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  #1  
Old 05-24-2019, 6:53 AM
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Default Light strikes and spring kits.

Some questions about spring kits in S&W revolvers. Questions in bold if you don't want the full backstory.

I've been working on trying to get the trigger pull on my 686+ lighter. Because I'm no gunsmith, I decided to start with the easily changed springs. I installed the lightest trigger spring that came in a kit because I saw no reason not to and replaced the main spring with a reduced power Wilson Combat spring.

This caused occasional lightstrikes with .38 special ammo and nearly 100% light strikes with my .357 Fiocchi.

From there I went to a reduced power Wolff spring, which also caused light strikes and finally a "factory strength" Wolff spring which, of course, still caused light strikes with Fiocchi ammunition, even in single action mode. The adjustment screw did not help substantially, and it cannot set off the .357 ammo I was feeding it regularly before.

Is there some secret alchemy to springs that only S&W knows? Is there any way to lighten my trigger without restricting my gun's diet?



I've also wanted to put a bobbed hammer on that gun, since I shoot it exclusively in double action. Will doing this make it more prone to lightstrikes? Will it make it less so? Should I consider buying an /extra/ heavy spring to ensure the gun will function with it, if anyone makes such a thing?


I am planning to get a Ruger Redhawk soon and would also like to improve the trigger there, but based on my experiences with the S&W it seems the hammer spring should be ruled out as a place to start.
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Old 05-24-2019, 6:58 AM
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My 627 is extremely light, and will set off Remington factory ammo, no problem. My gunsmith used a Jerry Mic spring kit, and an Apex DAO hammer, and EXTENDED FIRING PIN.
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Old 05-24-2019, 7:11 AM
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While spring kits decreases the pull weight as you already know, a proper polishing of the action is the magic.
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Old 05-24-2019, 7:18 AM
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"Is there any way to lighten my trigger without restricting my gun's diet? "

Polish the parts, smooth edges, lubricate before changing springs.



I've also wanted to put a bobbed hammer on that gun, since I shoot it exclusively in double action. Will doing this make it more prone to lightstrikes? Will it make it less so? Should I consider buying an /extra/ heavy spring to ensure the gun will function with it, if anyone makes such a thing?

In DA the hammer does not move as far back as when cocked to SA so the hammer spring does not get compressed / flexed as much, so the strike is lighter in DA.
If your gun fired the Fiocchi with the original hammer spring, that is all you will need.
(Your Fiocchi ammo probably has hard primers, I think it is the Federal ammo primers that are softer and favored by target shooters).

IMHO, soft springs are for range guns only where a mis-fire is of little consequence.
A home defense gun should have full power springs or slightly lightened but tested and proven for 100% reliability.

As YSR posted, there are longer firing pins that can help with light strikes.
But you still have to have enough spring power to drive the hammer.
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Old 05-24-2019, 7:32 AM
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The best way is, as has already been mentioned polish the internal contact parts. You can also change out the trigger rebound spring. The main spring strain screw should not be touched in an attempt to lighten trigger pull, and you discovered why.
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Old 05-24-2019, 7:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ojisan View Post
A home defense gun should have full power springs or slightly lightened but tested and proven for 100% reliability.
^^ +1.

If you want reliable ammo when using lighter springs and DA only shooting, I would recommend Federal ammo or that you reload using Federal primers. Federal brand primers have soft cups that will consistently ignite with lighter hammer springs. It goes without saying that adjustments to spring tension still needs to be done until you get to that point where ammo fires consistently.

Last edited by Old Flash; 05-24-2019 at 7:56 AM..
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Old 05-24-2019, 8:30 AM
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I'm a little nervous about polishing internal parts since, unlike a $10 drop in spring, that can't be yanked back out and put back good as new if something goes wrong.

With the bobbed hammer, I was wondering if the lighter mass would mean even lighter hit and perhaps needing even a heavier spring behind it, or if it would all come out even because of the higher drop speed.

