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Thread: Hammer or Hammerless?

  1. #1
    Regular Member Custodian's Avatar
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    I bought a copy of my department's official, non special unit sidearm, the S&W M&P 40. This pistol is hammerless and without mechanical safeties in the .40 S&W cal. Simply put this weapon is hot when you rack the slide.

    I got a friend who hates these types of weapons. He prefers the more defensive and psychological options of having a mechanical safety (for his peace of mind) and a hammer (for the psychological effect on the enemy).

    I hate those items. Its just more to go wrong and gets in the way when you need to fire as most of us will be firing from as a defensive reaction to a deadly force situation.

    If you prefer the good to go option, why? If you don't and need the comfort of the safeties and hammers (unless your state requires such nonsense... how dare they have input on the type of weapon you buy), why?

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    I have both, and like both. With my XD being ready to fire is as simple as drawing, and since I have good handling skills not having a manual safety is not an issue. I also have a 1911, and the hammer is always cocked, and flipping the safety off as I am drawing is easily accomplished with a little practice. I occasionally carry a revolver, but since it is a DA, the hammer is not something to worry about.

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    My primary carry sidearms are an XD and a Sig P228 SA/DA. Neither has manual safeties. When I decided to start shooting again and carrying I hadn't shot a handgun in many years and had only carried years before during rural outdoor activities. At that time I opted for no manual safeties (although both have internal safeties) as I didn't want to have to re-learn shooting, and learn about carrying, and have all the stress of starting to carry while trying to build the muscle memory to effectively use a manual safety.

    As to the hammer vs hammerless though, one of them has a hammer and the other is striker fired. I don't find the hammer has all that much effect on things either way.

    Now that I have a few years and several thousands rounds back in the shooting sport, I'm not worried about carrying a manual safety sidearm. My small frame deep concealment/BUG has a manual safety and I easily have trained myself to use it and to flick the safety off on the draw. So for me I don't really have a lot of preference as long as the safety is positioned correctly and makes sense. After that it just depends on the need. I don't want an XD with a safety as I think it unnecessary. A 1911 needs a safety for proper operation.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Custodian wrote:
    I bought a copy of my department's official, non special unit sidearm, the S&W M&P 40. This pistol is hammerless and without mechanical safeties in the .40 S&W cal. Simply put this weapon is hot when you rack the slide.

    I got a friend who hates these types of weapons. He prefers the more defensive and psychological options of having a mechanical safety (for his peace of mind) and a hammer (for the psychological effect on the enemy).

    I hate those items. Its just more to go wrong and gets in the way when you need to fire as most of us will be firing from as a defensive reaction to a deadly force situation.

    If you prefer the good to go option, why? If you don't and need the comfort of the safeties and hammers (unless your state requires such nonsense... how dare they have input on the type of weapon you buy), why?

    Custodian out.
    a J-frame like that is great...as a resourceto get you to a real fighting pistol.

  5. #5
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    Depends what you want to use it for. If it's for duty, obviously your department has considered the liabilities involved. For personal use, I would recommend a weapon with at least one safety system to prevent accidental discharge. I go with double-action weapons, generally. Courts in jurisdictions and regions that are unfriendly towards private ownership and use of firearms tend to nitpick the weapon when deciding your justifiability in a shooting. Civil courts are even worse; criminals suing intended victims for damages from justifiable self-defense shootings became a large enough problem to prompt several states to enact laws preventing it. In a state without those protections, your wide-open weapon can be a liability in defending yourself from an award large enough to destroy everything you've worked for and continue to work for, all payable to a criminal or his family who you already had to defend against once. Just my two cents.

    And did everyone forget that S&W sold out to Slick Willie? Why the hell did you buy a gun from those traitors, of all people? I wouldn't buy atwo-cent screw from S&W.

  6. #6
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    There's nothing to go wrong with a 1911. Manipulating the thumb safety is as easy and natural as getting the trigger through the long pull to the break on a DA or "safe-action" trigger. If anything, the simple click of the thumb safety (accomplished through the natural grip assumption and weapon presentation procedure) followed by the similarly simple click of the trigger releasing the hammer are easier to quickly and efficiently accomplish with minimal unintentional stress-induced inaccuracies than a "safe-action" style trigger.

  7. #7
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    And did everyone forget that S&W sold out to Slick Willie? Why the hell did you buy a gun from those traitors, of all people? I wouldn't buy atwo-cent screw from S&W.
    FWIW: At the time of the Clinton era agreement, S&W was owned by a British company. It has since been bought by an American company, the senior management was completely turned over although a senior sales VP who quit over the agreement was rehired, and the current management has stated that their legal opinion is that the agreement, which was never enforced, is now unenforceable and they have further stated that they have certain funds set aside to fight it if the gov't ever tried to enforce it and they in no way agree with the actions of the previous owner and management. I have posted these facts before on the forum and other members have verified the veracity.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    I tend to go back and forth on this issue in my own head. At the end of the day though, my primary carry weapon is an XD-45 with a manual safety. I do like that there are 4 safeties on my firearm. I have practiced drawing enough that disengaging the manual one is second nature and the others are disengaged by just holding and firing it correctly. In fact, the manual safety is in the same place and operates very similarly to a 1911 safety. I like that. It's just one more thing to possibly prevent a ND. Maybe I'm overly paranoid, but I just feel better about carrying condition 1 on a daily basis with that extra safety. However, I do realize that the most important safety is between the ears. As somone on this forum says (can't remember who) "Keep your booger hook off the bang switch."

    ok, that wasn't coherent. Let me try this again in one sentence:
    I understand not wanting manual safeties to be an obstacle when it counts, however, with practice the draw can include disengaging the safety so that it is not a detriment in a situation where you need to use your weapon.



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  10. #10
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    deepdiver wrote:
    FWIW: At the time of the Clinton era agreement, S&W was owned by a British company. It has since been bought by an American company, the senior management was completely turned over although a senior sales VP who quit over the agreement was rehired, and the current management has stated that their legal opinion is that the agreement, which was never enforced, is now unenforceable and they have further stated that they have certain funds set aside to fight it if the gov't ever tried to enforce it and they in no way agree with the actions of the previous owner and management. I have posted these facts before on the forum and other members have verified the veracity.
    I wasn't aware of the watch change at S&W, after their colossal sellout I stopped paying any attention to them or what they were doing. Thanks for the correction, I'll reevaluate their worthiness for my business.

  11. #11
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    I'm a DA/SA kind of guy. I like just being able to pull the trigger and fire, but I'm not super comfortable with that low power first pull you have on striker fired guns (Glocks and M&Ps for example.) I want it so that you have to want to pull the trigger the first time (I know, I know. Rule 3 and all that, but I'm a little paranoid.) When I go to revolvers, I prefer the 640 over the 642. I like the ability to cock the hammer to reduce the trigger pull, but at the same time having it shielded so it can't be hampered by clothing.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    My carry sidearms consist of just two brands: Glock and Kahr. And the reasons are the same for both of these manufacturers. They are DAO pistols, with the Kahr being a true DAO. Neither have any external safeties or hammer drop levers. If I have to pull my weapon and use it, the last thing I want to have to worry about is anything other than pointing and pulling the trigger. Both of these companies' products will do just that.

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