Good news: Easy to cock if that’s how you like to shoot, particularly with something like the longer barrel 317 .22 carried as a trail gun. Potential snag of hammer can be overcome by drawing with thumb on hammer, turning your thumb into a “human hammer shroud.” Keeping finger off trigger and thumbing hammer back just enough to drop the bolt and free-up the cylinder allows a cylinder rotation check to make sure there are no high primers that are going to jam the gun in firing. If something does make the cylinder bind, the Chief gives you the most leverage of the three designs to force the hammer back and get a shot off.

Bad news: Too-small, too-smooth, old-style stocks (or too weak a grasp) allow the gun to roll up in the shooter’s hand. In rapid fire, that can quickly allow the spurred hammer to contact the web of the hand, which will block its motion and prevent the gun from firing. The hammer spur, even the reduced profile on the currently produced models, is still “shaped like a fish hook” as NYPD Inspector and firearms authority Paul B. Weston used to say, and can snag on something and stall your draw in an emergency. If fired through a coat pocket, it is possible for a fold of pocket lining to get caught between the face of the hammer and the frame, jamming the gun and preventing firing.