at full cock

(redirected from 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 periodicals archive ?
From a 'suspicious beginning' to an 'auspicious transaction' and from 'extending half-hearted felicitations' to 'going on at full-cock,' one's time to rectify erroneous word and grammar usage starts now!
The safety won't engage unless it's at full-cock. A small pin just aft of the port rises when the chamber is loaded to provide a quick visible and tactile check.
"The same may also be effected by drawing back the hammer and pressing lightly back at the same time on the firing lever to disengage it from the cylinder; and when at full-cock the hammer will be held by the trigger, or sear."
Of adequate size and shape, it can be activated only with the hammer at full-cock, and doing so will not drop the hammer.
It is much harder to force at full-cock because of the position of the tang and the direction of the blow required, besides which, if it is forced from full-cock, it will fall to half-cock and not fire.
With my revolver, the ideal sight picture occurred when the base of the front sight was aligned atop the tip of the hammer as seen at full-cock and the target covered by the sight picture.