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Hammer Guns


While recognising the fact that all shotguns are hammer guns, in this I am referring specifically to the old style

gun with the hammers on the outside. There are many of these guns still in use and they are very safe if maintained

 in good condition. Many regard these guns as being more dangerous than the "hammerless" variety. This stems from

the fact that these guns look dangerous when the hammers are cocked and in a way this may make them a safer gun to

shoot with, in that they can be seen cocked and the danger is immediately recognised. Certainly it is hair raising

experience to see a man struggling across a barbed wire fence with a loaded hammer gun in his hands with the two

hammers cocked. A "hammerless" gun is exactly as dangerous in the same circumstances, except that it does not look

quite as dangerous.


However, there are particular problems relating to hammer guns. When cockede and loaded and not discharged

uncocking the hammers can be hazardous. Always open the gun before uncocking the hammers. Do not uncock the hammers

onto loaded chambers. If the right hammer in the cocked position obstructs the top lever, consult a gunsmith. Take

special precautions when unloading and keep the barrels pointing into the ground.


Always carry hammer guns in the uncocked position, with the hammers down.
Remember there is no safety catch.


When expecting a shot, cock the hammers keeping the barrels pointing straight upwards, placing fingers around the

outside of the trigger guard and the thumb firmly in the crutch of the hammer.


Take particular care when your hands are wet or very cold.