Decocking by holding the hammer and pulling the trigger?


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TH3180
February 21, 2011, 08:30 PM
On another forum there is a thread that has drifted into talk about hammered pistols without a decocker. So you load the gun, grab the hammer and pull the trigger to drop the hammer to half cocked. Yes I know I'm still a newbie and all but this just seems like a bad idea to me. What if the fingers holding the hammer slip, won't that make the gun discharge? Am I missing something here? Is this a normal practice to decock a gun in this fashion? Please inform me here. The gun that started the drift was CZ75B.

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ClickClickD'oh
February 21, 2011, 08:41 PM
The hammer can't slip from your fingers if your thumb is between the hammer and firing pin...

There was a thread about this around here somewhere..

cz75bcrazy
February 21, 2011, 08:47 PM
well that happens to be my carry weapon (cz75b) and yea I decock it one handed by putting my finger on the trigger and thumb on the hammer then I pull the trigger and slowy lower the hammer. When I started out I would put my thumb from my other hand between the hammer and the firing pin but it fells easier to do it one handed.

ClickClickD'oh
February 21, 2011, 08:55 PM
The off hand thumb? Never thought of that. I use my shooting hand thumb and do it one handed.

Wishoot
February 21, 2011, 08:57 PM
well that happens to be my carry weapon (cz75b) and yea I decock it one handed by putting my finger on the trigger and thumb on the hammer then I pull the trigger and slowy lower the hammer. When I started out I would put my thumb from my other hand between the hammer and the firing pin but it fells easier to do it one handed.
I have the 75B and this is exactly how I do it too.

1SOW
February 21, 2011, 09:02 PM
What works for my small hands is to use my weak hand thumb and forefinger to hold the hammer and pull the trigger with strong hand and lower the hammer to "FULLY" down.
CZ75B

Harley Quinn
February 22, 2011, 12:14 PM
Done it quite a bit with an old 1935 Beretta, best way imho;) Point in a very safe spot!!!

The off hand thumb? Never thought of that

mgmorden
February 22, 2011, 02:34 PM
It's a necessary fact of life for decocking guns without a decocking lever (or for guns with one you don't trust - the CZ-52 for example is notorious for discharging when you press the decocker). Some people will even do it when the gun has a perfectly fine decocker, though I personally feel that's taking an unnecessary risk.

Maybe it's because my first gun was a single shot shotgun where you had to do this if you ever cocked it and didn't fire, but it never really bothered me - at least if it's a spur hammer. Some of the rounded and bobbed hammers I wouldn't want to try it with, but if it's a spur hammer? Just let it down easy. God knows I've done this more times that I can count and I've never come close to having the hammer slip.

As always, make sure the gun is pointed in a direction such that if it WERE to go off, there still wouldn't be an issue. IE, downrange if out shooting, or if just about and about straight down at the ground away from any toes ;).

PS my standard method is to do it one handed. The thumb of the hand sits across the top of the hammer - closer to the base of the thumb you can hold it the better. Physically hold back the hammer and pull and hold the trigger. The hammer shouldn't move at all yet as you should be holding it from the start (not "catching" the hammer as it starts to fall - don't want it to build ANY momentum). With the trigger still down, ease the thumb forward and let the hammer come to rest. If the gun doesn't have a half-cock notch I'll release the trigger as soon as I start to ease down the hammer. If it does have one, then I'll wait until the hammer is at rest before I release it.

Honestly, this method seems much safer than any multi-fingered method I've heard, as with multiple fingers comes the tendency to try to "pinch" the hammer and hold onto it, where it becomes much more likely for it to actually slip from between those fingers than with the thumb actually laying across the spur. YMMV.

sansone
February 22, 2011, 02:40 PM
call me fruity, but I don't feel comfortable using a decocker anyway. Scares me to let the hammer fall freely, how do I know the decocker isn't going to malfunction?.. that said, I always decock by letting the hammer down gently AND the gun pointed in a very safe direction

Shadow 7D
February 22, 2011, 02:48 PM
On the CZ 82/83 series of gun, it is the ONLY way to decock, BUT there is a hammer block, BUT you have to release to the trigger to activate it (let it return to the blocking position)

Not my favorite gun to decock, usual manner is to pull the trigger with the web of my thumb blocking the hammer, then with the trigger hand lower the hammer as I remove the other hand. OH, and keep it in a safe direction at all times. :)

mgmorden
February 22, 2011, 02:51 PM
call me fruity, but I don't feel comfortable using a decocker anyway. Scares me to let the hammer fall freely, how do I know the decocker isn't going to malfunction?.. that said, I always decock by letting the hammer down gently AND the gun pointed in a very safe direction

It's all about mitigating risk. Except in a few cases (ie, the CZ-52 that I mentioned above), a decocker doesn't fail that often. It CAN happen, but it's a very remote and rare instance. I'd put decocker failure up there as rare as the hammer slipping.

