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Smith 686 action

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by ST1959, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. ST1959

    ST1959 Member

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    Resized_20170106_144634.jpeg
    I have this fairly new SW 686 6-round .357-.38. The trigger is ok but not great. Curious if anyone's ever had an action job done by SW. There are good local gunsmiths, but having SW do the work keeps the warranty in force. If anyone can shed light on the work done at SW in the gunsmith department, it would be most appreciated.
     
  2. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Call them and ask them. In the old days they offered a "duty action" trigger job that smoothed up the DA and brought it down some. Today's S&W may not even offer that any longer. If S&W won't do it there should be a lot of pistolsmiths close to you that can give you exactly what you would like but check out their work first. That gun used to be heavily used by PPC shooters and many smiths learned how to tune them (including me). I can recommend Oglesby & Oglesby or Tom Kilhoffer (TK Custom) in Illinois (both have websites). Tom was the Illinois State Police Champion for years and is a fantastic gunsmith. He has a Bridgeport mill in the basement of his house. How he got it in there I'll never know. He knows more about S&W revolvers than anyone I have ever met and taught me the basics.
     
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  3. Dog Soldier
    • Contributing Member

    Dog Soldier Member

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  4. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    Buy a spring kit. Has main spring and 3 rebound slide springs.
    Most folks end up running the middle rebound spring.

    Polish the sliding surface of the rebound slide. Make sure overtravel pin in rebound slide doesn't have a burr on it. Might be radiused one one side but just cut on the other.
    No prob there, but if you install it backwards the spring can catch on the non radiused edge.
    Knock off the edge (give it some sort of bevel) and it won't matter which way it goes in.
    Saw a minty 29-2 that'd hang up. Orig owner just put it away.
    Heir traded it to shop, said it was messed up. Rebound slide pin was the problem.

    I was offered the gun, malfunctioning for a good price. I took it in the back and fixed it for the shop.
    Like stainless rigs better.

    Rebound slides are a bit nasty. Pinched fingers the norm. I use a brass rod (with rounded end) for pushing out compound bow axles- has handle. It is perfect for pushing the spring in when reinstalling the slide.

    Also, don't pry on the sideplate to remove. There's no excuse to dinging stuff up nowadays with Brownells/ Midway and many other Youtube vids available.
    Of course, some vids are perfect examples of what not to do LOL.

    Your gun is fairly new. Shoot the crap out of it. That might be all that's needed. I've had three 629's and never needed a spring kit. But then I hunt and run them single action.
    I did however radius the sides of the trigger............but these were all -3 and older so did not have the case hardened triggers. My 4" was pretty nice in double action, only issue is being an N frame............just too big for my hand.

    Your L frame.............I'm on the hunt for an older 686 4"myself.

    Nice rig! :)
     
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  5. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Nice choice in a revolver. I got a 686-6 late last year used from Bud's, to use in IDPA competition this season, and it looked just like that when I picked it up from my LGS.

    The Performance Center does a very nice job when tuning an action and their rates are very reasonable. Also you might be able to have them look at it to give you an estimate.

    My personal favorite pistolsmith, when staying with factory parts, is Frank Glenn...he is the pistolsmith who set up the original Performance Center for S&W.

    If you really want to go top tier, it is pretty hard to beat Apex Tactical Specialties...but they just moved to AZ and I'm not sure if they're accepting new guns yet.

    A note if you are looking at aftermarket work. Make sure that they understand how to correctly align the cylinder; it is a much larger part of an action tune than most believe. My cylinder was a disaster when Apex first received it; I knew it felt "dragy", but didn't realize that it was full of burrs until they took it apart. The work on my 686 included them setting up the cylinder/hand to pre-time before the hammer released in DA
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
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  6. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Frank Glenn is a Master at smithing revolvers. He has probably forgotten more than most of us will ever learn about tuning a revolver.
     
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  7. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Yep. Last coupla 686s I've bought new had triggers that were rough. After a few thousand rounds they felt like an old friend. New MIM parts burnish rather quickly and have less rough edges to burnish. Many find that different springs make more of a difference, but many make the mistake of questing for the lightest pull and not absolute reliability. Dry firing does the same thing as shooting by polishing the mating surfaces, and also helps develop better trigger control, and strengthens your trigger finger. Thru S&W, their Master Revolver Action Package is $165. Express will cost you $185. Round trip freight and handling is extra.
     
