Where It Counts

The decision to carry a gun is one of the most important decisions in this life and it must not be considered lightly; regular practice is a must. Practice should not only include shooting but also drawing from the carry position and reloading; this is even more imperative with single-actions than with the other types.

One very important aspect of safety arises with a traditional single-action sixgun, this being if the hammer is cocked and one decides not to fire. Then what? With the older style single-actions such as the Colt Single Action Army, the Ruger Flat-Tops and Old Models, and the replica imports carried with an empty chamber under the hammer, once a gun’s cocked the cylinder rotates and the hammer will now be let down on a loaded chamber. This is dangerous and must be avoided.

This should be practiced until it can be done perfectly and, as with loading and unloading, even in the dark. The method is actually very simple. The hammer has been cocked, a live round is under the hammer, and it is necessary to place the revolver in a safe condition without firing it. To do this, the hammer is very carefully lowered as there’s a live round under the hammer! The hammer is now brought back to the half-cock, and the cylinder is rotated as one listens to one, two, three and then four clicks. Draw the hammer all the way back to the full cock and carefully lower it all the way.

If this is done correctly the empty chamber is now back under the hammer. This drill should be practiced with dummy cartridges until it’s mastered perfectly. Practice in the dark and practice blindfolded. It actually sounds harder to do than it is to accomplish.