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S&W-Smithing Maintenance, Repair, and Enhancement of Smith & Wesson and Other Firearms.


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Old 08-28-2009, 12:09 AM
Dale53 Dale53 is offline
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Default Model 629 Light Hunter FTF

I recently bought a LNIB Performance Center Model 629 Light Hunter. I have been working with some other revolvers and had only shot it a few times. It worked perfectly with Federal Primers. I have shot mostly Federal primers for over thirty years. The revolver is EXACTLY as I received it but I noticed the really sweet double action trigger.

Recently, due to the primer shortage, I decided to load some .44 Specials with some Winchester Large Pistol Primers to kind of "save" my Federals. The Winchesters needed used anyway. At any rate I had a high percentage of Failures to Fire (FTF) single action. I switched over to my 625-6 that has a spring kit and it too failed to fire on occasion when using the Winchester primers. It is absolutely 100% with Federals.

I happened to have two Cylinder and Slide replacement firing pins (typically called "longer" by most people). The C&S firing pins are not really longer but the retaining pin relief is MUCH longer and allows the firing pin to extend MUCH farther into the primer when struck by the hammer.

The 625-6 was not as bad in this regard as the 629 LH was. The Light Hunter firing pin had so little "extension" I'm amazed that even Federals would work reliably.

Oh, by the way of information - I happened to have my Ruger Lipsey .44 Special with me. It has the "New" lighter mainspring of the New Vaqueros. I ran the FTF's through it and everyone of them fired 1st time. Some of them had been hit as many as three times in the LH without lighting up...

At any rate, it's a five minute job and doesn't cost much. I am confident that my FTF's will be a thing of the past. I will be at the range in the next couple of days, and we will see what transpires. Like I said, I am confident that things are solved.

As a matter of information, I have heard good things about the firing pin kits from Apex Tactical. I went to their web site and attempted to buy several kits. I had never bought from them and so I was not allowed to "log in". There doesn't seem to be any provision for "Registering". You cannot proceed to purchase without "Logging in". It's a "catch 22". So, I called yesterday and got a recording that stated that I had to have an appointment to call. I was not sure of being home at a particular time, so nothing was accomplished. I sent an e-mail and have not received an answer. Does anyone know if maybe they are closed down, or...?

Dale53
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:06 AM
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500 Magnum Nut 500 Magnum Nut is offline
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Did that gun come with a trigger job? I'd order a normal full power main spring for it. Before you order a spring, double check the strain screw that it's tightened down.
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Old 08-28-2009, 10:09 PM
Dale53 Dale53 is offline
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500 magnum nut;
I have a factory strength full power main spring but I do NOT have extra strain screws. I will have to order a couple of strain screws.

The revolver came with a VERY light double and single action trigger pull. It has obviously had a trigger job (supposed factory). It is entirely too light by my standards as this will, in no way, fire several different factory loads.

At any rate, after fitting with a Cylinder & Slide extra length firing pin, I took it to the range today. I had one FTF but that is more than enough to not trust this revolver. I went ahead and shot it several targets and did VERY well with it. It DOES shoot but it needs a bit stiffer spring.

I compared it to my 625's (they have a 9 lb double action and a 3 lb single action). The 629 LH probably has only HALF the hammer tension that the 625's do, and they are tuned. They are reliable with the extra length firing pin even double action.

At any rate, I believe that after I put a new strain screw in, THAT will solve this (I believe that "they" cut too much off the strain screw going for a super light trigger pull at the expense of reliability).

FWIW

Dale53
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Old 08-29-2009, 06:25 AM
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Look at the main spring, is is totally flat or is there a ridge running up and down. If you have a ridge running it's length, then it's a reduced power spring.
Your right about the screw and changing it should fix your misfires.
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Old 09-05-2009, 12:33 AM
Dale53 Dale53 is offline
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Well, I got around to pulling the grips and sideplate off the Light Hunter. As suspected it has a reduced power mainspring (with the hollow/ridge running it's length). I replaced it with a factory full power spring. The rebound slide spring (trigger return) is too light to properly return, also. I replaced that with a full power spring.

I then tuned the tension screw for a 9+ lb double action and a 3.0 lb single action (my preference). The revolver feels MUCH better to me and I rather think my FTF's are in the past.

I can't truthfully state that the "action job" was done by the Performance Center (I did not buy this new) but whoever did this is not much of a Pistol Smith, IMO.

I'm not put off by this little problem. I didn't pay new price for this revolver and I feel confident it'll "do its thing" when called upon in the future.

By the way, the 625 reponded well to the "extra length" C&S firing pin and is now reliable with Winchester Primers.

On another topic, I kept looking in at Apex Tactical's web site. Finally, after several days, the web site has been "repaired". I was able to register and ordered several XP Firing pin kits and they are on their way. I never did get an answer to my Email but maybe they never got it (sent it through the web site).

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629, model 625, performance center, ruger, sideplate, tactical, winchester

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