RotoMetals2Inline FabricationRepackboxWideners
Titan ReloadingLee PrecisionMidSouth Shooters Supply

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 31

Thread: The truth about triggers

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

    Hickok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    High mountains of WV
    Posts
    2,620

    The truth about triggers

    Over a lifetime of shooting, I have tuned, stoned, polished, adjusted and replaced triggers on many of my rifles and handguns.

    Slowly over time I have come to some conclusions on the subject of triggers. FIRST, I am NOT speaking of gritty, sloppy, outrageous pull, or unpredictable triggers.

    On the range shooting at targets for groups, the nice, clean, low poundage adjustable triggers are great. Same thing for long range varmint shooting.

    But I find when hunting big game, (Deer, bear, hogs, whatever you want to call it), I seldom need or have to have a "target tuned low poundage trigger."

    I really started to notice this with AR15's, AR10's and M1A's. A good two-stage trigger will get the job done, and is safer to use when hands are cold, you are breathing hard, or are shooting from an odd body position. I grew up using Mausers and Springfield's with military two stage triggers, and adapted and learned how to shoot well with them.

    Another case in point is Glocks, love them or hate them, after I owned and used Glocks, the trigger became "familiar" and I was able to get very good groups and could feel confident it hitting with them.

    In fact, I have an M1A National Match that has a factory dialed-in trigger that I really have to concentrate on because it is really "light" to me. Wonderful trigger off sandbags shooting at the range.

    My point is, I can get used to, become familiar with, and shoot well with any fairly good trigger, as long as it is "repeatable" consistent, and smooth.

    Super tuned, light pull, and quick let-off, target type triggers aren't needed when hunting, for self defense, or for general all around use.

    And yes, I have had the replacement triggers in some rifles that adjust down to 2 to 2 1/2 pounds with no creep and quick let-off. And I have taken deer at long range as well as varmints.

    Just saying, a good shooter doesn't have to have a "hair trigger" on every gun to make boolits/bullets goes where the sights point.
    Maker of Silver Boolits for Werewolf hunting.

    WWG1WGA!

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    10,280
    On my number 1 used for hunting (300 win mag) I adjusted the trigger up to 4 3/4 lbs from the factory 3 lbs for better control when hands were wet and or cold. Don't see much difference in the accuracy but being a NRA high power shooter 4 1/2 lbs is what Im used to. A heavy pull isn't as big an issue as the grit creep and uneven breaks are. A good 2 stage trigger is a pleasure to use and can be very accurate overall. I like them a lot MyARs and model 70 match rifle are set up with them.

    I have one glock here and just cant get used to the trigger pull on its sponginess I shoot it okay but the trigger just isn't what Im used to.

    A trigger that's crisp clean and breaks the same every time is more important than actual weight

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    5,298
    With the exception of really horrible triggers, the trigger usually isn't the factor between decent accuracy and great accuracy.

    I've seen countless gun store commandos pick up a gun, dry fire it and pronounce that the gun "must be accurate" because the trigger was "good". 99 percent of those morons don't have a clue what a "good" trigger is. And even if they did know what a "good" trigger is, the trigger is NOT what makes the gun accurate. A good trigger simply allows a skilled shooter to extract the maximum accuracy from an already accurate gun.
    The goal of a clean trigger is to prevent the shooter from disturbing the sight alignment during the trigger pull. The trigger itself doesn't make the gun any more or less accurate unless the trigger is so bad that the shooter can't get the shot off without moving the gun.

    I would far rather have a smooth trigger than breaks cleanly than an extremely light one. That applies to both DA and SA triggers.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy BigAlofPa.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Shamokin/Coal twp Pa.
    Posts
    453
    My Mosin the trigger weight is over 8 lbs. My gauge goes to 8. But i have learned where the break point is. I swear it makes it own sound right before the the break too.
    One round at a time.
    Member of Valley Gun & Country Club. Elysburg Pa.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    The Republic of Texas
    Posts
    736
    I've got a Rem 700 that I built up and it has a aftermarket trigger I adjusted to 3 lb.
    I didn't want it heavy for use on the bench,
    and I didn't want it so light that I had a accidental discharge if a breeze came up.

