TRIGGERS - Smooth or grooved?


September 5, 2007, 10:29 PM
I prefer my triggers smooth and rounded and shoot d/a only. Most of my j frames are of the hamerless variety. I have small hands and they fit me better.

It's a pitty that s & w doesn't spend a little extra and smooth up their actions a little. It's all about the bottom line. Every so often a large retailer has s & w's on sale and a rep. from s & w is there to give you an "action job" on each revolver you purchase. He flies to Jacksonville?? I'll bet he's cutting springs - ouch. Actually some of the k & l frames have decent actions and will smooth up in time, but the j frame hamerless usually suck. The internal hammers used to be solid, but they changed them some years ago to cast steel and they are hollowed out. Probably to increase lock time due to less friction & weight.

Call me old fashion - that's ok with me.

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September 5, 2007, 10:39 PM
I like mine smooth.
I've got a GP-100 and Super Redhawk. I smoooothed the actions on both and polished the triggers to a mirror finish. Polishing the surface really helps when shooting DA.

If you think S&Ws are rough then don't shoot a new Ruger...they definately need work (or a whole lot of range time).
I've got mine as smooth as a worn S&W :mad:

September 5, 2007, 11:04 PM
I'm with the grooved trigger camp, but you have to sand them down quite a bit from factory.
I have little J frame experience. The only hammerless I pulled the trigger on was more than acceptable right out of the box.

Cocked & Locked
September 5, 2007, 11:09 PM
I prefer the smooth ones

September 5, 2007, 11:41 PM
Smooth for double action, serrated for single. Depends what you are going to do most.

Don't clip that rebound spring. Get a Wolff spring kit and replace it, and the mainspring. And never back out the strain screw.

September 5, 2007, 11:51 PM
Mr. Miculek is said to prefer grooved for all purposes so I guess that works just fine - time was everything from S&W shipped with good triggers then it was just the PC guns then even the PC guns weren't as good as they might be. Still mostly good enough and even the originally cheap alternatives are pretty good - I have a Model 31 for plinking and to use less lead and powder - cheaper brass too but brass lasts just fine - that has a fine grooved trigger on it.

Easy to find literature that says smooth rounded and angled just a tad for combat style use - when I carried a Model 58 I shot double action only with a fine stock trigger and on a good day could sometimes hit rifle gongs at 100 yards double action - likely couldn't even see them today.

September 6, 2007, 12:01 AM
Doesn't really matter to me. I have both and like both.

September 6, 2007, 01:04 AM
I prefer grooved for all purposes. Only my Taurus has a grooved trigger but I have often thought of converting my Smiths over to grooved triggers.

September 6, 2007, 02:37 AM
I like my finger to roll across the face of the trigger in DA shooting, so I like non-grooved triggers, and not too wide. The new MIM triggers in the S&W medium and large frames have a flat face, which I do not like very much. I prefer the older "combat" width, such as was on the L-frames in the 80's and early 90's. The wider S&W MIM triggers are one major reason S&W lost me as a customer for their new guns, as Ruger triggers are the right width for me, and with patience, I have found Rugers with sweet trigger pulls.

September 8, 2007, 07:39 AM
I hate grooved triggers, I had them on two S&W guns, a 4" Model 28 I had for a short time had it, and after shooting it all day, it sawed through my finger enough to get it bleeding. I got offered way more than I paid for it a week later, so off it went.

The other one was an early 6" 28 that I really wish I had back, especially after I had the trigger changed out for a smooth one, that was a great gun, the action was so smooth, and it had that "used, but never abused" look to it I like, just a tiny amount of shine at the sharp edges and the muzzle. I got offered a really high price, and I let it go. I'm looking for a replacement, or will be once I get my finances straightened out. I have missed out on a couple really nice ones lately though, and it's killing me.

September 8, 2007, 08:29 AM
Depends on the gun and the use.

Love my Model 14 wide serrated target hammer in single action. Like my rounded, smoothed and polished trigger on my Blackhawk too.

My Charter Arms Bulldog had a serrated hammer. I removed the serrations, smoothed and polished it for double action shooting. It is amazingly accurate with lead and shoots very well using it single action, but it's main purpose in life is for snakes and a quick double action shot, or two.

For single action target shooting I prefer a serrated trigger, preferable wide.

September 8, 2007, 02:51 PM
No logic applied here, I just prefer a smooth trigger.

September 8, 2007, 03:26 PM
I prefer grooved. I am blessed with non-wussy hands (;)) but I sweat. A lot. Like a pig. With a smooth trigger my finger tends to roll backwards, bad for my trigger control.

