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Old 03-18-2017, 06:00 AM
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Default 640 Mods: Grips & Springs

Took my new-to-me 640 to the range yesterday and was very impressed and pleased. The 12-13+ lb trigger was smooooth...and it was easy to shoot with 158 gr. LRN and not too bad with Gold Dot 125 gr. +P HPs.

I could easily leave the gun as is....but am curious about two things:

Longer Grips. It has Hogues on it now...but they are what I think are "compact," that is the bottom strap with the serial number is visible. I'd like longer ones as I hate tucking my pinkie under and I think I could be more accurate with more to hold on to. My question: what's a good set of "longer" grips....Hogue is fine, Pachs would be too as would wood...if anyone could suggest a model name or number of any brand/maker it would be appreciated.

Next are new springs. I'd like to bring the pull down to about eight or nine pounds and I see Apex offers J-Frame Duty/Carry spring set that's supposed to lower pull by about 3 pounds. Install looks not too bad...and as long as I'm changing grips might as well change springs. Anyone have experience or opinion about this change.

I'd forgotten how much fun shooting these guns is...I gave my two snubbies to my boys a year ago and when one came up in a trade offer I couldn't resist.

thanks in advance.
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:17 AM
CDR_Glock CDR_Glock is offline
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My friend polished the internals and replaced a spring with Wilson Combat. It's about 11 pounds. I don't like my trigger much lighter in a revolver than 10. It feels smoother to me, now, and I have more control for follow up shots.

I am not a fan of bigger grips, as I conceal my revolver in my pocket. I prefer to have as little of a footprint as possible. Plus, I don't want it to snag on my draw. I actually considered switching to wood just so it would have no chance to have friction on the draw. Right now, I have the standard rubber grips.


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Old 03-18-2017, 08:33 AM
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The two changes I made on my new Model 60 were the grips and the springs. I went with Pachmayr Diamond Pro grips which gave me some added length so all my finger fit and also were thicker which felt better in my hand. I think they have these for the 640.

As for springs, I added the Wolff springs (hammer and rebound). A fairly easy install. I did buy the SmithMaster tool to help install the rebound spring. While I don't have a gauge to measure, the trigger is lighter and much smoother.
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:54 AM
oldiesradio1560 oldiesradio1560 is offline
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I haven't changed my springs or trigger pull on my 640-3 but I have gone thru trying different grips for daily carry and range. I was not impressed with the factory rubber grip. Gone. Tried Pacmar Gripper since I like 3 finger grooves. Closed backstrap. Not bad but a bit of "bite" between my thumb and finger when shooting 158gr FMJ range ammo. Then I got a Hogue Battan grip. Two finger, open back strap, (elimates the bite because you can grip the back strap directly) small and I don't miss the "pinky" grip. Looks like I found the best grip for my 640.
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:13 AM
Aquarik Aquarik is offline
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You might consider the "Herritts Detective Grip". Its longer to support your pinky, has an open backstrap, and they are custom made to fit your hand.
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:23 AM
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I, too, wanted a longer grip for my pinkie so I went with the Hogue Centennial Tamer, which extends up on the back strap further than most (all?) other rubber grips. A dream to shoot.
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:53 AM
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well my 2 cents the pac's and the S&W Bananas. I have others and these are my favorite extended grips for my J's...

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Old 03-18-2017, 10:12 AM
JohnRippert JohnRippert is offline
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I use Altamont grips on my Model 36 and older Sile "Targets" on my 640-1. I do not pocket carry, just appendix carry so the larger grips are no problem for me. I really, really like to have all three fingers on the grip. Especially when I am shooting .357 in the 640-1. I also do not do anything with springs. Like the other poster I prefer to have my J-frame trigger about 10-11lb. Since both of my 640's and my 36 have supremely smooth, non-stacking triggers I leave them alone.




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Old 03-18-2017, 01:35 PM
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Thanks to all who commented. Going with the Hogue Centenial Tamers....I read some archived reviews on them here and they seem a good bet.

Also ordered the Apex spring kit. With 13 lb on the gun now a 3 pound decrease will bring it down to 10, which I think will be just fine for pocket carry.

again, thanks.
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:12 PM
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My two cents! Grips are one thing! Lots of choices, and everybody's hands are different and everybody has different preferences. Try different ones till you find what works best for you. That will be the ones that allow you to shoot your gun the best. Most of us have a set of grips for using and shooting and another or two sets for just looks! If you find a set that both looks good and shoots good, then you are a lucky man!

The trigger, on the other hand, is a different thing. Changing springs can make a difference in trigger weight, but that change can also result in lighter primer strikes, slower trigger return on incomplete trigger return, as well as just changing things for the worse. There are two springs, the hammer spring, and the trigger return spring. A lighter weight trigger return spring can help reduce the weight of the trigger pull. If you change it, fire it enough to make certain that the trigger is going to return completely every single time!

If your trigger pull or press is very smooth right now, I say keep it!! Smooth and consistent pull all the way through the cycle is the most important and critical part of having a double action revolver that you can shoot well. If you have this kind of pull, forget about the weight of the pull and go shoot that sucker enough to just be used to what it is! Any messing around with the action MAY disturb a good, clean, consistent, and smooth trigger pull. If you do that, you will also find it more difficult to hold that revolver steady throughout your firing process. A moving gun during the trigger pull with result in a much larger "pattern" on the target!!

