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Old December 1, 2011, 08:53 AM   #1
dyl
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A little mystery: why swap out trigger? (pictures)

Here is a mystery for you all that I don't necessarily require a solution to, just seeing what ideas you may have. It's not urgent.

I'll try keep the story short (difficult). A year ago I sent my N-frame Model 27-2 in to S&W because the ratchets were taking a good sized chunk out of the left "ear" (as the S&W rep calls it) or "recoil plate". There was also a scratch on the other side of that ear at that thin point so I was sending the gun in to evaluate if that scratch was actually a crack and if the gun was safe to continue to use.

They had the gun for quite some time with no word (a few months?) and when I called them there was no documentation on it. The rep stated that the shop guys must not have known what to do about it since the gun was no longer being produced. So they sent it back.

When I got the revolver back it turns out it HAD been worked on. Their solution to the problem was to buff down the left recoil plate and reblue that part. I find that satisfactory because after thinking about the problem I think the culprit is the nub that holds the cylinder forward when it is swung out. That nub must be a little short.

That's not what this post is about - but it's related. The real issue is:

They swapped out the old target trigger + hand, the center pin, the cylinder stop and gave me the old parts back in a plastic bag. (that's what their written note said: new this, new that) I'm all for the pin and the new cylinder stop but I wonder about the trigger. Here are some picture comparisons of the trigger. In all these pictures the new trigger is the one with the hand connected.



The new trigger is narrower not only at the face but in general by about .005 inches (if I remember... need to check later)

I didn't see a whole lot going on with the new hand. The revolver was in time.

The old trigger is noticeably smoother, the new one is rather lumpy and the case-hardening might be a formality if it is MIM. There was more lateral play with the new trigger installed and you can see where the sides of the trigger have begun to rub the frame.

- the gun was used but in very good condition when I got it. There was barely a cylinder turn line. Someone had slicked up the parts of the action and you can see the part of the old trigger that interfaces with the cylinder stop has been rounded (rebound slide had rounded/polished edges too). Maybe they used to do this at the factory or a 'smith was called upon.

The old trigger nose had been polished. If anything is sketchy, I'd say it's the single action sear below it based on appearances. There looks to be preferential wear on the left side. There is no push-off to the trigger.




And that's all the pictures I took. Please excuse the green-ness. My table lamp broke so I hung my EDC LED light from the body of the lamp by a rubber band. These are cell phone pictures. Git-er-done!

My conclusion for now:

Was that these parts were replaced in the hopes of improving cylinder lock-up, kind of fishing around - or merely as a favor. If the original parts were unsafe to use I'd think they wouldn't be sent back to me without some kind of warning. So what did I do? I reconnected the original hand and trigger and put it back in. I was thinking that having a new trigger with the old hammer would accelerate wear to the hammer sears as a new shape was cut.

any other ideas on why they swapped out the trigger?

- Just to make this clear although I was put off by the lack of communication (partially my fault for not checking in) I'm very happy with S&W in the end because new parts/labor come at a cost and I paid nothing except for shipping! Even though I put the original trigger back in I do appreciate having the spare.

Last edited by dyl; December 1, 2011 at 09:05 AM.
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Old December 2, 2011, 12:55 PM   #2
triggerman770
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trigger swap

they swapped the trigger for one reason only Liability. I'd put the onld one back in. Ruger will do the same.
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Old December 2, 2011, 04:23 PM   #3
dyl
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I somehow forgot how the lawyer game would factor into it.

So if I understand correctly, they were thinking: If the original trigger (built in the 70's or 80's maybe?) were to fail and fire prematurely (or not fire at all) then they'd be liable because they opened up the revolver and had an opportunity to "update" it. If I were to have future trigger/hand related problems and they would not be liable because they've done what they could.

Well that's what I did, put the old one back. And then I tested it several times for push-off.
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Old December 2, 2011, 05:54 PM   #4
edward5759
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triggerman770 is right !

