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Old January 1, 2019, 07:19 AM   #1
rgillis
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Single Action 1873 hammer question

Does anyone know if it is possible on modern reproduction SSA 1873 models to swap a Bisley style hammer for the standard hammer?

Thanks
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Old January 1, 2019, 09:54 AM   #2
Driftwood Johnson
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Howdy

I can tell you for a fact the hammer on an actual Colt Single Action Army and a Colt Bisley model are very different.

I do own an Uberti Cattleman and the hammer on it has a very similar profile to the actual Colt hammer. I don't own an Uberti Bisley, but I suspect it is very similar to an actual Colt Bisley.

As you can see in this photo, the rear part of a Bisley hammer (at the top of the photo) extends much further back than the standard SAA hammer (at the bottom). Notice too, the backstrap of the Bisley has a long cut to accommodate the longer hammer. The standard SAA does not, so there is no way the Bisley hammer would fit into a standard frame.






Here are the internal parts of a standard Single Action Army. Note the little roller at the bottom left of the hammer. The little roller rides on a shallow slot in the hammer spring.






Here are the internal parts of a Colt Bisley. In addition to the completely different shape, the Bisley hammer has a T shaped stirrup that engages two hooks on the hammer spring.










So while I don't own a replica of the Colt Bisley, I think it is a fairly safe bet the hammers will not interchange.
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Old January 1, 2019, 01:13 PM   #3
rgillis
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Thank you for the reply and the photos. Greatly appreciated
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Old January 1, 2019, 01:19 PM   #4
Jim Watson
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Elmer and his gunsmiths figured it out for the No 5: "The hammer was a hybrid with a Bisley spur and an SAA bottom half,"
There have been others.
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Old January 1, 2019, 05:08 PM   #5
HighValleyRanch
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I've posted this before.
Anything is possible.
A Bisley spur melted onto a Ruger DA six hammer.
If I can do this, I am sure there is a way to get a bisley spur onto a 1873 hammer.

somebody once wrote that a Ruger security six (and all the other six models) was a single action revolver that could be shot double action. So that's my reasoning for this bond. It cocks single action so nicely!
And the beauty is that I can change the hammer to a stock six in two minutes to suit my needs and fancy


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Old January 1, 2019, 07:48 PM   #6
Driftwood Johnson
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Howdy Again

The original question was:

"Does anyone know if it is possible on modern reproduction SSA 1873 models to swap a Bisley style hammer for the standard hammer?"

My answer concluded that no, they will not swap.

Spend enough on custom gunsmithing, and anything can be made to fit.

Jim Watson mentioned Elmer Keith's No. 5 revolver. One of the best known examples of customizing a standard SAA.






Elmer's No. 5 went up for auction back in 2015. Ian McCollum did one of his terrific videos about the No. 5 at the time.

I have taken the liberty of taking a screen shot from Ian's Video and posted it here. I hope Ian will not mind.






Elmer's No. 5 revolver had a hammer that resembled a Bisley hammer, but it was actually welded up to make it look that way. You can see the hump on the hammer extends back like a Bisley hammer, and the backstrap of the revolver is a modified Bisley backstrap. However I saw a photo of the gun with the grips off, and the hammer does not have the T shaped stirrup of a true Bisley hammer. Instead it has the little roller like a standard SAA hammer. The hammer spring is not a Bisley hammer spring, with the two hooks that pop over the stirrup. The hammer spring looks to be custom made, in a V configuration. The roller on the hammer rides in a shallow groove in the hammer spring, much like a standard SAA hammer. So somewhere on that hammer there was probably a weld line at one point, where a standard hammer and a Bisley hammer were married together.

Here is a link to Ian's excellent video about Elmer's No. 5:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-ef3z9Sv3s
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