Extended firing pin sounds good, provided it's not a puncture risk.

Note: This is mainly a range gun, but I'd rather not have to worry about what ammo I buy for it, and I'd like to be able to rely on it for defense if the need arises. I'll take a few pounds of trigger weight to know it will go boom any day.
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Old 05-24-2019, 9:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unsilenced View Post
I'm a little nervous about polishing internal parts since, unlike a $10 drop in spring, that can't be yanked back out and put back good as new if something goes wrong.
Then you'd probably be better off, putting it back to the way it was when you got it. Then send it back to Smith and let them do the work. The Master Revolver Action package would probably be the way to go. At least that way you know it's done by someone who will stand behind their work.

https://www.smith-wesson.com/custome...on-gunsmithing
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Old 05-24-2019, 9:40 AM
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Save you money, OP.

These kinds of 'Improvements' where occurring frequently when half of the shooters appeared on the range
with a wheel gun back in the Jurassic Pre-Inner-Web-Days. Just leave it stock.

Real revolver improvement shooting starts with a stock S&W revolver, quality ammo, strong hands, and a plan that
begins and ends with building a solid foundation in the principles of marksmanship.
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Old 05-24-2019, 11:04 AM
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Had light strikes on a new TRR8. As you posted, mainly in double action. It had a great trigger though. Sent it back to S&W for repair. But asked they kept the trigger as it was. Super smooth DA and light SA. They installed a new "EXTENDED FIRING PIN". Did the trick. This one came with moon clips. But without them would light strike now and then. Dont give up. Nothing like a S&W revolver with a great trigger. Have a bunch. Some are fine, while others are pure magic. Some will know what I am talking about. Others will not....
My 2 best Smith triggers? a box stock 8 3/8" 629 Classic I picked up in 1991 that has thousands of rounds through it.
The other a 1953 K-22 Masterpiece. Followed by the TRR8..........Then the rest..........
Unless you enjoy tinkering, I would send it in and let them do the work.
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Last edited by MCM; 05-24-2019 at 11:15 AM..
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  #11  
Old 05-24-2019, 12:06 PM
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I do enjoy tinkering, hence getting into this whole project to begin with, but people are very doom and gloom about the unearthly horrors that will be invoked if an unworthy hand dare tamper in the realm of the trigger job.

Worst case scenario if I fail though is that I end up ordering a custom hammer and trigger to replace the ones I botched, which I'd been thinking about doing anyways, so I think I'll give polishing a go.

Going to also order myself an extended firing pin to see if I can make one of the springs I have already work for me.
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Old 05-24-2019, 1:44 PM
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As long as it's not a defensive gun, you can tinker with it. I did that with a S&W 500. But it would only fire Federal ammo or handloads with Federal primers.
When they manufacture the gun, they have to make it work with all ammo, so the trigger can't be very light.
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Old 05-24-2019, 2:17 PM
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I have polished several firearm internals. But moving metal is what counts. Polishing makes things run smoother. But thats about it. Depends what you are after. Go slow, try it and post back. Try an extend firing pin. Am betting that does the trick. No problem on a range toy. As long as thats what this is.
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Old 05-24-2019, 2:38 PM
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I have a 686+ I got for Christmas. It had a decent trigger to begin with and have 1200 rounds down range I am getting light strikes.

The 'adjustment screw' is actually called the 'strain screw'. I tighten it to the max and I still got about six light strikes out of 100 rounds (my reloads).

Like what Win231 said I bought a case of Federal primers and will see if that makes a difference. Another reason to go to the Range!

Good luck
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Old 05-24-2019, 5:22 PM
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Default I can respect Unsilenced point of view.

