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Old November 6, 2012, 07:38 AM   #1
Southern Shooter
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Bobbing Hammer...Bad Idea???

I have a Taurus 85 Ultra-Lite .38 Special. Looks like this one 85SS2UL1.jpg. I have had it for about 5 years and never had any failure to perform.

I have considered bobbing the hammer to decrease chances of snagging during concealed-carry. Is this a bad idea? Would it effect the performance of the revolver?

Thanks
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Old November 6, 2012, 08:17 AM   #2
chaim
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For a carry gun I think it is a great idea. Two of my 3 small framed revolvers are DAO. I have a S&W 442 ("hammerless"/internal hammer) and a Taurus 85CH with the factory bobbed hammer (I wish they still made these, and if they made the UL this way I'd possibly have bought it instead of my 442). If I manage to find another 3" K-frame at a reasonable price I'll probably bob its hammer as well.

I would personally have the SA disabled on the gun at the same time I bobbed the hammer. It is probably near impossible, and certainly quite unlikely, that you would accidentally cock the hammer. If you intentionally did so, it would probably only be at the range where you probably wouldn't want to just decock it (though why practice in a way you wouldn't use the gun in a self-defense situation). Never the less, I am not comfortable with the possibility of having to decock a revolver that does not have a hammer spur, and the idea of bobbing it anyway is that you will primary/solely fire the gun DA anyway, so why not make it DAO for a little more safety margin?
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Old November 6, 2012, 08:43 AM   #3
Kevin Rohrer
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Bad Idea

Probably not a good idea. The hammer needs a certain amount of mass to generate enough force to dent the primer. No mass = no detonation.
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Old November 6, 2012, 08:46 AM   #4
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If you leave the internal springs alone you shouldn't run into any problems. I bobbed the hammer on my S&W 637 and replaced the stock hammer on my Model 60 with a bobbed hammer (no spur at all). I've had no problems with either. It's not enough of a mass reduction to make a difference, the stock springs have plenty of oomph to detonate the primer.

By the way I recommend that you remove the hammer to do the job, no point taking a chance on scarring the gun with a grinding wheel.

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Old November 6, 2012, 09:17 AM   #5
MrBorland
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Probably not a good idea. The hammer needs a certain amount of mass to generate enough force to dent the primer. No mass = no detonation.
eh...no. It's not momentum that ignites primers, but power. All else equal, a lighter hammer travels faster and imparts more power to the primer.

Less momentum can make hammer travel easier to impede, though, so reliability can go down if the hammer is too light and the action is too rough and/or springs are lightened too much. Otherwise, bobbing the hammer is a win-win - faster lock time and increased reliability.

BTW, I agree wholly with chaim: If you're going to fully bob the hammer, it's best to convert to true DAO by removing the SA notch on the hammer as well.
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Old November 6, 2012, 09:57 AM   #6
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Maybe bobbing the hammer could not be a good idea.
In a perfect world, everything will happen exactly as imagined.
But in the real one, surprises are guaranteed.
Like needing the single action choice for that long distance, precision shot.
Or for aiding a stubborn cylinder to rotate.
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Old November 6, 2012, 04:31 PM   #7
drail
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I have always bobbed the hammers on all my carry revolvers. I can't really see any self defense scenario where a double action trigger pull would be a handicap. As others have said bobbing the hammer does not affect reliability. Using light springs will.
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Old November 6, 2012, 04:34 PM   #8
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I've never had a problem with the bobbed hammer on my S&W 13.
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Old November 6, 2012, 04:38 PM   #9
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Probably not a good idea. The hammer needs a certain amount of mass to generate enough force to dent the primer. No mass = no detonation.
A myth that just will not die.
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Old November 6, 2012, 07:43 PM   #10
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At face value, I think it's a good idea. However ,

Quote:
I am not comfortable with the possibility of having to decock a revolver that does not have a hammer spur, and the idea of bobbing it anyway is that you will primary/solely fire the gun DA anyway, so why not make it DAO for a little more safety margin?
Chaim, brings up a valid point and possible safety issue. What's going to happen when you trade or sell the gun? ..

Quote:
Probably not a good idea. The hammer needs a certain amount of mass to generate enough force to dent the primer. No mass = no detonation.
These 85's usually come with internal spring that are too strong so this should not be an issue.

Be Safe !!!
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Old November 6, 2012, 07:47 PM   #11
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People have been bobbing hammers almost as long as there have been double actions. No way I'd bob one tho and if I was going to disable anything it would be the DA part of the action.
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Old November 6, 2012, 08:08 PM   #12
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I had a Model 85 Ultralight seven, or eight years ago. I cut the spur off as close to flat as I could, then smoothed it down. I never had ignition problems, with that one. YMMV
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Old November 6, 2012, 11:40 PM   #13
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I have an Armscor 200 that I carry in my parka pocket when it gets really cold. I called them and asked if the sell bobbed hammers, 5 days later I got a package in the mail with a bobbed hammer for free. Always love Armscor. CS. Never had a problem with it, it goes Bang every time I pull the trigger.
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Old November 6, 2012, 11:43 PM   #14
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I have a bobbed hammer on my S&W13, as noted earlier. In response to questions about resale, etc, and as egor20 alluded in his post - if you are worried about resale value, don't bob the existing hammer. Buy a bobbed hammer, and replace the original, while keeping the original hammer in your revolver's box or in your parts drawer.

