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How safe is the transfer bar safety?

This is a discussion on How safe is the transfer bar safety? within the Pistols & Revolvers forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I'm just wondering about the transfer bars. the way I understand it it prevents accidental fireing due to dropage on the hammer and also from ...


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Old July 27th, 2011, 05:51 AM   #1
 
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How safe is the transfer bar safety?

I'm just wondering about the transfer bars. the way I understand it it prevents accidental fireing due to dropage on the hammer and also from slips from the hammer as long as you're not pulling the trigger?




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Old July 27th, 2011, 06:01 AM   #2
 
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I meant safety.
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Old July 27th, 2011, 06:36 AM   #3
 
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Very Safe, As long as you are not pulling the trigger the transfer bar cannot acuate the firing pin by the hammer. You could basically hit the firearm hammer with a hammer, with a round in the chamber and it won't fire or drop it hammer first on the concrete and it won't go off.
There are other threads that touch on this subject. Iowegan explains it very well. You may do a search that may benefit you. I am no expert but I know enough about it that I can say: Extremely Safe!
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Old July 27th, 2011, 10:47 AM   #4
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IndyHD, Ruger's transfer bar design is the safest of any revolver on the market. First, a little history .... When Ruger was making Old Model Single Action revolvers, there were many accidental discharges (AD) ... mostly due to the shooters not understanding how the gun operates. Ruger was sued many times for selling potentially dangerous guns so they came up with a system that eliminated most of the unsafe conditions. Ruger did a voluntary recall of all Old Model SA revolvers to convert them with a transfer bar system, which reduced but did not eliminate the dangerous threat of ADs. The transfer bar conversion is still available free from Ruger.

There are three primary safety issues with non-converted OM SAs. The first is the most obvious ... having the hammer resting on the firing pin with a loaded round under the hammer where a bump on the hammer or dropping the gun could cause it to fire. OMs have a safety notch that holds the hammer back far enough where it will not touch the firing pin; however, many shooters do not take the time to pull the hammer back one click or did not even know the safety notch was there to begin with. If the gun was dropped and landed on the hammer, even the safety notch would not prevent it from firing. The practice of keeping an empty chamber under the hammer eliminates this threat. Again, because most people don't understand how the gun works, they assume this practice would make the gun totally safe to carry .... it doesn't.

The second safety issue applies to both converted and non-converted OM SAs. OM SA revolvers (even those modified with a transfer bar) were loaded with the hammer at half cock. After the cylinder had been loaded, the hammer must be pulled to the full cock position then the trigger is pulled and the hammer is lowered until it is fully forward. At that time, the shooter pulls the hammer back one "click" to place it in the safety notch. During the process of lowering the hammer, if your thumb slipped off the hammer, the gun could fire.

The third safety issue is called "hammer snagging" and happens mostly when a non-converted, loaded OM SA revolver was being carried in a holster, even when there is an empty chamber under the hammer. When the hammer gets snagged (crossing fences, walking through heavy brush, working with ropes or wire, etc) it pulls the hammer back far enough to rotate the cylinder and index the next chamber but not quite far enough to fully cock the hammer. When the snag is relieved, the hammer will spring forward and cause the revolver to fire.

So, Ruger went back to the drawing board, totally redesigned their SA revolvers, and came up with "New Model" SA revolvers, which are still in current production. The NM revolvers were designed with a transfer bar much like the converted OM but Ruger added another feature. NM revolvers are loaded with the hammer fully forward. This eliminates the risk of "thumb slip" after loading because the hammer is already fully forward. The loading gate on NM SAs are interlocked so they will only open for loading/unloading when the hammer is fully forward.

With non-converted OMs and many other brands of revolvers, the hammer face strikes the firing pin. The transfer bar itself is a simple but very safe design. Here's how the transfer bar works in all Ruger NM and converted OM SA revolvers, plus all Ruger DA revolvers. The hammer is designed where the top step on the hammer's face strikes the frame and can't touch the firing pin. The lower hammer step strikes the transfer bar and in turn, the transfer bar strikes the firing pin. The transfer bar is directly coupled to the trigger and rises to position over the firing pin when the trigger is to the rear. If the trigger is not pulled all the way back when the hammer releases, the hammer face will harmlessly strike the frame and not hit the firing pin. In other words, the only way a Ruger NM SA or any Ruger DA revolver will fire is when the trigger is pulled all the way back. You may note ... if the hammer is cocked and you slowly release it, the trigger moves forward with the hammer and lowers the transfer bar, thus making it virtually impossible to fire.

So, the transfer bar coupled with "hammer forward" loading in NM SAs, makes all current production Rugers the safest revolvers on the market. It totally eliminates "snagging", makes the gun safe to load, and allows you to safely carry with all chambers loaded.

There remains one safety issue that applies to all revolver makes and models and that is when there is a loaded cartridge under the firing pin and you decide to decock the hammer. You must hold the hammer spur back, pull the trigger, then start easing the hammer down. As soon as the cocking notch clears the sear, you must release the trigger. Should your thumb slip off the hammer spur, and you follow this procedure, Rugers with transfer bars will not fire. If you hold the trigger back while decocking, you risk an AD. There's no way to prevent this issue because if you did, the gun would not fire when you want it to.

