This is a discussion on Hardy tab on SAA holster (problem) within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Greetings -- I'm a brand new member and first-time poster, anxiously seeking some advice on a holster issue. I recently ordered a custom Tom Threepersons-style ...
Greetings -- I'm a brand new member and first-time poster, anxiously seeking some advice on a holster issue. I recently ordered a custom Tom Threepersons-style holster with a couple of special features which were a first for the holster maker. The holster arrived and is of EXCELLENT quality, but I have encountered some difficulties which I hope the experts here might be able to help resolve. Both the maker and I are soliciting advice whereever it might be found!
The holster is for a Colt SAA (3rd. gen.) in .44 Special caliber. In consultation with the maker, I asked for a "Hardy" tab to be added to the front edge of the holster, and a retaining strap for severe use, as the holster is a cross-draw style, which offers less support than a strong-side style. As many "experienced" (read, people almost as old as me) shooters might recall, a Hardy tab is a small bit of leather that slides into the groove on the back of the receiver where the hammer falls, and there is a small hole in the tab into which the Colt hammer's firing pin falls -- the firing pin and hammer tension retain the revolver in the holster. Since the holster cannot be too tight (as the cylinder must rotate when the hammer is cocked in the course of the draw to release the tab) the extra retaining strap was a "belt and suspenders" solution for uses involving vigorous activity. The maker installed the strap with a Chicago screw which permits the retaining strap to be pivoted out of the way when carrying normally, so that only the Hardy tab retains the revolver.
When building the holster, the maker believed that thick (strong) leather should be used on the tab, both to retain the pistol and to assist in keeping the hammer nose off a primer should the pistol ever be holstered over a live round. (Elmer Keith even suggests that the tab permits six-round carry, but I'm not that brave!) But here is where the problem arises!
The usual load-one/skip-one/load-four/ routine is followed, the revolver is cocked over the empty chamber, then holstered, and the trigger is then pulled to release the hammer which is guided into the hole in the tab. For whatever reason, the revolver seems to lock up, which prevents the hammer from being re-cocked to release the tab and let the pistol be drawn from the holster. I am GUESSING that the thickness of the tab is causing the hammer to fall into a safety notch, but I don't understand the inner workings of the SAA well enough to know exactly what's going on. I don't want to force anything -- the hammer releases JUST far enough to drag the tab out of the hammer groove so that the revolver can be drawn, and then when manipulated, the revolver can be cocked, hammer dropped, and revolver holstered normally.
I am looking for information on the original thickness and length of the Hardy tab for any SAA holster -- Keith describes the design in the holster chapter in "Sixguns" but there is no picture or detailed information. I would also appreciate any information about how the revolver might be manipulated to avoid mechanical damage and still permit the tab to work as designed (assuming the tab's proper dimensions can be established.) Thanks to all in advance! Chris
Reference my post above, my gunsmith advised this morning that the problem is indeed the thickness of the tab, which was preventing the hammer from seating far enough to engage the tail of the bolt, thus keeping the cylinder locked while attempting to re-cock the hammer. Some judicious thinning (compressing, actually) and the problem is gone. Perhaps this will help someone else who want to re-visit Captain Hardy's innovation! Thanks for the use of the forum -- lots of interesting stuff here! Bests, Chris