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Old January 21, 2021, 06:27 AM   #1
Pond, James Pond
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Bobbing the hammer on a DA/SA snub: questions.

I am considering making changes to my .38Spl snub as part of deciding if I should part with it and replace it with a 3" .357, or make it as close to the gun I want it to be.

The SA on my Astra is actually very nice, but its only any use at the range, as far as I can see. If I get around to using this gun in IDPA competitions, it'll be DA shooting.

SD situations tend to be the same. Time would likely not be on my side. If it were, I would employ it running the other way!!

So to gunsmiths who have done the work and owners who know of or have bought the work, some questions for you about bobbing the hammer:
  1. What are the lesser known disadvantages of bobbing the hammer?
  2. Can bobbing the hammer affect reliable primer strikes?
  3. Can a hammer be bobbed in such a way that SA can still be used?
  4. Do any owners regret having the hammer bobbed?

Thanks
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Old January 21, 2021, 09:10 AM   #2
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I'm no gunsmith by any stretch of the imagination, but I bobbed a hammer anyway, after doing some research first. To your questions:

1. Resale value will probably go down.

2. Iirc, the lighter weight makes the hammer fall faster. I read something (at TFL) about inertia &/or momentum pertaining to bobbed hammers, and someone who knew physics explained how bobbing the hammer would not interfere with reliable primer strikes.

3. That depends on where you can leave metal after bobbing. Is this an Astra? I had an Astra Cadix .22, and lowering the stock hammer made me feel uneasy, like sooner or later the hammer would get away from me and fall on a live round. The Cadix also pinched my trigger finger, so I sold it.

4. I don't regret bobbing the hammer on the H&R 1906. The goal was to provide a quicker draw from a pocket, which it did. The stock hammer was Snag City.
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Old January 21, 2021, 10:37 AM   #3
lee n. field
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pond, James Pond View Post
I am considering making changes to my .38Spl snub as part of deciding if I should part with it and replace it with a 3" .357, or make it as close to the gun I want it to be.

The SA on my Astra is actually very nice, but its only any use at the range, as far as I can see. If I get around to using this gun in IDPA competitions, it'll be DA shooting.

SD situations tend to be the same. Time would likely not be on my side. If it were, I would employ it running the other way!!

So to gunsmiths who have done the work and owners who know of or have bought the work, some questions for you about bobbing the hammer:
  1. What are the lesser known disadvantages of bobbing the hammer?
  2. Can bobbing the hammer affect reliable primer strikes?
  3. Can a hammer be bobbed in such a way that SA can still be used?
  4. Do any owners regret having the hammer bobbed?

Thanks
Do you pocket carry? if no, leave the gun alone.

Are parts for you Astra, specifically the hammer, easily available? If no, leave the gun alone.

There's also the possibility that altering the gun will affect it's resale value. don't know if that would be the case where you're at.

The other thing folks worry about over here in the US is that single action fire has the potential of affecting a legal claim of self defense, depending on if a prosecutor wanted to make an issue of it. That may or may not be a problem, in Estonia where you are.

(Do you ever have problems with US-ian English idioms, reading these posts?)
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Old January 21, 2021, 11:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
1. What are the lesser known disadvantages of bobbing the hammer?
2. Can bobbing the hammer affect reliable primer strikes?
3. Can a hammer be bobbed in such a way that SA can still be used?
4. Do any owners regret having the hammer bobbed?
1. Persons who have bobbed their hammers on defensive guns can no long fanaticize about needing single-action for that scenario where it was needed. Also, if you pull the trigger back slightly (muzzle down range), and then grasp the hammer and pull it to full cock, it is then not easy to lower the hammer without actually firing the gun.