Sorry for the long post but I believe people should know as much about their guns as possible.
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Old July 27th, 2011, 10:54 AM   #5
 
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If I recall correctly Ruger copied what H&R had been doing for years and it works
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Old July 27th, 2011, 06:31 PM   #6
 
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Iowegan, thanks! Great information and exactly what I was hoping to hear. I apprectiate the reply.
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Old July 27th, 2011, 08:06 PM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by IndyHD View Post
Iowegan, thanks! Great information and exactly what I was hoping to hear. I apprectiate the reply.
Me too!
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Old February 24th, 2014, 01:55 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
IndyHD, Ruger's transfer bar design is the safest of any revolver on the market. First, a little history .... When Ruger was making Old Model Single Action revolvers, there were many accidental discharges (AD) ... mostly due to the shooters not understanding how the gun operates. Ruger was sued many times for selling potentially dangerous guns so they came up with a system that eliminated most of the unsafe conditions. Ruger did a voluntary recall of all Old Model SA revolvers to convert them with a transfer bar system, which reduced but did not eliminate the dangerous threat of ADs. The transfer bar conversion is still available free from Ruger.

There are three primary safety issues with non-converted OM SAs. The first is the most obvious ... having the hammer resting on the firing pin with a loaded round under the hammer where a bump on the hammer or dropping the gun could cause it to fire. OMs have a safety notch that holds the hammer back far enough where it will not touch the firing pin; however, many shooters do not take the time to pull the hammer back one click or did not even know the safety notch was there to begin with. If the gun was dropped and landed on the hammer, even the safety notch would not prevent it from firing. The practice of keeping an empty chamber under the hammer eliminates this threat. Again, because most people don't understand how the gun works, they assume this practice would make the gun totally safe to carry .... it doesn't.

The second safety issue applies to both converted and non-converted OM SAs. OM SA revolvers (even those modified with a transfer bar) were loaded with the hammer at half cock. After the cylinder had been loaded, the hammer must be pulled to the full cock position then the trigger is pulled and the hammer is lowered until it is fully forward. At that time, the shooter pulls the hammer back one "click" to place it in the safety notch. During the process of lowering the hammer, if your thumb slipped off the hammer, the gun could fire.

The third safety issue is called "hammer snagging" and happens mostly when a non-converted, loaded OM SA revolver was being carried in a holster, even when there is an empty chamber under the hammer. When the hammer gets snagged (crossing fences, walking through heavy brush, working with ropes or wire, etc) it pulls the hammer back far enough to rotate the cylinder and index the next chamber but not quite far enough to fully cock the hammer. When the snag is relieved, the hammer will spring forward and cause the revolver to fire.

So, Ruger went back to the drawing board, totally redesigned their SA revolvers, and came up with "New Model" SA revolvers, which are still in current production. The NM revolvers were designed with a transfer bar much like the converted OM but Ruger added another feature. NM revolvers are loaded with the hammer fully forward. This eliminates the risk of "thumb slip" after loading because the hammer is already fully forward. The loading gate on NM SAs are interlocked so they will only open for loading/unloading when the hammer is fully forward.

With non-converted OMs and many other brands of revolvers, the hammer face strikes the firing pin. The transfer bar itself is a simple but very safe design. Here's how the transfer bar works in all Ruger NM and converted OM SA revolvers, plus all Ruger DA revolvers. The hammer is designed where the top step on the hammer's face strikes the frame and can't touch the firing pin. The lower hammer step strikes the transfer bar and in turn, the transfer bar strikes the firing pin. The transfer bar is directly coupled to the trigger and rises to position over the firing pin when the trigger is to the rear. If the trigger is not pulled all the way back when the hammer releases, the hammer face will harmlessly strike the frame and not hit the firing pin. In other words, the only way a Ruger NM SA or any Ruger DA revolver will fire is when the trigger is pulled all the way back. You may note ... if the hammer is cocked and you slowly release it, the trigger moves forward with the hammer and lowers the transfer bar, thus making it virtually impossible to fire.

So, the transfer bar coupled with "hammer forward" loading in NM SAs, makes all current production Rugers the safest revolvers on the market. It totally eliminates "snagging", makes the gun safe to load, and allows you to safely carry with all chambers loaded.

There remains one safety issue that applies to all revolver makes and models and that is when there is a loaded cartridge under the firing pin and you decide to decock the hammer. You must hold the hammer spur back, pull the trigger, then start easing the hammer down. As soon as the cocking notch clears the sear, you must release the trigger. Should your thumb slip off the hammer spur, and you follow this procedure, Rugers with transfer bars will not fire. If you hold the trigger back while decocking, you risk an AD. There's no way to prevent this issue because if you did, the gun would not fire when you want it to.

Sorry for the long post but I believe people should know as much about their guns as possible.

