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Ahhhh, Crap. Polished sear.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Echo23TC, Jul 16, 2003.

  1. Echo23TC

    Echo23TC Well-Known Member

    See, I bought this used 5" 625. And I didn't have the revolver checkout with me. When I got it home, I ran through the checkout and everything is great - except I can push the hammer off the sear.


    Now what do I do? I intended this to be a range baby, maybe with some time in the field just for the heck of it. The lockwork has obviously been lightened, too far from what my thumb tells me. But ohhhh, it's sweet. What do I have to do to make this right? Any ideas on what it's gonna cost? And the big question - can I shoot it as is?

    Buehler? Anyone?

    Thanks, guys.
  2. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    ''Polished'' ....... hey, that's gotta have been stoned. :(

    Quite possibly, the best approach would be parts replacement - maybe new sear and trigger ... OK some cost but .... not practicable to try and replace metal that has been removed. My 2 cents
  3. JDSlack

    JDSlack Well-Known Member


    I make no claim to being an expert, but did you check the mainspring screw? I have see several cases where gunplumbers looosen the screw to ease the trigger pull, and push-off is one of the results. Just a guess, but tighening the screw is a lot cheaper than having a pro look at it. I hate it when fools play with a nice piece of equipment. Good luck.
  4. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Good point JD but .. from my experience ... something slack enough in main spring to even approach that would leave many unfired primers! too light a stike, plus .. even then sear engagement should still normally resist all but most determined effort.

    Forgot to say ... whether to shoot? ... well, no harm in trying a few with great care .. but treat as if hair trigger ..... does sound way too sensitive. D/A may be OK but S/A? ...... not so sure.!
  5. yesterdaysyouth

    yesterdaysyouth Well-Known Member

    well as long as it's DA i don't see a problem.... if you just can't stand not to shoot it that way you can sell it to me...
  6. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Well-Known Member

    If it's doing that, you have two choices (and the strain screw isn't the culprit):

    Repair it, normally by having either a new hammer, new trigger, or both installed, depending on where the :cuss:ing butcher decided to "trim the fat." :cuss:ing moron...

    The other choice is to simply finish filing the single action sear off, and use it double action only.

    That's a bit on the dangerous side, though, if you don't remove the spur from the hammer, as someone may try to thumb cock it and instead fire it.
  7. Jim March

    Jim March Well-Known Member

    Ya, what Mike said. One problem is that when you "bob" an S&W hammer, unless you do it right it's ugly.

    The Ruger SP/GP hammer seems to have been "designed for easy bobbing", as the back of the hammer is rounded and the thumbspur juts out from that arc; cut the thumbspur off and follow the existing "arc" carefully, and it'll look quite sanitary.

    Anyways. Yes, the cheap option is to do a TRUE DAO conversion. Before going to that trouble, I'd see if the ignition is OK. And the spring tension adjustment is worth trying, for sure, although it's a fair bet that's not it. Not impossible though.

    If the hammer-bob ends up a bit on the ugly side, well...thing is, to REALLY fix it, you'll need a new hammer anyways as that's what they usually butcher (I think - that's "book knowledge" on my part, NOT personal experience!).

    Sigh. Ya, this is why the checkout :). It can't usually tell you WHAT is wrong exactly, but it can sure point out trouble.
  8. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    A lot depends on exactly was done to the lockwork. If someone actually stoned the sear notch on the hammer (a big no-no) then the hammer may have to be replaced (about $50.00 plus labor). Work on the trigger is sometimes more forgiving, but if a new one is needed you're looking at another fifty bucks for parts. If the cause is spring-related, or a shortened strain screw the solution if far less diifficult or expensive.

    So, before you do anything, have the revolver examined by someone who knows S&W's and "define the problem." Then seek solutions.
  9. Echo23TC

    Echo23TC Well-Known Member

    I'll check the strain screw tonight when I get home. It didn't even occur to me to look at that. It's hidden under the Pachmayers, but I'm pulling them off anyway.

    I'm not a fan of DAO, probably shoot 20 single action for each double action shot taken. So that's out.

    From what I understand, the older gentleman who had it before it came my way was a pin shooter. The double action is MUCH lighter than is on my 686 or my wife's 10. The single action pull is very light, but clean. If only that :cuss: hammer wouldn't fall!

    Well, I'll shoot it on Sunday (hope the new grips from pickagrip get here before then!) and post a range report.

    Thanks again, guys. Sure is nice to have someone with the same interests to talk to about your problems!
  10. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter member

    Since the hammer is toast anyway, you could try taking it out and cutting the SA sear face back into it to restore the "shelf" it needs to rest against. The Kuhnhausen book has close up views of what and where. You can likely restore proper SA operation. Only do a little, because the bottom edge of the SA face is the area the trigger "camming face" engages as it is lifting the hammer on a DA pull. I have a feeling the guy with the file was going for a real smooth DA pull and cut too much off that area.
  11. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Well-Known Member

    May not necessarily be the hammer, Bounty Hunter.

    Odds are that it is, but I've seen some VERY strange things done to the internals of S&W handguns.

    Now, the problem with recutting the sear shelf is not that it's not difficult to recut it.

    It's difficult as hell to reharden it.

    The case hardening on this part is very thin along the sear shelf, and a ham hand can easily go through it with a stone and a little too much enthusiasm.

    I ran into this situation a couple of years ago on a friend's .44. Someone cut through the case hardening, and the hammer started pushing off.

