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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 05-27-2020, 11:35 AM
rainman1977 rainman1977 is offline
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Default Trigger Job - 686?

Is there any treatment, springs, stoning, etc. that will reduce the DA pull on a 686 without harm?

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Old 05-27-2020, 11:46 AM
StrawHat StrawHat is offline
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I do not believe in replacing springs. Instead, polishing friction points promotes a smooth pull. To figure where those friction points are in your revolver cycle the action several thousand times. This will not only highlight the friction points it will also strengthen the muscles in your arm and hand to better use the revolver. If you are dry firing, take advantage of the time to concentrate on your sights. A blank wall is perfect for this. Hold your revolver as you would for firing. Align the sights and squeeze the trigger. The sights should remain aligned through the whole trigger pull. At first you may not be able to do this but it will come with practice. Don’t bother with a target or coins or other gimmicks. Concentrate on a smooth pull and not disturbing your sight picture.

Good luck.

Kevin
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Old 05-27-2020, 01:39 PM
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Is it a new revolver? If it's new, I'd do what Strawhat/Kevin recommended. I've got a pair of 686s and they "break in" after enough cycles. If it's an older revolver and it's already "broken in", additional cycles may not change things.

Changing springs are controversial. Some folks swear by it, others claim it reduces reliability and could potentially create an unsafe light single action trigger pull. I don't have an opinion in either direction.

Wilson, Apex, Wolf all make spring kits for the L frame. You'll have to remove the side plate. You can find how to videos on you tube.

You can also have a gunsmith go over the revolver and remove any toolmarks and smooth/polish the critical interfaces in the action. I'd recommend having a good gunsmith do the work. I used a local guy who has since retired. I'm sure some one here can recommend one to you.
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Old 05-27-2020, 01:56 PM
Injunbro Injunbro is online now
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I've done countless action jobs & can only recall 1 that needed other than factory springs. De-burring the action reduces friction & fixes the real issues, lighter springs should be last ditch but often done by Bubbas. To prove a point I brought my 351PD .22 MRF down to 1 3/4 lbs. SA & 7 lbs. DA - J scandium frame .22 MRF's are the hardest to get good actions w/ reliable ignition. No, I don't want to work on your gun, I closed my shop & retired.
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Old 05-27-2020, 02:04 PM
rainman1977 rainman1977 is offline
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cd228, it is a new revolver. Had it about six months.

I've researched a good bit and still unsure that I want change the mechanics. StrawHat's advice seems solid and that will be my plan for now.

Thanks all.
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Old 05-27-2020, 03:55 PM
Gas tube Gas tube is offline
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If itís a newer 686 it will need cleaned up inside then try a brownells spring kit real easy to change your trigger will be a lot better and easier to stay on target you can all was change the springs back
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Old 05-28-2020, 09:39 AM
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Something used as a training aid long ago was to place a Nickle on edge on the top rib of the gun (someone else needs to do it) while you hold it and squeeze the trigger. Make several shots (dry fire), without disturbing the nickle. The "smooth" trigger makes this possible.
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Old 05-28-2020, 10:03 AM
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I own numerous S&W revolvers and I have come to believe that if you plan to shoot double action that most S&W revolvers need, or critically benefit from, a trigger job. Trigger jobs usually involve changing the mainspring. I have had great results with both Wolf and Wilson Combat mainsprings. Polishing up the insides can also be of benefit. S&W revolvers ship with 11-12 pound triggers. I submit that this is simply too much for very accurate double action shooting. It is for me, anyway. I usually have my trusted gunsmith try to get it to 7-8 pounds, which I find makes a huge amount of difference in terms of accuracy. And yes, I insist upon 100% reliability as regards ignition of all types of ammo. It can be done. All of my revolvers are about 100% reliable with all primers and available ammo. But that reduction in the trigger pull, in my experience, makes a big difference.
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Old 05-28-2020, 10:46 AM
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My suggestion would be to get some snap caps and do some regular dry fire practice. Even just a few minutes a day will produce positive results. While I'm not as convinced as some others that dry firing will smooth the action as much as they claim, it will strengthen your trigger finger and make pulling the trigger easier. Of course, this should be dedicated practice and not just yanking on the trigger. Supplementing this with grip strengthening tools can be beneficial, too. I like Captains of Crush grippers, but there are lots of options out there.

If you do decide to do some action work, my general recommendation is to have a gunsmith do an action job but retain the factory springs, particularly if the gun is going to be used for defensive purposes. It will smooth and, to a certain degree, lighten the trigger pull, but will retain reliability and keep the trigger pull within factory specs.

Changing springs are certainly an option, but you would have to make sure they work reliably. An additional concern is the rebound slide spring. If this spring is too light, it can negatively affect the trigger return, possibly resulting in short-stroking the trigger during rapid DA shooting. This can be particularly bad if you have to use the gun to defend yourself.

If trigger pull is a concern for you, it would probably be a good idea to get a decent trigger pull gauge so you can objectively measure the current pull and compare any changes made. I don't have one because I'm more concerned with the feel than the actual weight.

I should add that my perspective is from that of a self-defense-oriented shooter. If this is a range or competition gun, then you can do whatever you like, so long as safety isn't compromised.

