Shrouded or Bobbed Hammer on Snubbie?


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JHK94
April 23, 2009, 01:06 PM
Is there a significant benefit to either, or are they more or less equal? The only thing I can see better on the shrouded version is that it stays put in your pocket better.

I just ask because I'm debating which to get right now, and I can get a much better deal on one with a spurred hammer...and am pretty sure I can bob it myself/get it done cheaply.

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chieftain
April 23, 2009, 01:56 PM
I have both, the Shrouded 638, and Hammerless 640, and 940. I own no bobbed hammer revolvers, and never have. I know several friends that used to set up their fighting revolvers with bobbed hammers, and double action only actions. I always liked having the single action option, for that possible long shot. In the old PPC days we used to shoot our revolvers from either prone or a creedmore position at 50 yards. I was always glad my model 14 S&W had a hammer and it's single action too. Later as I became more experienced I would shoot it at 50 yards double action too. But I never dedicated any of my revolvers with a bob, and double action only. I am thinking of doing that with my last carry revolver, a S&W model 66 with 3" barrel. But I don't carry it any more. And probably never will, unless the government will only allow us revolvers. Could happen, then I would break out my revolver collection and, "play it again Sam".

I was always partial, in snubbies, to the Bodyguard series which was the shrouded version, S&W models 38, 49, 649 and finally the 638. I have had all of them over the years.

The 940 and the 642 are from the Centennial family or hammerless. The 940 in 9mm fed by moon clips, and the 642 or conventional in 38spl. I presently only have the 940, 642 and 638.

The number one advantage of the hammerless over the shrouded version which I preferred for years in my opinion, is dirt has a much more difficult time getting into the action, then with the Shroud.

On the other hand, and my own reason for using the shrouded version vs the hammerless was the ability to take that longer shot in or with the single action option. That has now become a secondary consideration with availability of quality CTC laser grips. Particularly the model/version 403 from Crimson Trace IIRC. I have them on my 642, and they work GREAT.

Even with my certified old fart trifocal eyes, I can consistently hit accurately out to 25 yds in double action of course. So I now usually am carrying the 642, and or the 940.

The major advantage of this class of gun is it can be fired at contact range without blood and guts blowing back into the action and jamming the piece at a most inopportune time. (often happens at contact ranges)

Also, one can engage from inside a pocket without jamming. Or under the blankets if one should be caught in bed by some Burglars. You can engage while the weapon is still under the blankets, or sleeping bag in the bush. (side note: In cold places and cold times, if you are ever approached by a LEO and he keeps his hands in his jacket pocket, he may well be covering you with one of these little beauties. I know several friends of mine use to deploy their hammerless/shrouded 'J' frames that way.)

Be advised, a bobbed hammer will expedite drawing a double action revolver, but will not help with firing it from within a pocket, or from under the blankets or in a sleeping bag.

Another note is if you should touch off one of these beauties in a pocket or under blankets or sleeping bag, understand your clothes etal will usually be on fire. It's a small fire, easily beat out, but be aware. Normally you would only be engaging in this manner in an extremeous up close and personal situation.

Be sure to get some training dedicated exclusively to the snubbie. The snubs are a different type of weapon, and you need to learn it's strengths and weaknesses, and use them fully. Particularly if you can foresee using them from cover as I have described. Practice this deployment of these weapons, doing it for the first time in action, it can be rather startling what will happen. PS use real old clothes, and stuff, cause you gonna tear them up! But it works.

What is nice about these snubbies, like a bobbed hammer, they come out of cover very clean. But training and practice are necessary. Watching TV and practicing pulling it out of your pants pocket ain't training.

The snubbie still has a lot to offer. Stone reliability, ability to have your gun in your hand and still in your pocket with the BG not aware, and the ability to engage from inside the pocket etc., and the clean action are all advantages that should be in the tool box of every serious gunfighter.

By the way. If you are going to carry any weapon in a pocket, get a quality pocket holster. A bare gun in a pocket is a classic set up for "Stuff Happens". Or even the newer version, "stuff still happens". The last thing any of us need is a loud surprise in our pants.

