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Old January 1, 2019, 11:21 PM   #1
coolridelude
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Trigger real light on a 686 in SA

I purchased a 686 today. I was dry firing the 686 and in single action it felt real lite. I felt if i sneezed it would go off. Is that normal? I have owned ruger sp101, gp100, and police service six they never felt like that.
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Old January 1, 2019, 11:48 PM   #2
NoSecondBest
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How everyone feels a trigger is actually hard to believe. I've had guys hand me guns at a match and ask me to see how fantastic it is. They stand there grinning from ear to ear waiting for my response and I'm wondering if the safety is on when I'm trying to get the trigger to break. I own two 686's and one 586. They have very good triggers on them and are a pleasure to shoot. That all being said, you can't tell how light a trigger is regardless of how it feels to you. You need to put a good trigger scale on it and take several readings to get a good average. Right now I have two TC Encore rifles that have had trigger jobs done on them. I was checking them to day to see what they actually were. Both were under three lbs., but they didn't feel that good. Trigger travel, angle, reach, etc all make a difference on feel. I've owned custom built revolvers and semi autos that had fantastic triggers on them and they were actually two lbs but felt like ounces. Summary: put a scale on it and see what it is. I think you'll be surprised that it's not as light as you think. FWIW, I used to shoot around 35,000 rounds of handgun a year and I still can't tell the weight without using an actual scale. I know good from bad, but not the weight.
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Old January 2, 2019, 10:30 AM   #3
pete2
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A S&W revolver trigger in single action is usually light compared to the junk triggers in semi autos and Ruger revolvers. The S&W revolver has a double action feature so you don't have to shoot it single action if you don't want to. Ain't life great?
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Old January 2, 2019, 11:16 AM   #4
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If you press on the cocked hammer with your thumb does it drop? (Unloaded gun of course...)

Was the gun purchased used?
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Old January 2, 2019, 12:27 PM   #5
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You need a trigger pull gauge and to check the hammer for push-off from the cocked position. My guess is you're accustomed to the horrible single-action on the Rugers and there's nothing actually wrong with the S&W.

(Apologies to all of the Ruger fans on the 'net. I once heard a gunshop clerk joking about how he hoped Ruger would introduce a 1911 so he could have a 1911 that required both index fingers to pull the trigger...)

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Old January 2, 2019, 02:39 PM   #6
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Sounds perfect. Just be thankful and enjoy it.


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Old January 2, 2019, 03:30 PM   #7
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As long as it’s setting off primers you should be happy. I know I would be.
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Old January 2, 2019, 03:46 PM   #8
dahermit
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Quote:
I purchased a 686 today. I was dry firing the 686 and in single action it felt real lite. I felt if i sneezed it would go off.
If you wanted to shoot single-action you should buy one. Why people buy a double-action and then shoot it mostly in single-action defies logic. Learn to shoot double-actions how they were designed to be used...in double-action.
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Old January 2, 2019, 04:32 PM   #9
UncleEd
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Regarding DA revolvers:

I've had out-of-the box Smiths with
3.5 pound single actions. I've had
out-of-the-box Rugers with 3.5
pound single actions.

I've had out-of-the-box Smiths with
6 pound single actions. I've had
out-of-the-box Rugers with 6
pound single actions.

Now on used Smiths and Rugers,
it can be anyone's guess how the
DA revolver will be in DA or SA.

But I do like pontifical comments
about how one maker's DA revolver
is so much better than another.
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Old January 2, 2019, 04:56 PM   #10
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I'll echo what the others said about 1) actually measuring the SA trigger pull with a trigger gauge and 2) making sure there's no push-off in SA mode.

Beyond that, the factory SA & DA pull weights of your 686 ought to be around 4 and 11 pounds. If significantly lighter, it's possible the factory springs were swapped for lighter ones. Ideally, the ratio of the DA:SA pull weights is roughly 2.7:1. If only the SA is lighter, someone likely swapped out only the rebound spring. If the mainspring (and DA trigger is also light), you might get into reliability issues. Also check the mainspring tension screw to make sure someone didn't try to lighten the DA trigger by simply backing out the screw a bit.
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Old January 2, 2019, 05:08 PM   #11
fastbolt
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The best way to measure trigger pull weight for a revolver cocked into SA (or a cocked 1911) is to use weights, and know how to use them. This means being taught how to observe the cocked trigger "hold" at a weight, and then having the trigger tripped to fall with a slight movement of the gun.

