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Old 09-23-2012, 12:38 AM   #1
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Default S&W Model 60 Safe To Load All 5 Chambers??

My dad recently passed away and mom found his old Chief's Special .38. I went over today to check it out for her and found there is no hammer safety/transfer bar on it (the hammer has a firing pin attached that strikes the primer directly). My question is is it safe to load all 5 chambers or must there be an empty chamber left beneath the hammer? (this is a 5-shot revolver).

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Old 09-23-2012, 01:07 AM   #2
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Load all five and don't drop it!

They have been carried for years fully loaded.

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Old 09-23-2012, 02:04 AM   #3
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Try this- With an EMPTY revolver. with the hammer in it's usual position, try pushing on the hammer with your thumb. Notice it does not move. Notice that the firing pin does not protrude thru the FP hole.

When you pull the trigger ALL the way back, hammer will drop, FP will protrude. Release trigger- firing pin and hammer move back to the safe position.

THAT is the safety of a double action revolver. If you load all chambers, the gun will not fire unless trigger is all the way back. If you drop it in such a manner as to BREAK the hardened hammer, and drive it forward, it MIGHT fire. However, that design has pretty much been in use since 1899, and it has not been a noted problem. Clamp it in a vise, whack it right on the hammer with a 2 lb ball pein hammer, it MIGHT break and fire. So don't DO that!

Load all chambers, and holster it. It was made to be carried that way. This does NOT apply to old model single action revolvers.

Remember- Keep yer booger hook off the bangswitch until you intend to fire.

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Old 09-23-2012, 03:42 AM   #4
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It likely does actually have a hammer block. I'm not sure on all model Smith and Wessons, but if you take the side plate off, you should see this funny looking flat rod thingy that is designed to slide up and down. Has a flat hook looking doohickey that gets in front of the hammer, blocking it unless the trigger is pulled. Part number 034 in the diagram below. Bottom center.

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Old 09-23-2012, 05:24 AM   #5
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Thanks C3 and Trip- I will check it out next time I am over there and load it up with 5!

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Old 09-23-2012, 12:53 PM   #6
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Great question. Father in law lent SWMBO his chief's special, with the instruction to only carry it with 4 rounds.

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Old 09-23-2012, 01:07 PM   #7
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I owned a model 60 Chiefs Special for years, but never carried it due to my simple dislike of the DAO aspect of a revolver. Kept it for its reliability as a home defense weapon. But I sold it recently to fund my Sig p229 purchase.

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Old 09-23-2012, 06:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drvsafe View Post
I owned a model 60 Chiefs Special for years, but never carried it due to my simple dislike of the DAO aspect of a revolver. Kept it for its reliability as a home defense weapon. But I sold it recently to fund my Sig p229 purchase.
The one I am talking about is single/double action.
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by partdeux View Post
Great question. Father in law lent SWMBO his chief's special, with the instruction to only carry it with 4 rounds.
Dad had it loaded with 4, but it looks like that was unnecessary.
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikingdad

Dad had it loaded with 4, but it looks like that was unnecessary.
Just a throwback to the days of "5 beans in the wheel". Many old timers felt safer that way because it was pounded into their heads by their fathers and grandfathers.
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