Who else likes a Hammer on their snubbie?


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Gideon
September 15, 2008, 11:44 AM
I have a 642 like everyone else on the planet but I long to get an S&W model 60 (2") for two reasons. One, I like stainless and even after it's gotten beat up, you can bead blast it and it looks new. And then there's the hammer! Now EVERYONE knows hammerless (aka concealed hammer) is the thing for CCW to prevent snags and we ALL know defensive shooting with a revolvers should all be DAO, HOWEVER, does anyone else out there feel like I do that a revolver simply looks better with a Hammer?

For IWB I don't think having a hammer is any liability at all. I agree you don't need SA for CCW except for a 1 in a million scenario that I won't ever be in, but I just think the hammered version looks, right!

Now I like my 642 for pocket carry and I think the bobbed hammers on SP101s look great but I think a Model 60 with wood grips is about the best looking snubbie every made?

Am I alone in this thinking?

By the way, if you have a model 60 with wood grips, would you mind posting a pic? I'm going to get one and I'm trying to figure out which grips I like. I think the black wood badger grips on a stainless mdl 60 would just make a grown man drool.

What do you think?

God Bless
Gideon

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MMCSRET
September 15, 2008, 12:27 PM
I carry and shoot a late model Colt DS because I am Colt prejudiced and like a hammer where I can use it with out thinking or looking. All my handguns have exposed hammers, to have a concealed or shrouded hammer would be a handicap. Exception 1; My Ruger Standard Model 22 from the 60's has no open hammer.

bulbboy
September 15, 2008, 12:34 PM
All my snubbies except my 642 have a hammer. It just doesn't look right without them! But for pocket carry - go hammerless

CH47gunner
September 15, 2008, 12:34 PM
No 642 -

I wouldn't buy a hand-gun without a hammer, except my Ruger MKII.
While the original wood grips are stashed w/ the box, here's a pic of my Model 60 no dash, with a set of "pimp" grips. I'll see if I can dig out the originals & post another pic.

Bruce

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f232/ch47gunner/xms071stgunpics074.jpg

wyocarp
September 15, 2008, 01:01 PM
I for one don't.

Creature
September 15, 2008, 01:03 PM
I am a CCW snubby "hammer-head". And I am very glad to see there are kindred spirits who prefer hammers on their snubbies!

I rescued an old 1963-vintage S&W Chief's Special that was, cosmetically, in worse than miserable shape. It had been left in a cloth rag for some time which had basically imprinted its weave pattern onto the bluing over time. This on top of some very ugly holster wear. I would have passed on it had it not been for the perfect lock up and the cylinder and barrel being in excellent condition. Whoever owned it had taken good care of it, but must have either passed away or something and it was forgotten about and left to molder away in the rag.

I had been carrying a 642 for quite a while, and while it was very easy to carry the 642, I slowly began to realize that I wanted an all steel snubby. I also came to realise that I really wanted an exposed hammer. The option for an very well "aimed shot" (for lack of a better term) which a hammerless DA-only snubby just couldn't offer me was very important to me. Especially in light of the shooting rampages at the WestRoad Mall and at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs.

So, I purchased that Chief's Special for a song...and I immediately sent it to a trusted gunsmith. I planned on using this gun for CCW...and I wanted it to be as hassle free as possible, especially since I live in lovely hot and humid Virginia. After some discussion of the pros and cons, I decided to have it completely stripped and have a gunkote over parkerizing finish put on it.

I haven't looked back. It is a wonderful shooter...and I can get very accurately placed shots out to 25 yards with this old snubby, especially in SA mode. I was even able to consistently knock over plastic gallon jugs out to 75 yards. I would have never even attempted that distance with my 642.

http://i53.servimg.com/u/f53/12/63/91/01/after11.jpg

rcmodel
September 15, 2008, 01:09 PM
I wouldn't own a hammerless revolver.

I do own a Model 49 with a shrouded hammer.
But I can still cock it for accurate SA fire if I chose to do so.

I have used Chief Specials for about 45 years now, and have never had one snag a hammer in my pocket.

You put your thumb nail under the hammer spur during the draw, and it becomes hammerless!

rcmodel

tipoc
September 15, 2008, 01:17 PM
The arguments for shrouded hammers or the "hammerless" Centennial that make sense to me are two: One they can be fired from inside a coat pocket and Two they are a bit less likely to snag on a draw. Both of these arguments are sound.

The arguments "you'll never have to shoot sa in a gun fight" or that for "liability reasons dao is best" don't seem sound to me and are more arguments for a preference.

My Colt Cobra wears a shroud.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v432/tipoc/cobra1-1.jpg

It allows for firing from inside a pocket and for a smooth draw. Also allows for a sa shot. Makes sense to me.


You put your thumb nail under the hammer spur during the draw, and it becomes hammerless! This works well if the thumb is over the hammer.

