Skip to comments.Hammer/Hammerless Pistols
Posted on 12/08/2011 1:28:50 PM PST by CodeJockey
I am taking my CCW class on 12/17 and am excited about finally making it happen. Ive been doing so much research (on-line initially) on pistols and really dont want to jump the gun (no pun intended) and go out and purchase something inappropriate.
I will want to own two pistols initially. One for home defense and the other for concealed carry.
My question: Striker fired vs double/single action with a good old fashioned hammer. Both have pros and cons, but from what I have read it just boils down to a matter of personal preference. There are tons of forums that talk about the issue, but I always value my FRiends opinions.
(Btw I rally like the Walther PPS 9mm (striker fire) for concealed.)
I had a Para Carry 9 before I went with a Kimber Ultra Carry II. I loved the Para, but I just wanted something in a larger caliber. I’d give the Para LDA line a look.
I like Rugers because I'm frugal.
I use two for CC, a Taurus .38 Ultralight revolver and a Ruger SR9C 9mm auto. Both hammerless. It really is personal preference...but I don’t want to snag on something if I need it quick. My 2 cents...
Ask your instructor and classmates. Rent different weapons, and see what feels and suits you best.
I have a SW MP which is Double only. It’s fine, but for pleasure it’s nice to have a double/single or a single only. I really miss my 1911 for fun.
I am pretty sure that John Browning preferred striker or hidden hammer on his pistols but designed some of them with hammers because that is what the manufacturer or buyer wanted.
I personally prefer hammers as it is so easy to tell they are cocked. Also prefer some type of mechanism to safely drop the hammer with a live round in the chamber.
I got a .38 revolver for my wife. I like the reliability of a revolver not jamming. We chose the recessed hammer design. There is enough there to pull it back with your thumb, but not anything that could snag when drawing your weapon.
Good advise, he is a 30 year veteran of our local police department. I am sure he will have an opinion.
I have a .22 revolver to bring to the range. Nothing fancy, but I'm starting from square one.
I don’t think you can beat a hammerless snubbie 38 Special or 357 mag for everyday carry. I don’t like hammers because they can snag on your clothes. In a real life situation that could cost you your life. Any likely confrontation will likely be at point blank range, so you don’t need to cock it. I like that you can easily carry them in a pocket in any weather (with or without a holster as you prefer), and slip your hand on it without drawing attention. And there’s no safety to forget about, and no jamming issues.
If you like a small .380 like the Walther, I would opt for the Sig Sauer P232.
My wife really likes her hammerless S&W bodyguard .38 with handy laser. Truly a point and click interface.
I’ve been carrying a Colt Python .357 lately. It was my fathers, and is probably the most accurate weapon I’ve ever shot. Believe it or not, it conceals nicely with a 6” barrel.
Othertimes, it’s a GLOCK in .40.
It really depends on what I am wearing.
I liked the SR9 so much I bought the LC9 on black Friday. My first pistol was a Ruger SingleSix. My other handguns are mostly DA/SA CZs and a Browning hi-power.
Btw, the best pocket holster I’ve found for the LC9 is at High Noon holsters. Add’l mags are a little pricey at $30.00, Cheaper than Dirt.
I use a S&W Model 60 or 686 for concealed carry. The 60 is easier to conceal, the 686 better for general shooting and home defense - but I carry it sometimes.
I like having the hammer, because I normally fire single action. If there is any prep time at all, I pull the gun and get ready to use it with my thumb on the hammer. If I raise it all the way, that means I’ve decided I have to shoot. For that, I practice cocking as I raise it.
I don’t pocket carry, and my thumb normally covers the hammer as I pull anyways. I’ve only pulled a gun once for real, 30 years ago. It was a 22, and there were 8 guys, but they stopped trying to surround me when the gun appeared in my hand. One advantage to the 22 was that I had fired perhaps 10,000 rounds thru it, so I was completely comfortable with it.
That is the advantage to the 686 for me. I shoot it a lot for fun, so I know it far better than the 60. But it is harder to conceal...
Ruger LCR (revolver). Hammerless. Pistol design really absorbs recoil, saves your thumb and wrist and keeps you on target better.
Also has double action. Great for you because you’ll never accidentally shoot more than you have to - some lawyers like to argue gun design because with single pull you may shoot one more time than needed. If you admit that depending what state you’re in, you’ve just screwed yourself.
