Why the hole?

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by yetiman, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. yetiman

    yetiman New Member

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    Sorry is this is a repeat question but I couldn't find it axed befo.......Why on the compact and commander's does the hammer have a hole punched out of it? :confused:
  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Just for pretty.

    On some of them, with the very large hole - "skeletonized" - it's supposedly to lighten the hammer, although I've never figgered out whether that that was to speed up the hammer throw or to diminish the gun shaking from the hammer-fall. But the "cool, gun-gamers" use one, so it's required to be cool.

    Kinda like the forward slide serrations. Got no use, but sure-hell looks neat.
  3. Brass Tacks

    Brass Tacks New Member

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    I'll go with the "required to be cool"
  4. H-D

    H-D Active Member

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    The 1911 I built only has front serrations I have the square STI hammer, just cuz its so cool :)
  5. hansom

    hansom Former Guest

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    Lighter hammer= faster lock time= greater accuracy.

    Lock time is the time between pulling the trigger and the hammer hitting the firing pin, faster locktime better accuracy because the muzzle has less time to move before the round exit the barrel.

    But that is not the real reason for it on a Officer's model or Combat model, it makes the gun much easier to draw from under a field coat or Jacket as a officer/General etc. would expect to wear his gun under his coat - except for Patton of course.
  6. yetiman

    yetiman New Member

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    Well I didn't think it would be for a lanyard....lol
  7. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    Could it be to make the overall weigh of the gun lighter.????????????
    I realize it would be minimal but just a thought.
  8. hogger129

    hogger129 Active Member

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    It's also required to be able to cock the hammer back all the way on guns which have the beavertail grip safety as opposed to the standard grip safety. That spur hammer doesn't have enough room to cock back all the way if you have the beavertail grip safety.

    And as stated - faster lock time. I honestly don't shoot enough that I would notice a difference in accuracy, but theoretically it does contribute to accuracy.
  9. yetiman

    yetiman New Member

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    That makes sense.....
  10. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    That does make sense, except, of course, that the stock Officers Model
    [​IMG]

    and the stock Commander
    [​IMG]

    didn't come with beavertail grip safeties.

    [​IMG]

    Also the Commander and the Officers Model were never issued to military officers. Military officers (including Generals) don't carry concealed. When worn, the gun is part of the uniform, and is worn openly.

    So, while I believe that the "Commander" hammer does aid in concealability, and the rounded, "holed" hammer is necessary for use with beavertails, neither of these is the reason the guns originally came with them. I stick with my "it's pretty".
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  11. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member

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    Alpo, notice the grip safety. It is the beavertail design ? It's just not the high ride beavertail you see on competition 1911's. Remember hammer bite ? :)
  12. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I read somewhere the Commander 1911s had ring hammers so an officer could spot another officer just by noticing his holstered sidearm. Especially useful when the officer is trying to be discreet about his identity in enemy territory where sniping off an officer would be considered an high value target.
  13. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    But it does look pretty dang cool huh.
  14. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    Why not?:D
  15. hansom

    hansom Former Guest

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    Not True , officers including Generals do carry concealed, Pattons 1903 baby Browning that he carried concealed for many years and all throughout WW2 is on Display at the Military museum in Washington for all to see , of course Patton Also liked to wear his Six Gun outside of his uniform for all to see.
    Many Generals carried concealed.
    Dont believe me visit the US military museum and read up on it yourselves.
  16. Archie

    Archie Member

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    The Colt Commander (with lightweight frame only) was first offered to the public in 1949. The legend I've heard (not having interviewed anyone at Colt in a position to give the 'real' story) is the gun was intended to be entered into U. S. Armed Forces trials for a new sidearm. The specs called for a lightweight pistol in 9x19. (The trials never happened, the Govt decided we had enough .45s and not enough need to spend more money. Boy, is that thinking dead!) Knowing it would be popular if adopted, Colt released it commercially; in calibers 9x19, Super .38, and .45 ACP.

    The rowel hammer (a rowel also being that spinney doodad on a set of spurs with the teeth) was the design instituted by Colt upon issuance.

    Rowel hammers were around since at least 1896, for the C96 or 'Broomhandle' Mauser pistol. The Polish VIS (Radom) also had a rowel hammer. In the case of the VIS, allegedly the hammer design made it easier for mounted horseman to cock the pistol by swiping the hammer down the trouser leg. To be fair, I've never interviewed a Polish Cavalryman of the era.

    So why the hole? I've wondered about it for over 45 years now and I still don't know. I don't think it's for lightening the hammer. If so, why not just cut the entire bottom of the rowel off and have sort of a hooked look to the hammer spur?

    I'm pretty sure it is NOT for a lanyard. A string on the hammer could slow down the hammer strike enough to cause misfires, or gum up the works completely.

    The best reason - most amusing, at least - is the theory the 'hole' is to tie a string so an assistant could help cock the gun in '...rapid dry fire ...' practice. Sure thing, Bunky.
  17. ignats

    ignats Member

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    It's an interesting question and I have no theory other than making it lighter. It's kind of like wondering what happened to the hole in the doughnut. Aesthetics?
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  18. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Active Member

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    This basic style of hammer dates back to the Mauser Broomhandle, which was designed in 1896. My guess would have been that the hold eased manufacturing somehow, by allowing a peg to be inserted...but if you have ever handled a Mauser Broomhandle, you know that Mauser cared nothing about ease of manufacturing. So I am going with "it looked good".
  19. micromontenegro

    micromontenegro Member

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    My toughts exactly.

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