Polishing triggers

engineer40

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I have a few triggers that work like poop... gritty and heavy...

I've been on a quest to research DIY trigger jobs and it seems like there are just tons of opinions and ways guys polish the metal components of a trigger system.

A couple of these guns are cheap (Hi Points) and not really worth bringing to a gunsmith. Plus I like to tinker anyways.

So If I'm just looking to polish metal, should I use like 3000 grit sandpaper? Very gentally and slow?

When would I use "wet sanding" versus dry sanding?

I have a Dremel tool and tried the cloth buffing wheel on some Mosin Nagant parts but it seemed to do nothing. Someone suggested to use some car polish compound on the cloth buffing wheel, which also didn't seem to help. Maybe I just need to work at it longer? I did for about 30 minutes. Are there any specific Dremel attachments that work good for polishing that won't take away the metal?

Thanks everyone! I appreciate your opinions on this.
 

Laelkhunter

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Oct 20, 2011
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999
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New Orleans, La
Mother's Mag Polish, available from your auto parts dealer and Wal-Mart. I use it for polishing any contact areas on my Glock connector and trigger bar. Makes it shiny smooth and does not remove any metal. I use the felt wheel on my Dremel.
 

Josh Smith

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Jul 24, 2010
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Wabash, IN
I have a Dremel tool and tried the cloth buffing wheel on some Mosin Nagant parts but it seemed to do nothing. Someone suggested to use some car polish compound on the cloth buffing wheel, which also didn't seem to help. Maybe I just need to work at it longer? I did for about 30 minutes. Are there any specific Dremel attachments that work good for polishing that won't take away the metal?

Thanks everyone! I appreciate your opinions on this.

Hello,

Don't go using the Dremel. That sear is a spring and you can damage it if you heat it up too much. Granted, it would take a lot, but better safe about it as they run about $20 apiece.

Start with 1000 grit. Polish the part on the sear the trigger contacts about 20 times, forward and back. Switch to 2000 grit and go until shiny, then 3000 until it shines.

Next, use the 2000 grit on the sear face itself. It's not necessary to make 'em shine, but just get the horizontal lines out of them as those lines catch on the bolt's cocking piece.

Chuck the trigger into a vice. Cut a strip of 800 grit (or so) wide enough to fit through the rectangular opening, and polish the inside contact portion sort of like you're polishing a shoe. After the rough spots are out, switch to 1000 grit, then 2000 grit.

Grease the contact surfaces and enjoy.

Regards,

Josh
 

shortgrass

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!/2" x 1/2" x 4'' India stones. One medium and one fine. Also, one white ceramic 'stone',,, same size & a little 3 in 1 oil. If you're taking the 'lines' out of getting them to all go in a certain direction you're removig metal. I haven't seen a U-Tube vid that'd agree' with any method I was taught in gusmith school, 23 yrs. ago, just 'farmer fixes".
 

Josh Smith

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Wabash, IN
!/2" x 1/2" x 4'' India stones. One medium and one fine. Also, one white ceramic 'stone',,, same size & a little 3 in 1 oil. If you're taking the 'lines' out of getting them to all go in a certain direction you're removig metal. I haven't seen a U-Tube vid that'd agree' with any method I was taught in gusmith school, 23 yrs. ago, just 'farmer fixes".

Stones are best, of course. I personally like Boride's gunsmithing set.

Most folks don't have 'em, though, and won't spend big bucks on a set for one job.

That's the only problem I find with recommending stones for jobs like these.

Regards,

Josh
 

J E Custom

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Texas
!/2" x 1/2" x 4'' India stones. One medium and one fine. Also, one white ceramic 'stone',,, same size & a little 3 in 1 oil. If you're taking the 'lines' out of getting them to all go in a certain direction you're removig metal. I haven't seen a U-Tube vid that'd agree' with any method I was taught in gusmith school, 23 yrs. ago, just 'farmer fixes".


+1

I was taught the same way/thing. Do It right or don't do it.

Polishing with a Dremel or any compound will make the surface smoother and the feel will be better, "BUT" it can take the sharp edge off the sear, And change the angle of the sear mating surfaces (A must for a clean braking sear with no creep) and make the trigger unpredictable.

A good flat stone guided by a fixture that holds the stone at a precise angle is the correct way to improve a trigger. A very skilled Gunsmith with lots of experience can do this by hand. (I need the fixture/jig).

So I don't recommend anyone trying it unless he has the experience and/or the jig.

The trigger is not the place to save money, In My Opinion, if the trigger is poor ether live with it or have it replaced don't risk screwing it up and having an accidental discharge.

