What really happens when you fan a SAA?


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Leaky Waders
March 16, 2010, 10:30 PM
Hi,

Looking at various guns and smiths, most people recommend not fanning the SAA or clone or even ruger styles.

Why?

What do gun smiths do to make it ok to fan the action? Is there any difference on the action when fanning it versus thumbing it?

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NG VI
March 16, 2010, 10:41 PM
Oh I misread this, I thought you were asking what happens when you become a fan of the SAA, I thought it was going to be a bunch of stories about spending all your money on SAA variants.

Nicodemus38
March 16, 2010, 10:53 PM
thumbing the SAA, as with any revolver, allows the internals to cycle in the proper manner as they were designed for.

fanning the gun is nothing more then manipulating the action in a manner that allows it to fire far faster then intended. As a result the increased stress on the mechanical parts leads to early failure.
For example ive read that the typical factory built clone from uberti will be mechanically fine after 4,000 rounds of standard, NON fanning fire. Ive read that a brand new clone will need a complete rebuild of the internals in under 1000 shots when fanned for each shot.

opr1945
March 16, 2010, 10:55 PM
I am a fan of SAA. I have an old one but I would not fan it. I would imgine it would be hard to hit anything when slappping the gun. Plus it is probably hard on the mechanicals, especially as they are over 100 years old.

Maybe on a new one.

NG VI
March 16, 2010, 10:56 PM
I guess I also have to ask why you would want to? What would you expect to be able to hit like that?

Gunfighter123
March 16, 2010, 11:23 PM
I may be mistaken but I "think" gunsmiths may cut the bolt notches deeper , put a "hardened" bolt stop in , ---- in addition , a true "fanner" will have a very modified hammer swept back towards the grip , a custom aluminum/alloy cylinder ---- most fanners are set up to shoot wax bullets or VERY mild handloads.

And I also think that "fanning"per say -- does NOT hurt the gun ---- what I am saying is if you hold the trigger back and use your palm/fingers of your weak hand to fire the gun in a "REASONABLE" time frame ---- how can this be more abuseive then cocking it with your thumb ???

BTW ---- I have "fanned" my Rugers at about 5 rds. in 3 seconds and scored all five hits on a chest size target at 10-15 yards. It took me about 500 rds. in practice to do this 4 out of 5 times consistintely

9mmepiphany
March 16, 2010, 11:55 PM
a true "fanner" will have a very modified hammer swept back towards the grip
if you're referring to Quick Draw specialist, who fan their guns, the hammers are modified to stick straight up above the top strap (easier to catch) and they usually use aluminum barrels to reduce inertia during the draw

http://www.gunfighter.com/graham/bg_fanning.jpg

Old Fuff
March 17, 2010, 02:20 AM
If you fan conventional Colt or clone single action you will soon batter out the shallow notches in the cylinder, and enlarge the window in the bottom of the frame where the ball on the bolt sticks through it. Ultimately you will ruin the gun.

If you feel the need to shoot fast hold the revolver in both hands (if you are right handed) and cock the hammer with the left thumb. You will have plenty of time to do this while recovering from the recoil of each previous shot.

DWFan
March 17, 2010, 02:32 AM
The man to ask is Bob Munden...
www.bobmunden.com

steven58
March 17, 2010, 07:15 AM
I cut my hand on the adjustable sight of Super Blackhawk that way:o

I guess the gun was reminding me they were there and that maybe I should use them;)

HoosierQ
March 17, 2010, 10:45 AM
Answer: Poorly placed shots.

Noxx
March 17, 2010, 01:50 PM
What really happens when you fan a SAA?

Short answer? You break it. :D

rcmodel
March 17, 2010, 01:52 PM
how can this be more abuseive then cocking it with your thumb ???Because you can slap the hammer about 50 times harder/faster then you can pull it back with your thumb.

Because older designs like the Colt SAA & clones do not have a real positive hammer stop to prevent applying additional force to the hand after the cylinder stops turning & locks.

A very well fitted one allows a tiny spot on the back of the hammer to contact the tiny V-shaped front of the grip frame cut at full cock.
The last very well fitted one was made about 1920 something!

Because fanning quickly beats out the tiny V-shaped contact point and allows the hammer to come back further & further.

Because then when you slap the hammer back, you can't feel the hand getting tight at full lock-up and drive it past it's point of failure.

Because you can rotate the cylinder to warp speed instantly when fanning, and the bolt has to stop it instantly while it is going faster then it was designed to go when thumb-cocked.

Because this exerts additional side-loading on the bolt and thin bolt cut hole in the frame which accelerates wear on both parts.

Guns modified for fanning must have a positive hammer stop added that hits the grip frame to them to prevent over-cocking past the cylinder lock-up point

rc

NG VI
March 17, 2010, 05:06 PM
I cut my hand on the adjustable sight of Super Blackhawk that way

I guess the gun was reminding me they were there and that maybe I should use them

Wonderful

gesshots
March 17, 2010, 05:14 PM
You miss what you are aiming at and waste ammo.
Gunsmiths reassess their labor charges. With the $1000.00
plus cost of a good SSA, I would not advise putting
undue wear on pawl/ratchet timing - very expensive to repair.

nulfisin
March 17, 2010, 06:23 PM
If you are just looking for thrills, take one of your autoloaders and bump-fire it. That can damage a gun, too, but not nearly as quickly.

