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Hi
I often see and/or hear of a broken trigger sear or battered hammer ledge; how does this happen? What sort of abuse leads to this damage? It is somewhat intuitive that "fanning" is asking for trouble. The recent traffic about keeping finger on the trigger while cocking has me wondering what effect the hammer slipping from the thumb and bashing into the sear would cause. How damaging is it to unintentionally release a hammer into a sear? How delicate are the internals on these things?
Thanks!
 

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Practicing fast draw is a good way to incur this damage (ask me how I know). I was using a steel ined, muzzle forward "walk and draw" rig and thumb cocking before I cleared leather. Didn't get fully cocked enough times to ultimately damage the hammer and trigger. It took more than once, but I wasn't keeping count. After I quit that, it took a while before the gun was non-functional and I was able to get the hammer and trigger re-built and functional. I don't do fast draw any more but do compete in cowboy action shooting and have had no issues with fairly fast shooting cocking with the off hand.
 

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Andy's right.

The design is not inherently weak and I wouldn't call the parts fragile. But abusing a SAA will take a toll on trigger sear and hammer PDQ. With normal use and even an occasional accidental dropped hammer on the sear, the parts will last for years and years. But the sear takes the most punishment and usually wears faster and/or breaks 1st. But hammer safety and loading notches can be broken off if you pull the trigger hard enough. Many people break a sear, buy a new trigger and stick it in the gun without fitting the sear so it fits all the way to the bottom of the notch. So the 1st time they drop the hammer a little too hard or bump the hammer when on 1/2 cock, the 'fat' unfitted sear is forced further into the notch where it doesn't fit and acts like a wedge to pop the notch off the hammer.

So a simple trigger replacement incorrectly done turns into a $200+ hammer replacement! SAA parts can not just be unscrewed and screw in new parts like changing a waterpump on a car or changing parts in modern self loaders. SAs require fitting and craftsmanship. The SAA is a deceptively simple design, but with sophisticated geometry and that's why I like them. Few regular gunsmiths are good revolver smiths. The good smiths like Bowen, Clements, Harvath, etc., have brought an old craft back to life.

When you see Bill Ruger's new model SA parts design it's instantly recognizable as to why they are unbreakable. Although Rugers do break some small parts occasionally like the hammer/cyl bolt pin and safety transfer bars, those are dirt cheap compared to triggers and especially hammers.

Actually the overly heavy springs new guns come with are to overcome poor fitting which causes extra friction needing the extra heavy springs to get reliable operation and ignition. But they result in the gun beating itself to death.

1st thing most knowledgeable SA owners do is 'tune' the action which allows much lighter springs. So an accidental hammer drop on the sear is much less severe than with the original heavy hammer spring. The cylinder bolt doesn't 'hammer' the cylinder like it used to and the sear doesn't slam down off the hammer into the notches. I'd rather not hold the trigger when cocking to prevent premature wear and the right springs do that for you. Operating the action slow is much easier on the parts but with a polished action and lighter springs you can even "run" the gun fast with much less impact on the parts.

Hope that helps,
Jim
 
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