Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

A Shovelful of Salt, Part II: Trigger Weight and Gun Safety

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

The Gun Nuts
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

October 13, 2006

A Shovelful of Salt, Part II: Trigger Weight and Gun Safety

By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

A friend of mine shoots a Weatherby Vanguard in informal competition and asked an acquaintance who is a fine rifle and pistol shot to try it out.

“This rifle has a disgusting trigger,” said the marksman. ”It’s 3 pounds, which is a good weight, but it’s creepy. You pull and pull but nothing happens. Have a gunsmith get rid of the creep and take it down to 2 pounds.”

The creep part of this was good advice. A creepy trigger is as useful as a poopie-flavored lollipop. But a 2-pound trigger is a proposition for experts only. In the hands of a less-than-expert shooter, it is an invitation to an accidental discharge.

Moreover, every factory trigger I can think of is incapable of holding the sear safely when diddled down to 2 pounds. (The sole exception is the Savage Accu-Trigger.) You can get them to that weight, but eventually the rifle will go off accidentally. If you’re lucky, you’ll merely scare yourself to death. If you’re unlucky, you’ll kill someone.

If you must have a 2-pound trigger, get one that’s designed to operate at that weight. There’s no shortage of them. Then, buy lots and lots of ammunition and learn how to use it.

Comments (37)

Top Rated
All Comments
from GAIL SANDERS wrote 6 years 23 weeks ago

looking for harry lawson thumbholer stocks. can you help me. i need some work done on one of my stocks. trying to locate harry lawson. if you can help, i would appreciate it thanks.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gary wrote 7 years 12 weeks ago

I stopped into this site because I was wanting to find information on replacing the trigger in my Savage 110fp. I had already adjusted the factory trigger as light as was recomended. It is not the Accu-trigger. It is chambered in 300 win mag. I read Mike Diehl's post about the gun firing at colder temperatures with interest. I do know that heat effects things like this as we use heat to install motor couplings at work and I have used cold to help in installing car parts. I ordered a Timney trigger from MIdway and also ordered a Lyman electronic trigger pull guage to make the adjustments. I though while I was at it I would do some tests. I put my rifle into an unheated garage for 3 days waiting fo my order to arrive. It was -1.3 when I went to work this morning. The package came today and I went to the garage and took some trigger pull readings on the cold rifle. It averaged 3lb 4.1 oz. I then took the rifle inside and opened the bolt and laid it in the floor next to the heat duct. When the rifle felt no longer cold to touch I repeated the trigger pulls. It averaged 3.97 when warm. These were both a 10 pull average. I then installed the Timney trigger which is a drop in replacement and made the necessary adjustments. I have what feels like no trigger movement at all now. The trigger guage average is 1 lb 7 oz. I dont hunt unless you consider paper a hunt. I think I am going to like this new trigger. I was shooting 3 shot groups that made 1 ragged hole before but felt I was moving the gun from excessive trigger pull.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ray wrote 7 years 25 weeks ago

I jist was a wonderin, How may thermometers did Dave taste before he figured it out..:-)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 7 years 26 weeks ago

My next rifle will be a Savage 114. I'm saving for it now. All other makes and models aren't even on the radar.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Shickele wrote 7 years 26 weeks ago

DanI tend to think that the new savage rifles, both centerfire and rimfire had better make the other companies think about how to compete. If not, they won't be around for long.Mike

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dan wrote 7 years 26 weeks ago

