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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


View Poll Results: planning to use gun in steel challenge - replace hammer?
just shoot double action only, that thing stages nice 6 26.09%
replace the hammer 17 73.91%
Voters: 23. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 02-23-2021, 09:37 AM
49cal 49cal is offline
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Question Hammer for 617-1

Hi guys,
The spur broke off my hammer the other day. I was looking to see what replacements are available and the one that caught my eye was the Apex Mass Driver - supposed to be best for rimfire ignition.
So, looking at the Mass Driver Hammer, it doesn't have a spur!
Now I'm thinking, I'll just smooth off the spur nub with a file and have a competition hammer.
What are your thoughts?
Thanks
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Old 02-23-2021, 09:54 AM
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It may not make a difference for competition shooting, but the hammer is still readily available and should be easy to install, so I say replace. You may want to shoot it SA at some point in the future.
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Old 02-23-2021, 11:04 AM
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The reason for the Mass Driver hammer is that it has extra weight at the top because rimfire ammo takes a harder hit to set off than centerfire ammo. I would get a hammer with spur. You need the weight. The Mass Driver is only for the newer guns, I think. Check with Apex on that one.
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Old 02-23-2021, 11:52 AM
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[QUOTE=You need the weight. The Mass Driver is only for the newer guns, I think. Check with Apex on that one.[/QUOTE]

Yes they advertise it for 617-3 and above.

Good info about the weight - I was thinking a lighter hammer would accelerate faster and deliver more force.
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Old 02-23-2021, 12:08 PM
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Lets see a picture of your hammer.
I am in the boat of just filing off the nub, tightening up the spring and see if it goes bang every time. Same some cash.
I have not found that hammers just drop in without work.
Granted the apex totally eliminates the single action though and that greatly simplifies the smithing involved

Last edited by 3rdgeargrndrr; 02-23-2021 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 02-23-2021, 12:09 PM
Protocall_Design Protocall_Design is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 49cal View Post
Yes they advertise it for 617-3 and above.

Good info about the weight - I was thinking a lighter hammer would accelerate faster and deliver more force.
That's how it works on the centerfire guns. There are upper and lower limits of what works. On the rimfire, you need more of both than on the centerfire.
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Old 02-23-2021, 02:11 PM
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Picture is at this link:
617Hammer.jpg - Google Drive


Last edited by 49cal; 02-23-2021 at 02:36 PM. Reason: adding direct link to pic
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Old 02-23-2021, 02:21 PM
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It is not just that rimfires require more of a whack to set them off. Many holster straps are ineffective without the spur for them to wrap around. Eventually hammers with pivoting firing pins will become hard to find. If you wait that long to restore your 617-1's collector value it'll become an expensive hunt. More important, looking at it now must be like looking at a woman with no nose. It's easier to love a pretty face.
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Old 02-23-2021, 02:47 PM
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The .22 doesn't have a hammer nose to begin with. The older rimfire hammers are even harder to come by. There are still a few in captivity, though.
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Old 02-23-2021, 03:03 PM
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yes the firing pin is in the frame, not on the hammer.
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Old 02-23-2021, 03:27 PM
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If you're the original owner, S&W just may replace it for you.
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Old 02-23-2021, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
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If you're the original owner, S&W just may replace it for you.
I'm not - I bought it used a few weeks ago.
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Old 02-23-2021, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protocall_Design View Post
The .22 doesn't have a hammer nose to begin with. The older rimfire hammers are even harder to come by. There are still a few in captivity, though.
I should have remember that. More modern MIM hammer 617s use centerfire L frame hammers so older rimfire K frames must need older hammers. Since there's less of them it's more important to get started hunting for one unless S&W will replace it for free under warranty. Both S&W and Ruger have done a lot of warranty work without caring if the current owner bought the gun new. They probably won't ask. Both companies value their reputation and customers.
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Old 02-24-2021, 02:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k22fan View Post
I should have remember that. More modern MIM hammer 617s use centerfire L frame hammers so older rimfire K frames must need older hammers. Since there's less of them it's more important to get started hunting for one unless S&W will replace it for free under warranty. Both S&W and Ruger have done a lot of warranty work without caring if the current owner bought the gun new. They probably won't ask. Both companies value their reputation and customers.
You really can't go wrong by checking with S&W, they might just fix it under the warranty or it just might be your best bet to get it repaired even if you have to pay for it.
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Old 02-24-2021, 05:59 AM
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Most likely if your revolver was made after Smith went to the lifetime warranty they’ll repair it for free and not ask if you’re the original owner. Smith has never asked me for proof of purchase and only charged me for one repair out of the three repairs of used guns that I’ve had.
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Old 02-26-2021, 03:22 AM
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I bought a 17-4 for a very reasonable price due to a broken hammer spur years ago. Bobbed the remaining spur plumb off and have run it in DA only ever since without any dramas. I have plenty of other K frame .22s, so it hasn't been a limitation.
For Speed Challenge, that spur might as well not be there.
But amassing some spare parts isn't a bad idea.
Which reminds me of of a tag line from one of the regulars on Brian Enos' forums: (Probably paraphrasing here) "Hammer spurs are for midnight cowboys." (Fellow called "carmoney", IIRC.) Not altogether sure what that means, but those run and gun types don't have time for super precision, they just need rounds on target straight away.

