at full cock

at full cock

Of a gun, with its hammer positioned as far back as possible in order to allow it to be fired with minimal pressure on the trigger. In movies, the thug usually puts his gun at full cock to show that he's serious.
See also: cock, full

at full cock

(of a firearm) with the cock lifted to the position at which the trigger will act.
See also: cock, full
References in classic literature ?
He refilled the clip, threw a cartridge into the chamber, and, with the trigger at full cock, thrust up the safety ratchet.
His revolver, which for four days had been at full cock by his side, stole out and covered the approaching shadow stealing gradually nearer and nearer.
Jaralson was making a vigilant circumspection of the forest, his shotgun held in both hands and at full cock, his finger upon the trigger.
First of all I loaded all the rifles, placing them at full cock, and informed him that if he touched them they would go off.
Most shooters who carry one use the cocked-and-locked mode--full magazine, cartridge in the chamber, hammer at full cock and manual safety engaged.
The term "triple action" indicated that the revolver could be fired three ways: cocking the hammer single-action (SA) style, by pulling the trigger and firing it DA, and by pulling the trigger carefully to the rear where the hammer could be rested at full cock and subsequently be fired by a light touch on the trigger.
At full cock, you can feel the lateral movement of the cylinder, but when the hammer falls, everything tightens right up.
In terms of function, the safety on all versions can be engaged only when the hammers are at full cock. There is a half-cock notch on the hammer.
With an exposed-hammer handgun I press the hammer forward when at full cock to test if the hammer will travel forward.
They were off the mark faster than a hungry housewife on supermarket sweep - the taps on the supply line to Lisbie and Shaun Bartlett at full cock right from the off.
Of adequate size and shape, it can be activated only with the hammer at full cock, and doing so will not drop the hammer.
With the hammer at full cock and the safety engaged, the slide is not locked and you can cycle the slide and watch the ammo proceed into the chamber or out through the port.
After you've removed the mainspring-tube assembly(including the follower), place the hammer at full cock and withdraw the bolt assembly from the receiver.