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Thread: Trigger on 686

  1. #1
    logan85's Avatar
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    Trigger on 686

    I have a Smith and Wesson 686 .357 Magnum revolver and I must say it has one of the heaviest triggers I've come across, dual-action just seems to take too much pressure. I got a chance to fondel some revolvers of some of the locals, one was a S&W in .45 long colt, the other was a .480 Ruger, both were dual-action revolvers, and both had triggers that felt far easier than my revolver, the owners of these pistols did admit to haveing a gun-smith work on their pistols.

    I know from experience that the main spring on my S&W does need to have the tension that it has, I got to expierence many rounds that did not go off when the screw that kept tension on the main spring used to work loose (problem is now solved with lock-tite). I don't know enough about the action of the revolver, but I'm going to assume the spring in the handle is what determines the pull of the trigger/hammer. What I really dislike is the fact that the two other revolvers, which were both larger calibers had triggers that were far nicer than mine.

    Do I need to spend some money at a gunsmith or accept the heavy trigger on my revolver?

    L J

  2. #2
    SuckLead's Avatar
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    That's your own call. I used to be friends with a guy who had a gunsmith work on his 686's trigger, but did so until it only had a two pound pull on it. Just be careful how far you go back. I haven't done anything with mine and don't know if I will. Some days the trigger is too much, and other days I am fine. Like I said, that's your call.

  3. #3
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    It's not just spring tension that affects a revolver's double-action pull. It's also friction -- if the internal contact surfaces are rough, the pull will be more difficult than if they are smooth and polished.

    A light DA trigger can be difficult to shoot well if it isn't smooth -- if it snatches and catches and stops and hesitates and grabs. A heavy pull isn't difficult to manage if it is smooth. Ideally, of course, a DA pull will be smooth and *relatively* light.

    You can dry fire it 10,000 times to smooth the internals, or pay a good gunsmith to smooth it up for you. I emphasize the word GOOD, since there are more gunbutchers out there than real gunsmiths. I'd blow the $100 and go the gunsmith route, since guns should be easier to shoot well rather than harder.

    Depending on your use for the gun you may or may not want the 'smith to futz with the springs. If it's a defense gun, the general rule is to leave the springs at full power; a misfire will not do. A "fun gun" can afford the odd misfire, so spring tension isn't quite so critical.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  4. #4
    jimg11 is offline Member
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    The great thing about the S&W j, K, L, N, revolvers is that they have a great design that has been around for 100+ Years and almost any gunsmith knows the tricks to makeing them smoother. I remember giving my gunsmith my model 67 and having him do the works. It came back smooth as silk but every once in a while it would fail to fire a reload but not the factory stuff. I just put a stock spring in it and it was still smooth as silk but a few more pounds on the pull. 110% reliable. The gunsmith asked to see it after that and was surprised that I had replaced the spring but agreed that it was still smoooth.

  5. #5
    Baldy's Avatar
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    Buy a spring kit from Wolff, and get a good smith to do his magic with the new springs, and you should come up with about a 4 to 5lb pull. That may sound heavy to you but it's not. I have shot the double action revolver all my life and like Sucklead said you don't want it to weak. Mike also hit the nail on the head, get a good gun smith and pay the $100.

  6. #6
    bambam is offline Junior Member
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    My 686P seems to be about right for me, even for targets. However, I have a little less shooting experience with the 686P than some of the posters here, so you should probably take what I say with a grain of salt.

    Tom

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    TxPhantom's Avatar
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    I Like That Way......

    I wouldn't change my 686PP trigger at all. The double action pull isn't that bad and the single action pull is perfect, imo. My 686 is one of the best shooting guns I own. I use it for a range gun and one of my home defense weapon loaded with 38 +P.
    When I try to shoot it accurately I always cock the hammer back into single action.

  8. #8
    Baldy's Avatar
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    Hey TXP. There's nothing wrong with single action when your pinching paper but in home protection you need a little more. You need to be able to pick that gun up and pull the trigger, and hit what your looking at. A action job done by a good smith is as good as it gets. Just getting the little catch or grit feel out a trigger makes a big difference.

