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smith and wesson tune on the cheap

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  • smith and wesson tune on the cheap

    many years ago when i was a poor cop shooting at camp perry i had a "complementary" tune on my model 28 S&W by austin behlert. he was a premier pistolsmith, and offered many kinds of action jobs.

    later upon examination i was able to duplicate ( for the most part ) his handywork and went on to tune other similar revolvers. this simple operation was (is) abhored by some others and you will have to judge for yourself it's value. for me, while in lawenforcement, there was NEVER a reliability issue. of course i could not sue myself. anyway here it is.

    there are two items that control the heavy trigger pull, either single or double action, that is the mainspring and the trigger return spring. in my experience the flat mainspring can be reduced in width ( carefully ) to achieve a lighter and smoother pull. then remove a coil or 1.5 coils from the trigger return spring. after this work polish the reworked area smooth, and you will be amazed at the difference.

    i was later sent to police armorer school and learned such modifications were TABOO, but am here ( safe & sound ) to show that they work just fine. keep a few things in mind here
    1. work slow...this isn't a race. remove a little width then check the results. do some shooting and examine before and after primers. that will tell you what you want to know.
    2.polish the cut coil end of the trigger return spring as well as the filed area of the main spring. this will create a smooth working part. are cheap so have a spare before you start.

    now i think "the kid" will probably blast me for the uncle ernie working on the kitchen table syndrome.....but this has worked for me. if you don't like the idea, don't try it(it won't hurt my feelings a bit) , but if you do it will amaze you with a slick smooth working S&W.
    ** as a disclaimer...this information is for your reading enjoyment only....lawyers need not apply.
    happy trails.

  • #2
    That seems like sound imformation. I have a little project going with a S&W 25-5 right now. Have had it since the early 80's and in my foolish youth would give my weapons a good dousing with WD-40 for cleaning and oiling! I just detail stripped this weapon not long ago and was shocked and disgusted at how much crud and gunk there was in the internals under the side plate! Took several hours of degreasing and judicious polishing with a dremal and wire brush/polishing felt to get it cleaned up.

    My single action pull is smooth and reasonable, but double action is on the heavy side. I was considering buying the Jerry Meculek tuning kit which basically replaces the mainspring and the trigger return spring for lighter ones. I may try your method as original factory replacement springs are still cheap and available.

    The other part of the project will be shortening the barrel from 8 3/4" down to maybe 4 or 5? Much internet searching has shown replacement barrels are scarce and I was assuming a pinned barrel replacement would require re-blueing. Brownells has a replacement front sight base that will accept the newer S&W interchangable front sights. This is a fine old 45 Colt, but I just have no use for it with that long of a barrel. Thought the best option would be to have it cut down, re-crowned, with new front sight base and some touch up cold blue? Any thoughts or suggestions? (Not trying to hi-jack your thread Sir)


    • #3
      i have done business with wild west guns,mag-na-port arms and ahlmans gun shop (morristown mn) which could be of some help. they all have a web site. if you are not in a hurry, it might be worth it to swap your barrel. i would contact a few custom outfits to inquire. your barrel has value in that regard.
      good luck with your project!
      happy trails.


      • #4
        Thanks. I have some local shops up here that can cut, crown, and mount the front base for me. I hate to go hacking away on it, but with the long barrel, it is of limited use other than target shooting. Hopefully will be able to slick up the double action pull a bit as it is unreasonably heavy. I first need to get it out and shoot some rounds thru it to have some spent cases to compare before doing anything to the springs.

        Thanks again for the tip.


        • #5
          Just buy a 10.00 wolff or wilson spring kit. It'll save time, plus you won't have to alter your original parts. Clipping coils is generally not a good idea. If you clip coils off a 10lb spring, you still have a 10lb spring, except it's just a shorter one. You will note that a lighter rebound spring in a kit is actually longer than the heavier factory rebound spring, but it is made of smaller diameter wire.
          "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."


          • #6
            Good to know. I have had good results with Wolf springs in my 1911's.


            • #7
              You may want to try over at the Smith-wesson forum for a barrel or barrel trade. I see parts there fairly regularly. I've swapped several Smith barrels, if they have been on a gun before, they usually fit up without much trouble. The pinned guns are fairly easy, the barrels aren't torqued all that much. I've swapped them with wood blocks for the frame, clamped in a vise and made a barrel block from pine boards bolted over the barrel. Doesnt work as well with non-pinned barrels, they're torqued tigher. It's a cabin porch job with a pinned barrel, so long as your barrel/cyinder gap is good.


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