Good luck.

Fred

Old Fuff
April 23, 2009, 02:00 PM
The advantage of an enclosed hammer is that the possibility of harmful dirt and such getting inside the action is sharply reduced, and it is the most snag-free option.

A shrouded hammer offers single-action as well as double-action lockwork, and is for all practical purposes is unlikely to get snagged during a draw.

Bobbed hammers eliminated the likelihood of conventional hammer spurs getting snagged, but are most often seen on revolvers where no other option was offered by the manufacturer, or as apparently in your case someone has the revolver already, and prefers to modify it rather they buy another one.

fastbolt
April 23, 2009, 03:33 PM
Well, I can't really add much to what's already been said.

I own 5-shot revolvers of all 3 types described by Old Fuff.

My bobbed hammer guns came from the factory with that option and both were made DAO at the same time.

I like my older .38 Spl Bodyguard stainless (649) with it's shrouded hammer because I can do some longer range practice firing it in single action. It's more of a technique/skills maintenance thing, though, or for some target-style range enjoyment. Even back when we were issued revolvers the emphasis was on shooting DA. I can still remember some nasty situations where cops holding a cocked revolver found themselves having to explain why their cocked revolver discharged and someone died who should not have died.

It was unfortunate things like that which resulted in some LE revolvers being modified to DAO. Matter of fact, I was told that this is why the CHP originally started ordering their S&W 4006 (and subsequent 4006TSW) guns with the spurless hammers, so their folks wouldn't be tempted to try and cock their weapons into single action for the initial shot. (I believe one of the tragic situations I remember involved a cop from another agency, armed with a revolver, riding along with a CHP officer friend, if I remember right.)

Anyway, I also have 3 DAO-type J-frames of the Centennial design. These are my primary choices for off-duty (and now retirement) revolvers and I do more shooting with them than the others. As mentioned earlier, as long as the owner/user understands the characteristics of the diminutive wheelguns, the advantages & disadvantages, and becomes both familiar and practiced with shooting them, they can be accurate little guns.

I tend to like the Airweight models myself, and someday I'd like to get one of the 638 Bodyguard Airweights which were rated for +P before the ILS was introduced (638-3, I think?), just to have it to compliment my heavier all-steel 649 Bodyguard ... and for the opportunity to indulge in some occasional enjoyment when it comes to causal target/plinking for accuracy at longer distances than what's commonly considered 'close range defensive shooting'.

My favorites will remain my pair of 642-1's, though. ;) Handy, reliable, accurate and lightweight.

JHK94
April 23, 2009, 05:33 PM
Thanks for the info. I think that, when it comes down to it, messing with bobbing a hammer might not be worth it compared to the other options available.

SwampWolf
April 23, 2009, 07:22 PM
I can still remember some nasty situations where cops holding a cocked revolver found themselves having to explain why their cocked revolver discharged and someone died who should not have died.

It was unfortunate things like that which resulted in some LE revolvers being modified to DAO. Matter of fact, I was told that this is why the CHP originally started ordering their S&W 4006 (and subsequent 4006TSW) guns with the spurless hammers, so their folks wouldn't be tempted to try and cock their weapons into single action for the initial shot.

Just because your revolver is unbobbed and unshrouded doesn't mean you have to cock it in situations when you shouldn't. Proper training will dictate when (or if) a revolver should ever be cocked in a combat situation. Likewise, proper training and subsequent practice will prevent a revolver with an exposed hammer from snagging the hammer on a draw from the pocket: remember and practice to keep the ball of your thumb on the spur of the hammer during the draw and no snags will be experienced.

BENELLIMONTE
April 23, 2009, 07:31 PM
I have a S&W AirLite Ti 242 (enclosed hammer). Great carry gun w 7 shots of 38 SPL +P. Great accuracy within 10yds. Recoil can be a bit stout with +P loads.

rcmodel
April 23, 2009, 07:35 PM
I simply will not own a revolver I can't cock and fire SA if I want or need too.

Long range accuracy is a requirement in all my guns.
Even the little ones.

