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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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  #51  
Old 03-22-2020, 01:03 PM
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DA Most out to 15 yards, then SA at distance. Here’s a DA drill I use for my 340PD (EDC): Using a standard paper plate @ three, five & seven yards empty the gun as fast as possible, reload w/a speedloader or speedstrip and repeat. The goal is to keep all ten rounds on the plate, tight groups are unimportant.
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Old 03-22-2020, 01:20 PM
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As a kid in the 1950s I learned to shoot SA only - Hi Standard Sentinel and then a K22, sometimes a family friend's I-frame 22/32 (which I remember as having a longer-than-4" barrel but it was a long time ago.) For all of 'em the policy was that DA was inaccurate and wasted valuable ammunition. (Remington green box std vel was $0.50/box, $5/brick - sigh. I think I still have one box.)

When I began carrying a J frame, and shooting a K frame in IDPA matches, I started to learn DA shooting. My daily carry guns have been hammerless J frames (mostly) for years now, a 442 then a 640 and most recently a 632. But I still like the humpbacks (49 and 638) and would pay a LOT for a humpback 32 Magnum without a lock if they'd ever made one. Just because their SA mode makes it easier for me to hit steel reliably past 25-30 yards at the range - you know, to amaze my friends and mystify my enemies.
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Old 03-22-2020, 01:24 PM
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Default I do both DA and SA

Mostly double action. I like to keep familiar with how light my S&W revolvers single action is...just in case. I wouldn't want a situation portrayed in "Pulp Fiction", where a negligent discharge kills someone.

Plus, single action is just plain fun

I LOVE my S&W revolvers in SA!!
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Old 03-22-2020, 01:43 PM
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Single action for sighting in a new gun or after adding a red dot or scope, it makes the process less time consuming.

Once I am satisfied I switch to double action and then do any adjustments to the sights or scopes needed. I am not a young man, there is a small POI difference between single action and double action, there shouldn't be but I haven't been able to completely eliminate those couple of inches. So, I don't beat myself up over it, life is too short to sweat it.

From then on, double action only.
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Old 03-22-2020, 01:52 PM
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What OLDSTER said!!
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Old 03-22-2020, 01:58 PM
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I shoot my single action revolvers in single action, and my double action (and DAO) revolvers in double action.

Every once in a great while while I'll thumb cock one of my DA revolvers to shoot out SA at 75-100yds, but the bulk of my practice drills nowadays are kept at 50yds and closer.
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Old 03-22-2020, 02:24 PM
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Default Double Action Only

All my qualification fire and practice before we transitioned to autoloaders was fired double action. I can share two things for double action competence: The revolver's action must be smooth for its entire travel, not necessarily light as the gun must fire every time. And, in his book, "Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting," The late Ed McGivern said that the trigger must travel forward at the same speed it travels rearward. This was probably the single most valuable piece of information in his book. Once I grasped that concept, I proceeded to shoot perfect scores, right or left handed, and never went back to single action fire except for sighting in and accuracy testing.
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Old 03-22-2020, 02:27 PM
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Consider that trigger-cocking was considered a significant development and a very practical advantage over thumb-cocking revolvers.
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Old 03-22-2020, 02:28 PM
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Default Double action

Only double action.

Always shoot double action with all my revolvers.
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Old 03-22-2020, 02:33 PM
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Only DA for me. I shot revolvers exclusively for a while in IDPA and learned to master the DA trigger.
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Old 03-22-2020, 02:38 PM
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Always double action, well at least with my 642-1. Around 30 years ago when I used a revolver as my home defense gun I used to practice DA and also when I tried a few combat matches at the local range.

Later started target shooting where one hand was mandatory and shot SA as did everyone else. Also entered a few metallic silhouette matches and always shot SA but ditched the revolver in favor of a TC.

Most of my revolver shooting these days is 25 and 50 yard target shooting - my self defense guns are semi-autos. I shoot SA nearly 100% of the time.
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Old 03-22-2020, 02:51 PM
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99% of the time I shoot DA revolvers DA..

Problem for most people is that they have never been taught proper DA technique because there are not a lot of instructors who even know how...

