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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 04-03-2020, 09:48 AM
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Default 686 SSR Pro Series - Upgrades

One benefit of not spending 9 to 12 nights a month in hotels (national accounts) is I'm getting much more bench time for various cellar projects...

OK, I'll admit right off that most buyers of the SSR Pro Series won't think any upgrades are needed, and yeah I get that. I just happen to like what I like for features, and I also find working on my guns as much fun as shooting them (well, almost as much...).

Anyway, I made the following upgrades to my 686 Pro Series SSR and am really happy with the way it came out.

My upgrades include:
* Trigger job (SA = 3.25 # now)
* Target trigger
* Target hammer
* Weigand wide rear sight blade (target/narrow notch)
* Dawson fiber optic red front sight
* Altamont super rosewood finger-groove grips

But of course, now that we're on lock down -- I can't get it out to the range....

But I hope to SOON.

Old No7







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Old 04-03-2020, 10:27 AM
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love the look of the tapered underlug. Wondering if that feature is available on any K-frame models

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Old 04-03-2020, 10:48 AM
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I put the Dawson front sight on my 686SSR too. Keeping the OEM rear sight though. Don't know about a trigger job. It has an 11lb. DA pull, which is a bit stiff.

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Old 04-03-2020, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redlegvzv View Post
Don't know about a trigger job. It has an 11lb. DA pull, which is a bit stiff.
I received some guidance from a retired Police Armorer many years ago, and the vast majority of S&W revolvers can be improved by (a) Shooting a lot!

Or (b) [if you're handy with shop tools and know the trick to removing the S&W sideplate without prying it up] the shortest route to an improved trigger pull is to polish the bottom and side of the rebound slide where it contacts the frame, and cut from 1/2 to 1+1/2 coils off the rebound spring.

You're on your own if you do this DIY, but following all the training he gave me, I've done well over 1.5 dozen of my own or brother's Smiths over the years and they've all turned really out well, with much-improved trigger pulls and no issues with light strikes.

The keys are:
(1) Know your limitations and skills
(2) Use the right tools
(3) Polish only -- do not remove any metal
(4) Do it in steps, not all at once
(5) Learn the simple trick to removing sideplates unharmed*

Old No7

* It's quite easy:
Remove all screws with a proper screwdriver; with the grips removed, tap on the grip frame with wooden handle or plastic mallet until the plate jumps up -- handle it carefully. Don't force the sideplate when reinstalling it; the top corner (by rear sight) is hooked under first, line it up, then seat it; make sure the hammer block is in the right position and hasn't shifted. A light tap or two may be needed, but don't force it.

On an UNloaded revolver, obviously.
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Old 04-03-2020, 01:28 PM
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Wonderful looking revolver and thank you for the advice on Smith and Wesson smithing!
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Old 04-03-2020, 01:40 PM
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Nice work of a really nice revolver.

I had one and sold it to a customer that needed it more than I did. Stock it came with a good trigger, but a bit of smoothing and spring changes made it much better. I disliked the SSR grips so they went first. I really like your rear sight. I did have a gold bead on the front and liked it much more than the stock FO that came on the gun.
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Old 04-03-2020, 02:09 PM
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I made a decision a long time ago that while I readily disassemble semi-autos, I do not do that kind of work on revolvers. Like Insp. Callahan said, "a man's got to know his limitations" grin. You are absolutely right that Smith triggers really improve with shooting. I got some snap caps to get that process started during these wretched times whereby I cannot take my new 686 SSR to the range. Can't wait to start really breaking in the gun.
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Old 04-03-2020, 03:47 PM
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The SSR is my favorite revolver. Not long after purchase, I had a "action job performed on mine. It now has a 9 lb. 13 oz. DA and a 2.5 lb. SA trigger pull. It still has the stock springs inside. The smith was a true master at working on "Smiths". It is perfect now. I'm sure you will love yours. Have fun and be safe!!!
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Old 04-03-2020, 05:11 PM
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[QUOTE=Old No7;140723545][I]But of course, now that we're on lock down -- I can't get it out to the range....

I assume you're talking about an indoor range?? My range is outdoors and open. Good luck.

And nice looking revolver. Don
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Old 04-03-2020, 05:58 PM
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[quote=DonD;140724070]
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Originally Posted by Old No7 View Post
[I]But of course, now that we're on lock down -- I can't get it out to the range....

I assume you're talking about an indoor range?? My range is outdoors and open. Good luck.

And nice looking revolver. Don
Even our outdoor ranges are closed. Insanity, but there you are.
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Old 04-03-2020, 07:24 PM
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OP, you didn't mention that you filled in the hole of the dreaded lock.
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Old 04-03-2020, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redlegvzv View Post
I put the Dawson front sight on my 686SSR too. Keeping the OEM rear sight though. Don't know about a trigger job. It has an 11lb. DA pull, which is a bit stiff.
Look into the Miculek trigger spring kit from Brownells ($24). Does not result in a "professional" trigger job, but it is distinctly better than the factory trigger pull.