Course, I spend a lot more time fishing & hunting & potting at targets a long ways off then I do holding people at gun point.

rc

JHK94
April 23, 2009, 07:45 PM
I kind of agree; I wasn't planning on getting a DAO/enclosed hammer model. I like the ability to cock the hammer if I need to, but want to minimize snagging, as well as the "temptation" to pull the hammer back. That's why I am trying to pick between a shrouded hammer or one bobbed to a little "nubbin" that I could still pull back if I needed to.

Old Fuff
April 23, 2009, 08:09 PM
Well if you get it cocked and don't shoot, do you want to lower the hammer on a loaded chamber while holding the hammer by that "little nubbin?" :scrutiny:

Not me, said the Old Fuff...

Yes, it can be done, but there is no wiggle room for a mistake. If you must have the single action option (I don't) buy a revolver that has a shroud, but reaves the tip of the hammer exposed for cocking. This is not the best option, but it's better then what you have in mind. ;)

david91406
March 9, 2011, 07:11 PM
"chieftain....April 23, 2009, 09:56 AM "....Thank you. Informative, and, entertaining! I was looking for info re hammerless vs shrouded; now, I have to look up "bobbed" :>)

Old Fuff
March 9, 2011, 08:04 PM
In this day and age there is only two reasons I can think of for going to a bobbed hammer (if you are buying a current or recent production revolver).

1. The manufacturer of the make/model you are interested in does not offer an enclosed or shrouded version.

2. You have, or are buying a revolver which for whatever reason you want to make double-action-only. Several such reasons are mentioned in previous posts. I will note that several sellers (such as J&G Sales in Prescott, AZ) sometimes offer police service revolvers that were special ordered to have the DAO mode, at very attractive prices. If this is what you want they have a deal for you!... ;)

Lucky Derby
March 9, 2011, 10:58 PM
Between shrouded, bobbed or hammerless, I will pick shrouded every time.

halfmoonclip
March 10, 2011, 12:04 AM
I prefer enclosed-hammer Centennial-type snubs over all others.
-I shoot double action snubs about as well as single action ones; actually shoot 'em pretty well.
-The snag-free and lint-proof qualities.
-My biggest reason for preferring the Centennial is its lower bore axis; it is possible to choke much higher on the gun's humpback grip. The difference is startling when comparing, say, an Airweight Chief with its Centennial equivalent. Perceived recoil is much less; even the notoriously hard kicking Ti Centennials are more manageable than an Airweight Chief.
Take a look at the Centennial and the degree to which the hump is close to the bore axis. It really does make a difference.
Moon
ETA-
Twice I have ground off what remained of the hammer spur on Chief's Special revolvers; both had been dropped hard enough on the hammer to break off the spur. Neither gun went off. It of course didn't gain the lower bore axis of the Centennial, but it did become snag proof.
M

451 Detonics
March 10, 2011, 12:19 AM
Biggest advantage to the shrouded is the ab ilty to fire from within a coat pocket during the winter. As I don't have SA capability on any of my carry revolvers, shrouded or not doesn't make a difference to me for the most part.

Long range accuracy is a requirement in all my guns. Even the little ones.

Last Steel Demo day at our range saw one of the shooters ringing a 12 inch plate at 100 yards with a S&W 640 averaging 3 hits out of five over and over. If you want long range accuracy then practice, not SA, is the answer.

doc540
March 10, 2011, 06:34 PM
Functions easily and safely in SA mode.

Look up "ednred" on the Colt Forum if you want to have your hammer bobbed and checkered.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v334/doc540/Guns/Colt%20Detective%20Special/ColtCobra012-2.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v334/doc540/Guns/Colt%20Cobra%202/DSCN0967-1.jpg

Jeb21
March 10, 2011, 09:05 PM
Great looking Colt!

I am a huge fan of the Smith Model 649. I own other Smith J Frames to include the Model 60, 640 and the 642. However, the j-frame that I carry the most is the 649 with its so ugly it is beautiful hump. Almost all of my practice is in DA only, but I still like the option.

david91406
March 11, 2011, 01:40 PM
In this day and age there is only two reasons I can think of for going to a bobbed hammer (if you are buying a current or recent production revolver).