When I was an NRA Training Counselor, certifying instructors for the NRA, I had many instructor candidates who had never even held a revolver let alone teach some one how to shoot one... DA shooting wasn't even addressed in the Basic Pistol Course...

Bob
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Old 03-22-2020, 03:04 PM
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Always, but all my revolvers are DAO. Iíd still avoid cocking the hammer even if I had the option since personal defense is my only interest.
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Old 03-22-2020, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by federali View Post
And, in his book, "Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting," The late Ed McGivern said that the trigger must travel forward at the same speed it travels rearward.
This is one of the reasons I like a strong trigger reset for quick DA shooting.
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Old 03-22-2020, 03:33 PM
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I do on the first round.
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Old 03-22-2020, 03:40 PM
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I only shoot revolvers DA about 25% of the time, but that will most likely change.

I grew up shooting NRA 2700 (now Precision Pistol) and I was encouraged to shoot SA. Both my Model 17 and 3 screw Model 14 are equipped with the 3Ts, so shooting DA is a bigger challenge with the target trigger. If I am shooting metallic silhouette or hunting with my Model 27 or Model 57, it is SA, also.

However, if I am shooting PPC, IDPA, or carrying for self-defense, it is DA only. For PPC, I have an older 4 screw Model 14 with the standard service trigger and hammer. Both my 686+ and Model 36 have the smooth combat style trigger. But even with these revolvers, I practice precision longer (beyond 25 yards) shooting SA.
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Old 03-22-2020, 03:51 PM
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I shoot mainly SA but try to get regular DA practice with every DA revolver I own.
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Old 03-22-2020, 03:56 PM
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The majority of the time I fire double action.
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Old 03-22-2020, 03:59 PM
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For a lot of years I mainly liked single action shooting long barrel revolvers at further than self defense distances. On the other hand I also have quite a few J frames, some DAO, but I don’t enjoy those for just the pure shooting aspect. Since my range has been shut down for over a year due to renovations I haven’t been doing any silhouette shooting at all. My long range guns are sitting unused and I find myself shooting the short stuff more often.

I still don’t DA shoot much though and I would like to get into it more. Just yesterday I dropped my DA hammer into my 64-5 357 conversion to give it a try the next time I shoot

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Old 03-22-2020, 04:02 PM
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Groo here
Guess this makes me an official "Old Fart"
Always trained at the SO to use DA at close range and single action
at longer range to get good hits.[we shot to 50 yds]
Always made sense to me to take advantage of the option.
So much so that when we went to DASA autos, the DA shot was for fast and close, but when time allowed [longer range] you would thumb it back.
Also the safety came off when the gun came out [that is when you were going to use it] and went on when you put it away.
All should remember that in the SO the pistol was our primary.
Shotgun was backup [and the pistol had about the same range as the shotgun.]
Also we worked out in the county [aka ,country] and usually alone.
In all cases hits count , misses make noise.
And a vast number of units carried 357mag and ammo,,,, 38 was for "City Kitties" LOL

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Old 03-22-2020, 04:09 PM
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I shoot both. Typically long distance is single action and close distance is double action.
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Old 03-22-2020, 04:46 PM
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Back in the early 1970's I was trained (as a cop) to shoot DA revolvers. Our qualification course included shooting at ranges of 3,5,7,10, 25, and 50 yards. We shot both strong-hand and weak-hand. Double-action only out to 25 yards. At 50 yards we fired both off-hand and from a barricade, single-action or double-action allowed.

Unlike today's training standards, the trigger finger was kept on the trigger (not outside the trigger guard until ready to fire). We trained on how to "stage the trigger" on double-action fire to rotate the cylinder and bring the hammer to the full-cock position, while holding the sight picture, then either hold fire or squeeze off the final bit of pressure to release the hammer and fire the round.

All these years later, I still shoot just about every practice round double-action, and I still "stage the trigger" with an almost undetectable pause during the final let-off.

The indoor range I use most of the time is limited to 50 feet (16.66 yards) so all of my practice there is double-action, combat-style shooting. When shooting at the outdoor range I shoot at 50 and 100 yards with both pistol and revolver. With the revolver I shoot the longer ranges single-action, right-handed but using my left thumb to manually cock the hammer between shots. I can usually keep everything on a B27 silhouette at the 50 yard range, and about 90% at 100 yards (on a good day).

