Over travel on trigger is it a good thing?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Spothogg32, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. Spothogg32

    Spothogg32 Member

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    Hey guys I am looking for advice or opinions on trigger set up. I am currently shooting my new custom long range 7mm Rem mag rifle with an X mark pro trigger set at 2.5 pounds with no creep or over travel it is very nice, it is crisp and breaks like glass. I am having a small problem with my groups at 100 yards during my load development. I am shooting 5 shot groups and for the most part this gun is a real shooter but once in a while I am getting a shot that opens my group up to the right horizontally. 4 shots will print at 3/8" to 1/4" group and 1 of the 5 shots will stretch my group to the right about 1". I think it is something I am doing because when I am looking at the target at 100yards with the scope and dry fire the gun once in a while the cross hair will jump to the right of the bulls eye and most of the time the cross hair does not move at all. Would adjusting in some over travel to the trigger cure this problem?
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  2. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    Probably not. Sounds like your trigger is adjusted fine. The first four shots say so.
    Are you using a front rest and rear sandbags? Sounds like your not "riding the bags" consistently. With that I mean your rifle isn't positioned on the rest & sand bag for the last shot like it was on the first four. Sometimes the sling stud can butt up against the front rest causing the rifle to recoil differently.
    Are you letting your barrel cool in between shots? That 7Mag can generate some barrel heat. I have seen it recommended to shoot 3-shot groups when doing load development on magnums. I shoot 3-shot groups with mine. Is your barrel floated and/or the action bedded? This can cause inconsistencies.
    I assume you have a M700 (X Mark Pro trigger). Does it have the J-lock? I have seen the firing pin sping on these all kinked up. I usually take mine (bolt) apart and clean it up and re-lube it with a light lube.
    An intermittent problem can drive you nuts trying to figure out. I usually make one change at a time, try the rifle again, then move on to the next solution. This way I know what was causing the problem. Good luck and keep us posted. JohnnyK.
     

  3. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    It would sure be worth giving it a try.

    I like mine one of two ways. Either zero OT and a super clean break or so much OT that there's no way my finger can hit the wall befor the round is clear.

    A HS firing pin spring can help a lot as well by reducing the time between the FP being released and it's impacting the primer.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  4. cowboy

    cowboy Well-Known Member

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    If you are doing it dry firing I would pay particular attention to your grip. If it were me staring to string horz. to the right I know it from past experience that I go back to an old bad habit of too much thumb pressure which causes me to torque a rifle ever so slightly right at recoil time.

    I have almost given up using the 100 yd targets - I do all my sighting in at 200 yds. I figure I'm not a bench rest shooter and at 200 yds it makes me really concentrate or things are just magnified.

    There sure is nothing wrong though with adjusting your trigger to have over travel - try it and see what you get.
     
  5. Spothogg32

    Spothogg32 Member

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    Thanks guys this is all good information, keep it coming!
     
  6. sambo3006

    sambo3006 Well-Known Member

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  7. Jumpalot

    Jumpalot Well-Known Member

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    If you are right handed, make sure that you aren't getting the trigger too much in the first joint of the trigger finger. Try to use the pad of your finger instead. Also try not wrapping your thumb around the wrist of the stock. Instead, just lay your thumb on top by the tang. Been there and went through all this myself. Not sure any of this will help you, but I'd try something with my technique before messing with the trigger.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
  8. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Good point. I see a lot of people sticking way too much finger in there.

    The trigger is NOT trying to get away and the lighter the touch the better the outcome is going to be in most situations.
     
  9. The Surgeon

    The Surgeon Well-Known Member

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    I use a dime to help me with trigger control. I had a buddy place a dime on the end of the barrel, I would then dry fire the gun. The point of the drill is to keep the dime on the end of the barrel. I did the drill on a bi pod, not a rest. All in all its a good drill to teach trigger control. Be sure to use a snap cap.
     
  10. RDM416

    RDM416 Well-Known Member

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    Highpower rifle competitor David Tubb recommends a fair amount of overtravel. He says that having no overtravel or very little can cause a slight "twitch" in the rifle. He likes so much overtravel that he never hits the back stop. He does however say that he is fairly aggressive with his trigger pull too.

    I just recently read that in one of his books and found it quite interesting. I have always adjusted the overtravel on my LR rigs for as little as possible. Since reading that in his book I have been thinking of adjusting some overtravel in to try.
     
  11. Spothogg32

    Spothogg32 Member

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    Thank you Jumpalot, what you just described is exactly what I do. I will give what you suggested a try first before I add over travel to my trigger. I hope to get out and try my next set of loads this weekend and I will let you guys know how it goes!
     
  12. Spothogg32

    Spothogg32 Member

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    Well guys I just got back from the range and tried shooting with my thumb relaxed on the tang of the stock and with my index finger pad resting on the trigger. My results were similar to what I was already getting. I am still getting a horizontal stringer or 2 to the right about a half to one inch. I am going to adjust my trigger now for maximum overtravel like some of you suggested and like I have been reading about. I will let you all know how it goes.
     
  13. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Are you right handed? Is the stringing perfectly horizontal or is it a little bit high as well?

    Try a group no holding the rifle at all with your firing hand and just using the tip of your trigger finger to pull it.

    I'm almost thinking you may be leaning into it a little bit as you squeeze which would wrench your barrel a little to the right and up if you are a right hander. You could also be giving a slight push with your palm as you squeezed as well.

    The trigger drills recommended above using a dime on the end of the barrel can be a big, big help. So can just aligning your cross hair with a thin upright such as the space between fence slats on a wooden fence and practicing your trigger squeeze.

    One thing I find to be a huge help is simply to just relax completely as I begin my squeeze.
     
  14. Spothogg32

    Spothogg32 Member

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    I am right handed and the stringing is directly to the right never high, once in a while maybe .25" low but not high.