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I put my first rounds through my new 686+ yesterday. Love the revolver but I am used to shooting semi automatics and need some help figuring out what to do about the trigger. The single action is incredibly light but I'm not thrilled about the idea of having a really light trigger in a self defense scenario. The double action is too heavy to practice regularly. I had a gunsmith measure the pull and it was measured at over 12 pounds. I've seen some info on springs but I wanted to see if anyone had any advice.
 

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First, the correct way to lighten a double action trigger is not to change the springs. First the action should be de-burred to cut the friction. In all the countless action jobs I've done over the last 30 years I can't remember how many needed new springs but I'd guess only 1 or 2. In a self-defense scenario single action shouldn't be a factor anyway, that's for precision shooting not up close & fast. There are YouTube videos that show how to do action jobs but realistically if you don't know how or have a good tutor you're better off getting a good gunsmith to do the work. Disclaimer: I'm retired & only do gunsmithing on my own or close friends guns nowadays & not trying to drum up work.
 

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In some ways, the heavier and longer travel of a double action trigger is the closest thing to a safety you'll have on a revolver. Measuring double action pull weight is really not something I personally find very useful.

In the Smith and Wesson lockwork, there are a couple of springs that affect trigger pull in relatively minor ways. I've seen experienced S&W revolver gunsmiths clip a little off the trigger return spring to "lighten" the trigger.

Most of the resistance is the load as the double action trigger builds pressure in the mainspring.

The action itself can be polished to improve the smoothness of the trigger, but the geometry and relationship of the parts inside are the basis of the design. All S&W revolvers are hand fit, but there is only so much time available in the factory before the work is considered "good enough".

Personally, I'd shoot it and train to manage the gun with it's existing trigger for a while before considering any changes. The action will smooth some as you use the revolver.

I have a couple of 686 revolvers that have had action work. It was done by a prior owner. They still have considerable pull weights, but feel more even and smooth as you pull them through to finally drop the hammer.

If you do not have hand fitting experience on the S&W lockwork and action, don't attempt to touch it yourself. For experienced revolver gunsmiths there is a fairly thick book of tips, tricks and advice that was developed based upon years of experience by Jerry Kuhnhausen. Proceeding without this kind of knowledge and experience is likely to lead to a disaster.

Time you spend in learning how to manage the trigger will probably help you much more than any work on the gun unless something is defective in what they shipped you.
 

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While 3" revolvers are wonderful guns they are perhaps a little harder to learn and master than one with a longer snout. Don't expect instant rapport if you are new to revolvers. Just a bit of a learning curve will get you there..
Dry firing in double action can help . A mild amount of break-in smoothing may occur but don't expect a lot. More importantly familiarity will grow as you become accustomed to the way things move as the trigger is pulled , stages and breaks.
Sight the gun as you do it and as trigger finger coordination grows you will see improvement in staying on target.
Sit in front of the TV, turn on CNN and you will find many targets.

Strangely many that master good double action technic seldom resort to single action but those who rely on single action often get lazy and never really master double action.
 

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Development of consistent grip (I don't cross thumbs, but keep them parallel on the side) and exact placement of trigger finger will help. Same principles as with shooting semi-auto pistols, but perhaps more challenging.
 
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There are two things on a S&W revolver that contribute to how the DA pull feels, the trigger rebound (or return) spring and the hammer mainspring.

In a SD situation it's likely that you'll not be that cognizant of the DA trigger pull, with the adrenaline going and the dynamics of the situation at hand.

The rebound spring is an 18 pound spring (according to Wolff), I replace mine with a Wolff 15 pounds and that's as low as I will go, otherwise the trigger return speed become too sluggish for my tastes, plus if you go too light on the rebound spring you begin to experience the trigger hanging up during the return. I've been using that 15 pound spring without issue for most of my S&W revolvers for 40 years.

Changing the hammer mainspring is an entirely different matter, because you often run into reliable primer ignition issues with a lighter spring, which can be over come with other modifications, but I certainly would not recommend this for any gun being used for self defense.

It's been mentioned that the first course of action is to smooth the action parts, on the older guns with forged/machined parts that's certainly true. But it's been my experience with the two newer S&W's I have with MIM parts, is that they are already fairly smooth because they do not have the traditional "rough' machining marks as the older guns.

