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Ruger Security Six - How to improve DA trigger?

This is a discussion on Ruger Security Six - How to improve DA trigger? within the Ruger Double Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; So I’m the happy new owner of a vintage 1976 Ruger Security six, and my only complaint about the revolver is that the DA trigger ...


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Unread March 23rd, 2020, 05:35 PM   #1
 
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So I’m the happy new owner of a vintage 1976 Ruger Security six, and my only complaint about the revolver is that the DA trigger pull is not so great. By comparison, the DA trigger on my gp100 match champion is quite a bit better. Ive tried polishing the hammer strut as well as the recess in the hammer where the strut sits, ive shimmed the hammer, hammer dog and cylinder, and I’ve also cleaned and lubed the gun.
Let me try to describe the trigger pull: when you first begin pulling the trigger, it is very heavy until immediately after the cylinder rotates and locks, and then it becomes very light. This makes it difficult to stage the trigger, or to pull if slowly and deliberately. By comparison, my gp100 trigger is about as light as the last 1/4” of the Security Six trigger pull, but is completely smooth throughout.
I also did the following test: first I removed the mainspring and hammer and tested the trigger this way (so that it’s only job was to rotate the cylinder), and I found it to be perfectly smooth and even. Then, I replaced the mainspring, swung the cylinder open, and tested the DA trigger this way, and I found the trigger to be just as uneven as it is when live firing. I think this test proves that the un-even-ness of the trigger has nothing to do with the cylinder, cylinder star, hand, or any of those parts, and is entirely related to the way that the hammer engages with the mainspring strut.
So: is there anything else I can do to improve the DA trigger? Or is this just inherent to the design of the gun? I could definitely get used to it and probably learn to master it, but I’d really prefer to get it to the point that my GP100 is at!



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Unread Yesterday, 06:14 AM   #2
 
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Question, is the hammer spring factory? I would suggest removing any burrs on the hammer strut and polishing it. Replace the hammer spring with a Wolff 16 lb (factory) spring. If that does not improve the pull, try the 14 lb spring. This spring may cause misfires when hard primers are used in your ammo. Other than that, I would get a copy of Jerry Kuhnhaussen “Ruger Revolvers Shop Manual Vol. 1”. There is a lot of good info in it.
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Unread Yesterday, 06:34 AM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pine_Worker View Post
Question, is the hammer spring factory? I would suggest removing any burrs on the hammer strut and polishing it. Replace the hammer spring with a Wolff 16 lb (factory) spring. If that does not improve the pull, try the 14 lb spring. This spring may cause misfires when hard primers are used in your ammo. Other than that, I would get a copy of Jerry Kuhnhaussen “Ruger Revolvers Shop Manual Vol. 1”. There is a lot of good info in it.
I’m not sure whether the mainspring is factory or not, but I assume it is. I’ll order some Wolff springs today. When you talk about de-burring the hammer strut, do you mean the area underneath the spring as well, or just the rounded tip that engages with the hammer? I’ve already polished the tip, but I haven’t looked underneath the spring.
Also: I read on another forum that you can use GP100 main springs in a security six, but you just use a lighter spring, since the GP100 springs are longer and so end out more compressed. The suggestion was to use a 10 or 11 pound Wolff GP100 spring. I might try this since I happen to have several Wolff Gp100 springs lying around.
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Unread Yesterday, 06:57 AM   #4
 
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Wolff offers BOTH a reduced weight trigger return spring and a 14 lb mainspring (stock is 16). I had a Speed Six that I put this into and the trigger pull was not reduced much. I then tried the GP/SP mainspring and it worked reducing the trigger pull substantially ( used a 9 lb one).

What you described seems to suggest something else such as the mainspring kinking and binding. Have you watched the mainspring and strut with the grips off to see if anything out of the ordinary is occuring? The strut should be polished not only on the tip but the part that fits inside the mainspring and goes through the spring seat along with the slot in the seat.