If your hands could use some additional strength, you can do two things. You can dry fire your revolver without fear of damage, and dry fire practice is very good practice ... IF ... you practice correctly. Perfect practice makes perfect! A bad habit is learned as quickly as a good one, but getting rid of a bad habit takes a lot of time and effort! Second thing you can do is get your self a grip exerciser and use it to increase your overall grip strength. You can also use it to isolate your trigger finger and strengthen it. The ideal grip/trigger pulling sequence is to work and practice until you can isolate your trigger press (index finger press) from the rest of your hand grip on the stocks. You want a firm grip, front to back of the stocks, a locked wrist, and then to be able to correctly press that trigger with your index finger without increasing or decreasing the grip of the rest of the fingers on your shooting hand. Easier said than done, but with practice, anyone can get to be pretty good at it.

I will take a good, smooth, consistent from start to finish with a clean break trigger pull every single time over one that has been modified just to reduce the pull weight. Yes, some one who knows what they are doing can make a trigger action better, and maybe with a bit less weight in the bargain, but it's done by polishing carefully the surfaces of the internal mechanism that are directly involved in the trigger action process to make them fully smooth. If that doesn't happen, you generally wind up with a lighter weight trigger action that has inconsistencies in that weight from start to finish. You can't easily control that kind of trigger!

These are just my personal experiences and opinions. It's your gun. Change the springs if you wish. See what happens. You may be better after doing so. But maybe not! You can always put the old springs back in place. But whatever you do, I say don't destroy that smoothnesssssss!! If it ain't broke, don't go fixin' on it!!
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:34 PM
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Grips are a very personal choice. The only way to figure out what works best for you is to try them, not just holding the gun in your hand but shooting, especially if you're able to use a range that allows drawing from the holster and rapid fire, to see how it works. Grips that don't work can always be sold so it's not a complete loss.

I've said this in other related threads, but I think the best approach for improving a J-frame's trigger is to have a competent gunsmith smooth the action while keeping the factory-weight springs. The improved smoothness will help with trigger control and often results in a slightly lightened pull weight, while the factory springs will help ensure reliability.

Whether you use a gunsmith's services or change springs yourself, make sure you run plenty of ammo through it to make sure it functions reliably. That includes at least a few cylinder-fulls of whatever self defense/carry ammo you use.

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Originally Posted by kthom View Post
Second thing you can do is get your self a grip exerciser and use it to increase your overall grip strength. You can also use it to isolate your trigger finger and strengthen it.
I like Captains of Crush grippers. I have a few different sets, though I have to admit I don't use them as often as I should. They also make a version called IMTUG, which is a small set meant for improving pinch strength. It can also be used to strengthen the trigger finger.
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Old 03-18-2017, 03:30 PM
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Herretts Shooting Ace grips are no longer manufactured (check here under Accessories for Sale)) but offer good purchase on a J frame, I have them on my M&P 340. They cover the backstrap and come down below the grip frame just enough for the pinkie, and I have big hands.
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Old 03-19-2017, 02:33 AM
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More good advice.

Sooooo.....I'll change the grips and shoot it a bunch. If my patterns shrink with the new grips and more practice I'll forego the spring change. If not.....we'll give it a try and then shoot it a bunch more both to insure I'm not getting any light strikes and to get used to the new trigger and check if my groups get any tighter.

I can always go back to the original springs if the Apex don't work...and at $30 I ain't bett'n the family fortune.

again, thanks for taking the time and sharing your knowledge.
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Old 03-19-2017, 02:49 AM
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I replaced the springs in my 640-1 with the Apex spring kit and extended firing pin. My DA pull is just over 8 lbs and smooth and crisp so it should give you what you are seeking. IMO, dry firing and use will smooth your action to an extent but, it will never reduce your DA pull by the amount that you are looking for.
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:24 AM
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Like anyone who's been at this for any amount of time, I've got boxes full of every conceivable grip/stock.
Of late, I've come to favor Herrett's Shooting Stars:

Just enough there to provide a very secure hold.
Installed the Apex spring kit and polished the internals.
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Old 03-19-2017, 04:42 PM
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I've got a 640-1. I put Altamont Boot grips on it because, I don't mind the shorter length due to the fact that I pocket carry the gun in a Mika Pocket Holster most of the time.

While I like the trigger on the 640 and don't think I'll change it at this time, I wouldn't hesitate to put an Apex Duty, Carry Spring kit in it. I've put this spring kit into a Model 60 and I've got a 637 that came with the kit installed.

The kit is very easy to put in and lowers the double action pull to under 8lbs , at least in both of my j frames. I've not had a problem of any kind with light primer strikes in either gun. Hope this helps!
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:34 PM
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Hogue grips and the Apex spring kit are both good choices. I am pretty sure your Apex kit will offer three rebound spring options. I use the 14# in all my J-frames but many go lighter. I have never had any light strikes with any of the apex springs and they are in a good half dozen of my snubbies. I do not change firing pin springs or have need for a longer firing pin.
Using a correct screwdriver, get a good video and remove the sideplate. Lots of videos will show you how to smooth the the rebound slide in just a few minutes. Install your springs of choice, re-lube the insides, (I use a dry lube) and you should have a much smoother, lighter trigger. If you happen to get any light primer strikes just go up to the next wt. rebound slide spring. Unless, and even if, you have the correct rebound spring removal tool, do this in a clear plastic bag to prevent a long futile search for the missing spring.
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