But for carry a J frame Centennial is a good choice and I've had a few over the years.

tipoc

kcshooter
September 15, 2008, 01:19 PM
I like shrouded hammers. Allows snagless carry but still allows single action mode if desired.

ravencon
September 15, 2008, 01:32 PM
Most of my snubbies are hammerless or bobbed. For me, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. YMMV.

rcmodel
September 15, 2008, 01:38 PM
I guess a lot has to do with what you shoot most often.

My snubbies spend more time going fishing & hunting & plinking then going to gunfights in back alleys.

If I want to take the head off a snapping turtle, or finish off a wounded coyote, or hit a beer can at 50 yards, cocked SA is best for doing it.

rcmodel

SwampWolf
September 15, 2008, 01:48 PM
You put your thumb nail under the hammer spur during the drawbecomes hammerless!

Interesting. I use a similar technique when drawing my Cobra with an exposed hammer but I place my thumb over the spur.

csmkersh
September 15, 2008, 01:48 PM
My snubbies spend more time going fishing & hunting & plinking then going to gunfights in back alleys.

I find that remark insulting.

rcmodel
September 15, 2008, 01:53 PM
I haven't a clue how anyone could find that insulting.

I just stated that my primary use of my snubose revolvers is more likely to require better accuracy then I can get double-action only.

rcmodel

351 WINCHESTER
September 15, 2008, 01:56 PM
Learn to shoot dao and you'll never look back. As you might guess most of my j frames are of the "hamerless" variety. Besides nothing to snag on you can get a higher grip which will make for faster follow up shots. I had a model 60 that I was teaching my oldest son to shoot. He insisted in cocking the hammer as I guess it seemed more normal to him or suited him. After some shooting the hammer strut broke and ended up breaking the hammer nose as well redering the gun useless. Apparentely he was using too much downward force on the hammer while cocking it due to his small hands. Dad's usually know best.

csmkersh
September 15, 2008, 02:17 PM
I haven't a clue how anyone could find that insulting.

The implication is that you think those who carry other than when hunting or fishing are skulking in back alleys looking for trouble.

rcmodel
September 15, 2008, 02:26 PM
The implication was, that I am not a Police Officer.

If you knew anything about me, or my lifetime of guns, gunsmithing, National Match shooting in the service, reloading, collecting, and anything else related to guns, you wouldn't even have thought of that.

I first started carrying a S&W 36 snubbie in my pocket in 1962.
And I wasn't hunting or fishing!

I am 65 now, and my lifestyle doesn't take me where it used to take me.
But I still carry every day. Most often a DAO P3AT anymore.
But sometimes a snubbie, with a hammer on it.

rcmodel

HGUNHNTR
September 15, 2008, 02:39 PM
jeez calm down. I agree rcmodel, my carry gun is kinda like my doberman. Most of the time he is a family pet/walking companion, not chasing bad guys from the living room.

Hawk
September 15, 2008, 02:52 PM
The arguments "you'll never have to shoot sa in a gun fight" or that for "liability reasons dao is best" don't seem sound to me and are more arguments for a preference.

Probably so, but it reminds me of a late '07 reference to a Mas Ayoob posting on light triggers which included the following:
One critical point absent from this discussion thus far is the relatively high likelihood of a false allegation of hair trigger negligent discharge brought by unscrupulous prosecutors or plaintiffs’ counsel.
What I remembered most was that the bogus charges of negligent discharge involved more real world examples of cocked revolvers than of single action semiautos. See:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=4849363&postcount=51

There is also the oft-cited entry by Grant Cunningham discouraging single action in defensive revolvers.
http://www.grantcunningham.com/blog_files/the_case_for_dao.html
The Cunningham post references LFI so I'd suppose there's some cross-polination likely.

None of that would discourage the existance of an exposed hammer but it would seem to advise against its being cocked for single action.

Since rcmodel has likely forgotten more than I'll ever know on revolvers and their use (along with Fuff, Dfariswheel and selected others) some of us are stuck with having authoritative, diametrically opposed opinions.

So, certain of us that are relatively new will either flip a coin or just go with whichever point of view appeals more to us. RC is undoubtedly right that my DAO-fu leaves a great deal to be desired but the Ayoob litany of cocked revolver "negligent discharge" abuses is also compelling. I'll stick with the semiauto for now: the refuge of the indecisive.

'Course all the "double action only" stuff presupposes "defensive use".

Mr. D
September 15, 2008, 03:46 PM
My carry piece is a model 36 with 3" barrel. I would not buy a bobbed hammered revolver. I agree - just doesn't look right and isn't necessary if you're carrying IWB or OWB.

~Dale

weisse52
September 15, 2008, 04:51 PM
I carried a mdl 36 for years and never worried about the hammer snagging.

I carry a 642 now because I was able to buy a new one without a lock.

I love the look of a orginal Chief Special, hammer and all!

I think I will have to find an old one, add a "T" grip, may some stag or ivory grips. What could be nicer.

wjh2657
September 15, 2008, 05:21 PM
As I no longer hunt with a handgun, I have changed my whole philosophy about my pistols. I have revolvers with hammers for range (S&W686 2 1/2") and home defense(S&W60) (and a S&W 317 for range and a Ruger Bearcat for fun)


For carry though, I shoot nothing but DAO (Glock 23 is it/or isn't it DAO?) and pocket carry, so I like Centennials (64x) . I do have a Taurus 85 but it is a DAO UltraLight with the so-called hidden hammer, bobbed hammer. My range practice now is in close and fast (4X5 drill at 21 feet and less).

