Question About S&W 686

Question About S&W 686

This is a discussion on Question About S&W 686 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hey guys, I was at one of my LGS's today. First time in since the madness began. They didn't have a whole lot in stock ...

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Thread: Question About S&W 686

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    VIP Member Array SmokinFool's Avatar
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    Question About S&W 686

    Hey guys,

    I was at one of my LGS's today. First time in since the madness began. They didn't have a whole lot in stock but they did have several revolvers, which have been my interest of late anyway. I saw a S&W model 686 4" that I asked to see. I like it but the double action trigger pull is horrendously heavy. Smooth, but heavy. I asked the guy behind the counter about it and he thought it seemed heavy as well.

    My question is if any of you have noticed a heavy trigger on the new Smiths, and if a "tune up," ie, replacing the trigger return spring with a reduced spring, and maybe replacing the mainspring as well, will take care of it? I liked the revolver otherwise, so if I think I can get the trigger pull more back to a normal level, I will probably go back and pick it up.


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    Was this a new gun? Do you know which revision it was?

    Wolff springs will fix you right up on a replacement spring that will ease up that trigger yet maintain reliable primer ignition.

    Wolff Gunsprings - Firearm Springs for Semi-Auto Pistols, Revolvers, Rifles, & Shotguns
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    Member Array Todd_Ohio's Avatar
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    I've got a 686 6 inch ported. It's a sweet shooter. Most of the time, I use it as SA, but haven't noticed the DA being too bad. Mines about 5 years old.


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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Was this a new gun? Do you know which revision it was?

    Wolff springs will fix you right up on a replacement spring that will ease up that trigger yet maintain reliable primer ignition.

    Wolff Gunsprings - Firearm Springs for Semi-Auto Pistols, Revolvers, Rifles, & Shotguns
    Yes, it's new. It was a 686-6. I'm not crazy about the new ones with the hammer lock, but they said since they know I'm a regular customer of theirs (which I am), they'd give me a good deal on it, so I'm considering it. I looked at the Wolff website earlier and found the springs that I think will do the job. I was just really surprised at how heavy the trigger was. I think I'll go back tomorrow and pick it up, and order the springs from Wolff.

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    VIP Member Array SmokinFool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd_Ohio View Post
    I've got a 686 6 inch ported. It's a sweet shooter. Most of the time, I use it as SA, but haven't noticed the DA being too bad. Mines about 5 years old.


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    The single action trigger pull was incredible! Nice and light, with practically no creep or overtravel. I really liked the revolver, aside from the heavy DA pull. I've made up my mind to go ahead and get it, and just replace the springs. I have no doubt it will be just fine.

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    Senior Member Array GoPackman's Avatar
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    Have you tried looking around on the web at used pre-lock 686's? If you're patient, there are deals to be had. Personally, I wouldn't want a S&W revolver with a lock. But as I've said before, I'm just a grumpy old man.
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    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    new gun, the double action trigger pull will be heavy until you break in the gun by either shooting it and/or dry firing. the 686 is a great gun. ii would not let the heavy trigger stop me if the price is right. it will work itself out with use.
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    VIP Member Array GhostMaker's Avatar
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    I am a big fan of the 686's, but not a big fan of S&W's locking system. It's possible that a good trigger job and some work by a really good gunsmith may make that 686 a real shooter. If you get it have a 'smith do an action job before lightening the springs. It may be that polishing it up will get it where you want it without to much alteration.
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    My 6 inch 686 is four or five years old, I bought a copy of the Clark Custom Guns trigger job DVD and did my own double action trigger job. This smoothed the double action pull but didn't lighten it. When I tried the Wolff spring kit, unfortunately I didn't get reliable ignition and I wasn't able to work out a combination of stock and Wolff springs that would give me reliable ignition, so I went back to the stock springs. Once you get used to the heavy but smooth trigger pull I think you would be OK anyway.

    And also I've been told the heavy stock springs are necessary for the magnum primers with their thicker cups that are used with a lot of magnum ammunition.

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    VIP Member Array SmokinFool's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies guys. I went ahead and picked it up today. $750 OTD, which is a good price. The DA trigger is really heavy bu smooth. I believe in going with the least intrusive fix as possible, so I don't want to have any trigger work done (yet, anyway). I'll order the spring kit from Wolff and go from there.

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    VIP Member Array SmokinFool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodwrkr221 View Post
    My 6 inch 686 is four or five years old, I bought a copy of the Clark Custom Guns trigger job DVD and did my own double action trigger job. This smoothed the double action pull but didn't lighten it. When I tried the Wolff spring kit, unfortunately I didn't get reliable ignition and I wasn't able to work out a combination of stock and Wolff springs that would give me reliable ignition, so I went back to the stock springs.
    May I ask which spring strengths you tried? I want to have an idea of where to start. Also, as to light primer hits, I don't foresee any problems. I have a Python that has a very light mainspring, yet I have never had any problems with primer ignition. In any event it may not be an issue. I will be starting by switching out the trigger return spring and if that takes care of it, then I won't even bother messing with the mainspring.

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    I have a dumb question - is this your first revolver? Most revolvers in DA are quite heavy compared to other guns. I've had five 686's of various dashes (I still have four of them) and all have had smooth but "heavy" triggers.

    One did have a Wolf spring in it when I bought it, and the trigger was remarkably light. However, it also had light strikes, so I replaced it with the factory leaf spring, and it works fine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEF View Post
    I have a dumb question - is this your first revolver? Most revolvers in DA are quite heavy compared to other guns. I've had five 686's of various dashes (I still have four of them) and all have had smooth but "heavy" triggers.

    One did have a Wolf spring in it when I bought it, and the trigger was remarkably light. However, it also had light strikes, so I replaced it with the factory leaf spring, and it works fine.
    LOL. No, hardly my first revolver. I bought my first handgun (a revolver) in the 1980's and I have owned many revolvers over the years. I have owned a few S&W's over the years as well. I kid you not when I tell you that this one is heavier than any revolver I have shot. I can't even get it to register on my trigger pull gauge.

    I have a feeling the problem is the trigger return spring. When I keep the trigger pulled back the tension on the hammer is much less than when I cock it with trigger out, or when I trigger-cock it. Obviously I expect it to be somewhat less, but there is a big difference. I will try a couple different Wolff trigger return springs and if that doesn't do the job then I will have a smith take a look at it, or I might even send it off to S&W.

    The stock trigger return spring is 18#. That's pretty danged heavy. I'm sure going with a light spring will make a world of difference, and since I won't be messing with the mainspring ignition won't become a problem.

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    Member Array Woodwrkr221's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokinFool View Post
    May I ask which spring strengths you tried? I want to have an idea of where to start. Also, as to light primer hits, I don't foresee any problems. I have a Python that has a very light mainspring, yet I have never had any problems with primer ignition. In any event it may not be an issue. I will be starting by switching out the trigger return spring and if that takes care of it, then I won't even bother messing with the mainspring.
    That's been several years ago and my memory may not be good enough but I think it was 10.5 lbs. I'm not at home right now but tomorrow evening I'll dig the spring kit out of the parts box and check.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodwrkr221 View Post
    That's been several years ago and my memory may not be good enough but I think it was 10.5 lbs. I'm not at home right now but tomorrow evening I'll dig the spring kit out of the parts box and check.
    Thanks, I appreciate you checking. According the Wolff's website their trigger springs are in 1# increments, from 12 to 16#. I'll want the lightest spring I can get away with while ensuring good trigger return. I'll probably start with the 13# spring and see how that works. But yeah, if you get a chance to check, I would be interested to know what springs you tried.

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