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Old November 23, 2008, 10:55 AM   #1
medic0079
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question about 1 empty chamber

so I read somewhere that with the peacemaker style guns you should carry with 1 empty chamber as, you may accidently fire a round if not, my question is if there are 4 stages, for the hammer. couldnt you put it on the first click out, and not worry about this? just wondering as I'm having to suffer through my 3 day waiting period on my new cimaron.
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Old November 23, 2008, 11:03 AM   #2
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The older style and reproduction SAA do not have a hammer block design for the most part. If you left it on half cock, you would be relying on a very small little notch in the hammer to keep it from firing. Now consider when that would occur. Usually from a drop, where it lands on the hammer and hits the primer, firing the cartridge, if you had the chamber loaded and on half cock, it probably would come thru the half cock notch and still fire. It might now, buy do you really want to find out. Like John Wayne said in "The Shootist" if you think your going to need all 6 and put it in, otherwise don't. Hope that helps. Patrick aka Executioner
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Old November 23, 2008, 12:00 PM   #3
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Half cock would be the second notch. The first notch is a safety notch but it's thin and could conceivably be easily broken. Early holsters covered all of the cylinder and most of the hammer making an accidental discharge while holstered virtualy nil. Me personally, I lower the hammer between cartridges like the old timers told me to when I was young.
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Old November 23, 2008, 01:00 PM   #4
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Every Colt single action I have seen has only two notches in the hammer. First is half cock, it locks the sear, you have to move the hammer back to unlock the sear before it can go forward. Second notch is full cock. If you feel you need six rounds, load six and place the hammer between cylinders. That is not as safe as resting the hammer on a empty cylinder. Most C&P revolvers have a notch or pin to secure the hammer between cylinders.
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Old November 23, 2008, 02:32 PM   #5
CraigC
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Look again, madcrate. Even the Old Model Ruger Blackhawks and Single Sixes have a safety notch. That's what it's for but most won't recommend using it. If you've ever taken one apart, you know the trigger nose, the part that engages the hammer notches, is extremely thin and could easily be broken off. The accepted method of loading a traditional single action is to bring the hammer to half cock, open the gate, load one chamber, skip one chamber, load the remaining four. Then bring the hammer to full cock and lower it slowly onto the empty chamber. ALWAYS lower the hammer from full cock, never from the half cock position. Most good SA's are properly timed and won't ring the cylinder if handled correctly.
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Old November 23, 2008, 03:30 PM   #6
Jim Watson
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A real Colt or faithful copy has three hammer notches, four positions.
All the way down, currently recommended over an empty chamber for carry. A rulebook requirement by SASS and other competitions.
Safety notch (quarter cock) for carry as was recommended by Colt for carry in the 19th century.
Half-cock notch for unloading and reloading.
Full cock notch for shooting.

Nobody in the business recommends carry in the safety notch any more, or between chambers, because a slip-up will get the maker sued. Ruger lost millions in settlements and suits which motivated them to put in the New Model transfer bar to make carrying six up as safe as with a double action revolver.
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Old November 23, 2008, 04:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Nobody in the business recommends carry in the safety notch any more, or between chambers,
I don't advise it, it's just the way I've done it for 41 years and it gripes my butt to have a six shot revolver and only load five + I hate transfer bars.
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Old November 23, 2008, 05:25 PM   #8
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options

I load six while shooting and five when extended carry time.
Where do you have to wait three days?
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Old November 23, 2008, 11:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Even the Old Model Ruger Blackhawks and Single Sixes have a safety notch
All my blackhawks are new models.
Are you talking about the notches cut in the back of the cylinder to lock the hammer between cartridges? Most all early Colts had one or more small pins in the back of the cylinder to capture the hammer between cylinder, The remmies and other top strap revolvers used the notch cut in the cylinder.


