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muse
02-23-2014, 12:17 AM
At one point in my WIP the 'baddie' tries to shoot my MC, but is foiled when another character overhears the gun being cocked.

My question is: Do you cock a hangun? (I know, my ignornance is startling. :D)

I've no paticular type of gun in mind, other than I need this to be a near-miss and the character has to know it's going to happen without actually seeing it happen.

Any help would be appreciated.

ironmikezero
02-23-2014, 12:29 AM
Some require cocking, like a single action revolver. Most double action revolvers can be manually cocked, but simply pulling the trigger will perform that chore, rotate the cylinder, and drop the hammer on a live round.

Most single action semi-auto pistols can be manually cocked, but that already has happened once the slide has been cycled to chamber a live round - one must lower the hammer (gently, I'd recommend) to be in the position to re-cock.

Most double action semi-auto pistols can be manually cocked as well, if the hammer has been lowered after cycling the slide.

Admittedly an over-simplified explanation, but it does reflect the basic reality.

alleycat
02-23-2014, 12:30 AM
The short answer is yes, you can cock the hammer of many revolvers and semi-auto handguns.

There are handguns where you don't; but unless you need the details, you can have it as mentioned.

NeuroGlide
02-23-2014, 03:14 AM
At one point in my WIP the 'baddie' tries to shoot my MC, but is foiled when another character overhears the gun being cocked.

My question is: Do you cock a hangun? (I know, my ignornance is startling. :D)

I've no paticular type of gun in mind, other than I need this to be a near-miss and the character has to know it's going to happen without actually seeing it happen.

Any help would be appreciated.

As others have said, most handguns can be cocked, but don't need to be. Other sources of noise could be working the slide to chamber a round (you can carry a chambered round, but it's considered unsafe practice) or even just the safety being disabled (nothing more than a click).

Trigger mechanisms are as follows, compare with the guns you're considering:
Single-Action: First shot must be cocked, but the recoil recocks after each shot.
Double-Action: First shot can be cocked, but doesn't need to be. If not cocked the strong trigger pull can throw off an aimed shot.
Double-Action-Only: Cannot be cocked. Strong trigger pull makes accidental discharge almost impossible, popular with police as a result.

WeaselFire
02-23-2014, 07:59 AM
More common and more telling as a warning would be somebody racking the slide (Pulling the top piece of the pistol back and releasing it so a spring snaps the slide back to the front and loads a round from the magazine into the chamber at the same time) on a semi-automatic to chamber a round. People don't carry single-action guns very often anymore.

Jeff

benluby
02-23-2014, 08:07 AM
First is a correction. Single action revolvers have to have every single round cocked, hence the term single action. Dual actions (double action) can be done either way.
Some double action revolvers now are actually hammer less firearms, and you can only fire them by pulling the trigger.
Semi-auto handguns really depend on the person carrying them. There are hammer less variants as well, thus, no pulling the hammer back.
Some people carry them with a round chambered, hammer down. They'll have to cock the hammer for the first round, but that is significantly faster than chambering a round via the slide.

Trebor1415
02-23-2014, 01:16 PM
As a general rule the preferred way to carry a handgun for law enforcement or anyone trained in the defensive use of a handgun is with the chamber loaded. That is the way the pro's do it.

However, people with no training, including criminals, often carry with an empty chamber due to their fear of having an accidental discharge. In that case to fire they first have to pull the slide back and release it to chamber the first round. ("Racking the slide.")

That does make a very distinctive noise and would be something that someone could overhear to tip them off that someone is going to be shot.

To be honest, having a criminal character rack the slide because they carried with an empty chamber, and having someone overhear that, makes more sense than having them manually cock the hammer and having someone overhear that. There is very little reason (or no reason) to manually cock the hammer on the majority of modern handguns and, cocking the hammer does not make as much noise as racking the slide.

vagough
02-23-2014, 03:33 PM
Hi Muse --

I found a few YouTube videos that might be helpful for you in terms of what this sounds like.

The first shows someone racking the slide on a semi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbayNc6D9HY

And here's one that starts with a guy cocking a revolver: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdVHJIUwSFo

muse
02-24-2014, 03:48 PM
Sorry itís taken me so long to reply.


Thanks to everyone who answered, much appreciated.:Hug2:

Muse


Some require cocking, like a single action revolver. Most double action revolvers can be manually cocked, but simply pulling the trigger will perform that chore, rotate the cylinder, and drop the hammer on a live round.

Most single action semi-auto pistols can be manually cocked, but that already has happened once the slide has been cycled to chamber a live round - one must lower the hammer (gently, I'd recommend) to be in the position to re-cock.

Most double action semi-auto pistols can be manually cocked as well, if the hammer has been lowered after cycling the slide.

Admittedly an over-simplified explanation, but it does reflect the basic reality.


Thanks for the information, ironmikezero.



The short answer is yes, you can cock the hammer of many revolvers and semi-auto handguns.

There are handguns where you don't; but unless you need the details, you can have it as mentioned.

Short and to the point, alleycat, just what I needed. :D Thank you.


As others have said, most handguns can be cocked, but don't need to be. Other sources of noise could be working the slide to chamber a round (you can carry a chambered round, but it's considered unsafe practice) or even just the safety being disabled (nothing more than a click).

Trigger mechanisms are as follows, compare with the guns you're considering:
Single-Action: First shot must be cocked, but the recoil recocks after each shot.
Double-Action: First shot can be cocked, but doesn't need to be. If not cocked the strong trigger pull can throw off an aimed shot.
Double-Action-Only: Cannot be cocked. Strong trigger pull makes accidental discharge almost impossible, popular with police as a result.

