Ideal hunting rifle trigger pull??

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by jasonk_jasonk, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. jasonk_jasonk

    jasonk_jasonk New Member

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    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.

    Jason
     
  2. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Based on everything that you've mentioned - I think your choice of a crisp 3 lb trigger is right on the mark.
     

  3. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    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.
     
  4. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    Jason,
    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.
     
  5. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    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)
     
  6. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  7. NorthernSniper

    NorthernSniper Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  8. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    Set triggers have been around since the late 1800's. They do indeed convert a heavy, sluggish trigger pull to a very light crisp one. All the ones I know of are actually two triggers in one. When the finger lever is "set," a second sear and striker are engaged with much less tension so the finger lever requires much less force (trigger pull weight)to release that second sear. When the second sear releases the second striker it hits the main sear releasing the main striker (hammer or firing pin). Set triggers were invented because they were the only way 'smiths could get a reliable and repeatable lighter trigger pull for heavily tensioned firing pins and hammers.

    The mechanics of every one when set doubles the lock time required to fire the round. Which means you have to hold still for twice as long after the mechanism starts working before the shot is fired. And this is the reason set triggers have been out of favor by competitive shooters for decades. There are much better triggers around that make shooting accurately much easier.
     
  9. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    A heavy rifle is much more usible with a heavier trigger.

    [/ QUOTE ]Interesting. Don't the heavy competition rifles shoot the best scores with trigger pulls with a 2- to 12-ounce 'lighter' trigger? Maybe there's something I'm missing.
     
  10. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    I am sure most of this has already been said but here is my own worthless opinion.

    In a hunting wieght rifle, 7-9lbs, i like something in a crisp 2-3lb range. By crisp I mean there is a clean brake with very little travel as the hammer falls. I absolutly hate triggers that drag and drag and then it brakes over.

    Now in some cases you can get used to this drag though. I once had a 22 that had a huge amount of creep. After many hours of shooting I became accustom to the creep and I was able to pull the trigger back to the brink of breaking and then let it release. this was nice because i felt it help me focus on the task at hand.

    I have recently been shooting a Kimber 22-250 that has a trigger similiar to some jewels I have tried out. It honestly feels like the trigger never moves when it brakes. THis takes some getting used to but is damn nice once you are accustomed to it.

    For a hunting gun where you might wear gloves or be in a tense situation I would say 2.5-3lbs with a good crisp pull, no travel

    good luck and tell us how she is once it is all done

    take it easy
    steve
     
  11. 7mmRHB

    7mmRHB Well-Known Member

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    Bart ,I believe you ARE missing something (the next sentence in Kirbys post) He is pointing out that a heavy trigger effects a heavy gun less than it would a light one, during trigger pull. He didn't say anywhere that a heavy trigger was preferred for any gun. At least thats the way I read his post.---7mmRHB
     
  12. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    7mmRHB, I reread Kirby's comments. Maybe you're right and I did miss something. Hopefully, he'll come back and comment on it.

    When I was pulling the triggers to shoot the main battery guns aboard navy ships, it didn't matter how clean, dirty, crisp, sluggish, heavy or light those triggers were. I could even jerk them hard or flinch and it didn't matter. They sent an electric signal to a primer that acted like a blasting cap to ignite the powder in the case in the gun a couple hundred feet away. Things were so much simpler back then.
     
  13. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    (My comments) Set triggers ... They do indeed convert a heavy, sluggish trigger pull to a very light crisp one. All the ones I know of are actually two triggers in one.

    [/ QUOTE ]I should have distinguished between this "double-set" trigger mentioned here and the "single-set" version. The double-set trigger can be used with either a heavy or very light pull weight. Single-set triggers have to be "set" to use and have only a light pull. Both types have longer lock times than a standard trigger for the same firing pin or hammer which fires the round.

    And set triggers came about in the early (not late) 1800's.
     
  14. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Bart B.

    Yes, all BR shooters use light triggers, that has nothing to do with what I posted or the question asked. We are talking or we were asked about "hunting Rifle Trigger pulls" here not BR rifles.

    I was not referring to BR rifles in any way, instead rifles in the 7 to 12 lb range which are mainly used for big game hunting not BR shooting.

    If you take a 5 lb trigger on a 7 lb rifle, that 5 lb trigger pull will or can influence the rifles position at firing dramatically more then a 2.5 lb trigger would on the same rifle.

    Do not get hung up on if a light trigger is more accurate then a heavy trigger here because that is not the point in any way.

    Point is, the lighter the rifle is the more the rifles position will be influenced by the force needed to pull the trigger. The lighter and cleaner the trigger pull, the less the rifles position will be influenced by the trigger pull.

    Shooting off rests this really matters very little. In the field, again, we are discussion big game hunting rifles, not BR rifles, this can make a very large improvement on how accurately a hunter can place his bullet on target because on average, field shooting positions are not nearly as stable as bench supported shots and there are several other factors included as well, excitement, short period of time to take the shot, light conditions etc....

    Again, FOR BIG GAME HUNTING RIFLE trigger pulls, bot BR triggers, the rifles weight will determine to some degree what a usable trigger pull for that rifle will be.

    I have shot alot of 50 BMGs over the years and in a 30 lb BMG, even a 7 to 8 lb trigger will not noticably effect how accurately a rifle of this weight can be fired because this amount of force has very little effect on a rifle with this much inertia.

    Now take that same trigger pull on a 7.5 lb Ruger sporter rifle(pretty standard factory trigger pull for a M77 these days) and it is very difficult to accurately shoot a rifle this light.

    Thats my point, nothing at all to do with BR rifles, only answering the question presented.

    The lighter a rifle is the easier it is to shoot accurately from unsteady positions with a trigger in the 2 to 2.5 lb range compared to a heavier trigger pull.

    Yes in the BR world, light triggers are the rule as are HEAVY BARRELS instead of light contour barrels, just had to get that one in on ya!!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    Kirby Allen(50)