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Hopkins & Allen question

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longcruise

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I've never had an opportunity to examine one of these and looking at photos doesn't clearly show if there is a "safety" position on it. Is there a hammer position that is considered as such?

I realize this question brings up the overall question of the safety of carrying any ML at half cock or hammer down, etc., but am specifically asking about the H&A action.
 

mooman76

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I have an older model Hopkins & Allen but just like the others have stated it has the half cock. The action is basically the same as other BP guns. The half cock is not a true saftey so care is needed when handling like any other gun. If it worries you, don't put the cap on until you are getting ready to fire. Most ranges won't allow you to cap it until on the firing line getting ready to fire.
 

longcruise

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Are there any problems with the hammer catching on the half cock notch when fired?

I need to do a lefty for a granddaughter and Pecatonica has a kit that allows a good selection of calibers. Was concerned about the half cock situation but your answers put that to rest. It's still a few months before I could start it but this is probably the go to.

Thanks for the information.
 

hawkeye2

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Yes there is a problem with the hammer catching. Usually it doesn't cause an issue but if you are gently and slowly squeezing the trigger it can catch the tip of the notch which will break the nose off the trigger and possibly damage the hammer too, it has happened to me. It's possible to shorten the tip on the half cock notch on the hammer and that'll usually eliminate possible problems and still leave you with a reliable half cock. I don't have a photo handy but if you had a gun in front of you you would see what I mean, they are very simple. Deer Creek may still have parts and parts show up on that evil auction site from time to time, hammer & trigger are usually $20+ there. It might be possible to repair the damage but it wouldn't be easy.
 
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I've never had a problem with the hammer catching on the half cock notch, but maybe an ounce of prevent might avert disaster. If you look closely at the H&A action you should see two or three ways an actual safety could be added to the gun without a lot of work. I was thinking about adding a cross bolt type safety to mine once, but decided the half cock was really all I needed. The real safety is just good gun handling.
 

hanshi

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I have an H&A I ordered some 55 years ago or thereabout. It had a halfcock notch that I used and it wouldn't fire from that position when the trigger was pulled. The fullcock trigger pull was crisp and light.
 

longcruise

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Another question; I've heard that one needs forearm protection from cap shrapnel on these guns. Is that so?

If it is, what are the solutions?
 

Dwight Rutherford

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I’ve never had it happen to me, I do shoot with the curved butt nestled in the curve of my shoulder and bicep. This stance moves my left forearm off to the side instead of directly under the barrel.
 

Pietro

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I've never felt any cap shrapnel - but then again, I always wear long sleeve garments when firing such (regardless of the ambient temperature).
 

longcruise

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I guess if nobody has set their arm on fire it's not a problem. :)
 

Griz44Mag

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Looking closely at both of my underhammers,
The half cock notch is shorter than the full cock.
Seems to me if you pull the trigger frm full cock there is no way for the sear to catch on the half cock unless you are fast enough to release the trigger after the sear release but before the hammer travels to the half cock.
I KNOW my reflexes are not hat fast and I have serious doubts the hammer spring is even fast enough to catch it if you did release the trigger that fast.....
And like all others here, I have had no issues with cap fragments or powder blast from either the rifle or the pistol even shooting 2 handed.
 

griffiga

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Now, a Hopkins and Allen under hammer flintlock would be a sight to behold!:eek: I actually have one of their under hammer pistols, and it has a half cock, but all the caps I've been able to find are too small. Perhaps a new nipple?
 

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