Tuesday, April 01, 2008

How yur durin?

Okay, forever ago jpg told me I need to dry-fire my j frame 2000 times and that sticky trigger thing would hopefully smooth out. Well, I've done 1000 today and no sign of improvement, and I'll keep on working on it, but in the meantime, I notice this little abrasion pattern(the bit that looks gold/brassy) on the trigger. Does this indicate a burr in the works wot will only be addressed by the attentions of a gunsmith, or is this indicative of typical wear? Your opinion is greatly appreciated. Of course, the important thing is that the gun works, but working a teeny bit more smoothly is definitely desireable at this point.


tooldieguy said...

The trigger shouldn't be dragging enough to show marks. I would contact Smith & Wesson customer service. I'm betting they will want your gun for repair

Breda said...

Describe the sticky. My trigger looks pretty much like that too.

Mushy said...

With that much wear it will never get any better my dear. That just isn't normal. It is possibly a factor design they should investigate before further production. Let'em know.

Cooking Pirate said...

if that's a s&w 642 get the trigger "done" I got one for my wife before we parted ways and she couldn't pull the trigger at all. I took it to a smith and he called me saying he reduced th pull to 10lbs but he wasn't sure what it started at because his trigger scale only went to 25lbs........wtf.

Anonymous said...

Never, ever dry fire a weapon.
It will cause stress cracks that will won't be able to see, but can quite possibly kill you.
Whoever told you this is dead wrong, and I do have to question their knowledge. You know my credentials.


LawDog said...

Why is it that a revolver hammer driven by a (comparatively) dinky little mainspring "will cause stress cracks"; but the exact same hammer driven by the exact same (comparatively) dinky little mainspring, followed by a 20,000 PSI low-order detonation held in check by the same frame ... doesn't cause "stress cracks"?

Xander said...

>"Why is it that a revolver hammer driven by a (comparatively) dinky little mainspring "will cause stress cracks"; but the exact same hammer driven by the exact same (comparatively) dinky little mainspring, followed by a 20,000 PSI low-order detonation held in check by the same frame ... doesn't cause "stress cracks"?"

Easy. It's due to an evil magick spell cast by the seekrit society of ammunition manufacturers to increase sales by ensuring you can't practice without their products.

JPG said...

Interesting that annonymous don would post, in a public forum, something so directly contrary to the teachings of THOUSANDS of firearms instructors. They counsel that dry firing is both a way to train your hand into a good, smooth trigger pull, and also to "wear in" and smooth out metal surfaces within the handgun.

This, of course, assumes that the firearm in question is a good quality, modern, centerfire design. Yes, certain types of firearm should not be dry fired:

1. Antique and reproduction, old-design flintlock and percussion arms - - their mechanisms might well be overstressed or their percussion nipples could be peeded into wreckage.

2. Certain submachine guns and such, firing from an open bolt, may be damaged.

3. SOME rimfire arms with certain design faults, can be damaged by the firing pin striking the chamber edge.

4. Handguns with pot metal strikers may break a firing pin if clicked on an empty chamber too many times. On the other hand, the striker fired Glock series seem to tolerate dry firing quite well.

Dry firing is an integral part of law enforcement marksmanship training. Would certified police instructors advise police officers -- arguably those most liable to NEED a functioning firearm -- to attain and maintain proficiency by dry firing?

Oh, yeah - - it can be harmful to operate ANY mechanism when it is partially disassembled, but this hardly counts in this discussion.

Now, certain of my experience is outlined back near the very first of my owm blog entries. I'm a certified Law Enforcement firearms Instructor and was for several years a Concealed Handgun License Instructor, trained and certified by Texas DPS. I am a graduate of American Pistrol Institute at Gunsite, and I regularly participated in IPSC competetion for several years. I still slhoot in matches fairly often, though I'm not "on the circuit."

I am utterly certain of the propriety of dry firing any major brand centerfire revolver or automatic. I tell my own wife and sons and personal friends that this is a good practice. I'd hardly endanger their lives, knowingly giving bad advice. And, yes, I'm the one who suggested that Phlegmmy dry fire her lil' revolver a couple of thousand times. If this renders it unserviceable in ny way, I'll gladly pay for repair or complete replacement.

Now, Mr. annonymous don wrote, "You know my credentials." Well, actually, no. What ARE they?


Matt G said...

Being one of the aforementioned sons of JPG, I can tell you that I have dry-fired every firearm that I own a minimum of hundreds of times, with several having received thousands of dry-firings. I have, for example, a Chief's Special Airweight S&W (similar to Phlegmy's 642 except that it's black, has an exposed hammer, and was made 30 years ago) that I appropriated from JPG after he had been carrying it a quarter century, dry-firing it regularly. I am carrying that M37 in my pocket even as I type in a public place (it is in fact the only gun I have on me right now), and I dry fire it, on average, about 50 times a week. Strangely, this lightweight aluminum alloy-framed 3-decade old revolver still manages to work, and I qualify with it for PD quals every year. Huh.

It is a good idea, when presenting advice to people as "fact," to be certain of the logic and science and practicality of that advice.

Even if dry-firing did accelerate wear on your firearm, it has so consistently been shown to improve firearms skills (with the typical supplimental benefit of smoothing out DA triggers), that the trade-off would be worth it. I'd frankly rather have a snubby that I could shoot well, which only lasted for 1,000 rounds, than one which I could shoot but poorly, which yielded 20,000 rounds.

I present the above not to dogpile you, Don, but to explain that my personal findings and direct observations are directly contrary to your statement.

Best regards,

Matt G

Anonymous said...

