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Old 08-12-2011, 01:49 PM
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I took my mother shopping for a defensive handgun today. I was able to convince her that a revolver would be more appropriate given her zero experience level. Here's the rub. She really likes the Model 60 (size, weight, recoil, etc.) but she has trouble pulling the trigger smoothly. Mom is a little Greek lady and has some hand issues. I assume that the trigger can be tweaked/tuned to be a little easier to pull without compromising safety??

She shot my Ruger LCR and was very comfortable with the trigger but found it to be a little too, how shall I say, "active?"

Thanks for your advice.
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:57 PM
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Just curious; by "active" do you mean that it had too much recoil for her? Has she shot both?

Because if that is the issue, I am not sure there would be much, if any, less recoil with a model 60 - IMHO.
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:04 PM
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She actually shot the LCR pretty well. The LCR tends to bite a litte. Not so much that the recoil throws the gun around, but it can get uncomfortable moving around in the hands.

We could not get our hands on a model 60. She shot an Airweight and did not like it - again, more trigger than anything.

I'd appreciate other opinions as well. I am looking for a gun that will be comfortable enough for her to practice with. I do not expect her to hit the range for fun, but I want her to be comfortable enough to get proficient.

Also, while mostly for home use, she will carry in her purse occasionally, so weight/size is somewhat important.
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:07 PM
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have you thought about getting her a s&w model 63 .22 caliber revolver to train and practice with? once she become a good shot with the 63 you could sell it off and use the money to buy her a model 60.
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:37 PM
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Good suggestion on the .22. The big issue I am trying to solve, however is her difficulty in pulling the trigger. If others do not believe the recoil will be much different between the LCR and Model 60, then this is a moot point and I will get her an LCR. Again, she shot it well with laser grips.
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
I assume that the trigger can be tweaked/tuned to be a little easier to pull without compromising safety??

On a J frame, smoother, yes, but not all that much lighter; not like a K-L frame.
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Old 08-12-2011, 04:42 PM
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IMO, a J-frame trigger action can be substantially smoothed, but lightening the pull is a crapshoot. J-frames are just mighty sensitive to spring changes, and a wee change in the mainspring can lead to misfires.

If she has no trouble with the LCR trgger, you might try it with some wadcutter target loads. The recoil is less, and while it won't perform on a par with hot +P self-defense ammo it is nothing to sneer at -- certainly more formidable than, say, a .22 or .32 Long.
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:05 PM
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Another idea re Ruger LCR is to have her try 357 Mag version, which is a few oz heaver, but, use 38 Spl full wad cutter loads or standard pressure 38 Spl semiwadcutter loads or standard pressure 125 grain loads.

She would not be first shooter than found that a more comfortable combination than regular, 38 spl LCR.

On any J-frame, cleaning all crud out of working parts, lots of dry firing to smooth working parts, good lube can go a long ways to making DA trigger pull much easier. My M60 smoothed up hugely from 100s and 100s of dry firings -- but after I cleaned it, after all that dry firing, there was another nice decrease in effort.

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Old 08-12-2011, 10:21 PM
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Also, a change in the return spring will help. I lowered my DA pull from 14# plus to 11#. Heavy but smooth.

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Old 08-12-2011, 11:00 PM
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Any decent gunsmith can lighten the pull on a model 60 and they can be smoothed out considerably. IMO, the 60 is an excellent choice for carry.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:21 PM
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I agree with Barkslayer. I 'fixed' several J frames to the satisfaction of their women owner/shooters.

First thing is to remove all the internal parts if you know how to work on these, with a book in front of you to show where to polish and where not too! The SS guns have more of a problem with roughness new off the shelf. Trigger rebound block, both sides of cylinder stop, contact points on trigger, hammer and DA sear but not the single action cocking notch!

Then get a spring kit and start with the lowest pressure springs 1st, both hammer amd trigger rebound springs. Test for misfires and increase to next stronger springs if needed. Or take to gunsmith and tell him that's what you want done.