But I am describing results after about 48 years of practice and training, several seasons of PPC competition, and tens of thousands of rounds sent downrange. I will admit that my earlier years of 20/15 vision are gone, and cataract surgeries followed by bifocal lenses have a big effect. I can still get the job done, but it takes all of my concentration to make it happen.
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Old 03-22-2020, 04:48 PM
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That depends on the type of shooting I'm doing. For competition or in a self defense situation, double action all the way. For a shot requiring extreme precision, particularly at long distance, single action works best for me.
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Old 03-22-2020, 05:06 PM
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Double-action only.

My first revolver was a Ruger Single-six, so it was difficult to get used to shooting double-action.

What cured me was simple: I bought a Colt 3-5-7 that had had a trigger-job. Fortunately I had the gun pointed down-range when I fired the first shot. Since then I've only shot single-action a few times when I wanted to check the sites on a 'new' old revolver.
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Old 03-22-2020, 05:24 PM
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I exclusively shoot SA. I train to automatically cock the hammer (with my weak thumb) immediately after the gun fires, ALL THE TIME. The cocking adds very little time to the shot. I like a very light trigger, so I replace the stock rebound spring with the lightest available.

I also shoot with a very relaxed grip (and with relaxed and flexed elbows). That results in an almost vertical muzzle rise. Obviously, I'm not into firing a lot of shots quickly, but I think that's not a bad strategy with a gun that only holds 6 rounds. I put my training effort into maximum accuracy, so that I won't NEED to fire very many rounds.
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Old 03-22-2020, 05:27 PM
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You're supposed to fire them double action. So that's what I do.
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Old 03-22-2020, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ContinentalOp View Post
What I've found is pulling through the DA pull as smoothly, and as quickly, as possible gives me better accuracy than trying to pull slowly. It's actually harder to hold the sights steady when pulling DA triggers slowly. But if I pull the trigger while maintaining a good balance of speed and smoothness, with no hesitation, and pull straight through, I get better results.

It also helps if I let my trigger finger slide across the trigger face a bit as I pull the trigger while maintaining front-to-back pressure on the grip with my shooting hand (not milking the grip). If I'm shooting two-handed, I use my support hand to grip with side-to-side pressure.

Even when shooting from the retention position, when I can't see the sights, I still try to maintain both trigger speed and smoothness. Though with any close-range, quick-fire self defense practice I'm not as focused on the mechanics as I am on getting rounds on target. Which is why I always include focus on those mechanics when I practice at the range or do dry fire practice at home, to help build "muscle memory" so I don't have to think about it.
What a great description! I'm saving this so I can read it again right before I shoot next time. Of course, it might be awhile since we've been ordered to stay home due to the virus.
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Old 03-22-2020, 05:49 PM
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When I got a 637 to go with my 642, I figure I'd shot it SA to learn the sights, first shot was off, 2nd shot was off, no grouping, fired the next 3 DA. Nice group, slightly off center, hmmm.
I now shot DA only, except on a bench, supported, occasionally.

I have a 2" 34-1 that I've been using to hone my DA skills.
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Old 03-22-2020, 05:58 PM
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I shoot DA. Started with bowling pin shooting and have stuck with it. I believe it improves all your shooting. If you can keep your sights in alignment through the long pull of a DA revolver, then the relatively short pull of an auto is even easier.
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Old 03-22-2020, 06:32 PM
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[QUOTE=federali;140708796] And, in his book, "Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting," The late Ed McGivern said that the trigger must travel forward at the same speed it travels rearward. This was probably the single most valuable piece of information in his book. Once I grasped that concept, I proceeded to shoot perfect scores....[QUOTE]

This which was cited by ContinentalOp, a wise DA shooter a few posts above.

But adding my own prejudice/view, I look on the Wolff
spring kits as problematic. Too many are installed to
achieve the lightest DA pull possible but create a mush
trigger return that is not good. The mushiness
actually slows the DA shooting and is a great concern
for short stroking the revolver.