Last edited by jaymoore; 02-26-2021 at 03:25 AM.
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Old 03-02-2021, 04:28 PM
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I may end up with a mass driver for my gun. The new versions still have a small spur to run single action if you choose. I want to try and replace myself but I'm definitely amateur at that stuff and don't want to bite off more.than I can chew.
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Old 03-02-2021, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 49cal View Post
Hi guys,
The spur broke off my hammer the other day. I was looking to see what replacements are available and the one that caught my eye was the Apex Mass Driver - supposed to be best for rimfire ignition.
So, looking at the Mass Driver Hammer, it doesn't have a spur!
Now I'm thinking, I'll just smooth off the spur nub with a file and have a competition hammer.
What are your thoughts?
Thanks
The Mass Drive Hammer from Apex does have a spur big enough to capture with your thumb. I was one of the first people to get the Hammer from Apex and tested it extensively.

It works as advertised but I keep my trigger pull at about 7.5 - 8 pounds so that I can shoot any of the .22 ammo I have in stock.

I'll probably be shooting it at our next Steel Challenge. I have 30 DS-10 reloaders for it so I'm all set. ( People that have won them during matches were nice enough to donate to my cause).
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Old 03-02-2021, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 49cal View Post
Hi guys,
The spur broke off my hammer the other day. I was looking to see what replacements are available and the one that caught my eye was the Apex Mass Driver - supposed to be best for rimfire ignition.
So, looking at the Mass Driver Hammer, it doesn't have a spur!
Now I'm thinking, I'll just smooth off the spur nub with a file and have a competition hammer.
What are your thoughts?
Thanks
The Mass Drive Hammer from Apex does have a spur big enough to capture with your thumb. I was one of the first people to get the Hammer from Apex and tested it extensively.



It works as advertised but I keep my trigger pull at about 7.5 - 8 pounds so that I can shoot any of the .22 ammo I have in stock.

I'll probably be shooting it at our next Steel Challenge. I have 30 DS-10 reloaders for it so I'm all set. ( People that have won them during matches were nice enough to donate to my cause).
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Old 03-03-2021, 07:23 AM
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I installed a Wolff standard mainspring and 13 lb rebound spring yesterday. I took it to the range and fired 100 rounds of Federal bulk. Two rounds didn't fire. I rotated them and shot them again. One of them fired and the other was still a dud. The firing pin marks on the empties were all the same depth.

I'm thinking this failure rate is acceptable since the double action is very nice and smooth. And a misfire doesn't slow me down in competition like my Buckmark automatic on a similar misfire.

Last edited by 49cal; 03-03-2021 at 07:30 AM.
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