Stay away from the light frames, obviously they kick way too much but secondly the springs are STRONGER because of misfire problems with the lack of resistance due to the lesser frame weight!
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:28 PM
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I believe a j frame trigger can be improved alot by carefully stoning the action and installing a slightly lighter rebound spring. The slickest trigger in my modest S&W collection is a 60-14 with the stock rebound and hammer springs, it so smooth that the DA trigger pull feels much lighter. My wife is a novice but she shoots the 60 pretty well yet struggles with the trigger on her Model 37. It can make that much difference.

Reliability isn't an issue, trigger reset is very positive and the full strength mainspring makes it go bang every time.
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TampaSW View Post
Good suggestion on the .22. The big issue I am trying to solve, however is her difficulty in pulling the trigger. If others do not believe the recoil will be much different between the LCR and Model 60, then this is a moot point and I will get her an LCR. Again, she shot it well with laser grips.
I'm going to bring up another angle to this equation:
Some find there is a marked difference in felt recoil between the CT laser grips and the Hogue "Tammer" grips that come standard on the LCR.
They're called "Tammers" for a reason.
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:18 AM
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I know what you mean about the "active" aspect of a semi-auto. I learned to shoot on semi-autos, but I recently took my buddy's girlfirend shooting for the first time (he came as well). She'd never held a real firearm before. She shot a Glock 19, my new Model 60 Pro, my 1911, and an MP5. The MP5 was of course her favorite because of the almost total lack of recoil. The Glock 19 was her least favorite, because it had the most "felt" recoil of the lot, even more than the steel-framed 1911 in .45.

Of the handguns, her favorite was the Model 60. Even with 38+P's she handled it the best. What a lot of us seem to forget, as experienced shooters, is that the auot-loaders have a lot of movement. The slide blowing back and the shell casing flying out, while nothing we even think about, is a lot of violence for a new shooter. She said, "it felt like it was exploding in my hand every time I shot". The revolver, with no moving slide or ejecting brass, was less intimidating.
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:52 AM
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The Mod 6 can be smoothed up which will give the "feel" of a much lighter trigger. I never replace the main spring, but do put a lighter rebound spring in. Stoning in the appropriate places makes all the difference, as well as correct lubrication. One thing I also do which make the 60 easier to shoot (double action) is to grind the grooves out of the trigger and contour and polish it. Better fitting grips also make a big difference.
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:15 PM
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Thanks for all the help and suggestions, guys.
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:53 AM
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My 3" 60 Pro, new this past January, came NIB with a good trigger - and it got even better after breakin. No ftf's, either. My wife shoots .38 Special +P 158gr LHPSWC's from it like they were wimpy plinkers!

I have to second the .38 Special 148gr wadcutter (target) load suggestion. It'll make that LCR (or an Airweight - like a 637/642) shootable by nearly anyone. No, it won't stop a charging cape buffalo, but it will leave a nasty full sized wound channel - with it's low recoil enabling the shooter to follow up quickly.

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Old 08-14-2011, 09:12 AM
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As above. My model 60-15, 3" barrel (rated as .357) shoots .38 special very gently - much easier on the hand than the LCR I used to have. Trigger is excellent SA, very good DA.
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:19 AM
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Seems a shame that a wheel gun is the only way to go. The first thing that came to mind reading your post, and the problems your mom has with the trigger of revolvers is what I carry a lot down here in the tropics of Florida;that is my little Sig p238. Good trigger, mechanically sound, very little kick, accurate, and, for me, trouble free. I have shot over 1k of all brands of ammo with nary a hiccup.
I have a no-dash 60, and as smooth as the trigger may be it could still be too much for a little lady to be comfortable with.
Just a thought. Much luck to you and mom finding something suitable.

jc
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Old 08-14-2011, 02:11 PM
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I lightened the pull with a Wolff return spring. Changing the hammer spring was a risk I didn't want to take on. smoothing up the innards helped. Dry-firing helped. I think I have this J-frame as good as it's going to get.
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Old 08-14-2011, 02:49 PM
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Have you tried the LCR with wadcutters?
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:35 PM
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jimmyj - I have not, but yours is the third recommendation. I till try it.