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  8. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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  9. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    The question would then be, "What level of quality/function are they comparing it to?" and "What is their experience with higher quality revolver work?"
     
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  10. pittspilot

    pittspilot Member

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    I am very fortunate that I live down the road from Frank Glenn. He is a consummate gentleman and knows Smiths inside and out. He has worked on a couple of guns and I'd not hesitate to have him work on any Smith, 1911 or any other gun he indicated he would be comfortable with.
     
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  11. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    Denny Reichard is not far from me. Would take one there if I felt the need.
     
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  12. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Dry fire it 10,000 times. That will smooth the action and also build up the muscles in your fingers, hand, and arm.

    Swapping out springs will make it lighter but do nothing for smoothness. You can swap springs enough to make your revolver an unreliable toy. FWIW, speed shooters like Miculek use extra power springs.

    Smooth is more important than light.
     
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  13. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Jerry uses an extra power Rebound Spring to speed resetting the trigger
     
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  14. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Stock mainspring?
     
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  15. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Lightened...thinned, bent, and contoured.

    He isn't using a stock hammer either
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
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  16. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    The problem is most people looking for a lighter trigger pull swap out for light springs all around. I would hazard a guess that Miculek's guns approximate a standard pull for weight. No doubt the actions are smoothed out.

    Ed McGovern used stock springs IIRC.
     
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  17. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    +1. And it's always been my strong suspicion that he does so not because he'll otherwise outrun the trigger on the return (a commonly-held belief on the inter web), but rather because he rides the trigger on the return, i.e. he lets the trigger push his finger forward. Generally considered a common bad habit that shows up when you lighten springs, it works for JM (because he beefed up the return), and he's got power a'plenty in that trigger finger of his. For the non-JM of us, a balanced main & return works best.


    Also, on dry firing, I'll say this yet again: There are manifold benefits to dry fire, but it's no substitute for a bona fide action job by a competent gunsmith. If your gun needs an action job, it needs an action job. :cool:
     
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  18. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Stock springs back then aren't the same as current production stock springs

    Depends on what you think "standard" is. ;)
     
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  19. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    That is my understanding also
     
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  20. straightshooterjake

    straightshooterjake Member

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    I am not a fan of excessive dry firing to smooth up a gun. I think dry firing for training and to strenthen your hand is fine. And dry firing does eventually smooth the gun. But the smoothing done by dry firing does not compare to having a skilled hand true up the surfaces.

    For example, consider the pin which runs through the top of the rebound slide to guide the hammer block safety. It is fairly common for this pin to stick out slightly on the back of the rebound slide. So the end of the pin makes a bump on the back of the rebound slide where it should be flat. If you polish the gun by dry firing, then the bump slowly wears down, but it also wears a groove in the frame. Eventually, the parts mate well together, but neither of them ever becomes flat.

    If you stone the rebound slide on a flat stone, and also gently stone the frame, then you can insure that both parts are flat and true. So careful stoning makes the parts much better, and it does it pretty quickly. And after the parts are flat and true, they will still improve a bit more as you continue to use the double action.

    Now, I will admit that I have handled guns which have been fired thousands of times in double action, and those actions had indeed polished themselves quite nicely. But I still think they would have gotten there much sooner with some careful stoning. And if I wanted a good action soon, I would look for a professional who could help make that happen.
     
  21. ST1959

    ST1959 Member

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    Thanks to all who've posted. I just got off the phone with SW customer service and am going to send this gun in to 'em. They said it'll take 8-10 weeks to get it back. In my letter to them, I did request Frank Glenn, per suggestions from folks here. I live in Little Rock and have had a gunsmith in Louisiana (Clark's Custom Guns) do some aftermarket work for me on other guns....I've always been happy.......but as I said in the original post, the reason I had been considering only SW is the gun's warranty won't be affected if they do the work. I told the Smith rep with whom I spoke that the action on this gun isn't up to snuff compared to previous SW revolvers I've bought. I ''axed'' him if that was my imagination, and he launched into a dissertation about MIM vs previous metals they've used. Admittedly, metallurgy is not something I know anything about, but long story short, he said the clunky trigger on this gun is NOT my imagination. I told him I expect Frank Glenn to take care of that. :)
     
  22. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    I don't think anyone suggested that combination as Frank no longer works there...he has his own shop in AZ
     

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