So I guess I am neutral, Hammer for fun and range and Hammerless DAO for SD.

goon
September 15, 2008, 06:12 PM
I like the hammer.
When you're first starting it's easier to hit shooting SA and hitting is more fun than missing.
Even if you only make one or two good hits per cylinder, that is still enough to keep you from getting discouraged.
I also like having the option to cock the gun if I need to.
Having a hammer doesn't stop you from shooting DA but having a DAO does stop you from being able to shoot single action.

tipoc
September 15, 2008, 06:28 PM
Hawk,

Since a fella can shoot rapidly da with a hammer or without one seems that a bobbed hammer is a matter of preference.

Ayoob has written in a number of places in favor of rendering da revolvers dao and in favor of bobbing the hammer. In these cases he has cited a few cases where officers were charged with having held a suspect at gunpoint with a cocked revolver (or where the officer has been accused of this) and the suspect was shot "accidently". In a couple of cases, a good many years back, prosecutors made some hay of this. Ayoob's suggestion was to render the dun dao to avoid these type charges. Bobbing the hammer he suggests aids in a smooth draw.

Personally, I'm not a cop. Many of their concerns are not mine. If I were to shoot a fella accidentally or on purpose I would own up to it. I would not be in the position of explaining that I could not possibly have shot them accidentally because my gun cannot be cocked for single action firing. This was the motivation for Ayoob's suggestions.

Holding some one at gunpoint with a cocked hammer seems to me a simple minded and "Hollywood" thing to do. It accomplishes nothing of worth and can lay the ground work for a ND. Makes one very likely in fact.

The point of keeping a da gun da is it gives one the option of both. Folks should learn to shoot well da but that does not rule out the usefulness of a better aimed sa shot.

Since many of us have more than one snubby, and they are handy things to carry while fishing, hiking, walking the dog, etc., I tend to find the option for both modes of shooting useful.

I've never had a hammer break on my either.

I read Bill Jordan before I read Ayoob, maybe Jordan ruint me though. I respect Ayoob's opinions on many matters but on this one I disagree, for my use anyways.

I have nothing against Centennials, I've had a few. Very handy for pocket carry, but in general I prefer the da revolver.
tipoc

JCMAG
September 15, 2008, 06:34 PM
Sometimes I wish my 442 were a 37. I really miss having a hammer.

But at the same time, the 442 is idiot proof when it comes to drawing. As long as you don't drop it or pull the trigger, it will come out easily.

But I still miss the hammer. Partly this is because I only own one centerfire handgun and it has no hammer...

Sometimes I wish my 442 were a 37. I always wish my 442 were a chief's special.

Speedo66
September 15, 2008, 07:18 PM
When I used to carry a revolver, I ground the hammer spur off. Our training was DA only, god help you if you let a round loose because of a light SA trigger pull. Same for being seen doing SA at requal.

With the spur off there were no snags when pulling it, but if I really wanted to SA it, a light pull on the trigger would bring the hammer back enough to then thumb it back to SA.

Hawk
September 15, 2008, 07:21 PM
Personally, I'm not a cop. Many of their concerns are not mine. If I were to shoot a fella accidentally or on purpose I would own up to it. I would not be in the position of explaining that I could not possibly have shot them accidentally because my gun cannot be cocked for single action firing. This was the motivation for Ayoob's suggestions.
I'm not a cop nor am I employed by a public agency or anyone with deep pockets that could conceivably be drawn into a civil suit. I've sometimes expressed my belief that, though I respected the views, I felt "immune" to much of what Ayoob was writing about - as I'm not a public servant and have insufficient funds to attract a contingency lawyer.

The difference with the above "trigger issue" is that he was talking about bogus negligent discharge claims invoking homeowner's liability insurance which I do have.

Still, I suppose it's a long shot on top of already long odds. I don't have issue with pinned 1911 grip safeties, disabled BHP magazine disconnects and absent Kimber type II parts. The revolver caution is probably related to my relative nooby-ness with the platform.

My snub DA-fu is weak but I can't picture my SA results being anything to brag about either. The rear sight is a furrow plowed in the frame and the "white on white" offered by my 640 might as well be invisible. Others may well be able to derive advantage by a single action in such circumstances but I don't have the proficiency in the platform to much worry about it yet - may never.

wnycollector
September 15, 2008, 08:00 PM
I own two J frame snubs, a 638 and a model 36. I like the option of a hammer and/or SA shooting!

crebralfix
September 15, 2008, 08:25 PM
I do. There's no need for a shroud or hammerless gun. Thumbs work just fine.

Seafarer12
September 15, 2008, 08:28 PM
I like hammers on my revolvers no matter what their intended purpose. The only way I would own a hammerless would be if it was dirt cheap.

