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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question about the 4 clicks heard while working the saa action:
My 4th click is really 2 clicks that occur at almost the same time. First, the bolt indexes the cylinder and then, (very shortly later) the trigger sear engages the hammer full cock notch. I understand that these events should happen simultaneously and wonder what problems (if any) this "imperfect" timing could lead to.
Thanks
 

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Correct, it's slightly imperfect timing but not uncommon or a problem when the clicks are so close together. The pawl is put in a slight bind against the ratchet teeth when you have to continue pulling the hammer back to reach full cock after cyl lockup. So slight accelerated wear, but the good news is, the wear will eventually fix your problem and turn the two clicks into one.

The 2nd (bottom) tooth on the cylinder pawl that pushes the cyl around is just a tad long so the cyl locks up early. Can also be caused by the trigger sear being a bit long so the hammer cocks slightly late. Either can easily be adjusted to fix it but I would always work on the pawl because shortening the sear will quicken up the safety and loading notch engagement. Quickening the loading notch engagement may not allow the cyl bolt to clear the cyl notch so it will spin free, or not clear enough to keep the bolt from scribing a line around the cyl. Pull the cyl, put the hammer on full cock. Give the bottom tooth on the pawl a stroke or two with a stone.

If the hammer cocks 1st and the cyl locks last, you have a problem: either the pawl is short and must be "stretched" or the sear is short. You have the easiest to fix for sure, if it bothers you.

There are three hammer clicks and actually 6 clicks total, but four heard clicks when perfectly timed:

Hammer safety notch
Hammer loading notch
cyl bolt pops up and bolt leg on cam (simultaneous)
Hammer full cock notch and cyl bolt locks cyl (simultaneous when perfectly timed).
 

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Over the years I've cocked Colt, and Ruger, Single Actions so that I only hear one distinct click, that of the cylinder bolt popping into place.

Sitting on a deer stand, I learned to sort of keep pressure on the trigger so that the sear is not dragged through, or over, the hammer notches.

I'll catch a lot of flak for this I know, but if the hammer is fully cocked, then eased down to half cock, re-cocking can be done silently in the same way. This does leave a live round under the hammer, but even if the gun were to be dropped, there is only a short distance to fall, and soft ground is the area onto which it would fall.

Bob Wright
 

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I count at least 2 extremely dangerous techniques here. But hey, it's only one person that will be shot in that tree stand when one of them goes wrong.
 

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I have to dis-agree w/some of the suggestions on altering the hand & other parts,shortening the secondary ledge on the hand may cause the cyl.to not come to full battery @ full cock,I'd suggest the 1st thing to do is turn the gun upside down so u can see when & where the bolt falls in relation to the lockslot,cock the gun SLOWLY & observe where the bolt is falling in relation to the lockslot,it sounds to me like the bolt is falling way late & may need to be timed properly.If you'll PM me I'll give u my phone # I can walk u thru it better than on this "evil machine"
 

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Over the years I've cocked Colt, and Ruger, Single Actions so that I only hear one distinct click, that of the cylinder bolt popping into place.

Sitting on a deer stand, I learned to sort of keep pressure on the trigger so that the sear is not dragged through, or over, the hammer notches.

I'll catch a lot of flak for this I know, but if the hammer is fully cocked, then eased down to half cock, re-cocking can be done silently in the same way. This does leave a live round under the hammer, but even if the gun were to be dropped, there is only a short distance to fall, and soft ground is the area onto which it would fall.

Bob Wright
Well contrary to the one poster, I don't agree those are "extremely dangerous techniques". With that logic one could say shooting a Colt SA at all is extremely dangerous. Or handling any loaded gun is extremely dangerous. In a stand waiting for a shot, you're full attention is on the gun more than at any other time of handling a firearm. And it's in your hand with full control of it. Not unlike a rifle with safety off waiting for the shot.
 