Miculek S/W Spring Kit : BANG MICULEK REVOLVER SPRING KIT | Brownells
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Old 04-03-2020, 10:08 PM
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kee-ripes! how could you ever miss? this gun is unfair to mother nature and should be ... uh ... given to me (for safe keeping. think of the children. power to the peep hole.)

my 586 ca 1992 is ashamed. thank god it only has a 4" barrel or it would ... no, that's too unthinkable.

Old Number 7, my question for you if you don't mind, is explaining why a target hammer. my other gun is a 36-2 with the bull and target trigger and hammer, and I've made a few efforts to find out the reasoning behind it, but I still don't know.

I understand the target trigger. it slices and dices and makes hash, and concentrating through the blood and pain is the benefit, I get all that. but of what earthly value is a sharply checkered hammer, besides bitchenness of feel?

anyway, if yours isn't the perfect gun, there isn't one.
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Old 04-04-2020, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
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OP, you didn't mention that you filled in the hole of the dreaded lock.
Yes, you are right!

I don't consider that an "upgrade" -- but a MUST DO.

Old No7
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Old 04-04-2020, 10:17 AM
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My ssr does best with full wadcutters. Has anyone had their chamber,forcing cone and barrel checked out? Just wondering if they come from factory set up more for lead or jacketed bullets. Great guns.
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Old 04-04-2020, 06:11 PM
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My ssr does best with full wadcutters. Has anyone had their chamber,forcing cone and barrel checked out? Just wondering if they come from factory set up more for lead or jacketed bullets. Great guns.
I never understood that revolvers care what type of bullets they shoot.
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Old 04-05-2020, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pomonapete View Post
Old Number 7, my question for you if you don't mind, is explaining why a target hammer.
Old habits die hard, I guess... I just like the large easy-to-grip spur.

Plus, as an added benefit -- both the Target Trigger and Target Hammer are STEEL, not MIM.

(Although the stock MIM parts will likely outlast all of us..)

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Old 05-16-2020, 01:20 PM
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What other sights did you consider? Love the standard issue SSR Pro but would like to optimize sighting for my vision, need reading glasses so trying get system that allows me to forgo the "glasses" when put on safety glasses.
Gold bead doesn't appear to have as good contrast (as fiber optics) ... other considerations? Am I right to conclude should try matching front sight dot with similar rear sight dots?

Thanks!
Don

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Old 05-16-2020, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
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What other sights did you consider? Love the standard issue SSR Pro but would like to optimize sighting for my vision, need reading glasses so trying get system that allows me to forgo the "glasses" when put on safety glasses.
Gold bead doesn't appear to have as good contrast (as fiber optics) ... other considerations? Am I right to conclude should try matching front sight dot with similar rear sight dots?
I have run the gun with the stock sights even though it would probably help me in competition to run a fiber optic front sight. This gives more visibility than a gold dot or red ramp in the daylight.

Regarding rear sights, I learned a long time ago that I prefer an all-black rear. That way, the only thing my eyes are drawn to when indexing on a target is the front sight. If I had FOs in the rear also, then I would have three dots bouncing around instead of just one.

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Old 05-16-2020, 11:17 PM
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I've now done three range sessions with *my* new 686SSR Pro Series. This resulted in me abandoning the Dawson FO sight in favor of the original Red Ramp sight that the gun came with. I found that the Dawson sight resulted (for me - YMMV) in inconsistency. I attribute this to the small size of the Dawson FO dot. I think that for the Dawson sight to work well I would need a different rear sight with a narrower notch. The Red-Ramp front sight is easy to place and I can get a ragged bull's-eye hole going with it. The Dawson sight is a fine piece of kit, but it did not work for me with the OEM rear sight on the 686SSR.
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
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I never understood that revolvers care what type of bullets they shoot.
The question is whether the bullets you use match the specs of the chamber mouths and barrel. Some bullets can be more liberal in their tolerances than others, which can have an affect on accuracy.

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I've now done three range sessions with *my* new 686SSR Pro Series. This resulted in me abandoning the Dawson FO sight in favor of the original Red Ramp sight that the gun came with. I found that the Dawson sight resulted (for me - YMMV) in inconsistency. I attribute this to the small size of the Dawson FO dot. I think that for the Dawson sight to work well I would need a different rear sight with a narrower notch. The Red-Ramp front sight is easy to place and I can get a ragged bull's-eye hole going with it. The Dawson sight is a fine piece of kit, but it did not work for me with the OEM rear sight on the 686SSR.
Were you shooting for precision or were you action-style shooting? My guns with FO front sights have never been useful for cutting a single ragged hole in paper, but I can get consistent A-zone/Down-0 hits with them a lot faster than I can with the red-ramp or black-post front sights.
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Old 05-30-2020, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
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Were you shooting for precision or were you action-style shooting? My guns with FO front sights have never been useful for cutting a single ragged hole in paper, but I can get consistent A-zone/Down-0 hits with them a lot faster than I can with the red-ramp or black-post front sights.
Both. I like a single ragged hole no matter what sight I am using. On a good day I can get that with my FO sighted guns, such as my S&W 625, 627PC, and many others (my CZ 75B SP01, to name my favorite).
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