1. The manufacturer of the make/model you are interested in does not offer an enclosed or shrouded version.

2. You have, or are buying a revolver which for whatever reason you want to make double-action-only. Several such reasons are mentioned in previous posts. I will note that several sellers (such as J&G Sales in Prescott, AZ) sometimes offer police service revolvers that were special ordered to have the DAO mode, at very attractive prices. If this is what you want they have a deal for you!... ;)
Thank you for your input.

I'm sorry. I was just joking about "bobbed". I was originally asking about shrouded vs hammerless, and "bobbed" was introduced, which I had no interest or knowledge. Hence my comment about "bobbed". Again, sorry for my distorted sense of humor. That can happen when you get to 72 years of age.

I own a Glock 23 and 27. A program on TV got my interest on revolvers which are shrouded or hammerless. I bot the Glocks (1994 & 1996) as I thought the stopping power of the .40 better than the .38 +P. I also liked the other features of the Glock, one of which is the double bullet capacity. However, as I practiced shooting wih my first guns, I realized the bullet placement might be more important than the ammo capacity!! Thanks again

david91406
March 11, 2011, 01:54 PM
Quote:
Long range accuracy is a requirement in all my guns. Even the little ones.
_____________________________________________________________

Long range may be fun; however, all of the assaults that I've heard about happen considerably closer than 100 yards from the victim!! ;-)

X-Rap
March 11, 2011, 01:58 PM
For a defense carry gun I would pick the hammerless or shrouded hands down, that doesn't mean all my revolvers are that way but that is my preference for defensive carry.
Reasons are simple, simplicity being #1. snags, decocking, being the others.

Remo223
March 11, 2011, 02:20 PM
Defensive snubbies should have these things added:

Waller & Sons hammer shroud

Barami hip grip

perhaps a tyler T grip

perhaps moon clips

However, the hammer shroud is not available for all brands of snubbies. In the case you can't get one, then bob the hammer or have it converted to a comander type hammer.

halfmoonclip
March 11, 2011, 02:53 PM
Let me add one more thing about shrouded hammer guns that cannot be cocked at all.
If we are talking about a defensive gun, I really like double action only. If I'm scared enough of something to point a gun at it, I'm apt to be shaking like a puppy pooping razor blades. I don't want even the option of cocking the piece; after a lifetime of cocking guns, we're apt to do it under stress as well.

I can stay center mass of a B29 silhouette at 50' double action; good enough for me.
Moon

X-Rap
March 11, 2011, 03:47 PM
Exactly, now try to lower the hammer while amped up on adrenaline. Then imagine it being bobed.

451 Detonics
March 11, 2011, 04:04 PM
I have one bobbed hammer, it is on my Model 12

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z271/reloader1959/handguns/model12a-1.jpg

My Detective Special has a factory shroud installed...

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z271/reloader1959/handguns/coltd.jpg

Prosser
March 11, 2011, 04:10 PM
Bobbing helped make my 360PD a much better CCW gun. However, my thought that I would be able to cock it easily at the range was incorrect. It's pretty much a DA only gun at this point, since trying to cock it is difficult at best, and, at worst sends a round about a mile down range, as my finger slips off the hammer, trying to cock it.

SwampWolf
March 11, 2011, 04:30 PM
I don't want even the option of cocking the piece; after a lifetime of cocking guns, we're apt to do it under stress as well.


