Yeti

Double Action Revolvers

Mustangs Rule

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Feb 4, 2021
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Going back 40 years ago most police departments were still using revolvers. Most were K frame S&W's. Back then police departments had the single action sear removed from them for fear of an accidental discharge. There were PPC (practical police course) competitions everywhere. They were totally double action events.

You could never win with a Colt, even the heavily praised Python. It inhereited the action from the Colt officer match pistol which was designed for single action target shooting. Its double action trigger began easy and stacked towards the end.

The Smith and Wessson trigger was designed for double action shooting. It began heavier and got light towards the end of the pull.

Pure double actin heaven.

It was just amazing how good one could get with a tuned and honed K Frame Smith revolver. Just amazing!!!

I have 5 S and W revolvers. A model 49 38 sepcial, a model 60 38 Special. A model 15 Combat Masterpiece with target sights in 38 special, a 44 mag in a model 629 N frame and finally a matched pair of K frame model 13's in 357.

I have owned them since forever, and all have been tuned, timed, and honed by the the same master gunsmith who is now long dead. So is the art of shooting double action, so is the gunsmiths skill to get them competition ready for those wonderful PPC events.

Shooting an "oil on ice smooth" Smith K frame is just a joy.
 

Mustangs Rule

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A couple more thougthts from days gone by and the lost art of shooting double action Smiths.

Fourty years ago I had an old Police range master take me under his wing. He taught me how to "index" with my trigger finger, he had me go through high and low count skip loading drills, forever. That not only gets rid of the flinch but also the micro flinch as only a revolver can. They allow follow through while single action triggers do not

He also trained me to learn how to develop "lazy eye" and shoot with both eyes open even under pressure.

His shooting skils were legendary. He did all the work for officers who were competing.

He made a cool modifications on stainless revolver like the model 66 S and W.

Stainless steel wants to "gaul" and can not be polished anywhere near as smooth as carbon steel.

What he would do to a stainless Smith Revolver was replace the trigger parts with carbon steel,,,,"oil on ice smooth"

Most shooters really do not know how to shoot double action

All the things I just wrote about are "lost art" now.

When I pick up a new Smith revolver and they make me sad and sick,,,and the gunsmiths with the skills to really tune them are all ghosts now.

Sketter Skelton and Bill Jordan where such great six gun pistoleros
 

Don Fischer

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Jun 27, 2017
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I won't even buy an SA anymore, for whatever reason I just can't shoot them. Love my DA's but always shoot them single action, go figure. Have two 22 pistols, a S&W 22 combat masterpiece and a High standard HD military with heavy 6" barrel. High Standard I shoot best by a long shot. If I was a small game hunter, I'd use my S&W mod 16 32 long with cast bullet's, really love that gun. have a couple 9mm auto but for CC only. Don't get excited about shooting them!
 

Ben Lamb

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Aug 6, 2010
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Cedar, MI
The double action revolver is the sexiest sidearm out there, with the S&W being the top of the heap. I've got a 686, 29 and a Charter Arms 44 special bulldog as well as an old H&R 10 shot 22 LR target revolver. I've had a K Frame 66 and regret not replacing it when I sold it and I've had a Ruger Redhawk in 44 Mag that took heavy 310 grain loads with great accuracy & mild recoil.

Ruger's all need trigger and action jobs, IMO. They're tanks, but they need some finesse to get the trigger to be smooth. Wolf spring kits are an easy home remedy if you don't want to pay a smith to hone & tune your rig. I've installed them on my 29 & my Bulldog with good success.
 

Mustangs Rule

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Feb 4, 2021
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I won't even buy an SA anymore, for whatever reason I just can't shoot them. Love my DA's but always shoot them single action, go figure. Have two 22 pistols, a S&W 22 combat masterpiece and a High standard HD military with heavy 6" barrel. High Standard I shoot best by a long shot. If I was a small game hunter, I'd use my S&W mod 16 32 long with cast bullet's, really love that gun. have a couple 9mm auto but for CC only. Don't get excited about shooting them!
Without doubt th K 22 combat masterpiece is one of the greatest handguns ever made. Does yours have a 4 inch barrel? I had one in a 6 inch barrel. That is why I sold it. 4 inch is my limit.

There is no better revolver for mastering DA shooting. Once you experience a certain level of skill DA shooting you will be hooked
 

44hunter45

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Aug 14, 2019
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North Idaho
Stainless steel wants to "gaul" and can not be polished anywhere near as smooth as carbon steel.
I was for many years a printer and copier service engineer. Back when things were fixed, rather than replaced. Copiers were as big as a Mini Cooper, but they were full of lots of tiny parts.

I agree with everything in the post regarding the stickiness of stainless vs carbon steel. Carbon steel slicks up better. Stainless needs a little help.

There is one thing ---
It's called "galling". A "gaul" is a red wine swilling European with a baguette under his arm.

Galling is why stainless steel bolts strip threads easier than carbon steel. Also why sometimes they feel cross threaded and you take them out and they look fine.
Ever notice how new stainless screws and bolts sometimes smell oily? That's anti gall compound.

