate to load feature, miss the third click on the hammer, simply can't abide by it. Just me.

Currently have two SAs. A 3G Colt 44 Special and an Armi San Marcos in 45 Colt.





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Old May 29, 2013, 08:13 PM   #40
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Nice! Never shot a 3rd Gen, but played with one at the NRA show!

Colt won't service any S.A.A. models made before 1996...
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Old May 29, 2013, 08:23 PM   #41
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I have an older model Ruger Blackhawk .357 (three screw). It was shooting out of sight, couldn't adjust the sights to keep it on paper at 50'. Dealer friend sent it back to Ruger for me. They installed the rube goldberg upgrade to make it safe. (: It still is off the paper. Fortunately, they returned the parts to restore to original action. I did that, and just use Kentucky Elevation now. I fear if I sent it back they will modify it again not send back the parts.

The "upgrade" is the worst action I have ever felt on any pistol!

It really needs a higher front sight, but I don't know how to figure what height I need or where to get one.
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Old May 29, 2013, 09:36 PM   #42
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I must have numb hands.. I remember my first CAS event. I had no equipment and had to borrow everything. The first handguns I used where New model vaqs on the .357 frame. Newer guns. He had them worked on and polished up nicely.

The action felt smooth and fast and nearly perfect. The next stage I got to shoot a traditional action with a similar level of work done to it. I honestly could not feel a perceptible difference. They both felt smoth and quick. If I had to choose, id pick the new vaq, due to it being the safer of the 2 guns. I want that last round. It just feels weird having a empty charge hole. It needs to be filled with something. I firmly feel that if whats his name from Colt(it was not Sam colt, but I cant remember the name of the original designer) who designed the gun wanted one charge hole to be left empty and turned into safety hole, he would not have bored it out completely and would have called it such.

Honestly, while the trigger on a SAA feels good, it is a step backwards in firearms safety. Prior to that, most percussion guns had some kind of safety. Be it a actual notch between chambers or a pins between chambers, they all had something. Looking at contemporary European firearms designs of the period, a lot of them had better safety measures then the backwards step that was the SAA. Granted not all of them, but a good many were did.
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Old May 29, 2013, 09:44 PM   #43
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Hi, 44 AMP,

Just my curiosity, but do you have any photos of that Colt literature? I have seen some Colt SA papers from the pre-WWII period and I don't recall much in the way of instructions. They sort of assumed the buyer knew how to use a gun or he wouldn't be buying one. And I may be wrong, but I seem to recall that Colt did say the SA could be made safe using the "safety" notch.

(The "safety" notch was added to the SAA because the safety pins that were used to safely carry the percussion guns fully loaded could not be used with a cartridge gun.)

Today, of course, we are used to thick manuals, full of red lettered sentences beginning with "Don't", but those are primarily intended to protect the company's fanny, not the gun or its owner.

Jim
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Old May 29, 2013, 10:11 PM   #44
mordis
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I still find it odd that they went with such a ridiculous safety notch idea. Over in Europe at that time, they were using rebounding hammers and with hammer blocks in some of the newer models. They were honestly a step ahead of us.

I truly wish some day I could find a good example of a English handgun from that era.
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Old May 29, 2013, 10:30 PM   #45
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The Europeans, especially the British, were well ahead of the Americans at many points in firearms and cartridge development, though there was a lot of interchange of both ideas and the inventions themselves. One reason was that the U.S. had little reason to develop superior weapons. Our enemies at the major development stage c. 1870-1900 were native Americans (known at the time by other names, some less politically correct), and with the well known exception of the experience of one George A. Custer, a single shot rifle or carbine was considered adequate. Also, most Americans were tired of war after the brotherly bloodletting of the 1861-1865 period, and were not willing to pay taxes for improvements to military weapons that didn't seem to be needed.

Jim
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Old May 30, 2013, 05:59 PM   #46
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Sorry James, I don't have any photos or anything like that. I just recall there used to be some discussion about the safety notch, and how, in the early years Colt would say it was ok to use it (although they never pushed the information, assuming, as was the norm in those days that the buyer would know), but some years later they changed their position.

If I do run across something printed, I'll let you know.

I do believe that the current wisdom is that it is unsafe to carry the SAA with the hammer in the safety notch and a live round underneath.
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