Quote:
If you've ever taken one apart, you know the trigger nose, the part that engages the hammer notches, is extremely thin and could easily be broken off.
I assume you are talking about the 'sear' it engages the hammer notch at half cock and full cock. The hammers on my Walker, baby dragoon, 1st and 2nd model Dragoon,51 navy, 61 navy, roger& spencer and several NMA Remingtons all have two notches in the hammer, half cock and full cock. I know this because I have stoned each one. I believe one model of Colt, the SAA, has a third notch that holds the firing pin off the cartridge, not a smart way to carry it.


Quote:
loading a traditional single action is to bring the hammer to half cock, open the gate, load one chamber, skip one chamber, load the remaining four
Yes, that is the accepted loading routine for a single action, center fire revolver, unless your revolver is equipped with a transfer bar, then six is safe.
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Old November 24, 2008, 12:35 AM   #10
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Yes, that is the accepted loading routine for a single action, center fire revolver
That's what the original question was about.
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Old November 24, 2008, 03:06 AM   #11
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HeeHee! Hawg Haggen good one, how ya doin'?
I carry six in two '58 Rems under my flapped holsters with two capped spare cyl. for each and five in my my '62 Colt Pocket Police cause she'll hold no more...and that's a good day, on a bad day strap two saddle holsters on Ol' Lexus with six in a Walker and six in a Dragoon.

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Old November 24, 2008, 05:01 AM   #12
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Doin good SG. How bout you? Haven't seen you in awhile.
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Old November 24, 2008, 10:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
That's what the original question was about.
Your right, my bad, must be the meds
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Old November 25, 2008, 03:35 AM   #14
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Hawg ain't been doin' too good with the airbags...been mostly jus' on Voy. Feelin' better this past week haven't had to use the O2 much.
I believe in more than one miricle is given in life and I think I was given another.

And been busy with more Revs and a new '59 Armi Sport Sharps Cav Carbine 22" .54 Paper cart.
Got some KNO3 and now have 30 sheets of Nitrated yellow pages cartridge paper awaiting a mold.
Also waitin for an H&R .45/70 Buffalo Classic 32" to get here. Mold, dies, brass... on the way for that one.
I been busy. LoL!

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Old November 25, 2008, 03:57 AM   #15
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madcratebuilder

Colt SAAs have three notches on the face of the hammer.

The first notch is the safety notch, the second is half cock and the third is full cock.

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Old November 25, 2008, 10:49 AM   #16
Mark Milton
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Not only can the first notch, the safety notch be broken, all of the notches can be broken from careless handling and shooting practices.

Even I have occassionally had the hammer slip on the way back to full cock.

Some old Colts had all their hammer notches broken and the owners would hold the hammer back to half cock to load them.

Only a TYRO of the lowest rank would load six beans in the wheel in the old days. There is a funny story about Wyatt Earp having his peacemaker drop out of the holster and discharge and having to pay a fine.
Earp was no master gunfighter...in his biography, he claimed to hunt buffalo with a shotgun.

