Saturday, March 13, 2010

Freedom Arms Transfer Bar "Safety"

To quote Jeff Quinn in his review of the FA97,
The model 97 has a different lockwork than the model 83, employing a sliding transfer bar that is attached to the hammer, resulting in a crisp trigger pull while allowing the gun to be carried with a full five-shot payload. The transfer bar will only contact the firing pin with the trigger held to the rear. The factory supplied owner’s manual suggests loading only four cartridges, leaving an empty chamber under the hammer, but this gun is absolutely safe to carry fully loaded with five .45 Colt cartridges.

On the other hand, John Taffin in his article, "Freedom Arms Model 97 - The Sixgunner" says,
The Model 97 has a transfer bar safety, however, both Freedom Arms and I recommend any Model 97, whatever the chambering, be carried with an empty chamber under the hammer.

The patent information at Patent Storm for the US Patent 6698125 covering this transfer bar mechanism.

To my way of thinking a transfer bar equipped single action revolver carried with hammer down (and in this case it doesn't and can't initiate contact between firing pin and primer) is pretty safe. IF the hammer is somehow drawn back it will likely also revolve the cylinder to place a loaded chamber fully or partially under the hammer. Partially and the firing pin can't contact the primer, fully and one must also have one's finger or something else holding back the trigger at the same time. I consider this unlikely and so I think that it is safe to carry this gun with a loaded chamber. That is, it is safe if I'm aware of what I'm doing and that applies to ANY firearm.

However, you might not feel that way. In the end it is the bearer's responsibility and that is something that we still have the freedom to practice here.

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