Guillermo
September 15, 2008, 11:08 PM
It appears that I am among like-minds.

Not being a newbie, I see no reason not to have the double action option.

My carry snubbie is a detective special. While I usually carry on the belt, when I do have it in a cargo pocket, I put my thumb on the hammer when drawing.

While everyone should carry what they want, I have no plans ever to buy any DOA gun.

Old Fuff
September 16, 2008, 09:19 AM
The Old Fuff has both, and uses both styles - depending on the situation and mode of carry.

In the pocket, the hammer spur will be removed - if there was one. There is a chance of snagging, and while I can cover the spur with my thumb, it can be awkward and prevents getting a full grip on the handle. Space within a pocket can be tight. and this is where the advantages of a fully inclosed hammer really show up. Also it is much harder for lint and dirt to migrate to the revolver's insides.

My Colt Detective Special from the middle 1950's strill has its spur. Given its size I seldom carry it in a pocket, and shorter stocks won't fit on its full-sized frame. It can in a pinch, hit a silhouette target in the K-Zone at 100 yards. I am always sure to use a holster that covers the spur, otherwise a covering garment can get ripped to pieces.

Defensive shooting with a revolver seldom ever involved single-action/cocked hammer shooting. Therefore I practiced double-action methods. Anyone who thinks that this is difficult or inaccurate need to read the works of McGivern, Jordan, Applegate, and a few others.

And I never, ever, picked a personal weapon on the basis of "what looked right," or the "cool factor." Instead I went for what "worked best," and that included a Fitz Special that that looked very strange, but worked great for its intended purpose.

Of course there are folks that use snubbies for purposes other then a personal weapon. The can make a great pack-around-in-the-woods gun, or one that lives exclusively in a bedside table drawer; and in those instances I see little reason to alter the hammer.

ferretray
September 16, 2008, 09:33 AM
My primary CCW handgun, for now, is a S&W .44 MG with a hammer. BUG for pocket carry is a S&W 642 (Its on lawaway, sold my other years ago). I'm not overly concerned with the supposed legal liability of carrying a handgun capable of single action.
Most of my practice with the .44 is up close DA, with some accuracy work if I feel like it. I qualified many times with a S&W 64, shooting DAO up to 25 yards, not a big deal. I try to use what I think is appropriate for the intended mission.
For a belt gun, I would use either. The models with hammers are more pleasing to the eye, IMHO.

csmkersh
September 16, 2008, 09:42 AM
Most of my snubbies are either "hammerless" or have bobbed hammers. One, an old Nitex coated Model 36 still has its hammer but goes out and about in a Bianchi upside down shoulder holster. The others are carried most often Mexican carry although I do have a Milt Sparks Summer Special II, Bianchi Model 5 strong side plus a IWB holster.

http://home.flash.net/~csmkersh/Pics/My_Snubbies.jpg

The bobbed hammers have nothing to do with "SA libilities" although Mas did present one case where an AD from cocked position earned a man hard time. For me, its snag proofing the guns. for years I pocket carried without the benefit of a holster. All my snubbies have benefitted from the installation of Wolfe spring sets.

Photoman
September 16, 2008, 09:43 AM
Old Fuff wrote: "Defensive shooting with a revolver seldom ever involved single-action/cocked hammer shooting. Therefore I practiced double-action methods. Anyone who thinks that this is difficult or inaccurate need to read the works of McGivern, Jordan, Applegate, and a few others."

And I would add...have the double action revolver tuned. I can't emphasize enough the benefit of a quality action job. Double action shots are MUCH easier with a tuned gun.

Drgong
September 16, 2008, 09:56 AM
I prefer with hammer, not that hammerless is bad or anything, I am not worried about snagging as even when I first started my thumb was on the hammer when drawing, so I am not worried about snagging.

Why hammer?

Looks baby, looks! :neener:

MCgunner
September 16, 2008, 10:01 AM
I don't have a problem with snags on the draw, just slide my thumb over the hammer. I prefer the hammer. It's handy for securing with a strap on my UM's ankle holster and I like shooting SA at longer ranges. We actually have fun ringing a 12" gong at 100 yards with snubbies at the range. My Taurus has a very slick DA, better than any Smith I've ever handled or fired, but I still like SA capability. I do not find concealed hammers necessary for pocket carry. I shoot DA very well, but still like SA capability. I do carry this thing afield and a rabbit at 25 yards is a small target. Mostly, though, I've used it to tranquilize sharks when fishing. I have taken game with snubbies, though. It's quite accurate, 3" at 25 yards and that's good enough for rabbits at close ranges. For pure defensive purposes, most times I carry a Kel Tec P11 in a pocket, but when I go outdoors, I carry the little Taurus M85 Ultra Lite stainless. It's rugged and accurate and capable of SA shooting.

Gideon
September 16, 2008, 07:02 PM
Well I'm encouraged by all of the replies!!! I do like my 642 for pocket but just love the looks of a good snubbie with a hammer. I used to have a 637 and learned to draw it from a pocket with my thumb over the hammer.

