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DA revolvers and hammer shrouds.


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I try to do the basic research before I pose questions here. I’m looking for a DA revolver with a hammer shroud to make it a pocket gun for carry.

 

I’m torn between a SnW Model 638, Taurus m651 or 805, or trying to get RIA m206 and looking for any kind of after market hammer shrouds because it’s s cheaper gun.

 

I know the RIA is modeled after a Colt Detective, but the I’m With Roscoe group is out of their specialty shrouds. I also can’t find any other hammer shroud products or producers other than a LE products blog that doesn’t make anything I could use.

 

Should I drop the money and get one of the factory humpbacked hammer shroud models which already have Crimson Trace grips available or should I get something cheaper like the RIA and try to think of ways to Wizard up the modifications I want?

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Hammer shrouds were semi-popular in the 1950s and have pretty much gone out of vogue.  If you want a pocket revolver for carry look at the S&W 642.  The frame is sealed so dirt can't get in the action.  The S&W 638 and Taurus 651 have access to the hammer if for some reason someone would want to manually cock them.  I personally would not try to buy a cheap gun and then try to "wizard" up a modification.  There is a reason it is hard to find hammer shrouds.  No one uses them anymore.  (The statistical no one.)  An old school alternative to the shroud is to remove the hammer spur.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

 If you want a pocket revolver for carry look at the S&W 642.  

Let me add a big +1 to that comment.

1015914231_638and642.jpg.d9d6854b0246052d5ff334ac82bdfc12.jpg


I have both, and I like both. The ability to cock the hammer on that bodyguard is nice. When pocket carrying, however, the hammer track has a tendency to fill up with pocket lint. You need to be quite attentive, and keep that clean. I noticed mine one time had so much lint in it, that the gun would not fire. The hammer would only come back about 3/4 of the way before the {length} LINT had packed up in the channel and prevented it from moving any further.


Don't have that trouble with the 642. No channel.

 

You may notice how beat up that humpback is? Pocket carry, without a proper pocket holster, and with anything else in the pocket, beats the hell out of your gun.

 

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A good leather suede out pocket holster will cover the hammer spur and have a j hook to aid in the draw

 

For example

https://www.barsonyholsters.com/new-natural-tan-leather-ambidextrous-pocket-holster-for-2-snub-nose-38-357-revolvers-po2nt/?sku=PO2NT

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OR…A S&W 442

 

930C0D00-AD98-44A8-8A92-0403D099437C.thumb.jpeg.25243320191f7d9bc8451416f7fb57e0.jpeg

 

Honestly, I wouldn’t trust an RIA revolver for CCW unless you just CANNOT afford anything else, then I would test the hell out of it. Just my opinion. 
 

If interested in a Taurus, I would consider an 856 with a bobbed / concealed hammer from the manufacturer.
The 856 holds 6 rounds but is only just around a tenth of an inch wider than an S&W J frame revolver. 

 

Here’s a link with their 856 lineup. 
https://www.taurususa.com/revolvers/see-all-revolvers?view=category&id=61

 

Here is their stainless model:

https://www.taurususa.com/revolvers/see-all-revolvers?view=article&id=457&catid=61

 

Dont get me wrong, I love my Smith & Wessons, but that Taurus is an attractive alternative. 

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1 hour ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

OR…A S&W 442

 

930C0D00-AD98-44A8-8A92-0403D099437C.thumb.jpeg.25243320191f7d9bc8451416f7fb57e0.jpeg

 

 

If interested in a Taurus, I would consider an 856 with a bobbed / concealed hammer from the manufacturer.
The 856 holds 6 rounds but is only just around a tenth of an inch wider than an S&W J frame revolver. 

 

Here’s a link with their 856 lineup. 
https://www.taurususa.com/revolvers/see-all-revolvers?view=category&id=61

 

Here is their stainless model:

https://www.taurususa.com/revolvers/see-all-revolvers?view=article&id=457&catid=61

 

Dont get me wrong, I love my Smith & Wessons, but that Taurus is an attractive alternative. 

I have a half dozen of the older Taurus 85s. Two of them are the concealed hammer version. There isn't a hammer spur to catch on anything, but this renders the gun to a DA only configuration. I figure at self defence distances it shouldn't be a problem, though. 

If you were to get one, and decide you didn't like it, there are plenty of parts available on Gunbroker and ebay to replace the bobbed hammer with a conventional hammer, or take a conventional hammer and cut the spur, as in post #2, so that it still retains the capability to cock the hammer. 

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Colt's with hammer shrouds were popular. Once uopn a time. As much as I love my Colt's, the S&W J's are hard to beat as a pocket piece. Either a 642, which is DA only and has an internal hammer or the 638 which had a built in hammer shroud not a screw on one like Colt and is DA/SA. I would stay away from the J-frame "Bodyguard". It has a different type of cylinder latch on top of the frame not the side. Unlatches when you don't want it to in a pocket and such. Me no likee.

