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Old October 11, 2018, 06:23 PM   #1
ChasHam
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Wife Having Trouble with Model 37 Heavy Trigger

My wife no longer has the hand strength for a one handed DA trigger pull on her EDC S&W Model 37 lightweight nickel plated two inch 38 Spl J frame revolver. It's in primo unmodified condition- despite her carrying it daily since I purchased it new 40 years ago. And it doesn't have more than a few boxes of factory ammo through it either

She's not comfortable handling a semi-auto and really needs to stick with a compact revolver. I've considered installing a lighter spring-- but am concerned about primer strike reliability.

She shoots two-handed and can pull the trigger fine if she uses both her right and left pointer fingers simultaneously. But that's probably not an ideal solution for an EDC personal defense gun-- nor is cocking the hammer prior to shooting in a threat situation.

Ideas?

Last edited by ChasHam; October 13, 2018 at 07:04 AM.
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Old October 11, 2018, 06:32 PM   #2
DPris
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Ruger LCR .38, if it's not too bulky.
Light DA trigger.
Recoil MAY be a nuisance.
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Old October 11, 2018, 07:12 PM   #3
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My wife hated my semi auto pistols and insisted using a revolver for her LTC class. The instructor convinced her to use his S&W M&P 22 for the shooting, and she loved it. We got her something very similar, which is a new S&W M&P 380 EZ and she’s really fond of it. Some folks call it a Granny Gun, because it’s easy to rack the slide and load the mag. You can get it with a safety or without. Have a look at one, if you can find one. Selling like hot cakes. I had to work hard to find one.
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Old October 11, 2018, 07:16 PM   #4
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I would go for a light spring kit before I bought another revolver. If wife has had
it for 40yrs she's use to it. I have no experience with LCR, plenty with LCPs. No
doubt LCR is quality piece.
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Old October 11, 2018, 10:10 PM   #5
Bill DeShivs
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Simply change out the trigger return spring with a lighter one.
A good gunsmith can also do an action job to reduce/smooth the trigger pull.
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Old October 12, 2018, 02:14 AM   #6
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+1 what Bill said. 40 years of womans purse mystery goo and fuzz would probably rate a trip to a GS anyhow. A lighter rebound spring wouldn't effect reliability at all, unless the installer uses a 12lb or lighter spring. I've never had reliability problems with a 13lb spring.
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Old October 12, 2018, 08:11 PM   #7
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The LCR has a very light DA trigger. It's what I usually carry.
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Old October 12, 2018, 08:44 PM   #8
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I put a Wolff 10 pound trigger spring my SP 101, made a lot of difference. Try a lighter spring and shoot a couple of boxes of ammo. If no light strikes you should be good to go.
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Old October 14, 2018, 10:21 AM   #9
ChasHam
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Thanks for all the suggestions.

I think I'll try some of the spring kits first. The price is certainly right and installation is easy enough. I've had the side plates off many Smith and Colt revolvers for thorough cleaning. I'll follow up with a lot of tesl firing using an assortment of reloads on hand and also the carry ammo.

The Ruger LCR looks like it's probably Plan B at this point.

Now of course if I was the one with the trigger squeeze problem rather than my wife, you know that the LCR would be Plan A...
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Old October 14, 2018, 11:18 AM   #10
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"...plates off many Smith..." Smith's require a special tool to remove and install the trigger rebound spring housing. About $20 at Brownell's.
Even with a proper trigger job and new springs she still may problems. Assuming her hands are arthritic, doing anything may or may not make any difference. Even a pistol will hurt to shoot with arthritis.
Mind you, if she's not practicing with the thing, she might as well not have it.
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Old October 14, 2018, 12:54 PM   #11
Bill DeShivs
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S&Ws don't require a special tool to remove the trigger spring. S&W armorer school showed how to do it with a screwdriver!
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Old October 16, 2018, 12:46 PM   #12
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My wife likes my LCR 357... Slightly more weight than the LCR 38spl .. so it dampens the recoil a bit , while using 38spl ammo ... I have found the Federal 130gr HST ammo , even though listed as +P ,is more than manageable ...
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Old October 18, 2018, 09:27 PM   #13
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Another vote for the Ruger LCR polymer frame revolver. I've been teaching older women and they have trouble with slides (semiautomatics) and most DA revolvers except for the Ruger or S&W polymer M&P revolver.
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Old October 20, 2018, 07:42 AM   #14
RKG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill DeShivs View Post
Simply change out the trigger return spring with a lighter one.
A good gunsmith can also do an action job to reduce/smooth the trigger pull.
In a S&w double action revolver, the weight of the DA pull is dominated by the main spring, while the weight of the SA pull is dominated by the rebound slide spring.