You might (cock a da revolver when involved in a gunfight), I won't (unless the situation-i.e., a longer than "average" distance between me and my adversary, is a factor). Personally, I want the option of cocking a da revolver for those admittedly uncommon scenarios where a greater than average distance might be in play.
After a "lifetime" of cocking da revolvers during the timed and rapid fire stages while competing in Bullseye matches and not cocking da revolvers during qualification and "combat/tactical" training sessions during my thirty year le career, I know when to cock a da revolver and when not to-and the predictable "stress" associated with being involved in an armed confrontation will not make me "apt" to cock a da revolver when the situation doesn't warrant it. Proper training makes all the difference in all circumstances.
I would agree if you don't have the presence of mind to refrain from cocking a da revolver when you shouldn't, arming yourself with a da only handgun is probably a good idea.

earplug
March 11, 2011, 04:59 PM
I carried a M-38 for years, converted to a 642 and found the frame would shave some skin off my hand between my thumb and index finger.
After rounding it and smoothing it up I like the 642 better for daily carry.
I used to think the SA action was needed. Now I can't think of anything needing shooting at over 25 yards.

Remo223
March 11, 2011, 06:08 PM
I hate to break it to ya folks, but a falling bobbed hammer can't set off a round unless the trigger is all the way to the rear. You can slip and drop and otherwise fumble a bobbed hammer all ya want just as long as you aren't pulling on the trigger.

Remo223
March 11, 2011, 06:16 PM
You might (cock a da revolver when involved in a gunfight), I won't (unless the situation-i.e., a longer than "average" distance between me and my adversary, is a factor). Personally, I want the option of cocking a da revolver for those admittedly uncommon scenarios where a greater than average distance might be in play.
After a "lifetime" of cocking da revolvers during the timed and rapid fire stages while competing in Bullseye matches and not cocking da revolvers during qualification and "combat/tactical" training sessions during my thirty year le career, I know when to cock a da revolver and when not to-and the predictable "stress" associated with being involved in an armed confrontation will not make me "apt" to cock a da revolver when the situation doesn't warrant it. Proper training makes all the difference in all circumstances.
I would agree if you don't have the presence of mind to refrain from cocking a da revolver when you shouldn't, arming yourself with a da only handgun is probably a good idea.
I simply want DA capability because I shoot guns for way way more reasons that self defense. In fact, I've never ever fired in self defense.

earlthegoat2
March 11, 2011, 06:39 PM
I subscribe to the DAO revolver for defense. I only have one and it is with me all the time. It happens to have a bobbed hammer. That is just how it turned out. I also have a model 38 that gets carried and will never be cocked. There is no reason to make it DAO though.

Im a pretty good shot DA and this is because of training. What SwampWolf, in post 26 is saying about training holds just as true for shooting longer ranges in DA as it does with SA. Just because someone is a better shot in DA does not make them a better shooter. It just is what it is. You use the skillset you have acquired and play to its strengths.

For me that is DAO for others it may be DA/SA.

X-Rap
March 11, 2011, 10:13 PM
I hate to break it to ya folks, but a falling bobbed hammer can't set off a round unless the trigger is all the way to the rear. You can slip and drop and otherwise fumble a bobbed hammer all ya want just as long as you aren't pulling on the trigger.
Pretty generalized statement considering the number of manufacturers and the span of years we are talking about. Sounds to me like you might be playing a little Russian Roulette. Better not have that thing pointed at your foot.

Remo223
March 11, 2011, 10:20 PM
Pretty generalized statement considering the number of manufacturers and the span of years we are talking about. Sounds to me like you might be playing a little Russian Roulette. Better not have that thing pointed at your foot.
No not reallly.

who the heck would bob the hammer on an antique? I carry a 40-50 year old charter arms and it won't go off without the trigger pulled to the rear. I seriously doubt if anyone carries anything older than that.

X-Rap
March 11, 2011, 11:21 PM
OK if you say so:uhoh:

dogngun
March 12, 2011, 01:47 PM
or exposed hammer over a cut/bobbed hammer or hammerless. If you have a thumb, place it over the hammer when drawing the gun and it will not snag...Practice this a few times with an unloaded gun and you are good to go.

ADDED: I might never fire a revolver SA in a real-world situation, but I still want the choice.

mark

earlthegoat2
March 12, 2011, 04:38 PM
I hate to break it to ya folks, but a falling bobbed hammer can't set off a round unless the trigger is all the way to the rear. You can slip and drop and otherwise fumble a bobbed hammer all ya want just as long as you aren't pulling on the trigger.

