Posted by Eben Brown on 10/15/2020 to Tech Reports
Why Won't It Cock?
Understanding and Fixing Cocking Problems on TC Encore and Contender Firearms.
- Every week we get 1-2 customers who call and say they can't cock the hammer on their TC Encore, Pro Hunter, or Contender. It's an easy problem to fix because it's not a defect or a broken part... Its just a little idiosyncrasy of the gun design. I'll go through the causes and the fix for each type of cocking problem so you'll never have that problem again.
- Cause #1 - There's no barrel installed or the action isn't completely closed. There's a little lever under the breech face of the receiver that protects against cocking when your barrel isn't locked into battery. The way it works is that the locking bolt on the barrel has to extend under the ledge of the breech face to lock the barrel in place. When it extends, it pushes the little lever backwards and releases the hammer to cock. So, if you are trying to cock the receiver with no barrel installed, the little lever will block the hammer. And if you are trying to cock with a barrel installed, you must not have closed the action enough to allow the locking bolts to extend under the ledge and push the little lever out of the way. This can also be caused by ammo that fits too tight.
- Cause #2 - The hammer has a strut with a spring that extends down into the grip. If you have a grip bolt for the stock that is too long, it can actually stop the hammer strut from allowing the hammer to cock back far enough to catch the sear... So it won't cock. You can test this by simply taking the stock or grip off the receiver and see if the hammer cocks. If it does, that will confirm that your grip bolt is a little too long. In this case, the solution is to use a shorter grip bolt. Fortunately the TC grip bolts are common to any hardware store. Bring your too-long bolt down there and buy a bolt one size shorter.
- Cause #3 - This is only concerning the original Contender receivers (not the G2). Those original guns have a 2-step trigger system. The trigger sear has a catch that cocks separately from the hammer. This catch cocks when the action is opened and, it has to be cocked in order for the hammer to cock. If the sear catch is not cocked, the hammer can not cock. What can happen is that the trigger sear catch gets adjusted a little too light. So that when the barrel is closed, it jars the catch loose as if the trigger were pulled. The solution is to back off the trigger take-up adjustment screw so the the trigger sear catch stays cocked when the action is snapped shut.
- Finally - One of these or a combination of these... is what causes issues with not being able to cock the hammer on a TC Encore, Pro Hunter, Contender, or G2. I hope this article has you understanding a little more of how your Thompson Center Firearm works.