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Old March 18, 2013, 12:43 PM   #9
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Join Date: December 11, 2004
Location: Redwood City, Ca.
Posts: 3,297
Technically it doesn't sound like a "hangfire" if what Bob describes is accurate...

Once, while firing the .35 Remington, I had a hangfire. I squeezed one off only to have the hammer remain cocked. I held it pointed down range for a minute, with my trigger finger alongside the frame, then brought the gun to the "pistol ready" position, gripping with two hands and held at forty-five degrees, prepatory to opening the action and ejecting the unfired ropund. At that point the pistol fired, whipping the front sight back into my right cheekbone.
A hangfire is when the hammer drops on a round but the primer does not ignite immediately. This can be because of a bad primer, light strike of the hammer, hard primer or another reason. But in the case Bob describes the hammer did not fall and did not strike the primer. Bob says that when he raised the gun to the ready position it was then that the hammer dropped and the round fired. If he had placed his thumb over the hammer while it was cocked and held it back till he could safely lower it to the half cock notch then the gun would not have fired.

In the case of a true hangfire you can do what Bob began to do, hold the gun pointed down range for 30 seconds to a minute to see if the primer will ignite the powder. Then while holding the gun still pointed downrange and away from you and not in the ready position, open the action and eject the round. In the case of a single action try dropping the hammer on the round again, it won't hurt anything and the round may go off this time.

IF you shoot 22 l.r. regularly hangfires are common. In a revolver when the hammer drops and the round does not go off wait 30 seconds or so. If the round does not go off within a few seconds it usually will not go off till another hit on the primer occurs.

Single shot handguns are excellent tools for a number of things. In general they are stronger than other types of handguns and are, mechanically at least capable of greater accuracy.

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