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Thread: Revolver without transfer bar

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    My mother's soon to be carry gun once she gets her ccw is her 20 year old S&W .38 snubbie. When I was looking at it recently I noticed that it didn't have a transfer bar. It's a stainless steel with a less than 3 inch barrel, so I think it must be a model 60.

    I am no revolver expert so I wanted to get some advice from the rest of you. Should she be carrying and storing her S&W with an empty cylinder under the hamme seeing as the firing pin is right there? Are there other internal safeties on an S&W to prevent a ND from dropping?

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    If it is indeed a Model 60, there is no problem with "one under the hammer".....all S&W revolvers of "modern design" (since the early 1940s') have a "hammer block" that is in place until the trigger is pulled.

    This is a current production Model 60....hope this helps


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    Regular Member thx997303's Avatar
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    if it really doesn't have a transfer bar, then there should not be a round under the hammer.



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    You could talk to a gunsmith or call S&W with the serial number to see what safetiesit has.

    I can't imagine a 20 yr old snubbie with 5 chambers is intended to be carried with only four loaded.

    Also, you might be able to successfully request an owner's manual if they still have them in print.
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    thx997303 wrote:
    if it really doesn't have a transfer bar, then there should not be a round under the hammer.
    S&W designs don't use transfer bars....they have the firing pin "fixed" to the hammer and not mounted in the frame.
    They have a "hammer block" that prevents the firing pin from contacting the primer unless the trigger is pulled.
    Unless it is 50+ years old, it is safe to carry "hot".....

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    Regular Member thx997303's Avatar
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    Eh, whatever it's called, if this safety is absent, then it is not safe to carry with one under the hammer, We obviously have no actual idea of the model.

    Of course, I don't remember when they started making stainless steel revolvers.

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    thx997303 wrote:
    Eh, whatever it's called, if this safety is absent, then it is not safe to carry with one under the hammer, We obviously have no actual idea of the model.

    Of course, I don't remember when they started making stainless steel revolvers.
    Eh?...whatever it's called?....why would you want to call it anything other than what it is? Would you call a DAO revolver a semi-auto just because you can fire multiple shots with either by pulling the trigger multiple times? (after being loaded of course)
    The "transfer bar" and the "hammer block" are two very distinctive and different parts that accomplish two very different and distinctive functions and are used in two very different revolver designs.....both however, do act as a safety mechanism....they actually work in reverse to each other in a sense though. I can explain in more detail if you'd like...
    Not trying to be a smart@$$...but I believe in giving accurate information.

    Valid point but, since it is a "stainless snubby", that is a VERY good indication that it is of "modern design" (since the 1950s at least) and will have the hammer block....unless it has been "shadetree smithed"
    All S&W revolvers made since the Model 1905 (last version made in 1940) have the hammer block.....at least according to the assembly/disassembly books that I have (they cover all S&W revolvers
    back to the Model 1880 and the "New Departure" (circa 1887) with the exception of the new VLF model)


    @asforme...if you can post the actual model number (usually on the barrel), I can confirm whether it was made with a hammer block....

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    Regular Member thx997303's Avatar
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    Listen, I have no problem with being corrected, but I can tear apart and put back together any firearm out there with the proper tools. I don't care what it's called, I just care that it functions and it's there.

    I think I saw a few S&W's that had an internal firing pin, but they might not have been S&W's. Not sure, I'll have to check.

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    thx997303 wrote:
    Listen, I have no problem with being corrected, but I can tear apart and put back together any firearm out there with the proper tools. I don't care what it's called, I just care that it functions and it's there.

    I think I saw a few S&W's that had an internal firing pin, but they might not have been S&W's. Not sure, I'll have to check.
    No offense intended but, I find that statement to be a bit on the bold side considering your lack of understanding the difference between a transfer bar and a hammer block....again, two very different parts that accomplish two very different functions. If you don't know/care about/understand the differences, how could you possibly accomplish such a task...let alone guarantee proper function after you "tear it apart"?
    Do you know the timing steps that MUST take place when a revolver is operated?....if you "put it back together" out of time, it will not function properly...keep that in mind if you decide to "tear one apart". Many other firearms have timing issues to deal with as well.
    Hell, I've been 'smithing as a hobby for 30+ years AND have the tools/manuals....even with that, I would never make such an arrogant comment......but that's just me.

