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Old 03-19-2017, 03:55 PM
chubbyhubby chubbyhubby is offline
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Default Hard 686 trigger pull when hot

Greetings All,
I bought a new 686 3" barrel for my wife. She's happy with it overall, except after it gets hot. The first 30 or 40 rounds are fine, but after that, the trigger pull gets hard for her. She's petite and doesn't have a huge amount of hand strength, but shoots fine until the cylinder heats up. She shoots DA, and at an average speed. We shared a lane at the range, so she wasn't firing a huge amount of rounds in a short time. I realize the trigger pull can be reduced, but it's fine when she's just starting. FYI - she was shooting Federal 130gr FMJ. Would switching ammo help, or is this a gunsmithing issue? TIA, CH
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Old 03-19-2017, 04:14 PM
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Could be ammo related. May also be the B/C gap is too tight...the gap between the barrel and cylinder face should ideally be around .004" - .006".
If it's too tight due to end shake or improper fitting, the debris on the front face of the cylinder can rub on the end of the barrel/forcing cone area, and cause the cylinder rotation to be impeded. (Also, check for shooting debris build-up in these areas, and check to see that the cylinder assy and yoke barrel are clean and properly lubricated.)

If the gun is new, there can sometimes be too little end shake on the yoke barrel, which can also cause binding. (not enough space for the cylinder assy components to function/rotate properly)
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Old 03-19-2017, 04:27 PM
gnystrom gnystrom is offline
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Sorry, Armor951 beat me to the post but at least I am on the right track.

This is just a guess but is there any buildup on the face of the cylinder or face of the forcing cone? Next time bring a toothbrush and brass brush and clean the cylinder front and back when this condition starts to manifest itself to see if it helps. If you have a very tight barrel/cylinder gap that may be the source of your problem. There are other potential possibilities but they are above my pay grade.

As far as the trigger weight of pull, you have options.
1. Thousands of dry fires may help (something that always seemed silly to me) but it will strengthen her trigger finger.
2. Install a Wolff spring kit which will reduce the felt trigger pull and make the gun much more controllable and enjoyable to shoot.
3. Take it to a gunsmith and have it done professionally which in the long run probably makes the most sense as they can also accurately diagnose your original issue. If you are planning on keeping this gun the cost of this service amortized over the life of this gun is tiny and the benefits are enormous.

Others will chime in with a better answer to your "difficult trigger pull" but I would still consider doing trigger work, especially if it is for your wife.

Last edited by gnystrom; 03-19-2017 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chubbyhubby View Post
I bought a new 686 3" barrel for my wife.

FYI - she was shooting Federal 130gr FMJ. Would switching ammo help, or is this a gunsmithing issue?
Welcome to the forum.

Congratulations on the choice of 3" 686. Once it gets straightened out, it's a great gun.

What's happening is not normal. I regularly run sessions of 150rds in my 686's, with no variation to trigger pull. Have you removed the cylinder and made sure everything is clean and moves freely?

Bear in mind that your new 686 has an excellent warranty. A short phone call to customer service and they will email you a pre-paid FedEx shipping label, and FedEx will come to your door to pick it up. If it's clean and full functioning to start with, then I'd send it back for them to look at.
My 3" 686 had to go back twice before they got it right, but now it's a favorite. Their turn around was about three weeks.

Some feel that extended use of lite weight rounds like your using are not optimal for the guns design, and believe 158gr is the better weight for plinking. Has to do with flame cutting.

Good luck to you and your wife.

Last edited by bigwheelzip; 03-19-2017 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armorer951 View Post
...check to see that the cylinder assy and yoke barrel are clean and properly lubricated.
I'll vote for this.

I've had several guns that "liked" to do like you said your's does. The cylinder seems to spin easily, when open, but starts to bind up once it gets hot because of the soot/residue on the yoke barrel, which becomes noticeable when cocking it.

Remove the yoke/cylinder assembly. Slide the cylinder off & thoroughly clean the yoke barrel. Put little to no lube on it as it'll only attract more soot/residue.

.
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Old 03-23-2017, 01:27 PM
chubbyhubby chubbyhubby is offline
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As a revolver noob, I have to ask the question: how do I remove the cylinder?
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:26 PM
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As a revolver noob, I have to ask the question: how do I remove the cylinder?
It's fast and easy but if you don't have them, get proper Gunsmiths screwdrivers so you don't mess up.

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Old 03-24-2017, 12:13 AM
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With jacketed ammo, just heating up would not likely cause that problem. (Anything is possible). It may be that after shooting a while, some debris has fallen on the back side of the extractor when fired cases are ejected and become trapped between the extractor and rear counterbore of the cylinder. A good cleaning on both surfaces with a toothbrush will free everything up again IF that is the problem.

Last edited by Toolguy; 03-24-2017 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 03-24-2017, 01:27 AM
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Default Many causes, but........

There may be several causes but I can say that this isn't normal. If you speed loaded and fired 30-40 rounds it shouldn't affect trigger pull that much. A gun can get too hot with many consecutive shots quickly but it should be more like 100 or so and then should just be hot to touch, not malfunctioning. Something is definitely too closely fit if normal thermal expansion affects it that badly
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Old 03-24-2017, 02:18 AM
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Well I can tell you that when I had the problem (I described above) it would start getting hard to cock (SA) after only a few rounds fired. Cleaning the yoke barrel always fixed it for me. Some guns just get more debris/soot there.

.
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Old 03-24-2017, 02:56 AM
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Good suggestions posted above, and therein probably lies the answer.

But, I'll ask a dumb question. You stated your wife was petite, with limited hand strength. Are you sure her trigger finger is just not getting tired? 40 or 50 12lbs. pulls on a DA trigger can be a lot for some people.

Larry

Last edited by Fishinfool; 03-24-2017 at 02:57 AM.
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Old 03-24-2017, 03:55 AM
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Maybe another dumb question , if you let it cool down does the trigger pull lighten up? If not would not think heat would be the cause.
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Old 03-24-2017, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lunger View Post
Maybe another dumb question , if you let it cool down does the trigger pull lighten up? If not would not think heat would be the cause.
IMO, a smart question. If the answer is yes, I going with fatigue, as mentioned above.
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Old 03-25-2017, 01:58 AM
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IMO, a smart question. If the answer is yes, I going with fatigue, as mentioned above.
Yes, for me.

One thing I forgot to mention, the felt "drag" is almost always only on part of the cylinder's rotation. The other chambers cock & advance with normal feel. Once cleaned all are smooth. I don't know if this is the OPs problem, just my recommendation to check.

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Old 03-25-2017, 07:43 PM
chubbyhubby chubbyhubby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishinfool View Post
Good suggestions posted above, and therein probably lies the answer.

But, I'll ask a dumb question. You stated your wife was petite, with limited hand strength. Are you sure her trigger finger is just not getting tired? 40 or 50 12lbs. pulls on a DA trigger can be a lot for some people.

Larry
Valid question. I'm going to try and get an actual measurement on the trigger pull force. Thinking of using a luggage scale to check the pull force when cold vs when she's having the issue. Not a perfect way to measure, but I don't have a trigger pull force gage.
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Old 03-27-2017, 01:24 PM
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Default Thanks to All

I appreciate the answers and suggestions posted here. I did remove the cylinder and it was pretty clean. I doubt the trace amount of powder on it was the cause. At this point, the gun is very clean and I'll try to get it to stick, like it did for my wife. If it does it again, I'll contact S&W about having them look at it.
Thanks, all!!! CH
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