Working H&A Revolvers, Part 4

The final H&A article covering the Triple Action Safety Police.

by Brian R Smith

In the preceding issue, the Hopkins & Allen double action top break revolvers made prior to 1906 were examined and disassembly procedures outlined. This last installment deals with the final H&A revolver design, the top break, automatic-extracting Triple Action Safety Police, or just Safety Police.

Hopkins & Allen designers made a number of improvements that set the Triple Action Safety Police apart from their previous top break models. The primary design change incorporated a gear-driven hammer positioning feature that replaces the more common rebounding hammer. That’s correct, the H&A Safety Police is the only revolver made in the United States that I know of that employs spur gears in the lockwork. Specifically, the rear of the trigger has a gear segment that meshes with a mating gear segment in a cam that rides in a large circular opening in the hammer. A hole offset from center in the geared cam is located by the hammer axis screw when assembled. The two gear segments control vertical hammer position.

Depending on the relative positions of the trigger and hammer on a Safety Police revolver, the hammer nose is either fully upward and tucked under the rear of the top strap or it is lowered to be in contact with the striking face of the frame-mounted firing pin. This happens only when the trigger is pulled and the hammer is in the forward, fallen position. This hammer-implemented safety feature is analogous to a modern transfer bar that slides up and down in front of the hammer. When in the up position the hammer strikes the transfer bar, transferring the blow to the firing pin. H&A took a “don’t raise the bridge, lower the river” approach and designed the gear system to translate – to use the engineering term – the hammer vertically, instead of a transfer bar.

The hand (or pawl, depending on your revolver politics) is trigger mounted with an eye that engages…

Read more in the October 2020 issue.

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