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Trigger Pull

Trigger Pull

When talk of triggers arise, everyone always says light is best. This is true whether the discussion is about rifles or handguns. You have to have a light trigger pull for accuracy.

Personally, I’ve always preferred smooth. I would rather have a smooth pull with very little take up that breaks cleanly every time than one that is just light, as I’ve found that smooth and crisp usually makes the trigger feel much lighter anyway. Sure the whole world can be found in some triggers, but how much difference does that really make?

Now that is not to say that I want a heavy trigger pull. It’s just that I have found that in most cases a firearm can outshoot the shooter, and that a 1 to 2 pound reduction in trigger pull is not going to make that much of a difference in most shooters’ groups. There is even a point where the trigger pull can be reduced beyond a shooter’s ability, making it a safety hazard.

I once was doing some fact checking for an article that listed a trigger pull on a rifle in ounces. I thought it was a typo; it wasn’t. A small custom riflemaker had lowered its trigger to a mere 3 ounces. My first thought was: “Wow! That is a light trigger.” My second thought was: “I wouldn’t want that trigger on any gun I owned.” It was just too light, and I still don’t believe I’m good enough for a trigger of that degree to make a difference. In fact, I believe that it would only probably cause me problems.

Extremely light triggers can be even more trouble in self-defense handguns. Speed is crucial in defensive situations, and even though the finger should remain the trigger until the sights are on target, a trigger pull that is too light could possibly depress as the finger enters the guard, causing a miss at a critical time.

I like a good trigger, but to me a smooth trigger is a good trigger. My Kimber registers at just under 6 pounds, while my AR, with a drop-in Timney trigger, pops the gauge at 4 pounds even. My favorite deer rifle was a Remington 700 in .30-06 Sprg. on which I strapped into an H-S Precision stock. With good ammo, that gun could produce 3/4-inch groups all day, every day, and I once used it to take a deer at 325 yards without a rest. Its trigger was smooth and crisp with almost no slack in the take up, and it registered at an even 6 pounds.

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