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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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Old 06-05-2019, 12:24 PM
mgriffin mgriffin is offline
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Default S&W 351C question

I have a 351C and actually I have 2 questions;

1) Are the cases on .22WMR harder to ignite vs .22lr? I'm thinking about changing the rebound spring from the factory 18lb. down to a 14lb. I have read on the forum that people have lowered their 43C rebound spring down to 13-14lb. and have had no issues.

2) If I decide to change out the rebound spring, can I just remove the side plate and change the spring or do I have to remove the main spring and hammer before changing the rebound spring? Thanks in advance!!
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Old 06-05-2019, 12:36 PM
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The Main Spring and Hammer will have to be removed first, but the Main Spring can remain captive on the Main Spring Strut as long as you use some sort of retaining pin during disassembly. There are probably plenty of YouTube videos on the subject. Sorry, can't recommend any, as I've never watched any personally.

Best of luck.
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Old 06-05-2019, 12:59 PM
mgriffin mgriffin is offline
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Thanks Dave!
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mgriffin View Post
Thanks Dave!
You're most welcome!

By the way, a bent paper clip can be used to retain the Main Spring on the Main Spring Strut during disassembly/reassembly.
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by D Brown View Post
The Main Spring and Hammer will have to be removed first, but the Main Spring can remain captive on the Main Spring Strut as long as you use some sort of retaining pin during disassembly. There are probably plenty of YouTube videos on the subject. Sorry, can't recommend any, as I've never watched any personally.

Best of luck.

^^^That ^^^

I watched 2 vids on YouTube, One where the guy replaced both springs and the other where just the rebound spring was replaced. The captive main spring lifted right out and the rebound spring was replaced in minutes. The captive main spring dropped right back in and done, but for replacing the sideplate. The sideplate seemed to take longer than the spring replacement, but care needs to be taken in removal & reassembly of the sideplate.

Mainspring replacement took way longer and was much more fiddley. Good thing it's left alone with no need to replace.

Just search YouTube for J frame spring replacement, or, 351C replacement. You'll get more than a few vids to choose from. But the one for just replacing the rebound spring was the most informative to me. I'm waiting on my 43C to arrive at the LGS from the seller.

HTH

Wet

Just the rebound spring was easy.
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by wetdog1911 View Post
^^^That ^^^

I watched 2 vids on YouTube, One where the guy replaced both springs and the other where just the rebound spring was replaced. The captive main spring lifted right out and the rebound spring was replaced in minutes. The captive main spring dropped right back in and done, but for replacing the sideplate. The sideplate seemed to take longer than the spring replacement, but care needs to be taken in removal & reassembly of the sideplate.

Mainspring replacement took way longer and was much more fiddley. Good thing it's left alone with no need to replace.

Just search YouTube for J frame spring replacement, or, 351C replacement. You'll get more than a few vids to choose from. But the one for just replacing the rebound spring was the most informative to me. I'm waiting on my 43C to arrive at the LGS from the seller.

HTH

Wet

Just the rebound spring was easy.
I didn't see the video of course, but Main Spring replacement can be as simple or as difficult as you care to make it.

The easy way to do it (for me) is to clamp the ball end of the Main Spring Strut in a Bench Vise, ease the "paper clip" out of the notch in the strut, and slowly ease the spring and nut off the Strut. Reverse order for installation. The Bench Vise acts as a third hand and vastly simplifies the procedure.

Give it a try sometime. You'll be amazed at how incredibly easy it really is.
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:12 PM
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I had 351C and put lesser rebound spring in but I was getting light strikes.
YMMV hopefully.
I gave up after a couple different springs and sold I as the trigger was horrible, worse than a H&R.
Good luck to you.
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Old 06-06-2019, 05:58 AM
mgriffin mgriffin is offline
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Hardknocks what lb springs did you try? I ordered a 14lb rebound spring from Wolff. I am not going to change the weight of the main spring.
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Old 06-06-2019, 06:35 AM
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Hardknocks what lb springs did you try? I ordered a 14lb rebound spring from Wolff. I am not going to change the weight of the main spring.
The Rebound Spring has no effect on Hammer Power. It affects trigger compression and return. The Main Spring provides the force for ignition of the cartridge.

