slipping the hammer on single action...?


March 24, 2005, 09:02 AM
Okay I know your not supposed to "fan" a single action, as it it hard on the
gun. What about letting the hammer slip? An older gentleman at my club
who is into cowboy action, taught me this techique. That is holding the
gun with two hands, using your trigger finger to hold the trigger back,
using your thumb on your weak hand to draw the hammer back, and letting
it slip. I've found that you can fire a single action very rapidly this way.
This gentleman has been shooting single actions for about 60 years,
and insists that no damage will be done to the gun, since the sear is disengaged by your trigger finger holding it back and out of the way. Also your not exerting any more pressure on the hammer than you would by simply
cocking it in the normal manner. I have seen many cowboy action shooters
using this method also. What Do you think??

P.s. I'm using a ruger Single Six, if that matters.

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March 24, 2005, 01:40 PM
Elmer Keith did a lot of work with slip hammers for a while. He had a couple of guns modified to have the hammer spur lower on the hammer to make it easier to reach. He ended up going back to using the trigger, for he found it affected his trigger control with his other guns. I think "Sixguns" is the book with the information, it includes a photo of the modified single actions.

March 24, 2005, 01:52 PM
See if you can get your hands on a copy of Ed McGivern's book of "Fast and fancy revolver shooting".He gives a lot of good information on fanning and slip shooting single action revolvers.
Follett Pub. Co., Lib. of congress no.:39-32491 ISBN:0-695-80557-6, copyright 1975
Good luck!

March 24, 2005, 02:51 PM
Many folks in CAS do it,

We shoot 'traditional' class, which is one strong side, one crossdraw. It comes naturally with a two handed grip. Take care to be firm in the cocking, so as not to short stroke the hammer. Other than that, it works well. Of course, CAS shooters put far more abuse onto their weapons than most shooters. 500-1000 rds a month, and blazing away, full speed.

I can empty my two '73s in about five seconds. Good shooters can do both in less than four! Have fun.

Old Fuff
March 24, 2005, 04:17 PM
There is "slip-cocking" and "slip-shooting" and the two are often confused. In slip shooting the trigger is held or tied back while the hammer is pulled back and then released. This may be done one-handed using a special hammer (the McGivern/Keith method) or with the shooter's weak hand in a two-handed hold. The problem is learning to do this well enough to hit anything, and Keith admitted that anyone doing slip shooting should do it exclusively.

Slip-cocking is what CAS do, and that's a different story. The weak-hand thumb is used to cock the revolver while it's being held in two hands, and once cocked it is sighted and fired in the conventional manner. This can be both fast and accurate.

The biggest negative in slip cocking is if the revolver is cocked fast enough the cylinder bolt will batter the notches in the cylinder and eventually peen them out. This seems to happen more on Colt and Colt-clone six-shooters then Rugers because they have deeper notches. The problem is also worse if you have a heavy cylinder such as a .22 or .357 Magnum built on a full-sized gun.

March 24, 2005, 07:53 PM
Okay I get it now. So the old guy was right! "Slip shooting" as you call it
doesnt batter the gun but is harder than H*ll to hit with.
Very informative as usual. Thanks guys. :D

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