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Revolver over-tuned double action

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by kthomk, Mar 30, 2012.

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  1. kthomk

    kthomk Member

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    Picked up a revolver with a really sweet double action. The problem is will not strike primer hard enough. Using CCI primers in my reloads. Anyone ever have this problem. I have been reading that they sometimes tune action to Federal primers that are supposedly softer. Smith & Wesson. Yes, strain screw is all the way tight. Bobbed Hammer. The action is so sweet that if I think I will use it for target or game only, I may have to buy some Federal primers and load specifically for it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  2. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    Gamer guns are frequently tuned to Federal-only status. Yours may or may not be so tuned.

    First, make sure the strain screw is screwed all the way down. If it is, and only it's marginally light, you could try hand seating your CCI primers, and/or place a shim between the mainspring and the strain screw to add a wee bit of tension. If it's really lightly tuned, it may take another main & rebound spring. Do you have a pull gauge? If so, what's the DA pull read?
     
  3. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    First things first. What make and model in your revolver. It could make a difference.
     
  4. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Mr. Borland has it exactly right. I'll add a couple of thoughts, though. The most common cause of that problem is indeed folks using the strain screw like a "trigger pull weight adjustment" and backing it out a turn or two. It doesn't work like that...or not well. Sometimes someone's even gone to the trouble of locktighting it in place like that. Make sure it's all the way in tight.

    If it is, next check to see if the tip of the screw has been ground down to produce the same effect. You can get a replacement screw if that's been done.

    Last, for about $13 you can pick up a Wolff spring pack with several weights of mainsprings and trigger return springs so you can find the balance between light pull and reliability.

    Extra-last, yes, I've had guns that would only light off Federal primers. But if that's ALL they will light off, they tend not to even do THAT reliably. I eventually went back to all standard weight (or at least not "light") springs. You don't need it to be feather light if you practice your technique.
     
  5. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    The strain screw answers are going to seem a little silly if it turns out to be a Ruger or something with a coil spring.... :D

    The typical strain screw issue was my first thought as well. But it could just as easily be a Ruger which someone put a light spring into and then further cut off a couple of coils.

    Regardless of brand and depending on what you want to use the gun for a new Wolff or stock spring kit will soon set it to right.

    The only other trick that had me going at one time with a used but new to me revolver was the amount of gumming up around the hammer. The "greasiness" of this much produced a viscous drag which wasn't detectable at hand cocking speeds but apparently was slowing the hammer much like waving your hand in a pool of water vs out in the air. In that case simply flushing and operating the action while wet with the solvent mix cleaned it out. It shot fine from that point on.
     
  6. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    Old Fuff is right. It would help to know the make and model as not all DA revolvers have strain screws. On a revolver using a coil mainspring, the likely problem is that someone clipped a couple of coils from the spring. IWC, a new spring is needed.
     
  7. roaddog28

    roaddog28 Member

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    Well if the OP has a Ruger then the hammer spring is probably too light. A lot of people try and put a 10lb hammer spring and 8lb trigger return spring and wind up with light strikes. I would not put less than a 12lb hammer spring in a Ruger GP100 or a SP101.
    Regards,
    Howard
     
  8. VA27

    VA27 Member

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    The post says Smith. If the strain screw is tight, does the spring itself look like it has been thinned from the sides? In any event, try this: Take a spent pistol primer and remove the anvil. Loosen the strain screw and use the spent primer as a cap on the end of the screw where it bears on the spring. Tighten the strain screw. If that doesn't give you enough tension, you'll need to replace the screw, the spring or possibly both.
     
  9. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Replace all springs with factory new. Spring "kits" are mostly the cause of misfires.
     
  10. skidder

    skidder Member

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    Excellent advice from VA27
     
  11. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    It does now after editing. :rolleyes:
     
  12. 56hawk

    56hawk Member

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    My recommendation is to buy a box of Federal primers and try them out. From what I understand CCI primers are some of the hardest. I try to use Federal primers exclusively, but have found Winchesters to be pretty reliable also.
     
  13. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Remove the grips and tell me if the mainspring is bent.
     
  14. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy

    The original poster really needs to get back and answer what type of revolver it is. Talking about strain screws and flat mainsprings is meaningless if it is a Ruger.

    Yes, it is true, Federal primers are the easiest to set off, CCI are the hardest. Winchester is in the middle. I have a couple of revolvers that have mainsprings just a tad too light. I was shooting a few 44 Special revolvers just a couple of weeks ago. I was using my reloads, some had Winchester primers, some had Federal. One S&W with a particularly light action would not reliably set off the Winchester primers, but it fired all the Federals with no problem.
     
  15. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    Got pics? :D
     
  16. sniper5

    sniper5 Member

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    My wife and I have 2 GP100's, his & hers, both with the lightest Wolff springs installed and the actions tuned. Several thousand Federal primed rounds through each with NO misfires in either one. Both shoot loads tuned to the guns, and since I reload 100% of the ammo we use, it's not a problem for either of us.
     
  17. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Check to see if the strain screw has been shortened. It should have a shank that extends beyond the threads. If it's not there, the effect is the same as backing the screw out.
     
  18. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    Buy a new strain screw and hammer spring, they're cheap. I've run across this very often with used S&W and Ruger revolvers.
     
  19. Japle

    Japle Member

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    If it’s a K, L or N frame gun with the frame-mounted firing pin, you can replace the firing pin with an extended one from Midway or Brownells. It’s 0.015” longer and, with the right springs and Federal primers seated hard, you should be OK.

    My competition S&Ws are all tuned with Bang, Inc springs to the point where they won’t reliably set off CCI or Winchester primers, but they’re 100% with Federal 100s and 150s.
     
  20. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    A strain screw indicates a K or larger frame, but note that a bobbed hammer can also cause misfires, especially in a J frame or equivalent. Bobbing a hammer reduces hammer mass and that reduces hammer impact; reducing the mainspring tension makes things worse.

    Jim
     
  21. TonyT

    TonyT Member

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    CCI primers have the hardest primer cups and are the most difficult to ignite. Switch to Federal primers and your problems will in all probability disappear.
     
  22. S&W610

    S&W610 Member

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    I have several Smith & Wesson revolvers with modified springs and strain screws. They will not shoot with CCI primers, they are only hit and miss with Winchester, but they are 100% reliable with Federal primers.
     
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