Tools for S&W Trigger Work.


November 26, 2006, 09:02 AM
I have been looking for a S&W gunsmith in my area to perform some rudimentry trigger work on a 14-4 to no avail. So it appears I need to learn how the innards of a modern S&W revolver work. I want to crisp up the break in single action, it has just a bit give before breaking, and smooth out the DA pull. The pull weights are fine I just want is smoother. I did fire 500 DA rounds with JB paste in the action and it polished all the pivot points but it's still a tad rough near the end. I need good recomendations on reading material and manuals. Also any specialized tooling, like pin block or honing jigs. I am familiar with Mausers and 1911s and have built a few of them so I have a clue. I just don't want the embassment of walking into a real Smith with a bag-o-parts. :)

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November 26, 2006, 09:47 AM
Do it only by hand , NO DREMEL. A set of nice fine ceramic stones [I think I got mine from Brownells] round,square, triangular.I never use an abrasive paste. I use a small parallel clamp for a jig to make sure everything is flat and square.

Old Fuff
November 26, 2006, 10:25 AM
Start by buying a book:

The S&W Revolver - A Shop Manual. by Jerry Kuhnhausen. It is available from Brownells ( as are any tools you might need. The book will explain what they are.

Under no circumstances touch the full-cock notch on the hammer! You will likely ruin it, and model 14 hammers are getting hard to find, and expensive when you do. Any single-action adjustments are made to the trigger, not the hammer. Keep in mind that unlike a Colt, the S&W lockwork is soft steel that is case hardened. Cut through the case hardening and you've ruined an expensive part.

Good trigger work requires experience. I would seriously suggest that you send the revolver to a professional who has that experience. Most local gunsmiths don't.

4v50 Gary
November 26, 2006, 10:45 AM
Besides sharpening stones, about the only tool I use for working on actions of S&W revolvers is a ground down screwdriver. I bought a stubby handle straight blade screwdriver for 99 cents from Sears and ground down part of the tip. The unground portion fits the inside of the rebound slide spring perfectly and is used to remove and reinstall that spring. Buy the book like Old Fuff says.

November 26, 2006, 12:55 PM
I would much rather have a pro do the work, I wish there was a good smith nearby, my old guy moved to Vermont, I may just send it to him.

The S&W Revolver - A Shop Manual. by Jerry Kuhnhausen.
If it covers half as much as the Mauser Manual it should be worth having just because.

I plan on reading the book 2-3 times before even removing the sideplate. I'm very leary of buggering up a perfectly good revolver.

Old Fuff
November 26, 2006, 01:32 PM
Just keep in mind that it isn't difficult to mess up the lockwork, and unlike Mausers and 1911 pistols there are no sources for aftermarket hammers and triggers. It is my understanding that S&W no longer has these parts - or at least if they do they are not releasing them to the public.

Unfortunately I have a nice collection of these parts... that are now useless because someone thought they could do a trigger pull job to improve(?) the trigger pull(s). It didn't work out that way.

The hitch in the single-action pull can often be fixed by a competent pistolsmith in two minutes with no gunsmithing. No, I won't go into detail because if the technique isn't done correctly the hammer/trigger interface can be ruined. Additional improvement can be obtained by setting the revolvers built-in trigger stop, located in the frame behind the trigger. To do this requires the shop manual and a small screwdriver.

Speaking of screwdrivers. Brownells sells a set with tips specifically ground to match S&W revolver screws. They also sell a set of pin punches that have cupped points to fit the various pins mounted in the internal parts. I strongly suggest that you buy both the screwdriver and pin-punch sets before you attempt to do any work, or attempt to disassemble the revolver.

November 26, 2006, 01:46 PM
Cracking open a Smith & Wesson. (

November 26, 2006, 07:13 PM
Gunsmith screwdrivers and dimpled punches I have. It's the experience I lack. I would have to have a replacement part in hand before I began, Then I would pull the original and work the replacement. And wide target hammers are very rare. I was trying to find for an old K38 a few months ago. Basically I want my trigger to be as nice as the one in the old K38. mmmmmmm..... like butta :)

I'll keep beating the bushes and see if I can afford replacement parts.
I'll make my wife get me the book for Christmas anyway. :)

Will the PC do the work?
I'll have to call... Doh!

November 26, 2006, 08:59 PM
Why not just send the gun in to the S&W Performance Center for a real professional action job.

NO ONE knows more about it than S&W and they can do a top level job for a fair price.

November 27, 2006, 12:50 PM
it's still a tad rough near the end

Double check the smoothness of the ratchet teeth.


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