I'd say have the rebound spring changed to a lighter weight spring, and then practice, practice and more practice with that gun to get used to it and become proficient with it.

The Jerry Kuhnhausen book has been mentioned, lots of good information but it's in what I call a "text book" technical format, not something for the uninitiated.

I like to recommend the Jerry Miculek "Trigger Job" DVD, his video gives a good overview and insight on the mechanics of the S&W lockwork, but there is also one drawback with that video, it's based on the older S&W's without the frame mounted firing pin or MIM parts, and does not go into them.
 

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I put my first rounds through my new 686+ yesterday. Love the revolver but I am used to shooting semi automatics and need some help figuring out what to do about the trigger. The single action is incredibly light but I'm not thrilled about the idea of having a really light trigger in a self defense scenario. The double action is too heavy to practice regularly. I had a gunsmith measure the pull and it was measured at over 12 pounds. I've seen some info on springs but I wanted to see if anyone had any advice.
Re: OP. Well! Excellent responses have been offered to you in this thread. I will simply say, leave everything inside the revolver alone. Sit down every night and cycle the action DA for 1,200-1,500 times aiming at a small black round bullseye target. This will do two things ... develop needed hand/finger strength for the task of operating the revolver and develop a mental image of what a proper sight picture should look like using a six o'clock hold for shooting. The very definite clear sight picture offered by such a traditional target will allow you to more quickly determine good from less than good shots due to correct/incorrect handling of the revolver.

Get to where you can shoot a good round group at 5 yds. Then move to 7 yds. Now move to 10 yds. Next go to 12 or even 15 yds. At each stage work until you can produce good round groups. The size of the group will decrease as you develop experience. Work on out to 25 yds. This is how I was able to learn to shoot DA despite the fact that I had for most of my life fired SA using any revolver. Learn to shoot DA with a revolver like your 686 and there is not any pistol made ... revolver or semi-auto ... that you will not be able to handle just fine. For instance, transitioning from DA shooting with a revolver to a pistol such as the Glock or one of the S&W pistols of similar type ... it just isn't that hard. If you can shoot a DA revolver well, either of these two pistols will be easy to learn and shoot well.

Take time every night and do the DA practice. Be diligent at it. Don't just pull the trigger ... do the practice aiming. A couple of weeks of that will dramatically improve your on target results at the range. Doing some dry-fire practice at the range between stages of shooting would be helpful. Do this and without doubt you will soon find out just how accurate good DA shooting can be. Sincerely. bruce.
 

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When learning proper DA technique, DO NOT start by pulling through the trigger travel too slow; you'll develop an "anticipation" flinch. Start out with a rapid fire trigger pull and learn it. Dry fire "Shooting" a spot on your wall while watching TV is a good idea for both you and your revolvers trigger mechanism. :)
 

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I have changed the TRS on my K frame revolvers to 13 lbs......but kept the original S&W main spring. I don't dry fire my revolvers......I shoot them to smooth the action, and get actual shooting practice, at the same time. I had to send my M-67 S&W (my 1st) in to repair a broken firing pin rivet, that broke (maybe from dry firing?). They removed the light TRS, and put in the std. weight spring (15-16#) again. I didn't really notice a difference. So, it may not be worth it to change it. (But this was 15 years ago....so the TRS is even heavier now!:rolleyes:)

I have a semi-auto Ruger SR22 DA/SA, and I don't notice any difference compared to a revolver trigger pull DA....or SA. Bob
 

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All good advice above . Before changing any springs , stoning the rebound slide and polishing its contact area in the frame will go a long way to smoothing up the DA pull . I don't mind a rather heavy pull as long as it's smooth .
 

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I like the DA trigger on S&W revolvers, I find you can stage the trigger pull. For me I can pull the trigger until I hear and feel the final click of the bolt dropping into the cylinder notch. When that happens I can stop the pull and take final aim and fire. When you stage the trigger the final pull is like shooting single action. It takes practice and you can get pretty quick with the initial pull of the trigger. Also for a self defense DA you don't want a light trigger.
 
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