Accidental discharge testing determined that the firearm used in the shooting — a .45 Colt (.45 Long Colt) caliber F.lli Pietta single-action revolver — could not have fired without the trigger being pulled, the FBI report shows.
With the hammer in the quarter- and half-cock positions, the gun “could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger,” the report stated.
With the hammer fully cocked, the gun “could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger while the working internal components were intact and functional,” the report stated.
With the hammer de-cocked on a loaded chamber, the gun was able to detonate a primer “without a pull of the trigger when the hammer was struck directly,” which is normal for this type of revolver, the report stated.
Okay, I’m now confused.
Quarter and half cock are supposed to be safe positions. The hammer is not supposed to fall from quarter or half cock when the trigger is pulled.
Hence why “going off half cocked” is a bad thing.
So did the gun drop the hammer from quarter cock and half cock when the trigger is pulled?
With the hammer down and striking the hammer causing a discharge tells me it is a live firing pin design. I’m flabbergasted that is made and imported into the US today. It’s certainly not a drop safe design which is why just about everyone has gone to transfer bar systems.
Yes, I absolutely know that under no circumstances should there have been live rounds in the gun or on the set. That was 100% the determining factor in this incident.
But ignoring that for a moment, what the media is reporting from the FBI makes me think that this gun was not a good gun to begin with.
A lot has changed in the firearms world since 1873, and a lot of internal design safties put in place since then are worthwhile improvements.
If this is a totally faithful reproduction of an 1874 Colt Single Action Army, I would be dubious of it.