Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Revolver Trigger Pull

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Newton, Sep 13, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Newton

    Newton Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,267
    I don't have a lot to go on with this, but I now have 2 revolvers of my own and I was comparing pull weights on the triggers. I don't have a trigger gauge so it was strictly subjective.

    The 2 guns are a 4 inch blued Rossi (I think it's an 851) in .38 Special and a Smith & Wesson 642 also in .38. I have had both guns since new and neither has been modified. The Rossi has maybe 500 rounds through it and the 642 maybe 300.

    The Rossi has a butter smooth double action, very low trigger pull weight, slick cylinder movement, no stacking. In single action it's the most perfect trigger on any gun I have ever fired, light, smooth, and precise. Better even than the Custom Nighthawk 1911 I tried once, and THAT was nice. The cylinder release is also very slick.

    The Smith 642 is pretty much the opposite. The DA only trigger is heavy, and ever so slightly gritty, this gives some difficulty in staging the trigger, making the cylinder movement seem stiff and jerky. The cylinder release also needs a firm shove to operate. I even tried out an identical gun just to make sure I didn't have a lemon and sure enough it was identical in every respect. I'm also a fanatical cleaner and careful luber, so this has no bearing.

    I'm just left wondering what the likely cause of the difference could be. My options would be:

    1. The Rossi is a bigger heavier gun. This somehow facilitates a better trigger pull.

    2. Smiths have heavy mainsprings.

    3. J Frames have heavier triggers by virtue of their design.

    I have heard that Colts have exceptional triggers, but I'm just a little surprised that my junker revolver is the Cadillac while my Smith & Wesson feels like the Ford.
     
  2. RON in PA

    RON in PA Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    2,032
    Location:
    S.E. PA, USA
    The triggers on J-frame Smiths are probably the worst triggers on any Smith revolver in my experience. This is due, in part, to the coil spring and light weight of the guns. Proper double action trigger use calls for a straight pull back with no staging (it's in the S&W manual). But having said that, the trigger on J-frames seems setup for staging. The DA on larger Smith frame sizes, esp. the K and L frames is much better. Colts do not have exceptional triggers, their SA are very good, but their DA trigger pull sucks compared to a Smith K frame.
     
  3. Marshall

    Marshall Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    5,569
    Location:
    Oklahoma, Green Country
    Who shoots double action anyway? The way I see it, if you have a hammer, cock it and shoot. I can do that almost as fast as double action shooting with much better accuracy. You would shoot single action when hunting or target shooting. And it seems to me that in self defense, if you really have to shoot someone double action, you'll be shaking more than that trigger would cause you to miss anyway. I don't worry about double action feel on my revolvers, good single action is important to me though. Maybe it's just me?

    I realize your 642 doesn't apply, I'm just ranting away. ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2005
  4. KONY

    KONY Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2004
    Messages:
    1,161
    Location:
    Fairfax, Northern Virginia
    GASP! :eek: I ONLY shoot double action. It just feel more natural.

    As to the Rossi vs. the 642 ... did you buy the Rossi used? If so, there is a very good possibility that someone did a very action job on it while the 642 is just stock. Plus, the 642 is a j-frame, which do not share the same leaf-spring design as their K-frame breathren. Instead, they use a coil spring common in Ruger and Taurus wheelguns. In fact, you'll hear many say that their small-frame Tauri actually have BETTER triggers than comparable Smiths! :what:
     
  5. Newton

    Newton Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,267
    Nope, both guns were purchased new.

    If I could find a competent gunsmith I would probably have the 642 worked over to lighten and smooth the pull whilst maintaining reliable ignition.
     
  6. ulflyer

    ulflyer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,349
    Location:
    NC
    Rossi Stacking Problem

    Newton, wish my new Rossi 357 stubby had a DA like yours. Mine has horrendus stacking. Is this likely to improve with use? Otherwise I might have to trade it off for something else.
     
  7. Majic

    Majic Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Messages:
    5,370
    Location:
    Virginia
    The different actions are subjective to the person using it. Some prefer the Colt action and others prefer the S&W action. Neither one "suck", they are just different.
     
  8. Newton

    Newton Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,267
    It looks like snubbies just don't have great triggers - I'd stick with it, they all improve with time. I'd recommend getting some snap caps and sit clicking away while you watch tv. A few thousand dry fires should help.

    Hope it works out for you

    Newton
     
  9. Dienekes

    Dienekes Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    1,905
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Everyone knows that you can't hit anything shooting a revolver DA. Just ask Ed McGivern or jerry Muculek.