The trigger on my 642 was so bad, I was closing my eyes and screaming - only gun, of many I've owned/own, that had me pack up and go to the gunsmith.

kvegas911 said...

How YOU durrin? You must be a fan of Shirley Q. Liquor. LOL.

g bro said...

Anonymous Don sounds like an April troll. Or perhaps just a person who feels strongly enough about his opinion to not name himself.

La P, time is the essential ingredient. Between every two dry fires, take the time to say, "Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"

Anonymous said...

Howdy Ms. PhlegmFatale,

I found your blog courtesy of Mr. LawDog.

Not having much experience with firearms, myself, I can offer mere pedestrian advice at best.

I carried a S&W .38 revolver in the Air Force for a couple of years before it was replaced by the 9mm Beretta, which I carried for the remainder of my 8 years. The .38 I carred was too big and bulky for me to fire it properly (and I don't have small hands) and the 9mm was a piece d'garbage. The slides broke alot, but that was a manufacturer defect.

So, my advice (limited as it is):

Listen to people you personally know and trust who have vast experience and personal working knowledge of firearms.

Now I have a nice Springfield Armory XD .40 and it's the perfect fit for me. I do dry fire it, but it's a lot more fun at the range making loud noises and bright flashes.

Thud said...

I'm in England so evil guns not allowed...is it ok to dryfire my pointing fingers and say..bang...quietly?

kvegas911 said...

*snicker* I love Shirley Q...one of my boys is nicknamed Shirley Q in my blog b/c he goes around acting like him/her constantly. The rest of patrol hates me for having showed the website and videos to him. Not 5 minutes ago he swished by my office cooing HOW YOU DURIN HONEY! *snort*

Flintlock Tom said...

I have read, on numerous gun forums, that it helps to put pressure on the hammer when dry firing for the purpose of smoothing out the surfaces.
The abrasion thing, however, does not seem normal or desirable.

And, Thud? No.

ArthurCW said...


If anyone is truly worried about dry firing a revolver, you can get snap caps that are essentially dummy rounds that sit in the cylinder and absorb the impact of the firing pin on a brass plate attached to a spring.

I’ve also see some people use spent casings in a revolver to give the firing pin something to hit.


Anonymous said...

You've been dealing with this problem for a good long time from the sound of it. Trigger wear or not, I'd say its time to talk to a gunsmith about what can be done to make the pistol more to your liking.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
phlegmfatale said...

I have refrained from entering this fray because of my n00bulary status in the gunny arena.

Don, I know you meant to be protective by your original comment, and I appreciate that. Others have disagreed with your original assertion, and I read with great interest everyone’s comments on the subject.

One would not have to cast a very wide net to turn up many thousands of seasoned gun folk who view the word of JPG and LawDog as gospel. Never mind what others think, though, I have spent many hours in their company and I know them to be the most cautious and sober of men wherein firearm safety is in question. I am calm in the belief they would not encourage me to do something so careless as might endanger my life.

All that said, I welcome and encourage lively yet civil debate.

JPG said...

Anonymous Don - -

No reason to get testy here.
My use of “Expert Witness” as a blogger name is intended to be pretty much tounge-in-cheek, as explained early on. If you care, see my entry of 12SEP2007. You may cut-and-paste
and it'll get you there.

I really try not to take myself too seriously, and will usually smile and wink when claiming A LOT of expertise. I've certainly never hung out a shingle, offering my knowledge and testimony for hire. As it happens, several attorneys have sought me out as a consultant on certain matters. A few have even called me to the witness stand, asked the proper predicate questions, and qualified me as an expert witness in narrowly-defined areas. I've never charged a penny for this.

I agree that some “Expert Witnesses” aren't particularly well qualified. I've been fortunate to interview many who were and are extremely knowledgeable and professional. I came to count at least three of them as personal friends. If you include chemists and supervisors on Driving Under Influence cases, I've probably arranged for the appearance of experts in over 100 cases.

I stand by all my earlier remarks about dry firing. I certainly wouldn't recommend any practice that might endanger a novice, my family, friends, or anyone who trusted me to give advice.

It is quite easy to adopt a screen name (Dangerous Don? Anon-Don?) and put up as much – or as LITTLE – of a profile as you wish, while never starting a blog. This, however, announces which user is commenting, and this might raise a little apprehension for those accustomed to anonymous sniping. I welcome a good discussion, with both sides supporting their opinions. And surely, reasonable people may have honest differences. It does no credit to any participant, however, when matters deteriorate into personal attacks and name calling. May we may agree to show respect to Phlegmfatale and her blog?

In closing - - You previously wrote, "You know my credentials." I repeat, “Well, actually, no.” I've turned up my cards. What are yours?


JPG said...

For those worried about the abrasion on the right side of Phlegmmy's trigger - - - This is a result of the abrasive action of aluminum wearing through the flash chrome plating, exposing the copper base plate. Wear progresses only a certain amount and then stops.

If the trigger pull doesn't smooth out satisfactorily, I'll furnish her with names and numbers of two or three good 'smiths who do a nice trigger job. I would install a Wolff spring kit myownself if this was an older revolver. Unfortunately, I have not trained on the workings of the new integral lock actions. I'm TOLD that it is no problem, but I'll not try to teach myself by working on someone else's gun.

Best regards,

phlegmfatale said...

At the request of the author of same, I have deleted the comment posted at 6:00 AM today. Although its absence breaks the continuity of the discussion here, I do feel it was appropriate to remove.

HollyB said...

Well, DARN!!!
I've had a tough week and I was lookin' forward to tearin' into ol'Don to relieve some stress.
WHATEVER will I do now?