need help to lighten 686 trigger pull


July 19, 2014, 05:52 PM
do I try to install springs and things to lighten the 686+ Smith trigger pull, or ship it off to Smith for months and get them to do it?

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July 19, 2014, 06:42 PM
I had one and I ordered a Wolff kit. I brought it to a local gunsmith and within twenty minutes, I had a sweet trigger.

Glock Doctor
July 19, 2014, 07:04 PM
Historically I've used my Smith & Wesson revolvers for, 'serious things'. Consequently I do not screw around with the factory spring weights.

IF you know how to take an S&W revolver completely apart, AND also know how to use a Dremel Tool properly, then you might be better off doing the work yourself rather than sending it out to Smith and enduring the excessive shipping cost, long wait, and (sometimes) inferior workmanship.

Don't want, or feel comfortable doing the work yourself? Personally, I wouldn't send a gun back to Smith unless I really had to. Instead I'd send it to a top name gunsmith, and let him do the work. Names like: Randy Lee, Jim Knapp, Frank Glenn, Hamilton Bowen, Vic Tibetts, or Don Williams. I'm sure you can find any of them on the net.

July 19, 2014, 07:55 PM
Don't touch the inside of that 686 with a dremel.

You can make a very nice trigger with just springs. If you want to go further than that rubbing/polishing compound and hand polishing goes a long way. Proper stones are good for the bigger stuff.

If you have no experience with this don't be using stones on trigger/hammer engagement surfaces.

I do my own triggers on my Smiths for competition use, trust me it's easy to go too far.

Glock Doctor
July 19, 2014, 08:07 PM
Perhaps I should have qualified the remark. I wasn't talking about doing any sort of trigger job - Only reducing the friction and smoothing things out.

I have S&W revolvers with, 'glass bead blasted' actions done by Austin Behlert, himself. They are the best PPC revolvers I've ever used. (and other shooters think so, too.)

July 19, 2014, 08:26 PM
Is this on a new gun? Because my Smiths only get smoother as I pull the trigger more and more.

July 19, 2014, 09:30 PM
With a Smith I wouldn't mess with the springs. Just find a good gunsmith and have him smooth out the insides and it will feel like you have 2 pound lighter springs. I would recommend Bolsa Gunworks near Westminster Mall. They have a southern boy in there that does excellent work on Smiths and it is only a few miles from Laguna.

July 19, 2014, 10:10 PM
I think I may pay Bolsa a visit. I believe there is no substitute for experience.

July 20, 2014, 04:02 AM
If it's a new gun don't do a thing except shoot the snot out of it. 500-1000 rounds and dry firing works wonders. Same advice for Ruger GP100.

July 20, 2014, 10:21 AM
Trigger work on S&W revolvers is not rocket science. Get yourself a copy of Kuhnhausen's book and Micelek's [Spelling?] video, a fine stone, some reduced power springs and have at it. What you save on gunsmith charges will pay for the above and you will be able to do a professional job with fantastic results.

July 20, 2014, 09:33 PM
That's "Miculek" pilgrim. Most Smiths only need a very light stoning on a few surfaces (NOT the hammer or sear engagements) and a respring if you want a light smooth trigger. On a carry gun I wouldn't even try to go "light", just smooth. If it is smooth you won't even notice the poundage.

July 21, 2014, 02:35 AM
Before doing any stoning work, just shoot it a lot - I also use snap caps. For most new Smith revolvers it'll smooth out.

Kuhnhausen's book is excellent, but you may need to extrapolate some of the information since it deals more with earlier non-MIM revolvers.

I've changed both main and rebound springs many times (Wolff etc.), but found smooth was more important than light. I mostly ended going back to the factory springs.

I not as adventurous as some here. Sparse and extremely selective use with a fine India stone I may consider, but I can't imagine the need for using a dremel on anything on the lock-work of a Smith revolver.

July 21, 2014, 11:57 PM
If you HAVE to go lighter, make sure to reload with Federal primers and/or purchase Federal ammunition. Competitors for years have used Federal primers, which are the most reliable using lighter trigger jobs.

I'm with the others though . . . dry firing and practice will usually solve the gun's problems, and the shooter's problem sometimes too.

That all being said, all my Smiths have wonderful triggers and have been shot a lot . . . and I load 'em with Federal ammo. When a gun HAS to go bang you want to know that you can rely on it 100% of the time.