Given all the feedback, I am leaning toward the model 60 and working on the trigger (gunsmith, not me). I really think it is a better choice for her.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TampaSW View Post
Good suggestion on the .22. The big issue I am trying to solve, however is her difficulty in pulling the trigger. If others do not believe the recoil will be much different between the LCR and Model 60, then this is a moot point and I will get her an LCR. Again, she shot it well with laser grips.
That's sound advice for any female or newbie for that matter.
My wife started with a .22 and got to be a pretty good shot,
She then moved up to model 60, shooting 38spl.
That was the best thing she could have done.
Now she has a self defense round that will stop any aggression and she doesn't flinch or pull any of her shots off.
She can hit anything she aims at.

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Old 08-15-2011, 07:16 PM
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Default Model 60 trigger pull

I bought a model 60 in 2001 new. Liked it but wanted to lighten the trigger. Cut 2 coils off the mainspring, no more. Cut a couple coils off the trigger return spring. BIG difference, it changed from what I call a "Lawyer Trigger" to something MUCH more shootable and pleasant. Never a misfire, kept it for some time. Solt it but wish I hadn't! The steel framed 3" barrel model 60 I had was VERY pleasant with .38 Specials and the gun was accurate beyond all expectation. Would have made a great lady's purse gun, very shootable with potential for .357 wallop if need be. Was my carry gun for some time.

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Any decent gunsmith can lighten the pull on a model 60 and they can be smoothed out considerably. IMO, the 60 is an excellent choice for carry.
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:50 PM
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The trick to slicking up any J frame is to leave the hammer spring alone, polish those parts that slide or move against each other and clip (1) one coil off the trigger rebound spring. Leaves plenty of tension to properly return the trigger yet reduces the amount of pressure required to pull it. Smoothing and polishing the face and front edges of that trigger is also very helpful! HTH
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:41 AM
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Never cut OEM springs - you may just need them! I don't have stock in Wolff springs, but I do use a bunch. Just get a reduced power set - you can always 'go back' to the OEM units, which is hard to do once you've 'clipped' them.

S&W errs to the high side, spring rate wise, to ensure your hammer will pop any primer - and to ensure that the trigger will return for another shot - no matter the state of cleanliness of your revolver. Nothing sinister - just 'good marketing'. I keep my firearms clean - and reload using Federal primers - my play-only revolvers get light springs. Personal protection revolvers are generally left alone.

My wife is 5'10" and prefers her Seecamp .32 for pocket carry - and loves her recent LE PPK - but she has trouble pulling the slide on both of them - something to consider in a 'protector'. Her bedside gun is a 2" 10 - loaded with +P 158gr LHPSWC's - she likes the easy loading - but not the size. My 642 so-loaded is way too much for her - with 148gr lead full wadcutters from Zero, she is fine with them - actually quite the plinker!

Stainz
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoulderTroll View Post
I know what you mean about the "active" aspect of a semi-auto. I learned to shoot on semi-autos, but I recently took my buddy's girlfirend shooting for the first time (he came as well). She'd never held a real firearm before. She shot a Glock 19, my new Model 60 Pro, my 1911, and an MP5. The MP5 was of course her favorite because of the almost total lack of recoil. The Glock 19 was her least favorite, because it had the most "felt" recoil of the lot, even more than the steel-framed 1911 in .45.
The OP was referring to the Ruger LCR (polymer framed .38 revolver), not the Ruger LCP (polymer framed .380 semi-auto). "Active" meant lots of recoil with the light frame.
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:32 AM
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Thanks to all for the responses. I have purchased the Model 60. Can anybody recommend a gunsmith in Tampa or nearby that can help with the trigger? I am not going to attempt this by myself. Would like to find an SW expert to do the work.

Thanks
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1911, 380, 38spl, 637, 642, airweight, glock, gunsmith, hogue, j frame, l frame, m60, model 37, model 60, model 63, nra, p238, polymer, ppk, primer, ruger, seecamp, sig arms, wadcutter

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