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Re: High Arch, High Comb breech blocks in 1873 models

Posted by Dick Hosmer on Sunday, 13 December 2015, at 12:53 p.m., in response to High Arch, High Comb breech blocks in 1873 models, posted by John Shonafelt on Sunday, 13 December 2015, at 10:44 a.m.

Fascinating, but hard to comprehend (am not holding a TD in my lap as I type) since it would seem that the guard would always block the hammer fall, assuming everything was in good order and not bent or damaged.

I have never tried to hold a latch open to see if the hammer would go under it - but I will now. Of course, if the latch were that far open, the block could be partly open, too - so - it IS hard to see how all the bits could align so as to permit an out-of-battery discharge. Remember also that arms of this period had firing pin springs, so the possibility of a slam fire is at least lessened.

Taking the other case - if the latch was not quite closed, the massive hammer blow would either cam it down and go on to properly strike the pin, or, if latch were really wedged, fall harmlessly. Here we need to mention the lip added to the hammer in 1880 to more forcefully strike a not-quite-closed guard as it passed, to better ensure sufficient follow-through to force lock-up, and still fire safely.

Interesting stuff, indeed.


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