S&W Model 60 Safe To Load All 5 Chambers??

Discussion in 'Training & Safety' started by Vikingdad, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    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).
     
  2. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    Load all five and don't drop it! [​IMG]

    They have been carried for years fully loaded.
     

  3. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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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.
     
  4. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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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.

    God I gots to get me another Smith.



    swrevolverb.gif
     
  5. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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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!
     
  6. partdeux

    partdeux Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  7. drvsafe

    drvsafe New Member

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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.
     
  8. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    The one I am talking about is single/double action. :confused:
     
  9. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    Dad had it loaded with 4, but it looks like that was unnecessary.:D
     
  10. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    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.
     
  11. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    Dad was the first generation of German immigrants, so my grandparents did not (were not allowed) to own guns when he was a child, this was the first gun owned in my family in the US, so there were no preconceptions like that. Dad bought the gun in 1987 I think, well after both his parents had passed on. He may have been advised to leave one empty by the gun store where he purchased it.
     
  12. gunsmoke11

    gunsmoke11 New Member

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    It's safe to load all 5 in the S&W Chief. People are confusing double actions with the old single actions. I can't believe there's still confusion about this. My Colt DS, which is a 6 shot, is the same as the smith that we carried in the PD for years.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    Thanks Gunsmoke, what made me question it was the hammer. It looks like the pin on the hammer can contact the primer when the hammer is down, but that is not the case. I do not have any older Smiths so I am not familiar with their hammer safety/striking design. It appears from the description that Trip gave that it is pretty much the opposite of how Ruger did it, where Ruger extends the cross-bar safety up where it comes into line with the firing pin, Smith places the safety where it prevents contact unless the trigger is pulles thereby pulling the safety out of the way.
     
  14. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    S&W never used a "transfer bar". The later ones used a hammer block. This is a secondary safety mechanism. The hammer to rebound connection is the primary. Even the old ones were far safer than the single action Colts.