Trigger Discussion- Part Dos

A little Spanish lingo for ya… That is about the limit of my Spanish.

Triggers!  Lets call this, Triggers 201.

In the previous blog, we discussed the proper use and treatment of a trigger.  Specifically, the importance of releasing the firing mechanism, without moving the rest of the firearm.   There are a few mechanical elements which make limiting this movement easier, or more difficult.

First of all, a few definitions.

Length of Pull – this is the distance required to pull the trigger, so the hammer, striker, firing pin is released from it’s cocked position. The longer the pull, the more time and effort required to fire the gun.   The type of action determines  much of the length of pull.

Trigger Weight – the weight of a trigger pull is based on several elements.  Much of this is dependent on the type of action, i.e. how many parts must be moved to initiate the release. On a double action revolver or auto, when in the single action position (cocked) all that is left to do is release the hammer.

Reset – (specific to double action and striker fired automatics) “Reset” is the place ( as the trigger is moving forward) where the sear, or similar part has reset and the pistol is ready to fire again.  Once the trigger is pulled, the round is fired, and the trigger returns to it’s forward most position, as that occurs, the slide resets (re-cocks) the trigger assembly in preparation for the next shot. On most pistols, one does not have to allow the trigger to move clear forward, rather, you just allow the trigger to just go to the point of reset, then you can fire again.  Training on the location of reset in the trigger path, can make follow up shots much quicker and more accurate.

So what should a trigger feel like?  What is the ideal weight?  If my pistol doesn’t have a great trigger, what can I do?

  • I like a 4.5 to 5 pound trigger on a carry gun.  Some feel any weight under 5 pounds is too risky.  This is where your level of training is a factor.  I am confident in my ability to only touch the trigger when I am ready to shoot.  If a shooter is not completely, honestly confident in this ability, perhaps they should opt for a bit heavier trigger.  The good thing is this, it is a very intentional procedure to lighten a trigger.
  • If you own a pistol from a major manufacturer… Glock,  Sig, FN, Smith, and so on, there are very likely drop-in trigger kits (factory and/or aftermarket) or parts available to adjust how your trigger behaves.
  • There are thousands of opinions on triggers… this is mine.  For a carry gun(pistol), I want the following:
    • trigger weight to be 4.5 to 5 pounds
    • 3/8 of an inch or less in travel
    • a clean, crisp break – when the trigger releases the striker/hammer/firing pin
    • a tactile reset
  • Side note – Triggers on rifles, a different story!  I like 2.5 to 4 pounds on a rifle…

A good trigger is a joy to shoot with!  Once your trigger is dialed in, it can be like shooting a new gun!  Familiar, but better!

Spring is nearly here… Go shooting!

If you live in the Central Oregon area, check out our face book page, for Spring classes!


A warrior is not the one who always wins, rather the one who never gives up!


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