    The only time I don't shoot DA is when using a 1911 or Blackhawk...

    My 442 of 1996 vintage has always had a decent DA and the sideplate has never been off yet. J frame DA will rarely be as good as a K frame because of the design, but of the four that we have had here all were very serviceable.
     
  10. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,933
    Location:
    Central WA
    Or Bill Jordan. Or Elmer Keith. Or a grillion competitive shooters. Buncha rubes :rolleyes:
     
  11. Marshall

    Marshall Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    5,569
    Location:
    Oklahoma, Green Country
    I could give a crap how anyone shoots, names mean nothing to me in this regard because those same folks will tell you SA is more accurate. For competitive shooting where speed comes into play, I can see it. For target or hunting where accuracy comes into play, your an idiot to shoot DA. I don't shoot in competition though so it makes no difference to me, it just does nothing for me.

    However, I know some guys that can shoot SA faster than most can shoot DA on their best day and I don't do too bad in that regard. With that said, I own many, many more DA revolvers than I do SA. Maybe it's because of the selection and styles, I dunno? But I can't remember the last time I was pulling that hammer back using the trigger instead of either of my thumbs. That exposed hammer is there for a reason and it's not to carry with the gun cocked. Anyway, that's why I concentrate on SA trigger pull and feel.
     
  12. jlh26oo

    jlh26oo Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,053

    Wow, so you'd go single action with a revolver in SD?
     
  13. RON in PA

    RON in PA Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    2,032
    Location:
    S.E. PA, USA
    I will repeat myself, Colt DA trigger pulls suck. They are different than Smiths, yes, but there is something basically wrong with a trigger that stacks before it releases.

    Nobody uses SA for selfdefense or combat shooting in this day and age and it's been that way for decades.
     
  14. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,672
    Location:
    The Great Pacific NorthWet
    Ron in PA your opinion is duely noted. And vehemently disagreed with by me and alot of others.
    Unlike 20th century S&W revolvers Colt made several different actions. Each has a different feel.
    Colt was the preferred target revolver for most of the 20th century.


    Now regarding the difference between Newton's Ross & S&W.
    Over the past few decades S&W trigger pulls have gotten heavier.
    This abominable condition is cause by the lawyers afraid of liability and the beancounters trying to save a ha'penny by cutting quality control.

    Rossi (owned by Taurus) in Brazil is still churning out revolvers the old fashioned way.

    Taurus reminds me of the old Avis rental car ads in the 1960s and 70s.
    "We're #2, We try harder."
     
  15. Marshall

    Marshall Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    5,569
    Location:
    Oklahoma, Green Country
    Absolutely. Unless, I am very close and have to rely on multiple shots quickly, like get off my belly. But, if someone breaks into my house and my revolver is all I have, which will never be the case but, the first thing that will happen is the cocking of the revolver.
     
  16. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    23,908
    Location:
    Arizona
    It is generally acknowledged among those that have experience with such things, that the mechanics of Smith & Wesson's old "long action" design afforded - at least in theory - the best possible double-action. However, as Blues Bear has pointed out, the Colt revolver was much preferred by thumb-cocking target shooters. Since champion target shooters could, and did influence handgun sales (somewhat in the manner that “combat” and “cowboy action shooting” top dogs do now); Smith and Wesson introduced a faster lock time/easier to cock “short action” following World War Two. In doing so they sacrificed some of the edge their long action’s double-action feature had offered.

    In both S&W and Colt revolvers, the excellence of their respective actions required careful finishing and hand fitting. For example I recently disassembled and photographed the lockwork in an almost-like-new S&W 1905 H.E./Military & Police .38 that was made in late 1917 or early 1918. To my surprise I later discovered that the side of the hand was so highly polished that I could see a clear image of the camera’s lens reflected off that mirror-like finish! With the passage of time this sort of handwork is no longer done and the smoothness of revolver actions has suffered as a result.

    A lot of the stacking in later Colt actions equipped with a stamped “V” mainspring was caused by the two leafs coming together before the hammer had reached the end of its travel backwards. Earlier forged springs generally didn’t have a problem, although the actions were heavy to insure that less sensitive primers would be detonated.
     
  17. JoeHatley

    JoeHatley Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,931
    Location:
    Iowa
    That's a joke... right?!?

    Joe
     
  18. scbair

    scbair Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Messages:
    610
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Single-action revolvers served defensive needs admirably for years.

    Prior to the percussion cap, flintlocks were state-of-the-art.

    Unless I have no choice, I am NOT going to compromise my grip on my defensive handgun to thumb-cock a revolver for a single-action shot.