Just my opinion
 

Josh Smith

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Jul 24, 2010
Messages
23
Location
Wabash, IN
+1

I was taught the same way/thing. Do It right or don't do it.

Polishing with a Dremel or any compound will make the surface smoother and the feel will be better, "BUT" it can take the sharp edge off the sear, And change the angle of the sear mating surfaces (A must for a clean braking sear with no creep) and make the trigger unpredictable.

A good flat stone guided by a fixture that holds the stone at a precise angle is the correct way to improve a trigger. A very skilled Gunsmith with lots of experience can do this by hand. (I need the fixture/jig).

So I don't recommend anyone trying it unless he has the experience and/or the jig.

The trigger is not the place to save money, In My Opinion, if the trigger is poor ether live with it or have it replaced don't risk screwing it up and having an accidental discharge.

Just my opinion

Hello,

Are you talking about Mosin triggers here, or just in general?

The 1911 handgun (for example) is a work of art and the lockwork is precise.

The Mosin-Nagant, not so much. Tolerances are all over the place from the factory.

There are things you shouldn't do, but a basic polish job on the mating surfaces is an accepted method of smoothing things up.

The other firearms listed, I'll generally agree with you. Never been inside a Hi-Point, etc, and sears that measure in thousandths should not be messed with, without jigs and a proper stone set.

Regards,

Josh
 

shortgrass

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Messages
3,018
Location
Western Oklahoma
Stones are best, of course. I personally like Boride's gunsmithing set.

Most folks don't have 'em, though, and won't spend big bucks on a set for one job.

That's the only problem I find with recommending stones for jobs like these.

Regards,

Josh
I bought a whole handfull of various India stones from MSC last time they were on sale. Seems to me they were about $5 a stone. A good ceramic will last half a life time, so the cost there is warranted. Same stones die makers/repair men use. Brownells would like you to think you need to pay their price and have two of everything in their catalog, but thats not necessarily so! I recently ran out of wet and dry paper and needed just a couple of sheets. I was appalled at the price they get for it at the hardware and auto supply stores. Pricey enough I could have bought stones, but stones don't work on wood!
 

Josh Smith

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Joined
Jul 24, 2010
Messages
23
Location
Wabash, IN
I bought a whole handfull of various India stones from MSC last time they were on sale. Seems to me they were about $5 a stone. A good ceramic will last half a life time, so the cost there is warranted. Same stones die makers/repair men use. Brownells would like you to think you need to pay their price and have two of everything in their catalog, but thats not necessarily so! I recently ran out of wet and dry paper and needed just a couple of sheets. I was appalled at the price they get for it at the hardware and auto supply stores. Pricey enough I could have bought stones, but stones don't work on wood!

Hello,

I prefer these and use them exclusively:

https://www.borideabrasives.com/PublicStore/product/Gunsmithing-Kits,154,288.aspx

I've never ordered stones from Brownells. I guess I did order a 1911 track stone, but tossed it in because I bought a trigger stirrup die and shipping was the same. (I love that stirrup die, by the way.)

But you're right: They were pricey.

I think the public at large would benefit from the knowledge of these inexpensive stones you talk about.

I've found that the average person is likely going to use what they have on hand, and will do a given gunsmithing procedure with said tools. (I once did a write-up on Savage rimfire mags that had problems feeding. In the pics, I had a padded claw hammer. Some made fun of me for that, and I understand why. But while I did have plastic and rawhide mallets, most folks don't, but they do have claw hammers and will use said claw hammers.)

No, I don't agree with this. However, given that they will do it anyway, I try to imagine what the average person might have and figure out if the procedure can be carried out safely with those tools.

Most triggers, nope, not safe. When you're dealing with huge sears like on the SKS and Mosins (different designs, but both have large sears) I can't imagine 2000 grit could bring the sear to a negative or even a neutral angle.

The Mosin trigger system is a whole lot like the old (Depression-era to '60s) Stevens single-shot bolt actions. A whole lot of sear engagement and the trigger, just a lever to pull the sear down.

Of course, this is all opinion. Also, in my opinion, nobody should learn trigger jobs from Internet sources. YouTube is not a gunsmithing guide.

But, folks are going to do it. I just don't want these folks hurt.

I always try to include the disclaimer that I'm not there, can't see your gun, and therefore, anything you do is on you.

Regards,

Josh
 
Last edited:

J E Custom

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Jul 29, 2004
Messages
10,723
Location
Texas
Hello,

Are you talking about Mosin triggers here, or just in general?

The 1911 handgun (for example) is a work of art and the lockwork is precise.

