OK, long story short, I just recently got a .45 ACP Vaquero Birdshead and a 9mm Blackhawk flat-top. The Vaquero came with a Super Blackhawk hammer in it, and the Blackhawk with the thin "standard" hammer........
I got to thinking, "man that SBH hammer would be great for shooting in the 9mm Blackhawk, and that high spur BH hammer would look awesome in the small little Birdshead".....The CAS guys say that "while you're in there" you might as well put Wolff springs in, but since I plan to use both of these with cheaper bulk ammo, I need to keep a hard hammer hit.
I have spent countless hours tinkering with Sixes and GP100's, I could probably strip down and reassemble a GP100 blindfolded at this point but the Ruger SIngle Actions are like starting all over again for me........so, I researched online and the Cowboy Action shooter blogs say that all of them drop new hammers in their Ruger SA's, they say "no big deal 15-20 minutes easy peasy just need a good screwdriver"........so, at 11pm I took both guns apart, which was not "easy peasy", and by 3am I had finally got the BH hammer into the Birdshead with no damage to the gun, myself, any walls, or putting my fist through anything I gave up at this point, the 9mm Blackhawk is still totally broken down on my workbench, I MAY get to it tonight since now I'm somewhat familiar with getting it all together.
The good news...........the BH hammer looks and handles better than I even thought in the Birdshead, it works, it cocks, and the hammer drops with no "drag" or roughness.
My one question is........now, when I cock the hammer on the Birdshead......it has to go 100% all the way back, to complete the last "click" of the cocking cycle, and there is 0 "play" in the hammer once cocked. I'm sure you guys who are familiar with Ruger SA's can envision this.....I pulled out my older 1980's model Blackhawk .357, cocked the hammer, and once cocked, there is some "wiggle room" where it still goes back a little bit.
Also, when fully cocked, the Birdshead cylinder is locked up 100% tight, like a Colt. 0 movement, once the trigger is pulled, and the hammer eased forward a little, I assume the hand drops out of the way, and the cylinder has the normal amount of sideplay. It seems the hand is forced against the ratchet of the cylinder at full cock. Not wanting to wear or break anything, after I cocked it a few times, I stopped until I could figure out what was going on.
On my Blackhawk .357, yes, when I pull the hammer ALL the way to the back of the frame, it also locks up "Colt like" but then it moves forward a hair and the cylinder then goes back to normal, if you can get what I'm trying to describe.
I had thought of trying the hand(pawl) from the other gun in the Birdshead, maybe there's a very slight difference in the tolerances, and I don't know how much "fitting" Ruger actually does with the hand and the ratchets of the cylinder or if they pretty much just drop stuff in. The hand may have been "fitted" to work with the other hammer, and that may be the better option, so simply swap the hands too.
Or, am I overthinking it, and there's nothing wrong with how the Birdshead works, and as long as it functions and shoots safely, I'm fine.........
Of course, after I do all this work, I read another article about how only about 50% of the time do the hammers "drop in" to the Ruger SA"s.........
I think this will be my last experiment with hammer swapping in Ruger SA's, from here on out they stay as they come Both of these guns will be heavy high volume shooters for me, so I'm not concerned with keeping them original or not taking them apart for fear of putting a small ding in them, these guns will be used, and used a lot.
Worst case scenario I'll just put the hammers back where they were and live with it.