Levergunner 2.0


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Posted - 07/13/2006 :  12:23:12 AM  Show Profile  Email Poster  Edit Topic  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Topic

This is a pretty long post, but I thought it might interest some folks here...

In my last post about my new Taurus 62LA .22, I refinished the wood and installed new sights, but I felt the trigger was OK as it had a crisp 3 lb. pull, so I didn't mess with it.
I competed in my first ever .22 levergun silhouette match last weekend and found that I really needed a much lighter trigger for match shooting. I was concentrating more on trigger squeeze than on my sighting, and I missed nearly half the targets.
Here's the method I used for lightening the trigger:
First disassemble the two halves of the gun using the take-down screw. Remove the screw from the upper tang and remove the buttstock (this is a very tight-fitting inlet, and may require tapping the wood rearward with a soft mallet). The remaining action components look like this:

Cock the hammer and the hammer strut will protrude from the back of the coil mainspring seat, exposing a tiny hole in the strut. Put a paper clip through this hole and while holding the hammer with a thumb, pull the trigger and ease the hammer down. The spring tension is now held by the paper clip.

There is a bushing that attaches the carrier assembly and hammer to the trigger guard assembly. This bushing is larger on the right side than the left, so it can only be pushed out from left to right. It's not a tight fit, so a punch or screwdriver will remove it. Here the bushing is pushed about half way out:

Once the bushing is removed the carrier assembly and hammer can be seperated from the frame assembly like this:

The hammer sear notch is what we are after. There are two notches cut into the radius of the hammer. The larger one is the half-cock notch and doesn't require any attention. The smaller notch is the trigger sear notch and the trigger must overcome the depth of this notch to release the hammer. The deeper the notch, the heavier the trigger pull required, so the trick is to CAREFULLY stone down the notch, making it more shallow without altering the sear angle. This pic was taken after the stoning & polishing:

If a lot of stoning is required, use a coarser stone to start and go to progressivly finer stones to finish. Don't take too much metal off or the hammer will not stay cocked. It's better to take small amounts and have to disassemble and reassemble the gun several times than to ruin the hammer by over-stoning the notch. (Don't ask how I know this).
A final polish using a Dremel tool with a cotton buffing wheel and buffing compound will give a mirror smooth finish. For the stoning, I use a set of Lansky brand knife sharpening stones. There are several grades and they are each mounted on a good plastic handle.

Once the hammer's sear notch has been stoned and polished, set it aside. Remember that paper clip retaining the main coil spring? It's time to carefully pull it out of the little hole, being sure to control the hammer strut and coil spring so they don't fly away. Now cut one-and-a-half or two coils off the spring (a cut-off wheel in the Dremel tool works great for this). This is the strut and cut spring:

Polish off any roughness on the strut rod, paying particular attention to the end which contacts the hammer. Clean it and give it a coat of good quality grease. Now put the coil spring back over the strut rod and using a pair of needle nose pliers, reinstall the strut through the hole in the main spring seat and re-insert the paper clip to once again capture the mainspring.
Clean and grease the bushing, hammer, and carrier surfaces where they contact each other and reassemble the components. Reassemble the buttstock and gun halves. I got lucky and wound up with a very nice 1 1/4 lb. trigger pull on the first try. Usually I have to take a gun apart at least 3 times to get the pull I want!
Other Taurus and Rossi .22's of similar action may require slightly different procedures. My Rossi Model 62 had a retaining pin that captured the take-down screw and this had to be removed to remove the screw. Also the hammer strut rod was round and much more difficult to retain and reinstall. And the tiny trigger return spring was difficult to keep in place. The Taurus Lever Action did not give me any of these troubles.
Well, that's about it. If you read this far, I hope the post was worthy of your time. I best do better at my next silhouette match because now I can't blame anything about the gun!

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Howdy from Shasta County, California