You might want to look over this thread. M43 C, date of manufacture vs quality control.
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Old 06-06-2019, 07:06 AM
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Thanks again Dave! I have read the thread you recommended and your response was what I gathered from reading it; hammer power is not effected by rebound spring. Guess I'll find out how the 14lb spring works in a few days.
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Old 06-06-2019, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by mgriffin View Post
Hardknocks what lb springs did you try? I ordered a 14lb rebound spring from Wolff. I am not going to change the weight of the main spring.
I bought a bunch of springs from wolf which I still have somewhere. I don't recall offhand it was a few years back.
But I didn't change the rebound spring it was the hammer spring.
I used what others here had used and some reported sucess.
I believe the rebound spring can adversely affect rapid shooting.
I liked the gun alot but not the trigger but I realize the rim fire needs a good wack to set it off.
From the factory no light strikes.
Regards
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Old 06-06-2019, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by hardknocks View Post
I bought a bunch of springs from wolf which I still have somewhere. I don't recall offhand it was a few years back.
But I didn't change the rebound spring it was the hammer spring.
I used what others here had used and some reported sucess.
I believe the rebound spring can adversely affect rapid shooting.
I liked the gun alot but not the trigger but I realize the rim fire needs a good wack to set it off.
From the factory no light strikes.
Regards
Thank you!
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Old 06-06-2019, 10:28 AM
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The hardest part of working on a Centennial is holding the hammer back far enough to put the "pin" (paperclip) in the hammer strut to keep the mainspring compressed. I made a small piece of wood to just fit in the gap caused when the hammer is close to full draw, and slip it in between the hammer face and the firing pin. Let the pressure off and just lift the entire hammer strut & spring assembly out.

One thing I noticed when I recently did a trigger job on my 432PD (same frame and finish), was the rebound slide (as well as most all the interior parts) had the same finish, a matte black. This isn't conducive to a smooth trigger, so I did some polish work with a stone and used an appropriate grease on the bottom and both sides of the rebound slide. Made a good difference.
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Old 06-06-2019, 01:40 PM
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A lighter weight rebound spring will lower trigger pull force, but at the cost of a less forceful trigger return/reset.

For gun carried for self defense I would not reduce the trigger rebound spring weight. If anything I'd add a few pounds (not really)!

The reason is thus: About the only "malfunction" you have to worry about with a revolver (non parts breakage) is short-stroking the trigger during rapid DA shooting. Granted, the M351C is a small gun, but under the stres of "fight or flight" where the body dumps large amounts of adrenaline into the blood, fine motor coordination decreases as gross muscle strength is enhanced. This is why the things you can do when calm become a lot more challenging when you're heart is suddenly racing 120 bpm and you're scared, and you're hand start shaking.

With a DA revolver there are two things that can go wrong with the cylinder locked in place. Your release is just short of full reset - reset meaning the "hand" has reengaged the ratchet, but the DA sear has not reset. At this point, a pull on the trigger will cause the cylinder to happily rotate, while the hammer only "bobbles" in place without being cocked and of course the gun does not fire. Not only can this be done once under "stress fire" it can be done repeatedly before the person realizes the gun is no longer speaking.

The second thing is far worse, potentially catastrophic. Just "forward" of the failed reset point mentioned above, the DA sear achieves a mechanical interface with the trigger "nose" (part that drives the DA sear up during hammer cock), and if at the precise location the trigger is pressed - again under the much stronger force of a full adrenaline stress fire situation, the two parts will meet "dead on" and the trigger will "jam" - no movement, no cylinder rotation, no hammer cock, the gun is fully LOCKED UP as long as the finger maintains pressure. When we're playing on the range and this happens, we just relax pressure, the trigger resets and we're gtg. But in a combat situation the human finger can snatch that trigger with such force so as to break the gun internally, which means no more bullets being launched. With an alloy frame revolver such as the 351C the mostly likely break will be the hammer pin being snapped out of position, or the small "nose" of the trigger being grossly deformed. At this point, the gun is out of action.

Anyone can create these malfunctions by pulling the trigger, and easing the trigger forward to just shy of full reset, then pull again. Once you find the "spot" you can literally rotate the cylinder without lifting the hammer or place the internal parts in a bind - at will. Granted this is an "area" in the trigger's return travel that it generally passes through quickly, BUT, both issues are "located just inside" full reset!

Okay, so how does this matter to lowering spring return rate? Because now the trigger has less spring-force pushing it back to full reset, which means is WILL be more sluggish, slower, and "increase" the probability of a trigger pull while the internal parts are still within that malfunction zone. One can presume that with smaller revolvers the "odds" of short-stroking a DAO trigger are less than with larger revos with longer "pull," but when the trigger return force has been reduced, the odds of this go up.