2. If the gun fires primers reliably before bobbing, it will fire primers reliably after bobbing.

3. See response number 1

4. None that I know of.




I have observed that there are many double-action revolver shooters who have no faith in their ability to shoot in double action mode due to their lack of adequate practice...so they revert to single-action shooting during range-time. If you are worried about lower re-sale value of a bobbed gun, buy an extra hammer (like I have done), bob the new hammer, reserve the original for possible swapping-out for re-sale.
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Old January 21, 2021, 12:06 PM   #5
Pond, James Pond
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Quote:
Do you pocket carry?
Smart-carry AIWB for me.

Quote:
Are parts for you Astra, specifically the hammer, easily available?
Nope!!

Resale might suffer but it was not exactly expensive to begin with: one of the benefits of being a wheel gun fan over here is you don't get much competition for wheelguns. Donwsides are they are few and far between and not necessarily cheap!

Quote:
Iirc, the lighter weight makes the hammer fall faster. I read something (at TFL) about inertia &/or momentum pertaining to bobbed hammers, and someone who knew physics explained how bobbing the hammer would not interfere with reliable primer strikes.
So that is interesting to know.

Quote:
1. Persons who have bobbed their hammers on defensive guns can no long fanaticize about needing single-action for that scenario where it was needed. Also, if you pull the trigger back slightly (muzzle down range), and then grasp the hammer and pull it to full cock, it is then not easy to lower the hammer without actually firing the gun.
Yeah,....so not doing that!!


All in all, it sounds like bobbing the hammer is not something to undertake lightly and you really need to know that you want to do it!

It also occurs to me that I'm not even sure they allow bobbed hammers in IPSC. Worth checking first!

Nice pics, btw. J-frame? But which one?
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Last edited by Pond, James Pond; January 21, 2021 at 01:19 PM.
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Old January 21, 2021, 12:06 PM   #6
Moenie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pond, James Pond View Post
I am considering making changes to my .38Spl snub as part of deciding if I should part with it and replace it with a 3" .357, or make it as close to the gun I want it to be.

The SA on my Astra is actually very nice, but its only any use at the range, as far as I can see. If I get around to using this gun in IDPA competitions, it'll be DA shooting.

SD situations tend to be the same. Time would likely not be on my side. If it were, I would employ it running the other way!!

So to gunsmiths who have done the work and owners who know of or have bought the work, some questions for you about bobbing the hammer:
  1. What are the lesser known disadvantages of bobbing the hammer?
  2. Can bobbing the hammer affect reliable primer strikes?
  3. Can a hammer be bobbed in such a way that SA can still be used?
  4. Do any owners regret having the hammer bobbed?

Thanks
1.) The value of your firearm may go down.
2.) No.
3.) Yes. Bobbing the hammer does not involve removing the single action sear. More care need be taken when you do, but it can still be done safely.
4.) No regrets.
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Old January 21, 2021, 12:32 PM   #7
Jim Watson
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1. What are the lesser known disadvantages of bobbing the hammer?

Makes it difficult to spin the cylinder to be sure that there are no high primers, burred rims, etc. binding cylinder rotation.

If the cut surface is polished up nicely, it will glint in your eye.

2. Can bobbing the hammer affect reliable primer strikes?

Contrary to previous posts, I have seen a Taurus 85 to misfire after the hammer was bobbed. The owner had to put in a stronger mainspring.

3. Can a hammer be bobbed in such a way that SA can still be used?

Yes. The drill is to PULL THE TRIGGER enough to raise the hammer to where you can snag it with your thumb. Some deluxe bobs checker the top of the hammer to facilitate this.

4. Do any owners regret having the hammer bobbed?

Yes, see #1 above.
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Old January 21, 2021, 12:51 PM   #8
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Good points also, Jim!

Thanks!
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Old January 21, 2021, 12:55 PM   #9
Pond, James Pond
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Quote:
1.) The value of your firearm may go down.
2.) No.
3.) Yes. Bobbing the hammer does not involve removing the single action sear. More care need be taken when you do, but it can still be done safely.
4.) No regrets.
Based on #4 it sounds like you've had it done!

Any chance of a picture?
I must say I like they look, though.

