school me on hammerless revolvers

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by dr drae, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. dr drae

    dr drae

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    pocket guns, short barrel, airweight or the like hammerless revolvers

    favorite brands
    brands to avoid
    considerations carrying a hammerless
    steel vs titanium vs blingtanium

    I've suddenly become interested in picking up a mini hammerless, what do I need to know?
  2. Throckmorton

    Florence,Ore ah gone
    Well-Known Member

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    they just about all need an action job ,my 'Smith has a horribly heavy da pull.
    the lighweghts kick like ****,even my .38 is unpleasant with plus P ammo.
    the .357's are just plain mean....on both ends
    The good thing is airweights are a breeze to pack in a pocket.

    for me ,there is smith and wesson....and then ther'es 'the other brands' you'll get a thousand opinions of the other brands,so my opinion is just 1.
  3. jt1

    New Member

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  4. magnum

    American....'nuff said

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    I just picked up a s&w model 649 from another member. I've always been a big fan of s&w due to quality, workmanship, accuracy. The 649 has a concealed hammer so you can go single action as well as double action. The hammer is shrouded so it's snag free for cc. Also you have 2 types of ammo you can run in this: 38sp and 357mag. Mags do hurt a bit on the shooting end but I think are worth the pain.There are other brands similar to this model ie. taurus, that are also well made. My personal preference is s&w's. My .02.
  5. pdxjazz

    Active Member

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    If you ever plan to actually shoot it, I would take a hard look at the hammerless Ruger SP101. While it weighs more than some of the lightweights, you can enjoy shooting it.
  6. LibertyorDeath

    Western Washington

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    I have done a bit of research on these when I was figureing out what my first handgun would be. I like the S&W M&P340, it is only 13oz. The hammerless Ruger SP101 is 25oz and doesn't look as ugly as most of the hammerless revolvers; however, it is not black.



    It is also chambered in .327 Federal which I haven't heard much about. Anyone here?
  7. badclam

    willapa bay Sunny SW WA
    Well-Known Member

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    Sp 101
  8. raindog

    Portland, OR
    Active Member

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    I like the trigger on the new Ruger LCR. I vastly prefer it over the S&Ws.

    However, I dislike all of these, and I've shot quite a few. Just too lightweight a gun for .38 Special. Hurts my hand. .38 +P or .357 Mag is pure torture.

    A full-weight steel .38 snub is one thing...lightweight snub? no thanks. But that's me - obviously these things are popular, though I wonder how many are "carry only" without seeing much range time.

    Also, no night sights.

    I've not heard good things about the current Charter Arms.
  9. tionico

    Thurston County
    Well-Known Member

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    I chose the S&W centennial, I've got two models, the .38 (rated +P, a must in my mind) and found an Airweight in .32 H&R Mag, six shot. I've heard this is also made in the .327, but not found one. I guess the jury are yet out on this round. It was, I'm told, developed to replace the hard to find and ancient .32 H&R Mag. Never did catch on, apparently.

    Why did I choose the lightweight? It is for a specific carry purpose where extreme small size and low weight are critical factors. Yes, trigger pull is a bit harsh. I doubt I'll ever have to use it (HOPE I never do....) for its intended purpose, but I'm an avid road cyclist, get into remote areas a lot, far away from any "protection", and want to be armed in the event of some creeps turning violent (a few cases of beatings and muggings of cyclists accosted by thugs.... I figure a shiny revolver pointing at some of these creeps might help them make an informed decision. And, speaking of that line, I did find and install a Crimson trace grip.... the theory being that a small hole will replace a red dot in the event I squeeze that lever thingie that sticks down....... and anyone noticing that red dot will figure this out.

    I recently had opportunity to handle one of the new Ruger LCR models, also in .38 +P. It is a bit more dear, weighs a touch less, has a concealed hammer (very similar to the centennial in S&W) and is priced in the same range. I did note, though, that the LCR is a touch larger than the Airlights.... grip longer and placed a bit further back, Would make an already marginal carry situation (mine.. it MUST fit into my back jersey pocket fully, yet not sticking out)I compared the Ruger and the S&W side by side, above and below.... Ruger is definitely larger, and the only other revolver to be extremely well made, in the same fit/finish/quality category as the J Frame. No doubt the Smith J , in .38, has a whole lot more stopping energy than anything using the 9 Kurz. I HOPE it never makes a difference......