Mike, couldn't agree more about getting bopped with a scope, but for me..nope. Over 20 years and hundreds of rounds, never a problem.I lived by Harry Lawson's gun shop. I used to visit all the time when I was 18( I think I drove his son Randy? crazy cause his old man was the nicest guy I ever met and would let me run around that shop all day, looking at all those custom rifles, and all those stock blanks.) It's still a great place to pick up a stock!I had the rifle fitted with a (yes, made by Harry himself cause his son was too busy at the time) thumb-hole stock, nice muzzle break and recoil pad. Ever since Harry put it all together, it doesn't have half recoil that it started with. I couldn't thank him enough.I shoot it every other weekend when I can and well, never had the scope touch me.A few years back I grouped about 7/8" with 3 shots at two-hundred yards. I was checking it for accuracy at the range. That was done with hand loads, not factory loads.And wow,that 7/8" group was with me blinking everytime the gun fires.But I have to laugh 'cause I see the flame shooting out the break before I feel the recoil! It fills the whole scope and I laugh because you know your tigger is breaking nice if you don't even have time to anticipate it.One moment I'm seeing the bull, and the next the scope, it's filled with a bright orange flame. Then I feel the recoil and well I'm not able to keep the gun from moving.Being human, I tend to blink, flinch, laugh, spit, or whatever, but by that time I see the orange flame, elvis has left the building! I could fall on the ground at that point without it effecting accuracy because that flame comes out after the bullet, not before!I have used this rifle on many hunts, and the trigger is nice, but I don't like letting anyone else use it because it's so light.I believe that was the gist of the post....when is a trigger too light. Answer, when you don't feel comfortable handing it to a friend! That simple.It doesn't pay to be foolish. I have to agree with David and the other statement about a clean 4 lb feeling nicer that a 2 lb with creep. It's cleaner and safer.And again, in my humble opinion, I agree with the start of this post, if you don't have something designed for 2 lbs. pull, don't screw around and put a factory trigger at something it wasn't designed for.And with the Savage comment, I really like those new Savage triggers. They are better than anything I have come across on a factory rifle. Hell, Savage should just sell triggers to all the major players as it would eliminate the whole problem of setting a trigger pull too light!Everyone is an expert or has an opinion until someone gets hurt, and then wow, opinions change. I think safety first is the best policy. Call me stupid!But I'm not worried. Darwin's ideas about the smart and stupid will prevail....but why can't it go faster?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark wrote 7 years 26 weeks ago

To DP:……if you know basic HTML formatting…??????Gawd! Sounds dangerous to me. When I did those approved mod’s to hot rod Windows XP I got a visit from the UN Weapons Inspectors.As far as my culture and taste????Bone Jord ma Bone Hom-mies ate Madam-mo-sols. Jay swee sauve ate dee-bone-air.There. That should bring tears to that terminal French Professor* [who was German] I had. Had her for German, too.* Verzeihung! Auf Duetche: “Professorin”

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Shickele wrote 7 years 26 weeks ago

DanI think that you misunderstood me. I'm not saying that those who use recoil reducing devices are in some way inferior to the rest of the shooting world. I would not endorse something that I wouldn't use myself. As for creep, see my original posting on this blog, in which I stated that a 4lb trigger without creep feels lighter than a 2lb trigger with creep; in fact, breaking like glass.P.S. if your eye is only 1.5inches away from your scope on a high power rifle, you are seriously running the risk of getting scope eye.Mike

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from craig j. curtis wrote 7 years 26 weeks ago

i wonder can any of you x military personnell give me an idea of what the snipers have for trigger poundage ? im curious ive only had one of my I.H.M.S.A. pistols worked on and it was nice but i still like pulling my ruger with factory poundage . a little suprise keeps me honest and i know you all will say balderdash but 4 pounds just doesnt bother me or my groups ! and to the gentelman that knows the trick of putting some duds in their to see the flinch reaction it works and is sobering if your having trouble with flinch own it and get busy to correct it . you will be a better shot .

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from russ wrote 7 years 26 weeks ago

Mike i think your probably right on on your explanation of sear release changing in extreme cold

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from charles wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

I have hunted with a Browning White Gold 300 mag Abolt since 1999. The local gunsmith adjusted the trigger to 2.5 lbs and assured me that it is absolutely safe.My friends shoot it from time to time at the range and invariably are surprised at how fast the trigger breaks. One of the guys that hunts with me shoots a 7 mag Abolt and the trigger breaks at 4.5 lbs. He has developed a horrible flinch, and I think it is fully attributable to the heavey trigger.I think that the 2.5 lb trigger is safe for hunting. I do not recall exactly when the trigger broke on any of the deer I killed last year. I know I did not miss any like my friend with the heavy trigger. Similarly, my 8 year old killed the two deer that he shot at with is Ruger adjusted by the local gunsmith to a nice crisp 3 lbs. I think this is the only way to go if you want to develop good shooting skills.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

To Mark: This primitive format we use will accept underlines and italls, bold, etc., if you know basic HTML formatting, whatever the hell that is.Otherwise, your stature as a person of taste and culture is assumed, seeing as how you're on this blog.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dan wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

