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Posted: 8/28/2010 3:08:40 PM EDT
I was at the local gun dealer the other day looking at a new Ruger Blackhawk when the guy behind the counter said "Bad thing about them type of guns is that you should only load 5 rounds in them and always keep it on the empty chamber so you don't shoot yourself in the foot." Now I know back in the days of the old west that was common but I would think after 100+ years they would have fixed that problem. I don't think the guy know what he was talking about but it never hurts to ask. Thanks
Link Posted: 8/28/2010 3:11:48 PM EDT
Modern Ruger single actions use a transfer bar safety and are safe with all six cylinders loaded.
Link Posted: 8/28/2010 3:23:09 PM EDT
You're correct, he didn't know what he was talking about. A new Ruger Blackhawk is perfectly safe to carry with 6.

An real SAA is a totally different story
Link Posted: 8/28/2010 3:24:31 PM EDT
Originally Posted By mdb212:
Modern Ruger single actions use a transfer bar safety and are safe with all six cylinders loaded.


No worries with a Ruger NMB, just read the barrel next time
Link Posted: 8/28/2010 4:00:25 PM EDT


These stories blow my mind.
Link Posted: 8/28/2010 9:58:26 PM EDT
The sales guy was wrong, but…

That was, and still is, true with Colt SSA revolvers.

It is also still true of accurate replicas of the Colt SAA. See, for example, page 9 of U.S. Fire Arms’ PDF brochure on handling their newly manufactured revolvers here: http://www.usfirearms.com/pdf/USFA_SA_manual.pdf Granted, most SSA replicas nowadays have a transfer bar or similar safety mechanism.

It was true of Ruger Blackhawks until the 1970’s when the transfer bar system was implemented. Newer Blackhawks are perfectly safe to carry fully loaded – plus Ruger will do a free retrofit of the a transfer bar system for its older revolvers

So the sales guy was wrong in reference to the specific revolver he was showing you.

But such revolvers are still being made and sold. (And I have both a Blackhawk and a Bearcat from the 1960’s that look very similar to newer Rugers, but do not have the transfer bar setup).

Bottom line is that generalities don’t work; the shooter has to know exactly what he has.
Link Posted: 8/29/2010 2:22:22 AM EDT
I carry any single action with an empty chamber under the hammer. It is not necessary with modern Rugers, but if I do it with all, I will never make a mistake with any.

Its not like you are going to need 6 shots from a single action. If defense is your concern, carry some thing modern.

Like a 1911, for instance.
Link Posted: 8/29/2010 4:48:27 AM EDT
Originally Posted By mdb212:
Modern Ruger single actions use a transfer bar safety and are safe with all six cylinders loaded.


This. Rugers are perfectly safe, it's the copies of the SAA that have the hammer mounted firing pin that rests on the cartridge, if fully loaded.
Link Posted: 8/29/2010 1:16:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Heartbreaker1373:
Rugers are perfectly safe, it's the copies of the SAA that have the hammer mounted firing pin that rests on the cartridge, if fully loaded.


Yup. Transfer bar safety. Perfectly safe.

Note that Colt designed the SSA to be carried on the first cock notch (there are 4 on an SSA). It's only in modern times that we have decided that that is unsafe as well. (the notch is thin/weak enough that if the hammer is struck hard enough it can fail).

Old Remington Cap and ball revolvers on the other hand had a hammer rest notch halfway between the chambers. You carry it on the "in between" notch. When you thumb cock it it advances to the next chamber regardless as to whether it's on a chamber or in between, pretty cool actually.
Link Posted: 8/30/2010 7:52:06 AM EDT
"The "New" Models are GTG, as are the older 3 screws thet have the conversion done. But..... who would do that to 3 screw? The NM Blackhawk is a good chioce and a strong gun.
Link Posted: 8/31/2010 5:26:20 AM EDT
Colt Single action Army and good reproductions have three notch hammers.
First click locks the hammer back away from any cartridge or chamber that is lined up with the barrel.

Don't drop the gun,,if it lands on the hammer it will fire, but gunfighters commonly loaded the sixth chamber and set the hammer to this first notch when they knew a battle was imminent.

ANY Ruger NEW MODEL BLACKHAWK is perfectly safe to carry hammer down and six chambers loaded, that includes the cowboy looking fixed sight Vaquero revolvers.
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 2:30:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By wildturl1:
"The "New" Models are GTG, as are the older 3 screws thet have the conversion done. But..... who would do that to 3 screw? The NM Blackhawk is a good chioce and a strong gun.


Yupper! The salesman needs some training! Blackhawks are tons of fun....
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:32:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By MP0117:


These stories blow my mind.


Yup. Wow.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 7:41:01 PM EDT
Originally Posted By grendelbane:

Its not like you are going to need 6 shots from a single action. If defense is your concern, carry some thing modern.

Like a 1911, for instance.



LOL (smoething modern ...... like a 1911 ) a 1911 is my choice too, when i am not carrying a wheelgun. Someone asked me with a straight face recently "What does 1911 mean?" when i stated i was going to take the 1911's to the range to give 'em a workout. Wasn't a girl either

Link Posted: 9/6/2010 4:50:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2010 4:52:37 PM EDT by S-Wfan]
The vast quantities of single action revolves had/have no type of hammer-blocking device to prevent the gun from firing if it lands on its hammer.

I teach my kids that all guns are loaded, whether they are loaded or not . . . and I think that sales slut at the LGS is better off generalizing that SAA revolvers are unsafe with all six rounds loaded rather than confusing duh masses of customers coming through his door that are clueless one way or the other. After a customer has PROVED to be knowledgeable, THEN we can debate the specific models with that customer.

Just my opinion.

BTW, not all double action revolvers are safe with six rounds either . . . such as S&W double action revolvers that were made before S&W found a novel way to block the firing pin from striking a primer accidentally if their guns were dropped. This means the revolvers made before the post-war (post WWII) era. Sadly, most people don't know this fact either . . . and the results can be dangerous and/or tragic

Case in point . . .

A fella who runs a flea market in Tallahassee Florida found this out a few years ago when his trusty S&W Model 1917 WWI-era .45ACP revolver fell . . . and shot him in the leg. Luckily, he lived.

I personally would go light on the gun clerk. I'd rather he err on the side of safety . . . and maybe that's exactly what he was doing . . . and also why a lot of "old timers" loaded their double action revolvers with an open chamber in front of the firing pins on their "six shooters" too..
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 3:03:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2010 3:09:22 AM EDT by blackhawkhunter]
Originally Posted By S-Wfan:
The vast quantities of single action revolves had/have no type of hammer-blocking device to prevent the gun from firing if it lands on its hammer.

I

BTW, not all double action revolvers are safe with six rounds either . . . such as S&W double action revolvers that were made before S&W found a novel way to block the firing pin from striking a primer accidentally if their guns were dropped. This means the revolvers made before the post-war (post WWII) era. Sadly, most people don't know this fact either . . . and the results can be dangerous and/or tragic



When you are talking about a specific gun and model I dont think you should generalize. If you want to expand on an explanation thats fine. But when you are holding a particular firearm up you should discuss safety features of that item only.

ETA: Even my very old H&Rs have a transfer bar. You cant generalize, just like you cant generalize about the safetys on an automatic or a lever action or any other gun.
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