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Old 10-10-2018, 01:54 AM
deadear dan deadear dan is offline
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I'm considering a Chief's Special which has had an action job with apparent lightening of the trigger pull. To return it to a stock pull weight which springs should I order from Wolff gun springs to be replaced? thanks.
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:44 AM
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Ribbed full power mainspring and a 16-18 Ib trigger return spring.

Also replace the mainspring screw with an 8=32 X 1/2 hex head secret and tighten it as far as you can with some blue locktite to prevent it coming loose.

But if you have been shooting it as it is you will need to practice, practice and practice some more to get used to the new trigger pull.
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:53 AM
crankyoldlady crankyoldlady is offline
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Is your Chief's Special a J frame? If so, it will have a coil spring and no strain screw.
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:15 AM
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When it comes to "action jobs" and used guns no one really knows what the previous owner did or had done! If someone else did the work without the owner present, even he doesn't really know what was done! If the only thing that was done to the gun were the removal of a Burr or 2, Recoil Spring & Rebound Spring then restoration is a 10 minute job and inexpensive. That said, if metal was removed, parts modified or replaced your Factory Spec restoration will be a bit more expensive (and that is assuming nothing has been permanently ruined).

When I buy used guns (about 99% of what I do buy now) I either have to know exactly what was done, who did the work or an OK for the owner to stand next to me while I physically check it out. There have been 1 or 2 instances in which I would not buy he gun until I saw the inside - which in both cases they allowed me to look. All was good and I now own them. I've done to them what suits me which means restore to stock with my own minor tweaking. If not allowed to "peak" I would have passes on the deals as I now know sometimes it just isn't worth the price to "restore".

I don't mind spending a few bucks on a used gun if all is in excellent condition and not permanently altered, but I found out the hard way many years ago, there is no need to jump into a train wreck since there are always plenty more right around the corner that have not been messed with!

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Old 10-10-2018, 08:07 AM
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Just curious, why are you going back without trying it first? Was the previous owner experiencing reliability issues? An action job is a beautiful thing (when done right).

That said, it's hard to answer with 100% accuracy without knowing if anything has been altered beyond spring changes. Generally speaking, swapping out the main spring (only) on a light striking revolver will cure it though.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:24 AM
WR Moore WR Moore is online now
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The gent who mentioned parts alteration makes an excellent point. Last year I bought a used K frame that some bubba* had worked on. I had to replace a lengthy list of parts. Some worn, some ruined by bubba and a couple that shouldn't have gotten past the inspectors.

With that out of the way, the number one rule of trigger work on the J frames is not to touch/change the hammer spring. Given the light weight and short throw of the J frame hammer, it needs a stout spring for reliability.

Given that, you might install a new, factory or Wolff, stock spring and give that a try. If you still think you need more weight, look to the trigger return/rebound spring.

The double action revolver has a comparatively long trigger stroke, making a negligent discharge rather unlikely-so long as you practice the "off target, off trigger" safety rule, which you should practice regardless of weight of trigger pull. It also has a century or so history of some slight modification to the trigger weight to enhance your ability to hit what you're shooting at and not some innocent bystander. It does help considerably from the liability standpoint to have that work done by a certified armorer. [The factory used to bless a slight shortening of the trigger return/rebound spring in armorers training. Don't know if they still do, but the Performance Center offers factory trigger work so it would seem to apply.]

* Bubba had some skills. I suspect a "gunsmith" who doesn't understand the workings of a S&W revolver.

Last edited by WR Moore; 10-16-2018 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:52 AM
deadear dan deadear dan is offline
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Gun is an early 70s model, said to have been worked on by Bob Chow. Now I know this can be said of any handgun with an "action job." Double action is very smooth and single action is predictably clean. This would be a carry gun and for that reason I don't want to find myself in the disadvantaged situation of a prosecuting attorney spooking a jury because I knowingly had a "dangerously modified" weapon. Yes, that would happen.
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:46 PM
crankyoldlady crankyoldlady is offline
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You don't own this revolver. You are "considering" the purchase. Yes?

Perhaps this is not the best carry choice for your legal comfort level.
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:49 PM
WR Moore WR Moore is online now
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The general thrust of that type of allegation is the dreaded "hair trigger". There's a couple of gents here that were certified S&W armorers who might be able to advise what the factory specification for single action trigger pull is/was. So long as the single action is within factory spec, they really don't have any mechanical grounds for the allegation.

The issue being that many actions properly modified for double action work will not meet factory spec for the single action pull. The cure here is to have the single action notch removed from the hammer by someone who knows what they're doing. That also removes the possibility that said PA might allege that you created the "hair trigger" even with the stock parts [There's no way to prove if your shot was fired either single or double action by any forensic examination]. I'll note that several major city police departments had their service revolvers so modified or delivered from the factory in that condition back when.

Note: removing the hammer spur doesn't eliminate single action capability, it just makes it more difficult to cock the hammer.

Last edited by WR Moore; 10-10-2018 at 02:54 PM.
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