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Old August 12, 2013, 02:13 PM   #1
Bart Noir
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7-shot S&W trigger pull

So I have lots of DA shots behind me, through S&W K and N frame guns. And my impression is that the 7-shot 686 Plus has a shorter and lighter trigger pull. (I almost wrote Tigger pull, which might upset Pooh.)

My thinking has been that since the cylinder needs to spin a little less in a 7-shooter, the DA pull is shorter and lighter. But all the 686s I've shot are 7-shooters.

Does somebody with experience in using both 6-shot and 7-shot 686s agree with me?

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Who also likes DA in Colts of several generations, old Charters, the Taurus big bores, Ruger Wiley Clapp (lucky me!!!) --- Wheel Guns are Real Guns, per Clint Smith
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Old August 12, 2013, 07:20 PM   #2
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Having both, I couldn't tell the difference and I shot a lot (I mean a LOT). After 40+ years of handgun shooting I have a pretty "educated" finger and I can't see it. FYI...both guns had trigger work by a good smith so they were both pretty good triggers.
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Old August 13, 2013, 02:44 PM   #3
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I've owned three 7-shot L-frames and a handful of the more normal 6-shooters. Two of the 7-shot guns were from the Performance Center and had/have decent trigger pulls. The one regular production 686+ had a horrible trigger pull, gritty and stacking, which was so bad I decided to sell it instead of having a trigger job done. Didn't want to throw good money after bad.

The more common 6 shot L-frames have had a variety of DA trigger pulls but none as bad as that one 686+ so I don't think your theory has any general applicability.

YMMV,
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Old August 13, 2013, 02:51 PM   #4
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I never owned a "seven shooter" but I have tried them and didn't notice any difference in pull. Since the S&W hand continues up past the ratchet after it turns the cylinder, I don't see any reason S&W would have changed that.

My thinking is that that individual gun just has a better pull than some others, but if I am wrong, I hope others will correct me.

Jim
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Old August 13, 2013, 08:05 PM   #5
Karrill
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I read somewhere a while back that since the cylinder has to turn a shorter distance (approximately 15% iirc), the trigger has a shorter pull. It's possible that the force required for the trigger pull is the same, but you'd have to check specs for that.

But yeah, youre right about it being shorter for sure.
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Old August 14, 2013, 09:57 AM   #6
James K
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AFAIK, that is not true. It sounds logical, but again as far as I know, S&W didn't need to make any changes to their lockwork, and didn't.

Jim
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Old August 14, 2013, 02:47 PM   #7
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I tried to make an assumption based on -FAR- too small a sample size, so my "experience" is about worthless to the actual subject, but I don't believe it is irrelevant.

I have a 686-3 that I bought new in 1989. My good friend has a 686+ dash...no clue, that he bought two years ago, new, from Bud's. His is a lock & MIM gun, mine is pre-all.of.that.

Both single action triggers are exquisite, are nearly every Smith & Wesson DA revolver single action triggers.

My double action trigger is typical of a S&W L-frame, it's smooth, somewhat heavy, but absolutely predictable with a squeaky-clean break. It's what you want in a DA trigger.

His 686+ is similar, to a point, then it hits a wall and stops dead -- almost to where you suspect something is broken, until you pull through it to drop the hammer. It's horrendous and basically angers me. He is a casual collector and shooter, not a hobbyist or hardcore enthusiast. He only notices when I point it out, and discounts it as "no matter."

If offends me, in a new gun, and I would send it back to Smith & Wesson.
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Old August 14, 2013, 04:44 PM   #8
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Here's a pic of the internals on a 686. It's a pic from someone else here on this forum I think. I don't know if it's a six shot or otherwise...




I'm not a gunsmith. I hope I'll use correct terms and suggest logical assumptions -

The HAND is what revolves the CYLINDER. It's attached at the bottom end to the TRIGGER. The hand rotates the cylinder as the trigger is pulled till the CYLINDER STOP clicks into the detent on the cylinder. Once that lockup occurrs, the trigger still travels rearward. The lockup MUST occur before the sear does it's release business.

The hand continues to travel upward without rotating the cylinder out of lock. The cylinder can't come out of lock till the CYLINDER STOP falls away from the cylinder detent. That happens at the BEGINNING of the trigger movement and only long enough for the cylinder to begin rotating. That's why we have a cylinder ring. It's the stop returning to the spring loaded condition of "ready to lockup".

I'm looking at a K frame and a J frame on my desk right now. In both guns, the hand continues to travel up after cylinder lockup occurs.

I don't know if the triggers and hands are the same between the six and seven shot guns. But I think that even if they were, the mechanism would still allow for the same trigger pull length, regardless of hand movement/cylinder rotation.

