November 2010

Bobbing the M36’s Hammer

Reader Bovie found that a factory-replacement bobbed hammer was the right way to solve light primer strikes. Also, readers chime in with questions and comments on 380 ACP ammo tests.

I carried the Model 36 S&W for three decades as both an on- and off-duty gun. I bobbed the hammer early on and had an occasional failure to fire with some practice ammo. I had the department armorer advise me that bobbing the hammer reduced the weight of the hammer, thus reducing the strike force of the hammer, causing light strikes on older or less-sensitive-primer ammo. I had him replace my bobbed hammer with a factory replacement bobbed hammer, and the problem ended. He told me the factory replacement bobbed hammer was the same weight as the original-issue unbobbed hammer, therefore the impact energy to the primer was always sufficient to reliably ignite the rounds.

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