Springs, one more time


October 20, 2004, 12:02 AM
I think I've worked up the courage to try and change some springs around on a couple of my revolvers, but I still need a little clarification. What is it that the mainspring affects, and what does the rebound spring affect? Will changing just the mainspring affect trigger pull? Are replacement mainsprings available for J frames? Thanks in advance!!!

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October 20, 2004, 01:55 PM
The mainspring affects hammer tension, which affects ignition.

The rebound spring affects trigger tension, which affect the revolver's trigger return and safety function.

In other words: Too light a mainspring and the gun may mis-fire.
Too light a rebound spring and the trigger may fail to reset, AND the safety system will fail to operate.

In the "J" frame revolvers BOTH springs are coil springs.
You get the most benefit by using SLIGHTLY lighter springs for both.

After replacement you MUST test-fire enough ammo to be 100% SURE of reliable operation.
My standard is 100 rounds of standard factory ammo, preferably the SAME ammo you'll be using for "business".

Dropping a new spring set in, popping off 2 or 3 cylinders full of some cheap practice ammo and calling it good to go, isn't going to do it.

Navy joe
October 20, 2004, 02:06 PM
Rebound spring is going to lighten trigger pull, but increase trigger reset time. Probably not enough to notice since most people don't try to break Miculek's records with a J-frame.

Mainspring will also reduce trigger pull, while reducing firing pin striking force, opening the possibility of misfires. Why would you want to do such a thing in a carry gun? For my 325 I put in a light rebound spring, a different but factory weight mainspring and let it go with some minor polishing. My play revolver is a little over 6lbs DA, but it has an extended firing pin and doesn't play well with Magtech ammo or CCI primers. Some JB bore paste or Flitz on all the internal moving parts and a bunch of shooting it that way will do more for the trigger feel than springs ever will.

Standing Wolf
October 20, 2004, 05:58 PM
Are replacement mainsprings available for J frames?


October 20, 2004, 08:54 PM
I'd be cautious about the rebound spring, too. It depends on the operator, but you can at least have a delay and skip a cylinder if you bobble the trigger reset (easier with a lighter spring) and possibly even jam up the lockwork temporarily (hard but have seen it done).

I think the better answer is to use something like this (http://www.bodytrends.com/gripmast.htm) to strengthen your grip, and do plenty of dry firing. (The linked gizmo is very useful because you can work on individual fingers, or combinations of fingers, not just the whole-hand grip.)

October 20, 2004, 09:26 PM
I like Wolf springs, and have put them in most of my S&W revolvers. Replacement of the main spring with a 8lb. will help lighten the trigger pull some. I use a Wolf 8.5 factory standard main spring to avoid the slight possibility of light strikes with a reduced tension spring. The rebound spring will make the biggest difference in your trigger pull. I use an 11 lb. Wolf rebound spring. I also polish everything inside, except the sear, to make the action smooth. The rebound block usually needs the most attention. Sharp corners need to be stoned and polished, as well as the bottom surface which moves over the frame.

October 20, 2004, 10:23 PM
When talking J frames - I assume you are talking about .38Spl & .357Mag personal defence guns. In these my recommendation would be to leave the springs alone - and learn to shoot them as is. They will remain somewhat heavy in newer models (not necessarilly a bad thing) - but will smooth out with dry or live firing.

If you choose to change springs - be prepared to run at least 500+ rounds of flawlewss firing full power carry ammo through the gun before you trust it for personal defence use.

October 20, 2004, 10:32 PM
I only asked specifically about the J frame because I knew for sure different springs were available for the K/L frame. We don't have CCW here, so "carry" reliability isn't a concern... although reliability is still a very real concern.

October 21, 2004, 09:11 PM
I changed the mainsprings on my 686 and my 625. I had misfires with both. I switched to the extended firing pin. Misfires continued. Action jobs by Teddy Jacobson (http://www.actionsbyt.us/): No misfires.

October 23, 2004, 02:10 AM
Just an FYI

I recently bought a new S/W 66 with the MIM parts and frame mounted firing pin.

Tried several old mainsprings and a brand new Standard Strength Power Rib that all worked perfectly in my other revolvers only to find A LOT of light strikes in the newer gun.

Since then heard from a few folks who agree newer models need heavier springs for best reliability :(

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