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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 442 that is one of my EDC guns. I am looking for opinions on what the best way to improve the trigger pull is. It has to remain completely reliable of course, so I know not to just throw lighter springs at it. I am considering having a gunsmith do a trigger job. I have also heard that dry firing with snap caps can smooth out the action. Is a gunsmith trigger job worth the money, or would lots of dry firing be as good or close? Also does anyone know of a good gunsmith in the Midwest they would recommend? I know cylinder and slide is a good company but their waiting list is pretty long at this point. Also including an obligatory pic, because we all love pics lol. Thanks.
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Try dry firing while watching TV or similar - at least to start as it is free.
 

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I have a S&W 642 which I believe is internally identical to the 442. I acquired this 642 from a lady who's advancing age and the arthritis in her hands rendered her virtually incapable of pulling the trigger. She preferred a revolver with a hammer, so I ended up with the 642. I didn't like the factory trigger, and did the following:
1.) installed the APEX "Tactical carry/duty" spring kit.
2.) Removed the internal lock parts. Those unnecessary ( to me) pieces are just more places for metal-on-metal movement that has to happen when the gun is fired.
3.) Did my own action polishing job with stones and oil using a UTube video as a guide.
VERY happy with the results.
LOTS of dry firing will help a little, but it won't be the same as a properly done trigger job.
IF you engage an independent gunsmith rather than a well known shop with an excellent reputation...be sure you discuss the job with him and know exactly what he calls a "Trigger job".
 

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I have a S&W 642 which I believe is internally identical to the 442. I acquired this 642 from a lady who's advancing age and the arthritis in her hands rendered her virtually incapable of pulling the trigger. She preferred a revolver with a hammer, so I ended up with the 642. I didn't like the factory trigger, and did the following:
1.) installed the APEX "Tactical carry/duty" spring kit.
2.) Removed the internal lock parts. Those unnecessary ( to me) pieces are just more places for metal-on-metal movement that has to happen when the gun is fired.
3.) Did my own action polishing job with stones and oil using a UTube video as a guide.
VERY happy with the results.
LOTS of dry firing will help a little, but it won't be the same as a properly done trigger job.
IF you engage an independent gunsmith rather than a well known shop with an excellent reputation...be sure you discuss the job with him and know exactly what he calls a "Trigger job".
(y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Can I ask what you think is "wrong" with the trigger pull? Too heavy, too gritty, too ____????
To me it’s too heavy and a little rough. If I am really careful I can stage the trigger. By that I mean I can squeeze the trigger until the cylinder rotates and locks then regain my sight picture and finish the trigger pull. Its tricky to do. A little lighter and smoother pull would help a lot I think.
I have a S&W 642 which I believe is internally identical to the 442. I acquired this 642 from a lady who's advancing age and the arthritis in her hands rendered her virtually incapable of pulling the trigger. She preferred a revolver with a hammer, so I ended up with the 642. I didn't like the factory trigger, and did the following:
1.) installed the APEX "Tactical carry/duty" spring kit.
2.) Removed the internal lock parts. Those unnecessary ( to me) pieces are just more places for metal-on-metal movement that has to happen when the gun is fired.
3.) Did my own action polishing job with stones and oil using a UTube video as a guide.
VERY happy with the results.
LOTS of dry firing will help a little, but it won't be the same as a properly done trigger job.
IF you engage an independent gunsmith rather than a well known shop with an excellent reputation...be sure you discuss the job with him and know exactly what he calls a "Trigger job".
I will check out some YouTube videos on that. I have a set of gunsmithing stones and files, so I might spend some time studying DIY action smoothing. I’ll also check out that spring kit. Thanks for the advice.
 

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I have worked on a few revolvers. I polish the bearing sides of the rebound slide and the frame where it rides, then I can safely install a lighter weight rebound slide spring. I have a variety on hand but will probably end up with a 14# spring. The factory spring is 18#. This should result in only a 1 to 2 pound reduction in trigger pull weight, but it will be very smooth. I put a reduced power mainspring in my model 60 as well as doing the above polishing and it made a huge difference in how the trigger pull feels, and it is still reliable. If I do not get the expected results on my 442 I will consider a reduced power mainspring there too
 

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Not that it matters, but personally, I am NOT a fan of "staging" a DA trigger. At all. I'm also not a big fan of lightening springs. Lightening a rebound spring can conceiveably slow the trigger return, which would not be a good thing. Perhaps one could go a little lighter and be OK. Again, this is my un-solicited opinion, but the trigger pull is a certain weight for a reason. Learn to shoot it properly. It will never be as light as a single action, and it shouldn't be.