As a start in DA shooting, don't expect to shoot boxes
and boxes of ammo with factory springs. Learn to cut
down on how much you shoot but learn to shoot better.
With time the strength and expertise will be developed to
shoot more if that is your desire; that is, to burn up
lots and lots of ammo.

Now what I just stated is purely a personal prejudice. I
believe 50-round sessions are perfectly adequate to start
one down the road to total appreciation of the DA revolver.
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Old 03-22-2020, 06:50 PM
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I was also trained to shoot DA and except when using my Ruger Vaquero while hunting, all shots are DA. I did a fair amount of Cowboy Action Shooting about 20 years ago and it almost ruined years of muscle memory. I think I'm back now, I have one manual of arms and stick with it. Practice with the bigger S&W DAs helps reinforce skills with the 642.
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Old 03-22-2020, 07:36 PM
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Double-action 99% here. I'm from the school of thought that says single-action has no place in defensive shooting, that it's an added step that wastes time. So, I keep my old-guy muscle memory sharp by not confusing the fingers with stuff I'll never need.
Funny, though: other than a Model 640, all of my double-action revolvers still have single-action intact. I don't like a "neutered" gun. (Same with bobbed hammers: Yuck!) And I own a pair of single-action sixguns, too. Oh, well, the wife must be right - I'm weird.

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Old 03-22-2020, 09:33 PM
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I used to shoot SA only with my Smiths. Never understood why anyone would shoot DA.
My carry guns were 1911ís at the time.
Then I got tired of chasing brass at practice and switched to a revolver for carry.
Since then I am shooting mostly DA, but when I want to his something past 25 yards I still revert to SA.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:40 PM
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Started with a Single Six, then transitioned to 1911. It wasn't until about 15 years ago I taught myself to shoot DA. Since then (except for not being able to see good anymore) all my shooting has improved. If you want to get good, learn to shoot a DA revolver DA.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:41 PM
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Double Action is the only way to shoot a DA revolver. Even when hunting frogs, deer or prairie dogs, it is always in double action.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:46 PM
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With a DA S&W.....when I want the most accuracy...its single action...sing the sights...I want the lite crisp trigger break.....when under duress....which I strive to avoid...I will use DA...with "point shooting" not using the sights...
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rd97 View Post
I shoot double action exclusively. Once you learn, it really improves your shooting in my experience.
Totally agree!
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:09 PM
9mmsubgun-m11 9mmsubgun-m11 is offline
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Always DA from my 617 through my 500.
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Old 03-23-2020, 12:04 AM
Benchrest1 Benchrest1 is offline
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Always double action, unless I'm shooting a "really hot" load. That is usually done in single action.
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Old 03-23-2020, 12:06 AM
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Depends on what I'm trying to accomplish. Could be either or both for any given cylinder.
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Old 03-23-2020, 05:12 AM
sheppard sheppard is offline
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DA almost exclusively. A major reason for using Smith and Wesson revolvers as they have the best DA trigger pull.
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:54 AM
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I canít remember the last time I shot a revolver single action.
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Old 03-23-2020, 08:34 AM
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I always shoot my S&W 60 Pro double action But for some reason I only shoot my Ruger SA single action! Dennis
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Old 03-23-2020, 09:27 AM
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I like the SA option, ergo, all my revolvers have exposed hammers. That said, the ones I occasionally carry, at the range or dry firing, are used DA exclusively. I believe that in a stress situation, I'd be using DA, so it behooves I be as proficient as possible. YMMV.
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Old 03-23-2020, 09:44 AM
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I have always had better results shooting DA. My EDC is a 640 Pro Series .357. I buy every reasonably priced factory bobbed hammer I see. I also love the factory combat trigger. I do like staging the trigger for long range shooting. At 100 yards I do shoot SA.
I have a 27-2 5" at Ten Ring Precision currently having Alex preform a complete action job. I normally do my own, but he does things I can't.
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Old 03-23-2020, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by federali View Post
... a mush
trigger return that is not good. The mushiness
actually slows the DA shooting and is a great concern
for short stroking the revolver. ...
A firm and brisk DA trigger recovery is rather important for a revolver dedicated to a self defense role.

