617 Trigger job


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juggler
November 9, 2005, 03:30 PM
Bluesbear (among others) has convinced me that it shouldn't be too difficult to tweak the trigger on a 617 I will be getting.

Suggestions included replacing the trigger return spring and getting a wider trigger......I was told the main spring doesn't need to be changed.

Trouble is, Midway and Brownells have the Wolff packages for springs, but I have not been able to find a trigger.

Also, after searching, I am unable to find a link to help with the work......I was able to down load some good info for work I did with other firearms but am drawing a blank here. Any suggestions?

Or I could just pay the $70 and have the smith at the shop get the parts and do the work.......depends on how much I would save in parts cost and how long/difficult the job would be.

Thoughts/comments?

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SteelEye
November 9, 2005, 03:44 PM
You could also buy Jerry Miculek's excellent video/dvd Trigger Job and do it yourself. It's not that hard and you'll learn a lot.

The better way to go, in my opinion, is to leave the gun alone and just shoot it and dry fire it a lot. The trigger will smooth out like butter. I've shot smithed S&W guns and can't say they are any better then one that's been shoot a lot.

Where a gunsmith makes a big difference is in semi-autos. They never seem to smooth out and can use that skilled hand.

juggler
November 9, 2005, 04:30 PM
It may come down to the "shoot it a lot" option....as determined by cost/time/effort.

Sure are varied opinions on dry firing, though.

mattz357
November 9, 2005, 04:53 PM
I have heard that Miculek's video is great, but haven't seen it. I bought the AGI (American Gunsmithing Institute) video and was very pleased. I also bought the Kuhnhausen book, but haven't had time/ambition to read it. The video really does walk you through everything you need to know to take the gun apart and put it back together. It also goes into how and why things work and how to do your own trigger job.

Generally speaking, dry firing is a good way to smooth out the trigger, but is that a recommended practice on a rimfire revolver?

Old Fuff
November 9, 2005, 04:58 PM
Generally speaking, dry firing is a good way to smooth out the trigger, but is that a recommended practice on a rimfire revolver?


Take out the front sideplate screw, remove the cylinder/yoke assembly, hold the thumbpiece back, and click away ... No problem at all . :D

juggler
November 9, 2005, 07:48 PM
OK Fuff........some more detail on that.:confused:

If you are yanking my chain the joke went over my head. :rolleyes:

If you know something I don't (higher probablity, at least where this topic is concerned) I require more information.

Otherwise it's back to search..:banghead:

mattz357
November 9, 2005, 08:47 PM
If you remove the front screw (the one above the trigger) from the sideplate, you can slide the cylinder right out of the frame. He was saying that if you remove that, you can dry fire without risking damage to the firing pin. Since you still have to hold the cylinder release back - because you can't pull the trigger unless the cylinder is locked closed - it would be easier to use spent shell casings or snap caps. I have a package of 10 or 12 snap caps that I got from Gander Mountain for like $2 to use with my 10/22, but they are shorts and won't cycle, they would be perfect for a 617. Hope that clears things up.

Old Fuff
November 9, 2005, 10:48 PM
If you are yanking my chain the joke went over my head.
Not at all. When you're serious and have a problem I'll try to help.

If you know something I don't (higher probablity, at least where this topic is concerned) I require more information.

Mattz357 pretty well explained it. When you dry-fire a rimfire revolver you risk having the firing pin batter the edge of the chamber. There are a number of ways to prevent this, but I favor removing the cylinder because it is quick and easy too do. With the cylinder out of the way there is nothing for the firing pin to batter on. You do however, have to hold the cylinder latch thumbpiece back. Otherwise the hammer will be blocked. You can't cock the hammer while the cylinder is to the side, or removed.

Mattz357's method of using snap-caps will work too, and also prevent the firing pin spring from being over-stressed or mashed. What ever you do the idea is to prevent the chamber's edge from getting dinged.

BluesBear
November 10, 2005, 07:29 AM
I use fired .22 cases for snap caps. You just have to remove them and reload them in a slightly different position every ten dry firings or so.

As for not being able to find the trigger...
All you have to do is ask. What kind do you want?

I ain't parting with my springs but I know a guy with about 50 vintage S&W triggers.

juggler
November 10, 2005, 08:07 AM
Got it. I will be removing the cylinder when I bring it home to perform a total clean......did I mention the gun was dirty?

Thanks Old Fuff, no disrespect intended.....I have a dry sense of humor at times and, after dealing with Marines and roughnecks, I sometimes will look at comments I don't completely understand more closely.

I also think the snap caps are better, as that would be closer to actual firing. Thanks for the link, I will be checking it later.

Bluesbear, you're on. I will post photos of the trigger it came with once I clean it up.

Since I am a novice at revolvers, I don't know exactly what to ask for. I am looking for a wider trigger than the one on there now, so do I measure only the widest part or are other dimensions neccesary?

Mattz357, how much was the AGI Video? It may be overkill at this time...but I'll see if I can find it.

