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Holes in some guns' hammers

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by hm, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. hm

    hm Well-Known Member

    I was wondering aloud to a fellow coworker and High Roader today about the wide variety of different shapes and forms of hammers on the world's various handguns. One of the things I've always wondered about but could never figure out was why some handgun hammers have a hole in them. The possibilities (guesses) my friend and I came up with are as follows:
    1. Lanyard—I don't think this is correct as the hammer is just about the worst place you can possibly attach a cord for, oh, so many reasons.
    2. Cheaper to manufacture—sure, it's not saving much metal for the maker, but it adds up over time. I don't buy this one either, though.
    3. Weight savings—again, I don't buy it. Too little weight savings to matter.
    4. Function—It somehow improves the weapon's function, but I don't know how.
    Anyone know the real reason?

    "Pro-2nd Democrats are people too!"
  2. David4516

    David4516 Well-Known Member

    My only guess is that it looks cooler?

    My litter beretta has a hole in the hammer, so I'd like to know what it's really for too...
  3. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Well-Known Member

    Hammers are skeletonized to reduce their weight, which in turn increases the speed that the hammer falls, which reduces lock time. Thus, it is done for function.
  4. The Undertoad

    The Undertoad Well-Known Member

    I thought Commander hammers were put on 1911's to reduce hammer bite? But I'm a newbie too, so I'm not sure.
  5. Gary in Pennsylvania

    Gary in Pennsylvania Well-Known Member

    That's incorrect. It is more expensive to take away something that was there in the first place. The machining on those skeletonized hammers is quite precise. I'm sure that a CNC machine is what's removing that material. It's cheaper to simply leave it there.

    What doesn't make sense to me is that nutty looking hammer on the Sig GSR 1911. It’s a skeletonized hammer that failed to skeletonize. It's not seen on every version of the GSR, but I've seen it a bit in photos. The trigger has been milled in from either side . . . . . but doesn't make it all the way through. What gives with that???
  6. Tropical Z

    Tropical Z Well-Known Member

    That GSR hammer IS weird looking.:confused:

    PCRCCW Well-Known Member

    The whole lock time theory may hold water to the tune of about .0001 second. But hey who am I to argue, right?

    I think they just plain look cool.....................:D :D

    Shoot well.
  8. Ankeny

    Ankeny Well-Known Member

    To reduce weight thereby reducing lock time. I wonder how many times that will need to be said before folks catch on?
  9. cool45auto

    cool45auto Well-Known Member

    If I ever get a GSR I'd replace the hammer with a skeletonized one. The hole in a Beretta's hammer is tiny so I can't imagine what its for.
  10. VaughnT

    VaughnT Well-Known Member

    Yea, the skeletonized hammer is there to allow a spring of given strength to move the lighter hammer with greater speed. Similarly, the lighter hammer allows the slide, via the recoil stroke, to reset the hammer at a faster rate because there is less resistance from the hammer's mass. Everything happens faster and smoother with less hammer in the equation.

    The same can be said for skeletonized triggers. With only so much power available in the spring that pushes the trigger back into its starting position, a lighter trigger will move faster and with greater sureity than a heavy trigger.

    Of course, one has to wonder just how much benefit there is in a hammer or trigger that has been lightened by a hole or series of holes, all amounting to something like .00000000001# of material being removed. Anyone ever figure a way to definitively measure the difference between the two styles?

    Also, the rounded Commander-style hammer was developed, as I understand it, to reduce hammer bite and aid in concealed carry. It's called a "commander" style hammer for a reason.
  11. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Well-Known Member

    And that reason is that it appeared on Colt's Commander model.
  12. Kaylee

    Kaylee Moderator

    From what I'm told, they use EDM* actually, in the case of the hardened tool steel hammers. :)

    * EDM == "Electrical Discharge Machining" -- basically using bursts of electricity to zap out the shape of the hammer from flat stock. Easier on the equipment than trying to mill really hard steel.

    The "why" has already been covered. Helps with locktime and looks cool.

  13. mondocomputerman

    mondocomputerman Well-Known Member

    Because without it, it wouldn't be tati-cool.
  14. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Well-Known Member

    Beaver tail grip safeties don't work with spur hammers.
  15. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Well-Known Member

    Actually, that's not true. You can just shorten the spur.
  16. RON in PA

    RON in PA Well-Known Member

    Just wondering, the Mauser 96 Broomhandle had a hammer with a hole in it, did it start a "fashion" trend?

    Is there any real evidence that lightening the hammer actually does what people claim?
  17. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

    yes it works mathmatically. Impact reactions are controlled by momentum. Springs store energy. It turns out that making the hammer lighter gets you more momentum out of the given level of energy stored by the springs energy. I would post the math, but nobody wants to read four pages of equations.

  18. SRYnidan

    SRYnidan Well-Known Member

    The original reason for the Hole was a lanyard (for cocking not for carrying). One held the gun in the strong hand and the lanyard in the weak and used it to simulate both recoil and to recock the pistol (remember they were converting from revolvers). Now the hole is made as big as possible to get the weight down to decrease lock time and increase hammer speed.
  19. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Well-Known Member

    That makes no sense, since the original 1911 did not have a hole in the hammer.
  20. Majic

    Majic Well-Known Member

    In what pistol and by whom? :confused:

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