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Old 08-09-2017, 04:12 PM
shakyshoot shakyshoot is online now
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Okay, I'm sure this has been asked before, but I can't find anything. I'm debating between a 638 Airweight with the "concealed" hammer or the 637 with a conventional hammer. I'd probably pocket carry it at times, so the 638 has an obvious advantage there. Thing is, I like to shoot my guns recreationally, even the little ones. I realize snubbies are basically intended for double action shooting, but say for the sake of argument I wanted to shoot 50 straight rounds single action. Would I start to think it was a pain? Would it wear a hole in my thumb? Or is it a lot like working a conventional hammer? What about the unlikely event that I'd want to lower the hammer without shooting? Would it be easy or a bit tricky? I have the chance to buy either gun brand new for $304, but looks like I might have to do it today.
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:20 PM
326MOD10 326MOD10 is offline
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I have a 638 and have shot it some, but not much. I also have a 49 and 649 which operate in a the same manner but are both older and more used.

The cocking of the hammer gets easier over time but would be something that you would want to dry fire doing to loosen it up somewhat. You could also use snap caps to practice both of these things and see what you think, especially dropping the hammer on a live round.

I don't know that I would enjoy firing 50 straight rounds by cocking that hammer and it could be a bit tedious.

I don't believe I would feel as comfortable lowering the hammer on a loaded chamber if it was cocked.

I bought mine for DAO purposes and the fact that I like their looks. Day to day though I carry a 642.

Last edited by 326MOD10; 08-11-2017 at 09:04 AM. Reason: wording
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:21 PM
Rpg Rpg is online now
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For me, any handgun with an exposed hammer is no good for pocket carry.

The 638 hammer is readily accessible for thumb cocking and can easily be lowered if not necessary. Learn to use the weak hand thumb for cocking.
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:58 PM
Whisper Whisper is offline
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I have a 1980s version 638 that I shoot double action and single action. I don't find it any more difficult to manipulate than an exposed-hammer gun. But the humpback does greatly reduce chances of the gun hanging up on something during a draw from concealment. Excellent little heater. Buy it.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:14 PM
Model520Fan Model520Fan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shakyshoot View Post
Would it wear a hole in my thumb?
Can't say for sure about today's revolvers, but a Model 38 that I bought around 1967 did wear a hole in my thumb. It took many months, or maybe a year, for the scar to disappear. I always chalked it up to a mid-sixties decline in quality control, but I believe that I later bought a first-rate Model 19, and later some other good-quality S&W revolvers before an unquestionable quality decline in the early to mid seventies. Perhaps others will chime in with more reliable dates.

Anyway, I thought it was QC. Maybe it really was the Bodyguard design. Can't say, because I sold that one and didn't buy another.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:46 PM
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I don't feel the need to cock my J-Frames. I practice double action 99% of the time with the Two that have a hammer. I would rather shoot and carry my 442s anyway.
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:50 PM
shakyshoot shakyshoot is online now
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Thanks all--I'm leaning towards the 638, but I think I'd better wait til I can fondle one in person. I've been in Cabela's twice in the last 10 days, but I was kind of rushed for time on both occasions.
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:14 AM
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I have the little brother to the 638, a nice 438 that I love. Cocking it for single action does require a strong thumb, as I have not run enough rounds through it, yet, to smooth out the action. If your choice is the 638, I would expect the same. Just make sure that everything is lubed properly for break-in, and to make it a little easier on your thumb. The hammer spur is quite a bit smaller than one which is exposed and has quite a bite to it. I once had thoughts about "de-horning" it, but rapidly came to my senses. The aggressive checkering/knurling IS needed for these puppies.
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:22 AM
white cloud white cloud is offline
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I have a M649. I love it and think it is the ultimate pocket gun. I know most say you should always shoot a J Frame pocket revolver double action but I will not give up the ability to cock mine as it gets used for pest control around the farm. Mine has been shot a lot. I don't think it will ever be as easy to cock as M60 but it is pretty darn snag proof. Using the opposite hand's thumb to cock it was mentioned above and works pretty well. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:39 AM
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Alot of people can't cock the shrouded hammer types. Better try before you buy. You're only hearing from the guys who can do it.
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:05 AM
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IMHO, if you plan to shoot single action get a full hammer. Shrouded hammers are for infrequent use - it tears up your thumb and de-cocking (uncocking?) is dicey at best. If you don't want to deal with a hammer snagging look into a 442/642. I have several J frames; some with and some without hammers. I can't recall the last time I fired one single action.
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:23 PM
washerman washerman is online now
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i,ve had a 638 for years. Great for pocket carry, no snags ever....cocking the hammer is easy . i shoot it both D/A and S/A. it is the best of both worlds. Never had a thumb issue in all the rounds through it. Highly recommend.
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