Definition of half cock in US English:

half cock


  • The partly raised position of the cock of a gun.

    • ‘Let's assume someone is loading the revolver properly with the hammer at its half-cock position.’
    • ‘With the old Colt, it was possible to place the hammer on half-cock, rotate the cylinder, listen for the click and know that the chamber was lined up perfectly under the loading gate for either shucking a fired round or reloading a fresh one.’
    • ‘Gone was the half-cock notch on the hammer and instead of bringing the hammer to half-cock to rotate the cylinder, it could now be revolved simply by opening the loading gate.’
    • ‘It was later differentiated from the ‘true’ flintlock by firearms scholars for whom the ‘true’ and original snaphaunce lock had a steel separate from the pan cover and a cock incapable of the half-cock safety position.’
    • ‘As he listened to their conversation, through a bug he planted, he pulled the hammer of his revolver back to half-cock and gently pushed out the loading gate.’