Sunday, October 18, 2009

Singin' the Single-Action, Double-Action Boogie Woogie

What's better than a great single-action trigger? Only a great double-action trigger, and I have found both and experienced both in a single day.

After my concealed-carry class yesterday, I got my first chance to take my two newest-to-me handguns for a test run and both passed with flying colors. As if they wouldn't. But you never really know how sweet a handgun really is until you shoot it. At left is my new-to-me Smith & Wesson 65-3, a stainless-steel double-action .357 Magnum with 3" barrel, and at right is my new-to-me Para Ordnance 12-45, a 3.5" barrel 1911 .45 ACP semi-auto with a single-action trigger to die for.

The gentleman who sold us the used Para Ord has sent it off to Cylinder & Slide for a trigger job and who knows what else. It has ambi safeties for one, which I'm pretty sure a stock Para 12-45 doesn't have, but the P 12-45 is discontinued, so I can't look it up on the Para Ord website.

It certainly passed the live fire test with the toughest drill I could conjure up. I loaded one of it's 12-rd. mags with a mixture of four different JHPs, two different Winchester 230-grain loads, a Federal 180-grain HydraShok load and some Remington Golden Saber 230-grainers.

The Para Ord munched through that mixed bag like it was its regular diet without a single hiccup. And the single-action trigger can't be more than 3 lbs. or so, but my Lyman Digital Trigger Gauge went tango-uniform some time ago, so I just have to guess about the weight.

And the great double-action trigger? I would have said before I first held the S&W 65-3 there is no way I would ever pull a DA trigger better than the S&W 14-3 K-38 Target Masterpiece .38 Special I purchased from the shop a while back. And then I pulled the 65-3 trigger.

The guy who sold it to us said he sent it to the S&W Performance Center for a trigger job and I believe it. This trigger is so smooth you fall off your chair when you pull it. Add to that a set of finger-groove combat grips that fit my hand like a glove and it was love at first trigger pull.

For you non-Smith lovers, the 65-3 is a stainless version of the S&W Model 13, a blue-steel beefed-up Model 10 K-Frame. Any Smith revolver starting with a 6 is stainless steel. The 65-3 with it's heavy barrel is the 357 Magnum version of the Model 10 .38 Special, the original Military & Police revolver carried by lawmen for nigh unto seven or eight decades.

And this particular Smith 65-3 with 3" barrel is the first such barrel length I've ever shot and I gotta say, three inches is just right for balance and point shooting. The fixed sights are dead on with a Duke's mixture of .357 Magnums and .38 Special +P loads I tried in it, four total.

I'm in love again and this time it's with a great single-action trigger and a great double-action one. For a gun nut like me, it just hardly don't get no better than this.

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