    The trigger was fine, so I figured no problem, I'll just Casenit it to reharden it. No muss, no fuss.

    Except that even using a MAPP gas torch, I couldn't get the sear seat to the required temperature to harden it.

    After several hours of effort, a tank of MAPP gas, and a LOT of frustration, I got a new hammer and installed it.

    If you don't recaseharden the sear seat, the hammer will begin pushing off again in very few rounds.
  12. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    While it's doubtful in this instance, I have seen S&W hammers "push off" because of excessively lightened hammer or trigger springs (or both) and/or a shorten mainspring strain screw. This is why I say, "determine exactly what's causing the problem before trying to find a solution."
  13. JDSlack

    JDSlack Well-Known Member


    I agree with your assessment on light primer hits 100%, but I infered from Echo's post that he had just taken it home from the shop and discovered the problem, without firing it. Figured it might be good to eliminate the simplest solution to the problem first, then go from there. I speak from expensive experience that assuming the worst case without eliminating the simplest first isn't good.

    I sure hope he doesn't have to sink much $$ into it.
  14. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Oh yeah JD ... totally agree ... always best to check out the simplest first. I guess what bugged me most was the apparent ease with which he could ''force'' the hammer down...... even with a light spring setting I'd not be a happy camper on any of my revo's if that could happen!!

    Indeed ... I hope too he can fix this without too many $$$'s.
  15. Echo23TC

    Echo23TC Well-Known Member

    Yeah, me too!

    Update - I pulled the grips as soon as I got home and checked the strain screw. Wonder of wonders, it was backed out. Handy dandy gunsmithing screwdrivers to the rescue! Tightened the screw up all the way, cocked the hammer, and pushed.



    It's harder to push off, but it still does it.

    I popped the sideplates off the 625 and my 686, for comparison (thanks, whoever posted how to do it!). Under close inspection, the single action notch in the hammer has been nearly removed. It's more of a suggestion than anything. In addition, the trigger arm has been "thinned". The angle on the end of the arm is much sharper than the same spot on the 686 trigger. I don't know if the trigger needs to be replaced, but the hammer most definitely does.

    Well, I guess that until I get the necessary funds together for a new hammer, trigger, and some 'smithing, she's going to be making very CAREFUL trips to the range. Looks like we're going Saturday morning to teach the neice how to shoot - but ain't nobody shooting my 625 but ME! I went and loaded 100 rounds, special for her, and I can't wait.
  16. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter member


    I was assuming it was already gone, hence my statement: "Since the hammer is already toast". I just though he might want to get it working and shoot it some. Obviously, a new hammer and trigger are in order to restore it to proper status.

    I figured he might get a few hundred.

    The case hardening on this part is very thin along the sear shelf, and a ham hand can easily go through it with a stone and a little too much enthusiasm.
  17. Echo23TC

    Echo23TC Well-Known Member

    Well, I guess the question is "Now what do I do?" Can I just replace the hammer and trigger by myself, and if I do, what kind of trigger pull can I expect? I'm not completely unfamiliar with working on firearms, but I've never done any revolver work. Would I be better served to send it off to have the parts replaced and the trigger pull set?

    If I do that, who should I send it to? Smith & Wesson? or would anyone recommend a good revolversmith who can do the work without causing me to take out a new loan.
  18. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Well-Known Member

    Can you replace the parts yourself?

    Yes, you can get them from Gun Parts Corp. You'll have to get the CORRECT engineering change hammer and trigger -- If you have a 625-6, you have to have a 625-6 hammer and trigger or you can run into problems.

    As for what kind of trigger pull you can expect after you swap the parts out?

    Crap Shoot, pure and simple. Could be good, could be very bad, most likely though it will probably be OK.

    If you want to send it somewhere for the work to be done, I suggest that you don't send it to S&W.

    Send it to Cylinder & Slide.
  19. Echo23TC

    Echo23TC Well-Known Member

    Well, I just spoke to Ralph at Cylinder & Slide. Parts about $105, shop time $63 ($42 X 1.5 hrs.), action job $105, for a grand total of $273. That's well over half what I gave in the first place. Oh, did I mention the 5 month lag time, with the 6-8 week turnaround? Put down a deposit today and have it done somewhere around February.

    This looks like a good time for me to become acquainted with the inner workings of Smith & Wesson revolvers. Anybody have a copy of the Kuhnhausen manual lying around?

    Fortunately, I can't make it worse than it already is. If I install the parts myself (gaining knowledge, which is always a good thing), I might end up alright. If it sucks, I can still send it in for an action job later. BUT, it will be safer to shoot than it is now. Put enough rounds through it, and it might even slick itself up. Oh, the horror - I'll have to shoot hundreds, if not thousands, of rounds through it!

    First things first. Gotta get that manual.
  20. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    Yes, do get the manual - you will find it's worth it's weight in gold. You can make the single-action trigger pull a little better by installing a stronger rebound block (trigger) spring, and that won't cost much. I suspect whoever did the previous trigger job may have also shortened the original spring (compare its length to one out of one of your other revolvers) or installed a weaker spring. Hopefully this will get you through until some professional work gets done.

    Cylinder & Slide are expensive, and they tend to be slow because they are backed up. But they are very,very good. I'm sure when you get the gun back you will be well satisfied, and within a year the money you spent will be forgoten.

    I learned a long time ago that when someone butchers a gun the next step is to dump it somewhere. Always check carefully for this kind of thing before you buy.

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