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Old 09-01-2013, 19:56   #1
bcowen22001
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S&W chiefs 5 shot

Can you carry with fully loaded? Ive recently acquired a SW 38 5 shot chiefs special, I don't have any revolver experience, all my other pistols are auto.

What is the safety issues carrying with all cylinders full. Is there a hammer block on revolvers? This is not a hammerless unit. I have heard of people carrying with the hammer dropped on an empty cylinder, But now only gives you 4 shots.

thanks for comments.
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Old 09-01-2013, 20:41   #2
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Originally Posted by bcowen22001 View Post
Can you carry with fully loaded? Ive recently acquired a SW 38 5 shot chiefs special, I don't have any revolver experience, all my other pistols are auto.

What is the safety issues carrying with all cylinders full. Is there a hammer block on revolvers? This is not a hammerless unit. I have heard of people carrying with the hammer dropped on an empty cylinder, But now only gives you 4 shots.

thanks for comments.
IMHO carrying a double action revolver with the chambers fully loaded is the only way to go.
YMMV but I've carried a J Frame for many years stoked full with zero issues.

The 'old' style hammer might be susceptible to an AD if struck or dropped on the hammer spur. The transfer bar system addressed that potential problem (read litigation)
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Old 09-01-2013, 21:07   #3
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Carry fully loaded. There is a hammer drop safety on most new guns. Some of the cheep junk you have to watch. If it's a Ruger, Smith, Taurus, Rossi, Charter, made in the last Fifteen years, you are ok.
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Old 09-01-2013, 21:17   #4
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Even the old j frames have a hammer block. If you have purchased a used gun, it isn't a bad idea to have a knowledgable person check the gun, who knows who may have worked on it or modified it.
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Old 09-01-2013, 21:21   #5
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Originally Posted by bcowen22001 View Post
Can you carry with fully loaded? Ive recently acquired a SW 38 5 shot chiefs special, I don't have any revolver experience, all my other pistols are auto.

What is the safety issues carrying with all cylinders full. Is there a hammer block on revolvers? This is not a hammerless unit. I have heard of people carrying with the hammer dropped on an empty cylinder, But now only gives you 4 shots.

thanks for comments.
First off,

I has one "cylinder" and 5 "chambers"

Since after WWII almost every American made double action center-fire revolver I can think of is safe to carry with a full cylinder.
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Old 09-01-2013, 21:28   #6
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The 'old' style hammer might be susceptible to an AD if struck or dropped on the hammer spur. The transfer bar system addressed that potential problem (read litigation)
Do you have a reference for this? The hammer block was designed in the mid 1940's. I've never heard of a problem (AD) with the hammer block unless it was removed or modified.

Any reference to litigation?

I know there was litigation on early SA Ruger revolvers.
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Old 09-01-2013, 23:22   #7
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Do you have a reference for this? The hammer block was designed in the mid 1940's. I've never heard of a problem (AD) with the hammer block unless it was removed or modified.

Any reference to litigation?

I know there was litigation on early SA Ruger revolvers.
I think IJ was the first to come up with 'Hammer the hammer' aka hammer block, maybe in the 40's, dunno. Nope, no reference to litigation but I bet some do good lawyer (dowecheatem' & how?) has made some $$$$ before the transfer bar was common. Like I said IMHO (which of course is subjective)...kinda like an asreho*e everyone's got one.
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:52   #8
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I think IJ was the first to come up with 'Hammer the hammer' aka hammer block, maybe in the 40's, dunno. Nope, no reference to litigation but I bet some do good lawyer (dowecheatem' & how?) has made some $$$$ before the transfer bar was common. Like I said IMHO (which of course is subjective)...kinda like an asreho*e everyone's got one.
Smith & Wesson had the hammer block design as we know it today in the mid 40's.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:00   #9
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Smith & Wesson had the hammer block design as we know it today in the mid 40's.
From Charter Arms website; Completely blocked hammer system cannot fire unless trigger is held in full rear position - safest revolver design in the world. In fact, Charter invented the hammer block transfer bar safety system used by almost every revolver manufacturer.

