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Sidelock
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Sidelock

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Henry Clarke double rifle...



[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


Montana seems to me to be what a small boy would think Texas is, listening to Texans..John Steinbeck
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Tamid, on my post, the labels are at the top of the pictures, and the picture you noticed is a Scott. Very similar to yours, from a period when "lower" hammers were used.

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Posted for Mr. Helsley.

Cani Esterni was published in Italy. It is devoted to hammers and the

black & white images are excellent. The gun shown is a William Powell
& Son 'lifter.'
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[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by Daryl Hallquist; 02/17/21 10:21 AM.
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I’m going to have to find a copy of that book. That Powell is fine!

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Sidelock
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That's it! I've enjoyed this thread so far, I really, really need a hammer gun! It's been said that " a gun without hammers, is like a spaniel without ears "
Karl

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Karl, You will love them. Scratch the itch! You have my permission to buy a nice sub-gauge English or German SxS, preferably with damascus barrels.


Owen
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I find it interesting how the entire industry settled on an "S" shaped hammer. Is there a reason for it? Early hammers were often straight and straight hammers are lighter (and therefore faster) all else being the same, but perhaps the "S" shape was all about shock absorption? Or was it all just esthetics?


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Sidelock
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The S shape of hammers might be a carry-over from the friction flintlock hammer, with its circular arc to scrape flint against steel; the percussion hammer appears to have been designed to hit an angled nipple square on with the most force; the pinfire hammer had to perform an awkward arc to drive a pin downward; and the centrefire hammer was more of a return to the angled hit of the percussion nipple, with a striker instead. Noseless hammers could hit a striker more in line with the barrel which, while sufficient for the task, might not deliver as hard a blow as the slightly longer arc of the angled striker? A physicist and mathematician might provide a better answer.

One thing, the tighter S shape, angled thumb pieces, and lower positioning of the tumbler vis-à-vis the line of the barrel on later hammerguns means that when the hammers are fully cocked, they are out of the line of sight. The other extreme are pinfire hammers which, when cocked, offer a sight picture resembling rugby goal posts!

One thing that is remarkable on so many of the centrefire hammers pictured above is the retention, though highly stylized, of the percussion-era 'cap guards' on the hammer noses designed to keep flying bits of copper cap away from the shooter, a good example of skeuomorphism.

As posts without pictures are dull, here are Lancaster early centrefire hammers of the noseless variety, dated 1858.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

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I love that Lancaster hammer. So simple and yet so elegant.

I don't think the "S" has anything to do with keeping the hammers low when cocked. That can be done with a straight as well as curved hammer body. The S just makes the whole hammer heavier and therefore slower. Lock time isn't a major issue for shotguns, but it doesn't help anything either.


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From top to bottom:

Alfred Hollis 10 gauge (probably 1880s)

Charles Moore 12 gauge (probably from 1880s-90s)

Johannes Ecker 16 gauge (Austrian, 1931 - restored by the grandson of the original maker)

SIACE Concordia 28 gauge (2007)

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

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