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Old January 14, 2020, 12:41 PM   #1
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Double Barrel hammer gun half cock...

This is rather outside my area of expertise, so I've come here to ask...

I don't have any personal experience with original double hammer gun, so I have nothing to judge against. I have, over the years, had two reproductions. One from Brazil, one from China. Different actions, different makers, different decades, but both have one feature in common.

There is no half cock on the LEFT hammer. There is, on the Right one.

So, what I'm wondering is, is this a common feature found on the original double hammer guns, copied in the modern reproductions, and if so, why??

Thanks.
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Old January 14, 2020, 01:19 PM   #2
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It is my OPINION that you have by chance gotten two cheap guns with the same flaw.
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Old January 14, 2020, 01:52 PM   #3
Oliver Sudden
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All hammer doubles I have handled that didn’t have rebounding hammers have a quarter cock.
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Old January 15, 2020, 03:21 AM   #4
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It is my OPINION that you have by chance gotten two cheap guns with the same flaw.
I considered that, and while I don't completely rule it out, it seems unlikely to me. The Chinese gun is a "cheap gun", the Brazilian one was a Rossi.

They are different action types, the Rossi had a round "bar" (bolt?) that stuck out the side of the action when opened. I do not know the correct name, but I've heard the term "Greener cross bolt" might that be that action?

The Chinese gun does not have anything stick out from the action when open (boxlock??) however, I think two guns decades apart different type actions, both having the same "flaw" of no half cock position on the LEFT hammer only??

Seems like something out of MY COUSIN VINNIE....

so I'm inclined to think it was someone's idea of a "feature", or perhaps simply something not "needed" until the manual of arms envisioned by the designer.

I have a theory, little more than a wild guess, but a possible explanation, and I'm looking to see if there is anything like confirmation.

I think it is possible, that the left hammer half cock might have been deliberately left out, as a cost saving measure, as the left barrel is traditionally the tightest choked, and expected to be used deliberately, only after the right barrel missed. SO the gun would normally be carried with the left hammer down, and the right "at the ready" (half cock).

Now this doesn't seem sensible, but there are a number of things commonly done in the 19th century that don't seem sensible today, so I can't completely dismiss that some people might have though that the "proper" way to do things.

SO, really what I'm looking for is anyone who has, or has had experience with old double hammer guns and if any of them didn't have a half cock on the LEFT only.

Or any document mentioning this, and in particular why.
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Old January 15, 2020, 01:36 PM   #5
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All of the double hammer guns I have (3 turn of the previous century and one recent) have rebounding hammers. Have you inspected the locks? Since they are of recent make, you should be able to contact the manufacturer, or at least the importer.
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Old January 15, 2020, 02:23 PM   #6
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It is my WHAG that the right would have been fired first(most people being right handed) so the manufacturers put a half cock safety on it.
A 'Greener' was English made. Supposedly superior to any 19th Century American made shotgun. They made Martini action shotguns too.
Great big picture and a drawing of the Greener Cross Bolt system is here.
http://www.hallowellco.com/greener_crossbolt.htm
"...The Chinese gun..." Those could have any kind of action. They don't exactly pay attention to anything but the 'bottom line' considering they call themselves Communists.
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Old January 15, 2020, 03:17 PM   #7
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The only hammer double I have experience with is my friend's P. Webley, c 1888.
Non-rebounding locks, quarter cock on both sides.
But then it is a .450 BPE, not a shotgun.


ETA I sat through a couple of youtube videos.
Both the Rossi and the Chinese Century Arms had rebounding hammers.
So any quarter cock at all is outside my observation.

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Old January 15, 2020, 06:14 PM   #8
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Any hammer guns that I have seen either had a 1/4 cock notch, or no notch, on both hammers.
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Old January 15, 2020, 08:56 PM   #9
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Any hammer guns that I have seen either had a 1/4 cock notch, or no notch, on both hammers.
What he said. The only breech loading hammer gun I have now only has full cock on both hammers.
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Old January 16, 2020, 03:46 PM   #10
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Rebounding Hammers

The only way I could tell a rebounding hammer was to pull and hold the trigger. See if you can push the hammer forward onto the firing pins. I used a Rossi in informal cowboy matches. That gun did have two rebounding hammers. Don't have a made in China gun to try. Rossi had Greener cross bolt that you called correctly. The Rossi SxS is usable and gave me no problems.

Added: This test is to done without taking gun down.
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Old January 16, 2020, 04:37 PM   #11
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The only way to find out is to take the locks off and inspect/clean
them.
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Old January 16, 2020, 06:19 PM   #12
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Rebounding Hammers-test

Do as I say. Basically, you are working the rebounding hammers as if they are firing a round.

