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Shrouded or Bobbed Hammer on Snubbie?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by JHK94, Apr 23, 2009.

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  1. JHK94

    JHK94 Member

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    Is there a significant benefit to either, or are they more or less equal? The only thing I can see better on the shrouded version is that it stays put in your pocket better.

    I just ask because I'm debating which to get right now, and I can get a much better deal on one with a spurred hammer...and am pretty sure I can bob it myself/get it done cheaply.
     
  2. chieftain

    chieftain Member

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    I have both, the Shrouded 638, and Hammerless 640, and 940. I own no bobbed hammer revolvers, and never have. I know several friends that used to set up their fighting revolvers with bobbed hammers, and double action only actions. I always liked having the single action option, for that possible long shot. In the old PPC days we used to shoot our revolvers from either prone or a creedmore position at 50 yards. I was always glad my model 14 S&W had a hammer and it's single action too. Later as I became more experienced I would shoot it at 50 yards double action too. But I never dedicated any of my revolvers with a bob, and double action only. I am thinking of doing that with my last carry revolver, a S&W model 66 with 3" barrel. But I don't carry it any more. And probably never will, unless the government will only allow us revolvers. Could happen, then I would break out my revolver collection and, "play it again Sam".

    I was always partial, in snubbies, to the Bodyguard series which was the shrouded version, S&W models 38, 49, 649 and finally the 638. I have had all of them over the years.

    The 940 and the 642 are from the Centennial family or hammerless. The 940 in 9mm fed by moon clips, and the 642 or conventional in 38spl. I presently only have the 940, 642 and 638.

    The number one advantage of the hammerless over the shrouded version which I preferred for years in my opinion, is dirt has a much more difficult time getting into the action, then with the Shroud.

    On the other hand, and my own reason for using the shrouded version vs the hammerless was the ability to take that longer shot in or with the single action option. That has now become a secondary consideration with availability of quality CTC laser grips. Particularly the model/version 403 from Crimson Trace IIRC. I have them on my 642, and they work GREAT.

    Even with my certified old fart trifocal eyes, I can consistently hit accurately out to 25 yds in double action of course. So I now usually am carrying the 642, and or the 940.

    The major advantage of this class of gun is it can be fired at contact range without blood and guts blowing back into the action and jamming the piece at a most inopportune time. (often happens at contact ranges)

    Also, one can engage from inside a pocket without jamming. Or under the blankets if one should be caught in bed by some Burglars. You can engage while the weapon is still under the blankets, or sleeping bag in the bush. (side note: In cold places and cold times, if you are ever approached by a LEO and he keeps his hands in his jacket pocket, he may well be covering you with one of these little beauties. I know several friends of mine use to deploy their hammerless/shrouded 'J' frames that way.)

    Be advised, a bobbed hammer will expedite drawing a double action revolver, but will not help with firing it from within a pocket, or from under the blankets or in a sleeping bag.

    Another note is if you should touch off one of these beauties in a pocket or under blankets or sleeping bag, understand your clothes etal will usually be on fire. It's a small fire, easily beat out, but be aware. Normally you would only be engaging in this manner in an extremeous up close and personal situation.

    Be sure to get some training dedicated exclusively to the snubbie. The snubs are a different type of weapon, and you need to learn it's strengths and weaknesses, and use them fully. Particularly if you can foresee using them from cover as I have described. Practice this deployment of these weapons, doing it for the first time in action, it can be rather startling what will happen. PS use real old clothes, and stuff, cause you gonna tear them up! But it works.

    What is nice about these snubbies, like a bobbed hammer, they come out of cover very clean. But training and practice are necessary. Watching TV and practicing pulling it out of your pants pocket ain't training.

    The snubbie still has a lot to offer. Stone reliability, ability to have your gun in your hand and still in your pocket with the BG not aware, and the ability to engage from inside the pocket etc., and the clean action are all advantages that should be in the tool box of every serious gunfighter.

    By the way. If you are going to carry any weapon in a pocket, get a quality pocket holster. A bare gun in a pocket is a classic set up for "Stuff Happens". Or even the newer version, "stuff still happens". The last thing any of us need is a loud surprise in our pants.

    Good luck.

    Fred
     
  3. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    The advantage of an enclosed hammer is that the possibility of harmful dirt and such getting inside the action is sharply reduced, and it is the most snag-free option.

    A shrouded hammer offers single-action as well as double-action lockwork, and is for all practical purposes is unlikely to get snagged during a draw.

    Bobbed hammers eliminated the likelihood of conventional hammer spurs getting snagged, but are most often seen on revolvers where no other option was offered by the manufacturer, or as apparently in your case someone has the revolver already, and prefers to modify it rather they buy another one.
     
