Sunday, August 13, 2006

Boomsticks: Things were more like they used to be, back then.

In one of the forums I frequent, a poster has offered up the old "Oh, these modern times suck! Ah for a return to times of yore, when the world was better!"

In this case, he was focussing on S&W revolver trigger pulls, claiming that all the new ones are wretched and things were so much better in the old days. Now, I currently have... let's see... over forty S&W revolvers, ranging in age from a .32 Double Action Third Model made in 1883 to a Model 431PD made in 2004. A couple of dozen more have passed through my collection over the years. I've been in the retail end of the gun business since 1993. I regard myself as qualified to offer a considered opinion on the topic of S&W wheelguns.

Here's the deal: The out-of-the-box trigger pull of a new Smith is about what it's been since I can recollect. (Which is to say "Unsatisfactory." No factory gun has a good trigger. If you think one does, you have low expectations.)

Marko and I were contemplating a new Model 520 when he commented "The trigger pull on this thing just doesn't compare to my old Model 10."
I replied that the new gun hadn't been dry-fired 50,000 times over the last 30 years, either, which will tend to have a certain smoothing effect on the action.

If you are lucky enough to run across an old S&W wheelgun that is truly "Unfired, In Box", see if you're allowed an experimental dry-fire or two. I think its trigger pull may be a little heavier and grittier than you'd expect.

8 comments:

Kevin said...

"No factory gun has a good trigger. If you think one does, you have low expectations."

I will disagree with you with two examples, one being a Smith & Wesson. My Kimber Stainless Custom full-size 1911 has the finest trigger I have ever pulled - and I bought it new-in-the-box. My S&W M25 Mountain Gun (.45LC) has an excellent trigger - but I bought it used, so it's possible someone had it massaged before I got it.

Anonymous said...

V"I replied that the new gun hadn't been dry-fired 50,000 times over the last 30 years, either, which will tend to have a certain smoothing effect on the action."

the sharp knife of sound logic.

Anonymous said...

So that means I should do about 49,000 more dry fires before my new snub trigger is as nice as the old model 10 that's as smooth as butter?

I guess I should invest in some snap caps.

Tam said...

Why not?

I dry-fire either my 296 or 432 CCW guns 50 times with each hand every night. It has noticeably improved the 432's trigger pull, and with the laser grips, it's great training for maintaining good trigger control...

Les Jones said...

That's an interesting experiment. I've got a truly unfired 64 (zero soot or scratches on the cylinder face) that's more than 30 years old that I could try it with. Might have to put tape on the cylinder first to keep from getting a turn ring.

And yeah, I agree. People talk about S&Ws having a trigger pull that's so much better than Rugers. I know bupkis about Rugers but I can't imagine buying a new S&W and not getting a trigger job.

BobG said...

"People talk about S&Ws having a trigger pull that's so much better than Rugers. I know bupkis about Rugers but I can't imagine buying a new S&W and not getting a trigger job."

Ruger tends to use heavy springs throughout their actions; look at the primers after shooting them in a Ruger, and you can see that the firing pin whomps the bejesus out of it. It is like they are afraid it might misfire. You can sometimes replace the spring, or just do some light polishing inside with a Dremel and a buffing wheel. I have several Rugers, and have no real complaints about them.

Steve Skubinna said...

I just put a big loop lever on my Marlin (I must have big hands - the stock lever is a bit cramped, especially when firing magnum .45-70 loads). At first it was stiff and bound up a lot, so I thought I'd need to polish it. So I cycled it a bunch of times to show where the wear was, and then noticed that it was working a lot easier. So I cycled it a bunch more times and decided that I didn't need to polish it after all.

Likewise I was considering a trigger job, but after dry firing a lot I'm not so sure anymore. Think I'll save the money. The pull is more than I'd want in a handgun but it's fine for a rifle, especially one that I'm going to be gripping hard, and pulling in tight on the sling.

Anonymous said...

for the marlin comment, while you ae at it did you fix the infamous marlin jam? Thats the only problem with marlin, and my pull on my rifle is pretty fine