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A couple of questions.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by .45Ruger, Apr 11, 2003.

  1. .45Ruger

    .45Ruger Well-Known Member

    What is hammrbite on a 1911? I have a Springfield Milspec and have never had this. What causes it? My second question is what does it mean when people refer to a drop free magazine.
  2. cratz2

    cratz2 Well-Known Member

    Drop free magazines are just that... magazines that always drop out of the gun when you press the magazine release.

    Hammer bit happens with some folks and not with others. I have a 1991A1 with a wide spur hammer and have never been bit by it. What it is, is when the hammer pinches a bit of skin from the web of your hand between the back of the hammer and the grip safety. This is what beavertails are intended to cure. Also, some folks use a 'higher' grip that others and they are going to be affected more than the traditional military type grips shooters will be.
  3. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Hi, cratz2,

    In the result, you are correct, but "hammer bite" is not due to pinching the skin. What is not usually realized about the 1911 type is that when the gun fires, the slide moves backward very fast and strikes the hammer a hard enough blow that it loses contact with the slide (yes, I know that is not what the pictures show, but it is what happens). The hammer then continues back and down past the full cock point until it is stopped by the grip safety. In the process it can contact the skin if the shooter's hand is a little fat or a high hold is used. But there is no "pinching"; the hammer has struck the skin a hard, fast blow, like being hit with a fast-moving whip end.

    WWII and later hammer spurs are not long enough to reach down past the grip safety and most folks are not bothered. But the short grip safety and long spur hammer used on the old Model 1911 were very nasty for a lot of shooters, though I have not been able to confirm the report that the inventor of Band-Aids was a pistol shooter. The recent Argentine imports - all Argentine-made pistols and some Colt-made pistols - have long spurs and do damage.

    The beavertail grip safety cures the problem, of course, but at the expense of making the pistol longer.

  4. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    One cure for hammer bite is to rest your thumb on the safety. The stretching motion usually means less of the web of your thumb is in the way.

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