Transfer bar


October 7, 2010, 11:05 PM
OK everyone, as you may have seen by my last few threads, I am looking at single actions. What do you guys think about have a transfer bar vs. not? Is carrying a gun w/o a transfer bar with the hammer on a empty chamber as safe as having a transfer bar? Thanks everyone!

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October 7, 2010, 11:11 PM
As long as you make sure the hammer is on the empty chamber, yeah I'd say it's just as safe.

I have several single actions with and without transfer bars, and it really doesn't make much of a difference to me. Some guns the trigger pull can be different with the TB, but each gun has it's own trigger characteristics anyway.

October 8, 2010, 04:27 AM

Both made in 1958, one has a transfer bar, the other doesn't. As long a I know which is which, it doesn't matter to me. Actually it doesn't matter either way. Load one, skip one, load four, cock the hammer, let it down, and you're down on an empty chamber. No problem at all.

Someone else may be able to tell the difference in the triggers. I can't.

October 8, 2010, 04:31 PM
The Ruger Transfer Bar system is great. No major design flaws. Just don't get a Stampede; their transfer bar system as I brought up in another thread, causes peening of the frame upon dryfiring.

Granted, you can't dry fire a real Colt SAA, but if you're looking for one with a transfer bar, get the Ruger. Better design, made in USA, and rugged.

If you want a traditional type, I would look into the USFA SAA before Colts.

Steve C
October 8, 2010, 06:31 PM
The main disadvantage with the traditional Colt system is that you essentially have a 5 shot pistol to be able to carry it save. As long as the hammer is resting on an unloaded chamber the pistol is safe if dropped. There is also a learning curve for owners that some seem to skip regarding safety with this type of gun and its seems the stupider they are the more likely they sue for not being "protected" by the manufacturer.

The transfer bar system allows you to carry all 6 chambers loaded safely which if the SA where commonly used for self defense as it was 150 years ago would be important. One more round in a revolver is not as important any more in the age of semi auto's with high capacity magazines.

Lucky Derby
October 8, 2010, 07:03 PM
I prefer a traditional system and load only 5. It is perfectly safe.
I do not use the Ruger system because I like my SA revolvers to all operate in the same manner.

keyboard commando
October 8, 2010, 07:34 PM
Do you prefer to carry 5 or 6 loaded rounds?.....:confused:......In my opinion the transfer bar is safer because it eliminates any confusion or human error as to which chamber to lower the hammer on.....:scrutiny:

Jim K
October 8, 2010, 07:42 PM
I much prefer the transfer bar to any "load 5" system since it also allows the hammer to be lowered at any time without worrying about whether there is a round under it.


October 8, 2010, 07:51 PM
I like both, and own a few of both types.

The Ruger sets the standard with its transfer bar system, and I've never had one to fail in all the years I've been messin' with'em...and that's been a while.

The traditional hammer down on empty chamber can be safely carried with a full compliment, but does run the risk of damaging the hammer nose...aka firing pin...if dropped. Just lower the hammer with the nose between chambers, resting on the edges of the brass rims. Needless to say that it works best with revolvers chambered in .45 Colt and .44-40 WCF...but will also work with .44 Special chamberings, though the nose isn't cushioned as well in that caliber.

Note that this is usually considered a short-term option..when expecting that the gun will be used presently, and the need for all six rounds is a distinct possibility. For long-term carry...or carrying in rough and tumble conditions...the gun should be returned to 5 round status.

In my opinion the transfer bar is safer because it eliminates any confusion or human error as to which chamber to lower the hammer on.....

While technically true, especially for those who tend to let their attenton wander, the tried and true method is pretty foolproof as long as the procedure is followed precisely. As CajunBass outlined...Load one, skip one...load four. Close the gate. Cock the hammer and lower it. It will be resting on an empty chamber...every time.

I love the traditional SA revolvers. There's just something about that firing pin on the hammer that appeals to me...but the transfer bar system is the more practical of the two in a working gun.

Red Cent
October 8, 2010, 08:14 PM
The Ruger SA transfer bar is a good system, but...............
I had two old model .38 4 5/8" Vaqueros in stainless steel. I practice dryfiring a lot and after a few months the transfer bar in one broke. Directly below the striker plate. A month or so later another broke. I had a friend/shooter/gunsmith use the striker plates to build up the hammer. They already had the half cock and free spin mods. "Course I never carry any SA with six rounds. As a cowboy shooter, I don't want to practice something that is not allowed in competition.

