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Bobbed hammer

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by JImbothefiveth, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. JImbothefiveth

    JImbothefiveth Well-Known Member

    Mr. Ayoob (he has an account here) was saying earlier today that bobbed hammers are better for CCW, because of legal concerns.

    Does anyone know why this is?
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Probably because you can't easily cock them and shoot someone by accident when your finger twitches on the trigger.

    Can't think of any other reason.

  3. Ringtail

    Ringtail Well-Known Member

    You want a bobbed hammer on a revolver for concealed carry because a revolver hammer snags on clothing when you draw.
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Says who?

    I've carried S&W Chiefs for going on 50 years without a snagged hammer problem.

    All you have to do is wedge your thumb under the hammer spur when you draw from a pocket.

    If your thumb comes out of the pocket, the gun will be right in front of it, going along for the ride!

  5. JImbothefiveth

    JImbothefiveth Well-Known Member

    I don't think it had anything to do with ease of concealment, he was saying how a regular hammer could get you in legal trouble.
  6. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

    Mas can speak for himself--and regularly does.

    For me, the only reason to have a bobbed hammer is for ease of draw from concealment (from under a coat for duty size, or from a pocket for J-frames).

    The real issue with revolvers is: if you carry one for SD, have it be DAO: concealed hammer J-frame, or gunsmith modified (to remove the ability to cock the hammer) if traditional DA/exposed hammer.

    The reasons for that are discussed here.

    Bobbed hammer without DAO buys you nothing in post-shooting legal protection: the revolver can still be cocked.
  7. kludge

    kludge Well-Known Member


    bobbed hammer = one less thing to snag

    bobbed hammer + DAO = less change of accidental/negligent discharge
  8. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    At one time it was popular to sue police departments after a justified shooting by claiming wrongful death because it was alleged that the officer had cocked his revolver and then accidentally fired when he touched what they called a "hair trigger."

    This was usually pure bull, but the lawyers were able to sell the idea to gullible, gun-ignorant urban juries. After paying out substantial amounts of money in judgments the law enforcement community either bought revolvers (and later pistols) that were double-action-only (DAO) or had their current handguns converted. Doing so ended this particular kind of legal fraud.

    But the hammers weren’t always bobbed. Revolvers carried by uniformed officers often retained the spurs because the holsters of that day had retaining straps that needed the spur to keep from slipping off, and the additional weight was considered important for reliability reasons.
  9. NCBeagle

    NCBeagle Well-Known Member

    I am an attorney with a law enforcement / prosecutor background. I do not intend to write a treatise on the law of self-defense or to turn over every stone on this topic...but I will respectfully offer my opinion that concern about a revolver's ability to shoot SA or DAO in a self-defense shooting is for the most part not a worthwhile concern for the average shooter.

    If one purposefully shoots another with legal justification...the fact that a revolver is capable of single action operation is of no consequence by itself. I would recommend that LEOs not "hold" persons at gunpoint with a single action revolver because of the potential for accidental discharge, but this is common sense and not a concern for people who do not hold others at gunpoint.

    If a homeowner justifiably shoots an intruder with a revolver capable of single action operation it is most improbable that a prosecutor would argue, or that a jury would conclude, that such shooting was "accidental" unless there were other facts to support the conclusion. Further, the "accidental" shooting of an intruder or robber would not necessarily negate the defense of self-defense as suggested by a previous poster and for a variety of reasons might even preclude conviction for certain crimes requiring a high degree of culpability.

    Double action is the way to go for practical reasons. It is safer to carry and deploy a revolver in double action configuration. I do not feel that it is useful to any meaningful degree (in terms of legal CYA) to disable the single action of capability of an otherwise functional revolver. Sure, we can all think of some odd set of facts where it might matter...but this is not a genuine concern.

    There is no need to mutilate your revolvers for fear that a hammer and mere SA capability will put you at a legal disadvantage. That said, I try to bob all of my hammers for pocket carry. :)
  10. Ringtail

    Ringtail Well-Known Member

    "I've carried S&W Chiefs for going on 50 years without a snagged hammer problem.

    All you have to do is wedge your thumb under the hammer spur when you draw from a pocket.

    If your thumb comes out of the pocket, the gun will be right in front of it, going along for the ride!"

    OK, you can do the thumb trick, or you can just carry a revolver with a bobbed hammer and not worry about snagging the hammer in your clothes when you draw.
  11. JImbothefiveth

    JImbothefiveth Well-Known Member

    That thread is actually what inspired me to start this one.

    Just to clarify, I was talking about double action revolvers.

    And I guess you were right, Ayoob did advise bobbing the hammer to prevent snags. I assumed(wrongly) that a bobbed hammer automatically meant it can't fire single action.
  12. Daizee

    Daizee Well-Known Member

    My house gun was a 6" Model-14 which I mostly shoot single-action, being a target revolver.

    There were two issues for me:
    1) I was afraid I would shoot like I practiced, and being totally freaked out and adrenalized maybe shoot by accident with that lighter trigger or waste time cocking the hammer.

    2) I wanted to be able to shoot IDPA with my house gun, and a 6" barrel is out of bounds (too bad: more velocity with less noise and recoil)

    I picked up a used 4" model-10 and ordered a spare hammer from S&W to bob. It's inconvenient to "catch" the hammer to shoot SA, but can be done. I didn't bother modifying the SA sear. I shoot the gun entirely DAO now (tho it's sweet with the original hammer too) and am comforted in knowing that there's at least one less stupid thing I can do, both on the clock and at home.

    They say you fight like you train, and I believe it.
    Besides, a little DA practice goes a long way.

    Last edited: Oct 18, 2008
  13. WC145

    WC145 Well-Known Member

    That's a great idea, I can't believe I never thought of it!:eek: Thanks!
  14. My concealed carry licnese and carry laws say nothing about hammers on a gun so therefore I can't see it coming into play in a legal dispute.
  15. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Well-Known Member

    The way to avoid this legal Liability, is to say I feared for my life I was sure he would kill me.

    Never say it was an Accident, or you didnt mean to shoot. The cases referred to were when the officer either pointed a gun at someone who he did not intend to shoot. Or the officer said it was an accident in his report.

    If you pull your gun its because you fear for your life or the life of another and you intend to shoot to stop an attacker.

    The worst thing you can say is that it was an accident or you didnt mean to shoot. That opens you up for criminal and civil liability, even where deadly force was justified.

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