BTW, I did find this while searching for a speedloader....

http://www.msnusers.com/Speedloader/shoebox.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=1

I am going to e-mail him later tonight and get more info.

BluesBear
November 10, 2005, 09:26 AM
Measure the widest part.

As I recall S&W triggers came in 4 widths.
.265"
.312"
.400"
.500"
(I think those are correct. My S&W books are packed away again.)


The .265" width is the narrow one, there is no "shoe", the trigger is the same with all over.

The .312" is sometimes called the Service trigger or the Narrow Target trigger.

The .400" is considered the Wide Target trigger.

The .500" is rather uncommon and is actually wider than some of the triggerguards.

mattz357
November 10, 2005, 03:14 PM
I want to say that I paid $20-25 for it on ebay. I got the VHS, but wish I had spent the extra $5 or so for the DVD. I was very nervous to do anything to my revolvers until I watched this, but now I'm confident enough to do minor repairs and modifcations.

Majic
November 10, 2005, 06:21 PM
Try posting a "Want To Buy" (WTB) add in the S&W forum's Classifieds for a Target Trigger. You will need to know if your pistol have forged or MIM parts and if it's case colored or flash chromed.
http://smith-wessonforum.com/eve

juggler
November 10, 2005, 09:11 PM
Let's seeeeeeeee.......

1) Bring the gun home and clean/fondle it.
2) Take it to the range and run it through it's paces.
3) Bring back home and repeat #1.
4) Measure the trigger and contact Bluesbear
5) Order the speed loader, snap caps and either the Miculek or AGI video.
6) Have fun getting it into shape before the pin shoot starts in January
6a) Use that knowledge to tweak the other two S&W revolvers for medium and big bore.

Things are looking up!!:D

Thanks guys, and I'll let you know how it goes.

Standing Wolf
November 10, 2005, 11:36 PM
With the cylinder out of the way there is nothing for the firing pin to batter on. You do however, have to hold the cylinder latch thumbpiece back. Otherwise the hammer will be blocked.

Put the yoke or crane back in the gun without the cylinder. Close it. Now you don't have to fool around with the cylinder latch.

BluesBear
November 11, 2005, 06:04 AM
Put the yoke or crane back in the gun without the cylinder. Close it. Now you don't have to fool around with the cylinder latch.But then what will he use to push and hold the latch back into position? :confused:

The plunger in the center of the extractor rod is what pushes the latch to the rear.
For it to work without the cylinder he'd have to remove the extractor assembly from the cylinder and then reassemble it in the crane.

Snap caps or empty cases are the way to go. That way you maintain the balance and trigger pull of live fire.

Old Fuff
November 11, 2005, 10:04 AM
I need to explain myself better... :scrutiny:

When I am working on a currently made new revolver I start by removing the cylinder and dry-firing it about 1000 times. The purpose of this is to burnish internal parts where they rub together. This makes them smoother, does not remove any metal, doesn't compromise casehardened parts, and doesn't void the warrantee - which I may need later if it turns out that there is a undiscovered problem in the product that I don't want to, or can't fix.

After this breaking-in process the action is usually, if not always smoother and feels lighter, although is really isn't.

Then I pop the sideplate, remove the lockwork, thoroughly clean everything, and lubricate the parts as I reassemble them. Of course at this point I also put the cylinder/yoke assembly back on the revolver.

Thereafter when handling the gun, or practicing with it in a dry-fire mode I use snap-caps or sometimes fired cases. Snap caps made for center-fine cartridges often have a spring & plunger located where the primer would be, and this plunger absorbs the shock of the firing pin hitting. Rimfire snap-caps do not have such an arrangement, and the rim of the cap takes the blow. Because of this I often use fired cartridge cases and rotate them in the same manner that BluesBear does.

Snap-caps have they're place, and should always be used for casual snapping to protect for the firing pin and chamber(s). But 1000 snaps at one time will really do a number on rimfire snap-caps in short order, and they should be rotated too so the firing pin doesn't always hit at the same place.

Others can use whatever system they like, but I have found that itís better and more economical to remove the cylinder for the initial break-in process.

chuckles
November 11, 2005, 11:52 AM
I saw a post somewhere that a guy uses plastic wall anchors as rimfire snap caps. Just take a fired case to HD and get the right size. I don't know if they're cheaper than real snap caps but they might be more durable.

juneau803
November 11, 2005, 12:40 PM
I've been using the wall anchors, too. They seem pretty spongy and are easier to rotate than snap caps....cheaper too.

Old Fuff
November 11, 2005, 01:01 PM
Just keep a close eye on the edges of your chambers. You won't save any money if you have to replace the cylinder.

Fatelvis
November 11, 2005, 03:22 PM
Jug, I dont know if I got a good one or what, but my 617 was fine right out of the box. The single action is light and crisp, and the DA is nice too, and both will surely slick up with use. Have you got it yet? If not, wait until you get it, it might not "need" a thing! Hopefully thats the case...Good shootin'!

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