Right, for a conventional lock you gotta see what you are dealing with inside. Could be a broken sear and,or broken tumbler. Rubbing on wood and filth can easily jam up the older kind of lock. It's entirely possible to find nightmare in either kind of lock. I've used a Rossi and would bet the Chinese shotgun does also have rebounding locks.

Added: Google rebounding shotgun locks. There's stuff on rebounding locks. I wonder if the quarter cock is another name for a rebounding lock.
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Old January 16, 2020, 08:03 PM   #13
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No, a rebounding hammer and a quarter cock notch are two entirely different things. To an inexperienced person they may seem the same, but they are not.
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Old January 16, 2020, 08:41 PM   #14
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Quarter Cock?

If it is not a half cock or rebounding lock exactly what is this thing. It would greatly help the uninformed. Could you give us novices a description we could understand.

Added: I did find on Goggle that quarter lock is the name for a male chastity belt or the additional safety feature on a 1911. Explain so we understand it the difference between a hammer shot gun and a 1911, Thanks again for your help.
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Old January 18, 2020, 11:27 AM   #15
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A rebounding hammer bounces back after striking the firing pin and may or may not have a notch to prevent it contacting the firing pin(s) without a pull on the trigger. A quqrter/half cock notch is one where the user must manually retract the hammer until the notch engages.
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Old January 19, 2020, 06:53 AM   #16
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Rebounding hammer example

You can find a rebounding hammer on the current Marlin 39AS lever action 22 rifle.

Hope OP will let us know what he found about his shotguns.
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Old January 19, 2020, 08:53 AM   #17
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I have my Grandaddy's 4 digit serial number Model 39 and it has the half cock notch. GREAT guns.
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Old January 21, 2020, 12:09 AM   #18
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Quote:
Hope OP will let us know what he found about his shotguns.
The Rossi is decades gone, and all I really remember about it was the crossbolt action, and that there was no half cock position on the left hammer.

The gun I currently have is a no name thing, identified only as "made in China by the Zhang Zhou Machine works".

I just checked it again, and here's the "interesting thing" the right barrel has a rebounding hammer, and a "quarter cock" position.

The left barrel has NEITHER.

My question was to see if anyone knew if this kind of thing was usual on the old time hammer guns, or if I had something bizarrely out of the norm. So far, looks like the latter.
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Old January 23, 2020, 06:13 AM   #19
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You many have a broken lock part. My Rossi on the same vintage had two rebounding hammers. I don't know where this quarter cock stuff came from. I have been shooting side hammer rifles and muzzle loading shotguns since when and have never heard of this quarter cock business. It's called half-cock. If there is an exception it would be trapdoor Springfield's. There are reviews of the made in China hammer gun on Youtube. The gun clearly has rebounding hammers plus a tang safety.
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Old January 23, 2020, 08:18 AM   #20
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The Model 39 AS

The Model 39 AS has a rebounding hammer. This is the model with the button safety. There is no half-cock for this gun. This is the current model not to be confused with the old time guns that did have a half cock.
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Old February 14, 2020, 10:32 AM   #21
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44 AMP, does your shotgun have 1 trigger or 2? If it has 2 triggers....I am as baffled as you. And I would assume something is haywire in the lock. If it has 1 trigger....I would surmise that the designer of old had this thought. "If the first barrel is the right barrel, and it can't fire when on half cock, why bother putting an extra safety devise on the second shot?". With this configuration one could carry it afield with the left hammer cocked and the right hammer at half cock. When a bird jumps, cock the right hammer and both barrels are available immediately. Just pull the trigger twice.

Just a guess, but try it and see what works and what doesn't. But don't go off half cocked without trying it first! (Pun intended)
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Old February 14, 2020, 12:34 PM   #22
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My gun has two (2) triggers, and a tang safety.

I don't think its broken, and having two guns, decades apart, with different syle actions, one made in China and the other in Brazil with the same features (lack of a half cock on the LEFT barrel only) tells me it is some kind of design philosophy I don't understand.

One possibility occurs to me, that since the "modern" guns have tang safeties, the half cock might be considered superfluous, but if so, why have it on the RIGHT barrel??

AM looking for anyone with experience with the old original "no safety" double hammer double trigger guns to see if the lack of a half cock on the LEFT was something done with them, or not.
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Old February 15, 2020, 10:25 AM   #23
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Have you tried cocking the left hammer and put the right hammer on half cock. Then pull the left barrel trigger? May be a disconnect inside the lock so it only needs 1 hammer at half cock to make it so both triggers are unable to fire?
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Old February 15, 2020, 02:13 PM   #24
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Both hammers are completely independent of each other. The only common point is the tang safety blocks both triggers at the same time. Hammers can be cocked together or separately with the safety ON.
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Old February 15, 2020, 06:22 PM   #25
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Hmmmm. I hope someone comes along that has experience with these. It has captured my curiosity.
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