Karl Sokol is the owner and chief gunsmith with Chestnut Mountain Sports in West Rutland, VT. He is one of the only two gunsmiths I use for work on my self-defense snubs. The other is Mike LaRocca, owner of LaRocca’s Gun Works in Worcester, MA.

Recently I asked both for a list of those features that they consider important on a snub used for self-defense. Both listed several of the same generial recomendations though neither contained the eaxct same list of items. Nor did either mimic my own thinking on the subject.

Like many things in life, recommendations from qualified sources are based on both the personal and practical experience of the men involved.

Here now is Karl Sokol’s thoughts on the subject.

Dear Mr. De Bethencourt:

Regarding you inquire about the risks, if any with removing the hammer spur. My experience and advice is that properly bobbed hammer does not affect ignition.

Regarding you inquire about the pros and /or cons of adding a hammer shroud: A shroud fitted snub can [aid in clearing] a pocket or shoot multiple times thru a [jacket] pocket in theory. However, I have had no problem [drawing from a pocket with] with my bobbed Smith and Wesson [nor] shooting through  [jacket] pockets …”.

[Here are my] thoughts on custom [self-defense] snubb work:

1) Smooth the action and add a Double Action Only (DAO)  conversion. A light action does not equal smooth; reliability is the most important requirement

2) Bob the hammer, where and when applicable

3) Round and smooth the face of the trigger in order to remove any sharp edges; your revolver should not bite the hand that feeds it

4) Chamfer the cylinder’s charge holes

5) Add stocks that work with the gun and shooter

6) Add a front sight color insert, or night sight where feasible. A front sight needs to grab the attention of your peripheral vision

Ultimately it’s the customers decision regarding what he/she feels is most useful.

Finding the “right” pistolsmith is really the ultimate key to a custom
project. (Don’t let your cousin Billy Bob work on your self defense

Thanks again.

Karl Sokol – Gunsmith
Chestnut Mountain Sports