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I was at the LGS today and the question came up if the Bisley hammer would work in the original Vaq without the Bisley trigger. As usual with an LGS crowd everyone had an opinion but didn't really know - so I thought I'd ask for a crippled old boy who wants a better hammer for his bad hands
 

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I answered your question in Sharps40's 45 Sheriff thread, so I'm copying and pasting the pictures and much of my response below...

Yes, the Bisley hammer will work with a standard Vaquero trigger, and yes, it will fit into a non-bisley grip frame (your original Vaquero has an XR3-RED grip frame), ONLY IF YOU MODIFY THE HAMMER.

Here's a picture of a bisley hammer made to work in a non-bisley frame - proof it can and has been done:



Bisley Hammers aren't drop in for plow-handle (XR3, XR3-RED, Hunter/Dragoon) or birdshead grip frames, but they're readily modified to fit. The "bubble butt" of the hammer has to be reduced to fit properly. Below, you can see a couple conventional Vaquero/Blackhawk hammers on either side of a Bisley hammer. The Super Blackhawk hammer has the same profile as the Vaquero/Blackhawk hammers pictured below.

The pen-traced outline on the bisley hammer must be removed. It's very easy, albeit time consuming. The fit is non-critical, it just needs to be properly dressed down and polished to match the profile of the non-bisley hammers. A dremel, belt sander, files, sand paper, polishing compound, and a couple hours is all a guy needs to make that transition.



The Bisley hammer spur is lower than the Super Blackhawk hammer, which is lower than the original Vaquero and Blackhawk hammer, which is lower than the New Vaquero hammer. You can see below the difference in spur heights (unfortunately upside down). The extreme left (our left viewing) is an original Vaquero/Blackhawk hammer, the center two are the same shape, one a Montado, one a Super Blackhawk, only different in checkering, then the extreme right is a Bisley hammer. You can see it has the hammer spur closest to the pivot, which would be the lowest spur when mounted in the gun.

It's easier to reach a bisley hammer than the others, but it also has the least leverage of all to assist in cocking. So is your problem REACHING the hammer, or cocking it against the springs?

 

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Varminterror,
Excellent. I have no problem cocking my spring but I have smaller hands and the Bisley Hammer would be great for the reach. I have woundered this ever since I bought my Original Vaquero.
Thanks
 

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Varminterror,
Excellent. I have no problem cocking my spring but I have smaller hands and the Bisley Hammer would be great for the reach. I have woundered this ever since I bought my Original Vaquero.
Thanks
What caliber is your Vaquero? You might want to handle a New Vaq with smaller hands. It has a slightly shorter grip frame (from front to back), less weight and a little smaller ylinder frame. Chambered in 357, 44 Spl, and 45 Colt.
 

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I love the Bisley Vaquero in .45 Colt, It has a nice big grip, and is a little heavier than my New Vaquero's. At least once during a match my cocking thumb will slip off the hammer while hurrying, and I have to cycle all the way around to fire the missed round. I am thinking a lighter hammer spring might help. Any idea's on a lighter but still reliable spring weight, I believe the original is 23 lbs. I use all Federal primers.
 
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