Back in my S&W revolver armorer class notes, and in an older S&W revolver manual I inherited from the former head armorer, the minimum trigger pull weight for a S&W revolver cocked into single action is 3lbs. Minimum. That doesn't mean it can't be heavier in any particular revolver, depending on the tolerances and how the parts fit.

Now, the perception of people can easily vary. One person's "hair trigger" is another person's "could be lighter and still be within normal spec" trigger. Also, some people haven't been trained to regulate and control the force exerted by their index fingers, and they have a hard time realizing how much force they may be exerting, and how quickly.

If you're curious or concerned about it, probably the best way to know the condition and SA trigger pull weight of your 686 is to have a gunsmith check it using traditional weights. if it's a new gun, the factory could also check it under their warranty. Most people complain about how they feel new production revolvers have too heavy of a SA trigger pull, though, not too light. Might cause a factory revolver repair tech a moment's double take and chuckle. (Unless it IS too light to be within spec, or has a 'push off' problem, and then they'll correct it.)

Congrats on the 686. A great (but heavy) stainless revolver. I carried a couple issued ones back in the mid/late 80's. Should've bought the last one when they offered us the opportunity to buy one ($235, I think was the price offered to us) when we transitioned to hi-cap 9's. I think I only had just over 3,500 rounds fired through the second one, and it was fine revolver for a working gun.

Also, try not to have your finger on the trigger of the cocked revolver is you feel a sneeze coming on ...
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Old January 2, 2019, 05:30 PM   #12
riverdog
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My 6” S&W 19-4 is set up like a target gun; its SA trigger feels much lighter than my 4” LE turn-in 19-5 — different gunsmiths/armorers with different objectives. The 19-4 is only used at the target range with wadcutters. My 686 is very similar to the LE turn-in with a smooth, crisp but not overly light trigger.
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Old January 2, 2019, 05:42 PM   #13
rock185
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coolride, If it is substantially lighter than the other revolvers you mention, I would suspect that something has been modified internally. I've owned quite a few S&W revolvers since the '60s. None had SA triggers so light as to cause me any concern. I have handled revolvers with internal modifications resulting in SAs so light, that if loaded, might have gone off if I'd sneezed....

Using my little Lyman digital gauge, I weighed the SA triggers of couple S&W revolvers, a Colt DA, and a Ruger DA. All break cleanly, none push off, and none feel unusually light or heavy to me. But I admit that I couldn't really tell you exact pull weights without a trigger gauge. The average was 4 1/8#, with a 686 being the heaviest at 4 3/4#, and a late '50s Colt 3-5-7 model lightest at 3 1/2#.

PS, fastbolt, a 686 was the last revolver I carried before we transitioned to semi-autos. Fine revolver, and with the L-frames, I routinely picked up a point or two in qualification over my scores with the Model 66
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Old January 2, 2019, 05:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
...it's possible the factory springs were swapped for lighter ones...If only the SA is lighter, someone likely swapped out only the rebound spring.
Is that a typo? I'm pretty sure a lighter rebound spring will decrease the DA pull, not the SA pull.
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Old January 2, 2019, 05:54 PM   #15
reddog81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahermit View Post
If you wanted to shoot single-action you should buy one. Why people buy a double-action and then shoot it mostly in single-action defies logic. Learn to shoot double-actions how they were designed to be used...in double-action.
They were designed to fire in single action just as much as they were designed to fire double action... What single action revolver does S&W sell that would be comparable to a 686? What single action revolver does anyone sell that would be comparable to a 686?
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Old January 2, 2019, 07:15 PM   #16
dahermit
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Quote:
They were designed to fire in single action just as much as they were designed to fire double action...
That would be true if there was no hump for the web of the hand. What single action do you know that has that hump?


Quote:
What single action revolver does S&W sell that would be comparable to a 686?
Who said they did? However, they did at one time...S&W Model 3, Schofield, and Russian.