  4. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

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    Well, I can't really add much to what's already been said.

    I own 5-shot revolvers of all 3 types described by Old Fuff.

    My bobbed hammer guns came from the factory with that option and both were made DAO at the same time.

    I like my older .38 Spl Bodyguard stainless (649) with it's shrouded hammer because I can do some longer range practice firing it in single action. It's more of a technique/skills maintenance thing, though, or for some target-style range enjoyment. Even back when we were issued revolvers the emphasis was on shooting DA. I can still remember some nasty situations where cops holding a cocked revolver found themselves having to explain why their cocked revolver discharged and someone died who should not have died.

    It was unfortunate things like that which resulted in some LE revolvers being modified to DAO. Matter of fact, I was told that this is why the CHP originally started ordering their S&W 4006 (and subsequent 4006TSW) guns with the spurless hammers, so their folks wouldn't be tempted to try and cock their weapons into single action for the initial shot. (I believe one of the tragic situations I remember involved a cop from another agency, armed with a revolver, riding along with a CHP officer friend, if I remember right.)

    Anyway, I also have 3 DAO-type J-frames of the Centennial design. These are my primary choices for off-duty (and now retirement) revolvers and I do more shooting with them than the others. As mentioned earlier, as long as the owner/user understands the characteristics of the diminutive wheelguns, the advantages & disadvantages, and becomes both familiar and practiced with shooting them, they can be accurate little guns.

    I tend to like the Airweight models myself, and someday I'd like to get one of the 638 Bodyguard Airweights which were rated for +P before the ILS was introduced (638-3, I think?), just to have it to compliment my heavier all-steel 649 Bodyguard ... and for the opportunity to indulge in some occasional enjoyment when it comes to causal target/plinking for accuracy at longer distances than what's commonly considered 'close range defensive shooting'.

    My favorites will remain my pair of 642-1's, though. ;) Handy, reliable, accurate and lightweight.
     
  5. JHK94

    JHK94 Member

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    Thanks for the info. I think that, when it comes down to it, messing with bobbing a hammer might not be worth it compared to the other options available.
     
  6. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    Just because your revolver is unbobbed and unshrouded doesn't mean you have to cock it in situations when you shouldn't. Proper training will dictate when (or if) a revolver should ever be cocked in a combat situation. Likewise, proper training and subsequent practice will prevent a revolver with an exposed hammer from snagging the hammer on a draw from the pocket: remember and practice to keep the ball of your thumb on the spur of the hammer during the draw and no snags will be experienced.
     
  7. BENELLIMONTE

    BENELLIMONTE member

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    I have a S&W AirLite Ti 242 (enclosed hammer). Great carry gun w 7 shots of 38 SPL +P. Great accuracy within 10yds. Recoil can be a bit stout with +P loads.
     
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I simply will not own a revolver I can't cock and fire SA if I want or need too.

    Long range accuracy is a requirement in all my guns.
    Even the little ones.

    Course, I spend a lot more time fishing & hunting & potting at targets a long ways off then I do holding people at gun point.

    rc
     
  9. JHK94

    JHK94 Member

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    I kind of agree; I wasn't planning on getting a DAO/enclosed hammer model. I like the ability to cock the hammer if I need to, but want to minimize snagging, as well as the "temptation" to pull the hammer back. That's why I am trying to pick between a shrouded hammer or one bobbed to a little "nubbin" that I could still pull back if I needed to.
     
  10. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Well if you get it cocked and don't shoot, do you want to lower the hammer on a loaded chamber while holding the hammer by that "little nubbin?" :scrutiny:

    Not me, said the Old Fuff...

    Yes, it can be done, but there is no wiggle room for a mistake. If you must have the single action option (I don't) buy a revolver that has a shroud, but reaves the tip of the hammer exposed for cocking. This is not the best option, but it's better then what you have in mind. ;)
     
  11. david91406

    david91406 Member

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    "chieftain....April 23, 2009, 09:56 AM "....Thank you. Informative, and, entertaining! I was looking for info re hammerless vs shrouded; now, I have to look up "bobbed" :>)
     
  12. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    In this day and age there is only two reasons I can think of for going to a bobbed hammer (if you are buying a current or recent production revolver).

    1. The manufacturer of the make/model you are interested in does not offer an enclosed or shrouded version.

    2. You have, or are buying a revolver which for whatever reason you want to make double-action-only. Several such reasons are mentioned in previous posts. I will note that several sellers (such as J&G Sales in Prescott, AZ) sometimes offer police service revolvers that were special ordered to have the DAO mode, at very attractive prices. If this is what you want they have a deal for you!... ;)
     
  13. Lucky Derby

    Lucky Derby Member

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    Between shrouded, bobbed or hammerless, I will pick shrouded every time.
     