When I bought my first 642-1, the former revolver armorer offered to install a reduced power rebound slide spring. He tried all 3 of them in the 3-pack, having me dry-fire the snub each time he tried a different spring.

The lightest consistently wouldn't allow for trigger recovery (bear in mind the action had been checked and "deburred" by the armorer, who used to build PPC revolvers).

The "middle" spring had very slow recovery.

The heaviest of the reduced power springs seemed okay. We left it in my snub and I began to shoot the dickens out of it, as it had been a few years since I'd been carrying revolvers for duty and off-duty, and I wanted to knock the rust off my revolver skills. I was also using an early 640 we had in our training vault, burning up some +P and +P+ .38SPL loads (it was the 640 marked on the frame as rated for +P+).

It wasn't long before I discovered that my returning DA revolver skills was letting my trigger finger "outrun" the DAO trigger's recovery during rapid shot strings out on the firing line. That's not good, as trying to rapidly press the trigger again before it's recovered is ... well, bad.

I replaced the reduced power rebound slide spring with the factory spring. The DAO trigger was firm and brisk in its recovery, and my trigger finger couldn't "outrun" it in the fast and furious shot strings and qual courses-of-fire.

Now, bear in mind that my DA/DAO revolvers are all maintained pretty well, since I was subsequently trained as a S&W revolver armorer myself.

By that I mean that if one of my S&W revolvers were to become a bit fouled inside, and the action became compromised by enough fouling, or an unexpected exposure to an environmental contaminant (dirt, sand, mud, etc), the factory spring would probably help keep the rebound slide's movement and trigger recovery firm and complete better than a lighter weight spring.

Just some thoughts. All of my S&W revolvers are only used for self defense/retirement CCW roles, so the mainsprings and rebound slide springs are factory (and relatively heavy).
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Old 03-23-2020, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastbolt View Post
I replaced the reduced power rebound slide spring with the factory spring. The DAO trigger was firm and brisk in its recovery, and my trigger finger couldn't "outrun" it in the fast and furious shot strings and qual courses-of-fire.
For a while I tried looking around for an extra-power rebound spring, but no luck.
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:13 PM
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For a while I tried looking around for an extra-power rebound spring, but no luck.
A couple of the older Chiefs were brought to me a few years ago for inspection and cleaning, and both of them had surprisingly HEAVY DA triggers. I sort of expected to find them heavily fouled, thick oil/grease, etc inside. Not the case, though. Instead, oddly enough, both of them had longer rebound slide springs in them than we'd been told were supposed to be in J-frames (17 coils, versus 15 coils). Neither of the frame studs appeared to have been damaged or bent, but those longer springs had to have really been shoe-horned to fit in that short space.

I called someone I knew at the factory, who once upon a time had worked in revolver repair and had done "trigger jobs" (simple jobs not sent to the PC). I asked him when they'd used the longer 17 coil springs in the J-frame, as that hadn't been mentioned in my armorer class. He said that to the best of his knowledge (dating to the 70's) they'd never been used in the little 5-shot snubs.

When I replaced both of them with new 15 coil (light blue) slide springs, which were the proper part numbers in my revolver parts lists for them, the triggers felt normal. However, both of the owners were pleased with the DA trigger pull and thought I'd done a "trigger job" to their guns.
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:34 PM
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I always figured that they put the single-action sear on the hammer for a purpose and I use it. I shoot mostly single-action. I do practice double-action shooting with my favored carry revolvers and am fine at self-defense distances. I'm under no illusions that I'll shoot better at distance with a double-action trigger.

I loathe DAO revolvers. Only one lives here, a Model 642 and Mrs. BMc has appropriated it. I like single-action capabilities because I like choices.
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Old 03-24-2020, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by federali View Post
And, in his book, "Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting," The late Ed McGivern said that the trigger must travel forward at the same speed it travels rearward. This was probably the single most valuable piece of information in his book. Once I grasped that concept, I proceeded to shoot perfect scores....
When I read the above in McGivern's book, as well as his additional emphasis on shooting double-action, it reinforced my shooting DA.

That is one dry book, but well worth having around.
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