Mike and all,I think i should have stated it as "blink" because if you watch anyone shoot through a scope, their eyes will "shut" "blink" as their gun fires. It's a normal reaction and I haven't seen a normal human not blink when that scope jumps backwards with a shot from a high-power rifle. I can shoot my ruger 10-22 all day without blinking but that's different.Now I can't speak for anyone else and you may know all the macho, superhumans, aliens, or "master gunman" who will never flinch, blink, or even crack a smile when firing a high power rifle with the eye 1.5 inches away from the scope...before commenting, have a friend video tape you shooting at the range and what your face does when firing and you'll see what i mean.Now, everything I've read in books on gunsmithing (books like this are usually more reliable than "Earl" or "Bubba") have stated that a great trigger should "break" like a glass rod would. That is to say, it should break cleanly, fast, and at once without any percevied creep. I understand the glass anaolgy.It should not have creep as this ruins the desired glass-like break and shooters tend to anticipate the shot, and tend to pull it or place it off target. And to measure the "weight" you have to use a scale to measure it becuase "feels like two" doesn't mean it's two pounds.I noticed that my 700 has a trigger like glass. When I shoot it, it breaks so cleanly that I am still wide-eyed concentrating on the target and I can see the fire coming out of the muzzle break before i know the gun is going off and that scope is now moving back towards my face....then somehow, my eye will blink as I am a human being, not the superman kind that will respond with "I never blink or react" to anything short of a german 88.so i actually measured the trigger break with a scale and it breaks just under 3 pounds, and i think that this may still be a bit too light to be safe. that was my point. I have to agree with being safe first and being stupid last.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Visitor wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

x

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Shickele wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

RussThe metal does change dimensions, but I think that it's more a matter of a thin layer of ice forming on the sear that makes a light trigger even lighter. I've heard of this, but never personally encountered it.Mike

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from russ wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

oh yea , one more thing , Never Ever work on a trigger yourself !!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RUSS wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

i have 3 brownings 2 remingtons and a cz all set at 2 lbs. i fire all of them often at the range . and have never had an accidental discharge . all trigger work is done by a very good gun smith who has proven his skills over the years to my friends and i . where i live and hunt , we almost never see freezing temps so thick gloves and no feeling in the fingers are not a concern . i have never heard anyone speak of it being so cold that gun metal shrinks . by the way i was a machinist for several years , and i recall using liquid nitrogen to try to shrink a piece of stainless. it didn't work , so i can't beleave you could be out hunting in conditions cold enough to shrink metal .

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Shickele wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

Hello DumbassYou don't know how much I enjoyed saying your name. My triggers have always been adjusted to three pounds; that was the weight that my dad always used, and he always did the best job of adjusting triggers that I've ever seen, and I'm not even being biased.I never do any work on rifles on my own; the gift that my dad had, I will never acquire, I'm too lead handed.Over the years, he has taught me much about what makes a rifle tick though. About metallurgic properties, and such. Much of which I retained.Mike

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dumbass wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

Now that this topic isn't at the top of the list any longer, I will confess to something so monumentally dumb it's a wonder someone didn't get hurt. There are a couple of lessons here that are worth remembering, so it's worth embarrassing myself. Years ago, after reading "Adjusting Your Rem. M700 Trigger for Dummies", (don't recall the author) I did just that to my M700 BDL in .270. It was a work of art, if I do say so myself. All I had to do was THINK about it and it went off. Had to be under a pound. Even bounced the butt on the concrete floor to make sure it'd hold. (This trigger work is a piece of cake, and look how much money I saved!) Worked like a charm at my Gun Club range (temps in the 60's-70's :first clue). I was ready for those big Mule Deer. Off to Montana, and sitting at the ranch shooting range. Gun in the sandbags, crosshairs on the target, put a round in the magazine, close the bolt - BANG!!! What the Hell was that!?!? Keep your finger away from the trigger, dummy, you know better!! Another round in the magazine, close the bolt - BANG!! What the f---?!?! About that time the nickel drops, the light goes on and I say to myself: "You dumbass. You should have thought about that." Did I neglect to mention how bitter cold it was in Montana that November? Back home, standing in front of my gunsmith and telling him this story, he looks at me with "that look" and says - "So, where would you like it set?" "Right about 3 pounds, if that's OK with you" I answer. (At least he was kind enough not to add the well deserved "dumbass" to his question.)Lesson #1. Metal will shrink/contract in cold temps (and then maybe that sear won't hold). Lesson #2. Only a fool adjusts his own trigger. Make a copy of DEP's "Trigger Weight & Gun Safety", post one at your local Gun Club shooting range and re-read it at least once a year. He's smarter than he looks. (Names have been changed to protect the stupid.)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