  14. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip Member

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    I prefer enclosed-hammer Centennial-type snubs over all others.
    -I shoot double action snubs about as well as single action ones; actually shoot 'em pretty well.
    -The snag-free and lint-proof qualities.
    -My biggest reason for preferring the Centennial is its lower bore axis; it is possible to choke much higher on the gun's humpback grip. The difference is startling when comparing, say, an Airweight Chief with its Centennial equivalent. Perceived recoil is much less; even the notoriously hard kicking Ti Centennials are more manageable than an Airweight Chief.
    Take a look at the Centennial and the degree to which the hump is close to the bore axis. It really does make a difference.
    Moon
    ETA-
    Twice I have ground off what remained of the hammer spur on Chief's Special revolvers; both had been dropped hard enough on the hammer to break off the spur. Neither gun went off. It of course didn't gain the lower bore axis of the Centennial, but it did become snag proof.
    M
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  15. 451 Detonics

    451 Detonics Member

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    Biggest advantage to the shrouded is the ab ilty to fire from within a coat pocket during the winter. As I don't have SA capability on any of my carry revolvers, shrouded or not doesn't make a difference to me for the most part.

    Last Steel Demo day at our range saw one of the shooters ringing a 12 inch plate at 100 yards with a S&W 640 averaging 3 hits out of five over and over. If you want long range accuracy then practice, not SA, is the answer.
     
  16. doc540

    doc540 Member

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    Functions easily and safely in SA mode.

    Look up "ednred" on the Colt Forum if you want to have your hammer bobbed and checkered.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Jeb21

    Jeb21 Member

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    Great looking Colt!

    I am a huge fan of the Smith Model 649. I own other Smith J Frames to include the Model 60, 640 and the 642. However, the j-frame that I carry the most is the 649 with its so ugly it is beautiful hump. Almost all of my practice is in DA only, but I still like the option.
     
  18. david91406

    david91406 Member

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    Thank you for your input.

    I'm sorry. I was just joking about "bobbed". I was originally asking about shrouded vs hammerless, and "bobbed" was introduced, which I had no interest or knowledge. Hence my comment about "bobbed". Again, sorry for my distorted sense of humor. That can happen when you get to 72 years of age.

    I own a Glock 23 and 27. A program on TV got my interest on revolvers which are shrouded or hammerless. I bot the Glocks (1994 & 1996) as I thought the stopping power of the .40 better than the .38 +P. I also liked the other features of the Glock, one of which is the double bullet capacity. However, as I practiced shooting wih my first guns, I realized the bullet placement might be more important than the ammo capacity!! Thanks again
     
  19. david91406

    david91406 Member

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    Quote:
    Long range accuracy is a requirement in all my guns. Even the little ones.
    _____________________________________________________________

    Long range may be fun; however, all of the assaults that I've heard about happen considerably closer than 100 yards from the victim!! ;-)
     
  20. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    For a defense carry gun I would pick the hammerless or shrouded hands down, that doesn't mean all my revolvers are that way but that is my preference for defensive carry.
    Reasons are simple, simplicity being #1. snags, decocking, being the others.
     
  21. Remo223

    Remo223 member

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    Defensive snubbies should have these things added:

    Waller & Sons hammer shroud

    Barami hip grip

    perhaps a tyler T grip

    perhaps moon clips

    However, the hammer shroud is not available for all brands of snubbies. In the case you can't get one, then bob the hammer or have it converted to a comander type hammer.
     
  22. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip Member

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    Let me add one more thing about shrouded hammer guns that cannot be cocked at all.
    If we are talking about a defensive gun, I really like double action only. If I'm scared enough of something to point a gun at it, I'm apt to be shaking like a puppy pooping razor blades. I don't want even the option of cocking the piece; after a lifetime of cocking guns, we're apt to do it under stress as well.

    I can stay center mass of a B29 silhouette at 50' double action; good enough for me.
    Moon
     
  23. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    Exactly, now try to lower the hammer while amped up on adrenaline. Then imagine it being bobed.
     
  24. 451 Detonics

    451 Detonics Member

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    I have one bobbed hammer, it is on my Model 12

    [​IMG]

    My Detective Special has a factory shroud installed...

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Prosser

    Prosser Member

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    Bobbing helped make my 360PD a much better CCW gun. However, my thought that I would be able to cock it easily at the range was incorrect. It's pretty much a DA only gun at this point, since trying to cock it is difficult at best, and, at worst sends a round about a mile down range, as my finger slips off the hammer, trying to cock it.
     
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