What he said. I've carried for years. I love glocks. I love shooting 1911s. I love HK usp's. And I've carried them all and shot them all in competition.
I was highly skeptical when a buddy suggested I try a S&W .38+P airweight revolver with the totally shrouded double-action only hammer. It only took a week and some serious retraining and practice, but it's pretty much all I carry now. Super safe, super reliable, drops in a pocket or waistband with no effort, carries beautifully in the appendix position, and is easily the most concealable and versatile non-mouse gun I've ever owned.
PPK in .380. easy to conceal. Doesn’t snag. Comfortable trigger pull. Learn to shoot it without sighting. Excellent stopping power. Very dependable and durable.
My wife has one of these with a Crimson Trace sight. She really loves it! (She is a small lady, but handles the .45 just fine.)
I carry a 38 snubby in my boot, and it's really concealed.
At times I also carry a 357 but unless I've got on loose and/or heavy clothes I might as well open carry that big boy.
Mine has it, as well. It was a promo item at the local shop. Love it. Had to slightly alter my grip so I don’t obstruct the laser, however. I still like to use my full size 1911 for target shooting, but it’s nice to know I have a compact that I can use reflexively, if necessary.
What can you hit with? Remember, a .22 that hits is worth way more than the 9 mm that misses or the .44 mag that is in the safe. Your first choice should be about what you can shoot accurately under pressure. I once knew a granny that could shoot your eye out at 25 feet with a .22. VERY SCARRY what she could do.
If hammer / no hammer causes you to miss or fumble with the weapon, don’t get it. And practice practice practice.
Take a look at the cell pal holster. I am at work and the site is blocked so I cant give you the URL. You can google “cell pal” and it will find it. It will hide even a large frame in shorts, skirts and with out the need for baggy clothes.
I alternate between carrying a Kahr P 380 and a S&W 340 PD. I give the edge to the 340 PD for joy of carrying BUT I like shooting the P 380 far more. I have owned and shot the PM40 and PM 9 (Kahr) and they are both excellent as well. The p 380 is just flatter and lighter and less like a lump in the pocket.
That's pretty much the case, though of course for concealed work, you don't have to concern yourself with the possibility of a hammer spur hanging up on holster or clothing if your carry piece doesn't have one. That's not just a nudge in the direction of a striker-fired design, however; there are a number of small revolvers available with shrouded hammers or hammerless designs that also qualify.
I've been carrying a number of handguns on a frequent or daily basis since I first qualified with the M1911A1 .45 as a young Army tank crewman in 1966. While the 1911A1 and Browning GP in 8mm have frequently been the one carrier, I've also got a long association with the Walther P.38 as well [the sights work very well for me, particularly at night] and all three models are open-hammer designs. I've also owned most versions and calibers of the Glock at one time or another since the late 1980s, and found they didn't fit my hand well- your milage may vary, but I do like the old 9mm Model 17.
If you do go with both a *defense* hoime gun and a smaller concealment rig, I'd strongly urge you to pick a pair in the same caliber, preferably the largest you can shoot well; the ability to use the same magazines in both guns would be a plus.
And I'd urge you to consider a third handgun as well, a .22 version [or .22 conversion kit] as similar to your working handguns as possible.
One more thing: after a long preference for semiauto handguns, I suffered a serious injury to my right hand in the early 1990s and had that hand in a cast for most of a year. It was at that time that I renewed my acquaintance with a couple of my old revolvers that had been semi-retired. And I find I still shoot most of them better left-handed than I do my semiautos.
Yeah. I mostly shoot with both hands, but there are some times when that's not possible, such as when your strong hand is in a cast. And even when it's not injured when you start out the day, such injury can happen at the most inconvenient of times, so practice working with either hand solo, and using either your master or weak eye.
With a nice little lazer on my Kimber I feel real safe.
Wife needed a nice fail safe weapon and a .38 hammerless is perfect for a newbie.
I guess the best advise I've received is no matter what weapon I decide on... practice practice practice. And practice some more.
fwiw it's worth, I love this site:
A bigger gun with big sights and a tac light is better for home defense (hard to go wrong with a .357 revolver).
A smaller gun is usually better for concealed carry. 9mm and .380 seem to be the most popular, but a .38 snubby will do the job as well.
