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  • Trigger job ...how hard?

    Hey,

    I bought a nearly-new Ruger Single Six in .22LR/.22Mag and it's a fine little gun. But in comparing the trigger pull (by feel only) to my S&W .357, the .22 feels like it either has a higher pull (lbs) or is not as smooth, or both. Not having done any gunsmithing of any kind before, other than swapping out sights and a good bit of cleaning , I don't know what's involved in a "trigger job." I do know however that I'd like to lighten up the pull and get the trigger action 'smoother.' There's no good reason a .22 ought to have a stiffer or less-smooth trigger pull/action than the .357. So how hard is this for a newb? Take to a shop or do it myself? Anyone have a reputable online reference on what to do?

    Thanks,
    Brian

  • #2
    ruger

    While the trigger on your single six is probably pretty sorry I would strongly advise ageinst trying to smooth it up yourself. The problem lies in the fact that if you make a booboo on a Ruger an ruin a part you have just voided your warranty and in my experience as a gunsmith it can be like pulling teeth to get parts from Ruger. If it were a S&W or something you might be able to pull it off pretty easily but if the SIngle Six is really bad the sear angle may need to be changed and this is where it gets dicey, without lots of experience and the proper jig you may only make it worse or unsafe. Id say just pay a gunsmith to have it done right and enjoy the heck out of that little devil I sure love mine.

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    • #3
      Got Google?

      http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...threadid=80872

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      • #4
        Never, ever change angles on the sear. The surfaces can be polished using a triangular ceramic stone, however with use it will smooth up by itself.
        The best thing for a beginner is to unhook one leg of the trigger spring on the Rugers. Remove the grip panels and you can see the spring. Just unhook one leg from the pin and put the grips back on. I usually do the left side.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bfrshooter View Post
          Never, ever change angles on the sear. The surfaces can be polished using a triangular ceramic stone, however with use it will smooth up by itself.
          The best thing for a beginner is to unhook one leg of the trigger spring on the Rugers. Remove the grip panels and you can see the spring. Just unhook one leg from the pin and put the grips back on. I usually do the left side.
          I was hoping you'd respond to this, I agree with the angle and polish. But I gotta ask, isn't lifting one end of the spring like replacing with a lighter spring? I thought you didn't do that. Or is it just hammer springs you don't want lighter? How about stoning the hammer, the sear notch off to reduce engagement? If there is a big shelf, there will be creep. Not a novice job there either.

          I agree the tail end of the trigger spring is easy to access without taking the guts out of a Blackhawk, and I have done that at the range to get a lighter trigger.
          Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


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          • #6
            Smoothing up from use works for me! Since it is a rimfire you don't want to dry fire it, so stick some empties in it and dry fire the heck out of it. I usually change the empties for fresh empties periodically so the hammer has some fresh brass to beat against.

            Also a Wolf spring kit from Brownell's will help. I was green the first time I put one in and had no problem.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Murphy View Post
              I was hoping you'd respond to this, I agree with the angle and polish. But I gotta ask, isn't lifting one end of the spring like replacing with a lighter spring? I thought you didn't do that. Or is it just hammer springs you don't want lighter? How about stoning the hammer, the sear notch off to reduce engagement? If there is a big shelf, there will be creep. Not a novice job there either.

              I agree the tail end of the trigger spring is easy to access without taking the guts out of a Blackhawk, and I have done that at the range to get a lighter trigger.
              Very true about the hammer springs but you can do anything you want to the trigger spring as long as the gun functions safely and all parts return and the trigger is held against the sear at full cock. It can't kick your finger forward when fired either.
              Remember too that a strong mainspring and the correct sear angle aids in holding the trigger into the sear notch.
              You can prove the importance of the sear angle by removing the trigger spring all the way, pull back the hammer and push the trigger forward into engagement, the gun should stay cocked.
              I start Ruger triggers on my grinder to remove half the sear depth, then I put a good polish on all surfaces and just break the sharp edge of the sear. I use a hard ceramic stone that will not remove much metal, just polish.
              This is not a job for a beginner.
              I do not like any creep on my guns but when I do one for someone else I leave a tad of creep.
              Any revolver with a half cock or safety notch must never have any metal removed from any part of the sear surfaces. What I do there is to use a copper iron and soft solder brass shim stock on the hammer to hold the trigger forward a little. It is easy to shape with a file to change creep and if not right, just remove it. No damage at all.
              I have never had it come loose but if it falls off there is still no harm done.
              On any of these guns you need just a strong enough trigger spring so it can't kick your finger forward and either drop a transfer bar or allow a trigger to fall into a half cock notch, so there is a limit to how light you can go.
              I test a trigger job for someone else by pushing hard on a cocked hammer, I don't want it to fall. For mine, I don't worry too much about that but they still hold. I put my thumb in front of a hammer that has half cock notches to protect parts. Darn triggers and notches break easy.

