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From: gmk@falstaff.MAE.CWRU.EDU (Geoff Kotzar)
Subject: Re: Revolver Hammer Shrouds...
Organization: Case Western Reserve University

In article <> fist@iscp.Bellcore.COM (Richard Pierson)

#The carrying of a revolver with an empty chamber under the
#hammer was for one reason only..If the weapon were dropped
#and it hit either barrel or hammer first the weapon would

material deleted

#On the newer colts and rugers there is a
#hammer block that has to be inserted between the hammer
 ^^^^^^ ^^^^^
That should read "transfer bar", a hammer block does exactly the opposite
job. That is it interupts the load train from the hammer spur to the cartridge
primer. In the New Model Rugers and Colts with the tranfer bar not interposed
between the hammer and the firing pin, the load path runs from the hammer spur
through the hammer nose and directly to the frame. For a blow to the hammer
to be transfered to the primer, it would have to be of such a magnitude as
to be able to literally plastically deform (read that to mean destroy) the
rear portion of the frame and top strap.

#and the firing pin (if the firing pin is on the hammer
#there is no hammer block) this is done when you pull the

#I havent even looked at a smith since
#73, and have no plans to, all I know are colt and ruger.

Smith and Wesson's use a different system which is just as secure. There
are two (2) blocks between the hammer mounted firing pin and the primer.
The first is a sliding unit that lies between the hammer and the frame as
long as the gun is not cocked. When the gun is cocked, by either hammer or
trigger, the block slides down out of the way. This is actually the smaller
of the two and does no work unless the primary block fails. The primary
hammer block is the large steel slide that surrounds the trigger return
spring. When the hammer is down on a fired cartridge and the trigger is
released, the trigger return spring forces the trigger forward and at the
same time cams the hammer back away from the frame. The block of steel to
which I am referring is then slide between the toe of the hammer and bottom
of the action well. The load path in this case is from the hammer through
this large block of steel to the floor of the action well. Any blow to the
hammer spur would have to be of sufficient energy to shear away the hammer
pivot pin (roughly 1/8th inch in diameter) before the hammer would be free
to travel the few hundreths of an inch and then it would contact the second
smaller sliding block. Modern revolver design in this country at least has
advanced to the point that the gun would literally have to be physically
destroyed beforea blow to the hammer would result in the firing pin contacting
the primer of the cartridge underneath.

#I routinely carry 6 in my super blackhawk and in plain and
#simple terms the hammer cannot reach the firing pin unless
#the hammer block is up. There is also not enough mass in the
#firing pin to discharge the weapon if dropped.
#BTW the Ruger Super Blackhawk was the first to use this
#method and it was a pretty big deal when it first came
#My own personal pet peeve with revolvers is that most
#shooters have no idea if their weapon is out of time
#till I feel the lead shavings from the person next to
#me !!

Unless the people shooting next to you are shooting double action I doubt
that the problem is one of timing. There are other reasons for spitting.
Uneven barrel-cylinder gaps, poor alignment of the chamber behind the barrel,
oversized bullets, bad forcing cone, ect. Even under the best of conditions
revolvers eject some material out of the barrel-cylinder gap.

#There are only two types of ships in the NAVY; SUBMARINES
#                 and TARGETS !!!
#Richard Pierson E06584 vnet: [908] 699-6063

geoff kotzar

From: (John Bercovitz)
Subject: Re: Transfer bar, was: Safety & Govt Mod slide racking
Organization: Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

In article <> bcstec!iftccu! 
(Rick Bressler) writes:

#Another mechanism employed by some 'modern' handguns, such as the Ruger
#Redhawk (and maybe most if not all of the double action Rugers), employ
#what is called a transfer bar.  This is a bar that rises between the
#hammer and firing pin when the trigger is pulled to the rear.  The idea
#is that if for some reason the hammer falls without the trigger pulled,
#there is no way for it to physically contact the firing pin.  This also
#applies to my Charter bulldogs.

#This appears to be pretty fail-safe to me as if the thing breaks or
#malfunctions, the result will probably be an inoperable revolver, rather
#than a dangerous one.  I've always kind of liked it.  I suspect that the
#firing pin is of a low enough mass and the return spring strong enough
#that no reasonable drop could set the gun off from firing pin inertia

#What do some of you other knowledgeable types think?

All of the knowledgeable types left the group; nobody left but us'ns. 
Nevertheless, I'll venture to make a couple of comments which may not be 
totally non-sequitur.  8-{)}

This safety device, when invented near the turn of the century, was called
"hammer the hammer".  It was invented by one of those $2 pistol manufacturers
who made pistols which our great-great-grandfathers (and Charlie S's father) 
were so fond of.  It was the inexpensive guns' answer to the S&W and Colt
hammer blocks.

The device is utterly and completely reliable.  Its only known disadvantage
is that it adds mass to the ignition train.  The hammer mass and/or speed
must be increased to compensate.  That's why it isn't found on guns made 
specifically for target use.  (For shooting formal targets one-handed.)    
It has the side advantage of giving you a firing pin in the recoil shield
which high pressure fans appreciate.  And you're right: the firing pin is 
so low in mass that if you dropped the gun from a height great enough to set
it off, you'd be better off shot by the bullet than hit by the falling gun.
    (John Bercovitz)

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