Is my trigger safe?

J

J E Custom

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Jul 29, 2004
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10,718
Location
Texas
Many people think that a trigger set at less than 1 pound will improve accuracy. If a person practices trigger control light triggers are not necessary. Just like heavy triggers are safe. It is in the hands of the shooter as to how accurate or safe a trigger weight is.

A quality trigger should be safe at any weight (As long as you keep your finger off of it) My recommendations were based on many years of shoot competition and hunting. I have used trigger weights from 6 ounces to 12 pounds and like most have my preferences depending on the use.

Many competitions require 4 to 6 pounds of trigger pull weight and this seems to be my maximum reasonable weight. With a quality 4 pound trigger we were able to shoot 1000+ yards with great accuracy and comfort. Even then at several matches, someone let a round go accidentally with poor handling and lack of attention.

Also many try to improve a triggers ability by setting the trigger very light. A good quality trigger will perform well at any setting and using a less than quality trigger adjusted very light, will only lead to disaster.

Everyone has their preferred trigger pull, and as long as they are comfortable with it it is probably OK, but they should be aware of the added chances of an accidental discharge and take appropriate steps to minimizes the odds.

There is no substitute for practice and safe handling of a firearm, and light trigger pull is more of a hindrance than an aid. Many problems that come into my shop are created by someone that don't understand the effects of their actions and need things to work properly and safety.

I am not criticizing anyone, just warning those that don't know better to be careful.

I would like to meet all in the after life with all of your parts. (Just not yet).

J E CUSTOM
 
C

Chase723

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Nov 22, 2009
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Use a TriggerTech. Adjustable with detents. Load only when ready to engage. My personal preference is ~1lb. Maybe a little lighter.
 
misterc01

misterc01

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Feb 15, 2019
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705
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Florida Panhandle
Most of my rifles are set to my "standard" 2.5 Lbs trigger pull, mostly for standardization and for what I use them for. I have one that came from the factory that was too light - ,2 oz. With this particular rifle, turns out .8 oz is optimum. But then, it is an F class single shot rifle. with an Acutrigger, and my finger does not go near the trigger until I am ready to release the round.
 
CVCOBRA1

CVCOBRA1

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Sep 20, 2014
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Illinois
At 4 oz can you even feel the trigger? I like to feel the trigger before it goes off, not just make contact with it.
 
Stgraves260

Stgraves260

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Sep 1, 2009
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868
So, I read a couple things on here....first, lots of folks running 2oz - 2 lb triggers on here. Second, there are lots of DIY and professional gunsmiths on here.

So, I would like some help/discussion on a couple of questions:

1) When setting triggers, do you lock down settings? With locktite or epoxy?
2) How do you test for “jarring off”? What is your minimum acceptable level for a rifle carried with a chambered round?
3) What “user” level safety confirmations do you do after your knowledge of trigger work has been built? Do you confirm lock of settings? Safety function? Other?Do you share this with your customers?

I’ll post my methods later, but am interested in others. I also want to be careful that this should not be “legal” advice, just a comparison of what folks do. Regardless of what is written, we all need to be clear that it is hard to read a post and know exactly what is being done....if that makes any sense.
I will never advise anybody to walk around with a chambered hunting rifle. Safety’s on guns fail all the time. Never chamber your hunting rifle till you are ready to shoot. JMO
 
D

DSheetz

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Aug 22, 2015
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2,051
I like mine set at 2.5 - 3 lbs. I'm not hunting dangerous game or on patrol in a combat zone so I don't carry locked and loaded . I like a good smooth trigger that doesn't have a gritty feel and not a lot of creep before it breaks , I don't mind it having over travel after the break . I don't want it to fire if bumped hard or dropped . I like safeties but don't rely on them when hunting .
 
Greyfox

Greyfox

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Jan 21, 2008
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I‘m probably “odd man out” with my LR hunters, set at 1.5-3.0#.....depending on the particular trigger. As long as I can hold .5MOA or better at 1000 yards I like a heavier trigger in the field, particularly in freezing temperatures Which accounts for over half my hunting. I’m also partial to two stage triggers If available for the rifle.
 
T

Tangent

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Jun 18, 2019
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304
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Montana
"Light" triggers aren't necessarily bad. The problem is some guys use light triggers as a crutch because they have poor trigger control. Just like how brakes get used as a crutch by some guys that have terrible recoil management.
 
N

ntsqd

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Nov 16, 2015
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Upper SoKA
Since I don't own any truly expensive rifles I guess that I'm more willing to handle them roughly while testing that they will not fire accidentally. I too have had a firearm fire from disengaging the safety. It is one of the first things that I test any new acquision for. This has never resulted in an A-D, only in the shop with an empty chamber. Firearms that behave like that get disabled so that they can not be used until fixed.
 
RYEWSKY25284

RYEWSKY25284

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Jan 23, 2014
Messages
620
Location
Albuquerque,NM
I set to manufacturer suggestions, I don't use triggers I can not set the seat engagement on had to many TT fire when just cycling the bolt. I lock the setting how the manufacturer recommends. I personally run 2 oz on bench gun, 8oz to 1 lb on all my personal hunting rifles.
I test all trigger installs with an aggressive bolt cycle multiple times, I've had two Remington handles come of during this test, safety on trigger pull and bumped around the taken of safe, I aggressively drop the rifle on its butt, bunch of bolt and safety cycles. I don't want a trigger job to ever wake me up at night thinking it wasn't quite right so I really try to force a failure before it leaves.
Lots of good info here. The 1 part of your test that you employ, IMO and IME is VERY important.... after running the rifle through the "slam-fire test" that final test ....taking it off of safety AFTER banging it around. For me it has been that final releasing of the safety that has failed a few trigger jobs.
 
