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SA Revolvers: Why Pins instead of Screws?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Olon, Apr 3, 2020.

  1. Olon

    Olon Member

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    Howdy,

    Quick question for those of you who are smarter than me: why, in revolvers like the Super Blackhawks and Blackhawks, are pins used in the receiver to hold the hand and hammer instead of screws? I know that the old models of each of these revolvers use screws, so I was curious. In my Super Blackhawk, the hammer pin is constantly walking out to the right so I have to keep tapping it back in.

    Here's a few theories I have:
    1. Cost savings
      • they don't want to pay for the tooling for tapped holes in the receiver
      • I'm guessing QC would be more expensive because a tapped hole is more likely to be botched than a through-hole
      • Pins are cheaper than screws
        • I suspect this is the reason. An assembly tech can have buckets of pins with slightly different diameters to select one which fits the best, and if the holes in the receiver are slightly oversized, a larger pin can be used. The same would go for the hole at the base of the hammer
    2. Durability
      • Pins might be stronger than screws because of the larger diameter (versus a threaded diameter
        • I don't think this is probably the case because it's not like the hammer is exposed to a lot of shearing forces during operation
    3. Aesthetics
      • I could see where one would argue that pins are more elegant than screws. It has a cleaner look and nobody is going to booger up the pin by using improper tools
    I don't really know that much about how these are actually assembled in the factory, so these are kind of just what comes to mind for me. What do you think? Is there a widely accepted reason that makes pins more desirable for this application?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

    Olon
     
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  2. whughett

    whughett Member

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    All of the above perhaps. In a thread on the S&W Revolvers side plate screws it was noted by a former employee of S&W that threaded holes and screws are costly in manufacturing. In this case it was one of the incentives to reduce the amount used in the side plates over the years
     
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  3. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    Can't strip a pin.
     
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  4. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Or cross thread it or bugger the slot.
     
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  5. shootstraight57

    shootstraight57 Member

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    The hammer pin on a Ruger Blackhawk and other models is still held in by a screw from the trigger housing assembly. I think it was to make assembly and disassembly easier. Just my opinion.
     
  6. RKRCPA

    RKRCPA Member

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    The hammer pin is captured by the grip frame screw and should not be capable of "walking"
     
  7. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Neat how the pins are locked in. I pulled apart a 44 mag 10" to modify the trigger to a Russian pull thru trigger, years ago. Now called a roll trigger on 1911 target guns.
     
  8. boom boom
    • Contributing Member

    boom boom Moderator Staff Member

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    The High Standard Sentinel is an example of how pins were used to create a cheaper .22 LR revolver alternative to the more expensive Smiths and Colts. Firearm designer Harry Sefried was behind that but the Sentinel is a pain to take apart because of it and the solid frame makes some reassembly of it like building a ship in a bottle in the dark. You can see the similarities between the Sentinel and the later Security series of revolvers made by Ruger which Sefried also designed.

    Sefried also designed a select fire Garand for Winchester during the late stages of WWII. He was a great firearm designer that has really not been as recognized as some of his peers.

    https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/hartfordcourant/obituary.aspx?pid=14331907
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
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  9. Olon

    Olon Member

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    Which grip frame screw captures it because mine moves around quite a bit.

    Maybe it's incapable of coming out but it looked pretty close. Nice to know it's being held in there though
     
  10. RKRCPA

    RKRCPA Member

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    There is a groove in the pin that is engaged by the longer of the two top grip frame screws. If you remove the screw it should be obvious. Check your owner manual for a schematic.
     
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