Arkansas Paul
March 17, 2010, 06:45 PM
If you want to fan one, go get a Heritage .22 from Academy for $150 and do it to that. I've done it with .22s. It's fun, but you can't hit squat like that. Some can, but it takes hours of practice, and is only good for extremely short range.

Leaky Waders
March 17, 2010, 08:27 PM
Thanks RC that's the kind of answer I was looking for.

And, as far as thumbing a SAA or clones? Does that cause any excessive wear? Or is it considered normal under factory configuration?

I'm exploring how one would practice for the fastest double tap with a SAA or clone...

dfariswheel
March 17, 2010, 09:58 PM
Normal cocking depends on how HARD you cock it.
Most people who try to speed shoot with a Single Action tend to yank the hammer back with too much force, which is in some cases as much force as when fanning the gun.

For fast shooting with a SAA, most shooters hold the gun with both hands and cock the hammer with the off hand thumb. The trick is to cock the hammer fast, but not HARD. This requires extensive practice.

For exhibition shooters who fan, most have a minimum of three guns: One in use, one in reserve, and one in the shop being rebuilt.
They also buy new guns fairly often to replace guns that are too badly worn to be rebuilt.

Magnumite
March 18, 2010, 12:30 AM
rc, where do they typically place the positive hammer stop you mentioned?

Is that a lug or weld on the back of the hammer to stop at the cutout in the grip frame?

mljdeckard
March 18, 2010, 12:41 AM
An old timer gunsmith I'm friends with once had a Vaquero in his shop, I asked him what he was doing, he said; "Replacing the pin the hammer rocks on, because this guy thought it was ok to fan it like he saw in the movies. It's not just that he fanned it, he did it so much he was trying to actually become proficient at it."

Gunfighter123
March 18, 2010, 01:12 PM
I'm exploring how one would practice for the fastest double tap with a SAA or clone...

Check this link;
http://www.spencerhoglund.com/files/DeucePistols249.wmv

Total of ten shot drawing one revolver at a time --- 10 HITS - 2.4 Seconds !!!

Gunfighter123
March 18, 2010, 01:20 PM
Quote:
how can this be more abuseive then cocking it with your thumb ???

Because you can slap the hammer about 50 times harder/faster then you can pull it back with your thumb.

Because older designs like the Colt SAA & clones do not have a real positive hammer stop to prevent applying additional force to the hand after the cylinder stops turning & locks.

A very well fitted one allows a tiny spot on the back of the hammer to contact the tiny V-shaped front of the grip frame cut at full cock.
The last very well fitted one was made about 1920 something!

Because fanning quickly beats out the tiny V-shaped contact point and allows the hammer to come back further & further.

Because then when you slap the hammer back, you can't feel the hand getting tight at full lock-up and drive it past it's point of failure.

Because you can rotate the cylinder to warp speed instantly when fanning, and the bolt has to stop it instantly while it is going faster then it was designed to go when thumb-cocked.

Because this exerts additional side-loading on the bolt and thin bolt cut hole in the frame which accelerates wear on both parts.

Guns modified for fanning must have a positive hammer stop added that hits the grip frame to them to prevent over-cocking past the cylinder lock-up point

rc
__________________




Hiya RC ----- I AGREE with what you posted ---- BUT --- you ONLY used part of my statement;

And I also think that "fanning"per say -- does NOT hurt the gun ---- what I am saying is if you hold the trigger back and use your palm/fingers of your weak hand to fire the gun in a "REASONABLE" time frame ---- how can this be more abuseive then cocking it with your thumb ???

The main word in that sentance is REASONABLE.

NG VI
March 18, 2010, 01:49 PM
Then what would be the point?

Gunfighter123
March 18, 2010, 03:53 PM
Point being that YOU CAN "hip shoot" or "fan" a single action revolver without "breaking it" ---- and what about the poor guy who lost his shooting THUMB ???

There is at least two points for ya --:neener:

ArmedBear
March 18, 2010, 04:29 PM
People hip-shoot SAAs competitively. This does strain the works. Most guns used for this are modified for the purpose, at least after they break the first time. In the meantime, they work fine.

http://www.cowboyfastdraw.com/

batmann
March 18, 2010, 04:50 PM
The long answer has been posted. The short answer is nothing good.

Magnumite
March 18, 2010, 05:14 PM
thanks, I got it that time, gf

Leaky Waders
March 18, 2010, 08:31 PM
So gunfighter in that impressive video - was that revolver modified?

I think, if one was going to hunt with a SAA or ruger/clone, then one should be prepared to sling some fast lead should something bizarre happen. Likewise, if someone had to be prepared for shooting the revolver fast, then it would be nice to practice that shooting style prior to going on the trek.