    I guess consistently hitting a target not much larger than a playing card (the X-ring of the B27 silhouette target) at 50 yards is not really accurate (NOTE: I did not say "always," I said "consistently." That is, of the 24 rounds fired from 50 yards in the old PPC course, most are 10s with a fair number of Xs.)

    As far back as the 1970s, when I was a PPC competitor (NRA High Master classification), the winning shooters fired DA, even from the 50-yard line (where SA was permitted).

    My favorite EDC is a M642; I will only consider transitioning to a SA revolver for some very specific reasons, and only under protest! :scrutiny:

    Now a SA semiauto, on the other hand . . . :D
     
  19. Marshall

    Marshall Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    5,569
    Location:
    Oklahoma, Green Country
    Why in the world would your grip be compromised? You have two thumbs and your opposite thumb is right there. :scrutiny:

    Maybe I've just been around guns too long or something? To me single action is natural while pulling a hammer back by use of the trigger is unnatural. It heavier, takes a longer pull and compromised accuracy just as any DA tigger pull does.

    To each their own.
     
  20. scbair

    scbair Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Messages:
    610
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Ohhh, I see. You're assuming you'll have two hands on the handgun!

    As you say, to each his own. I prefer to train one method (DA) to be used at whatever range at whatever rate of fire. This (I believe) will best serve me at bad breath range or at extended range. I don't have to think about one hand or two hands, cock with shooting thumb or offside thumb, or just DA it.

    Just my thoughts (and the thoughts of a number of others who've actually had to draw a weapon in self-defense or performance of duty).
     
  21. shooter58

    shooter58 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2003
    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    texas
    It may be "to each his own", but I shoot DA almost exclusively, qualified that way in my LEO days at 98%, and don't appreciate being called an "idiot" by someone just because I don't agree with them. If you want to live in the past that's fine, but don't start judging others by the same rule.
     
  22. RON in PA

    RON in PA Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    2,032
    Location:
    S.E. PA, USA
    In the heyday of revolver use for bullseye shooting Colts were the preferred gun. I remember reading an article (early 1960s) in the American Rifleman that featured interviews with the best handgun competitive shooters of the day. The guns they shot were listed and the Colt target revolvers were the most mentioned. I suspect the reason was because Colts might have had a slight accuracy advantage over the K38 Smiths, esp. at 50 yards slow fire.
     
  23. Marshall

    Marshall Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    5,569
    Location:
    Oklahoma, Green Country
    scbair,

    No, yes I am assuming I will have both hands, if I don't then I shoot differently. I guess everyone that practices shooting two-handed assumes they'll have two hands, wouldn't you say? But, if you prefere to shoot DA only and only one-handed, that's your choice. I prefer to practice shooting left and right handed, two handed and single handed.

    Shooter, IMO if someone is target shooting or hunting and shooting DA only, they are being an idiot, yes. There is no way that's it's as accurate or easier. But as I say, if you think so, then more power to you.
     
  24. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,672
    Location:
    The Great Pacific NorthWet
    Geeeesh!

    Why does it always have to be one way or the for you people?

    Why don't y'all just act like children and start calling each other names and see who's dog can pee higher on the tree.


    My question to the rational thinking people reading this is why not use all of the options available to you? There's more than one colour in the crayon box kids. Try a new colour every now and then. You might like it. Sometimes it might be a better choice.

    If your revolver is capable of single action fire why not train on how to use it also?
    There are times, even in self defense, where a more preceise aim is needed.
    In that situation being very familiar with how your weapon works in SA mode would be very beneficial.

    But you should always use whatever technique is best for you at that given time.


    The only idiocy I see here is the belief that there is only one way to git'erdun.
    Many problems in this world have more than one solution.
    A wise man understands this and knows how to adapt.
    A fool is one who never looks for the alternatives.
     
  25. Marshall

    Marshall Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    5,569
    Location:
    Oklahoma, Green Country
    Blues, agreed. Actually I came back and re-read my post and realized it came across too harsh. I don't mean to call anyone an idiot, more the act itself in those two situations.

    As far as using what's available, absolutely! I've shot my guns for enough years to know that I can shoot DA at close range if needed and be just fine. It doesn't take a lot of practice to do it accurately at close range. But as you pointed out, there's more than one way to skin a cat and IMO, SA is so much easier to be accurate with and in a defensive situation, other than what I mentioned, I see it being much more advantageous.

    If someone wants to shoot DAO no matter what, all of the time, fine. I see it as a drawback for them however.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page