I've never used a rifle whose factory trigger pull or "trigger creep" stopped me from taking a good shot when the sight was on food. To whom is this supposed to matter? Long range competitive shooters?I hope there aren't any rugged-terrain hunters walking around with triggers set at 2 pounds. Seems to me like asking for trouble.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ford wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

I have just seen the light of day and figures out why the HELL I can't get a flippin' group out of my package Savage 111.Fart jokes? I can get a lot of those in the deer woods from my uncles.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Thomas Hall wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

A while back I replaced my Ruger MK 77's trigger with a Timney and adjusted it to release at 2 lbs. which various internet writings had convinced me was the setting that all serious, and seriously good shooters used. I did seem to be an improvement over the factory trigger and I was pretty pleased with my handiwork. Then I went a couple of months without a visit to the range and when I did go back I learned what D.P. said earlier in this thread was right, it really does scare the daylights out of you.D.P., I just read the first part of Bill Heavey's story about caribou hunting in Alaska and you were right about him too, he's just awful.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brian wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

Although a 1kg (2.2lbs) trigger is allowed for _serious_ competitions, I suggest that you have a trigger shoe fitted instead of fooling with the trigger (SAT excepted): the larger surface area of the shoe distributes finger pressure and thus gives the illusion of a lighter pull.Handgun flinch? Have somebody else load your clips, salted with a few duds. Too funny to watch.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Shickele wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

ChaseI'm a firm believer that a trigger should always go off when...and how you expect it to. This is in no way a fix to a flinch though.When I'm target shooting, I always dry-fire my rifle at least twice for every shot fired. This teaches me about the trigger, allows me to concentrate on my breathing, and enables me to catch a flinch if present.Mike

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chase wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

is it just me or is a flinch a bad thing....I grew up shooting my old man's custom .257 Roberts with a timney trigger at 2-2.5 lbs and when I bought my first rifle, a Tikka in .270 WSM, two things happened, first of all the gun with a trigger of 4 lbs wouldn't go off when I thought it would, and then the recoil, much more considerable than the .257 caused a pretty good flinch...the result, no groups....Solution: I had the triggers turned down to 2-2.5 pounds, now the gun goes off when I want it to, regardless of recoil, I have no chance to flinch.....

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MattWV wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

If a person can't find their own Raison D'être this is a good start:http://www.dogfish.com/brewings/Year_Round_Beers/Raison_DEtre/7/index.htm

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

Trigger pulls IMO varies in what the particular rifle’s “Raison Etre”. My .458 has a much heavier trigger pull than my medium or varmint rifles. On these I like something slightly less than 3-lbs pulls. None have creep. Reasons are obvious, especially since I shoot too many Clays and drink too much coffee.Hey, David! How come this format doesn’t accept italic’s and underlining? Makes us bloggers seem more illiterate than we are when we quote titles, etc. My college prof’s forced me to follow writing guides for those “A’s”….most likely because their prof’s did the same thing.…Come to think of it, I became more concerned about properly writing my bibliographies, footers, and end notes than the actual content of my papers because of those terminal, saber-toothed college Profs.And they wonder why I am the way I am.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Shickele wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

DanI'm impressed! most people wouldn't admit to the fact that their gun goes off before they have a chance to flinch.I don't think that your trigger is too light, it sounds to me like your getting yourself so psyched out that at the time the gun goes off, your not fully aware of your surroundings.This may be occurring because you are afraid of your rifle. If this is due to recoil, you need to reduce the recoil to a level that you can handle. I don't endorse muzzle breaks, but a slip on recoil pad, shoulder pad, or Caldwells lead sled can work wonders. Don't be ashamed to use these items, as shooting from the bench is not a normal shooting position, and recoil is generally far worse than is experienced when shooting from a field position.Mike

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from KJ wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