Galling can be prevented easily with a little maintenance.

This is something owners of ANY stainless steel weapon need to know about. Rifle bolts will gall. Slides on pistols will gall. Trigger group parts will gall.
The secret is to use grease, not oil, for stainless on stainless parts. Heat and friction compound to make galling more likely.
Grease is more hydrophobic than oil and will not be lifted off the metal by water. Lithium grease has more heat resistance.

I use a light red lithium grease on all my stainless guns' moving parts. Revolvers, auto pistols, and rifles. Never oil. The last step for every strip and clean is to re-apply that film of grease and work it in the moving parts. I use a syringe with a fine needle to get it into the crane/cylinder joint. Finally, I wipe it off the pretty parts.

I avoid any greases with soaps added, the soaps make grease less hydrophobic. I still have a lifetime supply of the grease I used back in the day. It is essentially Mobilgrease 28 and Mobil Isoflex Topas NB 52. These are used in aviation where a galled wheel bearing could cause a crash.

Without geeking out (too late...)on the spec sheet. Google it if you want know why it works.

You can get it on Amazon in a variety of sizes. A little goes a long way.
 

F250

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I wonder how many thousands of rounds I ran through our issued 4" S&W Model 19s and then the 586s on the range. We would run shooting drills all day with .38 wadcutters. Then in the late afternoon, we would fired a qualifying course with .357 Mag (two days in the spring and two days in the fall). It wasn't uncommon to get lead spray from the guy shooting next to you ! The lead build up in those barrels from those chitty wadcutters, would be blown out from the .357 Mag loads ! Night qualification was interesting. After the first round of .357, that huge fireball/flash would ruin any night vision you started out with. I attended a firearms instructors school taught by FBI instructors just outside New York City. There were officers from all over the US there. Most were hardcore PPC shooters. I never was a great handgun shooter, but I learned a lot from those guys. However, when we switched to the Combat Shotgun Course, "that kid from Vermont" kicked everyone's azz 😂
 

Mustangs Rule

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Feb 4, 2021
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I wonder how many thousands of rounds I ran through our issued 4" S&W Model 19s and then the 586s on the range. We would run shooting drills all day with .38 wadcutters. Then in the late afternoon, we would fired a qualifying course with .357 Mag (two days in the spring and two days in the fall). It wasn't uncommon to get lead spray from the guy shooting next to you ! The lead build up in those barrels from those chitty wadcutters, would be blown out from the .357 Mag loads ! Night qualification was interesting. After the first round of .357, that huge fireball/flash would ruin any night vision you started out with. I attended a firearms instructors school taught by FBI instructors just outside New York City. There were officers from all over the US there. Most were hardcore PPC shooters. I never was a great handgun shooter, but I learned a lot from those guys. However, when we switched to the Combat Shotgun Course, "that kid from Vermont" kicked everyone's azz 😂
Very cool post. Thank You, I have two model 13's, both 4 " barrel. Never really fired many full house .357's through but I shot one loose with many many thousands of rounds light lead loads. It spits lead sideways.

I had a 3" model 13 too, but it really kicked with .357's so i sold it. One day at a big gunstore in the city there had a box of FBI black leather holsters for the K frame Smiths that were standard issue for the FBI back then. They were $2 each. I bought a bunch of them.

Great rig, Model 13 and matching FBI holster.

I lived in a state where concealed permit holders had a real serious qualification test every two years. I used my "FBI" rig.

Peolple would just stare at my targets with the X rings just shot out shooting DA. I could never do that with any semi auto even my tricked out Colt Delta Elite 10mm.

When I shoot pistol now I use a 4" Smith Model 15 Combat Masterpiece. Whrn I conceal carry I use a Model 60 Smith
 

Don Fischer

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Jun 27, 2017
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2,142
Without doubt th K 22 combat masterpiece is one of the greatest handguns ever made. Does yours have a 4 inch barrel? I had one in a 6 inch barrel. That is why I sold it. 4 inch is my limit.

There is no better revolver for mastering DA shooting. Once you experience a certain level of skill DA shooting you will be hooked
It's a 6" barrel. Years ago I had a colt Diamond back in 22LR with a 4" barrel and really liked it. But seem's to me I do shoot 6" barrels better. That S&W is really one nice little gun though. One problem for me with it is I like to carry it catfishing and use it to put cats down right away. Just to big but lacking it all I have is a 1917 Savage in 32 short and really don't want to spend time retrieving MTY's after firing. That little Diamond back with the shorter barrel would be nice to have right now.

About DA shooting, when I lived in Colorado I found a DA S&W worked over by a gunsmith as a competition gun. Hammer was bobbed, main spring changed and a bumper behind the trigger stopped the trigger pull right there and then just a very little more pull and it fired. wish I'd have had the money back then. Boy was that nice. best DA trigger other than that I ever fired was a Dam Wesson 15vh6. Really nice gun!
 
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