I long to get a pre-lock model 60 in .357!!

I also agree with a lot of the posts on some key points:
-practice DA, then practice DA some more; no need to practice SA because if you can do it DA then SA is cake
-It's not as much a liability having a hammer for civilians in low threat scenarios unless you're going to cock a hammer on a guy which would be foolish and ill advised!

Thanks for the input and the GREAT pics!

God Bless
Gideon

KiltedClaymore
September 16, 2008, 07:10 PM
personaly, i think revolvers dont look good without a hammer sticking out the top-rear portion of the frame. thats just my oppinion, and i hold that oppinion mainly for aesthetic (as opposed to functional) reasons. although, it is nice having the option of shooting it single action style for a lighter trigger pull (ergo:better accuracy).

Ben86
September 16, 2008, 09:25 PM
I never could get around to parting with the hammer. It looks sort of like a cat without a tail with no hammer. Plus I never want to give up my ability to make a single action tack driver shot if I have to. Oh and then there is the cool sound it makes when you cock it back.

I'd say it's more about looks/feelings than function, but I can't give it up.

flounder22
September 16, 2008, 09:44 PM
http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/basic/popcorn.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org)

MCgunner
September 16, 2008, 09:57 PM
Well, you can carry a concealed hammer that can shoot SA, ya know.

http://www.taurususa.com/images/imagesMain/651SHC.jpg

S&Wfan
September 16, 2008, 10:56 PM
To the poster mentioning wanting stags and Tyler T-grips . . . I can tell you that this is an amazingly wonderful and attractive improvement of the gun.

The Tyler T-grip greatly reduces both gun movement and twist in the hand, and also tames the recoil perfectly.

I love Patrick Grashorn's work, and his gorgeous Elk Stag grips (stocks) and have them on an increasingly growing number of firearms. His turnaround time is less than a week typically, and he'll make 'em exactly as you want (with less or more bark, thickness preferences, etc.)

AS YOU CAN SEE BY THIS PICTURE . . . I like my hammers on all my "snubbies," no matter the size . . . all the way up to the N frame Model 25-2 .45ACP revolver with the chopped 3 1/4" barrel! Decending is also a 1964 nickleplated Model 36 no dash and a blued 1971 Model 37 no dash "Lightweight."

http://216.77.188.54/coDataImages/p/Groups/363/363373/folders/282194/2328602IMG0125e.JPG

T.

cerberus65
September 16, 2008, 11:04 PM
I have a model 60 and I like being able to shoot either SA or DA depending on the situation, my mood, or whatever...

Virginian
September 17, 2008, 05:20 AM
I will not own a gun without a hammer, or with porting.

Kleanbore
September 17, 2008, 09:24 AM
I'm not a cop nor am I employed by a public agency or anyone with deep pockets that could conceivably be drawn into a civil suit. I've sometimes expressed my belief that, though I respected the views, I felt "immune" to much of what Ayoob was writing about - as I'm not a public servant and have insufficient funds to attract a contingency lawyer.

I'm afraid I don't see how not being an LEO makes the risk of a negligent discharge any different. And the consequences aren't limited to civil action. Quoting Ayoob, "For a Manslaughter conviction, all he [the prosecutor] has to do is convince them [the jurors] that, just like any other human being, you the defendant were reckless and negligent in just one instance."

Even if you were not at legal risk, how about living with the fact of an unintended shot?

The following is from a link in The Snubnose Files on the Centennial variants: "there are almost no situations in which single action fire is appropriate in self defense. Most self defense situations unfold rapidly. There isn't time to thumb cock a revolver and take careful aim in the way one would do while target shooting". I could not identify the author.

That doesn't rule out having the option, but what follows (same link) is to me more telling: "A cocked revolver is dangerous in the adrenaline dump of a lethal force encounter. The trigger is just too light. Its too easy to fire when you don't mean to".

Both points were hammered upon in my recent concealed carry class.

It seems to me that for concealed carry for self defense, the hammer is a liability and little more--if you aren't going have time to use it and know that you should not use it, why have it? For hunting and fishing, however, the story is different.

So for me, the answer to the original question ("who likes a hammer") is "it depends"--kind of like the answer to the question, "which is better, a putter or a nine iron."

MCgunner
September 17, 2008, 10:06 AM
Those who worry about the courtroom are a might paranoid IMHO. If the shooting is justified, it's justified. If not, you deserve a cell with bubba. And, just because the gun has a hammer spur, don't mean you have to use it in an inappropriate situation. Hell, there are lots of folks that carry a 1911 cocked and locked. You can't even FIRE one of those DA. Then there's the Glock safe action, pretty much a spongy SA with no external safety. :rolleyes: Those Glock guys have a saying that "safety is between the ears". Well, so's self defense and operation of a DA/SA capable revolver. No, I don't carry a 1911 or a Glock, I'm just sayin'...........

Kleanbore
September 17, 2008, 01:02 PM
And, just because the gun has a hammer spur, don't mean you have to use it in an inappropriate situation.