Blackhawk

Blackhawk

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Mar 29, 2018
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339
Location
South Western Florida
As do most, I think there are practical and safe limits to trigger weight.

For bench rest rifles that are stationary a few ounces to 6 or 7 ounces is fine.

For target rifles mainly for bench shooting/hunting where the rifle is semi stationary and the muzzle is always pointed down range, 8 ounces to 1.5 pounds will work well and still be relatively safe.

For hunting rifles that are carried and shot from different positions, I recommend 1.5 to 2.5 pounds
for all round performance. I also recommend using triggers that have a safety block/link that prevents the sear from releasing unless the trigger is pulled on hunting rifles that are set below 2 pounds.

For beginners and casual use by someone not to familiar with fire arm handling 4 pounds + would be my lowest recommended trigger pull weight.

If an adjustable trigger is used and you feel that a drop test is required, I feel it is to light. also I strongly recommend that "NO" one tamper with a non adjustable trigger or do anything to it. if you don't like the one that comes with the rifle, purchase a new adjustable one and have it set by the manufacture.

Quality adjustable triggers normally come with some type of trigger block and sear adjustments are normally factory preset and should never be adjusted.

J E CUSTOM
I totally agree with all your recommendations. They are well thought out as well as a big plus for the safety side of trigger break ! Kudos !
 
foul bore

foul bore

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Feb 1, 2016
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258
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texas
For a hunting rifle I set at 3.5 lbs, with travel at minimal if rifle can be adjusted that way. I recently changed out a spring on a X bolt Browning I did not use Loctite, but did use a little fingernail polish. holds but easy to remove
 
bdyal1972

bdyal1972

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Jun 24, 2012
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343
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1700 miles from a REAL TREE!!!
Anyone that "loads ONLY when READY to engage" kind of scares me.

If you dont trust YOURSELF OR YOUR WEAPON to use a trigger, SAFETY, LOADED ROUND IN CHAMBER, HOW CAN I TRUST YOU AS MY HINTING PARTNER??? EITHER YOU AND YOUR EQUIPMENT ARE SAFE OR NOT SAFE!!! If you cant carry a LOADED RIFLE/CARBINE/PISTOL/SHOTGUN SAFELY...... PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE STAY AWAY....

can you imagine carrying your self defense pistol on an empty chamber or walking a field bird hunting on an empty chamber???

RUBBISH

BTW even the Israelis have given up on carrying on an empty chamber as it wastes VALUABLE TIME for a safety problem based on maintenance, design or training.....

How do you sneak around in the timber, swamp or around an Arroyo or kansas field break if you dont have a round loaded and safety engaged ready for a snap shot on the buck, bull or bear?

THAT BEING SAID...

I have found be it hunting man or beast I am going to snap shoot standing, snap shoot kneeling, precisely shoot braces, knealing or preferably prone... I want to ASSASINATE MY TARGET UNAWARE OF MY PRESENCE!!! I want a trigger I can place my finger on as I wait FOR THE OBJECT TO BE DESTROYED TO BE IN POSITION FOR THE SHOT! the shot should be a reflexive action when target sights and placement are PERFECT...

2LB TO 3LB WITH AN EXCELLENT CLEAN BREAK...

I CAN LIE IN PRONE WITH FINGER WAITING TO REFLEXIVELY PULL WHEN THE MOVING TARGET IS IN POSITION FOR THE KILLSHOT....

Regardless of trigger type, who made it, what the manufacturer says! I MUST VERIFY my trigger is safe. VERIFICATION IS MY DUTY!!!

Start with a sighted in rifle that's ready to hunt, ready to fight, ready to DEFEND AND SAVE MY LIFE possibly....

1. Empty case in chamber with case head and primer blackened by sharpie..

2. Pile drive rifle into cement floor from eye level 3-6 times. I am 5'11" I am simulating worst case fall scenario... If you are afraid of damaging rifle why are you taking it hunting?????????? If falling down can make your rifle fire please stay away!!!

3. Rubber mallet beat on barrel, beat on stock, beat on action, beat on mag!!! Cycle safety on and off, beat on bolt!!! If ANYTHING IS NOT PERFECT I WANT TO KNOW NOW!!! I have found loose scopes and mounts this way MULTIPLE times on friends, family rifles as well as new acquisitions!!!!

4. Goto the range 3x on different days shooting ACROSS CHRONOGRAPH at well defined targets 200 or 300 yards away! Shoot a MAGAZINE full of cartridges aimed SLOW FIRE PRONE without stopping .... paying attention to first cold bore shot, 3round group, 5 round group, vertical stringing.... The rifle will tell you WHERE SHE WANTS TO HIT!!! be it on the first, third, fifth, 10th, 20th or 30th round!!! ANNOTATE GROUP SIZES, DISPERSION AND SHIFTS IN ZERO!

5. Save target! Sign, date, annotate load, velocity, bc, bullet specifics, load specifics, temperature, weapon, distance, 1st, 3rd, 5th, 10th, 30th rounds impact!!!

6. Put target in gun case, update load data on rifle stock or phone or pda or ballistic computer, if necessary, load up detachable mags, put 20, 40, 100 IDENTICLE spare rounds in gun case!!!

7. Now your ready to hunt!!!
 

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