Hammer or no hammer?


August 5, 2008, 12:12 PM
Just found this forum and so glad I did.

I am going to purchase a revolver for concealed carry and want to know if one with a hammer is better or without?

(FYI - I will be carrying this in a holster purse)

Thank you!

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August 5, 2008, 12:22 PM
Hammerless is generally a better choice for concealed carry.

August 5, 2008, 12:25 PM
Hammerless for holster purse or a pocket holster in a pocket. Some also prefer hammerless for 'inside waist band' holsters as it's one less thing to poke you and/or get hung up on your belt when you draw. If you use an 'outside waist band' holster, having a hammer shouldn't be a problem.

August 5, 2008, 04:24 PM
No spur sticking up is far better for concealed carry. In a life threatening situation, you won't be cocking the hammer, you'll be pulling the trigger.

BTW, you're making a very wise decision in getting a wheelgun for SD.

August 5, 2008, 04:34 PM
depends on how much you like single action trigger to a double action trigger. I am very used to SA and thus I am looking at one with a hammer, but hammerless has one less thing to snag.

August 5, 2008, 04:40 PM
While I am not a fan of hammerless revolvers (I don't like the look), for concealed carry, hammerless is by far the better of the two. Looks hardly matter in SD situation, eh? ;)

Drgong has a point with the DA vs. SA aspect. So remember that a hammerless revolver will be DAO. But it's nothing a bit of practice can't overcome in short order.


August 5, 2008, 04:44 PM
Hammerless is a great option for the reasons mentioned.
If this is your SD pistol it is even better.
No hammer means never the temptation to cock the hammer. DAO means you practice like you use it. I do not feel it is wise to practce cocking the hammer because it is easier. You might want to revert to what you practice in a stressful situation and that could possibly poise a problem.

August 5, 2008, 04:57 PM
Definitely hammerless, there is no reason to have SA capability for close-up defense work and you eliminate the possibility of snagging.

August 5, 2008, 05:11 PM
Thanks so much for the feedback!:)

I have only shot a couple times and just completed the requirements to apply for my CCW. I definitely plan to shoot on a regular bases and get more training as well as being very familiar with our guns.

For my CCW training I was not allowed to use the hammer on the revolver I was using for the very reasons you mention here, although it was not easy to do I would hate to be in that worse case scenario and have to depend on cocking the hammer or have my muscle memory be so strong that it would be my instant reaction.

If I get a hammerless gun is it wise to get the trigger worked on so it is no so difficult to use? I don't want it to be so uncomfortable that I dislike shooting it.

Also do y'all have any opinions on the S&W J frame revolvers, I'm looking for a small revolver being it will be in my purse but I have heard that the lighter the gun the more uncomfortable it is to shoot but for obvious reasons I cannot be lugging around a heavy one either.
Although I know that in an emergency I would never feel the recoil but as I mentioned above I want to get used to my gun and shoot it at the range often so comfort does play a role in my decision.


August 5, 2008, 05:20 PM
I prefer revolvers with hammers. They don't fire otherwise.:evil:

I really like my 642 (DAO J-frame). The action was smooth from the very first shot, and it's easy to keep them all in the center-mass rectangle on a silhouette target at 7 yards. The rudimentary sights work quite well, too. Fine little gun.

Light guns do have some kick. Strong forearms help (not monster arms, just in-shape). If you can grip the gun firmly, and your wrist isn't forced beyond its usual range of motion, the gun feels fine with .38 or .38 +P. I've shot the thing recreationally, and liked it.

If you have concerns about recoil, just don't waste your money on the .357 version. That sucker left me with a sore wrist and a tender hand where it slammed on recoil, with .357 rounds. No need to pay a premium for .357 capability when you'll load the gun with .38 Special anyway.

August 5, 2008, 05:25 PM
Go with the one without.I ground the hammer spur off my 38 when it was 2 months old because it was poking me in the gut,my friend said I was crazy doing that to a new gun but I bought it to carry and could not stand it with the hammer now it's great.
I shoot speer short barel ammo and hydra-shok's

I am looking at getting a SP101 hammerless in 357

I now want a 357 do to more stoping power than my 38

August 5, 2008, 08:55 PM
For a concealed carry gun, get the one with no hammer.

