Introduction: Converting Taurus M380 to Single Action and Installing Lighter Hammer and Trigger Sprrings
I have a Taurus M380 revolver, these 380 ACP are only available with a bobbed hammer (no hammer spur) which means that you cock the hammer by pulling the trigger. This is fine, but as I get older it gets more difficult to pull the trigger and hit the target. There are two "fixes" for this problem, the first is to put in lighter springs on the hammer and trigger return spring. If the springs are too light you adversely effect the reliability of the revolver, causing miss fires. Commercially available spring kits such as springs from Wolff Gunsprings which are model specific and will give the best compromise with reliability and trigger pull. I purchase a set for around $10 which should reduce the trigger pull about 10 to 20 per cent. Also while the parts were out any burrs or rough contact areas were polished with 400 and 600 grit wet dry sandpaper that was wet with light oil and backed by a hard backing (small aluminum bar 1/2x1x4). The second "fix" is to have a hammer spur and fire what is call single action, you use your thumb to pull the hammer to the cocked position and then it only takes a very light trigger pull, which increases accuracy. The next problem is that a spur hammer is not listed on the parts list for a M380. Researching I found the M380 is part of the Ultra Light Series which is built on the model 85 frame parts. I got on ebay and ordered a used hammer and trigger from a 38 special ultra light revolver for about $50. I then watched several videos on youtube on installing the Wolff springs in a model 85 revolver. These were helpful, but none of them had good close up photos of the disassembly, that is the reason for this instructable.
Step 1: Remove the Grips
There is one screw to remove the grips, the grips have to be pried off because a small alignment pin on the frame. Be sure to keep mating parts together in an order that you will remember how to reassemble the parts.
Step 2: Remove the Side Plate
There are three screws holding on the side plate. The two closest to the grips are the same. The screw under the cylinder and above the trigger is unique as it also holds a part that hold the cylinder. I did not remove the part, but kept the hole plugged when moving so the part did not fall out. The cylinder does have to be removed to get the hammer and trigger changed.
Step 3: Removing the Hammer and Trigger Springs
The next step is the remove the hammer. Cock the hammer (with no spur you pull the trigger and then stick you finger or thumb between the hammer and frame and force the hammer to the full cock position) When the hammer is at full cock insert a paper clip in the hole on the grip end of the hammer spring. Allow the hammer to drop and the spring and center pin can be removed, note the center pin is in recesses to capture the pin.
Next the trigger return spring is removed. Pull the trigger and hold in the fire position. There is a hole in the center pin, this hole is smaller than the hammer center pin so a safety pin is used to contain the spring. The center pin has a pin that is anchored in the frame and you may have to push the pin from the opposite side of the frame.
Now the springs are out.
Follow the instructions with the spring kit you have to replace the hammer and trigger springs. Then reinstall the keepers (paper clip and safety pin). Aside for reassembly.
Step 4: Remove Hammer and Trigger
Remove the hammer and trigger, (slight prying may be needed) There is a hand plunger and spring in the trigger that will "shoot" out when the trigger is removed. If you cup your hand around the frame and trigger guard and the parts should land in the palm of your hand. The hand part will also have to be removed.
Step 5: Installing the Replacement Hammer, Hand , and Trigger
The hammer, hand, and trigger were purchased from a 38 special model. (I think all I needed was the hammer, but did not know if the trigger or hand were different between double action only and single/double action).
The replacement parts were installed. The hand plunger and spring were replaced in the trigger.
Any smoothing of parts should be accomplished before reassembly.
Clean any dirty areas and apply light oil to all contact areas.
The hammer and trigger springs are reinstalled. (remember the slots and hole in the frame for alignment)
Step 6: Reinstall the Side Plate and Grips
Reinstall the cylinder. (make sure the part under the side plate screw is in place)
Reinstall the side plate
Reinstall the grips. (remember the alignment pins)
The single action works. The trigger pull for about 1/3 of the double action pull. (do not have a trigger pull gauge)
The double action pull is about 25% less than original and much smoother, the pull is very uniform with no rough spots.
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Please be positive and constructive.