Peter M. Eick
September 8, 2007, 07:25 PM
It depends how grooved. If it is grooved like a 30's 38/44 Heavy duty? Then great. It it is grooved (furrowed?) like a modern Python? No thanks!

September 9, 2007, 02:53 PM

Good question!

Grooved . . . but ONLY on revolvers I plan to shoot in single action mode! In other words, bullseye competitions, hunting and silouhette matches.

On a target or hunting revolver I want a very wide trigger face that's grooved. When you have your perfect grip and perfect trigger finger position and mechanics, the grooves help you focus the pressure on the finger pad best.

However, for defensive purposes, bowling pin matches, practical/tactical handgun competitions . . . in other words, for DOUBLE ACTION use, smooth trigger faces are the way to go. This is because the recoil and torque of the revolver will probably cause the grip to shift ever so slightly and the grooves will thus lock you down on the trigger with a possibly incorrect finger position vs. grip position for subsequent shots.

Shooting quickly and accurately in defense or action competitions requires the shooter to master "staging" the double action trigger during the time the gun's barrel gets flipped into the air during recoil . . . and as the gun is smoothly swung to the next target position. The goal is to have the trigger pulled smoothly to about 99% of the way before it first again . . . JUST AS THE FRONT SIGHT COMES DOWN ON THE TARGET PRECISELY!

The narrow, smooth trigger face allows the shooting to do this more efficiently! Thus . . . on revolvers for double action use I want a very narrow trigger that's smooth and contoured in every way.


When I started shooting in bowling pin matches years ago I was like most "rookies" who had learned to shoot revolvers accurately . . . I shot single action and got my butt totally kicked. Sure, I could always shoot accurately . . . but the double action boys were hitting the targets too, but about THREE TIMES FASTER than I could clear a six pin table at ten yards.


Why have a revolver for protection if the other guy can put three rounds accurately in your direction while you are still trying to thumb cock your second round? Mastering double action makes all the difference . . . and smooth triggers help!

I soon started practicing my double action techniques and, on short order, got to the point where I was winning the majority of matches in my area. I actually can shoot my double action S&W revolvers faster, and with better accuracy, than my 1911-style single action autos!

In mastering my technique, I read about the narrow, smooth triggers for the fastest double action revolver work, and I tried it on my chopped N-frame S&W 25-2.

This wheelgun began life as a 6" barreled TARGET revolver in .45ACP. It came with the widest grooved target trigger that S&W ever made probably. It is approximately twice as with on the trigger face as most!!!

Since this revolver was already heavily customized anyway I thought, "What the heck, I'm gonna radically narrow that wide target trigger!"

Removing the trigger, I ground down the wide trigger to a very narrow width and also totally smoothed and radiused the trigger face into a really slick and smooth narrow "combat" trigger.

I REALLY loved the improvement this made in my double action matches!!!

It remains my favorite "pin gun" and I've gotten my 6-pin table clearing times down to around 3.50-3.70 seconds (HAMMER DOWN . . . 10 yds. from the low ready position; starting with the random-start reaction time to a PACT timer).

If you haven't shot matches with a timer before, it takes MOST of us mortals at least one full second to react to the beep, quickly raise the gun to a good sight picture and crank off an accurate round . . . leaving only about 2.5 seconds left to react to the recoil, swing to the next target (while rolling the cylinder to the next round . . . all in about 1/2 second left for each pin).

You obviously can't average shooting a pin each 1/2 second at ten yards, thumb cocking the revolver. Nobody can.

Yep, for fast double action work . . . make mine slick little narrow and rounded triggers. Since we'll all be shooting double action anyway if the SHTF, I wish all defensive caliber revolvers came with narrow, smooth-faced triggers!

Hope this helps!


Ala Dan
September 9, 2007, 07:13 PM
It makes NO difference too me~! ;):D

September 9, 2007, 11:34 PM
You guys boycotting companies and selling your guns because you didn't like the trigger face know you can just change the trigger out right?

September 10, 2007, 12:15 AM
Me, boycott Smith?

Naaah. Never happen!

You can't beat a tuned Smith trigger pull.

If the grooves bother me I just disassemble the firearm and smooth the trigger face, and make it right for ME!;) I don't own safe queens. I buy revolvers to shoot, not collect . . . and ya can't beat a Smith, IMHO.

Heck, if I ever sell it, I'll let the new owner buy a grooved trigger and put it in himself (or pay another to do it).

September 10, 2007, 10:31 AM
I liked the grooved trigger enough on my centerfire Smith that I put the same one into my 617. After applying some plumbers paper to the face of course.

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