Drop-In Springs?

If I had to pick two subjects that come up in gunsmith’s shops I would have to say “springs” and “sights” are at the top of the list. The subject of springs comes up constantly and there are many pseudo gunsmiths who don’t have a clue as to the relationship of the spring to the geometry of a revolver or pistol. In order for the geometry to work as designed the spring (stored energy) must be of the proper weight, diameter and length. There is a lot more involved than just forcing the hammer forward with enough energy for the firing pin to crush the primer.

When shooters buy springs they’re usually trying to get a lighter double action or single action pull, but without understanding the physics involved they get into trouble quickly. Aftermarket mainsprings, the flat spring that operates the hammer in a S&W, for instance, is a real bugger and if too light will not propel the hammer forward with enough force to bust a cap. I rarely, if ever replace the factory mainspring in a S&W or any other double action revolver unless it’s a coil spring with excessive force like you find in Ruger revolvers.

On occasion I will bend the tip of the flat spring back a little and back off the strain screw located at the bottom of the grip a quarter of a turn for a little better feel. If you run into problems with unreliability the fix is quick by turning the strain screw back to the factory setting. You can play around with this without doing any permanent damage.

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