Not quite sure what State you are from, but there is a minimum caliber in Texas that you can qualify with. Check with your instructor.
For home defense, 590 Mossberg with 4/O buck loaded to the gills .
As far as pistols, shoot as many as you can before you make a decision. BUT, the biggest thing to remember, is practice like you carry.....and practice often.
There are a whole lot of guns which would be fine for concealed carry, some obviously better than others.
One of the best ever and still a perfectly good choice would be the Browning model 1910 in either .32 or .380 cal.
Very smooth with nothing to snag on. Could be carried cocked with the safety catch off. One has only to grab it and pull the trigger as the grip safety would automatically be depressed by the act of firing.
Nothing wrong with a .22 revolver.
I have an ASP that still works fine....... I couldn’t host the pics from here so just linked a few like mine. Loves 147gr OSM......:o)
But I am fond of 4 CHL/CCW rigs.
S&W 13 (old FiBi issue)
Consistency is accuracy.
Striker/DAO/SA go bang the same way every time. DA-SA do not, and so inherently require more training to reach and maintain equivalent levels of proficiency.
For a handgun, home defense I will suggest you consider a Glock 35 with an aftermarket 29 round extended magazine and a Surefire X400 rail light.
This is gun, flashlight, spare ammo all in one for Oh Bump Dark Thirty.
If ya have any possibility of a child getting their hands on I will suggest a simple S&W revolver with the magnatrigger modifications.
Your own ring can be modified with the magnet for this modification. I have this on a 681 S&W and a S&W Mod 13. Flawless operation , reliable. Plus is if bad guy disarms you or your spouse it’s then just a club in their hands. mod is not visible. Only down side IMO is ya need to wear a ring on each hand juuuuuust in case right or left hand is injured etc ...
I use the extended high capacity magazines in the Glock 35 that I converted to 357SIG with a KKM after market barrel with a fully supported chamber. The X400 rail light, the extended mag makes it a good house gun for my needs.
But if ya have little ones around , trained , disciplined, educated or not....I’d suggest the Magnatriggered S&W revolver as a “unattended” aka not on you at home......house gun .
Honestly a “house gun” should be a 12 gauge shotgun IMO. The handguns I described above are used if I cant get to the 12 gauge shotgun which is always my first choice.
Just some suggestions that work for me.
Stay safe !
Then the sale on these arrived in my email today.
We've already got a couple of Taurus revolvers in the armory so this is a pretty easy decision to make if you ask me. Would I prefer them in .357? Yep. Can I get them in .357 at this price? Nope.
Hope your well, my friend.
Interesting. Mine liked the old Illinois State Police 100-grain load, though many of the ISP Model 39s and 59s did not. The load was pretty sorry for use against humans, but a great bunnyrabbit stopper, so much so that I behan using a 9mm [39 or Browning GP] instead of a .22. And for business, the ASP fed Super-vel 90 JHPs just fine.
But I am fond of 4 CHL/CCW rigs.
Me too. I like both full 1911A1s and Combat Commanders, favoring a reworked Argentine FMAP M27 at the moment. And my Armand Swenson Commander-sized cutdown, done by him before Colt offered the CC commercially, was built with an Argie M27 frame and LW Commander slide.
Only Glock I have at the moment is out on loan- a young pal needed a Glock 17 for work and traded me the Model 22 his folks gave him for his highschool graduation for it. I've kept it in the box, he'll want that back someday, and I'll see to it he gets it...he told 'em all he wanted for a present was a *Glock 22 pistol....*
The mini-glocks don't work too well for me, but I've had a G30, traded it on my G17 [my third] and would like to live with a G36, maybe.
S&W 13 (old FiBi issue)
I've always favoured the M10/Victory, M15 or Model 12 lightweight in the K-frame, gotta have a grip adaptor on it, and nost of the feebieyes I knew in the wheelgun days either had GAs or rubber grips on their guns. The ex-OSI USAF guns, model 19s with round butt and 4-inch barrel were much-loved, and that's what my uncle Denny carried while with the USSS Whitehouse detail...and backed it up with a .38 Super Commander.
I traded a Gestapo Model P.38 for mine. Still beats most of the micro-9s on the market from Rooger and Kel-tec, etc.