July 22, 2014, 12:20 PM
A Wolff spring kit, the right tools, a Lyman Digital Trigger Weight gauge, and you're good to go. There are numerous how to videos available, take your pick. It's not rocket surgery... But anytime you do trigger work you should have a pull gauge handy to evaluate your work and set it up properly. See what you have before, and after your work.


Lyman Digital Trigger Pull gauge (

Weaver Gunsmithing Tool Kit (

July 22, 2014, 01:15 PM
Alan Tanaka is nearby in Gardena not far from the 405 freeway. Here is a link to his site:

He has done work for me in the past and his turnaround time is better than most. I now live out of state but used to be could call him up and bring the gun over and leave it off. Smith revolvers are one of his specialties. I had a 686 Mtn. Gun that he blueprinted and tuned and when done had a double action around 6.75 lbs with an extended firing pin added. He did a number of other revolvers for me, also.

July 22, 2014, 02:00 PM
Wolff springs do a trick. Or you can be cheap and pop out the main spring, heat that sucker to near red, let sit, and then re-install. Not recommended due to it may de-spring the spring, but it does work if you are luck.

July 22, 2014, 02:29 PM
You tube search first. It will help you decide how much work is involved. The hardest part is removal of the trigger return spring (best accomplished with a Also do it in a plastic bag just to be sure no parts go flying.

The last hurdle will be careful re-installation of the sideplate. The whole job first time less than 1/2 hr. After that it gets very easy.

July 22, 2014, 02:38 PM
Take a proper fitting screw driver and turn the spring tension screw (bottom front of grip frame) counter clock wise, that should do it. Then check for light strikes to make sure you did not turn it too far. No disassembly required.

July 22, 2014, 02:47 PM
The strain screw is not for adjusting tension on the mainspring. Keep it screwed down tight (don't shorten it, either), and get a proper action job done to the gun if it's needed. And dry firing is no substitute for a good action job, either. There are many benefits to dry firing, but tuning the action ain't one of them.

July 23, 2014, 03:48 PM
Is this on a new gun? Because my Smiths only get smoother as I pull the trigger more and more.
+1, mine too!

If the OP has a new gun the best thing he can do for it is to invest in some snap caps and practice proper dry fire techniques. My 642-1 smoother out most beautifully this way, no trigger job needed. It was stiff and gritty at first but now is just great, and it's surprisingly one of the most accurate handguns I own.

July 24, 2014, 12:10 PM
Wolff springs do a trick. Or you can be cheap and pop out the main spring, heat that sucker to near red, let sit, and then re-install. Not recommended due to it may de-spring the spring, but it does work if you are luck.

I don't know if you have done this or simply heard about it. But this is a 100% guarantee of ruining the spring. It simply won't BE a spring any more. Just soft and easily bent steel. By hitting the dull red glow you totally annealed the metal.

I've lightened a stock spring for range work only to get buy until my Wolff kit arrived by lightly grinding away metal from the back side to form a flat "D" shape. It worked but I must have gone a little too far as I started getting some light strikes. This was fixed when I installed the Wolff mainspring.

I also strongly support the post above that "polishing" in terms of actions is done with fine stones used with a delicate touch. Dremels and polishing wheels have no place inside the action of a gun. ESPECIALLY when wielded by someone that isn't sure of which points need a little and which should be left alone and those who don't know how fast a Dremel can ruin a part.

Here's an example of "less is more". I had an apparently older NIB gun which had seen VERY few if any rounds through it. The rebound block felt gritty so I made up the aluminium lapping tool seen in the picture below. A little very fine lapping compound pressed into the aluminium formed a lapping tool. I used this to lightly top off the crests of the tool marks in the area where the rebound block moves. I didn't lap away the tool marks, just topped them off until they were all lightly flattened. The idea is that the plateaus support the block without removing too much metal. Polishing with a Dremel would have left the crests only lightly rounded over instead of flattened. The Dremel would also not have cut down the higher marks to be dead on even with the lower marks so you still would not have a consistent bed for the rebound block. And finally using compound with the rebound block itself would have removed metal from the block as well as the frame. But to do the job right I only wanted to remove metal from the frame, not the block.

If you look at the picture below you can see how the rebound block area is lightly silvery now from the small amount of metal that was removed to smoothen up the rebound block track area. (

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