High Power (Browning and clones) trigger

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by LDBennett, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    I recently bought a Charles Daly High Power clone. It uses an American made frame and slide with FEG internals (it says here somewhere). The gun is actually pretty nice. But the trigger was typical Browning High Power bad: lots of gritty creep. I studied the design and determine that the magazine safety had to be part of the 7 lb trigger pull as it took about 3 lbs of creep to get to a fairly nice crisp letoff. The magazine safety is a foot that touches the inserted magazine. If the mag is not there it disallows the trigger to move the sear through some linkage in the slide. It is a unique design in that the slide must be in battery and the magazine inserted in order for the trigger pull to be traslated from a verical link on the trigger through a lever arm in the slide and back down to the sear in the frame. Anyway, during the trigger pull the trigger foot must slide vertically on the magazine surface. That is the grittyness. Polishing both the foot and the magazine surface makes the creep a lot smoother but the creep is of course still there by design.

    I order a new "target trigger" from Brownells. It has a wider surface for your finger, is hard chromed and has no provision for the magazine safety (using it disables the magazine safety feature, which is fine with me as few of my other guns have that feature).

    I removed the old trigger and determind that the magazine safety feature could be disabled by removing one visable pin on the trigger itself with the gun fully assembled and allowing the foot and its spring to fall out of the magazine well. But I had the new trigger so I put it in. Boy what a difference. It turns out that Charles Daly had done an excellent fitting job of the sear to the hammer and all the creep was in the magazine safety. The pull is about 4 lbs then the break is creepless and crisp. No extra work is even necessary! In fact the pull is denfense gun perfect (it is not what I call a target trigger because the pull is 4 lbs not 2.5 lbs but it sure is nice and crisp). It is two stage (virtually no resitance in the first stage): light pull up to the real 4 lb tigger pull and a crisp letoff that comes as a surprise.

    Perhaps others here might want to investigate removal of the magazine safety on these High Powers and their clones. The Brownells trigger is pricey and I'd bet totally unnecessary, but remember that this modification REMOVES the magazine safety and gun handling should be modified to accomodate that.

  2. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2001
    Here at TFF
    Thanks for the info. Now, how about a range report. I've had my eye an a CD Hi-Power for a while and inquiring minds want to know. :D

  3. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    I've heard good things about the CD clones, except for slide/rail wear. Apparently some have experienced premature wear in that area.

  4. 45Smashemflat

    45Smashemflat Active Member

    Oct 6, 2003
    Sounds like good work. One caution, if that is a carry piece you put yourself at some liability due to "disabling a safety." (I know, I know, but we do live in a hugely litigeous country these days...)

    I've been wanting to play with a trigger for my Ruger - was your Browning work difficult?
  5. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    I have some twenty handguns and on almost all I have done some degree of trigger work. The Browning clone (CD) was easier than most but the magazine safety has to removed before the trigger assembly can be removed from the frame. I have all the right tools to do the work so it is no big deal for me. This gun was easy. A Ruger: I have not done any Ruger other than the Ruger MK II 22. For that I used a jig to reshape the trigger/sear surfaces. Today you can buy drop in trigger kits from people like Volquartsen. Still some of these handguns require tricky techniques to take them apart and put them back together. I have had to make assembly pins (short pins to hold parts together while being installed into frame) for some of these guns. Every gun is different. It takes mechanical skills and help from a manual, sometimes.

    On this gun knocking out a single little pin moved the trigger from a heavy creepy lawyer safe trigger to an absolutely excellent trigger. Not all guns are anywhere near as easy!

    I don't carry this gun or any other gun so liability is not a problem. Having a trigger than is light and crisp is most important for maximum enjoyment at the range. My defense gun for home is an un-molested Sig 225.

  6. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    Range report:

    Trigger problem!

    It seems that the "gunsmithing required" along side the Target trigger in the Brownells catalog is there for a reason. The overtravel on the Target trigger has to be controlled or the link, from the trigger up to the slide, will get caught between the breech and the slide when the trigger is pulled and the slide travels back and forth: the link moves too high. The pad on the Target trigger is not deep enough to control it and the trigger grossly overtravels.

    I solved the problem by installing an overtravel adjustment allen head 4-40 (nylock self locking threads) just above the trigger so that the overtravel pad of the new trigger would have something to stop against. I was then able to limit the overtravel and the link travel so that the link no longer got caught in between the breech and the slide. The adjustment range is very wide and not critical just as long as you keep the protrusion by the link just high enough to not hit the top of the cutout in the slide.

    I think all of this could be avoided if the original trigger was retained and just the magazine safety removed. I did not verify this as the overtravel adjustment makes the trigger even better yet: light pull to a stop, load trigger, trigger breaks and stops where it breaks. A very confidence inspiring trigger!

    Along the way I noted that the barrel crowning seemed a little crude so I recrowned the barrel using the ball crowning tool from Brownells and valve griding paste (600 grit). It cleaned up great but the point of impact was changed and required a rear sight adjustment with the provided allen wrench. That tells me that the barrel crown was screwed up!

    While it may seem that I have done a lot of fooling around with a new gun, please be aware that I do this to all my guns. I try to make them all as good as they can be. The Charles Daly actually shot well, feed ammo great, and had no real problems that the average guy/gal would have objected to. I just like more than that.

    It shoots groups as well as any other defense gun, no better, no worse. The feel in my hand is good but the "commander style" hammer will bite you if you creep up on the grip. Normal free handed shooting is no problem but shooting off sand bags on a low table puts the hand near harms way. The sights, while may be great for combat shooting man targets, is tough to use on bullseye targets. I may change the sights to adjustable ones but I have found that by choosing the correct target, large black target center out to 7 ring-single target on 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper, the sights become adequate for target shooting. In general I like this gun!

    Last edited: Feb 27, 2005
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