    According to the manuals that I have, (again, they cover from 1880 to present excepting the new VLF model) S&W has never made a revolver with an "internal" firing pin....unless you count the "New Departure" or one of the newer enclosed hammer models.....

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    Regular Member thx997303's Avatar
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    Actually, that came across as pretty offensive, yes I will agree it is a bit of an exageration, but I am pretty well mechanically inclined. I don't use parts diagrams to disasemble or reasemble firearms, and have had many revolvers torn down into tiny little pieces, and every single one of them that I took apart and put back together, worked just perfectly afterward.

    If I could find the pictures of my S&W Model 10 completely disasembled, I would post them, but they are not on the memory card that I thought they were one.

    I can take guns apart, then put them back together exactly as it was, or repaired if need be.

    I'm not trying to argue with you, I just am not big enough into gunsmithing to need to know the exact name of the part, If my guns or my family's guns break, I figure out the part I need, then I find a parts diagram, figure out what the part is called, and get it. I then promptly forget what the part is called.

    And where did you get that I don't understand the difference? You are just getting on my nerves with your snobbery.

    It's the same attitude you run into with mechanics. They assume that any person that doesn't know as much about cars as they do is a retard, and treat them as such.

    Do you know the difference between an alternator and a generator? If you do, then you will realize that without one or the other, the vehicle is not going to function for long. Hence you probably don't care what it's called, you just want to know that it's there and it works.





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    I don't have the number but I know it was bought new 20 years ago. Like I said, I'm no revolver expert so I thought every modern revolver had a transfer bar, apparently S&W is different.

    But this revolver is no more than 25 years old max, so I will take it that it's safe. It would be a pretty bad design to make a 5 shot revolver that can only safely carry 4.

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    thx997303 wrote:
    Actually, that came across as pretty offensive

    My apologies if you were offended...that was not my intention. There just seems to be an over abundance of people on the net that think they know how to work on firearms....most prove their ignorance pretty quick.

    S&W Model 10

    The Model 60s internal mechanism is very similar to the Model 10 with the exception of the mainspring...as are all S&W revolvers of "moder design
    (Mod 10 is large frame and Mod 60 is small frame).....the hammer block is almost exactly the same except maybe the size.....


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    asforme wrote:
    I don't have the number but I know it was bought new 20 years ago. Like I said, I'm no revolver expert so I thought every modern revolver had a transfer bar, apparently S&W is different.

    But this revolver is no more than 25 years old max, so I will take it that it's safe. It would be a pretty bad design to make a 5 shot revolver that can only safely carry 4.
    If it's no more than 25 years old it should be fine....

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    Why doesn't somebody look under the crane and see what model # is stamped there? I carry a stainless mod. 60 as a BG and that is where mine is identified.

    There is a simple way to check as to whether the hammer block is functioning as designed:

    1) Open the cylinder and look to see if the hammer nose (firing pin) is protruding though the hammer nose bushing - if it is or if pressure on the hammer can cause it to do so then the hammer block isdefective/damaged/missing.

    2) With the cylinder still open, hold the cylinder release back and squeeze and hold the trigger back - you should observe the hammer nosestrike through the bushing where it wouldhit the primer on a loaded weapon. It should stay protuding through as long as you maintain pressure on the trigger. Then with everything elsethe same,release the trigger - the hammer should be forced back by the hammer block and the hammer nose should no longer visible though the bushing.

    All of that being said, if I had a serious question about the safety of a weapon I would have it checked out by a competant gunsmith.

    Yata hey


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    Regular Member thx997303's Avatar
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    Hehehe, I was just about to say that, but you beat me.