Clearly the best answer would come from firing both style guns at the same time. I don't have either.


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Old August 15, 2013, 09:07 AM   #9
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Clearly the best answer would come from firing both style guns at the same time. I don't have either.

I have both and done this. I can feel no discernible difference other than the slight variations between the guns themselves. My youngest son tho, prefers the DA trigger on my 5'' 686+ -8 to his 686-4. To me both have great triggers in DA and SA.
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Old August 15, 2013, 09:38 AM   #10
buckshot00
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I have both 7 and 6 shot I cannot feel a difference in the trigger pull.

Some of my S&W triggers feel different not sure why?
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Old August 15, 2013, 03:06 PM   #11
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Is there a difference in the N frames and 6 or 8 shot cylinders?
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Old August 16, 2013, 12:27 PM   #12
Dave T
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Quote:
His 686+ is similar, to a point, then it hits a wall and stops dead -- almost to where you suspect something is broken, until you pull through it to drop the hammer. It's horrendous and basically angers me. He is a casual collector and shooter, not a hobbyist or hardcore enthusiast. He only notices when I point it out, and discounts it as "no matter."

If offends me, in a new gun, and I would send it back to Smith & Wesson.
Sevens, your description of your friend's trigger pull is exactly like the 686+ I mentioned above. I bought it as a used gun so didn't send it back to Smith but just sold it for what I paid for it.

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Old August 23, 2013, 08:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
I have both and done this. I can feel no discernible difference other than the slight variations between the guns themselves.
Same here. If there's a difference, imo, it will generally have to do with the differences between individual revolvers in terms of factory tolerances and wear factors.
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Old August 23, 2013, 09:57 PM   #14
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I think the difference in individual triggers has more influence on pull and feel than the difference between the six shot and the seven shot.

That being said, less work is being done to get the seven shot in battery than the six shot for two reasons:

a) The cylinder does not have to rotate as far, and
b) The seven shot cylinder has less inertia because it is lighter due to the seventh chamber making the cylinder lighter (obviously, this is an extremely subtle difference, but a difference nonetheless)

All things being equal, physics says the seven shot would have a lighter (or shorter, but I don't think the trigger geometry has changed) trigger.

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Old August 24, 2013, 11:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
All things being equal, physics says the seven shot would have a lighter (or shorter, but I don't think the trigger geometry has changed) trigger.
I don't think the trigger geometry has changed either. The action of the trigger is not determined by or dependant on the hand moving the cylinder. At least that's what I see when I cycle the action with the side plate off. The cylinder movement is finished long before the trigger movement/sear-hammer shenanigans is finished.

I think the 7 shot cylinder simply locks up earlier.


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Old August 24, 2013, 11:53 AM   #16
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Capacity changes nothing about the geometry of the lockwork. It makes absolutely no difference in the distance the hammer or trigger travel. I seriously doubt that anyone can actually feel a difference between two identical examples of these guns due to the lighter cylinder and/or shorter cylinder rotation. I feel no difference between a 12-shot USFA 12/22 and a six shot big bore.
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Old August 25, 2013, 11:58 AM   #17
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I have two 686+s (3" and 6" Barrel). I honestly find the trigger to be quite objectionable--a good degree of stacking usually accompanies each DA pull.

That said, I don't think the trigger is any worse than a 6 shot 586 that I handled a while back. In fact, I think the 686+'s trigger is better, but it's no wonder-pull.
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Old August 27, 2013, 02:22 AM   #18
rock185
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It is exactly what newfrontier said. No difference. Same lockwork, same trigger/hammer travel, everything. In fact I have one 686 with both 6 and 7 shot cylinders ( extra cylinder fitted by Vito at S&W). The gun doesn't care which cylinder is installed...
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Old August 27, 2013, 01:52 PM   #19
Bart Noir
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Quote:
In fact I have one 686 with both 6 and 7 shot cylinders ( extra cylinder fitted by Vito at S&W). The gun doesn't care which cylinder is installed...
Fascinating! I would have almost bet money (and I never bet) that the "hand" would be different since the the two cylinders need to turn different amounts. I can see that I need to look closer at how that part works....

Bart Noir
Whose 686+ has a very nice trigger. The previous owner must have fired it a great deal and smoothed it up.
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Old August 28, 2013, 11:00 PM   #20
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Hmm. I have both. The 7-shot has a much heavier trigger pull. And it even grinds just a little before hammer drop.

Now I don't think it has much to do with the fact that it's a 7-shot. I just think it's a newer design or something. I really don't like it though.

So much so, that it'll be going back to S&W in the next day or two. It's "getting work done" - as they say in Hollywood lol (trigger job).

I'm hoping it'll come back nice and smooth. We'll see.
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