View Full Version : replacing trigger on J-frame

December 20, 2009, 11:22 AM
I'd like to put a wide smooth trigger on my Mod. 36. Is this something I can do myself? If not, what's a ballpark price for having a smith do it?

December 20, 2009, 08:37 PM
You "can" do it, but first, you have to know how to properly disassemble and reassemble the gun.

"Most times" a S&W trigger will fit without any trouble, but some don't so you need to know what to do in that case.

If you really want to do it yourself, be smart and spend $24.00 for the Kuhnhausen shop manual.
This is a real gunsmiths manual on how to do full range gunsmithing on the S&W revolvers.
It goes into detail on things like trigger fitting, and shows the right way to disassemble without damaging anything.

Last, make sure you buy a trigger that's the same version as your gun.
S&W usually has a "dash number" for changes in the gun.
As example the second change to the Model 36 will be listed as the Model 36-1.
Check your frame under the barrel where the cylinder yoke seats for the model.


James K
December 20, 2009, 11:22 PM
Do they make a wide trigger for the J frame? Last I knew, they were available only for the larger frames.


December 21, 2009, 02:59 PM
I don't know. I don't really care if it's a wide trigger, but the serrated trigger on this baby is not my friend. It's a no-dash 36, by the way.

So, I don't want to do it myself. How much do you think a smith would charge?

December 21, 2009, 07:54 PM
Depends on the smith, but it shouldn't cost all that much.

Basically all he has to do is disassemble the gun, install the trigger, test it for function and reassemble.

Another option is to grind the serrations off the trigger, or at least reduce the sharpness.
Back in the days before the easy availability of different triggers, grinding the serrations for easy double action was a popular mod.

Its at least "possible" to do this without disassembly.
Cock the hammer and use ties to tie it back.
Cover the entire gun with a heavy plastic bag, tin foil, etc to keep grinding dust out of the action.

Tape the dickens out of the trigger guard behind the trigger and everything around the trigger.
All you want exposed is JUST the lower part of the trigger were the serrations are. Use plenty of tape to prevent a "run away" from penetrating to the gun.

Use a Dremel tool or a flex shaft with a fine grinding cylinder to grind the serrations to your satisfaction. Either all the way off or at least smoother.
Polish the area with a rubber abrasive cylinder.
Clean the area up and apply lube to prevent rust.
Unwrap and you're in business.

December 21, 2009, 08:52 PM
Hey, wait a minute!

First it was a trigger, then it was a hammer,......

It may be embarrasing to buy a part that isnt what you need. Triggers and hammers arent interchangable.

December 23, 2009, 01:46 PM
First it was a trigger, then it was a hammer

My bad. I meant trigger the entire time. This is what I get for posting on here when I'm bored to tears at work.

It may be embarrasing to buy a part that isnt what you need. Triggers and hammers arent interchangable.

Finally I learn something useful here. :rolleyes:

December 25, 2009, 12:35 PM
OK. (couldnt resist though,....)

I'm curious why you dont like the grooved trigger?

December 29, 2009, 09:55 PM
It hurts to shoot after a while.

December 30, 2009, 11:20 AM
OK. Dryfire practice may toughen up your finger. A light polish with some 400 grit wet-or-dry paper on the lower edge or grooves may help some also, without removing the grooves completely.

The following comments arent directed solely to you, so please dont take offense. If you want a smooth trigger, by all means get one.

I've found the whole smooth trigger thing interesting over time. I've shot up to 1000 rds/day and haven't had problems with grooved triggers. It's also interesting that the best shooters I'm aware of have all used standard grooved triggers to fairly good effect. Ed McGivern, Elmer Keith, Bill Jordan, Ad Toperwein (all before the fad of smooth triggers came about), and Jerry Miculek.

Maybe our collective hands are getting softer over time.

January 12, 2010, 03:46 PM
No offense taken. It's not all grooved triggers that bother me. I have one on my 1911 and that's a fantastic trigger. This one is a bear.

And, I would say that most shooters, even the nuts ;) on here, have little in common with the pros you cite.

January 15, 2010, 12:14 PM
I like the grooved triggers, but there are definately some that are rough. The lower front edge seems to be a particular offender, and the side edges. They can be cleaned up some to make the sharp parts more comfortable, as Dfaris mentioned, without losing the good points of better grip in bad conditions, such as your hands being slick from sweat or blood.

Some careful work with an emory board or some 320 wet-or-dry paper can help. You can tape the nearby frame to protect them if you don't want to take the trigger out.

James K
January 15, 2010, 02:24 PM
I think you might not have to actually have a smooth trigger; if you break the sharp edges on the grooved trigger, you can have a good compromise. I have fired a whole lot of rounds from a Model 36 with a grooved trigger, and had no problems. The only grooved trigger that ever got me was on a PA-63; it felt like it had embedded razor blades.