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Old July 11, 2014, 12:34 AM   #1
Onward Allusion
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Bobbing Hammer Spur

Does bobbing the hammer negatively impact ignition reliability on centerfire revolvers? I know not to do this with rimfire because more than a few have said that it can lead to light strikes. However, I have seen a good number of centerfire revolvers that had their hammer spurs bobbed. I've also never heard of anyone saying that it would affect ignition on centerfires. Thoughts?

BTW, I only shoot in double-action with my revolvers (semi's too for the most part).
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Old July 11, 2014, 01:10 AM   #2
RustyShackelford
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+/-s of bob hammers.....

I've heard & read a few remarks, both + & - about bob/removed spurs.
I heard the ignition speeds increase because there is less weight. I've also heard with some loads there may not be enough push to strike the primer correctly.
FWIW; Most of the DA only revolvers I've owned in the past had no hammer spurs & worked fine with all types of rounds(JHPs, magnum, SWCs, FMJs). I had a SP101 2.25" barrel snub that was DA only & in the 2000s, I owned a NYPD surplus .38spl GPNY. It had a factory 4" stainless steel barrel with a spurless design.
I liked the spurless style because the sharp spur wouldn't jab my side or get strung up on any clothing in a rapid draw.

It's a design that worked well for me.
Author & legal use of force expert; Massad Ayoob endorses the DA only revolver format too. He's put out several articles & police industry training guides suggesting the use of DA only/spurless styles.
You can avoid the false claims of "cocking a hammer" or firing single action by a prosecutor or criminal investigator too.
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Old July 11, 2014, 02:24 AM   #3
Drail
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Simply bobbing a hammer does not affect the reliability of primer ignition. It actually produces a little more energy than a stock hammer. Only when you start using lighter mainsprings to power the hammer do you start having failures to ignite. The force that sets the hammer into motion is supplied by the mainspring. Using a lighter hammer does not change that force. The biggest advantage to bobbing the hammer is that having less mass striking the frame reduces movement of the gun when the shot breaks and with the hammer moving faster the lock time is reduced.
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Old July 11, 2014, 09:05 AM   #4
MrBorland
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All else equal, a lighter hammer actually increases reliability. IOW, you can lighten the action without loss of reliability. To a point, of course.

A lighter hammer travels faster. It's still transferring the same amount of energy, since the energy's supplied by the mainspring; but since it's doing so faster, it's delivering more "power" (energy x velocity) to the primer, and it's power, not energy or momentum, that ignites primers.

All this has limits, of course. A lighter hammer has less resistance to internal friction, so a gun that's out of spec or in need of a good action job may become unreliable upon bobbing. It's best, then, to bob the hammer as part of an overall tuning, IMO.
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Old July 11, 2014, 09:26 AM   #5
Haywood
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I have bobbed hammers on a few of my Snubs with no ill effects.
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Old July 11, 2014, 09:34 AM   #6
chicharrones
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In my limited experience, the size and weight of a hammer spur on a something like a snub nose DA revolver is insignificant enough that when removed it doesn't affect a proper functioning gun. So, if the gun in question isn't having misfires before having the spur cut off, it highly likely won't have misfires after the spur is cut off.

Of course, testing the gun after a bob job is definitely recommended.
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Old July 11, 2014, 11:55 AM   #7
Onward Allusion
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Very interesting. Thanks for the info guys.
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Old July 11, 2014, 12:58 PM   #8
Bud0505
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onward Allusion View Post
Does bobbing the hammer negatively impact ignition reliability on centerfire revolvers? I know not to do this with rimfire because more than a few have said that it can lead to light strikes. However, I have seen a good number of centerfire revolvers that had their hammer spurs bobbed. I've also never heard of anyone saying that it would affect ignition on centerfires. Thoughts?

BTW, I only shoot in double-action with my revolvers (semi's too for the most part).
Probably goes without saying but I would buy an extra hammer before I bobbed the original.Just in case.
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Old July 11, 2014, 03:16 PM   #9
RustyShackelford
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Remove the spur: DA only.....

Some gun show booth staffs or sales clerks say a revolver is DA only just by the removal of the spur.
This is not true. The hammer can still be cocked & the revolver fired SA(single action).
Many CCW license holders & cops "bob" the spur to avoid problems but that doesn't make it DA only.
FWIW; a good custom shop for DA only/action jobs is www.Geminicustoms.com . They offer different packages & services.
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Old July 11, 2014, 03:25 PM   #10
Jim K
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Whether lightening the hammer will cause misfires depends on the gun. On a gun with a light hammer like the J frame S&W, it well may do so. But sometimes misfires are not the result of just bobbing the hammer. In all too many cases, that is accompanied by lightening the mainspring (hammer spring) and the combination causes misfires.

I second the idea of having a spare hammer and other parts, or at least making sure they are available, before doing any such work.

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Old July 12, 2014, 04:06 PM   #11
JaxJim
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I have an Iterarms 774a revolver I bobbed the hammer on. It did become less reliable (soft primer strikes) than before the bob. I had removed a couple of coils off the mainspring prior to the hammer bob to lighten the trigger pull.

I replaced the mainspring and this revolver was once again reliable.

This was all done about 20 years ago and I don't bring this revolver out of the safe to play much anymore. I'm quite certain though it is reliable now.

So, if you haven't done any bonehead things like reduce the mainspring, you're probably good to go. I've learned from my past indiscretions and now purchase reduced Wolff springs and save the OEM one for if/when needed.
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Old July 12, 2014, 10:43 PM   #12
gun_with_a_view
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The firing mechanism build for Smith 642 and 442 hammerless revolvers is somehow different than the company's hammer models. The trigger pull is said to be lighter and smother with no loss of firing capability. A gunsmith could probably explain the specifics.
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Old July 12, 2014, 10:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
The firing mechanism build for Smith 642 and 442 hammerless revolvers is somehow different than the company's hammer models. The trigger pull is said to be lighter and smother with no loss of firing capability. A gunsmith could probably explain the specifics.
Not really.

The placement of the hammer and trigger studs (the pins those respective parts rotate on) is the same as those J-frame models that have conventional hammers. All J-frame's use the same trigger. That said, older parts don't necessarily interchange with newer MIM ones.

You do find differences between individual revolvers for various (and often unpredictable) reasons.
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