The exposed hammer spur has outlived its usefulness. For too many snubs riding in too many pockets the spur exists to either A) foul the draw stroke or failing that to B) tempt the shooter to thumb cock the weapon. We will consider the dangers associated with thumb cocking the hammer a little later in this text (See below.) For now let’s focus on the hammer spur’s relationship with the draw stroke. Whenever a situation requires a flawless draw stroke the armed citizen who carries a snub with an exposed hammer spur is at a decided disadvantage. An exposed hammer spur has an almost preternatural ability catch
a piece of the concealment garment and doing so whenever it will put the owner at the greatest possible risk. This misfortune is well known to many old time revolver instructors. Oddly though rather than advocated for one of the obvious mechanical solutions too many of these instructors offer up modified draw stroke advise. These advocates for an anti-snagging draw stroke often suggest using the tip of the thumb to shield of the hammer spur in order to create an impromptu hammer shroud. This draw stroke advice is most often directed at the gun owner who specifically carries his self-defense snub in a pocket holster. It also often assumes that the defender will anticipate the fight by having has his hand already on his snub. This suggestion might be practical if it was common to start the fight with your hand already in your pocket or failing that if it were easy to insert your hand into the pocket (mid fight) and simple cover the hammer spur. Unfortunately this is rarely the case. To begin with not every shooter is going to start the fight with his hand in his pocket and his fingers around the weapon’s stocks. The technique becomes even more problematic when the fights begins with the defender’s hand either out of his pockets or actively engaged in empty hand defensive tactics moves. Under such conditions it would be easy for the thumb to completely miss its covering position on the hammer spur. Once the hand is in the pocket there is still the problem of too little room to maneuver the fingers adroitly. There is precious little room space in most modern pants pockets to fit the shooter’s snub, his holster and his fist without adding to it by trying to locate and then shield the hammer spur all prior to the draw. If the hammer spur is missed the risk of catching the spur on the edge of the pocket on the draw remains the same as if the technique had never been initiated. Let me suggest that rather than risking the shooter’s safety on a problematic hand technique that we look to some other practical solution. Of the various available options let’s consider the three most common; 1) Remove the spur, 2) Shroud the spur or, 3) Encase the spur.