    I considered finding the J frame in .357, but when I thought about all that additional power in the featherweight frame, I decided to get the lghter-loaded cartridge (.38) and take the time to learn better control. A smaller, well placed shot will always be more effective than a wide shot in a heavier calibre.

    I looked at the other similar makes, Kel Tec, Taurus, Charter... I figured the low prices on at least some of these meant poorer quality. NONE of them felt as good as the Smith, to me, anyway.

    I very recently bought a Ruger LCP, not near the hit power, but smaller overall size, not near as thick (problem with the revolver type) and a couple ounces lighter. I carried it for the first time today on a short bike ride. Harly knew it was there, while the J frame was a bit on the overmuch side.... kept flopping the jersey pocket, and that whole corner of the jersey, down..... the LCP never moved today. The pistol and a loaded spare magazine all but disappeared into my jersey pocket, and I was unaware of the LCP a good bit of the time. When I carry the Smith, I am quite often reminded it lives back there.......
  10. n47587


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    I have a ruger sp101, great shooter but heavy. purchased a sw 642 last year and it has been my primary carry gun. I use a deep concealemnet holster from Maverick (available through dillon precission) in summer and formed leather by Blackhawk when more layers can conceal. The best rule I think is too be proficient with what you carry.
  11. twoclones

    Tri-Cities, WA
    Well-Known Member

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    I carry and shoot the S&W models 642 and 327 TRR8. Both are scandium alloyed aluminum and kick harder than comperable models in stainless. Both also have very smooth triggers AFTER a good tune-up. I like each of these guns but then I also like shooting my .500 magnum revolver...

    Hammerless, actually a shrouded hammer, is my preference for concealed carry simply because it's less likely to get caught on or be fowled by clothing.

    Snubby barrel without a laser is a close quarters defense weapon. With laser it can be effective at 100'.

    So far, every one of my air weight guns has quickly developed holster wear on all high spots and edges.
  12. ogre

    Vancouver, WA
    Well-Known Member

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    The Ruger SP101 is not hammerless although you can purchase one which has a spurless hammer. My SP101 has a 2.1" barrel, spurless hammer and is in .357 Mag. I have carried it nearly daily for over fifteen years and for my purposes it has worked very well. It is not ideal for concealed carry in all clothing though.

    I have recently purchased a S&W 642. It is not ideal either but it is easier to conceal then the SP101 is in certain types of clothing. One has not replaced the other. Both fullfill their purposes for my needs.
  13. swoop

    Milwaukie, Oregon
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I bought a spurless SP-101 brand new back in the early 90's for $300.00 Shoots best with .38 special, but shoot .357 mags now and then for fun...It's a keeper!
  14. WAYNO

    Oregon City
    Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Silver Supporter

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    Just remember. There are no "free rides". A strictly double-action revolver will usually not be as easy to pull the trigger on, as a striker-fired, or single action handgun. And, that can be a good thing, as it requires deliberate intent, to make the gun go bang.

    A light gun will always kick harder than a heavier one. But, a lighter gun will be more likely to go with you, all the time.

    A hammerless, DA revolver, can only be used DA. Another choice to think about, and I think it's a good choice, is a DA revolver with a bobbed hammer. Normally, it can be used DA only, but in the event you do really need tack-driving accuracy, it can be cocked, and fired, single action. In a survival situation, and you really do need a rabbit or squirrel to survive, the accuracy advantage of single action operation will be very appreciated. And, the bobbed hammer is not as likely to hang up on your clothing, when drawing.

    There's lots of great choices for hammerless, or bobbed-hammer revolvers. Don't discount any of them, just because you think the trigger pull is too heavy, or too long. Again, that's the negative side of DA-only shooting.

    If small size is important, but you can handle the extra weight, the SP101 is an excellent choice. In my experience, these are the easiest compact-snubbies to shoot, on the planet, even with magnum loads. Couple them with standard velocity .38's, or even +P's, and they're a powder puff, to shoot. And, they are available with a bobbed hammer.