Smoothing, though, can be a good thing, if done carefully and properly. It used to be that the inside of the rebound slide would invariably be fairly roughly machined. These can be polished out, at least to a good enough degree, with sandpaper on a little round stick. Newer ones are probably not so rough, as they aren't milled, but still, work here first. The sliding surfaces on the outside of the rebound slide can be polished carefully with very fine sandpaper on a block or a stone. Being an aluminum frame, I would recommend against doing any sanding or stoning on it, as that would likely remove the thin anodizing, exposing a pretty soft metal underneath. There really shouldn't be any other source of "roughness" to worry about, really. Definitely leave the hammer and trigger alone. Get things smooth before thinking about trying to make anything lighter. Smoother automatically feels lighter.

;)
 

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Not that it matters, but personally, I am NOT a fan of "staging" a DA trigger. At all. I'm also not a big fan of lightening springs. Lightening a rebound spring can conceiveably slow the trigger return, which would not be a good thing. Perhaps one could go a little lighter and be OK. Again, this is my un-solicited opinion, but the trigger pull is a certain weight for a reason. Learn to shoot it properly. It will never be as light as a single action, and it shouldn't be.

Smoothing, though, can be a good thing, if done carefully and properly. It used to be that the inside of the rebound slide would invariably be fairly roughly machined. These can be polished out, at least to a good enough degree, with sandpaper on a little round stick. Newer ones are probably not so rough, as they aren't milled, but still, work here first. The sliding surfaces on the outside of the rebound slide can be polished carefully with very fine sandpaper on a block or a stone. Being an aluminum frame, I would recommend against doing any sanding or stoning on it, as that would likely remove the thin anodizing, exposing a pretty soft metal underneath. There really shouldn't be any other source of "roughness" to worry about, really. Definitely leave the hammer and trigger alone. Get things smooth before thinking about trying to make anything lighter. Smoother automatically feels lighter.

;)
Once you have polished the rebound slide and frame where it rides, you can absolutely put a lighter spring in, without getting a sluggish trigger return because there is now less friction so the lighter spring actually has less work to do. Yes, at some point return could get sluggish, but you choose the correct spring weight so that doesn't happen. I do not try to get a 8 pound pull in a J frame. They run about 12#,stock, and getting it down to a slick action 10# pull makes a huge difference
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Once you have polished the rebound slide and frame where it rides, you can absolutely put a lighter spring in, without getting a sluggish trigger return because there is now less friction so the lighter spring actually has less work to do. Yes, at some point return could get sluggish, but you choose the correct spring weight so that doesn't happen. I do not try to get a 8 pound pull in a J frame. They run about 12#,stock, and getting it down to a slick action 10# pull makes a huge difference
I think this is the route I’m going to go. I have been watching videos on polishing the rebound slide and the frame where it slides. This and Apex duty springs. Thank you everyone for your advice. I’ll let everyone know how it turns out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
With the help of YouTube I disassembled my 442 and replaced the springs. I used the Apex duty springs. I also lightly polished the rebound slide and the frame. I gave it a thorough cleaning and lubed the suggested areas. I wish I had a trigger pull scale to see the difference, but I can definitely feel it. It’s a little lighter pull but definitely more smooth. Overall it was worth it. Plus I learned a lot about the gun. Thank you to everyone for your help. Now I just have to get to the range for a reliability check and the 442 will be back to EDC.
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With the help of YouTube I disassembled my 442 and replaced the springs. I used the Apex duty springs. I also lightly polished the rebound slide and the frame. I gave it a thorough cleaning and lubed the suggested areas. I wish I had a trigger pull scale to see the difference, but I can definitely feel it. It’s a little lighter pull but definitely more smooth. Overall it was worth it. Plus I learned a lot about the gun. Thank you to everyone for your help. Now I just have to get to the range for a reliability check and the 442 will be back to EDC. View attachment 514724
Good to hear you were successful. Just a couple pounds can make a huge difference in trigger feel when the action is nice and smooth
 
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