Revolver Spring Tuning?

Revolver Spring Tuning?

This is a discussion on Revolver Spring Tuning? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A seasoned shooter at the range told me I could simply shorten the rebound spring a little to lighten the pull. He also said to ...

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Thread: Revolver Spring Tuning?

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array jtmoose's Avatar
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    Jan 2009

    Revolver Spring Tuning?

    A seasoned shooter at the range told me I could simply shorten the rebound spring a little to lighten the pull. He also said to release a little tension on the main spring. It makes sense, but is there anything that could go wrong?

  2. #2
    Array atctimmy's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    If you lighten them too much it can make the gun unreliable.
    My name is Frogman46 and I'm tougher than you.

  3. #3
    1943 - 2009
    Array Captain Crunch's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by jtmoose View Post
    A seasoned shooter at the range told me I could simply shorten the rebound spring a little to lighten the pull. He also said to release a little tension on the main spring. It makes sense, but is there anything that could go wrong?
    Yeah, everything.

    I assume you're speaking of a S&W revolver.

    Clip the rebound spring and your trigger could fail to reset.

    Reduce main spring tension by backing out the strain screw and you could get light primer strikes, resulting in misfires.

    S&W engineers designed these springs after extensive R&D. Leave them alone.

    I would take your "seasoned shooter's" advice with a grain of salt.

    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


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  5. #4
    Member Array Airedale's Avatar
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    What he told you was true (assuming it's a S&W).

    However, he didn't tell you enough. Trigger jobs on S&W revolvers (k,l,n frames) are fairly easy assuming you know what you are doing. Clipping rebound springs isn't necessary anymore as reduced power springs are readily available. Spring clipping is guess work-installing a commercially made rebound spring of a known weight is simple. There is also (usually) some stoning to do on the rebound slide and the surfaces it rides on.

    Releasing tension on the main spring by backing the strain screw out is a misfire waiting to happen. I've heard of folks who claim success by backing out the strain screw and adding locktite. Good for them.

    I do action work on all my revolvers. The competition revolvers get all the smoothing and trigger lightening (springs/etc) I can do. I use Federal primers and have had good luck. If I have a misfire on a competition revolver, it's just annoying.

    My carry revolvers get smoothed out but carry factory weight springs. I don't want a misfire on a carry gun.


  6. #5
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    Array Tangle's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    I took a S&W 686 to Gunsite for a five day Advanced Tactics Pistol course. Before I went, I installed a Wolff Gunsprings reduced power trigger return spring and mainspring. Each are subtle changes, but together both smooth and lighten trigger pull.

    I asked my instructor about the mod, he shot the revo and said it was perfect for a defensive carry gun. He had no issues about reliability etc. This was a man that served with the Border Patrol carrying revolvers for years, so I trust his call on the trigger mod.

    I now have thousands of rounds through my 686 and have not had one failure to fire or function correctly.

    One concern I had about the lighter trigger return spring was not that the trigger would fail, but that it would return a bit slower. That concerned was put to rest in rapid fire drills. We shot as fast as we could for so many drills, and it isn't that many, that my trigger finger muscles began to fatigue and I couldn't shoot as fast. That would have happened even quicker with the stock setup.

    I would be careful about any gun mod, but there is certainly some spring adjustment that can be made to improve shootability of a revolver, which seems rather important, without compromising reliability. The question is how does one determine what the margin of reliability is?

    For me, via many, many rounds, I'm convinced my set up is reliable.

    And maybe just one anecdote. I took a lady, up in years, to teach her to shoot a handgun. She was struggling to pull the trigger on the revolver; I could actually see her hands start to tremble every shot just before the shot broke.

    The next session I brought my Ruger SP101 for her to try. It had the same treatment done to it as my 686. The difference was remarkable. No more tremoring at the break point, and accuracy improved immediately.
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