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Stick with any of the Smith J-frame revolvers.  The main reason (for me anyway) is that parts are readily available.  Now, I'm not a Taurus hater by any stretch.  I've owned many, in fact my SASS revolvers are Taurus Gaucho's and I love 'em.  But the problem with Taurus revolvers is finding parts.  Additionally, it is extremely difficult (due to lack of aftermarket parts) to slick up a Taurus revolver.  I carried a Taurus 805 for several years as a pocket gun.  Very reliable and accurate for a pocket gun.  But, the trigger pull was long, heavy, and jumpy (I will take "gritty", but this trigger pull just seemed to "jump").  Finding springs and such to smooth out the trigger pull was impossible.

 

If you just want a reliable little pocket gun, the Taurus's are fine.  But since you mentioned you wanted to modify or Wizard the revo, stick with the Smith's.

 

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2 hours ago, Marshal Hangtree said:

But the problem with Taurus revolvers is finding parts. 

There aren't many aftermarket parts available, but there are LOTS of repair or replacement parts out there, at least for the 85. Ebay and Gunbroker are a good source. Mostly parts from damaged guns I presume, but you can find individual parts, to packages with literally everything except the frame. 

I recently picked up a Model 85  3" barrel to replace a 2" barrel, (I just like the 3" barrel version). I've also acquired a couple hammers to bob, and a trigger assembly or two. 

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On 7/24/2021 at 9:09 AM, LawMan Mark, SASS #57095L said:

The Cobra don't get carried much, but when it does, it's in a belt holst


That Cobra is gorgeous, how much did it cost you?

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Well I own a RIA 206. Picked it up in a pawn shop well below MSRP at the time.  Mine has a hammer spur but it could easily be removed.  RIA also makes a spurless model but the hammer is not shrouded. At first glance it looks like the old detective specials. However, when placed side by side the differences are obvious. Internals are different as well.

 

Right out of the box it has a sweet trigger in DA mode.

 

It is rated for +P loads but a steady diet is not recommended. Holds 6 rounds

 

Replaced the factory grips with aftermarket Pachmayr grips.  

 

I have had ZERO reliability issues with it. Pull the trigger and it goes bang every time. Use my SASS loads for range time. Makes it fun to shoot and costs a whole lot less. Figure that if I need it in a defensive situation adrenaline  will make the extra recoil a non-issue.

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642 used to be my go to for pocket carry. Have switched to a Beretta Pico. Smaller and carries an extra round. Several others out there similar in size to the pico. 

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Ruger LCR. Light weight and shoots very nice with cowboy .38 loads. It is a handful with .38+P, but still very shootable. It also seems (to me) to be a little lower profile while in the pocket than my S&W Model 40.

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10 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

Well I own a RIA 206. Picked it up in a pawn shop well below MSRP at the time.  Mine has a hammer spur but it could easily be removed.  RIA also makes a spurless model but the hammer is not shrouded. At first glance it looks like the old detective specials. However, when placed side by side the differences are obvious. Internals are different as well.

 

Right out of the box it has a sweet trigger in DA mode.

 

It is rated for +P loads but a steady diet is not recommended. Holds 6 rounds

 

Replaced the factory grips with aftermarket Pachmayr grips.  

 

I have had ZERO reliability issues with it. Pull the trigger and it goes bang every time. Use my SASS loads for range time. Makes it fun to shoot and costs a whole lot less. Figure that if I need it in a defensive situation adrenaline  will make the extra recoil a non-issue.

I think you got lucky. At least from my limited exposure to these revolvers. 
I was at a gunsmith’s shop that also sells new and used guns. 
I asked to look at an RIA 206 they had. It appeared functional but not real attractive, but for less than $300 who cares?

Anyway, when I cocked the hammer the cylinder didn’t lock in place. 
I handed it back to the clerk. 
He retrieved 2 more from the back. 
The second one felt like it had pebbles in the works. 
The third one seemed okay. 
As I was standing there debating whether or not the first 2 were flukes because the gun mags gave these good reviews a guy walks in and says “I picked this up here last week. Something’s wrong with it. It’s hard to cock the hammer and every time I fire it I get hit in the face with debris. It stings. I know it’s not my ammo. It’s gotta be this gun.”

He produced an RIA 206. 
I know two guys that own one. One fella loves his. The other has sent his back twice for rework. 
 

I think you got lucky. ;)

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I do NOT like hammers , I can not thumb back . the first shot is normaly the most accurate , I prefer to do that single action 

 

 having carried a revolver , lots longer , than a bottom feeder , I tend to snatch the hammer back as it comes up 

 

 I also prefer hammer guns better than striker fired , just old I reckon 

 

  Chickasaw 

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12 hours ago, LawMan Mark, SASS #57095L said:

$300, about 20 years ago. 


I am filled with envy, you can't find anything like that in these parts for less than $700 and in much worse quality. :(

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On 7/24/2021 at 3:40 AM, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

 If you want a pocket revolver for carry look at the S&W 642.

I second Alpo’s endorsement of Larsen’s suggestion. 
 

The 642 is my go-to gun. I’ve practiced until the DA pull is reflexive and accurate. Today’s 38 ammo makes it a solid fight stopper.
 