With all joking aside, it truly does amaze me that so many shooters
accept & tolerate brand name revolvers with questionable reliability issues.
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Old 05-24-2019, 7:40 PM
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You realize 99.99% are fine as shipped from the factory.
Folks improving things at home often results in "reliability issues".
Like the OP. In the case of a run of TRR8's about 6 yrs ago.
They were designed to use 1/2 moon clips. And without would
have occasional light strikes in DA. S&W fixed the issue 100%.
It was not a common problem at all. Few guns can match a tuned S&W
revolver trigger.. To me anyway.......
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Last edited by MCM; 05-24-2019 at 7:45 PM..
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  #17  
Old 06-11-2019, 3:53 PM
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UPDATE:

Tried some polishing and an extended firing pin. Extended firing pin was a complete loss, didn't do a thing to help ignition. The polishing I did in very limited degrees to certain surfaces, and while it might have helped the trigger a little bit, I've had to re-install the factory mainspring.

I'd forgotten how much of a workout pulling the trigger on this thing is with the factory spring. I don't know where Wolff gets the idea for their "factory" strength springs, but it's nothing like the actual spring the gun actually comes with. I have no doubt that it will set off any cartridge put in it now, but I'm practically back where I started.

The only issue remaining is that I should perhaps re-install the factory rebound spring. I have a mildly reduced one in there now, and while the trigger is slightly lighter on the pull, it's a bit weird and jerky as I let it out again, particularly as the rebound spring has to fight the mainspring through the action of the rebound slide. I could also try polishing the surfaces where the rebound slide acts on the hammer, as those are surfaces I didn't do anything with the first time around.

Currently looking at some finer stones to go back at the action again and maybe do a more complete job, as I only hit a couple of the recommended surfaces on my first go around. I'm not sure I want to remove any more from the ones I hit the first time around, but like I said I won't be too broken up about ruining the hammer or trigger, as I'd planned to replace them both eventually anyways.

Should I put in the old firing pin again for use with the full powered original spring, or is there no real detriment to using the extended one?
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Old 06-11-2019, 4:22 PM
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I put an Apex duty kit w/firing pin in my 642. The trigger feels way better but I have yet to shoot it yet. I hope I don't run into these problems.
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Old 06-11-2019, 4:39 PM
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cuppla things;
Is this an older revolver with non-MIM internals. If so, then your polishing will work. If not, it won't do much to enhance and MIM parts do not polish well and already are fairly slick. I doubt that it's an older revolver though since you installed a longer firing pin.
One of the previous replies was indicating that the force in DA is less than SA, that is 100% correct. A lightened hammer will not enhance this and will most likely cause further failures.
Double check the mainspring stirrup when you're in it next, I have seen one side of the stirrup (where the mainspring 'fork' attaches) broken, which puts an odd angle strain on the mainspring causing misfires due to weakness/twisting.
Do not over oil the innards, it will eventually gum up. Use an extremely light touch of oil.
If a longer firing pin didn't work, then you are stuck with the factory, or close to factory pull in DA.
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Old 06-11-2019, 5:02 PM
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This is a MIM parts gun. I've heard that MIM parts will begin to wear quickly if polished, but time will have to tell there. My polishing did seem to make some surfaces a bit flatter, namely the bottom of the rebound slide and the double action hammer surfaces.

All the internals are properly lubricated and intact. The current trigger problems can be attributed to the weight of the mainspring, and the reduced power rebound spring making for a clunky reset. It's perfectly shootable, but not notably better than it was stock.

If there are no issues with the extended firing pin, I will leave it in for the time being. I plan to eventually get an apex hammer for it, along with a new stainless trigger. Perhaps the extended firing pin will come in handy in ensuring the reliability of the gun once those parts are installed.
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Old 06-11-2019, 9:19 PM
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I once sent a Model 66 to a shop in the midwest (can’t recall the name) to tune the action and they did an excellent job. Other than that, I have had bad experiences with having a “friend” swap springs or do some “polishing” ... plain stupid in my opinion to do that because reliability is compromised when someone unqualified bubbafies a gun. The trigger reset feels weird, some ammo doesn’t fire, lots of things can go wrong.