All that long-winded explanation was to say, don't reduce your trigger's return force on any gun you MIGHT carry for SD. And I would think the 351C is such a revolver. This little "quirk" of double-action revolvers is why I often remind people that the ONLY guaranteed shot you have from a DA revolver that you train to shoot DAO, is the first one. All after that are subject to the engineering limits of the gun, as negatively impacted by the shooter! Since the cylinder rotates off the trigger, the ultimate reliability of the DA revolver is tied to it.

Just to point out the difference, with a single-action revolver, the cylinder is rotated when the hammer is cocked and the trigger (in it's simplest form) only releases the hammer - you don't even need one. For this reason, when you start a gunfight with a single action revolver you have ALL SIX for sure! There isn't any hidden internal mechanical interface that can render your gun out of action. Based on this, the best carry revolver is of the Schofield design - top-break, auto ejection, fast reloads, and SAO...

So consider carefully any changes that reduce the speed and force of trigger rest in any DA revolver.
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Old 06-06-2019, 04:57 PM
mgriffin mgriffin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Lear View Post
A lighter weight rebound spring will lower trigger pull force, but at the cost of a less forceful trigger return/reset.

For gun carried for self defense I would not reduce the trigger rebound spring weight. If anything I'd add a few pounds (not really)!

The reason is thus: About the only "malfunction" you have to worry about with a revolver (non parts breakage) is short-stroking the trigger during rapid DA shooting. Granted, the M351C is a small gun, but under the stres of "fight or flight" where the body dumps large amounts of adrenaline into the blood, fine motor coordination decreases as gross muscle strength is enhanced. This is why the things you can do when calm become a lot more challenging when you're heart is suddenly racing 120 bpm and you're scared, and you're hand start shaking.

With a DA revolver there are two things that can go wrong with the cylinder locked in place. Your release is just short of full reset - reset meaning the "hand" has reengaged the ratchet, but the DA sear has not reset. At this point, a pull on the trigger will cause the cylinder to happily rotate, while the hammer only "bobbles" in place without being cocked and of course the gun does not fire. Not only can this be done once under "stress fire" it can be done repeatedly before the person realizes the gun is no longer speaking.

The second thing is far worse, potentially catastrophic. Just "forward" of the failed reset point mentioned above, the DA sear achieves a mechanical interface with the trigger "nose" (part that drives the DA sear up during hammer cock), and if at the precise location the trigger is pressed - again under the much stronger force of a full adrenaline stress fire situation, the two parts will meet "dead on" and the trigger will "jam" - no movement, no cylinder rotation, no hammer cock, the gun is fully LOCKED UP as long as the finger maintains pressure. When we're playing on the range and this happens, we just relax pressure, the trigger resets and we're gtg. But in a combat situation the human finger can snatch that trigger with such force so as to break the gun internally, which means no more bullets being launched. With an alloy frame revolver such as the 351C the mostly likely break will be the hammer pin being snapped out of position, or the small "nose" of the trigger being grossly deformed. At this point, the gun is out of action.

Anyone can create these malfunctions by pulling the trigger, and easing the trigger forward to just shy of full reset, then pull again. Once you find the "spot" you can literally rotate the cylinder without lifting the hammer or place the internal parts in a bind - at will. Granted this is an "area" in the trigger's return travel that it generally passes through quickly, BUT, both issues are "located just inside" full reset!

Okay, so how does this matter to lowering spring return rate? Because now the trigger has less spring-force pushing it back to full reset, which means is WILL be more sluggish, slower, and "increase" the probability of a trigger pull while the internal parts are still within that malfunction zone. One can presume that with smaller revolvers the "odds" of short-stroking a DAO trigger are less than with larger revos with longer "pull," but when the trigger return force has been reduced, the odds of this go up.

All that long-winded explanation was to say, don't reduce your trigger's return force on any gun you MIGHT carry for SD. And I would think the 351C is such a revolver. This little "quirk" of double-action revolvers is why I often remind people that the ONLY guaranteed shot you have from a DA revolver that you train to shoot DAO, is the first one. All after that are subject to the engineering limits of the gun, as negatively impacted by the shooter! Since the cylinder rotates off the trigger, the ultimate reliability of the DA revolver is tied to it.