Quote:
What single action revolver does anyone sell that would be comparable to a 686?
Any single action .357...Ruger, Colt, etc.
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Old January 2, 2019, 07:22 PM   #17
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My M29 has a clean 2.5 lb SA and a very smooth 9 lb DA. I target and hunt SA . SA hunting I remove the padding over the last joint to get more trigger feel. a good practice for that job.
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Old January 2, 2019, 07:32 PM   #18
Pahoo
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Worth checking

Quote:
If you press on the cocked hammer with your thumb does it drop? (Unloaded gun of course...)
This is a first good safety check that I perform if the pull is in question. I hold the muzzle of an unloaded SA/DA revolver on the carpet with my right hand and push on the hammer with my left hand. If the hammer is released, there is a problem if not, I grin and learn to shoot it. ……

Would not hurt to check it with a trigger gauge. ..


Be Safe !!!
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Old January 2, 2019, 07:40 PM   #19
MrBorland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmady
Quote:
...it's possible the factory springs were swapped for lighter ones...If only the SA is lighter, someone likely swapped out only the rebound spring.

Is that a typo? I'm pretty sure a lighter rebound spring will decrease the DA pull, not the SA pull.
Yeah, I could've written it better:

Short version: Swapping in just a lighter rebound spring will impact the SA weight more dramatically than the DA pull weight.

Longer version: The rebound spring applies force to the trigger, whereas the mainspring applies force to the hammer. So yes, reducing either spring will lower the DA trigger pull weight (since you're actuating the trigger and hammer); but to break the SA sear, you really only move the trigger, so the SA trigger pull weight is dictated by the strength of the rebound spring only and not by the mainspring. As such, swapping in just a lighter rebound spring will impact the SA weight more dramatically than the DA pull weight.
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Old January 2, 2019, 08:13 PM   #20
reddog81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahermit View Post
That would be true if there was no hump for the web of the hand. What single action do you know that has that hump?


Who said they did? However, they did at one time...S&W Model 3, Schofield, and Russian.


Any single action .357...Ruger, Colt, etc.
What single action Colt comes in .357 is stainless steel, adjustable sight, swing out cylinder and under cost $1,500? Or has any of those features for that matter? Is it really that hard for you to understand that someone might want a gun that fires SA and DA?
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Old January 2, 2019, 10:48 PM   #21
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Quote:
I purchased a 686 today. I was dry firing the 686 and in single action it felt real lite. I felt if I sneezed it would go off. Is that normal?
Out of curiosity I tested a pair of 686-4s I have and they both were consistent 4lb SA triggers. Far more than a sneeze required to get either to fire.

Quote:
Why people buy a double-action and then shoot it mostly in single-action defies logic. Learn to shoot double-actions how they were designed to be used...in double-action.
Evidently the SA is there for a reason. I used to compete in an indoor pistol league some years ago and most of the shooters used revolvers and fired then exclusively in the SA mode and one handed. To fire double action would have defied logic.

Also used to shoot NRA metallic silhouette and once again all the revolver shooters used their guns in the SA mode.

I could less about humps or bumps . I'll just shoot the gun the way I want.
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Old January 2, 2019, 10:55 PM   #22
coolridelude
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NoSecondBest
I will look into a scale to see how the lbs on the trigger. Thanks for the info.
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Old January 2, 2019, 10:58 PM   #23
coolridelude
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dahermit
I do plan on using it in double action for the most part. There are times I would like to shot is single action.
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Old January 2, 2019, 11:00 PM   #24
coolridelude
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rock185,
I bought is used and it is a 686 with no dash and has what appears to have an M stamp.
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Old January 3, 2019, 12:06 AM   #25
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coolridelude,

I have a 1980's pre-lock 686 4" bbl that I've owned since new. The DA trigger has lightened a bit with lots of use and the SA trigger pull is decent, but not light.
A few months ago, I bought a new 686 Plus and took it to the range a couple weeks ago.
The DA pull was a bit heavier than my older 686 and the trigger return travel was rather notchy and gritty.
However, the SA pull was VERY light - I would guess 3lbs or less (haven't measured).
The revolver is accurate - VERY accurate - with the SA trigger, so I have no complaints on how light the trigger pull may be.

I shot it initially SA to check on the revolver's accuracy.
Once satisfied, I shoot DA and find it easy to 'stage' the trigger when shooting DA to still achieve accuracy - whether with my old 686 or the new.

Enjoy your 686 and shoot it a lot!
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