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Old January 24, 2013, 02:59 PM   #1
BrokenBottles
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Pulling back the hammer then the slide

Can any damage come from cocking the hammer before pulling the slide back to chamber a round?
I can't think of a reason why there could be any damage but I'm not as knowledgeable about firearms as I'd like to be yet.
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Old January 24, 2013, 03:04 PM   #2
Walt Sherrill
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No. You're doing MANUALLY what the slide does automatically (if the gun isn't DA Only) when it's fired.

Cocking the hammer manually makes racking the slide easier for those who find it a challenge, as you're then compressing only one spring at a time - - hammer spring, then recoil spring-- rather than both of them at the same time.
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Old January 24, 2013, 03:09 PM   #3
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re:

Just don't overcock the hammer and let it slip. If that happens, it falls directly onto the sear with full force. When the slide cocks it, the hammer is lowered back to the sear gradually and more slowly. I whenever I see somebody flicking a cocked hammer.
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Old January 24, 2013, 03:09 PM   #4
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That's what I thought but wanted to make sure. Thanks a lot
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Old January 24, 2013, 03:14 PM   #5
Bart Noir
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For Pete's sake be careful!

You will be cocking the hammer on a gun that is loaded!!!

Well, you think it is not loaded since you are trying to load it, but "All guns are loaded when you pick them up, until you check to see that they are not."

So I do not recommend that method. Although having a pistol with a firing pin block will help reduce the chances of getting a loud and unexpected sound.

Notice how I skated around the argument of accidental discharge versus negligent discharge?

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Old January 24, 2013, 04:31 PM   #6
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eek

Quote:
You will be cocking the hammer on a gun that is loaded!!!
Yep. People do it all the time. I do it every time I fire my Sharps, and back when I stuck in the heavy cover after Bambi...I'd spend some time practicing with my Model 94...carrying it at port arms with the hammer at the safety/half-cock position and bringing it on-target while thumb-cocking it as I brought it up.
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Old January 24, 2013, 04:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart Noir
You will be cocking the hammer on a gun that is loaded!!!

Well, you think it is not loaded since you are trying to load it, but "All guns are loaded when you pick them up, until you check to see that they are not."
I only do it when I'm practicing tactical reloads when I'm dry firing and I make sure to check the chamber and mag whenever I pick my gun up/take possession of it out of habit/paranoia/for safeties sake.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 1911tuner
Just don't overcock the hammer and let it slip..
By "overcock the hammer and let it slip" do you mean pulling the hammer back until it can't go any farther then just letting go without easing it forward until it stops?
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Old January 24, 2013, 05:02 PM   #8
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re:

Quote:
By "overcock the hammer and let it slip" do you mean pulling the hammer back until it can't go any farther then just letting go without easing it forward until it stops?
Yep. It'll damage the hammer hooks and the sear crown pretty quickly.
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Old January 24, 2013, 05:38 PM   #9
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I have weak hands/arms. Cocking the hammer first on my Hi-Power was the ONLY way I could pull the slide back.
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Old January 24, 2013, 05:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Just don't overcock the hammer and let it slip.
Huh? Maybe on a 1911 or something.
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Old January 24, 2013, 06:14 PM   #11
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Slppery

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Huh? Maybe on a 1911 or something.
On anything. There's a narrow sear/full-cock engagement surface that doesn't bear up under impact stresses very well. That's why the slide lowers the hammer to the sear instead of dropping it abruptly...and that's why flicking the hammer on a revolver beyond what's needed to check proper engagement is a singularly bad idea.
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Old January 24, 2013, 08:37 PM   #12
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It is a way for women and men with weaker hands to rack the slides of blowback guns like the PPK/s. My wife couldn't rack the slide at all until I showed her that. Of course one must point the muzzle in a safe direction while doing it, but that goes with all gun handling, we try our best to keep the muzzle from sweeping our friends, and if we accidentally shot our enemies we'd go to jail.
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Old January 25, 2013, 01:44 AM   #13
chris in va
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Quote:
On anything. There's a narrow sear/full-cock engagement surface that doesn't bear up under impact stresses very well.
That's a first. My CZ barely moves when I pull the hammer back and release. Appears to be rather beefy twin hammer hooks engaging the sear. I'll ask the CZ tuners next time I get a chance.
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Old January 25, 2013, 07:00 AM   #14
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CZ

Quote:
My CZ barely moves when I pull the hammer back and release.
That's interesting. Just for giggles...cycle the slide and ease it forward. Watch to see how far the hammer moves as the slide goes into battery.