Just to point out the difference, with a single-action revolver, the cylinder is rotated when the hammer is cocked and the trigger (in it's simplest form) only releases the hammer - you don't even need one. For this reason, when you start a gunfight with a single action revolver you have ALL SIX for sure! There isn't any hidden internal mechanical interface that can render your gun out of action. Based on this, the best carry revolver is of the Schofield design - top-break, auto ejection, fast reloads, and SAO...

So consider carefully any changes that reduce the speed and force of trigger rest in any DA revolver.
Thanks Bill!
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Old 06-06-2019, 05:46 PM
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The above post has aroused my curiosity. Does anyone have a documented case of a Centennial Style Revolver being put out of commission due to short stroking the trigger during an act of self defense?

If you have one, please cite the case, along with some documentation.

Thanks for your cooperation.
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Old 06-06-2019, 06:18 PM
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I asked this same question a few years ago and was advised not to change either spring as it could very well result in light strikes. Apparently rim fire J frames are more sensitive to that than the center fire ones.

The advice I got was to bring it to the range as often as possible and shoot it a lot. You can also use spent casing and dry fire the gun. Don't dry fire with no shell in the champers as it will likely break the firing pin.

After a couple of thousand rounds, the trigger pull should lighten up.
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Old 06-06-2019, 06:31 PM
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The guns were engineered to work 100% with any ammo. Some ammo may work with a lighter spring but rimfire spring changes suffer more malfunctions then centerfire spring changes. Take you chances but don’t bet your life on lighter springs in a rimfire.
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Old 06-06-2019, 07:07 PM
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My 351C has an extremely heavy trigger but has never failed to fire. I'm inclined to leave it that way. The 351C has to be one of the safest carry options around as far as accidental discharge.
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:15 PM
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My follow up....I installed a 14lb. Wolff rebound spring and was able to try it out today. My buddy brought his 315C which is factory stock, no spring changes. Yada yada yada, we both shot both pistols and could not feel any difference between the two pistols. I am going to leave the 14lb. rebound spring in mine and try dry firing it 1500-2000 times. I saved the spent casings and will use them for dry fire. I considered buying a 11lb rebound spring but at this point I think I wont. Thanks to everyone for their input!!
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Old 01-09-2020, 09:50 PM
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Default Lightening a little

I did not want to start a new thread because it seems there's been a lot written already. There's a large selection of Wolff spring packs, but I can't tell which one is right.

https://www.gunsprings.com/SMITH%20&...D58/dID263#441

What is the correct current Wolff spring pack for the rim fire J's? What is the consensus on acceptable spring weights with no misfires? Has anyone had a problem with light strikes using a conservatively lighter return spring and/or return and hammer spring replacement combination? Which of the personal protection ammo, Winchester PDX, Hornady Critical or Gold Dot works most reliably (I bought 500 rds of the Gold Dot)?

I love my new 351C. It shoots great, keeps a half dollar at 30 ft, just holding the top edge of that big white XS dot at the bottom edge of the black on an NRA B-2 target. Great sights for my older eyes. Finish and fit on my example are perfect, invisible sideplate. I can shoot this snubbie well, really well, for about five cylinders and then my hand begins to bind up. The trigger gauges over 15 lbs. It's probably 18+.

I've had many and still have a dozen S&W revolvers, old and new, large and small (I wish I'd never sold any) and currently have a two other J frames. I have never changed the stock springs on an S&W revolver and had never thought about it until I bought this 351C.

I suspect the trigger spring set in the 351C is overkill to avoid maintenance complaints from people using bad/cheap rimfire ammo. I read that the extreme light frame and cylinder require a stronger hammer spring than the heavier Ruger, but still. I really want to be able to shoot 100+ rounds a session but I can't get much past 50 rounds.


Thank you all for reading this.

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Old 01-13-2020, 08:34 PM
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I played the spring game and lost with my 351C. I put it back to OEM condition and looked in other directions. 1st I changed my grip to a lower hold by keeping my little finger under the grip frame and placing my trigger finger 1st joint just past the trigger. All this seems to keep my finger lower on the trigger and gives more of a leverage advantage along with less horizontal gun movement allowing for a better sight hold. 2nd I found some videos on YouTube for smoothing the actions on J Frames and this also made a very noticeable difference. I’m very satisfied with my 351C and won’t be getting rid of it because it’s such a horrible gun as some do. Although I may change my front sight from one of XS Sights white bead to one of their standard white bead with tritium inserts.

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