    All the other stuff, I just leave them alone and try to practice enough to get used to them.
    I figure its like flying a plane, or riding a motorcycle:
    The more you do it, the better you get.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
    However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.

    Be ready to list all your aches, pains, ailments, and delicate conditions
    whenever some one says, "All ya gotta do,,,,,,,,,,".

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Rick Hodges's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Taylor, Michigan
    Posts
    1,223
    For me a crisp trigger of 3-3 1/2 lbs. is perfect on a hunting rifle.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    lefty o's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,897
    there is a time and place for everything, and somethings are not for everyone. im content with a crisp #3-3.5 on a hunting rifle. for varmints and target work, general #1-1.5. for strictly bench work i have some at 8 ounces. none of these are a hair trigger, i can bounce every single gun on its butt hard and it will not fire on its own. if your not safe with a lighter trigger, dont use one. some people shouldnt drive fast cars, some shouldnt ride bikes, and some cant handle walking and chewing gum at the same time. not that anyone said it, but just because something doesnt work for you, dont prescribe what works for others.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    10,280
    I have light triggers where they are a benefit. Small bore match rifles not to be used in the field are around 1lb. My bpcr rifles are almost all set triggers ( one of the best of both worlds for multiple uses). For field use a 4-4 1/2 lb trigger That breaks crisp and cleanly. A 2 stage trigger set up can be staged holding the first half of the weight and adding the last when ready again a plus. I find on a lot of firearms ( especially military) lighting strikers changing springs and shortening the travel to speed lock time up does more for accuracy than most trigger jobs alone do. On the Garand and M1A/M14 a popular mod was t mill out the excess from the hammer lightening it and adding a heavier spring. This greatly reduced the lock time. On bolt actions a titanium firing pin and heavier spring with shortened travel would reduce lock time a lot. This can make a big difference more so tan the trigger job and light trigger.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master



    M-Tecs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    5,264
    The better you become as a shooter the less important trigger weight becomes. Accurate shooting requires consistency. The best example I can think of is double action pistols. I used to shoot with three National Champion PPC shooters. What they could do at 50 yards offhand double action was incredible.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy


    Butler Ford's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    South central Kentucky
    Posts
    372
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hodges View Post
    For me a crisp trigger of 3-3 1/2 lbs. is perfect on a hunting rifle.

    Yup! Agree completely!


    BF
    "The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men."--Plato

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


    Walks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    1,285
    I can deal with just about any trigger, given a bit of practice.
    My Family Rifle is a M1917 converted to Factory length 117gr RN in .257Rob'ts. It has a 5lb trigger, and it breaks CLEAN with no overtravel and little take up. The same for my old 94 Trapper from 1991, one of the last WINCHESTER'S made.

    All my bolt guns break clean at 3-3 1/2 lbs. The same for my S&W, Colt's & Rugers handguns.

    Except for one. My 1974 NM Blackhawk 6 1/2" in .357Mag. It's been shot so many times the action is as smooth as a baby's bottom.
    But it doesn't break clean, it's not what I would call mushy, but rather soft. And I know just when It's going to break. I should, after 40,000 rds of #358156 over max charge in .357Mag case. It's even got gas cutting on the top of the B/C gap. I installed a spring kit a couple years after I got it.
    Still shoots as good as the day I bought it.

    Have a 1873 Uberti Rifle in .44WCF, been Cowboy Shooting that gun for 30+yrs. Figure close to 40,000rds too. Soft trigger too. But I can't remember the last time I missed a target with it.

    It's not necessarily the trigger break, it's KNOWING the trigger.
    I HATE auto-correct


    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    barry s wales uk
    Posts
    1,699
    My 686 had a 10 lb trigger double action but it was very smooth and predictable never shot it single action in ppc comps but for rifles I prefer 2-3 lb 2 stage triggers like to take up the slack as I squeeze .but I don't like over travel though .smooth is the key.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    1,589
    I've been saying this for years. I've set some records shooting long range silhouette with stock triggers. As long as a trigger isn't "horrible", a good shooter won't see much difference between a decent trigger or a great one. Almost all of my hunting guns are right around 3 lbs with fairly crisp triggers. Still, about 95% of all shooters are convinced they need the proverbial "hair trigger" to shoot like a pro. I actually sent two guns back that I'd ordered because the triggers were way too light for what I wanted the gun for. Both were High Walls with triggers under six ounces as set. For hunting that's just something I didn't want or need.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    4,099
    My triggers vary from the world's worst on a BLR to about 3 oz on a 40X-BR Remington.
    Both triggers are poor for use in the field. 15 years of shooting pump and autoloading shotguns in skeet made me a better field shot even though shotgun triggers are not the best. My rifle triggers are set to 3.5 lbs when adjustable. Otherwise I don't mess with triggers much. A lot of shooting helps you learn how to control them.
    EDG

