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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 11-15-2020, 11:45 PM
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Default K-frame Trigger vs J-frame Trigger

I read somewhere that the K-frame trigger action is lighter and smoother than J-frame triggers. Can't find the thread so I'll ask the question. Is there a noticeable difference between say a Model 63 trigger and an older Model 18 like an 18-3?
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Old 11-15-2020, 11:50 PM
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Yes. They have different actions, J frames are coil spring driven and K frames are leaf spring driven. J’s can be smooth and K’s smoother.
I think at where you are at currently, you wouldnt notice a difference until you have fired hundred of rounds from either for a comparison.
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Old 11-15-2020, 11:55 PM
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I think the K has a better trigger. My most amazing double action trigger just so happens to be on my most beat up gun! It's a 1968 re-import police K frame m10.
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Old 11-18-2020, 03:30 PM
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Jís are hard triggers by design. I think itís an apples and oranges comparison. Iíve seen many Jís that the owners have claimed to be close to a K, but they never were IMO. A K can be light and smooth as glass.

Now donít get me wrong, I own Jís and I love emí too. But glass like triggersÖthey ainít.

Having said that, if someone takes exception to my claims and wants to correct me, send me a light, smooth as glass J frame and I will check it out and get back to you.
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Old 11-18-2020, 04:23 PM
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It's a matter of physics: the smaller Js have less trigger and hammer arc distance and angle, and so require more force to actuate versus the larger Ks.

Leverage -- it makes all the difference. This is why it's easier to lift 100 pounds of dirt in a wheel barrow versus a bag.
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Old 11-18-2020, 07:44 PM
Walter Rego Walter Rego is offline
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The J frame triggers can be light and crisp in single action but as others have mentioned the combination of the difference in geometry/ leverage and the coil springs in the J frames make them a little heavier and less smooth. Attempting to lighten the pull with reduced power mainsprings and rebound springs is risky, they can go from 100% reliability to 50% reliability quickly depending upon the particular specimen and combination of the two coil springs used in the action.

I like the J frames like my Baby Chief, Model 640, Pre-Model 34 and Model 63 for other reasons so the fact that they aren't as smooth as my K-22 or K-38 isn't even a consideration.
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Old 11-19-2020, 01:22 AM
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Sure, Js have a harder pull, but a professionally-done trigger job with emphasis on reliability can go a long way to bringing the J and K closer together. The keys are 'professionally' and 'reliability,' though. I know, lots of folks out there that can work on revolvers, but if having it be a firearm I depend on in life or death situations, I think I'd pay the extra to send it to S&W. All, IMHO, of course, and sorry for going further than the OP might have wanted, but any time you start talking about a subject that's part of the "ignition system," it sure seems like all the ramifications should be included. Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!
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Old 11-19-2020, 12:27 PM
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True, I have a 638 that inexplicably has one of the smoothest melted butter triggers in my stable. My 63, feels hard as a rock in comparison, but since the kids use it, I would like to keep it that way.
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Old 11-19-2020, 12:41 PM
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Shoot the J-frames enough to become reasonably proficient with them as is and you'll seldom think about the trigger being much different than any others. If, after much practice with live rounds the trigger is still unsatisfactory, that's the time to consult an expert.

These guns may not have a target-type trigger, but they offer incredible reliability, straight-out-of-the-box and not tampered with.
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