google- fu on IJ; http://www.meridenfirearms.com/pistol.html

I've been wrong many more times than I've been right....now I'm confused.
Looks like we have a trifecta here?
Anything from S&W documenting their claim?
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:14   #10
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The transfer bar goes back Pre 1900 with Iver Johnson.
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Old 09-03-2013, 19:46   #11
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The transfer bar goes back Pre 1900 with Iver Johnson.
^ word
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Old 09-04-2013, 17:56   #12
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Smith and Wesson began using the hammer block in 1915. The current version went into use in 1945.
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Old 10-16-2013, 18:37   #13
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Smith and Wesson began using the hammer block in 1915. The current version went into use in 1945.
If memory serves a "Victory" model M&P revolver fell, discharged and caused a death aboard a Navel vessel. The gun was redesigned with the two block internal system which is/was used on S&W revolvers until their use of the transfer bar system.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:25   #14
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My experience with J frames goes back to 1964. Like all have indicated carry fully loaded. I would also suggest that you load your J framewith Speer Gold Dots 135gr Short Barrel ammo. I have seen several vids and read many articles regarding this ammo. Ammo is an individual choice and you must feel confident in the ammo you carry.The J frame will never go away and it is a great BUG or carry gun. The J frame is also a great ankle carry. Good luck with your J frame.
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Old 10-22-2013, 15:09   #15
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My experience with J frames goes back to 1964. Like all have indicated carry fully loaded. I would also suggest that you load your J framewith Speer Gold Dots 135gr Short Barrel ammo. I have seen several vids and read many articles regarding this ammo. Ammo is an individual choice and you must feel confident in the ammo you carry.The J frame will never go away and it is a great BUG or carry gun. The J frame is also a great ankle carry. Good luck with your J frame.
I also agree on the 135g. Gold Dot Short Barrel +P Ammo. The Police Departments that issue it are very pleased with its performance. It has worked well from the 2" and 4" Guns. This is actual Street Results. Good enough for me.
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:11   #16
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I also agree on the 135g. Gold Dot Short Barrel +P Ammo. The Police Departments that issue it are very pleased with its performance. It has worked well from the 2" and 4" Guns. This is actual Street Results. Good enough for me.
While I wouldn't mind seeing another 50-100fps from this load, I agree they are solid performers and always chrono solid mid 800s in my 442 hot or cold.....something I can't say for win and rem premium defense ammo, except rem's FBI load.
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Old 10-29-2013, 05:17   #17
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The current system used by S&W has been in use since the late 40's. It is a passive Hammer Block that drops out of the way when the trigger is pulled. It is not a Transfer Bar. Ruger uses a transfer bar, not S&W.

All S&W revolvers made since WW2 are perfectly safe fully loaded.
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Old 10-29-2013, 05:25   #18
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How does the hammer block drop out of the way? Gravity? Spring? Lever attached to the trigger being pulled?

The diagram above (perhaps a Ruger) shows a transfer bar that is levered up until it is between the the hammer and the pin, thus transferring the force from the hammer to the pin.

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Old 04-20-2014, 00:54   #19
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I was also sceptical after seeing the fixed FP on my older smith 36. After some expirimentation- i TRIED to get the gun to fire by slipping the hammer without pulling the trigger- and had no luck. The J Knudhausen manual revealed why this system is safe- it has about 4 internal safeties in it, without the trigger being pulled, the FP cannot reach the primer. There is a step on the trigger return block that prevents the hammer from going all the way forward UNLESS the trigger is pulled. Otherwise, it comes up short.

In short- load 5 and trust it.

S+W bought IJ, and thus the rights to the transfer bar, and several other small companies a long time ago, and incorperated many of thier ideas into their guns. The "hammer the hammer" thing was an IJ invention, but is still present in current smiths.

Pop that side plate off, and slowly dry fire the unloaded gun, and then just pull the hammer back and let it go, finger off trigger, and watch the internal parts and you will trust it.

Rugers are my first choice, but smith makes a good little gun too.
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