Somehow says "take me seriously!"
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Old January 21, 2021, 01:41 PM   #10
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Ive bobbed a couple in the past. Never had any troubles with light strikes or any other issues.

You need to (or should) take the hammer out to do it, so while you have it out, might as well take the SA notch with it. No need for it anyway. The best thing you can do with a DA revolver, is to learn to shoot it DAO anyway, so, no need for a SA notch.

If they case harden the hammers like S&W did on some guns, youll need a file to break the case hardening before you can cut it. I did mine with a file and hacksaw, pre Dremel days, so it may not be an issue.

Personally, Id still use a saw and file. Some things are best done "the old way".

I dont really like "the look", especially on some guns, but function beats looks any day, and the bobbed hammer is a help in some situations.

Resale is in the eye of the beholder. Ive done things like cut the hammers, stipple plastic frames, paint guns, etc, and when I felt the need to sell them, never had a problem doing so, and never lost money any more than selling any other used gun. Unless you qualify as a "Bubba" skill wise, I wouldn't worry on it too much.
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Old January 21, 2021, 01:58 PM   #11
Bill DeShivs
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Reducing the weight of hammers CAN cause misfires.
Try driving a nail with a claw hammer, then driving the nail with a tack hammer. Knowing common sense sometimes is better than knowing physics.
I would leave the Astra alone and learn to love it, or leave it for something else.
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Old January 21, 2021, 02:20 PM   #12
Pond, James Pond
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This may change in the future, but right now I've rediscovered an enthusiasm for my little .38 so I think for now it will stay.

Now if my lottery ticket comes good this weekend, I may revisit that statement.
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Old January 21, 2021, 04:46 PM   #13
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Knowing common sense sometimes is better than knowing physics.
WOW!!! I wish I had know that earlier...thousands and thousands of dollars wasted on college.

Last edited by dahermit; January 21, 2021 at 04:53 PM.
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Old January 21, 2021, 04:49 PM   #14
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Resale is in the eye of the beholder. Ive done things like cut the hammers, stipple plastic frames, paint guns, etc, and when I felt the need to sell them, never had a problem doing so, and never lost money any more than selling any other used gun. Unless you qualify as a "Bubba" skill wise, I wouldn't worry on it too much.
Exactly. I have purchased one gun with a factory bobbed hammer...they had no trouble with me arguing the gun was worth less than if it had a hammer spur.
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Old January 21, 2021, 05:07 PM   #15
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I recently traded a S&W Model 64 with a factory bobbed hammer, and it brought about $100 more than I paid for it a number of years back. And that was a dealer trade.

The fact the hammer was bobbed wasnt an issue at all, and the gun never made it to the end of the day on the shelf. Im sure he made a profit on it too, as thats what hes in business for.

One mans bad thing is anothers "gotta have", so you really never know whats going to happen. So far, for the things Im always told no one will want or wont sell, or will sell for a big loss, has not come to pass for me.

I cant think of one gun Ive sold or traded that brought less than a comparable "stock" gun of the same vintage, and in a couple of cases, I got more than I was expecting going in.
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Old January 21, 2021, 08:03 PM   #16
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"I recently traded a S&W Model 64 with a factory bobbed hammer..."

Did it have a 4" barrel? A couple/few years ago GunBroker and LGS's were flooded with those, pre-lock police trade-ins I believe. I think I saw some Model 65s as well.
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Old January 21, 2021, 08:25 PM   #17
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Yup, 4" DAO police trade in. Paid $250 for it. Was a bit scuffed up on the outside, but was taken care of and had a buttery smooth DA trigger, and was a great shooter. I dont know how they cleaned them, but it was the cleanest gun Ive ever bought, new or used. Almost like it was cleaned in an ultasonic tank. Never saw anything like it. A little Mothers on the outside, and a new set of grips, it cleaned up pretty good.