Old Fuff
March 18, 2010, 09:51 PM
Most single action revolvers that are carried for serious purposes are chambered to use meaningful cartridges.

And if one is actually going to hit what they are shooting at, and do so repeatedly they will have time to thumb-cock the hammer while the gun is recoiling from the previous round.

Of course if you just want to make noise... :neener:

Gunfighter123
March 19, 2010, 01:01 AM
So gunfighter in that impressive video - was that revolver modified?

It is more then likely , had a trigger job and maybe the action smoothed by changeing springs ---- I know that Deuce Stevens did shoot Rugers for a lot of years in Cowboy Action/SASS events --- I am not sure what brand he shoots now.

Of course if you just want to make noise...:neener:

Hiya Old Fuff ----- you ain't talking about "Gamer" loads in SASS are ya ???
Everytime I hear talk about Gamer Loads around me ---- I then ALWAYS extend a invitation to them to go downrange and try to catch one with their hands --- NEVER have got anyone to take me up on it:neener::D

Old Fuff
March 19, 2010, 01:53 AM
Hiya Old Fuff ----- you ain't talking about "Gamer" loads in SASS are ya ???

Heck no!!! I like SASS loads. I was just pointing out that the recoil factor when shooting blanks is a lot less then when shooting ball.

That, and if you are shooting "serious" big-bore loads in anybody's single action there will be more then enough recoil to give you time to re-cock the hammer while getting back on target. Not much point in shooting fast unless the bullets end up where you intended them to be. :uhoh:

Leaky Waders
March 19, 2010, 08:32 AM
In this thread http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=511918 someone plans on carrying a single action for carry and when hiking.

Most of the pistol training that I've received has stressed two quick shots in rapid non aimed - just pointed at the target center of mass - to stop an immediate close threat.

I'm trying to figure out how to do that with a SAA or ruger/clone that one would use for hiking etc. Without wrecking ther gun by practicing for the scenario - two legged or four legged.

When firing my double action revolvers it's easy - squeeze twice. The SAA's open up different issues.

Magnumite
March 19, 2010, 09:01 AM
With SA revolver, one can fire two close shots with the first shot fired normally and the second, one's finger still holding the trigger back and cocking and slipping the thumb off the hammer spur to the firing grasp position, releasing the hammer.

I tried it a couple times with lesser powered loads and came to these conclusions for myself:

1. It is a close in, virtually contact distance tactic;
2. You need very credible control - there tends to be more roll as the gun is firing and recoiling as you are establishing full grip on the SA revolver;
3. More than contact distance away I was just as effective using it to cock it and pull the trigger quickly for both shots;
4. If I had real concerns about close in more than one shot required work to keep my butt intact, I'd carry a good DA revolver;
5. Very large bore magnums in SA revolvers have special considerations for me with high speed shooting. I'd opt for lesser powered, but not anemic, ammo for this use.

I am not very accomplished SA revolver shooter for high speed shooting. I am credible in that respect. I view them more as a sporting tool with which I am very proficient with them.
I personally don't care for SA revolvers for defensive situations. That's my experience. That's why I opt in favor of observation #4 if there are close in concerns.

rocky branch
March 22, 2010, 03:28 PM
Just a scary idea.
Losing control or dropping the pistol-shooting ones foot or an innocent bystander.
Brrrr

Gunfighter123
March 22, 2010, 06:00 PM
I'm trying to figure out how to do that with a SAA or ruger/clone that one would use for hiking etc. Without wrecking ther gun by practicing for the scenario - two legged or four legged.


Hiya Leaky,
Holding the trigger back and RAPIDLY thumbing the hammer back for a " double tap " WILL NOT HURT a Ruger !!! I had a pair of Ruger Bisley Vaquero's and put over 5000 rds. thru each doing the above , shooting in SASS/Cowboy Action matches and practice.

9x19sig
March 23, 2010, 10:56 AM
If you have a habit of rapid firing any revolver you are going to round off the edges in the bolt stop notches in the cylinder MUCH quicker than you would with liberal firing practice. The cylinder of a revolver comes to an abrupt stop prior to firing. The faster you make that cylinder turn before coming to an abrupt stop is what causes increased wear in situations where a revolver was fired excessively fast.

rswartsell
March 24, 2010, 03:30 AM
"Fanning" a single action revolver was sometimes practiced in the mid to late 1800's by cowboys enamored with the idea of "fast draw" gunfighting. The idea was that if confronted with a fast draw who missed, and you might miss with first reply, then spray and pray. It was also an "optimistic" approach to dealing with superior numbers and a truly bad idea for getting off the first shot.

Given the sensationalistic and wildly inaccurate coverage by "dime novel" journalists, accurate reports and true memoirs of actually successful gunfighters of the time when single actions were in vogue were hard to come by. As the few true accounts finally surfaced, the practice of wiring back the trigger of a SAA for fanning was exposed as a fool's errand and trying to find practical application for the practice is nigh on impossible.

Even if it did not destroy the gun (which it does), the tactical success of such a practice is non-existent. Nothing has changed since then.

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