Some great info. Thanks, NeuroGlide.


More common and more telling as a warning would be somebody racking the slide (Pulling the top piece of the pistol back and releasing it so a spring snaps the slide back to the front and loads a round from the magazine into the chamber at the same time) on a semi-automatic to chamber a round. People don't carry single-action guns very often anymore.

Jeff

Iíve been thinking of cocking and racking a slide as the same thing.:o (I did say my ignorance was startling.)


First is a correction. Single action revolvers have to have every single round cocked, hence the term single action. Dual actions (double action) can be done either way.
Some double action revolvers now are actually hammer less firearms, and you can only fire them by pulling the trigger.
Semi-auto handguns really depend on the person carrying them. There are hammer less variants as well, thus, no pulling the hammer back.
Some people carry them with a round chambered, hammer down. They'll have to cock the hammer for the first round, but that is significantly faster than chambering a round via the slide.

Thanks for the correction, benluby. It sounds like the noise of racking will work for what I need in my WIP.


As a general rule the preferred way to carry a handgun for law enforcement or anyone trained in the defensive use of a handgun is with the chamber loaded. That is the way the pro's do it.

However, people with no training, including criminals, often carry with an empty chamber due to their fear of having an accidental discharge. In that case to fire they first have to pull the slide back and release it to chamber the first round. ("Racking the slide.")

That does make a very distinctive noise and would be something that someone could overhear to tip them off that someone is going to be shot.

To be honest, having a criminal character rack the slide because they carried with an empty chamber, and having someone overhear that, makes more sense than having them manually cock the hammer and having someone overhear that. There is very little reason (or no reason) to manually cock the hammer on the majority of modern handguns and, cocking the hammer does not make as much noise as racking the slide.

I think I will need to change the working in my WIP from cocking to racking Ė now that I understand the difference.

One thing, the gun belongs to an ex-military gent but was stolen by the bad guy. In that case a round would already be chambered so the baddie wouldnít need to rack the slide. Hmmmm.

What would happen if you racked the slide with a round already chambered? Is it even possible to rack a slide if a round is chambered?



Hi Muse --

I found a few YouTube videos that might be helpful for you in terms of what this sounds like.

The first shows someone racking the slide on a semi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbayNc6D9HY

And here's one that starts with a guy cocking a revolver: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdVHJIUwSFo

Thanks so much for the links, vangough, they helped me realise the difference between cocking a hammer and racking a slide.

NeuroGlide
02-24-2014, 04:04 PM
What would happen if you racked the slide with a round already chambered? Is it even possible to rack a slide if a round is chambered?

It would eject the chambered round and chamber a new one. Standard procedure when unloading a weapon is to work the slide after ejecting the magazine to make sure the chamber is empty. Usually you look in the ejection port to visually confirm the chamber is empty before releasing the slide.

muse
02-24-2014, 04:10 PM
It would eject the chambered round and chamber a new one. Standard procedure when unloading a weapon is to work the slide after ejecting the magazine to make sure the chamber is empty. Usually you look in the ejection port to visually confirm the chamber is empty before releasing the slide.

Thanks, NeuroGlide. That make sense.:D

Trebor1415
02-24-2014, 05:34 PM
One thing, the gun belongs to an ex-military gent but was stolen by the bad guy. In that case a round would already be chambered so the baddie wouldn’t need to rack the slide. Hmmmm.

How long ago was it stolen? How long has the bad guy had it? Did he *just* grab it from the good guy, like in the middle of a fight, or did he steal it earlier?

If he's had it for awhile it's entirely possible that he unloaded it at some point, including ejecting the round in the chamber, and then reloaded it later. Like I said, if he is nervous about carrying with a loaded chamber, especially if he isn't using a holster (most bad guys don't) he very likely could have reloaded the magazine but kept the chamber empty. In that case he'd know he'd have to rack the slide.

If he *just* grabbed it, he might rack the slide anyway, to make sure it was loaded. That way he knows it's loaded now. All that would happen if it was loaded is a round would eject and a new round would load into the chamber.

Steve Collins
02-25-2014, 01:35 AM
Now, just to put a fly in the ointment. If your bad guy was an Israeli they always carry without one in the chamber. Their drills are draw and rack in one quick motion.

vagough
02-25-2014, 03:08 PM
Now, just to put a fly in the ointment. If your bad guy was an Israeli they always carry without one in the chamber. Their drills are draw and rack in one quick motion.

Interesting! Thanks, SC, for adding that.

muse
02-25-2014, 08:54 PM
How long ago was it stolen? How long has the bad guy had it? Did he *just* grab it from the good guy, like in the middle of a fight, or did he steal it earlier?

If he's had it for awhile it's entirely possible that he unloaded it at some point, including ejecting the round in the chamber, and then reloaded it later. Like I said, if he is nervous about carrying with a loaded chamber, especially if he isn't using a holster (most bad guys don't) he very likely could have reloaded the magazine but kept the chamber empty. In that case he'd know he'd have to rack the slide.

If he *just* grabbed it, he might rack the slide anyway, to make sure it was loaded. That way he knows it's loaded now. All that would happen if it was loaded is a round would eject and a new round would load into the chamber.

The baddie has the gun a few days. I figure they would have checked the gun and reloaded it. They use it once to threaten someone.

:idea: The sound of the gun being racked would be more frightening that just pointing it at someone so that could be a reason for not leaving a round chambered.

Thanks, Trebor1415


Now, just to put a fly in the ointment. If your bad guy was an Israeli they always carry without one in the chamber. Their drills are draw and rack in one quick motion.

Good to know, Steve, but the bad guy isn't Israeli. Thankfully. :D