  15. elsullo

    Portland Oregon
    New Member

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    Greetings, fellow pocket wheelgunners! I want to make sure that all know that Federal Cartridge Co. has re-issued their line of .38 Special Nyclad bullets! This is a bullet with a nylon, rather than copper or brass, jacketed hollowpoint. The nylon jacket is not just to reduce airborne lead or barrel fouling. The main point of the nylon jacket is to assure reliable hollowpoint expansion at the low velocities that short-barrel snubbie revolvers only allow.

    The Nyclad .38 Special is offered in a standard pressure, non-plus-P cartridge so that snubby users do not have to deal with the painful recoil normal in "airweight" pistols. Yet the Nyclad is supposed to expand well as if it is from a higher pressure load. This is conducive to more shooting practice, since there is less pain! And it is likely that a hand that is not afraid of pain can shoot more accurately with less "flinch."

    Granted, I have no idea if Federal's claims are true or not. I will certainly be looking out for proper independent field tests in gello, water, and newsprint from all of the various sources.............................elsullo
  16. crosse

    Active Member

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    good stuff.

    me personally i believe that a 642 or 442 are the ways to go for PD if I dont want to carry a full sized pistol (1911 or glock 17).
    38 special regardless of +p or standard loads are a handful if you take them for a serious range/drill session. wheel guns in anything but steel will pound you. 357 out of a airweight/scandium j-frame is just masochistic. lighter usually equals better for me but I draw the line at 13 ounces for $400 vs. 11 ounces for $650+. the 2 ounces at this weight are really negligible. That being said, every week I put a box of 38 special through a j-frame to keep myself aiming to the left and low (mine shoots Speer GD hollowpoints right and high). I have the lg-305's which tame the +p quite a bit. But more than 50 rounds in one session and I really start to feel the fatigue. The DA trigger is long and heavy but still workable. Timed with a buzzer I can get 5 rounds on t-2 target from a draw in less than 4 seconds. Hoping to shed that down to under 3 soon.
  17. keitha300wsm

    Lebanon, OR

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    I bought my wife a S&W 442, very light weight easy to carry in a purse and no hammer to get tangled up. She doesn't enjoy shooting it, but if some one got in her space I don't think recoil would even be a consideration. I have had good experiance with S&W, very reliable. I can't say that about some of the lesser known brands. These light weights are not made for target practice, they're made for CC.
  18. Walter Sobchak

    Walter Sobchak
    Active Member

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    + 1 on elsullo's recommendation of the Federal Nyclads, specifically the 125gr. p38m "Chief's special". Just picked up a couple of old-stock boxes of these from gunbroker. I'd been looking for a proven self-defense round, in standard pressure .38spl. Recoil is very mild, even from my model 37 airweight, little or no muzzle flash, and clean burning, so less scrubbery after range time.
  19. jordanvraptor

    Oregon City, Oregon
    Well-Known Member

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    I currently own a S&W 642 and have also owned a 640 Centennial in .357 and also the short lived 940 in 9mm. The airweights are for carry but with the right ammo selection they are not so painful. The wife likes the Crimson Trace lasergrips so it packed with some Glaser rounds is her home defense gun. The .357 in steel was still brutal when fired so I would not recommend that. The 9mm was a great gun, sorry I gave it up to this day. It could be loaded with 115 gr for plinking practice or even the hottest +p+ defense loads and still a lot more comfortable than the .357 to be sure. I think that gun would be a good seller if they brought it back in a Scandium frame like the new Nightguard revolvers. All these revolvers have a bit heavy trigger so I always ordered a spring kit from Wolff and the trigger is reduced dramatically. The hardest part about installing the springs is the trigger return spring. The hammer spring is actually very easy to replace but to get a really smooth pull you need to change out both.
  20. Phillyfan

    Oregon City, Oregon
    Well-Known Member

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    I have been drooling over the S&W 640 PD 357 Mag ever since I shot the scandium framed .38 version. Don't really know why I want a gun that would probably be painful to shoot. Maybe I am just glutton for punishment. Have always wanted to fire a .357 derringer or a COP .357 (the weird looking little thing with four barrels).

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