Pretty sure every gun on the market is made this way.

Prosser
March 16, 2011, 05:51 AM
Pull trigger back, as you pull the trigger back, you use your off side hand to thumb the hammer, this takes pressure off the trigger, and, you unthinkingly have the trigger pulled all the way back, while you are trying to cock the hammer. The hammer slips loose, gun goes boom, and you realize your gun had the trigger fulled pulled when you let the hammer slip...
Been there, done that...:banghead::cuss:

Old Fuff
March 16, 2011, 12:47 PM
The above hasn't happened to me, because anything I have with a bobbed hammer is also double-action only (DAO). That said, I have been personally involved in two incidents where someone else did exactly what is described in the above post. In one case the unexpected/unintended shot resulted in a bullet hole in the roof of a police undercover car that was part of a stakeout. As might be expected, the operation was blown, the Chief was VERY unhappy, and I was called upon to make some further modifiction to the revolver, after which it could no longer be cocked... :evil:

NG VI
March 16, 2011, 06:24 PM
I own a Glock 23 and 27. A program on TV got my interest on revolvers which are shrouded or hammerless. I bot the Glocks (1994 & 1996)

You sure? The 26 and 27 didn't get released until 1998, same time as the third gen models came around.

Cop Bob
March 16, 2011, 09:16 PM
The advantage of an enclosed hammer is that the possibility of harmful dirt and such getting inside the action is sharply reduced, and it is the most snag-free option.

A shrouded hammer offers single-action as well as double-action lockwork, and is for all practical purposes is unlikely to get snagged during a draw.

Bobbed hammers eliminated the likelihood of conventional hammer spurs getting snagged, but are most often seen on revolvers where no other option was offered by the manufacturer, or as apparently in your case someone has the revolver already, and prefers to modify it rather they buy another one.
+1.... He nailed it....

dispatch
March 16, 2011, 09:21 PM
Personal prefence- shrouded hammer for a carry gun. Needs a good DA trigger (thing Ruger LCR). I don't see the need for this weapon to be used at ranges over ten yards.

wrs840
March 16, 2011, 09:51 PM
Take it for what it's worth, but I think new and unmodified J-frames with shrouded hammers present a potential safety problem when de-cocking them over a chambered round. It's a stiff spring without much to hold on to over the shroud. Too easy for the thumb to slip off the hammer and drop it hard.

I have a 442 and a 637 2-1/2"bbl for pocket carry, and like them both a lot. With a proper holster and proper technique, drawing the 637 from my pocket snag-free doesn't seem to be an issue.

earlthegoat2
March 16, 2011, 10:18 PM
Take it for what it's worth, but I think new and unmodified J-frames with shrouded hammers present a potential safety problem when de-cocking them over a chambered round. It's a stiff spring without much to hold on to over the shroud. Too easy for the thumb to slip off the hammer and drop it hard.


Which begs the question, why cock it to begin with. In my book, cocking a hammer is the same as pulling the trigger. In a defensive situation if you are going to pull the trigger then you are going to pull the trigger. Yet if you cock the hammer you may not fire? Seems pretty thin. Kind of takes away the simplicity of the revolver at the same time too doesnt it? No more point and click interface. Still though there is no reason you cannot just go double action when things get dicey even if your revolver is capable of single action.

IMO, getting a defensive revolver with a single action option just to have that option is not logical. If you want it for a dual purpose range gun where single action firing will be precticed then great. Options are never bad, unless stressful situations arise when too many options turns into time wasted and cocking your hammer turns into How do I uncock this now.

Haywood
March 16, 2011, 10:28 PM
None off my carry guns have a hammer.

wrs840
March 16, 2011, 10:45 PM
earlthegoat, I agree with you in general. A J-frame is a defensive weapon and no hammer is really called for. That said, I have cocked a hammer on my 637 when I thought that skunk trundling my way might be rabid, and I have seen women who want to go SA on a revolver any time they get the chance, due to hand strength considerations, even in a bump-in-the-night scenario, which would be an especially poor application for a shrouded J-frame. Something to think about... That's all I was saying.

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