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Not A Gunsmith

And cannot afford one!


I AM a learner, albeit a slow one.  After shooting a friend’s Smith & Wesson J-Frame Monday last ( 🙂 ), I’m considering improving the trigger pull on mine.

You see, I generally prefer STOCK guns.  When I had my Browning High Power, I purposely DID NOT REMOVE the magazine safety, as it was the way the gun was manufactured.  (Yes, I know it improves trigger pull, yadda yadda…)

I’ve been carrying my S&W model 442 – electroless nickel for going on 22 years.  With the stock trigger (15 pounds?).  Because that’s the way it came.  And I shoot ‘okay’ with her.

HOWEVER, my friend’s revolver had a trigger-job done on his.  And the result was amazing.  I inquired if he ever had a problem with lack-of-ignition.  He replied in the negative.

As stated before, I cannot afford an over-priced dilettante the services of a gunsmith.

Off to the Brownell’s website!

They have all manner of replacement spring kits for S&W J-Frames – including a Wilson version with one (7 1/2 pound?) mainspring and three choices of trigger return spring weight!

For under $10 !!!

And, while I’m not the most mechanically-adept (insert laughter here, Dave!) I do know how to remove the side plate and remove/replace springs.

My questions are – is this a good deal?  Beneficial to the gun’s function?  Are there other choices out there of similar cost that are better?

I figure minimally, I get to detail clean and lube the revolver and possibly improve function.

Inquiring minds want to know.


Better shape than mine…

This just in – I gave in and ordered the Wilson kit yesterday!  😛


Smith & Wesson and Brownell’s gave me nothing!  Go Away FTC!

About guffaw1952

I'm a child of the 50's. libertarian, now medically-retired. I've been a certified firearms trainer, a private investigator, and worked for a major credit card company for almost 22 years. I am a proud NRA Life Member. I am a limited-government, free-market capitalist, who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law.


8 thoughts on “Not A Gunsmith

  1. Howdy, neighbor. Without going into too many specifics, you should have a glance at the reference of record , from Jerry Kuhnhausen. In a short while you will have gotten the idea that revolvers are a marvel of complex engineering interaction requiring special tools and experience to deal with. Since you are local, look up Mr Frank Glenn in Phx. He is a reasonable man, and no dilettante. From one who knows, and has purchased use of his expertise.

    Posted by thinkingman | August 21, 2016, 8:57 pm
    • Howdy yourself! 😆
      I’m passingly familiar with Mr. Kuhnhausen’s book. And I know Frank Glenn’s work, and have previously spoken with him!
      Sadly, I cannot afford either the book or Mr. Glenn’s services.
      So, it’s ‘kitchen table gunsmithing’ for me!

      Posted by guffaw1952 | August 21, 2016, 9:09 pm
      • Howdy, back!
        Weellll, I do understand being on a budget; I’m a bit “light” at this time myself. The creditors don’t much care , so long as they get theirs!
        On the J Frame- If you really must resort to spring changes, a few things I have found ( mostly school of hard knocks,( i.e. being a dilettante ,or findings by trial and error ) 1) Too little power on the Hammer spring (mainspring) will cause light primer strikes, and failure to fire . Intolerable on a carry/defense gun. Resist the temptation to install a reduced power hammer spring. They do make for greatly reduced double action trigger pull, because they store far less energy to work with- they may let you down at a crucial moment. 2) carefully and honestly evaluate Trigger Return after replacement of Rebound-slide spring. The lightest spring is rarely the best choice , even in a old style PPC tuned, target range, competition only revolver . I have replaced the factory heavy pull weight spring ( which will never fail in it’s function unless something is seriously wrong elsewhere) with a Wolff brand 16 pound spring ( they do come lighter, but for me, the 16lb delivers the sure, rapid trigger return that allows me to shoot second and successive shoots quickly without “double- clutching” the trigger before it has returned fully, which ties things up and delays your defense, hopefully not TOO long )
        Mr Glenn did work on an old model 66 for me, as well as a model 586 ( THERE is a sweet shooting piece! ) I’m a revolver guy from way back , though I carry semi autos -capacity a factor there, and, if taken in evidence, easy to replace, unlike a number of old ‘Smiths .

        Posted by thinkingman | August 22, 2016, 8:36 am
      • Thanks for your bothering to even comment AND your input!
        I certainly want reliable ignition.
        I purchased a Wilson Combat spring kit from Brownell’s. I trust Wilson.
        A follow-up post regarding installation and the result is planned.

        Posted by guffaw1952 | August 22, 2016, 10:08 am
  2. Please do follow up- I’m always looking for outcomes on stuff in which I have interest, especially if it’s not exactly how I’ve done it. Looking at more than we already know is how we get to know more!

    Posted by thinkingman | August 22, 2016, 5:49 pm
  3. I ordered the “Apex Tactical Duty/Carry Spring Kit S&W J-Frame” and used all of the components except the trigger return spring. I am very pleased with the result in my 640. The other easy thing you may do when you have the side plate off is gently float the sides of the rebound slide on a stone.

    Posted by phred | August 23, 2016, 7:09 am

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