DAO the way to go


January 18, 2013, 03:44 PM
I have been a S/A shooter all my life, it just seemed that when I bought a revolver it was a Western Style S/A and my nerves and Muscles are attuned to them! Operating a S/A is natural...
Well I got a sweet deal on a tapered BBL Model 60 Chief's Special .38! It has a bobbed hammer and it's turned my world upside down!
I am working on learning DAO and it's not too hard to begin with! I will get down to the finate details of larger than paperplate accuracy one day but I have found it not all that hard to hit the proverbial 7 yard paper plate!
For some the S/A is elusive and they never get it down but I am working backwards and this DAO is new to me.
I even have preferred the S/A so much that I got into BP revolvers. I find the slow speed between cylinderfulls, the measuring and general caressing the revolvers a lot to be very relaxing! Touching the gun off after all the effort put forth loading, is very rewarding!
I am glad I got the little .38 as it is the ideal self defense revolver easy to carry, easy to reload.. and easy to conceal! My only complaint is the heavy trigger spring.
I understand that a good gunsmith can tune and smooth the trigger to get the pull down some. I don't want it unsafe but maybe 6# would feel good and pull thru easilly. Even with the heavy pull, I can rip off 2 shot strings pretty fast! I am sure if in battle the weight would mean nothing.
I usually get comments and compliments on my S/A's and how I shoot em but you should see the looks I get when I try and explain that I am trying to learn to shoot DAO for the first time in my life!
Backwards as always,

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January 18, 2013, 03:49 PM
You can't get a relable 6# DA pull on a S&W J-Frame, so don't even try.

I'd dance with the one who brung ya.


January 18, 2013, 04:44 PM
I would leave it alone as well..../ with rare exceptions, most of the trigger pulls on the S&W revolvers are awful good....now maybe yours needs some internal cleaning ..and a little bit of lube...and then re-evaluate.

but, if you really think you can't live with it ...then about the only other thing that you might consider is to put a "spring kit" in it / Brownells and others have them ....measure the trigger pull before you put the kit in the gun in both double action and single action ....and after ...and see how much difference it makes.../ it may or may not lighten it much.

On my S&W's without the bobbed hammer ....I shoot them a lot single action.../ and I like the pure single action revolvers as well.../ so I suppose you could change the hammer as well ...../ some of the model 60's had standard hammers ...some were bobbed...

January 18, 2013, 04:58 PM
To my knowledge S&W never made the Model 60 Stainless Chiefs Special with a bobbed hammer.

If you have one that is bobbed, somebody bobbed it.


Old Fuff
January 18, 2013, 06:02 PM
Toward the end of the revolver era in law enforcement during the 1990's many of the larger police departments and federal agencies went to double-action only (DAO) revolvers, either by having the ones they had modified, or ordering them that way in the first place. They wanted to avoid charges that someone had cocked a revolver while covering a suspect and then unintentionally pulled the trigger.

Anyway, you are going in the right direction, but with the wrong gun. There is not a lot you can do with the lockwork in the small J-frame and still have unquestionably reliable. See if you can't find a used S&W made on the larger K-frame where trigger pulls are much better, and sometimes can be improved without compromising reliability. Then make yourself practice. ;)

January 18, 2013, 06:23 PM
There were a number of bobbed hammer models produced by S&W ...as specials under some product codes - per the S&W 3rd edition book...mostly 2" but one is mentioned in a 3" barrel as well .....

with bobbed hammers there were about 660 made in 1986 - and about 6,000 of them in 1989 ....

but for whatever reason, in my area, I see quite a few with bobbed hammers...and maybe some were done in the aftermarket as well.....there are so many of them out there in this model since it was made from 1965 - to date...

January 18, 2013, 08:22 PM
I like DAO as well and I have Centennials. For me it is wrong to bob a hammer.

January 18, 2013, 08:35 PM
You got yourself a very nice self defense revolver.

Loc n Load
January 19, 2013, 08:56 AM
I carried a Smith revolver as a duty weapon from 75-87, then carried pistols until my retirement in 08. I also instructed professionally, and served as an armorer during those years also. Hammers are despurred for several reasons, one - to make it snag free in a draw from under a garment. 2 - to eliminate thumb cocking the gun into SA - agencies that trained DA shooting, did not want their officer's thumb cocking revolvers, for several reasons. The J frame guns have coil spring mainsprings, and if someone starts tinkering with any of the main springs in a Smith, leaf or coil - they better know what they are doing - especially on a carry gun. J frames are great little guns - have a 49 "humpback" that I have carried for over 30 years.

January 19, 2013, 08:59 AM
Like someone mentioned...pop the side plate if your familiar with the procedure, clean then relube, reassemble and do a little dry firing. Your finger will get used to the pull fairly quickly.

After a while your gun will develop that J- Frame snap! That's about it, messin with the springs is usually a bad idea for reliability. If you want have an action job done...it will smooth the pull thru up but generally won't make it any lighter.

You've got a nice little blaster there! Hold yer water and give it a chance. After a few hundred rounds you two will be getting along just fine....:)

January 19, 2013, 09:17 AM
>>DAO the way to go<<

Not to everyone. This falls into the "to each his own" category. ;)

January 19, 2013, 11:20 AM
I recently bought a 649. I can shoot single action if I want, but double action is its normal mode. The trigger pull is kind of heavy, but it is the smoothest DA pull of any gun I've got. I guess I got lucky.

Rather than mess with the gun, I've been doing a lot of dry fire while trying to keep the 'sights' completely steady. I'll always prefer single action, but the little gun is starting to teach me double action shooting!


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