Last month I was customizing a PPC revolver for a customer when I discovered the mythical floating hand.  The gun was a 686-1 in .357 magnum.  It was the perfect candidate for a PPC gun.  If you are not familiar with PPC, they are competitions that were originally designed for Law Enforcement officers.  They are great tests of accuracy with the handgun.

In the initial bench tests of the 686-1 that was sent to me, I was encouraged that we had a good gun that could be tuned for PPC.  However, when I removed the side plate, I found something that I had heard about, but not seen; the floating hand.

This image from the S&W forums shows the differences in the two hand styles.

Smith introduced these in some of their models during the mid 1980’s.  The thought may have been to save time in assembly and fitting.  Thankfully the changes did not last.  Within about 3 years the original hands were back.

The biggest drawback to the floating hand for my purposes was that it did not allow for a consistent trigger pull.  It was simply too sloppy.  When trying to achieve a consistent pull you need things to be the same every time.  The problem of the floating hand was remedied by installing and fitting an oversize hand and the trigger pull was greatly improved.  While it is not detrimental to someone just plinking around, it would not have allowed me to achieve a desirable trigger pull.