Snubby 38
August 6, 2008, 06:57 PM
You can get a S&W Model 649 and you'll have a shrouded hammer. I have two of them and couldn't be happier.:)

August 8, 2008, 11:10 AM
most people prefer the hammerless for concealed carry due to the fact you are almost certainly nt going to be cocking the hammer to fire anyways, and it is less likely to snag on something, especially if you carry in a purse or a pants pocket.Cant say I disagree with them, but I personally like having a hammer, but I dont carry mine in a manner where the hammer can snag anything, and I also use mine for target shooting and fun as much,if not more, than I carry I (I carry a 1911 99% of the time), and like having the hammer for those things, and also just like the looks of the ones with a hammer too, so my situation is different.

In your situation, I agree hammerless is probably best.

August 8, 2008, 11:25 AM
I purchases a 637 (Hammer), but if doing it again, I'd get a 642 (Hammerless) as I have sometime had the hammer snag when drawing from my pocket.

BTW, you're making a very wise decision in getting a wheelgun for SD.
When qualifying for my CHP, the instructor said basically the same thing. If someone with a knife rushes you and you are struggling with them while trying to shoot them point blank, a semi-auto may have the slide knocked out of battery and won't fire, but a wheelgun will still fire even if pressed into someones belly.

August 8, 2008, 11:36 AM
See if you can rent one of each from a local range and try them out. I really like having the SA/DA choice. But I also haven't carried my j-frame yet. SC is slooow on the CWP! :-(

Arrogant Bastard
August 8, 2008, 11:58 AM
Andy, go to your local range and rent BOTH the 640 and 642.

I first shot on the 642, and I didn't like it that much.

I went with the 640. It is 23 oz unloaded, about 50% heavier than the 642. That difference in weight really isn't going to make you leave it at home becuase it's too heavy, but it will definitely influence how often you get to the range to practice.

I carry Buffalo Bore 158-gr LSWCHP .38 spl +P in mine, which is about the hottest .38 spl +P you'll get. I wouldn't recommend shooting those in a 642, unless you want to develop a flinch.

August 8, 2008, 02:48 PM

I suggest you try out as many snubbies as you can to get a feel for the trigger and how they handle. Don't be discouraged if you don't initially achieve the accuracy you would like. Snubbies are difficult to master. But, it worth persevering with them as they are great for both concealment and reliability. I'd concentrate your efforts at short, realistic ranges and start off with mild loads.

If your budget allows, get yourself a good .22LR revolver so you can practice fundamentals inexpensively and with minimal recoil. Practice with a .22LR is a great investment for developing your skills.

August 8, 2008, 03:04 PM
I am going to call my local range and see if they have any for rent.
Right now I am looking at the Ladysmith, Ruger SP101, and the S&W 640 & 649.

I have ruled out any super light weight guns after reading this forum and talking to some gun shop owners, now it's just deciding between the above.

I am checking with gunsmiths in my area to see if they can remove the spur on the Ladysmith and so far everyone says yes.

Thank you all so much for your suggestions, I find about 80% of people I talk to say go for hammerless while the other 20% say it it's just personal preference.

August 8, 2008, 03:29 PM
Ummm... I'm not so sure I'd get a LADYsmith....... Andy.



August 8, 2008, 03:43 PM
Hey this Andy is a girl smarty pants ;)

August 8, 2008, 04:11 PM


August 8, 2008, 07:39 PM
Try as many as you can. See what FITS you and your hand. Contrary to what some people think - some smaller ladies can shoot ALL kinds of guns in all sizes. Vice versa!

If some places allow 'rentals' in what you are interested in... go for it. If you have friends who are into firearms - maybe you can try their guns.

I PREFER hammers myself!

I am far more into Single Actions too!

Best wishes.


August 10, 2008, 12:12 AM
If you have mastered a smooth, fast double action pull, then double action is the way to go and the hammer is meaningless.

If you feel the need to ever thumb cock the weapon for any reason, a hammer can come in quite handy.

Although I have shot many a double action match and have "paid my dues" to master the double action pull, frankly, I'd get any of the various types that came along in great condition and at a great price first!

In today's excellent pocket holsters, the hammer isn't gonna snag anyway.


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