Allowing the hammer of any single action revolver to rest on a cap on a loaded cylinder percussion revolver, or on the primer of a loaded round in a revolver made for fixed ammunition
, or using the so-called "safety" notch on the hammer with all chambers loaded--are all invitations to disaster.
Colt looked upon double actions and fixed ammunition as so much foolishness.
In the process they converted Colt percussion revolvers to handle fixed ammunition with the Thuer, Richards and Richards-Mason Cartridge Conversions.
When percussion revolvers were replaced by single action sixguns using fixed ammunition
such as the Colt Single Action the cylinder still had six chambers, however it could only be carried safely with the hammer down on an empty chamber.
Richards' patent was used by Colt to convert thousands of cap-n-ball sixguns to the new fixed ammunition style.
Smith had always been a fixed ammunition revolver manufacturer going all the way back to 1852 and their pocket pistols in .
He did not believe sixguns that fired fixed ammunition would ever replace cap and ball revolvers.
Smith & Wesson one-upped Colt in 1869 by creating the first successful big bore sixgun that fired fixed ammunition -- the Model No.
44 Russian: Three years before Colt brought out the Single Action Army, Smith & Wesson introduced the first big-bore sixgun that fired fixed ammunition.
44 American, Colt began converting the 1860 Army to fire fixed ammunition.