Excellent point, and for my Model 60 I'm "reprogramming' myself accordingly. That weapon, with its steel frame, target sights, and 3" barrel, is a fine gun for many purposes but for me, is not ideal for concealed carry under summer casual clothing.

For a single purpose CC SD gun, I personally choose to not have a hammer spur. Its primary function, I think, would be to serve as a hook, to catch on my shirt, slowing the draw, or to prevent me from firing from a pocket if necessary. That's what I meant by liability.

redbone
September 17, 2008, 01:12 PM
With my 637 and CT lasergrips, I can shoot 8' groups at 50 yards (not in bright light, though). With my 442 and laser grips, I can't even stay on paper at 50 yards.

Just one of the reasons I like an exposed hammer.

RBH

Shade00
September 17, 2008, 01:40 PM
All of the revolvers in my house currently have exposed hammers. However, I did put some money down on my first Centennial model S&W, a Model 042. I will be picking it up in a couple of days. However, I do like having the hammers on my snubbies; not for any particular reason, I just like the look. I do occasionally fire them single action at the range. However, I am on the lookout for a replacement spurless hammer for my Ruger Speed Six - I really like the double action on it, and I can see myself carrying it one day. That is one that rarely gets fired in single action.

I don't see not having a hammer as a liability - as Old Fuff said, you probably ain't gonna be cockin your gun in a defensive situation. But if you have to have a hammer, the Chief's Special and the Detective Special are, as always, fine choices.

Kleanbore
September 17, 2008, 02:20 PM
With my 442 and laser grips, I can't even stay on paper at 50 yards.

Your paper must be too small!:D Seriously, the Centennial is by no means a fifty yard gun.

I have difficulty envisioning a situation in which deadly force would even be remotely justified in a fifty yard encounter among civilians. Police, yes. Perhaps you were thinking of law enforcement applications.

1KPerDay
September 17, 2008, 03:22 PM
I carry a S&W model 37... I tried shooting DA one handed, DA two handed, and SA yesterday.

I'm sure you can predict the results...
I just hope, if I ever have to use it fast against a bad guy, that he's nice and wide. :scrutiny:

tipoc
September 17, 2008, 04:36 PM
I enjoy Centennials. I've owned three over the last 20 years and will replace the one I traded off about a year ago so I have one in my modest stable. They are very handy for snag free pocket carry.

I also like the option of a single action shot for reasons I've explained above, hiking, plinking, shooting at targets, etc.

Shooting a snubby single action in self defense is also an option. It's not a case of either or. Folks should learn to shoot da well. DA should be practiced not only for fast well placed defensive type shooting but I think also for general accuracy. The latter helps the former and is a goal in itself.

The following is from a link in The Snubnose Files on the Centennial variants: "there are almost no situations in which single action fire is appropriate in self defense. Most self defense situations unfold rapidly. There isn't time to thumb cock a revolver and take careful aim in the way one would do while target shooting". I could not identify the author.

Here the author is both right and wrong. Given that shooting a gun in self defense is fairly rare to begin with it is true that "there are almost no situations" where a single action shot is needed. This is true. But the author is careful to say "almost no".

Remember Luby's Cafeteria down in Texas, a place about the size of your local Denny's or Red Lobster. A fella entered Luby's and started shooting customers at random. He walked from front to back.

In how many malls in the last few years has a person entered with a rifle and begun shooting? A few churches have been shot up as well. What were the distances involved do you think?

Now I'm not in favor of shooting where innocents could be hit by a shot. Neither am I trying to provoke a discussion of all the possible variants that could come up about when to shoot and when not to shoot etc. But at Luby's, or that mall up in Washington State where the fella with the SKS walked in, a well aimed shot, when the target was clear, may have been an option. Single action would have been the way to go, if you had the option and you knew you could make the shot. You only know if you practice at the distances needed.

The last bit added by the author There isn't time to thumb cock a revolver and take careful aim in the way one would do while target shooting". was unnecessary and only added as a distraction. Nope a shot at longer ranges would hopefully be taken from cover and braced not at all like target shooting . The author likely knew this but threw it in as overkill. I hope he doesn't think no well aimed shot from a distance of more than 10 yards might ever be needed in a defensive encounter he knows he'd be wrong.

"A cocked revolver is dangerous in the adrenaline dump of a lethal force encounter. The trigger is just too light. Its too easy to fire when you don't mean to".

This is true and why defensive shooting is mostly a da matter. It's also true, and I mentioned this in a previous post, why holding some one at gunpoint with a cocked revolver, or threatening them with the same, is an accident waiting to happen, more Hollywood, than useful.

If a shot has to be taken and the shooter knows they can not accurately place the shot da, due to the distance involved or other factors, then the option of a sa shot is available. Of course only if the shooting is justified. This is true of all revolvers, not just snubbys.


It seems to me that for concealed carry for self defense, the hammer is a liability and little more--if you aren't going have time to use it and know that you should not use it, why have it?