Well, ok...You know how you can tell when a moth farts?It flys in a straight line. (rimshot)Do you know the difference between an oral thermometer and a rectal thermometer?The taste. (big rimshot)Now - I'm back to Mozart and Rilke.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

To KJ: Gauche is my middle name. Do you think it's easy for a born lowbrow to maintain this level of culture?I understand The Decider likes fart jokes, and if the Decider can indulge in a little flatulence humor, why not us, his semi-loyal subjects?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dan wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

I have rem 700 adl that has a light 3 pound trigger. I think it's too light, when at the range, I usually see the orange burst of flame out my scope before I flinch...that's a crisp light trigger but I am having it set heavier as I like to "know" and feel the trigger before it goes off.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from KJ wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

"poopie-flavored lollipop"? We've gone from Christopher Wren, Jane Austen, and caviar to poopie-flavored lollipops. I suppose next we'll be sharing fart jokes. How gauche!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Shickele wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

DaveI agree with you that a 2 pound trigger is too light for a hunting rifle, but I disagree that most triggers can't be worked down to that level safely; by a gunsmith that REALLY knows what he is doing. If a Remington, or Timney trigger has been honed properly, and then set up properly, they will hold 2 pounds until the cows come home.If a 4 pound trigger has no creep, it feels lighter than a 2 pound trigger with some creep.I use a three pound trigger on all of my hunting rifles; I do this for 2 reasons: as a margin of safety if the adjustment ever does change, and when it is cold out, and my hands are numb, I still want to be able to 'feel' the trigger.I have invested in having all of my triggers break the same way; then I know exactly when the firearm will go off.Incidentally; I have instructions on how to adjust all of my triggers, plus others. But I refuse to touch them myself, I leave that to a professional trigger artist.Must leave to go hunting: Mike

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JA Demko wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

A poopie-flavored lollipop is a potentially useful item if your goal is to catch flies.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from KJ wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

The number of self-proclaimed experts on the internet only proves the point that one should take advice with a "shovelful" of salt. Anybody anywhere can put anything on the internet. And I'm an internet expert, so you can trust me on that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MattWV wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

What's really scary is to see the number of self-proclaimed snipers on the internet telling uninformed people that if they can't afford an aftermarket trigger for their 700P (this seems to be the most prevalent rifle used) that they should adjust it themselves. Most of these guys claim to get them down to 2-2.5lbs and that they are just as good as a custom job and completely safe. I sure hope people don't take this advice.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

My factory Savage BAT(Before Accu-Trigger) trigger breaks at approx. 4 pounds with some creep, but I find it managable.I recall shooting a two set-trigger job on a German manufactured rifle once that was sweet, and crisp, but I could see needing a lot of practice shooting it to avoid an accidental discharge.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from GAIL SANDERS wrote 6 years 23 weeks ago

looking for harry lawson thumbholer stocks. can you help me. i need some work done on one of my stocks. trying to locate harry lawson. if you can help, i would appreciate it thanks.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gary wrote 7 years 12 weeks ago

I stopped into this site because I was wanting to find information on replacing the trigger in my Savage 110fp. I had already adjusted the factory trigger as light as was recomended. It is not the Accu-trigger. It is chambered in 300 win mag. I read Mike Diehl's post about the gun firing at colder temperatures with interest. I do know that heat effects things like this as we use heat to install motor couplings at work and I have used cold to help in installing car parts. I ordered a Timney trigger from MIdway and also ordered a Lyman electronic trigger pull guage to make the adjustments. I though while I was at it I would do some tests. I put my rifle into an unheated garage for 3 days waiting fo my order to arrive. It was -1.3 when I went to work this morning. The package came today and I went to the garage and took some trigger pull readings on the cold rifle. It averaged 3lb 4.1 oz. I then took the rifle inside and opened the bolt and laid it in the floor next to the heat duct. When the rifle felt no longer cold to touch I repeated the trigger pulls. It averaged 3.97 when warm. These were both a 10 pull average. I then installed the Timney trigger which is a drop in replacement and made the necessary adjustments. I have what feels like no trigger movement at all now. The trigger guage average is 1 lb 7 oz. I dont hunt unless you consider paper a hunt. I think I am going to like this new trigger. I was shooting 3 shot groups that made 1 ragged hole before but felt I was moving the gun from excessive trigger pull.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ray wrote 7 years 25 weeks ago