That's what I did with my 13. Original hammer is with the original stocks, in the original box.
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Old November 7, 2012, 12:29 PM   #15
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I am a big fan of bobbed hammers. There are a number of good reasons to do it, but few realistic, reasons not to.
In his book on revolvers Grant Cunningham states that, "If you wish to learn to shoot double-action revolvers effectively in double-action mode, you must never shoot it in single action." (or something to that effect.) I have observed that Ed McGivern never suggested using thumb cocking anywhere in his book and Bill Jordon never advocated for thumb-cocking either. Spurs on double action hammers entice shooters into being too lazy to learn to shoot effectively in double action mode. Here some of my bobbed hammer revolvers:




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Old November 7, 2012, 12:55 PM   #16
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If the need for a certain amount of mass is a "myth", why not use a plastic hammer? Why don't baseball players use a feather instead of a bat?

Firing a primer requires momentum - mass times velocity. Factories balance that formula to achieve reliability, but there is a reason most guns with very light hammers have strong hammer springs. If one side of the formula is lowered, the other has to be raised. If both sides are lowered (bobbed hammer plus weakened spring), the result will be lowered reliability.

There is enough built-in leeway to allow some playing around. But it is just plain silly to take the view that hammer mass doesn't matter and reduced spring force doesn't matter and that reliability will never be affected no matter what is done to either or both.

Jim
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Old November 7, 2012, 01:16 PM   #17
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The Taurus 851 already has a bobbed hammer...maybe a trade in ??
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Old November 7, 2012, 01:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Probably not a good idea. The hammer needs a certain amount of mass to generate enough force to dent the primer. No mass = no detonation.
I have a S&W model 36 that I had bobbed....I took about half of the spur off. Turned out to be a bad idea. The bobbed hammer failed to ignite the majority of rounds that were loaded. I tried all kinds of factory fresh ammunition and it was completely random as to which cylinder failed to fire. Wound up having to put a new full hammer back on.
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Old November 7, 2012, 01:48 PM   #19
rgillis
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It's not a bad idea at all. You may be able to purchase a another hammer directly from Taurus and have a gunsmith install it, saving the other in case you change your mind.
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Old November 7, 2012, 02:47 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James K
If the need for a certain amount of mass is a "myth", why not use a plastic hammer? Why don't baseball players use a feather instead of a bat?

Firing a primer requires momentum
Any hammer will have some momentum, but it's its power that dents the primer & sets it off. Momentum is good for moving things, such as a baseball, so a featherweight bat isn't the better tool (even if someone could swing it fast enough). Power is better for denting things. I just made the following analogy in a parallel thread:

"For instance, compared to a sledge hammer being swung, a car rolling at 1mph has 10 times the momentum, but the same energy. Yet the the sledge will deliver 10 times the power of the car, which is why it'll certainly affect your bumper more."

Why no plastic über-light hammers on a gun? Material strength aside, because at some point, hammer speed plateaus, so there's nothing to be gained by going lighter - in fact, power (i.e. reliability) will drop like a rock once speed no longer keeps pace. You could increase speed more by increasing spring strength, I suppose, but stiffening the action defeats one of the main benefits of a light hammer - that you can lighten the action without loss of reliability.

Also, at some point, an über-light low-momentum hammer becomes very susceptible to friction, so dirt or irregularities in the action will rob it of power.
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Old November 7, 2012, 03:00 PM   #21
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I have a S&W model 36 that I had bobbed....I took about half of the spur off. Turned out to be a bad idea. The bobbed hammer failed to ignite the majority of rounds that were loaded. I tried all kinds of factory fresh ammunition and it was completely random as to which cylinder failed to fire. Wound up having to put a new full hammer back on.
Did it fire reliable before you cut the spur off? Did you change the mainspring?
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Old November 7, 2012, 03:09 PM   #22
dahermit
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Why no plastic über-light hammers on a gun?
No ultra-light plastic hammers, but über-light Titanium hammers (Taurus M85 Ultra lite), and firing pins (ala Ruger SR1911).
Quote:
...You could increase speed more by increasing spring strength...
Or, by reducing the weight of the hammer ala bobbing...
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Old November 7, 2012, 03:28 PM   #23
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I wish someone would explain to me...that is give an example of, or a realistic scenario where a gun with a spurless hammer but with single action capability becomes unintentionally cocked. None of my spurless guns has ever been in that state and I am at a loss to come up with a scenario that would result in that happening. Unless there is something that I have overlooked, removing the single action notch is solution to something that is not going to happen, or at least less often than being struck by lightning or attacked by a Great White.
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Old November 7, 2012, 04:03 PM   #24
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Quote:
Quote:
I have a S&W model 36 that I had bobbed....I took about half of the spur off. Turned out to be a bad idea. The bobbed hammer failed to ignite the majority of rounds that were loaded. I tried all kinds of factory fresh ammunition and it was completely random as to which cylinder failed to fire. Wound up having to put a new full hammer back on.
Did it fire reliable before you cut the spur off? Did you change the mainspring?
Yes, it was completely reliable before I bobbed the hammer...and has been 100% reliable again after replacing the bobbed hammer with new "complete" hammer. I did not replace the mainspring before or after.
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Old November 7, 2012, 04:46 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahermit
give an example of, or a realistic scenario where a gun with a spurless hammer but with single action capability becomes unintentionally cocked.
You take someone shooting. The only thing they know about revolvers is what they've seen in the movies, where revolvers are cocked. So, it doesn't even occur to you to they might not even know to shoot DA, and in the blink of an eye they manage to somehow get it cocked.

Or...you're not home when your spouse hears a knock in the night. She grabs your bobbed HD revolver from the nightstand, and, under stress, immediately manages to get it cocked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skadoosh
Yes, it was completely reliable before I bobbed the hammer...and has been 100% reliable again after replacing the bobbed hammer with new "complete" hammer. I did not replace the mainspring before or after.
Is your M36 stock? IOW, has it ever had an action job (by a pro)? If there's resistance in the hammer travel, it'll be even more evident once it gets bobbed. IMHO, it's a good idea to bob a hammer as part of a good action job.
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