Last edited by Rover; Yesterday at 06:59 AM.
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Unread Yesterday, 08:03 AM   #5
 
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You can try the mcarbo spring and shim kit. Good instructional video on polishing. It may help you out. Of course the more you shoot it the better it will get.

https://www.mcarbo.com/ruger-sp101-/...pring-kit.aspx


https://youtu.be/txbCmzM4v6A

Last edited by silverback13; Yesterday at 08:09 AM.
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Unread Yesterday, 08:18 AM   #6
 
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The hammer strut is a stamped part. During stamping, the edges of one side of the strut will be smooth and the other side will have a sharp edge. It is the sharp edge that may have burrs present and needs smoothing. This is the part of the strut that goes inside the hammer spring. I did this to my SP101 and it smoothed and lightened the pull considerably.
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Unread Yesterday, 08:24 AM   #7
 
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Shoot it. A LOT. That always helps my revolver triggers smooth out over time. I use to mess with springs and polishing up internals and stopped doing so after having those same revolvers show issues with light strikes.
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Unread Yesterday, 09:54 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RevolverGuy View Post
Shoot it. A LOT. That always helps my revolver triggers smooth out over time. I use to mess with springs and polishing up internals and stopped doing so after having those same revolvers show issues with light strikes.
I like to shoot new/new to me guns with a few hundred rounds, then disassemble them and examine the wear patterns and friction points. I then use fine stones, #600 wet/dry paper, and compounded felts on a rotary tool to polish and burnish those surfaces, including passages/tunnels/struts for coil springs. For Ruger DA revolvers, I like a slightly less than stock # mainspring and trigger spring. I do find that the SP101 generally doesn't do well with a super-light trigger spring. If one has issues with "light strikes" after a mainspring change, go up a bit with a heavier spring and test fire.

For me, I want that nice smooth action early on and not a few thousand rounds later.
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Unread Yesterday, 10:30 AM   #9
 
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If you have not tried it dry fire the gun 3000 or so times that smoothes out many evolver triggers and will not hurt the ruger.
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Unread Yesterday, 11:05 AM   #10
 
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So I’ve probably dry fired it 300 times since doing the work (one of the benefits of working from home is that I get tons of trigger time!). Just to reiterate: the only work I’ve done was shimming they cylinder, hammer and hammer dog, polishing the mainspring strut head and mating surfaces on the hammer, plus careful cleaning and lubing. It really seems like the trigger has greatly improved over those 300 dry fires! I’m now able to pull directly through the DA stroke with little/no sight movement, and I’m also able to stage the trigger without any difficulty. I’m not sure if the trigger pull itself is improving or if it’s just me adjusting to it, or a little bit of both. I’ve also noticed that, when I switch to my GP100, the trigger on the GP feels INSANELY light, and controlled dry firing is absolutely effortless! So it seems that practicing with the heavier trigger of the security six is improving my overall trigger control, which is awesome.
Either way: my plan at this point is to polish up the rest of the hammer strut just because that’s low risk and easy to do, but I’m not going to do anything outside of that (except for continuing to dry fire the heck out of it!). I don’t really feel an urge to experiment with lighter springs at this point, but maybe I’ll try that in the future it I feel the need.
Anyway: I’ll send an update when I finally get to shoot some paper with this gun! Hopefully all this dry fire practice will translate to live fire accuracy!
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Unread Today, 08:24 AM   #11
 
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OP Here - So I just noticed something: The DA trigger pull seems to have a definite “hitch” throughout the first half of the pull. This “hitch” starts just as the Pawl engages with the cylinder star, and dissipates quite suddenly when the cylinder is about half way through its rotation. However, what I noticed is that no such hitch is present when I pull the hammer back with my thumb: This resistance is relatively light, smooth and constant throughout, which is interesting because basically the same actions are being performed!
To me, this observation, along with the fact that the “hitch” is present even with the cylinder swung open, seems to indicate that the “hitch” must have something to do with the way that the trigger group is engaging with the hammer. Any advice on some simple, relatively risk free fixes that I could attempt? Should I think about buying a new hammer to see if this improves things? Looks like hammers can be bought for very little $$ on eBay.
By the way: any chance @IOWEGAN is listening? This is usually the point at which he would jump in and say something incredibly smart that answers all my questions at once... ;D
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Unread Today, 10:18 AM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taters613 View Post
OP Here - So I just noticed something: The DA trigger pull seems to have a definite “hitch” throughout the first half of the pull.
I don't think your "Hitch" out of the ordinary. My 1984 SS has always done what you seem to be describing.
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Unread Today, 12:11 PM   #13
 