The hammer hooks/full cock notch can only be so "beefy." The width of the hammer is one limiting factor, and the longer they are, the further the sear has to move to release the hammer. Long=Creep. The hook surface to sear crown interface is narrow. Otherwise, the trigger action will require a bit of effort.
Designed to operate under friction...not impact.
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Old January 25, 2013, 07:21 AM   #15
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1911 Tuner speak ...... time listen!
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Old January 25, 2013, 08:03 AM   #16
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I pull back the hammer first when using my Kadet 2 kit on my CZ... mainly because you can't get a full over the top grip due to the way it's built. It's easier to just cock the hammer and then rack the slide with my fingers.

So far so good no damage that I can see. Though I don't cock the hammer and let it fall I ease it back until it locks up on its own.
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Old January 25, 2013, 08:04 AM   #17
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"The hammer doesn't remain in contact with the slide, but is rather slammed backward...bounces off the grip safety tang...and falls back to the slide, striking it roughly at the junction of the stop and the center rail, assuming that the mainspring is to spec and in good shape"
That all seems to be rather violent and the assumption then is that the
hammer hits the center rail just before it engages the sear so that there's no
damage to it as in "letting it slip",not that I do or even think it's ok to do that.
But I probably think too much about these things.

Last edited by polyphemus; January 25, 2013 at 08:06 AM. Reason: typo
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Old January 25, 2013, 08:36 AM   #18
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Violence

Quote:
That all seems to be rather violent and the assumption then is that the
hammer hits the center rail just before it engages the sear so that there's no
damage to it as in "letting it slip",
The operation is a rather violent, slam-bang affair...and hitting the center rail isn't an assumption. It's a mechanical reality. Cycle the slide and ride it forward slowly...and watch the hammer as the slide goes to battery. It never completely releases it to the sear until about the last 32nd inch...and even that isn't under full force.

This also ties into the myth of the 1911 firing out of battery and blowing up.
It can't do that. It's mechanically impossible. With the slide .100 inch out of battery, the upper lugs are still engaged and the breech can't open even if it could fire...which it can't because at .100 inch out, the face of the hammer can't reach the firing pin. And...If the original 5/64ths firing pin stop radius is in play, it can't hit the pin at .090 inch out.

Back the slide up a 10th inch and look at the hammer and firing pin.

So, when somebody has a kaboom and offers the out of battery explanation, you know that what really happened was probably a double charge, or maybe they severely compromised the case head support during a double throwdown ramp'n'throat job. But firing out of battery? Nah.
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Old January 25, 2013, 11:19 AM   #19
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Hammer Slap

Movin' along...

It's all about impact. Sear and hammer hook interface do well with friction. With impact...not so much.

Back in the days when the AMU armorers were setting the standard, some of them did a little modification to the hammers to shorten the distance that they traveled before hitting the sear after the slide let'em go. This was done in order to preserve their 56-ounce trigger jobs by minimizing impact as far as possible, thus protecting the finely-honed sear crowns and the shortened hammer hooks.

It was a fairly tricky modification to get the hammer geometry just right without going too far and letting the hammer hit the sear after the rebound. If the CZ hammer geometry is providing that minimal distance and impact, it's for a reason...and that reason is protecting the sear crown and the hammer hooks from damaging impact.
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Old January 27, 2013, 11:25 AM   #20
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Quote:
Cocking the hammer first on my Hi-Power was the ONLY way I could pull the slide back.
I hear ya on that one. I was amazed at the difference in effort needed to work the slide on a new HiPower compared to a well used surplus Argentina police gun.

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Old January 27, 2013, 04:36 PM   #21
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On every auto with a hammer that I know of (and that's a few), cocking the hammer first does reduce the force needed to pull back the slide. For some people, that can mean the difference between being able to cycle the slide, or not.

Yes, pulling the hammer all the way back and letting it drop onto the sear is a bad thing. But how many people are actually going to do that, especially once they understand how it is a bad thing? Most will just pull back until it "clicks" at full cock, or (as I do) pull past the full cock click, then ease it down until held.

Yes, it could slip, and that's a bad thing, but anytime a hammer slips, its a bad thing, now isn't it?
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