With that in mind, you look at which produces the worse outcome - in both cases you point the gun in a safe direction. If it goes bang - eh - the bullet is going somewhere safe - bon voyage! Look at the BACK of the gun though. No bullet there, but on a semi auto you do have a very fast moving steel slide that's gonna snap back. It's not going to kill anyone, but it very well COULD cut your hand or dislocate your thumb. Again, not life threatening injuries, but an injury nonetheless. It's also an injury that will ONLY occur while thumbing down the hammer. If using the decocker your hand isn't in the way.

With that in mind, when there's no other choice I consider the risk of the dislocated thumb to be rare and within my personal margins of acceptability, but if there's a trustworthy decocker present, then at that point it's not worth taking that risk anymore.

Shadow 7D
February 22, 2011, 03:08 PM
Um, you technique needs work if you are risking your thumb, use the web to hold pressure and avoid getting hit, you let the hammer off the sear gently, not just pull the trigger and drop it on your thumb. Ease it off with the web of your hand and lower it, maybe at most you risk the meaty part of your hand getting a little pinched, thats it.

rondog
February 22, 2011, 03:11 PM
This is how I do it with all my 1911's, but some people believe de-cocking a 1911 will kill all the babies for 100 miles in all directions. Off-hand, thumb and forefinger grasping hammer, second finger tip under the hammer. Pull trigger, lower hammer. No babies harmed.

rcmodel
February 22, 2011, 04:14 PM
Am I missing something here?Yep!
Being familiar with your gun, and lots of practice.

When I first learned to de-cock a cocked hammer gun, I got so excited I kicked all the slats of of my baby crib!!

Seriously, I started shooting a hammer gun (Winchester .22 pump rifle, and a single barrel shotgun) when I was about five or six years old.
That would have been in 1949 or 1950.

Never had an ND then, or in the nearly 60 years since.

And I don't use both hands, one foot, and sixteen fingers & toes to do it.
If you know your gun, you can safely de-cock anything with just the shooting hand.
Rifles, shotguns, pistols, and revolvers with hammers all work pretty much the same.

If you can cock it with one hand, you can safely de-cock it with one hand.
Just pay attention to business.

rc

silversport
February 23, 2011, 07:28 AM
call me fruity, but I don't feel comfortable using a decocker anyway. Scares me to let the hammer fall freely, how do I know the decocker isn't going to malfunction?.. that said, I always decock by letting the hammer down gently AND the gun pointed in a very safe direction
depends on the pistol you have but not using the decocker on a SiG Saur P Series...pulling the trigger and lowering the hammer manually defeats a safety and is dangerous...even after the hammer is dropped...using the decocker drops the hammer to the safety intercept notch as designed...not dangerous...
Bill

Shadow 7D
February 23, 2011, 02:37 PM
Yeah, it does, but note the gun he cited, the CZ52, which is know for FAILING to block the FP
In Other Words, Going bang when you use the Decocker.

Thorgrim
February 23, 2011, 10:18 PM
I don't like decockers either, I end up pinching the hammer between the thumb and finger of my off hand while it drops - and always make sure it's pointed where it would do the least damage if things go wrong.

I shot a Colt SAA and a variety of Rugers for years and had no trouble with lowering the hammer with the shooting-hand thumb - but these new-fangled gizmos give me the willies. :)

Mad Magyar
February 23, 2011, 10:38 PM
but I don't feel comfortable using a decocker anyway.
Jeff Cooper implied that in an article and...........

TH3180
February 23, 2011, 10:59 PM
Jeff Cooper implied that in an article and...........
and what?

Walt Sherrill
February 24, 2011, 07:40 AM
call me fruity, but I don't feel comfortable using a decocker anyway. Scares me to let the hammer fall freely, how do I know the decocker isn't going to malfunction?.. that said, I always decock by letting the hammer down gently AND the gun pointed in a very safe direction

Keeping it pointed in a safe direction is always good advice.

For many of the guns with a decocker, there is also a firing pin block in place. With the CZ and Witness (Tanafoglio) guns, the firing pin can't move forward unless the trigger is pulled fully to the rear. So using the decocker with those guns is very safe.

With the CZ line, the decocker drops the hammer to the half-cock/safety notch and it can't reach the firing pin. (I'm not sure about the Witnesses/Tanfoglio guns, but think they function similarly. (It's been a while since I examined a W/T gun, and I just don't remember.) I think a good number other guns with decockers have similar firing pin safety mechanisms in place. (That is certainly not the case with the CZ-52, some of which had a defective/easily damaged decocking mechanism. <grin>)

Mad Magyar
February 24, 2011, 08:04 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Magyar
Jeff Cooper implied that in an article and...........

and what? (TH3180)

and never gave an explanation. IIRC, it was one of the last quotes he wrote for "Cooper's Corner"....

ultradoc
February 24, 2011, 08:08 AM
I am not comfortable with a decocker. I ease the hammer down pointed in a safe direction [obviously]. The off hand thumb idea is a great idea.

Joker19
February 24, 2011, 08:39 AM
Sigs new P238 has a neat little stop near the pin. The method of putting it into what is called condition 2 (round in chamber and hammer down) is pull the trigger and as you let the hammer go forward remove your pressure on the trigger and the hammer only moves to a point near the pin. If you let the hammer slip it will not hit the pin. Then gently pull the trigger again and lower the hammer to full condition 2.

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