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During the first approximately half of the trigger travel in double action the trigger is cocking the hammer by having the trigger shelf at the rear push up on the hammer dog. The hammer then transitions to the double action sear. This can be seen in the following video:

Ruger SP-101 Trigger

from the online trigger job guide by Kevin Wilson. When the gun is cocked in single action the hammer dog does not come into play as the nose of the hammer pushes up on the trigger underneath the trigger shelf. So, there are several possible causes. One, the top of the trigger shelf underneath the hammer dog could be rough and need polishing. Second, the bottom of the hammer dog may need polishing. Here one wants to be careful so as to not remove much material or change the contour as this affects the smoothness of the transition from the hammer dog cocking to the double action sear cocking of the hammer. There could also be some impact from the shims on the hammer dog if it does not allow the hammer dog to rotate on its pivot pin freely. Another approach may be to go to Numrich Parts and order a couple of other hammer dogs to see if they cure the problem as perhaps the previous owner changed the contour of the hammer dog.
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Unread Today, 12:31 PM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rover View Post
During the first approximately half of the trigger travel in double action the trigger is cocking the hammer by having the trigger shelf at the rear push up on the hammer dog. The hammer then transitions to the double action sear. This can be seen in the following video:

Ruger SP-101 Trigger

from the online trigger job guide by Kevin Wilson. When the gun is cocked in single action the hammer dog does not come into play as the nose of the hammer pushes up on the trigger underneath the trigger shelf. So, there are several possible causes. One, the top of the trigger shelf underneath the hammer dog could be rough and need polishing. Second, the bottom of the hammer dog may need polishing. Here one wants to be careful so as to not remove much material or change the contour as this affects the smoothness of the transition from the hammer dog cocking to the double action sear cocking of the hammer. There could also be some impact from the shims on the hammer dog if it does not allow the hammer dog to rotate on its pivot pin freely. Another approach may be to go to Numrich Parts and order a couple of other hammer dogs to see if they cure the problem as perhaps the previous owner changed the contour of the hammer dog.
Wow, thanks for the excellent advice, and your analysis makes perfect sense! That video is also incredibly enlightening in terms of actually visualizing the trigger to hammer engagement during a DA trigger pull. I really didn’t have a clear visualization of these mechanics until I watched that video.
I don’t think the hammer dog shims contributed to the problem, since it seems to have stayed the same before and after shin installation. But based on the subjective feeling of this “hitch”, my guess is that the hammer dog is engaging too much, or at the wrong angle, with the top of the trigger shelf during the first half of the pull. I’m almost certain this is the case, because the transition between the “hitch” to the “light and smooth” portion of the trigger pull FEELS like “rolling over a rounded corner”, which might be the rounded corner of the hammer dog. Perhaps the hammer dog isn’t being pushed far enough outwards by the spring, which is causing the leading corner of the hammer dog to jam up against the trigger shelf?
So now I’ve got some follow up questions: 1) Excuse my ignorance, but what does the hammer dog DO during a DA trigger pull? And by that I mean: what is it’s function/purpose? Would it be possible to remove the hammer dog and test the DA trigger pull without it, just as a diagnostic test?
2) If I do go about polishing the tip of the hammer dog and/or the top of the trigger shelf, would it be appropriate to use a dremmel at very low speed with some polishing compound applied to a felt polishing wheel? This is how I polished up the mainspring strut, but it might be too aggressive in this case because these parts have much more critical dimensions. (I’m very new to polishing).

Last edited by taters613; Today at 12:36 PM.
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Unread Today, 01:40 PM   #15
 
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Also, just a thought: From watching the video, it seems that the issue could also be that the DA Sear/SA sear notch area of the hammer is making contact and rubbing against the back side of the recess underneath the trigger shelf. Is that a possibility? The video makes it look like these two surfaces get extremely close to each other about 1/3 to 1/2 way through the trigger pull, which is right around where the “hitch” is at its peak on my revolver.
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