              For those of you that have Marlin lever guns, NEVER dry fire them. ONE hammer fall can break the firing pin. The new ones with the safety can be dry fired with the safety on. You need to always count shots with them too so you don't drop the hammer on empty. I think they use recycled glass to make pins.

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              • #8
                Ok, in reading through various links above, it does look like there are a few low to no risk things that I can try. One of the links has disassembly instructions and photos, instructions on a couple of checks to make sure there are no rough spots and how to smooth them (not changing the original dimensions of anything), and information on the Wolff spring kit for the gun. Even if I just replaced the springs and broke in the gun through use, it sounds like it'll be improved over what it is now. I'm not trying to make a competition-grade gun, just something that has a trigger pull more like a .22 should have ...lighter for sure, smoother if it's a no-risk deal.

                Thanks, Lots of good reading to go do... no hurry, no worries.

                Brian

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                • #9
                  For those of you that have Marlin lever guns, NEVER dry fire them. ONE hammer fall can break the firing pin. The new ones with the safety can be dry fired with the safety on. You need to always count shots with them too so you don't drop the hammer on empty. I think they use recycled glass to make pins.
                  Really? I havent seen that happen...ever.....

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Wildalaska View Post
                    Really? I havent seen that happen...ever.....
                    Like anything else, many times nothing happens but I have had 5 in the shop over the years and I broke one on a brand new gun myself when the hammer got away from me.
                    I talked to my gunsmith friend and he affirmed it, all he did was laugh and give me a piece of the special steel to make a new one. He said he keeps the steel around mostly for the Marlins. The comment that set me back was when he asked if I had learned a lesson! :rolleyes:
                    So it is just not a good idea to dry fire them.

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                    • #11
                      So it is just not a good idea to dry fire them.
                      OK....I think your gunsmith friend is pulling your leg

                      just so its clear to potential Marlin owners: Over the past 10 years and probably 5,000 Marlin 1895s etc sold, customized and serviced we havent seen that once.

                      As marlins service center, we havent been notified of a firing pin problem...ever....

                      Not once.

                      Its OK to dry fire your Marlin

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                      • #12
                        After breaking one on a friends brand new Marlin with the FIRST and only hammer drop after I slicked up the trigger, what you say is a little hard for me to believe too. I failed to have the safety on safe and hit the pin---just once. And he had never done anything either because I unpacked the gun.
                        So what can I say? :confused:

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                        • #13
                          I wonder if at some point in time if Marlin had a run on firing pins that were over hardened or something ( a very short run). My 30 some year old 1894 has been dry fired a million times and the original firing pin is still putting big dents in primers.

                          Hold on I'll be right back.............................................. ........................ok I'm back. I have a buddies 444 in the basement and I just dry fired it a whole bunch of times (needs the trigger smoothed up a tad anyways) and it never broke.

                          I've owned and been around bunches of Marlin centerfire lever guns over the past 30+ years and this is a new one on me!

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                          • #14
                            Brian,

                            The big key is to have a means of keeping the stone aligned with the surfaces you are going to stone. The easiest way to do this is the put the trigger or sear in a vice 1/8" proud of the jaws and with the surface to be stoned parallel to the jaws. Put a piece of 1/8" dia drill rod on the other end of the jaws and then your stone will be resting parallel with the surface to be stoned. My general comment on Ruger guns is they are well designed solid guns, but they don't put the time into finishing out the parts, including the engagement surfaces on the triggers.

                            I haven't worked on a single six, but have worked on a few blackhawks. The general comments are polish up all engaging and friction surfaces, which means the sear faces and sides of the hammer and the pins they rotate on. I use a 600grit stone, and chuck the pins in the lathe and polish with simi chrome. That'll make a pretty big improvement. The next steps would be considering lightening the trigger return spring.

                            If you want the nee plus ultra trigger, you'll have to drill and tap for an overtravel screw, so that after the trigger breaks there is no more trigger movement, and then reduce the seas engagement slightly for a nice crisp breaking trigger. I'd advise holding off these last few steps.

                            Just like any other job, know what you need to do, and what you don't need to do, and procede with caution.
                            Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

                            If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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                            • #15
                              Not to sure you can install an overtravel screw in a single six and still have a functioning trigger. Did this once on a Super Black Hawk and the screw prevented the trigger from moving back before it could return. This put it out of commission until the screw was backed off.

                              Back to the original post, I accomplished several trigger "jobs" on Ruger single and DA revolvers over the years. First thing I did was install lighter springs. Second was polish the engagement surfaces. Third was to stone some of the excess material off the hammer that resulted in the creep. This was the slow process. Take off a little, refit everything. Repeat.
                              Like others said, just follow the original angles and use good stones. The Rugers are without a doubt the easiest ones to work on in this reguard.
                              Cheers.

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