Seems like every four months on the internet forums somebody young rediscovers the Colt SAA or replicas and wants to know why they can't fan it, or load six rounds in it for carry ,etc...
I think a lot of this comes from western movies and books which often have such foolishness....
Remember boys, as much as it pains anybody under 30 to admit they are wrong, the reality is this gun has been around for over a century and people figured out it's quirks long before you were born.
The Colt SAA and copies have three notches on the hammer, but they make four clicks when you cock the gun. The first click is the safety notch. The second click is the half cock notch. The third click is the cylinder bolt locking into place and the fourth click is the half cock notch....
When you fan a peacemaker, in addition to putting stress on the springs and lockwork, you bugger up the cylinder locking bolt and cut an ugly circle around the cylinder.
Just load five beans in the wheel and don't fan your peice and you will be fine...
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Old November 25, 2008, 01:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Only a TYRO of the lowest rank would load six beans in the wheel in the old days.
I don't buy that. First off folks weren't as safety anal as they are now. I say anal because being safe is one thing but some people just go over the top with it. So much so that I wonder how they get any enjoyment out of life. When I got my first SAA I was 10. There were some fairly old timers still around and they told me to always lower the hammer between cartridges like with a cap and ball. I've seen a few recovered guns and even found one myself that were all loaded six up. Mine wasn't a SAA but was a 58 Remington. The hammer on it was down between chambers. FWIW the SAA's I saw were on the safety notch
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Old November 25, 2008, 03:52 PM   #18
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I carry mine with six, but I also carry an Uberti.
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Old November 25, 2008, 04:53 PM   #19
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To carry 5 or 6 in a wheel gun has been something folks seem to enjoy argueing over in every forum .
It just depends who taught you gun safty ...and every one is right in their own minds .
I can say this ...I have never heard of a man carrying 5 with the hammer down on an empty chamber get shot in the foot with his own revolver ...but I can`t say the same for the guys that carry 6 .
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Old November 25, 2008, 05:15 PM   #20
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5 or 6. Who gives a rats patooty. You carry what you feel is safe. But if it takes you six shots to hit your target, maybe you want to rethink carrying a weapon in the first place. That is unless you have six targets to hit. Then it would be a wise choice.

The safety one person takes is not the same level another feels comfortable with. Opinions are given. But remember, they are like arsholes, every one has one. And usually, except for a few nuggets, it is runny poo.

But I will say, the overall thread has been most enlightening on the safety features. I applaud you for the knowledge I obtained this day.
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Old November 25, 2008, 07:10 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundance44s
It just depends who taught you gun safty ...
You're probably right. In fact, I'm sure you're right in the vast majority of cases. But you shouldn't be.

We should all know how the actions work on all our guns, down to the most intimate detail (like how many sear rest notches there are on the hammer), and what happens at every point in the action cycle. Then we'd all make rational decisions about safety based on the physics and geometry of our guns and what really can and cannot happen. At least, I'd hope we would.

BTW, IMO the reason we've not heard of someone shooting themselves in the foot when carrying hammer down on an empty chamber is probably because it's much less likely to result in an ND than carrying hammer down between loaded chambers, but IT CAN STILL HAPPEN. The hammer has to move further back, and the cylinder has to rotate twice as far, but it's possible.
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Old November 26, 2008, 04:27 AM   #22
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FWIW neither of my SAA's will pop a primer until the hammer is past half cock. I do use CCI primers, Federals might be a different story.
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Old November 26, 2008, 07:10 AM   #23
sundance44s
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Now your talking Murphys Law ....Ole Murphy has been out to get me since the day I was born ...so I only carry 5 ..
I read a story in American Rifleman ...There was a fellow carrying a 1911 loaded and locked ..someone saw he hammer back on the pistol and asked isn`t that dangerous to carry that way ...His reply was you bet it is .. And I wouldn`t carry it if it wasn`t dangerous .

Last edited by sundance44s; November 26, 2008 at 08:35 AM.
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Old November 27, 2008, 02:20 AM   #24
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Jim Watson Posted,
Quote:
A real Colt or faithful copy has three hammer notches, four positions.
I had a student in class (concealed carry) this fall carrying his 1894, "BISLEY MODEL" Colt Single action. This revolver had 2 positions, 1/2 cock/load, and full cock. This Bisley was in .45 LC. He made the timed fire as all empty brass dropped out without using the extractor rod.
This man stated that his Grandfather bought this revolver new.
Could this revolver have a broken hammer notch?
I will contact this man if nessesary.
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Old November 27, 2008, 10:11 AM   #25
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I have a faint recollection about differences in the Bisley hammer but cannot find it in literature at hand.

A Colt without quarter cock "safety notch" would certainly be worth checking to see if it was broken out or if it had, as the target model, been built without it. If he is not up to taking his gun apart and LOOKING at it, a visit to a real gunsmith would be in order. Of course an original Bisley Colt is worth a good bit, so he should be careful not to booger up screw heads etc.
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