Going too light on the main spring risks light primer strikes. Going too light on the rebound spring risks failure of trigger reset.

When I encounter a S&W DA with mediocre trigger, the first thing I do is clean the lockwork and then polish the bottom and sides (but not the top) of the rebound slide and also the tunnel in which the rebound slide travels. Often, this is all that is required.
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Old October 20, 2018, 07:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
S&Ws don't require a special tool to remove the trigger spring. S&W armorer school showed how to do it with a screwdriver!
True, and I have done it that way; but the tool O'Heir mentioned DOES make it a lot easier. Now, you could go buy a $1 screwdriver and modify the tip like the tool has as well.
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Old October 20, 2018, 08:04 AM   #16
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A Bic pen works well for installing the rebound spring.
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Old October 20, 2018, 08:04 AM   #17
Jim Watson
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Wolff - gunsprings.com - will sell you a package deal with a somewhat lighter mainspring and a selection of rebound springs.

I require that my defense guns fire reloads with CCI primers which are relatively "hard." That way I am confident with factory loads.
My 642 will do it with a reduced mainspring, my M38 requires the full power spring.

The rebound spring must give snappy trigger return, if it feels mushy or if your trigger finger "outruns" it on the reset, it is too weak.

As RKG says, you will get a better and easier trigger if you reduce friction, not just swap springs.
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Old October 20, 2018, 10:36 AM   #18
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I find that S&W factory mainsprings vary a lot from gun to gun whether the coil or the leaf. I recently replaced a mainspring in a new 642 that was extremely heavy. It's now about the same as a 642 that I've had for several years. I've seen the same stuff on N and K frame guns. I'd suggest a Wolff standard spring, it may be just what you want. In any case shoot a couple hundred rounds of ammo to make sure it doesn't misfire with the lighter mainspring. If it misfires you gotta go to plan B and learn to live with another gun.
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Old October 20, 2018, 01:32 PM   #19
Bill DeShivs
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RKG- you have it backwards. The rebound spring affects the D/A trigger pull. I'm sure that was a typo. I agree that polishing the slide makes a lot of difference.
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Old October 20, 2018, 02:00 PM   #20
ChasHam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmady View Post
A Bic pen works well for installing the rebound spring.
See Jerry Miculek's "How To Install a Spring Kit" video using a pen to reinstall it on a K frame S&W.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9gn7zE5b3g
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Old October 21, 2018, 05:09 PM   #21
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I would consider a cocked-and-locked semi-auto. e.g. a Sig 238 or 938.
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Old October 21, 2018, 07:03 PM   #22
RKG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill DeShivs View Post
RKG- you have it backwards. The rebound spring affects the D/A trigger pull. I'm sure that was a typo. I agree that polishing the slide makes a lot of difference.
Well, the factory may have changed the textbook since I went to school there.

The DA pull has to compress the main spring. The SA pull does not.
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Old October 22, 2018, 12:03 AM   #23
Bill DeShivs
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Well, of course it does!
But shooting D/A you have to overcome the mainspring AND rebound spring.
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Old October 22, 2018, 12:33 AM   #24
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heavy

The lack of hand strength sufficient to effectively run a DA revolver was a common problem with some of the female trainee's I worked with on my brief stints a FLETC, Glynco. As auto's were not on the scene for common issue, we worked on hand strength......even to the point of issuing "half guns", old S&W frames with no barrels and nixed pins and hammers........seems like the cylinders were removed too.

The two finger technique was common, but what if that hand is disabled or busy doing something else? The auto in its various guises solved much of the hand strength issue.
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Old October 22, 2018, 09:49 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill DeShivs View Post
Well, of course it does!
But shooting D/A you have to overcome the mainspring AND rebound spring.
True, but I believe you will find, either by doing a force analysis, by talking to the people who build these things, or by experimentation that the weight of the DA pull is dominated by the main spring. Change main springs and you will see a direct change in the DA pull. Leave the mainspring alone, though, while changing rebound springs, and you will see a de minimis change in DA pull (if you are able to detect any change at all).

Hence the "rule," as I was taught and as I have observed for, well, more years than I'm will to admit, as stated.
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