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Old 06-09-2018, 06:16 AM
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Default .455 Mk II hammer.

I have a British .455 Mk II, N frame revolver, and single action is making my thumb a little frazzled and, I don't have the talent to build a cock-eyed hammer. I would rather keep the original as is anyway, and find a drop-in (with some fitting, I know) replacement with a wider thumb piece. Can someone (Hondo?) tell me what hammers, with a wider thumb purchase, if any, will serve as a "drop-in" replacement? Thanks for any guidance.
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:16 AM
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I'm not Jim but I'll give it a shot and he can fix my errors. You may get a hammer that "drops in" but chances are some fitting will be necessary. The .455 HE is made on the 2nd Model N frame...like the Model 1917 and .44 Special HE. Even hammers from the Model 1926 should work. So, I would acquire one and have a gunsmith or weld shop build up and widen the tang after I installed it and made sure it fits and works acceptably. You might even save some money by shaping the tang and cutting the serrations yourself. You can look about for a Micro or King cockeyed hammer but be prepared to shell out some $$.
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Old 06-09-2018, 12:38 PM
Muley Gil Muley Gil is offline
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Sorry, but there were no wide factory hammers for the pre war revolvers. You might be able to cut the hammer spur from a post war hammer and have it welded or silver soldered on a pre war hammer.

Back in the 1980s, a friend of mine wanted a wide, smooth trigger on his Colt Python. I had metal added to his trigger and shaped it to his liking.
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Old 06-09-2018, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiregrassguy View Post
The .455 HE is made on the 2nd Model N frame...like the Model 1917 and .44 Special HE. Even hammers from the Model 1926 should work.
That's the news I feared. Any hammer that will fit this vintage N frame wasn't available with a wider spur. I checked Numeric and a complete hammer is only available in nickel ($65). If you buy a stripped CC hammer w/nose and add sear/spring/pin, stirrup/pin......the price starts to rise quickly ($90 +). Add the welding job and even if I could do the shaping and checkering (professional checkering doubtful), looks like I'm in at $150 plus. Makes a guy wish someone had complained to S&W about his sore thumb earlier in the century.
Thanks for the info Wiregrass & Muley, very helpful as always.
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Old 06-09-2018, 07:48 PM
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Your only option may be to take that hammer out and have a "good" welder build it up and offset, then you file in what you want for cocking serrations.
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Old 06-09-2018, 09:42 PM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Jeb,

Seems I'm late to the party. All good ideas above.

Here's what I'd do (have done):

1. the nickel hammer you mentioned can be de-nickeled by any shop that does plating. They just reverse the electrolisis process, may noy even charge you. Also Brownells sells a do-it-yourself de-nickel kit that's simple to use.

2. I would always use your original hammer parts, sear, spring, pin, stirrup and pin for maximum likelyhood for a drop-in installation w/o needing fitting. And that keeps the price down.

3. Grafting a post war hammer spur to the new hammer with tig welding is by far the simplest solution. The standard .400" hammer spur from any K or N frame will be sufficient. They're a dime a dozen and and everyone likely has a 'bad' hammer in their parts trove that will donate one to you, or local gunsmiths that will sell one cheap. Even might have a 1/2" target spur hammer if you want a bigger spur. An I or J frame standard rimfire target hammer is .375" and will also work, there's a ton of those around. One of those smiths may even be able to do the tig welding to mate it to your replacement hammer. That'll be cheap especially if you do the final clean up and dressing/polishing after the welding.

I hope that helps and good hunting.
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:41 PM
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Here's another thought, possibly a no cost solution:

If you could scrounge up a junk hammer with a spur you like, cut it off with a hack saw. Once you get thru the .002"-.003" of case hardening, it's easy cutting.

A carbide cut off wheel in a Dremel tool works well.

With a Dremel grinding wheel you can cut a groove in the bottom of the spur the width and radius of your original 455 hammer top surface and glue it on. Almost any glue will likely hold it in place and I'd start with Wilhold glue. Worst case scenario you can resort to epoxy. The spur can always be knocked off the hammer to restore the gun to original.
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Old 06-10-2018, 02:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
Here's another thought, possibly a no cost solution:

If you could scrounge up a junk hammer with a spur you like, cut it off with a hack saw. Once you get thru the .002"-.003" of case hardening, it's easy cutting.

A carbide cut off wheel in a Dremel tool works well.

With a Dremel grinding wheel you can cut a groove in the bottom of the spur the width and radius of your original 455 hammer top surface and glue it on. Almost any glue will likely hold it in place and I'd start with Wilhold glue. Worst case scenario you can resort to epoxy. The spur can always be knocked off the hammer to restore the gun to original.
Now that's a capital idea - make a "hammer shoe"! No tedious hammer/sear/trigger fitting. No damage to the original hammer. I could use Acraglas gel and heat would allow removal later if need be. I think I could taper the front edges down to blend with the existing hammer and faux case color with Oxpho blue cream. I have a couple of projects going, but this one just moved to the front burner.
Man, it's great to know smart people!
Thanks for the idea Hondo.
Have you ever seen this done? It would be nice to see one before starting.
I'm gonna have to find a hammer, I don't have one laying about.
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Old 06-10-2018, 02:49 AM
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Yeah, a hammer shoe! No I haven't seen it done, but I was thinking about the offset hammer attachments for using a scope that come with the late model Marlin and Winchester lever actions when the idea hit me.

Here's a photo of my N frame pre 26 with target hammer to show how the target pad of the spur blends on the front edge into the rest of the spur:



If you taper the front of the groove in the bottom of your added target 'shoe' deep enough in the front, up to the bottom of the checkering on the front edge of the shoe, it should blend nicely into the .265" width of the original hammer and almost look factory.
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Old 06-10-2018, 03:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
Yeah, a hammer shoe! No I haven't seen it done, but I was thinking about the offset hammer attachments for using a scope that come with the late model Marlin and Winchester lever actions when the idea hit me.

If you taper the front of the groove in the bottom of your added target 'shoe' deep enough in the front, up to the bottom of the checkering on the front edge of the shoe, it should blend nicely into the .265" width of the original hammer and almost look factory.
Yes, I had hammer shoes on a scoped Thompson Contender and a scoped Marlin 336 back when the front wheel of my bicycle was 6' tall. The set screws cut the hammers up pretty bad back then - probably still do. A guy should have Acraglased'em back then and given his hammers a little salvation.

I think I'll need to check the existing hammer/frame clearance in cocked condition first thing.

I believe this N-Frame hammer is about what I need. I don't want a full .500 target hammer but just enough for a good purchase. What do you think?


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Old 06-10-2018, 04:53 AM
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That is the perfect choice IMO.

Not so obviously modified as the 1/2" target would look. I'm tempted to make one myself now. I have a 1917 Brazilian begging for an improved spur.

As I compare the original spur and the standard spur you show in my hands, I believe I would leave 1/16" attached to the front of the wide spur to more easily make a blended transition to the original hammer top. And line up the rear edge with the rear edge of original spur. That would place the little teardrop of the original hammer in correct location since it will still show below the cut groove of the wider spur.
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Old 06-10-2018, 10:35 AM
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What about a rifle hammer extension? It won't look like a cockeyed hammer but should function like you want. The good thing is you don't have to cut up a functional hammer.
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Last edited by Wiregrassguy; 06-10-2018 at 10:48 AM.
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