What defines a 'good' trigger?

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by hkruss, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. hkruss

    hkruss Active Member

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    Just that! What is it exactly that tells you if you have a good trigger or not? What do you look for?
     
  2. 94z07

    94z07 New Member

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    "Good" is subjective. "Good" is also general.

    So, in general, a good trigger will fire the weapon, be resistant enough to be safe, feel the same each time the trigger is pulled, and won't pull the sights off target when pulled/squeezed.
     

  3. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

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    are you looking to improve a particular trigger on a particular gun?
     
  4. Millwright

    Millwright Well-Known Member

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    While the definition varies somewhat by shooter, here's three of my absolutes.
    1. The trigger must fit the intended use/purpose.

    2. The trigger must be absolutely consistent !

    3. There should be no "grittiness" or "rasping" prior to letoff.

    No 1; no good having a heavy/stagey trigger on a target gun, just as even less desirable to have a "hair trigger" on a brush gun or defensive handgun. Guns meant for adrenaline-charged situations depending upon muscle memory need a firm trigger.

    No2; regardless of pull weight a trigger must perform the same way consistently shot after shot regardless of conditions/positions. Particularly important for a defensive sidearm.

    No.3; This is that vibration or jumping your trigger finger feels. Often your brain reacts by snatching at the trigger when it senses this condition. This is a holdover reflex from ouor simian tree-swinging days, I suspect.

    My ideal trigger is one with consistent takeup and a release like that well-used aphorism, breaking glass. Which means its sudden and unexpected, or anticipatible, (is that a real word ? ), which means it contributes to the shooters' keeping a consistent sight picture, hence accuracy.

    Think on it, if you're unfortunate to own a tgrigger with these faults how many times do you "anticipate" the shot ? It changes your muscle tension, hence recoil response. IOW the "gun" shoots inconsistently. >MW
     
  5. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Millwright has it right. My own perfect trigger would have a little take up, then a crisp break, not to heavy, and defiantly not too light.

    I remember being taught a system to 'learn' trigger pull (press). It was to start adding pressure really slowly and counting as you did, 1001, 1002, 1003 etc. See how far you get, should be able to get to 1005 or 6. Do that lots of times and you start to really get a feel for adding the pressure steadily, but more and more quickly.

    Might be worth a try.
     
  6. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    The "official" definition of the trigger pull, which is at the heart of a "good" trigger, breaks the pull into three stages: pre-travel, let-off, post travel. But all parts of the pull must be smooth and the force required need to match the intended purpose of the gun: light pull level for match and varmint guns and moderate trigger pull levels for the tactical of hunting guns.

    The pretravel can be a light pull level or non-existent. It ends when a sudden increase in pull level is felt.

    The let off should be crisp with minimal felt creep. Creep is really the sear sliding off its engagement with the other trigger parts (the hammer in most guns but not all). The less that engagement, the crisper the trigger but engagement is safety. The slicker those engagement surfaces the less any existing creep will be felt. Creep is the movement of the trigger, after the sudden increase in pull level, before the trigger fires the gun. It matters not how much the trigger actually moves, but what the resulant feel is. No felt creep is best (breaks like a glass rod).

    Over travel is the travel of the trigger after the hammer or striker is release to fire the gun. Over travel is usually adjusted with a screw in the trigger (or in the frame of the gun) to limit the trigger travel in handguns or with screws in the trigger assembly on rifles.

    If a gun has no pre-travel it is said to be a single stage trigger. If it includes a pre-travel stage it is said to be a two stage trigger.

    LDBennett
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2009
  7. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    a good trigger to me is one that is smooth, not gritty. its mostly personal preferance. as long as it is smooth and not extremely heavy. i like enfield triggers. they normally have a lot of movement but are smooth, atleast the ones i have experianced.
     
  8. hkruss

    hkruss Active Member

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    Thanks to all for the info and tips! I hear and see a lot about a gun having a good trigger or crap trigger and just never knew the factors relating to what makes a trigger good or bad. Now I can add another chapter to my relatively small amount of firearms knowledge!!

    And cycloneman, no particular gun. Just trying to educate myself! Thanks, HKR