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How to lighten trigger pull on wife’s 642-1

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by __steve__, Apr 11, 2022.

  1. earplug

    earplug Member

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    Buy a different firearm for your wife to use. There are many options in this day and age that are easier to use then a J frame S&W.
    When you get a trigger pull that your wife can use, the recoil will keep her hurting and practice will suffer.
     
    SwampWolf likes this.
  2. velocette

    velocette Member

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    640 joy:
    My 640 has a nice smooth trigger pull, much lighter and smoother than stock. First thing to understand is that Smith & Wesson designed and springs their revolvers to function under the worst possible conditions. That is sub freezing, NO maintenance, no lubrication etc. AND there are at least 23 lawyers inside every pistol. That said, a lot can be done to smooth and lighten the trigger pull.
    The rebound slide was polished & smoothed as was the frame and side plate where the slide runs. The inside of the rebound slide was smoothed. (it was quite rough)
    A lighter rebound spring was fitted I believe 13 lbs and a lighter hammer spring was fitted, light grease applied inside and outside the rebound slide. The internal face of the trigger where it meets and slides on the hammer lever was lightly polished as was the face of the hammer level where it met the trigger. All areas where metal slides over metal were smoothed and polished. Please note! NEVER NEVER REMOVE ANY METAL FROM ANY HAMMER OR TRIGGER ACTUATING SURFACES! Those parts are surface hardened and the hardened surface is very thin. Polish only and then lightly. Again light grease is used on contact surfaces of trigger & hammer.
    Things NOT to do: Don't use the hammer spring strain screw to reduce trigger pull, change springs. If your Smith is double action/single action, never touch the single action contact points. (far too easy to mess it up badly)
    Things to do: Use only high quality springs, lubricants etc. Wolff Gunsprings and Brownells action lubricant & Mobil 1, 10 wt. work for me.
     
    halfmoonclip and Pat Riot like this.
  3. Oldschool shooter

    Oldschool shooter Member

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    I installed Apex spring kits in both, a Model 36 and a new production 638. Also did some light polishing. The 638 has a 9 1/2 lb DA pull. The Model 36 is at 9 lbs and both are smooth as glass. Both of these revolvers were near 14 lb DA pull before the mods. I have experienced no misfires in either.
     
    ThomasT and Pat Riot like this.
  4. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip Member

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    We've taught this to our gun safety class for years. Not meaning to argue, but in the aftermath of an armed confrontation, trying to decock a revolver during an adrenaline dump is indeed dicey.
    More, using a cocked revolver to confront a threat leaves you with about a 3.5 lb trigger pull between you and firing a shot. Again, while you're shaking thru' an adrenaline dump is no time to deal with a light, single action trigger.
    One of the great thing about hammerless Centennial revolvers; they can't be cocked.
    Moon
     
    Meeks36 likes this.
  5. flightsimmer

    flightsimmer Member

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    My Pastor sold me his wife's 642 because the trigger pull was too stiff. It measured 17-1/2 lbs double action.
    So I removed the springs to check for binding and found that the hand was being forced into binding with the frame because the cylinder ratchet was not fitted properly from the factory.
    So after a very thorough investigation (you only get one chance) I carefully filed the rachet on each of the five nubs until it no longer put the hand in a bind against the frame.
    I now have a slightly sub 10 lb. trigger pull DA without changing the springs, I didn't feel the need to go any lower.

    It would be difficult for me to post a picture of exactly where I used the jewelers file to relieve the binding and even harder to describe it in detail.
    A video would be the only way to show how it's done properly if this is in fact the cause of your problem, but it's very simple once you understand it.

    If you find that this is in fact the problem with your gun let me know and if you're not too far away I'll try to help.
     
    Pat Riot likes this.
  6. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    Just throwing it out there: Look closely at grip geometry and her hand/trigger finger. The proper grips that place the finger in the proper position to have as much mechanical advantage can make a trigger feel like it lost a few pounds. Also buy some snap caps and dry fire at the same time except using her finger as much as possible without pain. The trigger will smooth naturally after a few hundred pulls. Proper lube in the internal parts (I have used lock graphite) but only after the internal parts self mate to each other from dry firing. I am not a fan of swapping springs unless you really know what your doing and then if a defensive gun only if it’s 100% reliable. Try some of the “tricks” first. The right grips will surprise you.
     
  7. lee n. field

    lee n. field Member

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    Get one of the spring kits maybe, to help a little. But it won't halve the trigger pull. And "the Innernet" tells me you're apt to get light strike failures if you go too light.

