by Bob Boyd - Thursday, June 9, 2016
Despite having a popularity that’s endured more than a century, the 1911 handgun has always proved challenged when it comes to cycling (also known as racking) its slide when the hammer is in the downward position. The difficulty stems from the distance from the hammer pivot axis to the point of contact with the firing-pin retainer. As a result, a significant amount of force is required to manually move the slide rearward. The act becomes even more challenging for shooters with physical limitations, such as arthritis or Cerebral Palsy. In the past, those with disabilities were forced to compensate for the shortcoming by installing reduced-power recoil spring and possibly pairing it with an mainspring of similar weight, which while noticeably lighter often affected the pistol’s reliability. Thankfully, Cammer Technologies’ Cammer Hammer offers an innovative solution of which we can all benefit.
Archimedes said, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” The folks at Cammer Technologies applied the same principal to an aftermarket hammer with a lot to offer. Unlike a standard 1911 hammer in which the face of the hammer is flat, the face of the Cammer Hammer is dramatically contoured. This minor geometric change yields tremendous dividends. According to company co-owner Bruce Cockerham, “…it reduces the force required to rack the slide rearward, from a hammer-down position by 31 percent. And it does that without the need to put in weaker recoil springs or weaker mainsprings, so it does it with standard springs. Now, with a standard hammer, it peaks at about 21 pounds of pressure, [to rack the slide] with our Cammer it peaks at 14.5 pounds. So the user experiences dramatically less force required to move the slide rearward.”
Thanks to the contoured face of the Cammer, the slide’s rearward travel doesn’t contact the hammer down low as is normally the case with standard hammers. Returning to the Archimedes analogy, the change acts like a “longer lever” and use of a longer lever equates to less force. Yet, besides requiring less force to rack a 1911 slide, the Cammer Hammer offers another benefit: Reduction of felt recoil.
According to Cockerham guns 1911s containing the Cammer Hammer were tested head to head with those sporting standard hammers. They test firing each of the pistols and measured the number of degrees [arc of recoil] for each pistol only to discover the pistol containing the Cammer Hammer displayed a 7.9-percent reduction in the arc of recoil. Machined for 4140 steel, it is available for both Government Models and Commander-size pistols.
With the ability to make you 1911 easy to operate as well as more pleasant to shoot, the Cammer Hammer makes a good pistol even better and is sure to become a favorite part among 1911 enthusiasts and tinkers alike.
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