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Posts
    385
    Normally it doesn't take me too long to get used to a trigger. However, buddy of mine has a ZEV modified Glock with a 1.5# trigger. Good crisp trigger but scares the begeusus out of me. I couldn't get used to it in an afternoon. At the other end of the spectrum I looked at some police trade in Glocks. One had a New York1 trigger and the other NY2. They both sucked. The pull was so heavy that when they did release I was slamming my finger into the over travel stop and jerking the sights off target. If you know me, you would know grip strength is not an issue with me. It's just that I had so much pressure on the trigger that when it released everything moved. Replaced a factory Glock trigger with a Lone Wolf 3.5# disconnector and it's like day and night.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Switzerland of Ohio
    Posts
    3,002
    Quote Originally Posted by hickok View Post
    just saying, a good shooter doesn't have to have a "hair trigger" on every gun to make boolits/bullets goes where the sights point.
    amen!!
    flectere si nequeo superos, acheronta movebo

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Cecilia, Kentucky
    Posts
    2,392
    I prefer a trigger pull weight of 4-5 pounds. I don't mind creep long as it's smooth. Got my 1911 trigger at 5 pounds and clean.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master






    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    munising Michigan
    Posts
    14,835
    I find it just the opposite. When im on a bench with all the time in the world and no pressure I can deal with a crappy trigger with some concentration. In the hunting field not so much. Most rests are as rock steady as my bench and you don't always have the time to really concentrate on your trigger pull. With the gun moving around a bit more, your heart beating I want my trigger to break right at the exact second the crosshairs are where I want them. Poundage isn't as important as a clean crisp no travel break. A good crisp 5lb trigger is much better then a 3lb trigger with creep and mush. One thing I can say without reservation is ive never improved a trigger and shot worse afterward. In a perfect world every handgun and rifle I used would have a 2.5lb trigger that broke like glass with no creep or overtravel. 2.5 is plenty heavy enough that unless you get buck fever are ever going to shoot before you want to. Guess it comes down to how you hunt too. If im handgun hunting out of a bow scaffold or rifle hunting in a swamp where a 50 yard shot is a long one I could still kill with a 10lb trigger. But shoot a deer while leaning up against a tree with a handgun at a 100 yards. Or shoot deer out of your stand at 400 yards with a rifle and good luck with that 5-7 lb factory trigger. If lighter didn't mean more accurate why would any comp shooter worry about how good his trigger is.
    Last edited by Lloyd Smale; 04-24-2019 at 07:40 AM.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

    MrWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    NE West Virginia
    Posts
    2,022
    I agree with Walks. It is knowing the trigger. Was teaching my nieces to shoot the other day and we were trying out quite a few pistols, etc. It took a few shots to remember the trigger pull on each one which was slightly different.

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    7,574
    Mr Hickok, you got me wondering so I just tested several rifles here with a spring loaded recording RCBS trigger pull gauge. I’ve worked on all these except the Topper and the lever actions.
    Marlin 36G and Winchester 94-4.25#
    H&R Topper stub 44-40-7#
    Tikka T3 22-250&25-06-2#
    Savage 110 pre AccTrig-3.5#
    Stevens 200 non AccTrig-3.25#
    Sako/Browning-2.25#
    AR15 .300 BO-4.75#
    FN Police Sniper-1.75#
    The FN came with the trigger set and epoxied at 8# from the factory!
    As many have stated, pull weight can be all over the place and you can still shoot well if you learn that particular trigger. The little Topper and the AR can be challenging from the bench but in hunting situations/ field positions they are fine. I seldom hunt in brutal cold so these light pulls are no problem here. Sorry for the long windyness and thanks for the distraction.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check