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Because SA and Colt - I don't know about other makes - have quit putting true half cock positions on their hammers. They now have a "safety shelf" to stop the hammer fall if it should somehow get jarred off from full cock. The shelf is not notched to trap the sear, so you can get on it, pull the trigger and the hammer will fall the rest of the way. It is placed low so that even though pulling the trigger will drop the hammer the rest of the way, it will not hit the firing pin hard enough to fire a round in the chamber. I wouldn't push my luck with it. It is for emergency only. A conventional half cock is not a good position for carry, so it is probably no loss.
 
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