Just my opinion.
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Old 05-28-2020, 11:12 AM
JHB51 JHB51 is offline
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For a SD gun I do a polish job a competition gun gets a polish and a 14# rebound spring. I don't change main springs. I don't like having to use one type of primer for the gun to be reliable. Lots of live and dry fire will make all the difference in the world with the trigger pull and don't forget some of that needs to be weak hand also.
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Old 05-28-2020, 12:33 PM
rainman1977 rainman1977 is offline
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Thanks All! I am committed to firing DA well, or at least a lot better. I dry fire everyday while focusing on the pull and target. I like the idea of maybe changing the spring(s) with the option of putting the original(s) back.
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Old 05-28-2020, 02:55 PM
Eddietruett Eddietruett is offline
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Might just need some oil. I recently traded for a NIB Classic Model 27. Out of state trade so I wasn’t able to check out the gun, but it’s a new gun so I wasn’t concerned. Had one of the worst actions I’ve ever felt with any brand. Started to send it to the Mother ship but decided to peek inside. Dry as a bone and had a few slightly rough areas. About 5 minutes with a piece of fine sandpaper and some Lucas Gun Oil and now it’s very acceptable. It was obviously assembled with no lubricant at all. Never seen this before.
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Old 05-28-2020, 03:03 PM
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The answer to the OP's question is in the S&W Armorers manual. As we say in the car repair business, you wanna fix something, RTFM (Read The Factory Manual). If you wanna work on S&W revolvers, RTFM. Page 6&7, Procedure for Checking Revolver Mainspring Weights.

Stu
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Old 05-28-2020, 04:55 PM
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I've changed the factory springs on a few Smiths recently and doing so has made a huge difference in the DA pull. I haven't been to the range yet, so they are untested. However, I did change the springs on a 66 just before the shutdown and I did fire 3-4 boxes through it, no problems, so I'm hoping the other guns will work fine as well.

We don't have any gunsmiths here who specialize in revolvers, not since HPD went from 15/67s to 5906/Glock 17.

It can cost upwards of $200 round trip just to send a revolver to a smith--FedEx or UPS overnight/next day air, so that's the major factor in trying a $15 spring kit. So far it has worked for me, but I have no delusions about reliability--they have to go bang every time.

Just my .02
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Old 05-28-2020, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jc2721 View Post
I've changed the factory springs on a few Smiths recently and doing so has made a huge difference in the DA pull. I haven't been to the range yet, so they are untested. However, I did change the springs on a 66 just before the shutdown and I did fire 3-4 boxes through it, no problems, so I'm hoping the other guns will work fine as well.

We don't have any gunsmiths here who specialize in revolvers, not since HPD went from 15/67s to 5906/Glock 17.

It can cost upwards of $200 round trip just to send a revolver to a smith--FedEx or UPS overnight/next day air, so that's the major factor in trying a $15 spring kit. So far it has worked for me, but I have no delusions about reliability--they have to go bang every time.

Just my .02
Totally agree -- reliability has to be perfect. I don't want a revolver that can only work reliably with soft primers. My limited experience is that replacing the trigger rebound spring is more likely to affect reliability than the mainspring. YMMV.
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Old 05-28-2020, 06:50 PM
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[QUOTE=jc2721;140788141]...It can cost upwards of $200 round trip just to send a revolver to a smith--FedEx or UPS overnight/next day air...[\QUOTE]

I use my FFL dealer to ship things. The most they have charged me is $40. Normally $25 but I did not have a box.

Kevin
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Old 05-28-2020, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrawHat View Post
I do not believe in replacing springs. Instead, polishing friction points promotes a smooth pull. To figure where those friction points are in your revolver cycle the action several thousand times. This will not only highlight the friction points it will also strengthen the muscles in your arm and hand to better use the revolver. If you are dry firing, take advantage of the time to concentrate on your sights. A blank wall is perfect for this. Hold your revolver as you would for firing. Align the sights and squeeze the trigger. The sights should remain aligned through the whole trigger pull. At first you may not be able to do this but it will come with practice. Donít bother with a target or coins or other gimmicks. Concentrate on a smooth pull and not disturbing your sight picture.

Good luck.

Kevin
Great advice. I totally agree with this.
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Old 05-29-2020, 02:26 AM
jc2721 jc2721 is offline
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[quote=StrawHat;140788260]
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc2721 View Post
...It can cost upwards of $200 round trip just to send a revolver to a smith--FedEx or UPS overnight/next day air...[\QUOTE]

I use my FFL dealer to ship things. The most they have charged me is $40. Normally $25 but I did not have a box.

Kevin
Unfortunately none of the dealers in my area will ship a firearm unless it's under warranty or it's being sent back to the factory for repair. It still costs $$$ because they don't/won't use USPS.

So, even if a "trigger job" is reasonably priced by a smith, the shipping is a deal-killer.
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Old 05-29-2020, 03:17 AM
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Default I don't want ANYBODY......

....to work on my 686 because how can you improve on perfection?
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Old 05-29-2020, 08:26 AM
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Every S&W revolver I purchase, used or new, gets broken down, cleaned, lubricated, and polished if needed. Not hard to clean up a smith.

I've purchased factory new 629s, 686s, and a 617. Most have come from the factory bone dry. Myself, I will install a good aftermarket spring kit. There's many out there there that are good. Double actions are around 9 lbs, single between 3-3.5. Simply polish a couple areas and a little Breakfree CLP works wonders. Shoots good, lasts long time.
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:20 AM
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RTFM...Love it!
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Old 05-29-2020, 12:44 PM
bipe215 bipe215 is offline
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Jerry Miculek's trigger job DVD is excellent if you want to do it yourself or just learn about your Smith
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