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Old 06-28-2018, 10:07 AM
GypsmJim GypsmJim is offline
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Default Light Strikes on a S&W Model 19-4

I've owned the gun for 10 years or more and have not had a problem before. When I bought it the PO said it had a "trigger job", and it's evident by its very light trigger pull. However, its also the most accurate S&W I own.

Recently started having light strikes and no fire. Using handloads. Naturally, the first thing I did was check primer seating and that was OK. If I try hitting it a second time, maybe it will fire maybe not. Yesterday it took 4 tries with one round. If it doesn't fire on the second try, its still a light strike. When it finally does fire, the primer strike is normal.

I can go thru several cylinder reloads and it won't happen. Then, it starts again.

The same ammo is 100% OK in another .357 revolver.

Any suggestions appreciated...
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Old 06-28-2018, 10:16 AM
Rpg Rpg is offline
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Be sure the strain screw is tightened down.

Trigger work often includes backing the strain screw out a bit and can back out further over time.

Last edited by Rpg; 06-28-2018 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 06-28-2018, 10:24 AM
nachogrande nachogrande is online now
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Default WHAT DID THE "TRIGGER JOB" ENTAIL?

If it worked fine for 10 years, it sounds like something has changed. (duh) Start with the simple/easy/cheap stuff first IMO. Look at the (hammer mounted?) firing pin, FP channel clean/clear/lubed?, hammer pathway not gunked up?, springs weakened?, As mentioned above, has the strain screw loosened? still have the original springs?

Last edited by nachogrande; 06-28-2018 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 06-28-2018, 10:43 AM
GypsmJim GypsmJim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nachogrande View Post
If it worked fine for 10 years, it sounds like something has changed. (duh) Start with the simple/easy/cheap stuff first IMO. Look at the (hammer mounted?) firing pin, FP channel clean/clear/lubed?, hammer pathway not gunked up?, springs weakened?, As mentioned above, has the strain screw loosened? still have the original springs?
All good comments and all have been looked at.

Clean and oiled for sure. Strain screw tight. I don't know if the springs are original, since i bought it used, but I never changed anything. Springs weak? - how do i tell?
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Old 06-28-2018, 11:11 AM
Arquebus357 Arquebus357 is offline
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You really can't tell without gunsmithing equipment. If it was me, I would buy a new hammer spring, install it, and see if that fixes the problem. If it doesn't, I would need to look for another culprit.
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Old 06-28-2018, 12:17 PM
Toolguy Toolguy is online now
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In that situation, usually the main thing that changes is endshake. If the cylinder has too much play front to back, (more than .002), then the hammer may have to move the entire cylinder forward before there is anything solid to strike against. Moving the cylinder cushions the blow of the firing pin on the primer.

It could be something else too, we are just guessing without the gun in hand.
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Old 06-28-2018, 12:49 PM
ken158 ken158 is offline
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Most "trigger job" gunsmiths merely cut springs and filed the main spring screw to accomplish their task for unknowing gun owners. Cheap and quick but the end result often ends up where you are now. New springs and screw area a suggestion but someone of knowledge needs to see it.
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Old 06-28-2018, 12:59 PM
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If there is a possibility that the strain screw has been shortened maybe you could try shimming the screw with and empty primer cup over the end of the screw. It would be worth a try, and if it works you can go with that "fix" or get a replacement screw.
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Old 06-28-2018, 01:54 PM
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I have a M686 that started doing the same thing. A couple of years ago I installed a Wolff ribbed mainspring. Gun never missed a beat until about a month ago. I was going to replace the spring but first tried the old primer with the guts removed trick. since then I've put around 800 to 900 rounds through it with no more issues. Not sure why it started with the light strikes all of a sudden but at least for now the primer trick seems to be working.
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Old 06-28-2018, 02:30 PM
David.Hylton David.Hylton is offline
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Any ammo changes or primer changes? I had a 640 that would not consistently fire Hornady ammo, but it would shoot everything else that I tried without issue.
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Old 06-28-2018, 03:03 PM
R*E R*E is offline
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Did you clean the cylinders thoroughly so that the rounds are fully seated? If the cylinders have carbon rings, the hammer strikes will push the rounds forward until they are seated.
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Old 06-28-2018, 07:26 PM
GypsmJim GypsmJim is offline
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Endshake is not detectable - its tight as a drum.

The strain screw sure looks like it hasn't been touched. I compared it to other Smiths.

The brass is the same, as are the primers, except for maybe a new brick. I only use CCIs.

As a matter of fact, it started after my mid-Winter gun cleaning marathon. I do all my guns in the off season. The cylinders look fine.

Now that i think of it, the only change was the load and the bullets. I used to use 158 SWC lead, but switched to Berry's 158 plated for outdoor use. I guess next time I'll try a box of lead and see what happens...

Thanks for all the help so far...
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Old 06-28-2018, 08:53 PM
Tjohns42 Tjohns42 is online now
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I just had a trigger job done and my local smith had a chart of pull weights that varied by primer brand. CCI was at something like 56oz on .38 special vs Winchester SP at 46oz (these numbers are specific to how he does his action jobs and should only be used as an example in this case). Those are some of the hardest primers you can buy. I would try to check your trigger pull and give your strain screw a nudge to see if that helps. If it started during your off season deep cleans you could’ve bumped that screw a little and a little is all it takes when you’re on the edge with your pull weight.
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Old 06-28-2018, 08:53 PM
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Bullets won't make any difference in misfires. CCI is the hardest primer to set off. I would take out the mainspring and straighten it out some, then put it back in and try that. It will make the trigger pull a little heavier, but may set off all the primers.
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Old 07-17-2018, 05:41 PM
RVRSMITH RVRSMITH is offline
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[QUOTE=GypsmJim;140082116]I've owned the gun for 10 years or more and have not had a problem before. When I bought it the PO said it had a "trigger job", and it's evident by its very light trigger pull. However, its also the most accurate S&W I own.