I picked up a nice 3" 65 recently as well. Its a good shooter too. Its still got a full hammer on it, and Im not messing with it. Hammer spur on not, I shoot them all DAO.
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Old January 22, 2021, 08:42 AM   #18
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I had the itch to bob the hammer on a model 36 years ago. I decided to buy another hammer from ebay to play with. 20 bucks or so later i had a bobbed hammer on my J frame. I had it like that for a while until i bought a 642. I put the original hammer back on it for backyard fun. It was a fun experiment.
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Old January 22, 2021, 03:12 PM   #19
Bill DeShivs
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Most factory bobbed hammers actually have more mass than a standard hammer after it has been cut.
The hammers in S&W concealed hammer models also have more mass.
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Old January 22, 2021, 03:58 PM   #20
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The only bobbed hammer gun I've ever had came to me that way, and was a Llama Commanche.

The gun would reliably fire 4 out of 6 DA, but never the same four in a repeatable pattern. Sold it to someone who wanted something to tinker with.

I'm not a fan of bobbing the hammer, and absolutely not in favor of making the gun DAO. I just don't see the point.
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Old January 22, 2021, 04:46 PM   #21
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For any kind of serious use gun, DA revolvers are meant to be shot DAO.

Most people who resist DAO are the SA shooters. Most who learn to shoot DAO find they actually shoot better shooting that way, than in SA.

Once I "saw the light", my groups, especially with the heavy caliber guns, shrank considerably. I havent thumb cocked a DA revolver in decades.
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Old January 22, 2021, 06:58 PM   #22
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For any kind of serious use gun, DA revolvers are meant to be shot DAO.
That's your opinion and you're welcome to it, I disagree.

Mostly I disagree with the "O" part.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "serious use gun". If you mean personal self defense, say so. I consider hunting to be a serious use. If I were serious about target shooting, I would consider bullseye shooting "serious use".

I'm fine with shooting DA, should I choose, I just have issues with people saying I have to shoot DA ONLY.

Quote:
Most people who resist DAO are the SA shooters. Most who learn to shoot DAO find they actually shoot better shooting that way, than in SA
Better put me in the SA shooter group, I have half a dozen SA revolvers which I deeply enjoy. I also have about the same number of DA revolvers, and I don't shoot better groups DA than I do SA. I am, apparently, not the "most people" you refer to.

For my personal use, I see no point to converting a gun to DAO. Besides limiting my options, I see no reason to have the work done, if you don't want to shoot SA, simply don't. No need to have the gun changed.
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Old January 22, 2021, 07:23 PM   #23
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Serious is anything serious. Target shooting isnt "serious" to me, but I still target shoot DAO. Theres no point or advantage to thumb cocking the gun.

Shoot however you want, Im not telling you what to do, you have to do what works best for you. Im simply saying once you learn to shoot DAO, youll be a better shooter because of it, and I doubt youll thumb cock a DA gun again once you do.

I was a decent SA shooter right up until I was taught how to shoot DA, and why it was better. Once I saw that I understood, and my shooting improved, and across the board.

I do shoot tighter groups DA, revolver or auto. Once I learned to shoot DAO, "all" of my shooting improved too, handgun or long gun. You also figure out its not the trigger thats important or the focus of things.


DAO 10 yards, as fast as the sights were back on target.




About the same distance, starting in DA, and shooting doubles...

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Old January 22, 2021, 08:07 PM   #24
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Quote:
Reducing the weight of hammers CAN cause misfires.
It all depends on how close to the edge the assembly is.

Equally, inertia depends on WHERE the weight is (leverage)

The outer edge of a record (remember those?) goes faster mph wise than the inner even though they are turning the same RPM.
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Old January 22, 2021, 08:09 PM   #25
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James:

I don't know about competition but when I shot the Police Practical course, I shot it SA for all stages other than the last one (which was really close and timeline ticking but it was an easy DA shoot).

I shot the lights out of the course.

When I got a Semi Auto I went with the DA/SA type as I will still cock it if needed and go with the fine pull in SA.
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