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Did the Colt '51 have safety pins?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Pulp, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. Pulp

    Pulp Well-Known Member

    I got my Pietta '51 the other day, and noticed the hammer safety pins. Did the original have these? Both of my Walkers have one pin, but the Navy has six. Just curious.

    My Uberti '60 has zero pins.

    Not sure I'd trust them anyway, I'm am and always will be a 5 shooter.
  2. Coyote Hunter

    Coyote Hunter Well-Known Member

    Yes, the original Colts had saftey pins between nipples. If used carefully, they can be safe unless they begin to wear down. A lot of originals have the pins worn down, or flattened down somewhat it seems from dropping the hammer too hard onto them.

    I'm suprised your '60 uberti doesn't have them. For a while, Pietta didn't have them, but started putting them on. I carry my Uberti navy around the farm a lot with 6 loaded and resting on a pin. I'll get a lot of flack for saying that, but I also use a hammer tie down on my holster, so the hammer cannot pull back enough to rotate the cylinder if caught on something.
  3. mykeal

    mykeal Well-Known Member

    Unless, of course, it snags on something while you're putting the gun in the holster...but then, that can't happen, can it?
  4. Coyote Hunter

    Coyote Hunter Well-Known Member

    Yep, it can, that's why I shoulda run a disclaimer. But I ain't a weekend gun range packer either, I've had to use it to kill a coyote as well as a few warnings. I trust it and myself.
  5. DrLaw

    DrLaw Well-Known Member

    My Uberti 1860 (got this last year) has the pins on it. My ASM Navy did not. My Uberti Wells Fargo has one pin, and my 1862 Pocket Colt has five pins.

    As for carrying it with a fully loaded cylinder as Coyote Hunter, I guess it all boils down to trust, of yourself, and the respect through trust, that other give you if they know you.

    I will often load mine with all six when I am at the range and have it on the pin until I am ready to shoot. I trust myself not to be stupid. If I have it holstered, it is only five as I do not have a hammer strap for the holster (slim jim)

    The Doc is out now. :cool:
  6. scrat

    scrat Well-Known Member

    I have two ASM and neither do not. but the pietta and uberti do
  7. mykeal

    mykeal Well-Known Member

    Since the gun is an inanimate object, trust seems an unlikely ally. You can 'trust' a gun to be unloaded, and we all know how that works. Perhaps a better word would be diligence, or the currently idiomatic 'focus' (I hate that word). If you're not going to take that extra bit of care involved in carrying on empty, then you do need to be just that extra bit more diligent.
  8. Pulp

    Pulp Well-Known Member

    Well, I just realized I told a lie. My '60 is an ASM, not an Uberti. I'm beginning to wonder if I should be allowed to own guns.???
  9. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Well-Known Member

    ASMs I have seen did not have pins.
    The only exception was a very nice, probably early ASM 1861 Navy in a store which was in a cardboard case. It had pins, but that ASM was finished to the degree a Uberti might have been. In the early to mid 90s ASSM was producing rather crude repros with no pins.
    I have a Pietta from @ 1991 bought from Navy Arms that's an Army 1860 that has pins while a contemporary 1851 Navy did not.
    Thankfully Pietta is putting pins in now.
  10. omarkw11@gmail.com

    omarkw11@gmail.com Active Member

    pulp, i agree you should not be allowed to own guns. will send my address in seperate e-mail,,,,,,,,and, thank you lol
  11. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Well-Known Member

    Originals definitely had pins. Mine do.
  12. SWC Bonfire

    SWC Bonfire Well-Known Member

    I really don't see the problem with carrying 6 with safety pins with the hammer arrested... you should treat every gun as though it is loaded at all times anyway. They put six holes in there for you to use. If it was meant to be held on an empty cylinder at all times they would have saved time and money and left a cylinder unbored.

    Now if you're tucking it in your belt, that's another story... but there was a reason why they developed flap holsters.
  13. Coyote Hunter

    Coyote Hunter Well-Known Member

    There are many reasons for carrying a firearm in a certain condition. I carry bp colt the same as I carry my BP Remington with 6 and the hammer in the safety notch, for a full load. Why? Because I may carry that gun out on the back forty and want a full load of rounds. If I carry my SAA, I carry only 5 in the cylinder. Why? There is no safty notch, and I can carry extra rounds in my pocket or on my belt and reload reasonably fast. Not so with a BP gun.

    There is no argument and all is good if you carry with 5 and an empty chamber. I did so for years also, until I bought better guns with the pins.

    As an avid western reenactor and study of the old time gunmen, I'll tell you that when ever a fight was expected, many a gunman would even put six in a SAA and lower the hammer between the cartridges. Now that is something I won't do, and I'm not a gunman either. But, I like my old smoke wagon and can hit pretty good with either the '51 or the Remmie on the fly and they are cheaper for me to shoot and practise with as everything else is .45 Colt.

    I demand and expect safety around me and I will do the same. But I when I go into town, I pack a 1911 cocked and locked and I get much the same responses on safety. Some prefer condition 2 or 3, I like, and practice on C1.

