Did the U. S. Military ever regulate against carrying a chambered round in a handgun? Pistol or revolver? Past or present? When?
Of course...as is the printed "User's Manual" that comes with every Colt pistol (and most other brands) that I'm aware of !Joe, with the 1911 official doctrine was to carry with the chamber empty.
All and all a most interesting view backed up with facts. I must say, that this does change my personal take. Been firm believer in '1023456 in old times' but not so firmly anymoreI, too, have often wondered on the origin of the "load one, skip one" system of carrying five rounds in the chambers of Colt SAAs. It occurred to me that no-one has referred to the largest user of the Colt Single Action Army, the United States Army itself. After all, the Colt "Cavalry Model" was designed for them, and they used it in a large scale for the next thirty plus years. Thos touched on it. This revolver system was carried by between eight and ten thousand enlisted men and officers at a time throughout the army on a daily basis throughout this period, and was carried in very difficult environments. It was also carried and handled on a daily basis in peaceful environments via guard mounts, drill, target practice, daily parades, etc., along with that severe field use. Some were lost by being jarred out of holsters when mounted, stolen etc. These were all accounted for via well documented Boards of Survey where a number of officers sought and recorded testimony to establish responsibility of these losses. The same goes for damage to these revolvers,..all documented by Boards of Survey. Along with the Boards of Survey, there were numerous inquiries regarding arms, their usage, their satisfaction among the ranks with the weapons, posed to field officers, who reported upon the same. These are all well documented and published in several works. There were also several arms boards throughout the era, who intently studied the military's weapons, and those available for possible adoption by the Army. The advantages and pitfalls of the various designs were ascertained by trial usage against each others and the results were formally reported upon in detailed reports. There were instruction pamphlets issued periodically for the Army's weapons, along with general manuals for the various branches of the Army. I have found not one mention of the safety notch failing on a Colt Cavalry Model in all this documentation, and nowhere is there an instruction issued by the U.S. Army regarding the "Load one, leave one empty" method of loading the Colt's Single Action. I find this interesting as if there was going to be a litany of such failures, the Army Ordnance organization would have been alerted to it. Just to make sure I wasn't missing something, I even contacted Dusan Farrington, the author of, "ARMING AND EQUIPPING THE UNITED STATES CAVALRY, 1865-1902", and asked him if he found any such instances of safety notch failures that caused accidental discharges during his research for the above mentioned reference book. He knows of no such instance. (Incidently, this work is a must have reference work if you are even remotely interested in the Cavalry service in the Old West. Highly recommended. It is well researched and gives mountains of reference materials. Yes, Dusan is a friend of mine, but fact is fact.)
I, too, wonder when and who the origin of the subject method of safely loading and carrying the SAA. I doesn't appear to have originated with the Army, who should have recognized the issue if it was an issue.
Except when he did hahaIn The Shootist(1976), young Gillom Rogers (Ron Howard) is getting a “shootin’ lesson” from the famous gunfighter J.B. Books (John Wayne in his final film role). Gillom asks Books why he only loads five bullets when he can actually chamber six. For safety reasons, Books replies. He never likes to have the hammer resting on a live round—and he never really needs six anyway.
Well we are talking SAAs. It is perhaps the most important aspect of our history. I bet there are countless thousands of written word on the subject for 150 years, just waiting to be read. I'm sure there is more than one sentence out there that describes how they rolled with their SAAs, including safety. We know they would wear their guns backwards for when they sat. If we know that then we'll probably one day learn exactly when the safety idea of loading 5 came about.We know a great deal about the history of the world thanks to writing. Surely learning how the west liked to roll with their guns is just a matter of research and time.How could we possibly ever really know what they did? How would it be proved or disproved???
Well, I think if you found a copy of "Raising Kids" catalog from ca. 1960 you'd find on page 15 under the heading of medical treatments, "If your Kid has more than 2 sore throats within a years time it's best to remove the tonsils and adenoids ASAP. Perspectives changeTo put this to some ease, I just looked at a 1912 Colt catalogue and under the SAA model it states "These revolvers should be carried with the hammer resting in the safety notch." This is per Colt.