The Mosin-Nagant, not so much. Tolerances are all over the place from the factory.

There are things you shouldn't do, but a basic polish job on the mating surfaces is an accepted method of smoothing things up.

The other firearms listed, I'll generally agree with you. Never been inside a Hi-Point, etc, and sears that measure in thousandths should not be messed with, without jigs and a proper stone set.

Regards,

Josh

Thanks josh I agree with everything you posted except that some rifles need not to be bought in the first place if one knows that they have a lousy trigger and a history of poor quality manufacturing.


I think that any decent trigger can be improved if it is done right with the right tools. but when you buy some rifles you should not expect them to have a good trigger and just leave them alone and live with it. (It is probably the safest it will ever be) but Some things should not be done by a novice because it could be dangerous. I know some people will try anything, so all we can do is to try to discourage them from doing some things and maybe save there life .

I have replaced many triggers that had been tampered with and became dangerous, because once they have been tampered with, they will never be right and have to be replaced.

The other bit of advice would be not to buy a piece of junk and expect it to have a good trigger or think it could be fixed buy a little sanding or grinding buy someone that does not understand the
critical angles and finish on a trigger. I know this sounds harsh but it is the trend now and it is scary.

Gunsmiths are/can be expensive, But how much is a life worth ?

The main problem that I and others have with some of the On Line methods are that they are very inconsistent in there results and range from ok at best, to extremely dangerous. I am not saying that no one can do a fairly decent job on some triggers, I just don't recommend that they try.

Thanks for your question.

This is just my opinion on a very delicate subject that I feel very strongly about and my intentions are not to step on anyone's toes. just trying to keep everyone safe.

J E CUSTOM
 

earlcurtis67

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Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
235
Location
south fla.
I have a couple of DMT diamond hone knife sharpeners that look kind like a butterfly knife, double sided, about an inch wide and 4 inches long. I used them to work a trigger on a 22wmr mossberg. Now I keep them in my tool box in the reloading room and use them for every thing. They dirty up pretty quick but a wipe with a shop rag and there good. Blue=corse, red=med. green=fine, i bet you could sharpen an axe with the corse stone!
 

Josh Smith

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2010
Messages
23
Location
Wabash, IN
Thanks josh I agree with everything you posted except that some rifles need not to be bought in the first place if one knows that they have a lousy trigger and a history of poor quality manufacturing.


I think that any decent trigger can be improved if it is done right with the right tools. but when you buy some rifles you should not expect them to have a good trigger and just leave them alone and live with it. (It is probably the safest it will ever be) but Some things should not be done by a novice because it could be dangerous. I know some people will try anything, so all we can do is to try to discourage them from doing some things and maybe save there life .

I have replaced many triggers that had been tampered with and became dangerous, because once they have been tampered with, they will never be right and have to be replaced.

The other bit of advice would be not to buy a piece of junk and expect it to have a good trigger or think it could be fixed buy a little sanding or grinding buy someone that does not understand the
critical angles and finish on a trigger. I know this sounds harsh but it is the trend now and it is scary.

Gunsmiths are/can be expensive, But how much is a life worth ?

The main problem that I and others have with some of the On Line methods are that they are very inconsistent in there results and range from ok at best, to extremely dangerous. I am not saying that no one can do a fairly decent job on some triggers, I just don't recommend that they try.

Thanks for your question.

This is just my opinion on a very delicate subject that I feel very strongly about and my intentions are not to step on anyone's toes. just trying to keep everyone safe.

J E CUSTOM

Hello,

The Mosin can be vastly improved. The Finnish Mosins are excellent examples. They used two-stage triggers and required 1.3moa or better.

They did a lot of work to them, though, including barrel changes.

I have a 1moa Mosin. It looks like a stock 91/30 but has a tighter bore than the average Mosin. I built a two-stage trigger for it (these two-stage triggers generally have more initial sear engagement than stock, and I consider them safer for this reason.)

I've shimmed the action, the barrel has a pressure pad (cork, but it works), and it has improved sights.

It will do 1moa with handloaded SMK 174 grain bullets.

I prefer the Mosin for its ruggedness. There are better choices for some things, but the Mosin is sort of like my 1911 in that I'll grab it first if I figure I'll need that sort of gun.

The Mosin is, in my eyes, a tinker's gun, just like the 1911 is. It's fun to see what one can make both do, and both are tough to break.

It takes a certain type to appreciate the old milsurps that the shooting public at large does not, and I believe that type a bit eccentric, in a good way of course.

I've enjoyed this discussion. Thank you.

Regards,

Josh
 

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