Everything I wear in every season has a front right pocket that conceals it nicely. The gun rides nicely in a pocket holster that keeps the gun vertical and ready to grab.


That’s a combo that’s hard to beat. 
 

 

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0FE69C33-7AAC-4D6B-91C3-F0F77BA4D6C7.jpeg

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On 7/24/2021 at 3:57 PM, Dubious Don #56333 said:

I would stay away from the J-frame "Bodyguard". It has a different type of cylinder latch on top of the frame not the side. Unlatches when you don't want it to in a pocket and such. Me no likee.

On 7/24/2021 at 6:34 AM, Alpo said:

Let me add a big +1 to that comment.

1015914231_638and642.jpg.d9d6854b0246052d5ff334ac82bdfc12.jpg

 

 

Don,  the 649 is the top right revolver in the picture above.  The cylinder latch is on the side, like other J frame S&W revolvers.  I carry a Glock 26 now, but before I carried my 649 for 25 years with no issues.  I love that gun.

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On 7/24/2021 at 8:05 AM, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

OR…A S&W 442

 

930C0D00-AD98-44A8-8A92-0403D099437C.thumb.jpeg.25243320191f7d9bc8451416f7fb57e0.jpeg

 

Honestly, I wouldn’t trust an RIA revolver for CCW unless you just CANNOT afford anything else, then I would test the hell out of it. Just my opinion. 
 

If interested in a Taurus, I would consider an 856 with a bobbed / concealed hammer from the manufacturer.
The 856 holds 6 rounds but is only just around a tenth of an inch wider than an S&W J frame revolver. 

 

Here’s a link with their 856 lineup. 
https://www.taurususa.com/revolvers/see-all-revolvers?view=category&id=61

 

Here is their stainless model:

https://www.taurususa.com/revolvers/see-all-revolvers?view=article&id=457&catid=61

 

Dont get me wrong, I love my Smith & Wessons, but that Taurus is an attractive alternative. 

442 That’s my everyday carry with Hornady Critical Defense loads.

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20 minutes ago, TN Mongo, SASS #61450 said:
 

 

Don,  the 649 is the top right revolver in the picture above.  The cylinder latch is on the side, like other J frame S&W revolvers.  I carry a Glock 26 now, but before I carried my 649 for 25 years with no issues.  I love that gun.

I believe he is talking about the new M&P plastic bodyguard 38 revolver.

642757_ts.jpg

 

Also that gun of mine is a 638. 649 is all stainless. 638 is stainless barrel and cylinder with an aluminum frame.

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There are 5 S&W revolvers tagged with the Bodyguard moniker, and at least one semi auto.  

 

The gun that became the Model 38 was first.  An aluminum framed, 5 shot revolver with a shrouded hammer.

Then the Model 49 was next.  An all steel version.

Then came the 638 and the 649, stainless versions.

Finally, S&W came out with the 38 Bodyguard, a poly framed 5 shot gun with a different latch.

 

And the compact 380 is the "Bodyguard 380".

 

 

 

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I also have an old Model 37 Airweight. I thought about getting the hammer bobbed but I have a 442 which is hammerless,

A5DF4004-0187-4060-84B3-9F3141E0130B.jpeg

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21 minutes ago, Ezra Hawthorne said:

Now i'm curious what everyone thinks are the best DAO revolvers on the market.

Smith and Colt! 

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1 hour ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

Smith and WESSON

Fixed it for you! :D

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6 minutes ago, Ezra Hawthorne said:


Okay but which ones specifically, what models?

Colt: Python, King Cobra, Detective Special and Diamondback are my favs. 

 

S&W: models 10, 15 , 19, 686, 37 and 442 


 

The iconic Model 29,  I’ve never owned  one but I shot one and the Colt Anaconda that I’ve shot but never owned. Both great revolvers! 

14 minutes ago, DeaconKC said:

Fixed it for you! :D

Colts are my favorites so you didn’t fix anything!

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34 minutes ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

Colt: Python, King Cobra, Detective Special and Diamondback are my favs. 

 

S&W: models 10, 15 , 19, 686, 37 and 442 

 

The iconic Model 29,  I’ve never owned  one but I shot one and the Colt Anaconda that I’ve shot but never owned. Both great revolvers!

2 hours ago, Ezra Hawthorne said:

Now i'm curious what everyone thinks are the best DAO revolvers on the market.

DAO stands for double action only.


None of the guns  (except the Smith 442) you listed are double action only. They're all standard double action, which can be cocked and fired single action.

 

 

 

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Here are my “cop” revolvers. 
S&W 10

Colt Detective Special 

S&W 36

S&W 442

S&W 19

I need a model 27 or 28

 

412A4415-037D-4595-85FC-395431CE5080.thumb.jpeg.4419cc09f8508b433c390ca9bc24ee16.jpeg


The 442 was my first S&W revolver. A birthday gift from my wife in 1997. 

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10 hours ago, Alpo said:

DAO stands for double action only.


None of the guns  (except the Smith 442) you listed are double action only. They're all standard double action, which can be cocked and fired single action.

 

 

 

Yes but they can all have the hammers “bobbed” to make them impossible to cock. 

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