Experience. Back to Luby's the 30 yards from the front to the rear. From the front pew to the door. The distance of 3 storefronts in a mall. The cougar going over the back fence with an infant or your pet Pomeranian. What shot could you take, with confidence of a torso hit, from what distance?

tipoc

Kleanbore
September 17, 2008, 07:07 PM
I enjoy Centennials. I've owned three over the last 20 years and will replace the one I traded off about a year ago so I have one in my modest stable. They are very handy for snag free pocket carry. I also like the option of a single action shot for reasons I've explained above, hiking, plinking, shooting at targets, etc.

I think we are in complete agreement!

"A cocked revolver is dangerous in the adrenaline dump of a lethal force encounter. The trigger is just too light. Its too easy to fire when you don't mean to"--This is true and why defensive shooting is mostly a da matter.

And again, on this!

It's also true, and I mentioned this in a previous post, why holding some one at gunpoint with a cocked revolver, or threatening them with the same, is an accident waiting to happen, more Hollywood, than useful.

FYI, where I live, an armed civilian can neither detain nor threaten anyone with a weapon--unless you characterize the production of a weapon upon the emergence of a clear and present danger as "threatening".

The cougar going over the back fence with an infant or your pet Pomeranian. What shot could you take, with confidence of a torso hit, from what distance?

I think we are in agreement that the Centennial is not the best weapon for all situations.

So--when answering the question, "who likes a hammer..." my answer is " I certainly do for some applications, but not for others."

I have not given much thought to the scenarios you describe--most churches malls around here do not permit CC--and "justifiability" in SD generally applies to "self" and family in an imminent danger situation. I have been told that one may defend others under some circumstances but that lawyers overwhelmingly advise against it.

Outside--where the castle doctrine does not apply--one is expected to avoid, evade, and if possible, escape, before engaging. To me that says that engagement distance will be short indeed.

You raise some very good points.

DAdams
September 17, 2008, 07:34 PM
M-60 in wood Herretts.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v237/dmadams/P5270009.jpg


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v237/dmadams/P5270007.jpg


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v237/dmadams/P5270006-1.jpg

I pocket carry a DAO M&P 340. This one is pretty though and makes a nice desk drawer piece.
The Herretts are comfy and that SA trigger is smooth and very, very short and light as compared to the DAO revolvers and bottom feeders I carry.

rdrancher
September 17, 2008, 08:46 PM
tipoc - I'm right there with you on this one.

I live rural, and a SA option is almost mandatory as I see it. You never know when you're going to have to take "that shot." That's why I carry an SP101 with a hammer spur as much as I can.

But...

Alot of times I can't, so I pocket carry a 642 for an effortless snag-free draw. It's not an "everything" gun but a tool of convenience.

But...

In all honesty, I would prefer an M38 or 638 to the 642. The money isn't there for that option right now, but it'll happen.

(btw - that pic of your Cobra floored me)

rd

Ben86
September 17, 2008, 11:36 PM
I believe the hammer could be useful if you had to make a longer than normal range shot with a snubbie. Perhaps from around a corner at a gun man that hasn't seen you yet. Wouldn't you like the help of the SA then to make a COM or CNS shot?

goon
September 17, 2008, 11:44 PM
OK, so we're worried about an SA trigger pull being more dangerous than a DA pull.
But...
Should you be pointing your gun at something you aren't willing to kill in the first place?
Should you have your finger on the trigger if you're not planning on shooting someone pretty much right now?
And why is a revolver with a cocked hammer any less safe than a Browning High Power or 1911 with a cocked hammer?
Also, Army and Navy Colts, Smith & Wessons, Remingtons, Single action Armies and various other single action revolvers were used for quite some time as defensive weapons and no one ever seemed to have any problem getting them cocked fast enough use them in self defense.
Personally, I think that saying "you won't have time to cock your gun" is kind of a rediculous argument. Training to use DA as a first option is probably better, but I still don't see the problem with SA.

tipoc
September 18, 2008, 07:14 AM
Those are good points Goon.

tipoc

Kleanbore
September 18, 2008, 10:00 AM
I live rural, and a SA option is almost mandatory as I see it. You never know when you're going to have to take "that shot." That's why I carry an SP101 with a hammer spur as much as I can. But... A lot of times I can't, so I pocket carry a 642 for an effortless snag-free draw. It's not an "everything" gun but a tool of convenience.

Couldn't agree more, rd rancher!

I believe the hammer could be useful if you had to make a longer than normal range shot with a snubbie. Perhaps from around a corner at a gun man that hasn't seen you yet. Wouldn't you like the help of the SA then to make a COM or CNS shot?

Ben, to me that makes a lot of sense for a combat situation, but you'll have to help me understand how a civilian could justify the use of deadly force for self defense in shooting at someone at a distance who hasn't seen you yet. Combat is one thing, last resort self defense seems to me to be a lot different.

Should you be pointing your gun at something you aren't willing to kill in the first place? Should you have your finger on the trigger if you're not planning on shooting someone pretty much right now?

Excellent points, goon. However, Ayoob and others have made their recommendations, and I think they probably have as much to do with real world experience in psychology and physiology as they may have to do with litigation risk. I'll add my two bits worth for your consideration: you point the gun and are ready to shoot right now; the attacker then ceases to threaten. At that point you have no justification for shooting, intentionally or unintentionally.