No post is too long to educate the masses. Thanks for that history lesson. I was looking at my Security Six while reading your post and mimicking what you were saying and I can see the transfer bar moving up and down as I thumb back the hammer. I now also know what that thing is that keeps making the clinging sound on my Security Six when just holding it or moving it around. I thought there was a broke piece in it or something but low and behold....it's the transfer bar. Nice. Thanks again bud. That, was educational and a good read.
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Old February 24th, 2014, 02:34 PM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
. . . . . . . . Sorry for the long post but I believe people should know as much about their guns as possible.
Great information, Iowegan. Thanks for taking the time to explain it all in a simple manner and for sharing the explanations. Good stuff.
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Old October 12th, 2019, 07:39 AM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
IndyHD, Ruger's transfer bar design is the safest of any revolver on the market. First, a little history .... When Ruger was making Old Model Single Action revolvers, there were many accidental discharges (AD) ... mostly due to the shooters not understanding how the gun operates. Ruger was sued many times for selling potentially dangerous guns so they came up with a system that eliminated most of the unsafe conditions. Ruger did a voluntary recall of all Old Model SA revolvers to convert them with a transfer bar system, which reduced but did not eliminate the dangerous threat of ADs. The transfer bar conversion is still available free from Ruger.

There are three primary safety issues with non-converted OM SAs. The first is the most obvious ... having the hammer resting on the firing pin with a loaded round under the hammer where a bump on the hammer or dropping the gun could cause it to fire. OMs have a safety notch that holds the hammer back far enough where it will not touch the firing pin; however, many shooters do not take the time to pull the hammer back one click or did not even know the safety notch was there to begin with. If the gun was dropped and landed on the hammer, even the safety notch would not prevent it from firing. The practice of keeping an empty chamber under the hammer eliminates this threat. Again, because most people don't understand how the gun works, they assume this practice would make the gun totally safe to carry .... it doesn't.

The second safety issue applies to both converted and non-converted OM SAs. OM SA revolvers (even those modified with a transfer bar) were loaded with the hammer at half cock. After the cylinder had been loaded, the hammer must be pulled to the full cock position then the trigger is pulled and the hammer is lowered until it is fully forward. At that time, the shooter pulls the hammer back one "click" to place it in the safety notch. During the process of lowering the hammer, if your thumb slipped off the hammer, the gun could fire.

The third safety issue is called "hammer snagging" and happens mostly when a non-converted, loaded OM SA revolver was being carried in a holster, even when there is an empty chamber under the hammer. When the hammer gets snagged (crossing fences, walking through heavy brush, working with ropes or wire, etc) it pulls the hammer back far enough to rotate the cylinder and index the next chamber but not quite far enough to fully cock the hammer. When the snag is relieved, the hammer will spring forward and cause the revolver to fire.

So, Ruger went back to the drawing board, totally redesigned their SA revolvers, and came up with "New Model" SA revolvers, which are still in current production. The NM revolvers were designed with a transfer bar much like the converted OM but Ruger added another feature. NM revolvers are loaded with the hammer fully forward. This eliminates the risk of "thumb slip" after loading because the hammer is already fully forward. The loading gate on NM SAs are interlocked so they will only open for loading/unloading when the hammer is fully forward.

With non-converted OMs and many other brands of revolvers, the hammer face strikes the firing pin. The transfer bar itself is a simple but very safe design. Here's how the transfer bar works in all Ruger NM and converted OM SA revolvers, plus all Ruger DA revolvers. The hammer is designed where the top step on the hammer's face strikes the frame and can't touch the firing pin. The lower hammer step strikes the transfer bar and in turn, the transfer bar strikes the firing pin. The transfer bar is directly coupled to the trigger and rises to position over the firing pin when the trigger is to the rear. If the trigger is not pulled all the way back when the hammer releases, the hammer face will harmlessly strike the frame and not hit the firing pin. In other words, the only way a Ruger NM SA or any Ruger DA revolver will fire is when the trigger is pulled all the way back. You may note ... if the hammer is cocked and you slowly release it, the trigger moves forward with the hammer and lowers the transfer bar, thus making it virtually impossible to fire.

So, the transfer bar coupled with "hammer forward" loading in NM SAs, makes all current production Rugers the safest revolvers on the market. It totally eliminates "snagging", makes the gun safe to load, and allows you to safely carry with all chambers loaded.

There remains one safety issue that applies to all revolver makes and models and that is when there is a loaded cartridge under the firing pin and you decide to decock the hammer. You must hold the hammer spur back, pull the trigger, then start easing the hammer down. As soon as the cocking notch clears the sear, you must release the trigger. Should your thumb slip off the hammer spur, and you follow this procedure, Rugers with transfer bars will not fire. If you hold the trigger back while decocking, you risk an AD. There's no way to prevent this issue because if you did, the gun would not fire when you want it to.

Sorry for the long post but I believe people should know as much about their guns as possible.

Another thank you for this explanation.
I recently acquired my FILs OM Blackhawk 357mag.
Being familiar with firearms, but not with SA revolvers, I'll contact Ruger for the upgrade.
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Old October 12th, 2019, 05:03 PM   #11
 
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Excellent description, particularly concerning the differences between converted OM and purpose-built NM revolvers. I was under the impression that a converted OM was identical to the NM action but it isn't and the differences are significant.
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