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I have to dis-agree w/some of the suggestions on altering the hand & other parts,shortening the secondary ledge on the hand may cause the cyl.to not come to full battery @ full cock,I'd suggest the 1st thing to do is turn the gun upside down so u can see when & where the bolt falls in relation to the lockslot,cock the gun SLOWLY & observe where the bolt is falling in relation to the lockslot,it sounds to me like the bolt is falling way late & may need to be timed properly.If you'll PM me I'll give u my phone # I can walk u thru it better than on this "evil machine"
Thanks for your input Jim. I too have to respectfully disagree with that. You would have to over shorten the pawl for the cylinder not to come to full battery as I described above. Also whether the cyl bolt pops up early or late has no effect on correct cylinder positioning for lock up, that's strictly the function of the pawl and the hammer rearward travel.
 

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Thanks Hondo. I have a 1st Gen. that had five clicks - the last two were very close together. Took Your advise on a little honing the bottom notch of the pawl and viola the fifth click is gone! Thanks much. This is one of the reasons the Colt forum is such a great place to live.
 

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LEO918,

Always glad to hear that. Good work. Colt SAAs are not a simple mechanism as some people think, but simple to work on and fix with an understanding of the geometry of the design. In one full cock cycle, the hammer does three things simultaneously: advances the cylinder, unlocks and relocks the cyl and engagess the trigger for firing.

Jim
 

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Hondo44, you are correct. The Colts style single action seems the most complicated "simple" action to get between folks ears !!! The engine of the action is the hammer but the "brains" of the operation is the bolt. Adjustments to the bolt determines - bolt pick up, bolt drop, bolt locking / depth of bolt engagement in the lock notch , bolt window fitting (holy cow !!)

Dragoon
 

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Dragoon, I absolutely agree about the cyl bolt. It has at least five separate critical fitting points off the top of my head; bolt shelf for bolt height, bolt angle on 1/2 round , bolt shape of 1/2 round, bolt spring leg length, and hammer cam approach angle to decock hammer and reset the bolt. My head hurts just thinking about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you all for the thoughts. I've messed up enough mechanical devices to think before disassembling and you have been a help. I agree that shortening the secondary hand ledge would help synchronize the last clicks by retarding the timing of late cylinder rotation. I am going to do leave well enough alone.
 

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Thank you all for the thoughts. I've messed up enough mechanical devices to think before disassembling and you have been a help. I agree that shortening the secondary hand ledge would help synchronize the last clicks by retarding the timing of late cylinder rotation. I am going to do leave well enough alone.
"Early" cyl rotation and lock up. But we knew what you meant. Probably your best decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
hondo,
I loosely referred to this as "late" because it is relatively late in the cylinder rotation, the primary ledge is no longer of influence and the cylinder is near index. Have I upset your sensibilities by using the wrong terminology?
 

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hondo,
I loosely referred to this as "late" because it is relatively late in the cylinder rotation, the primary ledge is no longer of influence and the cylinder is near index. Have I upset your sensibilities by using the wrong terminology?
Nothing is wrong unless unexplained; which that does quite well. Just never leave potential confusion in forum posts lest someone be misinformed. It happens enough already.
 

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scotty hippockets Thanks for your observation on the 5 clicks. I found the same issue with my SAA just yesterday when I was trying the reduced noise cocking procedure by Bob Wright (see his thread). Mine also has the double click at the last (bolt drop). I never noticed it till I tried cocking it with the hammer slightly depressed -I guess was so focused on listening to the sound, that I picked it up. It is very subtle but,the 2 clicks are there.
 

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Hondo44 THANKS for the excellent explanation on this phenomena. I will check mine closer and see if the bolt drops BEFORE the last millisecond later click. If so, i think Ill leave it alone for now.
 

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I'll catch a lot of flak for this I know, but if the hammer is fully cocked, then eased down to half cock, re-cocking can be done silently in the same way. This does leave a live round under the hammer, but even if the gun were to be dropped, there is only a short distance to fall, and soft ground is the area onto which it would fall.
I do this as well. It is no different from carrying a loaded levergun with the hammer at the half cock notch or a capped or primed muzzeloader with its hammer at the half cock notch. Except that you're not toting your sixgun in that condition, it's only temporary.
 
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