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Thread: 686-6 Mainspring & grip replacement

  1. #1
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    686-6 Mainspring & grip replacement

    My new 686 Plus 3 inch round butt works fine. But the DA is a little heavy.

    I want to lighten the mainspring but leave the trigger return spring alone. I'm just going to step the mainspring to the next lower weight Wolff sells. I haven't checked yet. Reliability is very important of course.

    When I tighten the mainspring tension screw (at the base of the grip) should I put some blue Loc-tite on it?

    Also, the wood grip looks great but is actually awful. Would be good for concealment. But otherwise it lacks texture, doesn't offer any cushion, and the finger grooves couldn't be in a worse place for my hand.

    Any of you have experience with the current Hogue or Pachmeyer rubber offerings?

  2. #2
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    In the olden days we'd cross drill the mainspring tension screw hole and tap it for an allen head setscrew. We'd also recut the threads for the tension screw itself to be neat and thorough about it. Then it was a simple matter to tune the mainspring tension to be reliable and as light as was practical. This was preferable to us when compared to loctite in case we wanted to experiment a bit more. Other options include Wolff reduced power mainsprings: https://www.gunsprings.com/SMITH+&+W...3/mID58/dID264 and I personally have had good luck with rebound springs in the 13-14 lb range. I normally buy rebound spring assortment packs and start at the low end and try each one in normal dry-fire until I get the lightest spring that gives me the trigger return feel that I want. It usually takes 2-3 tries to get exactly what I want. I tend to buy individual springs direct from Wolff instead of others manufacturers "kits", not counting the Wolff rebound spring assortment mentioned earlier of course.

    For grips, have you considered G-10 micarta? VZ has some really decent looking designs. My 686 wears Hogue wood grips, which fit my hand better than their rubber grips do, but mine is a square butt, so there's a significant difference there. For rubber grips I prefer Pachmayr Compacs or Compac Professionals. I tried to look them up, but Lymans website is poorly done and their Pachmayr cataloging is horribly challenging.
    “Detached Reflection Cannot Be Demanded in the Presence of an Uplifted Knife” ~ Brown v. United States (1921)

  3. #3
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    I put Pachmayr Diamond Pro grips on mine. They cover the backstrap so they really soften the recoil in your hand, are comfortable & fit very well.

    Last edited by Delta-3; 05-24-23 at 03:17.

  4. #4
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    I'll look into these grips and get a slightly lighter Wolf mainspring, thanks!

    If I like it I'll put blue Loc-tite on the mainspring screw.

    Perhaps I should replace the lock with a plug while I've got the side plate off.
    Last edited by Ron3; 05-24-23 at 10:33.

  5. #5
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    I'm going to start with the Hogue Bantam grip and if it doesn't work for me will try a Pachmeyr and after that G10, if necessary.

    I really like the Hogue on my LCR and King Cobra.

  6. #6
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    Where is the best place to get the Hillary Hole plug?

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    Last edited by Delta-3; 05-24-23 at 14:01.

  8. #8
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    Thanks

    After further research, I'm not going to replace the mainspring. It's too easy to get light strikes in these S&W's. I'll keep an eye on the tension screw and if there is ever any loosening I'll tighten and loc-tite it.

  9. #9
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    Round butt or Square butt? I've got a set of hogues on a square butt and it's comfortable, you feel something with heavier loads. You can also look at Pachmayer's gripper, presentation and compac. I've had most of the Pachmyers at one point. they are good quality, but I don't care for how they fit my hand.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cd228 View Post
    Round butt or Square butt? I've got a set of hogues on a square butt and it's comfortable, you feel something with heavier loads. You can also look at Pachmayer's gripper, presentation and compac. I've had most of the Pachmyers at one point. they are good quality, but I don't care for how they fit my hand.
    3 in. Round butt.

    With the wood grips, it was only slightly better than the King Cobra. Mild .357 loads were tolerable for a little while and good splits could be achieved at close targets. (.25 - .35 sec.)

    But full strength 158 gr .357's kinda hurt and slow things way down.

    Same as the much smaller KC.

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