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Re: need info on firing procedure

Posted by Dick Hosmer on Sunday, 15 March 2009, at 4:57 p.m., in response to need info on firing procedure, posted by Wayne James on Sunday, 15 March 2009, at 3:53 p.m.

That is very interesting. IF your 1866 has the original (thick, bevelled edge) lock, in good order, it should have a TWO-notch tumbler - half cock (for loading) and full cock.

The safety position was added later, around 1875-76, but in the flush (thin) lock of the .45-70s. However, I used to have, in my parts bin (haven't seen it for awhile) a three-notch tumbler WITH the long shaft required for the early plate. I honestly do not know for which model it was intended - the only thing I can think of would be as a spare part - made very late, after the third postion was adopted.

But, no matter WHAT the vintage, the arm should not be loadable in the safety position - that is what half-cock was for. If the tumbler and sear are properly fitted, it is impossible to pull the trigger at half-cock.

Load at half-cock, close the breech securely, and pull the hammer back when ready to fire. Since you appear to have some concerns, just keep your finger OUT of the trigger guard, until actually ready to shoot. That said, the trigger pull is normally 6-8 pounds, so the chance of a "mishap" is VERY VERY small indeed. If all parts are properly assembled and in good order, just brushing the trigger WON'T fire the gun! :-)

If you are REALLY worried, practice with a primed empty case to get the fell of it, since it is NOT good practice to snap the hammer on an empty chamber.


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