    But, she probably needs a different gun.
     
    tinhorn likes this.
  8. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I had SWMBO try 3 handguns when she expressed interest (spurred by the Mpls. riots) in a home defense firearm. She tried my S&W 38 BodyGuard first (the plastic one) and didn't like it. (quite honestly, I'm not fond of the trigger on it either, and I'm not sure an Apex or Wolff spring kit exists for them; they are different internally from standard J-frames) She could not pull the slide back on my PT145, and would not even try to shoot it. She liked my PT1911AR, she could work the slide (barely) and the recoil was the most tolerable of the 3. (I rather enjoy it, but I spent years shooting 1911's before, during and after my time in the Army.)
    I had one other 'pistol' for her to try, my 10.5" AR. That one she liked, much better. She cannot hold handguns out at arm's length; I showed her a retention position from the hip, but she did not want to try it. But when she shot the AR pistol, she was able to function it, learned the controls, how to change a mag, (all with an empty gun first) then I had her insert a 40 rounder, and she fired three rounds;

    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?attachments/meg-ar-jpg.990397/

    Her first 3 rounds, on a 75 meter M16A1 zero target;

    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?attachments/swmbos-target-jpg.990398/

    The AR pistol won out. It now sits where she can get to it quick, cruiser ready (her preference) and it gave me an excuse to build another one!
     
    __steve__ and Pat Riot like this.
  9. velocette

    velocette Member

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    Entropy displayed great wisdom when he insisted that SHE test and pick out the firearm for her personal use.
    Amazing how much better the results are when that happens!
     
    entropy and Pat Riot like this.
  10. jdc1244

    jdc1244 Member

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    The Colt and Kimber options are going to cost at least twice the 642 - which is why I got the 642.

    And the ‘heavy’ trigger is what makes the 642 suitable for concealed carry, among other things.

    The 642 is not a range gun, it just needs to go off once - perhaps twice - at very close range, rendering the need for ‘practice’ questionable.

    If one’s wife is incapable of pulling the trigger at all, then a 642 is useless.

    If one’s wife is capable of pulling the trigger, however unpleasant, then there’s no reason to replace the gun.

    This of course is nothing but my personal, subjective opinion.
     
    __steve__ likes this.
  11. Gunfu_Blaster.45

    Gunfu_Blaster.45 Member

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  12. Pat Riot

    Pat Riot Member

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    I agree. As I was reading your post I remembered having my wife shoot my S&W 442 and my model 36. The 442 has factory rubber boot grips and at the time the 36 had a Hogue Monogrip. She liked the 36 better and even commented that the grip helped. In the end she chose my S&W 327 Night Guard as her favorite. The biggest “snubbie” I have and she has small hands. Go figure. :)
     
    __steve__, entropy and wcwhitey like this.
  13. driz

    driz Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2019
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    How new is your 642? I bought one a few years back and yes I hated the trigger. What I found though was someone’s advice about dry firing heck out of it. I tried it just sitting in my TV chair clicking away till I got tired. I did this for a week here and there. It really slicked things up. Yes you can sometimes see a spark flying off the hammer but as I saw someone say on a forum it hurts nothing. Mine shoots like a dream now.
    Now mine shoots very well with no stickiness whatsoever. You might try that if it’s a brand new gun. As for accuracy have her learn TRIGGER STAGING . I learned that from US Customs . We only range shot our CS1 using DAO snd you can learn to shoot nearly as well double action as using single . The 642 stages beautifully with a nice click you can feel and hear.
     
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  14. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    Learning how to "stage" the pull on a da trigger is an interesting technique to know, but the method has little value, even counterproductive, when it comes to using a revolver for self-defense.
     
  15. flightsimmer

    flightsimmer Member

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    If you don't have one buy or barrow a trigger pull weight scale so you know where your starting from. Then remove the hammer spring, most are a coil spring and easy to remove. Pay close attention to which way the strut faces. Now pull the trigger and see if you feel any binding as the cylinder turns on all five cylinders. You should not feel any resistance or binding, only the trigger rebound spring. If you feel binding, then springs won't help and you will have to find the cause. A good trigger pull weight on a 642 is 10 pounds double action. If that's still to stiff for her then you can try a Wolff spring kit.
     
    __steve__ likes this.
  16. __steve__

    __steve__ Member

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    I’ll have her do some hand/forearm workouts. Lots of good advice here, I’ll get back eventually with what we end up doing.

    Thanks a lot!!
     
    wcwhitey likes this.
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