Recently started having light strikes and no fire. Using handloads. Naturally, the first thing I did was check primer seating and that was OK. If I try hitting it a second time, maybe it will fire maybe not. Yesterday it took 4 tries with one round. If it doesn't fire on the second try, its still a light strike. When it finally does fire, the primer strike is normal.

I can go thru several cylinder reloads and it won't happen. Then, it starts again.

The same ammo is 100% OK in another .357 revolver.

Any suggestions appreciated...[/QUOTE
Sounds to me the mainspring is on the verge of not being reliable would be my first guess.
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Old 07-21-2018, 11:46 AM
Marshal Kane Marshal Kane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolguy View Post
Bullets won't make any difference in misfires. CCI is the hardest primer to set off. I would take out the mainspring and straighten it out some, then put it back in and try that. It will make the trigger pull a little heavier, but may set off all the primers.
I don't think I would want to try straightening out a mainspring. Springs are heat treated to return to a specified shape and once it's changed, can't be changed back. I would suggest installing a new main spring instead.
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Old 07-21-2018, 06:03 PM
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A properly heat treated spring can be reshaped (slightly) and will hold the new shape. I've done it for 40 years.
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Old 07-21-2018, 06:49 PM
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Install a new mainspring and mainspring tension screw
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Old 07-22-2018, 09:22 AM
stansdds stansdds is offline
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Leaf spring bending, when done carefully and not making huge changes in its shape, can be done. Making significant changes in the spring's shape or repeated re-bending of the spring will weaken it. I'm wondering if in the performance of that trigger job the spring's shape was significantly altered or repeatedly altered to get that light trigger.
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Old 07-22-2018, 10:30 AM
Marshal Kane Marshal Kane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolguy View Post
A properly heat treated spring can be reshaped (slightly) and will hold the new shape. I've done it for 40 years.
If you've been doing this for 40 years, I'll just have to admit that you're right.
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Old 07-22-2018, 02:46 PM
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I don't like to say someone else is wrong, because oftentimes there are a lot of variables involved. I just say what I believe to be true, based on long term experience. There is plenty of room for other experiences and opinions. That's how you have a worthwhile discussion. Sometimes something will be absolutely wrong. Then I will say what I think or say nothing.

As for the springs, they have to be of good quality spring steel and correctly heat treated. I've seen plenty that aren't. The S&W (carbon steel) mainsprings have been consistently very good over the years except for the SS ones they made for a while. Those have an S stamped on them. They are junk.
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:27 PM
GypsmJim GypsmJim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R*E View Post
Did you clean the cylinders thoroughly so that the rounds are fully seated? If the cylinders have carbon rings, the hammer strikes will push the rounds forward until they are seated.
If the rounds are not fully seated, wouldn't the hammer strike be bigger?
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:58 PM
Marshal Kane Marshal Kane is offline
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No, some of the inertia in the hammer is lost pushing the cartridge foreward. The hardest "whack" your hammer nose is going to impact on the primer is when the cartridge rim is right up against the cylinder's charge hole.

Last edited by Marshal Kane; 07-24-2018 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 08-03-2018, 02:59 PM
Beruisis Beruisis is offline
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Federal primers = good for light strikes.
Soft primer.
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Old 08-03-2018, 03:34 PM
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Personally, I do not use CCI primers! But, I want my guns to fire all ammunition reliably. In addition, I discovered years ago that a firm trigger actually aids in accuracy and a light trigger pull messes me up. You may not have the same problem. :-)

Given the gun is in full spec otherwise, light strikes are virtually always mainspring issues. If it has a ribbed aftermarket spring, the strain screw will sometimes round and engage deeper in the open side of the V causing a lighter strike.

As Toolguy noted, Smith springs are excellent and seldom cause issues unless altered. I do not use aftermarket springs in any of my guns, except those few that come from the factory with ribbed springs, which I think they did not make. (Although I don't know that for a fact, but they look like Wolfe springs to me)
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Old 08-03-2018, 04:34 PM
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This may sound stupid but. Do you have another L or K frame around? If so try the other one main spring and see what happens. If it fires well get a new main spring.
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Old 08-03-2018, 05:12 PM
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I would try the primer under the strain screw first. And if that works, I'd order a new mainspring. They're cheap, and easy to replace. Require no fitting, just remove, and replace. However, if you like that easy trigger, it'll probably be significantly harder with a factory spring. So I'd consider an aftermarket reduced power spring. Personally, I have trouble believing that's the problem, because you've said that it's only a part time problem. I'd think a weak spring would be always weak. But the spring is the easiest to check, so I'd certainly start there.
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Old 08-03-2018, 10:13 PM
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Is there any chance you have changed the grips on this gun? The grip screw if in a different location could possibly interfere with the mainspring, and it doesn't take much as I once found out!
Did you by chance change the type of tool used to seat your primers?

Karl
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Old 08-04-2018, 08:02 PM
GypsmJim GypsmJim is offline
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Here's an update...

No grip change and no change in the priming equipment.

I diligently cleaned the chambers with a brush and now I'm confident they are clean as a whistle.

Ran a box thru and all 50 fired first time. I DID notice a very slight difference in the depth and size of the primer strike, but none were as small as the no-fires before, and of course all rounds fired.

Thanks to all for the help and good suggestions. Were the chambers dirty, or is the spring still in question?
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