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Old February 13, 2010, 11:59 AM   #1
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Revolver trigger return...

I have a S&W 686 I had some action work done on. I use this gun for IDPA, and I had it rendered DAO, and DA trigger pull taken down to roughly 8lbs.

I generally love the gun, and the action's light and smooth (check out the vid), but I have an issue with the trigger return: Try as I may, I keep short-stroking the trigger during rapid fire (dry or live fire). After getting the gun back, I quickly realized I have a bad habit of riding the trigger and letting the return push my finger forward. After about a year of good honest effort, though, I'm still short-stroking, so I thought I'd go ahead a put a stronger return spring in.

But I suspect the gun may also have a timing issue, so I wanted to get some feedback: On every other revolver I own, the trigger/sear and trigger/cylinder stop engagement seems to happen together, i.e. at the same time, and on the 2nd "click" during the return. On this gun, though, the trigger/sear engagement happens ever-so-slightly later, on a 3rd "click" which happens when the trigger is mere microns from the end of the travel. Doesn't seem right to me.

Is this separation of the sear and cylinder stop engagements normal? And could this be contributing to my short-stroking, or would simply putting in a stronger spring do the trick?
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Old February 13, 2010, 04:15 PM   #2
James K
Join Date: March 17, 1999
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First, the easy way to resolve the trigger return problem is to install a heavier return spring. The alternative is more practice in making sure you fully release the trigger.

On your other problem, I suspect you are doing unintentionally what some of us do as a trick, spin the cylinder with the trigger without engaging the hammer/sear at all. The hammer just moves in response to the rebound slide.

In fact, even though the cylinder stop re-engagement usually takes place a bit sooner than the sear re-engagment, the two are not really related, and both take place just short (microns???) of full trigger return. I think the heavier return spring (or more practice) will resolve that problem also.

Jim K
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Old February 13, 2010, 06:40 PM   #3
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I think the heavier return spring (or more practice) will resolve that problem also.
Thank, Jim.

Again, I've been trying to resolve this for over a year through practice, so I think the heavier spring is the way to go. Just wanted to be sure something else mechanically wasn't wrong.
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Old February 13, 2010, 07:34 PM   #4
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After reading Jerry Miculeks comments on full power rebound springs I started experimenting and found out he was absolutely right. You absolutely need the trigger to return forward as quickly as possible, if you are having to wait for it that will be what limits your speed. It takes only a little more hand strength to pull a DA with a full power rebound spring and it resets as quickly as your finger can get out of its way. I think far too many people replace all their revolver springs with lighter ones to get a better action and end up handicapping their performance.
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Old February 13, 2010, 08:44 PM   #5
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In the old days, the lighter a revolver DA trigger was the "better" it was considered to be.

Now days, we understand that SMOOTH is what defines a good trigger, and that lighter springs only slow the action down.

Today, a "trigger job" consists of smoothing the action and having the customer do a trigger job on his trigger finger.
In other words, leave the springs alone and build up your trigger finger.
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Old February 13, 2010, 09:13 PM   #6
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Well, in my defense, I should say I agree and agreed with what's been said - that smooth is better than light, and that the trigger return is damned important.

As such, when I sent the gun out, I indicated I didn't want the action lightened that much overall. I didn't have any problem pulling the trigger of a stock k-frame at speed, but, despite lots of dry fire, the slightly heavier L-frame 686 seemed just over some threshold, so I indulged myself and had it lightened, but still within reason, as I've not had any ignition issues, even with CCI primers. Even so, I've been struggling with the return, so my take is that one's optimal main & return spring weight is empirically derived.

After the rebound spring is upgraded, I'll report back.
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