I jist was a wonderin, How may thermometers did Dave taste before he figured it out..:-)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 7 years 26 weeks ago

My next rifle will be a Savage 114. I'm saving for it now. All other makes and models aren't even on the radar.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Shickele wrote 7 years 26 weeks ago

DanI tend to think that the new savage rifles, both centerfire and rimfire had better make the other companies think about how to compete. If not, they won't be around for long.Mike

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dan wrote 7 years 26 weeks ago

Mike, couldn't agree more about getting bopped with a scope, but for me..nope. Over 20 years and hundreds of rounds, never a problem.I lived by Harry Lawson's gun shop. I used to visit all the time when I was 18( I think I drove his son Randy? crazy cause his old man was the nicest guy I ever met and would let me run around that shop all day, looking at all those custom rifles, and all those stock blanks.) It's still a great place to pick up a stock!I had the rifle fitted with a (yes, made by Harry himself cause his son was too busy at the time) thumb-hole stock, nice muzzle break and recoil pad. Ever since Harry put it all together, it doesn't have half recoil that it started with. I couldn't thank him enough.I shoot it every other weekend when I can and well, never had the scope touch me.A few years back I grouped about 7/8" with 3 shots at two-hundred yards. I was checking it for accuracy at the range. That was done with hand loads, not factory loads.And wow,that 7/8" group was with me blinking everytime the gun fires.But I have to laugh 'cause I see the flame shooting out the break before I feel the recoil! It fills the whole scope and I laugh because you know your tigger is breaking nice if you don't even have time to anticipate it.One moment I'm seeing the bull, and the next the scope, it's filled with a bright orange flame. Then I feel the recoil and well I'm not able to keep the gun from moving.Being human, I tend to blink, flinch, laugh, spit, or whatever, but by that time I see the orange flame, elvis has left the building! I could fall on the ground at that point without it effecting accuracy because that flame comes out after the bullet, not before!I have used this rifle on many hunts, and the trigger is nice, but I don't like letting anyone else use it because it's so light.I believe that was the gist of the post....when is a trigger too light. Answer, when you don't feel comfortable handing it to a friend! That simple.It doesn't pay to be foolish. I have to agree with David and the other statement about a clean 4 lb feeling nicer that a 2 lb with creep. It's cleaner and safer.And again, in my humble opinion, I agree with the start of this post, if you don't have something designed for 2 lbs. pull, don't screw around and put a factory trigger at something it wasn't designed for.And with the Savage comment, I really like those new Savage triggers. They are better than anything I have come across on a factory rifle. Hell, Savage should just sell triggers to all the major players as it would eliminate the whole problem of setting a trigger pull too light!Everyone is an expert or has an opinion until someone gets hurt, and then wow, opinions change. I think safety first is the best policy. Call me stupid!But I'm not worried. Darwin's ideas about the smart and stupid will prevail....but why can't it go faster?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark wrote 7 years 26 weeks ago

To DP:……if you know basic HTML formatting…??????Gawd! Sounds dangerous to me. When I did those approved mod’s to hot rod Windows XP I got a visit from the UN Weapons Inspectors.As far as my culture and taste????Bone Jord ma Bone Hom-mies ate Madam-mo-sols. Jay swee sauve ate dee-bone-air.There. That should bring tears to that terminal French Professor* [who was German] I had. Had her for German, too.* Verzeihung! Auf Duetche: “Professorin”

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Shickele wrote 7 years 26 weeks ago

DanI think that you misunderstood me. I'm not saying that those who use recoil reducing devices are in some way inferior to the rest of the shooting world. I would not endorse something that I wouldn't use myself. As for creep, see my original posting on this blog, in which I stated that a 4lb trigger without creep feels lighter than a 2lb trigger with creep; in fact, breaking like glass.P.S. if your eye is only 1.5inches away from your scope on a high power rifle, you are seriously running the risk of getting scope eye.Mike

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from craig j. curtis wrote 7 years 26 weeks ago

i wonder can any of you x military personnell give me an idea of what the snipers have for trigger poundage ? im curious ive only had one of my I.H.M.S.A. pistols worked on and it was nice but i still like pulling my ruger with factory poundage . a little suprise keeps me honest and i know you all will say balderdash but 4 pounds just doesnt bother me or my groups ! and to the gentelman that knows the trick of putting some duds in their to see the flinch reaction it works and is sobering if your having trouble with flinch own it and get busy to correct it . you will be a better shot .

