Q My son and I were out shooting a few days ago. One of the guns we had was a Ruger Super Single-Six. At one point I tried fanning the gun to see how fast I could shoot it and if I could hit anything. I quickly learned that I was not that fast and I could not hit anything. My son commented that he had heard that this was not good for the gun. Is that true? Did I damage my Ruger? It seems OK.
A In fanning a single-action revolver, the trigger is held back while the heel or side of the shooter's other hand is used repeatedly and quickly to sweep the hammer back to the cocked position. At that point the shooter's hand slips off the hammer spur, allowing the hammer to fall forward, firing the gun. A talented exhibition shooter can fan a single-action revolver with incredible speed.
I agree with your son that this practice is not generally good for a revolver. The hand, cylinder stop, and cylinder all are subjected to unusual stress when this is done. The cylinder stop notches can be battered and worn as well as the ratchet cuts where the hand turns the cylinder. It just doesn't seem worth it to me to subject a good gun to this stress. Besides, as you pointed out, for most of us hitting anything while fanning a single-action is mostly a matter of luck.
As for damaging your Ruger, I doubt that this one incident caused any problem. However, I would definitely encourage you to just use this fine handgun in the standard single-action mode ... no more fanning!