    Now to be fair, when I just shoot with friends at targets and such, I make sure to only stuff 5 for safety.

    So once again my disclaimer, I do it, but it may not be for you. You do what you practice with and need it for.
  14. mykeal

    mykeal Well-Known Member

    The question is why you don't see a problem. If you believe that carrying on an empty cylinder is mechanically and physically the same as carrying on a safety pin/notch then you need to take a good look at your guns. There is a difference in safety between the two just based on plain physics that you need to understand. If, on the other hand, you understand that difference and simply feel that the increase in safety is insignificant, you have a good argument.

    By the way, holster flaps/hammer tiedowns are just fine, but they don't deal with the case of snagging the hammer on a belt, clothing or the holster itself while putting the gun in the holster. One needs to consider that situation in their reasoning.

    Finally, I have to give you credit for a unique, if facetious, argument. Leaving a chamber unbored (I assume that's what you really meant - an entire unbored cylinder is kind of an extreme measure) is an interesting thought. I really shouldn't have to make this argument, but on the off chance that you might actually have been serious: Sam Colt and his contemporaries didn't concern themselves with whether the user was incapable of using their products safely. They didn't have to worry about legions of lawyers waiting to make themselves rich at the drop of a hammer, so they assumed the user could take care of himself and didn't need them to force him to be safe.
  15. SWC Bonfire

    SWC Bonfire Well-Known Member

    mykeal, I am a mechanical engineer by profession; I understand fully that it is no "safety". I am a firm believer that the most critical safety is the one between your ears... and six loaded was no problem to hundreds of thousands of people before lawyers decided that they needed to "protect the public from themselves." I don't abdicate my personal safety to any litigation or device.

    Even at that, some decided to keep a cylinder empty... I have no problem with that, either. Just understand that loading five doesn't somehow make one person safe with a BP handgun and someone who loads six reckless.
  16. mykeal

    mykeal Well-Known Member

    Don't put words in my mouth. I never said that.

    What I said was that, as long as one is aware of the greater probability of an ND while carrying with all chambers capped and loaded and the hammer down on a safety pin/notch between chambers, then the decision is based on knowledge, and that's all we can ask of anyone.

    Since you're a mechanical engineer, and I'm sure you understand how the CW era single actions work, you must know that the probability of an ND due to unexpected hammer displacement by any means is greater in the case of a hammer being carried down between chambers with all chambers loaded and capped than it is when the hammer is carried on an empty (or uncapped) chamber. That's a simple fact due to the design of the gun, and it applies to any CW era single action gun.

    The only question, and the one I posed above, is whether that larger probability is sufficient to justify carrying fewer rounds. In some cases, is that probability higher than the probability that one will NEED that extra round?

    As long as one is aware of that increased probability and makes an informed judgment, that's all that's needed. The problem comes when the decision is based on emotion and rumor. It's bad enough if someone gets hurt by an ND; it's tragic when that ND occurs because someone thought they were being safe based on some urban legend.

    Hundreds of thousands of people carrying with all chambers loaded don't make you safe. You correctly state that safety begins between the ears, but then make reference to what other people have done as if that makes some kind of difference. What matters is what you do, not what they did. And you have to look at how your gun is designed and what you can do to take advantage of everything it gives you to be safe.
  17. Iamsniper1

    Iamsniper1 Member

    I have a 1976 ASM Walker that has 6 safety pins,also this piece has all matching serial numbers on all the parts,I've been told that this ASM Walker was among the best that ASM ever produced,fit and finish is right up there with
    Uberti and Colt.
  18. StrawHat

    StrawHat Well-Known Member

    I recall reading or hearing somewhere that the pins were added at the request of the Army to make the revolver safer as they were being carried with six and the hammer between the chambers. Not sure what year that it occurred.

    The load one, skip load four drill was introduced with the Model P as it did not have pins or notches.

    I load 5 in the Model P and six in C&Bs with pins.
  19. Pulp

    Pulp Well-Known Member

    Like John Wayne said, "If you think you're gonna need six, load six."

    Who can argue with that logic??
  20. AntiqueCollector

    AntiqueCollector Well-Known Member

    Guns were frequently carried in the 19th century with the hammer at the half cock position. I suspect letting it down on the pins is safer than that. Maybe not as safe as leaving one chamber empty but not to the point where I'd be too afraid to if I felt I needed 6 shots. I prefer to leave one empty on revolvers. Still, using the pins for what they're designed for if they're good pins (some pins on some revolvers are not to be trusted) is not necessarily that dangerous. Single shot type guns are another example. I've whittled small pieces of wood (wooden dowels actually) so they have a shape resembling an I (but curved where I cut the wood out) to put under the hammers on my single shot pistols for carrying them. Cock the hammer fully and the block will fall away so it can be shot, but if by chance the half cock notch fails it won't drop on a cap. Not needed or a good idea on revolvers. With these antiques and replicas of antiques you simply have to accept that they aren't always as safe as modern firearms for carrying. No reason to pounce on each other for differing ways of carrying them.

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