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    Thanks for the advice GrapeShot. I can't look currently because I live 700 miles away from my Mother, but I'll try to see if she can get me the model number.

    I figured it had to have some safety mechanism but the only one I knew of on a revolver was the transfer bar.

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    I am hardly an expert, but I do know that revolvers have been carried safely for well over a hundred years now, and most of that time they had no mechanical safety. My advise is, if she can take care of it and feels she can carry it safely, then do so.

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    Thanks for the info grapeshot! I just checked that on my mod. 64-5, made in 1988. I knew it had the hammer block and I knew it worked since I did a similar check before I bought it, but your way makes it easier to see

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    Regular Member thx997303's Avatar
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    Yes Fogrider, but when they had no safety they left the one under the hammer empty. If you had a revolver with no safety and put one under the hammer, you would blow a hole in your leg eventually.

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    thx997303 wrote:
    Yes Fogrider, but when they had no safety they left the one under the hammer empty. If you had a revolver with no safety and put one under the hammer, you would blow a hole in your leg eventually.
    Early Ruger Super Blackhawks that were pre-transfer bar could have that happen. Ruger offered (and still offers) a free upgrade to the transfer bar system. Just send in the gun and Ruger will make everything better

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    I don't know anything about this weapon , but you might try this with it. Many revolvers Double action or single action have a "one click" safety position. Try slowly pulling the hammer back with your thumb, from the home position and listen for a click. This should happen after you have pulled it back less than a 1/4 inch. If it does, and you can't push it forward again, that is your safety.

    My boss tells me that some semi-auto's have this feature, too.

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    Task Force 16 wrote:
    I don't know anything about this weapon , but you might try this with it. Many revolvers Double action or single action have a "one click" safety position. Try slowly pulling the hammer back with your thumb, from the home position and listen for a click. This should happen after you have pulled it back less than a 1/4 inch. If it does, and you can't push it forward again, that is your safety.

    My boss tells me that some semi-auto's have this feature, too.
    Welcome Tast Force 16. Listen and learn, enjoy and be responsible.

    Please, please do not consider nor accept a 'half cocked" position of the hammer as a safety or "on safe". It is not safe!

    Shooters of old style SA revolvers traditionally carry with "5 beans in a barrel" that is with the hammer resting on an empty cylinder for good reason!

    Knowledgeable gunnies (we all should be) never put or leave the hammer of their semi-auto pistol (think 1911) in this precarious position,

    The clicks you are hearing are internals changing postion, metal setting against metal as part of the cycling process - different with different design weapons.

    I do not mean to be harsh with you but you state "I don't know anything about this weapon" than you cannot give advice or suggestions on what someone "might try." This is precisely how some ADs, I prefer NDs, occur.

    Again - DO NOT DO THIS!

    Yata hey

    PS - the most effective safety on all weapons is located on the upper end of the mechanism operating the grip controller and the trigger engagement devise.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    My S&W 1905 3rd Change made around 1909-1910 has some kind of block on the hammer so these features have been around for a long, long time.
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    deepdiver wrote:
    My S&W 1905 3rd Change made around 1909-1910 has some kind of block on the hammer so these features have been around for a long, long time.
    IIRC, the 1905 was the first S&W DA to have this feature. It was mounted in the side plate and moved in the horizontal by a camming action where following models use a vertical motion actuated by a pin in the trigger rebound slide....both are very effective and "fool proof" since they require no action from the user.

    Edit to add:
    I agree 100% with Grapeshot....never do this! Do some research on the old phrase "Don't go off half cocked" and it's origins...you will have a better understanding of why this is so dangerous.


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    I didn't mean to infer that the First click position was a sure fire safety, but it does protect against the gun going off incase the hammer were to be bumped. I didn't trust it against a real hard blow, like falling off a dresser or table, when I had a .22 single action. I left a spend cartridge in the cylinder, under the hammer, when I wasn't using it.

    And it wasn't exactly half cocked either. When I pulled the hammer back to the first click, it was back maybe 3/16th of an inch. I had to half cock it for loading, to release the wheel.

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