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Hammer Springs

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by priv8ter, Aug 3, 2003.

  1. priv8ter

    priv8ter Senior Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Poulsbo, Wa
    On another thread, someone was talking about swapping out hammer springs on an SP-101 to reduce trigger pull...I was just wanting to display my ignorance by asking if this is something any reasonably competant American can accomplish, or if it is a gun smith type of job?
  2. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    It's fairly easy. Since the Ruger SP-101 can actually be "field stripped" the mainspring assembly comes out anyway.

    All thats necessary to change the spring out, is a strong pair of hands, and possibly a vise to assist.
  3. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    I've said it before and I'll say it again .....

    It's easy to change out springs, but not so easy to insure the results will be DEPENDABLE and that primer ignition will be 100% reliable. If the handgun in question is going to be used as a weapon some very serious thought should be given to this business of swapping springs. If the new spring should take a set, or the cylinder develop some endshake, or a certain brand of cartridges has some hard primers, or some dirt or fouling should collect in the wrong place, one could find themselves in a world of hurt. Professional pistolsmiths know where the pitfalls are, and how far they can safely go.

    As for the factory springs. Yes they are heavier, and for good reasons. They go to the side of making SURE the gun will go bang! when someone's life is at stake. I have seen substantial improvement in trigger pulls (especially double-action) when nothing more was done then a lot of dry-firing.
  4. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 19, 2002
    What Old Fuff says is true. Change a spring and you'd better be sure that you'll get positive ignition with any load you'll be using. You can't afford a misfire if it's a self defense situation. Years ago someone marketed a spring that featured a threaded strut. You moved the nut up or down to adjust it. That can still be done with the factory strut.
  5. tbeb

    tbeb Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Northwest Indiana
    I recently posted a similar question on this forum and others. My conclusion: Let a competent gunsmith do his thing.

    I did talk to a technician at Wolff Gunsprings. He told me a Ruger GP100 would be reliable with their reduced power hammer spring and reduced power trigger rebound spring. But, after any work, test fire gun to prove it is mechanically perfect.

    If you decide to go the spring route, you may just want to try a different trigger rebound spring. Some change this themselves, some let a gunsmith do it. This spring will not effect how hard the firing pin hits the cartridge primer.
  6. Chugach

    Chugach Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Anchorage, Alaska
    It's been well-stated here, but...

    It's a possible do-it-yourself project, but not necessarily desireable.

    The only unreliable handgun I've ever owned over a 25+ year span was caused by the previous owner tampering with the mainspring. They had thoughtfully clipped a few coils off the mainspring to lighten trigger pull, reducing a very fine firearm to a Failure-to-Fire posterchild.

    Replacing that mess with a factory-rated Wolff spring solved the problem.

    Unless you know exactly what you're doing, don't do it. Don't mess with success! :)
  7. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter member

    Jan 8, 2003
    Coil Springs Are Worse

    I believe you are asking about a taurus which has a coil mainspring? They are more prone to misfires because they can do a nasty trick called "stacking", where some coils may expand slightly and let the coil next to it slid under it a bit which reduces spring tension.

    At least the guns with the leaf mainsprings (like SW) will age gradually. Those coil springs can do the stacking thing and give you a nasty surprise. Even some of the newer Taurus snubs have a habit of doing it.
  8. MoNsTeR

    MoNsTeR Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    Lakewood, CO
    You can do it yourself, period.
  9. Nick96

    Nick96 Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    South Texas
    I've seen a lot of posts on this related subject. I believe the current availability of Wolff hammer springs is 9, 10, 11, 12 & 14 (factory std) pounds. I believe the factory trigger re-set spring is around 10 pounds with the replacement Wolff spring being 8 pounds. The springs are suppose to be the same for the SP101 and GP100 revolvers.

    Most of what I've read is a 10 pound hammer spring is the minimum for reliable primer ignition with "most" common factory ammo. Never heard of a problem with the 12 pound springs. As far as changing the spring goes, getting it out of the gun is no problem. Removing the old one and replacing it with a new one without one or both flying across the room is another matter. For the "do it yourselfer", a home made wood jig with a vertically drilled hole for the strut and a horizontal slot for removing the pin is needed - along with another wood block with a strut securing hole for top end compression. DO NOT use a vice or other hard metal securing device. You could easily end up bending, breaking or abraiding the strut.

    The trigger re-set springs on the Rugers should probably be left alone. The factory weighted spring is just adequate when shooting rapid fire. Try rapid dry firing an SP or GP and you'll see what I mean. The action will lock up until the trigger is fully re-set.

    Bottom line as stated previously though, if this is a personal defence gun, approach messing with the springs with caution. A light and silky smooth trigger is great for target shooting. But for defensive purposes, reliability is paramount. And when the adrenalin is pumping, that factory trigger is going to feel pretty light anyway. A smooth and consistant feeling trigger (not necessarily light) is prefered. And this will happen with a lot of dry/live fire cycles with Rugers.
  10. mcole

    mcole Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    i posted a thread on this not too long ago. was hard for my wife to cock the hammer. i bought the wolff 4 spring pak (a trigger spring and three hammer springs (i believe a 8, 10, 12 lbs.) believe factory is 14 lbs or 14.5.
    anyhow, didnt put in the trigger spring; just he 12 lb hammer spring. no failures with any of various types of .38 and .357 cartidges. lightened the hammer pull noticeably and helped the double action trigger just a little. since no failures at 12 lbs. next time to range. will put in the 10lb hammer spirng and see if any failures thru numerous types of cartidges.
    any how, it's easy, you can do it. look at your owners manuel. follow the instuctions there. the hammer strut and spring will fall out - literally - in one piece. mcole

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