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Ideal hunting rifle trigger pull??

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Unread 04-22-2006, 09:32 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1
Ideal hunting rifle trigger pull??

Hello Everyone,

I'm new to the forum and I'm posting this question because I really value the opinions of the long range gurus.

I'm going to have a trigger job done on my Model 700 in .300 win mag. What I'm wondering is what does everyone think the ideal trigger pull weight is? I'm not a super long range guy, but would like to be able to make a 500 yd shot if it presented itself and I think a cleaner/lighter trigger would really help that.

Obviously when hunting elk and deer, maybe wearing gloves or maybe not, running up hills and breathing hard, plus all the other fun stuff we big game hunters deal with I don't want a 2 oz. trigger. I really don't know what my current trigger pull is (my new trigger pull scale is on the way) but from what I've read elsewhere I think a nice crisp 3 pound trigger would be close to perfect. I'm a safe and responsible hunter, have shot plenty and am very comfortable with my weapons.... I tell you this because I know it makes a difference vs. a green hunter his first year out.

Looking forward to your thoughts and appreciate the input.

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Unread 04-22-2006, 09:42 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 2,499
Re: Ideal hunting rifle trigger pull??

Based on everything that you've mentioned - I think your choice of a crisp 3 lb trigger is right on the mark.
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Unread 04-22-2006, 11:11 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,084
Re: Ideal hunting rifle trigger pull??

To measure trigger pull I used surf fishing pyramid sinkers on a string and just keep adding more sinkers till the string pulls the trigger.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
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Unread 04-22-2006, 01:30 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sask. Canada
Posts: 2,410
Re: Ideal hunting rifle trigger pull??

Welcome to this forum, we are fortunate to have a lot of knowledge and experience in this group. Three pounds is very doable, but do not forget to have the movement prior to release (creep) minimized and also the over-travel. We can live with a certain amount of both but they can be excessive in factory settings. Also there is a relationship between trigger weight, creep and slop so do not get too hairy. Best is to get a good smith to work over the trigger, someone who has done hundreds of trigger-jobs and who understands what to do and what not to do.
Good luck with setting up your rifle - 500 yards is a great goal to start with. Shoot as much as you can in as many wind conditions and keep real good records of hold-offs or turret settings.
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Unread 04-22-2006, 02:45 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Fort Shaw, Montana
Posts: 6,848
Re: Ideal hunting rifle trigger pull??

The correct trigger pull for you will evolve as you do in your shooting career. It has alot to do with experience level and also in the type of shooting you will be doing.

As correctly mentioned, a clean, crisp break on a trigger is worth in my opinion about 2 lbs in pull weight. By that I mean that if you take two triggers with the same 3 lb trigger pull, but one with creep and the other with a crisp let off, the creepy trigger will feel like a 5 lb trigger and the crisp let off will feel significantly less then 3 lbs even though it is not.

Rifle weight has alot to do with this as well. A heavy rifle is much more usible with a heavier trigger. A really light rifle will be harder to shoot accurtely with a heavy trigger. Simply because the rifle weight determines how much the force applied to the trigger can effect the postition of the rifle when the trigger breaks.

Personally, for a big game rifle in the 7 to 10 lb range I feel 2 lbs should be minimum, even for experienced shooters and hunters. In cold weather, I like to add at least 1/2 lb to this level for added safety with cold hands.

A properly tuned 3 lb trigger is a great place to start and learn to shoot at long range, plenty light enough if tuned correctly and still plenty safe for big game hunting in any weather conditions.

Kirby Allen(50)
Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

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Unread 04-22-2006, 06:03 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,483
Re: Ideal hunting rifle trigger pull??

Welcome aboard!!

I don't like 'icicle' triggers. Those are the ones that you can feel 'break.' One that just releases the sear without feeling anything is best for me.

I don't like my trigger finger to come to an abrupt stop at the end of its travel. That causes a tiny jump in the rifle disturbing my aim by a fraction of a MOA. When the trigger just keeps moving back 'till it releases the sear then keeps moving back with slightly increasing resistance; there's no rifle movement and I can more easily fire the shot inside my wobble area. The heavier your trigger pull weight is and the more that tension's removed, the harder your trigger finger gonna bounce the finger lever off its stop and that impact gets transferred to the rifle. To eliminate the effects of it, the harder and more consistant you gotta hold onto the pistol grip and control the rifle.

Single-stage light triggers are difficult to learn to use for most people. Especially the ligher pull ones. Which is why virtually all military rifles have two-stage triggers.

Two-stage triggers are great; one can take up most of the pull weight and learn to control the last smaller amount to make very good shots. Even a 2- to 3-pound two-stage trigger set up this way is great. And this is what I suggest hunters use.

The best two-stage trigger on this planet may well be an Anschutz biathlon trigger, No. 5022. It permits about the fastest lock time one can safely and repeatably get. And it's available in the 2- to 3-pound range. If one can get an adaptor to fit your receiver and you set the trigger up correctly, you will replace all the words in your dictionary defining "trigger" with "Anschutz 5022."

Check this stuff out at: http://www.championshooters.com/triggers.htm
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Unread 04-22-2006, 09:51 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 150
Re: Ideal hunting rifle trigger pull??

I would take a look at the trigger on some of the Sako rifles called a set trigger, I'm not sure if other manufacturers have a version as well. I understand that if you pull the trigger as you would any trigger it has around a 4 lb pull(to burnt and lazy to look it up). My understanding is this can be adjusted quite simply down to about 2 pounds pull(I have done this on my Finnlite and Sako 75.) O.K. now comes the interesting part! You can also use the models with the set trigger option like this, When you are ready to take your shot push the trigger forward, this puts the action into set trigger mode and reduces the trigger pull to where I like it on a long shot laid right out and brased up on a rest 8 ounces. Don't know yet if my new Finnlite has the set trigger but It looks very simple to change out and I may just do that.
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