Hawken Hammer Hang Up


September 1, 2008, 12:24 PM
I'm having two problem's with my Thompson Hawken .50.

First is a cap problem. I'm using #11 and they are hard to seat all the way down. I'm having a lot of duds. The caps are new and dry. I think they aren't seating all the way. I'm pushing them down all the way and I think that is the solution but I noticed somethin else.

Sometimes The hammer will go down about halfway and stop there. Seems to hang up at the half cock position. Feels like if I pull the trigger in a harder slapping type motion it doesn't hang up. Can't really slap it and get good groups and I really want to take a deer with it this year. If I can't get a reliable ignition and accuracy I won't be confident in a clean shot on a deer.

Any idea about the half down hammer issue? Any tips about the trigger screw. Could they be related.

How bout musket caps. My buddy uses them and they sure are big!! Better?



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September 1, 2008, 03:07 PM
Sounds like the trigger is out of adjustment..... Try turning the small screw between the two triggers in or out not sure which to cure the problem, but one should work. Steve

September 1, 2008, 03:23 PM
It doesn't sound like your problem is being directly caused by the double trigger adjustment screw. But you can follow this thread below for the link to the TC trigger adjustment procedure:


When I had that same problem with a Renegade hammer and it wouldn't fall past half-cock at all, I sent the stock with the lock in to TC customer service and they fixed it for free. They didn't specify what was wrong, they only indicated that they rebuilt the lock.
As for the nipple, either try another brand of caps or a new nipple. Cabela's has both the Spit Fire and Red Hot replacement nipples & several user reviews:

Spit Fire:


Red Hot:


September 1, 2008, 04:49 PM
Ditto for replacment of the nipple. As for the hammer going into half cock, check to see if the fly is missing from the tumbler.

September 1, 2008, 06:22 PM
Is the TC lock supposed to have a fly? I don't own a TC, but it should be right there in your manual or parts list. Lyman, and I have to assume a few others, use a fly to prevent the falling-to-half-cock issue. It's a tiny piece of metal that pivots on the tumbler, and absolutely eliminates the possibility of this happening. If anyone has ever taken that lock apart to work on it, you could have any of several problems there.

Different brand of cap-- #11, and/or a new nipple. Alternatively, some BP shooters have taken off the nipple, chucked it in a lathe or even a power drill, and sanded it to fit the caps. Whatever works.

If you're using CCI caps, try Remington. They tend to fit a bit different. You should get very near 100% cap ignition with a properly functioning caplock.

Your "two problems" may be related. It may be that your hammer is losing enough energy as the half-cock notch strikes against the sear, such that it makes your cap fit issue more serious.

Any decent gunsmith would be able to diagnose and solve your problem(s).

September 1, 2008, 06:49 PM
I agree with changing the nipple; Treso's Ampco nipples are another option that has worked very well for me. The Treso part number for Thompson Center rifles is 11-50-13. Track of the Wolf and The Possible Shop carry a slightly longer version with the same thread under their part number RST-A (TOtW) or their part number 12-50-01 (TPS). Track of the Wolf also sells the Hot-Shot nipple in the correct thread under their part number HOT-SHOT-RST.

Another option is to simply turn down the nipple by chucking it in a drill and carefully sanding the cone down. It's possible the nipple has been mushroomed by dry firing (usually the case if a No. 11 is too small to fit), and this will correct that quickly.

The description of the hammer problem sounds like it's not actually going into half cock, but stopping near the half cock position. I've had this happen when the hammer rubbed against the stock because the lock was too deep in the inletting - look for a rub mark on the stock above the lock. It can also be caused by dirt in the lock or interference between the lock and the stock inside the gun. Remove the lock and give it a thorough cleaning with some good solvent like Ballistol or even WD-40 or Windex - do that first. If that doesn't clear it up check for interferences.

I don't see the trigger adjustment as related to this problem, but it won't hurt to check that out as advised above.

September 1, 2008, 10:33 PM
Well, I took the lock out and noticed that the plate that holds the lockwork in place had two screws and both of them were loose I tightened them up. Put a little oil on, wiped, little oil, wiped, reassembled and....

It works. I think the loosness of the sear and halfcock things (cams??) were causing it to hang up at the half cock or slow it down enough that it wouldn't make the caps go bang.

I still have the cap fit issue but I'll try the drill/sand technique.
I think I'll get a spare anyway. thanks for the tips!!

September 2, 2008, 12:23 AM
I had the same cap problem on my cabelas hawken. Took these guys advice, and got a Red Hot nipple, haven't had a single ftf since.

September 2, 2008, 06:41 AM
With the hammer dragging on it`s fall ..you probally have the screw that holds the lock in place ..to tight ..you need to back off on the screw or screws ..( yours may be a 1 or 2 screw ) You don`t want to over tighten those screws because you are pulling the lock into the wood inlet too tight if you do ...then the lock works will be rubbing against the inner wood as the hammer falls ..as far as the caps haveing to be pushed on to hard to seat ...eaither try a different size and or brand cap ...or if you want to stay with the caps you have ..take a fine file and work it around the nipple untill your caps fit easyer .

September 2, 2008, 09:50 AM
If the rifle has been dry fired very much it well peen the top of the nibble, keeping the cap from seating.

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