At least a year or more ago I bought the Jerry Miculek Trigger Job video from Brownells. I don't care how big of a nerd my wife thinks I am, this DVD is worth every penny for anyone who cares about how their Smith &Wesson trigger feels.
I have watched it numerous times, but for one reason or another I just never got around to trying the things Jerry teaches in here. That all changed this afternoon. I also bought a Norton India Stone, which is the crucial tool for this.
This one is 6" x 1/2" x 1/2". It's good when holding it in your hand, but a wider one would be nice if keeping it on the bench and bringing the part to it. Jerry does it both ways and therefor I did it both ways, but this worked fine for a first timer. He explains that the goal is to smooth things out, not remove tons of material. Only a few thousandths of an inch. The first step is obviously disassembling the revolver.
The above picture shows the actual parts and spot I worked on. The video goes into far more detail with things you could do, but honestly the trigger pull on this gun was already better than average and some of the other stuff can ruin a gun if you mess it up so I didn't want to get carried away on my first try. Being that this is stainless steel it's a little more difficult to see the progress of your work than a forged part which really shows up well. Because of that I started with the cylinder stop since it's not stainless.
The two pictures above are of the same cylinder release, before and after, with the doctored part circled in red. The finish came off of the high spots rather nicely. The straight line where it changes from black to silver is a machine mark high spot that I couldn't get to come off. I may give it another go, but I was afraid to get too aggressive with it. It's important to do the sides as well where it rides against the frame.
Next up was the trigger, where mates with the cylinder stop, hammer, and sides.
It's cool to see the shiny spots appear as it means the part is evening out increasing efficiency as it works in the totality of the action. The hammer was next. It's double action only which means only one engagement surface to stone. Jerry advises to steer clear of the single action notch on applicable hammers because it's such a small and easy to destroy surface. Single action is for Hollywood anyhow.
This is a before pic, I forgot to take the after shot. It cleaned up nicely. Last but not least for my project was the rebound slide. The surfaces don't get stressed like the others so you can get kind of aggressive with it.
Once I put it to the stone you could really see the machine marks. The good news is those are below the surface. They look ugly as sin, but won't affect the action, and in theory keep lubrication in them. So the only thing left to do is reassemble.
I like to run revolvers pretty wet, so I judiciously applied oil anywhere metal to metal contact happens. Like I said, it was pretty slick to begin with, but you can definitely tell a difference. There is still a small hitch where the trigger engages the cylinder release at the beginning of the pull, so I may give that another once over tomorrow. I also still have the Apex springs and firing pin installed. They are significantly lighter so I'm going back to the originals and that should be more telling about my work. At any rate I'm not planning to give up my day job to be a revolver 'smith, but it's nice to be able to work on my own stuff.
This type of work translates to any other firearm, not just S&W wheelies. Some tools to help/do this project are: Trigger Job DVD, proper size screwdriver for the side-plate screws, rubber mallet to bump off the side plate, rebound slide tool, India Stone, gun oil, and small file....and plenty of patience!