  9. #9
    TxPhantom's Avatar
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    Hey Baldy; I have just always expected a double action pull to be a little harder than a single action. I wouldn't let a gun smith touch my 686 unless it was a S&W Techie. I know there are some very gun smiths but my 686 is under a lifetime warranty.
    As for a home defense gun, I really would only use it if it happened to be handy at the time I need it. Since it is power ported it's not a great home defense weapon for a shot in the dark because of the flash out the top port. It would temporarily blind you and the concusion and noise of a 357 in a inclosed room might deafen you. But I gotta admit, it would be better to be temporarily blinded and deafened than to be permanently dead.
    I have just gotten so used to pulling the hammer back that I would probably do it automatically. Occasionally I will shoot all six rounds on double action but usually I treat it like a single action revolver.
    You will probably think I'm crazy, but, the gun I usually have within reach at home or in the car, is my SW9VE Sigma, loaded and chambered. Talk about a trigger pull!!! But when I pull the trigger of my Sigma it will only be because I intend to.

  10. #10
    Baldy's Avatar
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    Naw Tex I agree with you on the Sigma40ve as I got one that I use for the home also. Fact is I got several guns around the house pluse the one I got on me at all times. You know S&W custom shop does a heck of a job on triggers and it don't void your warranty. Friend of mind had one done on a 686 stainless that I would love to have. They are shooters and nobody can say different. I got to get one one of these days.

  11. #11
    Grayfox is offline Junior Member
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    Much can be done to lighten the DA trigger on a S&W. Polishing the internals and replacing the rebound spring will work wonders. However, I only use an unaltered factory mainspring. Every aftermarket mainspring I've ever seen or used caused misfires.

  12. #12
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    My only DA/SA revolver is a 686PP. The first thing I did was have the local range gunsmith do a trigger job. He polished the internals (what needed to be polished, no more) and used a Wolff spring kit. It really made a difference. However, I was having too many FTF. I had him replace the factory main spring back into the gun. Did a little tweaking and the problem was corrected. As others have stated, too light is unsafe. When you find the correct pressure on "your" trigger, shooting is much more enjoyable. Plus, it helps in accuracy.

  13. #13
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TxPhantom View Post
    When I try to shoot it accurately I always cock the hammer back into single action.
    I find that with a smooth, tuned DA pull, I can shoot as accurately DA as I can SA. If I still owned any revolvers, I wouldn't care if they didn't even have a SA cocking notch, so long as the DA pull was smooth. Doesn't have to be particularly light - just smooooooooth.
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  14. #14
    TxPhantom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham at Galco View Post
    I find that with a smooth, tuned DA pull, I can shoot as accurately DA as I can SA. If I still owned any revolvers, I wouldn't care if they didn't even have a SA cocking notch, so long as the DA pull was smooth. Doesn't have to be particularly light - just smooooooooth.
    The double action pull on my 686 is pretty smooth and the single action pull is both smooth and very light, I would say around 3 or 4 lbs. This is a fun gun to shoot right out of the box but I have never felt the D/A trigger of one that has been lightened. I'm sure I would like it but I'm going to keep mine just the way it is.
    I have a S.& W. 22A pistol with a trigger pull that would put some tricked out 1911's to shame. I don't have a way to measure it but, it couldn't be more than 2, or at most, a 3 lb pull. I have to really be aware when I shoot it after shooting my Sigma SW9VE with a quite heavy trigger.
    By the way, my wife has a Galco purse. She really likes it. Funny how many you see while out shopping when you are looking. We actually saw one at church not too long ago.

    And last but certainly not least, thanks for your service in The National Guard on the border.

  15. #15
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    My new 686-6P has a butter smooth, light single action trigger but the double action is extremely heavy and rough. I've got two 586's that are excellent, both DA and SA. A friend, who's a gunsmith, is taking the 686 to tame the DA for me. It is seriously bad out of the box. Other than that, the 686 is a top notch gun.

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