This tag is associated with 3 posts

Not A Gunsmith, Part Tres’

In our last episode…

I had gone shooting with friends, and marveled at the significantly lighter trigger of my friend’s Smith & Wesson .38 snubbie.

Having carried my electroless nickel S&W 442 for going on 22 years, with the stock 14 pound trigger(!), I thought it might be time for improvement.


SO, I order a Wilson Combat spring kit through Brownell’s (for a whopping $9) and excitedly awaited it’s arrival so I could swap out the springs and share in the love… *:x lovestruck

I received it in about four days, found my brand X gunsmithing screwdriver, and went to remove the S&W sideplate.  Two screws in, I discovered that screw #3 was NOT loosening!  Not too much of a surprise, as the cheap screwdriver shaft was turning in the handle (!), and I had never had the sideplate off.  Ever.

I own a second (better quality) gunsmithing screwdriver.  However it remains beneath a pile of unpacked boxes.  And between being disabled, having back problems (and just not wanting to) there it remained.

Suggestions were made for screw-loosening oils, but without a decent tool, it wasn’t going to happen…

My roommate said she had a quality gunsmithing screwdriver, and offered it for my use.  I jumped at the chance.  But Life got in the way.  For almost two months.  Sigh.

FINALLY, I had the tool and the time.  And access to the You Tube videos regarding J-Frame Smith smithing.  And I began the task at hand.

That stubborn screw continued to be stubborn – but not impossible.  🙂

The sideplate was finally removed, and with some minor difficulty ( I repeat, I am NOT a gunsmith), the mainspring has been replaced!!

And the trigger pull went from fourteen pounds to a whopping EIGHT!

I’ve not yet replaced the trigger return spring (Wilson give me three from which to choose!) and the instructional videos have instruction regarding stoning certain surfaces to smooth them up.  I’m not certain I’m up for that.  As Inspector Harry Callahan said, “Man’s got to know his limitations.”

FTC – I bought all the screwdriver sets (except my roommate’s), the spring replacement kit and the revolver.  Go and buy your own!

a stock photo. My piece has a little corrosion damage on the sideplate. Unattractive!

a stock photo. My piece has a little corrosion damage on the sideplate. (that whole nasty sweat issue.)

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!

J-Frame Lust

Brigid just posted regarding a J-Frame Smith 637 and her adventures with it. She reminded me of my J-Frames.
I love Smith & Wesson J-Frames. Especially in .38 Special and .357.  The first one I owned was a Model 49, blue.  Sweet gun, but having the corrosive perspiration equivalent to pool acid, it soon had a patina of rust and corrosion, even after religiously wiping her down and keeping her coated in gun oil and WD 40.  Used to have a large rust spot on my T-shirt and shorts (appendix carry) when I worked at the convenience store.  Eventually, I had to sell her to pay bills.  (Back in the 70’s.)
My second J-Frame was an early Model 60.  My old friend Steve traded her to me.  He traded a well-worn LW Commander for her.  She was very cool, but had a very heavy trigger.  One could slow-pull it and stack the trigger, though.  On one occasion, I was able to put 5 rounds down range, double-action @ 25 yards.  The group could be covered by a coffee cup.  I was very proud, but was never able to reproduce the event.  Unfortunately, she was in the safe when it was taken.  :- (
My third is my current J-Frame, a 442 electroless nickel.  I’ve been carrying her for 17 years.  Some of the electroless nickel has worn off on the Smith logo, on the starboard side, right wear my left thumb knuckle rides.  (I’m left handed).  A lighter trigger than the 60, but just not as accurate a piece.  But, accurate enough.  She lives in my left front pocket in the Summer when it’s too hot to carry the 5″ 1911.
I know, revolvers are old-school, but sometimes they are just the thing.  With a Bianchi Speed-Strip or Two.
As long as they don’t have an internal key lock.  That’s just wrong.

h/t Brigid

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…