Vaquero/Blackhawk Hammer Issue

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namsag

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 6, 2022
Messages
4
Location
north Mississippi
Hello I am wondering if someone can give me advice or at least point me in a direction to solve this issue. I installed a Blackhawk hammer on my Vaquero (I wish they came this way from the factory). I really like the look and feel of the BH hammer. But at times when I open the loading gate the cylinder does not turn freely, I can feel it catching internally. In these cases it will not turn unless I pull the hammer back just a bit. I would like to fix this, I have basic kitchen table skills.

I do have a Kuhnhausen book but that book is so busy that I am having a hard time finding the relevant section(s). Can someone tell me what is catching, and how it can be fixed? I just want to figure out whether I will try to do it myself,or take it to a smith for a year-long wait, or just swap the factory hammer back.

Any advice/information appreciated, thanks.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,771
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
Sometimes, diagnosing an action issue is not easy w/o the gun in hand & seeing or feeling what is going on.
If you have the proper micrometer measuring tools,, maybe you can remove the BH hammer, and taking both it & the Vaquero hammer & measure each one's dimensions all over it,, to see if you can find a difference that way.

Or, what I'd suggest first,, is to actually take the time to read your book, and learn what or why it may be hanging up a little. Beats the heck out of a year long wait, AND you will learn a lot about your gun & the parts in the process.
Once you figure it out, you will get what you desire, AND you will gain knowledge in the process. Lots of pride in doing that.
 

NikA

Buckeye
Joined
Nov 2, 2014
Messages
1,486
Location
Yrisarri, NM- high in the Manzanos
One thing that immediately comes to mind for me: did you attempt to put a large frame Blackhawk hammer in a medium frame Vaquero? I'm not sure that swap is compatible without some modification to the hammer.
 

bnewberry

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jun 17, 2008
Messages
226
Location
MICHIGAN
Good suggestions so far. I would check to make sure that the cylinder bolt is falling out of the locking notch when you open the gate. This can be from the spring that contacts the loading gate being slightly out of position.
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
7,776
Location
People's Republik of California
You're unlikely to find that problem in the book and many gunsmiths aren't familiar with installing parts that didn't come with the gun and may not be able to help you, even after having it for a year. Because it's not a failure of the gun or a broken part.

Clearly the transfer bar is not lowering all the way to unlock the loading gate. I suspect it has to do with the ledge on the front face of the hammer.

First thing to check is that the trigger is fully forward. Try to push it forward. If the hammer is pinching the transfer bar it will not allow it to lower enough to release the trigger, which means the bar cannot unlock the loading gate.

This is especially possible if you've installed a large frame hammer as NikA posted above. Since you're wanting to change the hammer, I have to presume you don't have a Vaquero as you said, which is a large frame, because its hammer is the same as the Blackhawk. So you must have a "New Vaquero" which is built on the medium frame with a slightly shorter hammer.

The large frame hammer can be easily fitted to work,and some are a drop in. But the best hammer replacement for you is from the Flat Top Blackhawk which is also built on the medium frame (except the .41 and .44 mags).

Even if you are using a Flat Top BH hammer, it still could need fitting for the transfer bar because the ledge position on the hammer face can vary.

So the next thing to do is compare the two hammer faces as posted by Dan in MI. But don't worry about the lock work at the bottom, all hammers are the same in that area. Compare the hammer faces at the top front of the hammers.

Easiest way to fit the hammer if you have transfer bar pinch is to file the ledge higher on the hammer face. And you can do that while it's still in the gun with the hammer fully cocked. But you need to troubleshoot the problem to be sure what the problem is first.
 
Last edited:

namsag

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 6, 2022
Messages
4
Location
north Mississippi
Gentlemen, thanks veey much, I will check it all out in a few days when I get away from work again for a few days. It is a New Vaquero, and I am pretty sure it is the right size hammer. I wil have to go back to spare parts box and find the original hammer.
 

msp2640

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 26, 2012
Messages
175
Location
Home of the Pilgrims! MA
I mention this only because I dealt with it recently and it sounds a bit similar. Took the grip frame off a Single Six, was swapping the hammer and trigger pins and new trigger spring. After reassembly, but before all 5 GF screws were tightened fully. It was very difficult for to cock the hammer and left me scratching my head for a bit. Turns out, the small plunger on the GF, wasn't fully contacting the cylinder latch(?). After a 2nd reinstall of the GF, everything lined up as it should, tested out correctly and tightened everything up then. Hope it's something simple as that. Bill in MA
 

Johnnu2

Buckeye
Joined
Jun 26, 2003
Messages
1,834
Location
NYS
I've found the same problem (as mentioned by msp2640 above) with the small plunger inside the grip frame/trigger guard section. I've also spotted problems with the connection of the loading gate to the cylinder latch (it was not positioned correctly at the bottom of the loading gate and was giving me trouble intermittently). Aside from these two GUESSES, I'd take the advice of Hondo44; he REALLY knows his stuff and has helped me immeasurably over the years....

J.
 

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