And why is a revolver with a cocked hammer any less safe than a Browning High Power or 1911 with a cocked hammer?

Also an excellent point excellent, and of course it isn't. Those weapons were both developed for military use, and while the Texas Rangers and a lot of other law enforcement groups have used them in the past, they are rapidly falling out of favor and are being replaced by DAO pistols.

One recent exception is the Tacoma Police Department, which has adopted both DAO and Kimber 1911 pistols.

A friend of mine who is a policeman carries a small Kimber 1911 type .45 for back-up. He knows what he's doing.

To be frank, I really don't like double action shooting very much at all. I was accustomed to off-hand practice at twenty-five yards with revolvers and autoloaders, and I never saw any point in the Centennial or its stop-break predecessor, or for that matter the Webley bobbed-hammer revolver. The recent trend toward DAO semi-automatics was a mystery to me. I bought a Model 60 for that reason--steel, with a hammer and with a longer barrel for control.

Then I took the state concealed carry course. As mentioned before, two key points were don't cock and a hammer is a hook. In the demonstrations, a simulated deadly force scenario involves a man charging straight at you from the distance at which it was first clear that deadly force was justified--a little more than 20 feet. (You are not permitted to produce the weapon here unless you are under clear and immediate threat). Closure time was a couple of seconds. Quick draw, no sight picture, no time to cock if you wanted to, attacker may or may not cease and desist when he sees the gun.

That and the desire for a smaller, lighter CC weapon led to my purchase of the Airweight Centennial.

Well, I'm getting to where I'm OK with the DA pull in that circumstance, but the draw is still pretty iffy.

For anything else, I do want a hammer.

I hope you find this useful and that I do not appear argumentative.

goon
September 18, 2008, 12:21 PM
Kleanbore -

You don't come across as argumentative at all and all your points make sense.
Gotta give those guys credit because they do undoubtedly know more about CCW use than I do and I'm sure that they're making those recommendations to try and keep us out of trouble.
But I still do kind of wonder...
If the BG is coming at you or me and we determine that we need to shoot right now, isn't it going to be too late for him already?
I've never been in any defensive situation with a gun but the conventional wisdom is that they often happen from such a close range and so fast that you barely have time to think.
Given that if one of us pulls a gun we'd better be pretty sure of the need to use it, I kind of think that the BG will be leaking from a couple holes by the time he figures out he's about to get hurt and drops his weapon.
I'm not advocating shooting an unarmed attacker - just saying that the time issue cuts both ways. He may very well not have time to think it over and drop his weapon before he gets shot.
For getting the gun cocked, I'd think thats an issue of training as much as anything else. If you were for some reason carrying a SAA for defense you would have to cock the gun and I'd bet you good money that you'd get that gun cocked fast enough! ;)

At this point in my revolver career, I admit that it is probably going to be easier to just learn to shoot DA accurately for defense purposes.
No need to complicate things.

SAG0282
September 18, 2008, 12:34 PM
The Bodyguard style is really the only variant of snubbie I'm interested in....it's the best of both worlds.

MassMan
September 18, 2008, 11:36 PM
S&W 649 bodyguard style. Best of both worlds.

Commander Crusty
September 29, 2008, 09:41 AM
Long ago, I owned a custom Ruger GP100 with a bobbed hammer. That feature has become THE cool, modern, tactical feature of the day for revolver shooters. All the revolvers I own now HAVE the hammer spur.

Why do I prefer HAVING the hammer spur?

==> I had a revolver fail during a match because of a high primer. Now I rotation check my gun every time I pick it up to put it in my holster. For that, I need the hammer spur.

==> I have days when I can barely use my hands and might literally be unable to fire 5-6 rounds double action. Now I insist on carrying a revolver I can cock against WHATEVER and fire in an emergency.

==> I also found that much of the joy of handling a revolver was lost without the hammer. Now I only carry revolvers that allow me that visceral connection you only get from working the action of a fine wheelgun.

As to the legal ramifications for carrying a gun that was originally designed with a hammer spur and has been used that way by professional lawmen, shooters, hunters and home owners for more than 100 years? Well, I think I can defend myself on that point.

Please remember, anybody can sue anybody for anything. If you use your gun and the BG (or his family) wants to sue you, he'll sue because you shot double action instead of the "more accurate" single action, because you used (or didn't use) a flashlight, because you "panicked" and fired all six shots (or because you shot the BG "execution style" with a single bullet).

My advice on many of these issues is to do what you think is right, and be ready to defend your choice.

Marshall
September 29, 2008, 12:22 PM
I prefer an external hammer on all my revolvers.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c274/bunnfuzz/dcp_0559.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c274/bunnfuzz/dcp_0555.jpg

s4s4u
September 29, 2008, 10:18 PM
On my snubby I'd rather have a hammer and not need it than need a hammer and not have it. Should I have to "thread the needle" I want to take as much trigger out of the equation as possible.

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