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from russ wrote 7 years 26 weeks ago

Mike i think your probably right on on your explanation of sear release changing in extreme cold

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from charles wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

I have hunted with a Browning White Gold 300 mag Abolt since 1999. The local gunsmith adjusted the trigger to 2.5 lbs and assured me that it is absolutely safe.My friends shoot it from time to time at the range and invariably are surprised at how fast the trigger breaks. One of the guys that hunts with me shoots a 7 mag Abolt and the trigger breaks at 4.5 lbs. He has developed a horrible flinch, and I think it is fully attributable to the heavey trigger.I think that the 2.5 lb trigger is safe for hunting. I do not recall exactly when the trigger broke on any of the deer I killed last year. I know I did not miss any like my friend with the heavy trigger. Similarly, my 8 year old killed the two deer that he shot at with is Ruger adjusted by the local gunsmith to a nice crisp 3 lbs. I think this is the only way to go if you want to develop good shooting skills.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

To Mark: This primitive format we use will accept underlines and italls, bold, etc., if you know basic HTML formatting, whatever the hell that is.Otherwise, your stature as a person of taste and culture is assumed, seeing as how you're on this blog.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dan wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

Mike and all,I think i should have stated it as "blink" because if you watch anyone shoot through a scope, their eyes will "shut" "blink" as their gun fires. It's a normal reaction and I haven't seen a normal human not blink when that scope jumps backwards with a shot from a high-power rifle. I can shoot my ruger 10-22 all day without blinking but that's different.Now I can't speak for anyone else and you may know all the macho, superhumans, aliens, or "master gunman" who will never flinch, blink, or even crack a smile when firing a high power rifle with the eye 1.5 inches away from the scope...before commenting, have a friend video tape you shooting at the range and what your face does when firing and you'll see what i mean.Now, everything I've read in books on gunsmithing (books like this are usually more reliable than "Earl" or "Bubba") have stated that a great trigger should "break" like a glass rod would. That is to say, it should break cleanly, fast, and at once without any percevied creep. I understand the glass anaolgy.It should not have creep as this ruins the desired glass-like break and shooters tend to anticipate the shot, and tend to pull it or place it off target. And to measure the "weight" you have to use a scale to measure it becuase "feels like two" doesn't mean it's two pounds.I noticed that my 700 has a trigger like glass. When I shoot it, it breaks so cleanly that I am still wide-eyed concentrating on the target and I can see the fire coming out of the muzzle break before i know the gun is going off and that scope is now moving back towards my face....then somehow, my eye will blink as I am a human being, not the superman kind that will respond with "I never blink or react" to anything short of a german 88.so i actually measured the trigger break with a scale and it breaks just under 3 pounds, and i think that this may still be a bit too light to be safe. that was my point. I have to agree with being safe first and being stupid last.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Visitor wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

x

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Shickele wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

RussThe metal does change dimensions, but I think that it's more a matter of a thin layer of ice forming on the sear that makes a light trigger even lighter. I've heard of this, but never personally encountered it.Mike

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from russ wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

oh yea , one more thing , Never Ever work on a trigger yourself !!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RUSS wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

i have 3 brownings 2 remingtons and a cz all set at 2 lbs. i fire all of them often at the range . and have never had an accidental discharge . all trigger work is done by a very good gun smith who has proven his skills over the years to my friends and i . where i live and hunt , we almost never see freezing temps so thick gloves and no feeling in the fingers are not a concern . i have never heard anyone speak of it being so cold that gun metal shrinks . by the way i was a machinist for several years , and i recall using liquid nitrogen to try to shrink a piece of stainless. it didn't work , so i can't beleave you could be out hunting in conditions cold enough to shrink metal .