I personally like “stock” guns - guns that come straight from the factory. Now if the trigger is lighter from factory based on specs, that’s fine because I know a professional worked on it. In fact, I’m a sucker for nice triggers. Otherwise, too much is at stake when a stock gun is bubbafied to lighten the trigger.

Now to answer your question, yes, it is possible, but my unsolicited advice is to send it to a professional to work on it. You will spend more money and time but it’ll be worth your while.
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:03 AM
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I have done several S&W revolver tune ups and I always end up with a reliable revolver. Sometimes it takes an extended firing pin, but I think that given your problems there is something not right with the internals.

Something is slowing down the speed of your hammer fall. Is the hammer rubbing on the sides? Is the hammer block partially blocking the hammer's movements? Is the return spring in the firing pin kinked? Does the cylinder have excessive shake. If the firing pin hits the primer but the cylinder gives under the strike it can cause misfires.

I don't know if I put together an exhaustive list, but it is a start.
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Old 06-12-2019, 5:21 PM
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Since there seems to be some confusion: The gun is working fine with its stock mainspring back in. I shot it today and there were no issues, even in double action with my hard primer ammo. The trigger is however back to (more or less) its stock weight, and my polishing hasn't made that great of a difference.
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Old 06-12-2019, 5:36 PM
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It's not something I would do with a Smith, but shimming can make the trigger real smooth.

I don't think you'll have a problem with a bobbed hammer. It's lighter but it'll also drop faster.

Other than that playing with the extended firing pin is an option. I believe Apex sells both a bobbed hammer and an extended firing pin.
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Old 06-12-2019, 6:28 PM
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Sounds like the only way your going to get the trigger you want is to either start replacing your internal components ( trigger, hammer, etc) this May or may not help. Or take it to a pro, I’m a little surprised your stock trigger is that bad. I have three S&W revolvers ( 586-3, 686-4, 617-6) even the MIM 617 has a good trigger out of the box.

I did play the spring game with one revolver I own, but it’s a Taurus so no big surprise there. It is a M85 titanium ultra lite snub with a bobbed hammer. Rough, gritty, heavy trigger, I replaced the main and trigger spring and got light strikes, after several different combinations. The stock main spring and a low power trigger spring with one coil removed gave me the best trigger I could get out of it. While retaining 100% ignition, not as nice as I’d like it but much better then stock.
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Old 06-12-2019, 8:49 PM
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It's not a bad trigger per se. It's fairly smooth. It's just heavy for me, and it seems strange that I can't find any springs that make it like... 25% lighter. I'm sure that reduction would still set off primers, but all the springs I've used so far have made it much lighter than that, even Wolff's "factory weight" model.
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Old 06-12-2019, 9:51 PM
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Not sure of your experience with revolvers, but is it possible your grip angle or finger position are factors? I owned a 586-8 bone stock, and when friends struggled to pull the trigger, adjusting where they sit on the grip or making sure they used the right part of the finger usually helped a lot.

That aside, I put the wolf kit in my 19-3 (same internals) and haven't had any problems. I went with the wolf leaf spring and the 14# rebound spring.

Do you have a trigger pull gauge?
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:39 PM
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My experience with double action revolvers is a little limited. I've done a lot more with single action only, which is perhaps why I'm such a wuss about trigger weight.

What ammo do you shoot in your 19-3? It seems the Fiocchi .357 I use is the toughest customer, though the "factory" Wolff spring offered up a few duds even with my .38.

Don't have a gauge, mean to get one. Any recommendations? Probably going to get a good bit of use out of it once I have it, so something at least middle-of-the-road is desirable.
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Old 06-14-2019, 12:09 AM
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I shoot whatever is on sale with my 19-3. I did the same spring setup on the 586 and they both ate Hornady, Federal, PPU... right now I am shooting PPU and nickel cased Winchester.

The K (19) and L (686) frames share internal components I think.
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