why no safe between-chambers position on SAA?


October 17, 2004, 06:31 PM
I'm looking at an 1860 army repro, and see little studs that line up with the hammer to keep it locked between chambers to allow 6-up carry. The 1858 Remington has a similar feature I believe, yes?

So then.. why was this abandoned in the 1873 SAA and its derivatives, necessitating 5-up carry? It seems a secondary protrusion on the hammer could lock into a divot in the cylinder edge.. couldn't it?

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October 18, 2004, 06:48 AM
There is a lot more room between the nipples of a blackpowder cylinder than there is between the cartridge case heads of a metallic catridge cylinder.

October 18, 2004, 12:23 PM
The RD conversin for the Ruger Old Army cap & ball revolver has abandonded the hammer rest notch, much to my disapointment. Seemed like being able carry six up was there chief advantage of the competition from Kirst. Taylor's gave me some song and dance about safety but I suspect it was a cost cutting meaure.

October 20, 2004, 08:40 AM
I used to carry my old 3 screw Ruger Super Single-Six with the hammer restingbetween chambers.
But that was a rimfire with the firing pin at the top and there was planty of space between chambers.

If you look at a large bore centerfire single action revolver you will notice that there's not enough room between the rims for the firing pin to rest.

If you lowered the hammer between the cartridges the cylinder can easily rotate around to a locked position which places the primer right under the hammer. I know, I tried this 20 years ago with a brand new Colt SAA in .44 Special. All I accomplished was a placing a partial ring on a brand new cylinder.

There might be enough room on a .357 built on a .45 frame. But not in any larger chambering.

October 20, 2004, 10:43 AM
Hells Bells™ in my perfect world, having a carry permit and choosing to carry at work would quality as supplimental training and education and be a benefit to the company. It would thereby entitle you to a 25¢ per hour pay bonus.


I once had my boss ask me to keep a little hardware in my desk drawer.

We had a serious problem with a creep stalking a gal in the firm on the second floor of the building. (We were on the ground floor.) This problem got serious enough that we had a couple of guys from the local SWAT team posted in the building for a couple of days. In the end nothing happened, at least not around the building. The creep was probably stalking her in other places as well.

Jim K
October 23, 2004, 08:11 PM
The Colt SAA not only can be carried with the hammer down between rounds but often was carried that way. The "empty chamber" is more a Colt lawyer idea than anything else. The round nose firing pins on modern guns cannot rest between rounds on the .45, although they can with other calibers. But the old pointed firing pin can easily fit in the small gap even with .45.

NOTE: This does not mean I recommend or endorse this way of carrying a single action revolver. You should always let the hammer down on an empty chamber to avoid accidents.

Those "studs" on the Colt percussion revolvers were called (ready for this?) "safety pins". Most of them on the originals were flattened long ago and most repros don't even have them, even though they have the hammer notch which would work with the pins if they were there.


October 24, 2004, 06:48 AM
Jim, with all due respect, the Colts you have owned must have had different diameter cylinders than the ones I have owned.

Only on my .32-20 would the firing oin fit between rims.

I suspect it might on a .357/.38 but I don't know since I have never owned one.

I have only owned Colts chambered for .44 special, .44-40, 38-40 and .45 Colt.

Even the .45 with the aux .45acp cylinder installed wouldn't let the pin rest deep enough to be safe. And the .44 special, which has the smallest rim size of all that I have owned, would easily spin if you tried it. Like i said I put a nice idiot ring on a pristine cylinder trying it. (Go ahead, kick me, I deserve it.)

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