" can't dry fire a real Colt SAA....."

You mean "should not"don't you?

October 8, 2010, 08:33 PM
RC, I've heard that many CAS heavy dry-fire Ruger shooters replace the transfer bars about every 5-6 thousand rounds as a matter of course.

Just for my 2% of a buck...If I had to pick a single-action revolver to ride the river'd be a Ruger Blackhawk. .41 Magnum please...and let me have a cast 230-grain SWC with 9 grains of Unique pushin' it. ;)

October 9, 2010, 10:03 AM
I own the Uberti, a ruger Vaquero in 45 and another Ruger Blackhawk. The blackhawk is a 1970, before the transfer bar. Ruger offers a conversion for free, but I like it the way it came. So I have to remember load one skip one load four.

In the gun world this is pretty cool. As you get more into guns you find odd items that are pretty cool, (like owning a 44 special, a 44 special is much cooler than a 44 magnum)

I am lloking at the Ruger Balckhawk 4 5/8 barrel or Ruger 3.5 barrel 44 Special right now. I am not sure what one. Ruger never made a 44 special before so it a cool gun. My gun buddies tell me to buy both.

If you get the Uberti you will not be dissapointed and you get a 1873 cool revolver. if you get a Ruger you will not be dissapointed.

this is your first gun, I own almost 30, I know many who own over 300. No one gun is ideal, hopefully you will also own many.

October 9, 2010, 10:18 AM
Go to you tube and look up cowboy competition and fast draw

October 9, 2010, 10:49 AM
BTW, I also bought the 45acp cylinder for my Uberti, so I can shoot 45 colts or 45acps through it.

October 10, 2010, 12:07 AM
.41 Magnum Blackhawk with a 230 gr. slug and Unique - I must say you have excellent taste in handguns. I think the reason a transfer bar in a Ruger breaks is almost always because of incorrect fitting at the factory. I was always taught that the hammer strike energy needs to be more on the frame than the transfer bar. Sometimes I will come across one where almost all of the strike energy is on the transfer bar. If you cock and lower the hammer with the trigger held fully to the rear and then ease off of the trigger and see the hammer move forward slightly, the transfer bar is taking all of the strike and holding it off of the frame. A Ruger SA that does this seems to suffer from broken transfer bars much more than others. Shaving the transfer bar or removing a little material off the hammer notch that strikes the bar usually solves the problem.

October 10, 2010, 08:09 AM
.41 Magnum Blackhawk with a 230 gr. slug and Unique - I must say you have excellent taste in handguns.

I like to think so. :)

I also like my Blackhawks short-coupled. Handy, and the balance is...just right. Don't mind the longer ones for range day...but if I'm gonna pack one, it's gonna be the 4.625 incher.

October 10, 2010, 10:46 PM
I like the tranfer bar system and love Ruger revolvers. I broke a transfer bar in two revolvers, a 44 Magnum SBHK and a 44 Magnum Redhawk just from dry firing and shooting them so much. They used to get a couple hundred rounds a week plus the dry firing. Never had a problem in the GP or Six Series DA revolvers.

I have extra transfer bars for both of guns. At the risk of starting a flame war, I also feel this is one part Ruger should forge or machine from barstock because of the pounding it takes. Much stronger part in that application.

October 10, 2010, 10:48 PM
sorry, duplicate post

Ole Coot
October 10, 2010, 11:05 PM
I gotta agree with Ruger transfer bars. I have a few and Colts without. If you are a new SA fan and weren't around before the transfer bars you will be safer with one than without. An empty chamber (if you remember) will never go bang.

October 10, 2010, 11:16 PM
First and foremost, the transfer bar as used by Ruger is much, much safer than remembering to load one, skip and load.
Second, even though Ruger says dry firing is OK, I don't. It is hard on the weapon, the transfer bar and the firing pin even though it doesn't hit anything. IF you insist on dryfiring, get some snap caps.
If you have any intention of carrying, you should think about a Ruger.

October 11, 2010, 05:44 PM
Since you are looking at single actions; think of what cool guns you may want.

Before the 1873 (common looking cowboy gun) came along they took the older cap and ball black powder reviolvers and converted them. So they look like the cap and balls but close look they are cartridge guns.

great gift for dad in a few years (trust me, he will love you no matter what)

Or, in the movie "Pale rider" Clint Eastwood used a revolver that he reloaded by changeing the cylinder. It was also an 1858 conversion

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