View Full Version : External Hammers

December 24, 2010, 09:37 PM
I have a question about shotguns with external hammers which I hope some of your members can answer.

What is the difference between what is referred to as "real" external hammers as opposed to what seems to be described as cocking levers?

December 24, 2010, 10:46 PM
Modern side by side shotguns have a device that causes the internal hammers to be cocked and the springs set when the action is opened. Also within the action are the sears and firing pins.

With traditional exposed hammer shotguns, the hammers and firing pins are on the exterior. Cocking the hammer exposes the firing pin end, pull the trigger, the hammer falls, and drives the firing pin into the shell's primer. Unlike the modern gun, opening the action doesn't re-cock the hammer spring, it must be done manually.

In an attempt to recreate the old style guns, modern guns are modified to remove the automatic cocking device, but the firing pins and hammers remain internal. External cocking levers are shaped to resemble the old type of hammer and are operated in a similar way.

The benefit of this design is it allows the mfg to make an old looking gun with a minimum of new parts, and the firing pins don't have to be relocated. For the shooter, having the external cocker, means opening the action doesn't required the energy to operate an internal cocking mechanism, so it's faster and easier; but, any saved time and energy must be expended operating the external cocker.

December 24, 2010, 11:36 PM
Some are just there for decoration, I wanted a coach gun with hammers that were functional so I bought this TTN coach gun, you can see the firing pin near the hammer

PS that is my dogs nose next to the hammer

December 25, 2010, 11:29 AM
Thank you for the information Zippy 13. You explained it very clearly. Are there any other pros & cons for the two basic types?

What is your opinion of the CZ hammer coach gun, And which type are its hammers ?

December 25, 2010, 12:05 PM
Since my last, I realized two more advantages to the "simulated" coach gun: The actual internal hammers are lighter weight than true external hammers -- lighter hammers mean a faster lock time; and, without having the firing pins exposed, the gun is a pinch more weather-resistant. You'll appreciate this if you ever get caught shooting in a heavy rain. :eek:

I'm not into coach guns, so I don't have a clue about the CZ gun -- Google is your friend. :)