The old trigger could have a light trigger and or light trigger spring. Some of the roughness of the new trigger you feel is the increased trigger pull. Most manufactures will not let a firearm leave the until it meets factory spec. I had a M 27 that I carried as a reserve officer in the 80s, it had to be set up in trigger pull!
Like triggerman770 said put the old parts back in, but then if you use it in self defense... You changed it.
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Old December 2, 2011, 08:30 PM   #5
James K
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Well, that SA sear is definitely not good, though it might not be noticed in functioning, and the trigger was probably replaced for that reason. The hand might have been replaced to time the gun better and ensure proper lockup. (The new parts are not MIM.)

It is hard to determine the reason without seeing the gun and the parts; no reflection on your excellent photography, but it can't match "hands-on" for determining something like that.

What they seem to have done was to rebuild your revolver and bring it up to factory specs, free. The "problem" in such cases is that the customer (you) had an old, smooth gun, and liked it that way. Something about pleasing all the folks sometimes or some folks all the time or something like that.

Jim
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Old December 2, 2011, 09:07 PM   #6
Casimer
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I've always been warned to expect that factory gunsmiths are likely to swap out modified and aftermarket parts when doing repairs. They probably do need to bring the gun up to spec for the purpose of their warranty, and liability.
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Old December 2, 2011, 09:58 PM   #7
confirmed shooter
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you got lucky, Remington didnt even send me back my old parts.
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Old December 2, 2011, 11:14 PM   #8
drail
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That old trigger is in bad enough shape that if you brought it into my shop I would advise you to replace it immediately and if you didn't agree I would tag the gun a "not safe to fire". It is chewed up really badly. It's not so much that it's not safe but the gun is not going to perform as it should. If it were my gun I would actually spend the money to replace the hammer and the trigger. The hand looks awfully worn as well. Just my opinion.
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Old December 3, 2011, 09:41 PM   #9
dyl
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Folks, Thanks for the input.

Drail - I'm a little bit confused. The gun would likely receive a "not safe to fire" label but due to lackluster performance rather than safety? i believe you but I'm confused that's all. About the hand, the one on the right is actually the new hand and it seems the top is rounded more so than the one on the left (original hand) unless I'm looking at the wrong place. But it also may be a poor angle of the picture so I'll have to take a look again. I have no qualm about putting a new hand in since it's not like wearing down a sear surface so maybe I should have left the new one in..

So looking at the wear in the trigger - which seems to be left sided, is the hammer not 50% of the problem? I'm wondering: if the hammer was inspected by S&W and the gun was "brought up to spec" yet the original hammer left in place can I safely interpret that to mean the hammer is fine? (do they even make hammers that will fit the 27-2 anymore?)

Yeah I'm glad I got the parts back. It's strange that now I'd be considered as having "changed it" when it's really the factory that did. It's something to think about certainly because it was and still is our primary HD gun. I mostly practice shooting double action though.

Double action trigger pull is still just as stout as ever (strain screw all the way in). I will say the single action pull with the original trigger is wonderfully light and the travel short. And I thought that's just the way they made them back in the day. I don't have a pull gauge so can't estimate just yet without getting creative/using analogies.

I'm not too keen on placing the new trigger in with it's lateral play and rubbing against the frame (but likely will if I must)... might have to get some trigger shims which are ~ 20 bucks

James K - yeah I never thought I'd be one to want to keep my "old smooth gun" just as it is but man I'm feeling it!

Last edited by dyl; December 3, 2011 at 09:48 PM.
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Old December 4, 2011, 05:20 AM   #10
natman
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They replaced the old trigger because it's too worn / beaten to use. It would have been a nice touch to replace it with a new Target trigger, but they probably don't have the parts for that anymore.
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Old December 4, 2011, 04:28 PM   #11
drail
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Yes, sadly the list of parts that are all gone is becoming longer and longer at S&W and I would bet that's why they didn't replace the hammer as well. On the replacement hand, the shape of it doesn't really matter as long as it carries the cylinder around enough and does not bind in the frame slot.
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