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Old February 9, 2016, 11:23 PM   #1
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A question about "rabbit ears" (hammer guns)

I don't have much of anything to do with the old rabbit ear double guns, so, I don't know what was customary about them.

I have had, in the last 30 years, a couple of modern made coach guns, with hammers. Am rather fond of them, actually.

My question is this, both of the coach guns I've had have a half cock notch on the RIGHT hammer, and NONE on the left. Is this the usual "traditional" set up for a double hammer gun?
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Old February 9, 2016, 11:47 PM   #2
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Not really a half cock but both hammers should have safety notches.
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Old February 10, 2016, 04:51 AM   #3
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Not really related to the question, but the "Rabbit ears" made me think of it. I was really young, but I remember my father had a double with little squirrels as the hammers. I remember it had some engraving and the wood had checkering. It got loaned out in the relation somewhere and I never saw it again. Ever hear of anything like that?
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Old February 10, 2016, 08:29 AM   #4
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I have an old 20 ga made late 1800's or early 1900's that belonged to my great grandfather. I hunted with it a lot in my youth before finding out it had damascus barrels. It has the "half cock" position on both barrels.
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Old February 10, 2016, 08:48 AM   #5
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Many of the older hammer guns had rebounding hammers with no half cock notch. That way the hammers do have to be placed on half cock to open the gun.

But all of the muzzle loaders had half cock notch's.
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Old February 10, 2016, 03:48 PM   #6
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On some of the newer guns the hammers are only for cocking, they do not contact the firing pins.
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Old February 11, 2016, 12:09 AM   #7
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I go to thinking about this the other day, which is why I asked. Both the guns I have had were coach guns, the first one was a Rossi, and the current one is a Chinese made gun, I don't remember if it has a name.

Double barrels, double triggers, double hammers, and a tang safety button (to allow importation, I think).

The Rossi had a round "locking bolt" that stuck out the side of the action when opened. (Greener crossbolt??? I don't know the right terms for the differences)

The Chinese gun does not have that, has a different kind of lockup. So, WHY would BOTH these guns, with their widely different origins, decades apart, BOTH have no half cock position on the left barrel hammer, but have one on the right barrel hammer??

Now, on a bird gun, I could see the reasoning, the right barrel is usually the open choke short range barrel, and a half cock position sort of makes sense for carry (using the 1800s tech) while the left barrel is the long range (missed bird) barrel, and would only be cocked while aiming at the flying feathered felon....

BUT, on a coach gun??? and one with a safety?? Why one barrel and not the other?? So, I'm wondering, if the coach gun just copied the usual field gun practice, and the foreign copies I have had just copied that???

or might there be some other possible reason?
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Old February 11, 2016, 09:07 AM   #8
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Having a half cock notch on only one barrel makes absolutely no sense, regardless of the era. And when flushing game one would go in with both hammers fully cocked.
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Old February 11, 2016, 12:27 PM   #9
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Having a half cock notch on only one barrel makes absolutely no sense, regardless of the era.
I agree. So why do two guns, one from South America, and the other from China, made decades apart both have this same unexplainable "feature"???

I can easily understand both hammers having a half cock position, or NEITHER having a half cock. The right one with, and the left without simply boggles my mind, as to WHY???
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Old February 11, 2016, 01:09 PM   #10
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Maybe the Chinese version is a copy of the S. American one?
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Old February 13, 2016, 04:59 PM   #11
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Love them old rabbit's ears and mule's ears shotguns. Been looking for one for some time methinks.
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