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The Iver Johnson safety hammer and hammerless automatic revolvers are so constructed that it is impossible to explode the shell unless the finger is on the trigger at the point of firing. The rebounding firing pin is a late improvement. It rebounds of itself, and is entirely independent of hammer, trigger or action. This device allows the hammer to lie always in its natural position, and no unsightly opening is left by the rebounding of the hammer. Besides this vitally important and original improvement there have been incorporated many other valuable devices, such as the barrel catch, cylinder lock, and extractor cam; no spring has any tension upon it except when in operation.

The safety hammer comprises three essential parts; the hammer, firing pin, and intervening lever, or what is termed the raiser. In firing the revolver, the hammer strikes the raiser, and that, in turn, the firing pin. To illustrate the safe qualities of this weapon:—should the hammer catch in the pocket, or should the hammer, by any accident, be knocked off while at full cock; or should the sear be released in any other than the natural way, it is utterly impossible for the pistol to discharge. In order to explode the cartridge, the finger must be on the trigger at the point of firing or when the trigger releases the sear. Drawing the hammer back with the thumb to almost full cock, the raiser is carried up to a relative position with the firing pin; on. releasing the hammer it drops, but no discharge, as the raiser, being controlled by the hammer, is drawn down and out of line of the firing pin. If, however, we pull the trigger, we repeat the action of the thumb; but, at the point of firing, or as the trigger knocks off the sear, it releases the raiser from the hammer, and the trigger holding the same in line of the firing pin, the hammer strikes in the natural way. After releasing the trigger, the raiser drops down, leaving a receptacle for the rebound of the firing pin. This revolver, Figure i, is made in 22, 32, and 38 caliber, with barrels 3, 3 1/2, 4, 5, and 6 inches long. The chamber is 5 shot and takes S. & W. center fire cartridge. In the 22 caliber, the barrels are 3, 4, and 5 inches long. The chamber is 7 shot and takes a rim fire cartridge.

Farrow, Edward S. American Small Arms; a Veritable Encyclopedia of Knowledge for Sportsmen and Military Men. New York: Bradford, 1904. Print.

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