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I just got an SA compact loaded. I set the hammer at half cock & pulled the trigger...the hammer droped right down onthe firing pin. Now on my GI 1911A1, this does not happen, and the manual says this this is a safty check. If hammer drops, it indicates a problem with (?, can't remember what). Anybody know if this in the norm for SA .45s? and if so, why? thanks
 

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fmalott

Colt and others (including the newer SA's I've handled) have been using a hammer design that has a "ledge" rather than the original "captive" half-cock notch. The ledge design will allow the sear to slide off, but the hammer is far enough down that it doesn't have enough force to overcome the firing pin spring.

It's a little disturbing if you're used to a captive notch, but it is safe.

HTH

JSP
 

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JSP is correct. Now, does anyone have a clue as to why the change was made? I wonder if it's a better design, or just a cheaper way to make a hammer.-TR
 

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Originally posted by TangoRomeo:
JSP is correct. Now, does anyone have a clue as to why the change was made? I wonder if it's a better design, or just a cheaper way to make a hammer.-TR
I thought it was made in conjunction with the Series 80 firing pin block. Since the gun won't fire if the hammer slips off half-cock, the captive half-cock notch was no longer needed.

Phil

[This message has been edited by pxchang0 (edited 05-21-2001).]
 

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Notwithstanding the idea that the half-cock position has never been useful or necessary, I can't accept the idea that a hammer at half cock is safe. There's always the exception that proves the rule (FP spring broken, for example), and in this case that exception could prove fatal for someone.

I have never understood why there was a half cock position included in the original design, anyway, but, like all the other quirks of the 1911, I have accepted it as part of the whole, and of the legend. Maybe it was a holdover from the old SA Colt 45 six-shooter that was so popular at the end of the 19th century.

At any rate, I have never encountered a situation where it was either needed or desirable.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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feedramp

"Safe" is relative and I prefer the captive - but I've seen a couple of bad trigger jobs where the halfcock notch came in handy



TangoR

Ditto pxchang...but like so much else, I wouldn't be surprised if it was an older design...
 

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feedramp,

I am definitely a benefactor of the half-cock safety. My M1911 target pistol suffered from hammer follow-through due to a problem with the trigger job. Only the hal-cock safety prevented the pistol from discharging on its own upon closing the slide on a fresh magazine. Of course, it was always pointed downrange so no one would have been hurt that day. But if loaded for carry at home, it could have provided an entry point for the smaller wildlife through the wall or worse.

I'll keep the half-cock safety, thanks.

Regards,
TBob

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"To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them"
- George Mason, American Statesman (1725-92)
 
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