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Shickele wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

Hello DumbassYou don't know how much I enjoyed saying your name. My triggers have always been adjusted to three pounds; that was the weight that my dad always used, and he always did the best job of adjusting triggers that I've ever seen, and I'm not even being biased.I never do any work on rifles on my own; the gift that my dad had, I will never acquire, I'm too lead handed.Over the years, he has taught me much about what makes a rifle tick though. About metallurgic properties, and such. Much of which I retained.Mike

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dumbass wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

Now that this topic isn't at the top of the list any longer, I will confess to something so monumentally dumb it's a wonder someone didn't get hurt. There are a couple of lessons here that are worth remembering, so it's worth embarrassing myself. Years ago, after reading "Adjusting Your Rem. M700 Trigger for Dummies", (don't recall the author) I did just that to my M700 BDL in .270. It was a work of art, if I do say so myself. All I had to do was THINK about it and it went off. Had to be under a pound. Even bounced the butt on the concrete floor to make sure it'd hold. (This trigger work is a piece of cake, and look how much money I saved!) Worked like a charm at my Gun Club range (temps in the 60's-70's :first clue). I was ready for those big Mule Deer. Off to Montana, and sitting at the ranch shooting range. Gun in the sandbags, crosshairs on the target, put a round in the magazine, close the bolt - BANG!!! What the Hell was that!?!? Keep your finger away from the trigger, dummy, you know better!! Another round in the magazine, close the bolt - BANG!! What the f---?!?! About that time the nickel drops, the light goes on and I say to myself: "You dumbass. You should have thought about that." Did I neglect to mention how bitter cold it was in Montana that November? Back home, standing in front of my gunsmith and telling him this story, he looks at me with "that look" and says - "So, where would you like it set?" "Right about 3 pounds, if that's OK with you" I answer. (At least he was kind enough not to add the well deserved "dumbass" to his question.)Lesson #1. Metal will shrink/contract in cold temps (and then maybe that sear won't hold). Lesson #2. Only a fool adjusts his own trigger. Make a copy of DEP's "Trigger Weight & Gun Safety", post one at your local Gun Club shooting range and re-read it at least once a year. He's smarter than he looks. (Names have been changed to protect the stupid.)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

I've never used a rifle whose factory trigger pull or "trigger creep" stopped me from taking a good shot when the sight was on food. To whom is this supposed to matter? Long range competitive shooters?I hope there aren't any rugged-terrain hunters walking around with triggers set at 2 pounds. Seems to me like asking for trouble.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ford wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

I have just seen the light of day and figures out why the HELL I can't get a flippin' group out of my package Savage 111.Fart jokes? I can get a lot of those in the deer woods from my uncles.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Thomas Hall wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

A while back I replaced my Ruger MK 77's trigger with a Timney and adjusted it to release at 2 lbs. which various internet writings had convinced me was the setting that all serious, and seriously good shooters used. I did seem to be an improvement over the factory trigger and I was pretty pleased with my handiwork. Then I went a couple of months without a visit to the range and when I did go back I learned what D.P. said earlier in this thread was right, it really does scare the daylights out of you.D.P., I just read the first part of Bill Heavey's story about caribou hunting in Alaska and you were right about him too, he's just awful.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brian wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

Although a 1kg (2.2lbs) trigger is allowed for _serious_ competitions, I suggest that you have a trigger shoe fitted instead of fooling with the trigger (SAT excepted): the larger surface area of the shoe distributes finger pressure and thus gives the illusion of a lighter pull.Handgun flinch? Have somebody else load your clips, salted with a few duds. Too funny to watch.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Shickele wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

ChaseI'm a firm believer that a trigger should always go off when...and how you expect it to. This is in no way a fix to a flinch though.When I'm target shooting, I always dry-fire my rifle at least twice for every shot fired. This teaches me about the trigger, allows me to concentrate on my breathing, and enables me to catch a flinch if present.Mike

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chase wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

is it just me or is a flinch a bad thing....I grew up shooting my old man's custom .257 Roberts with a timney trigger at 2-2.5 lbs and when I bought my first rifle, a Tikka in .270 WSM, two things happened, first of all the gun with a trigger of 4 lbs wouldn't go off when I thought it would, and then the recoil, much more considerable than the .257 caused a pretty good flinch...the result, no groups....Solution: I had the triggers turned down to 2-2.5 pounds, now the gun goes off when I want it to, regardless of recoil, I have no chance to flinch.....

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MattWV wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

If a person can't find their own Raison D'être this is a good start:http://www.dogfish.com/brewings/Year_Round_Beers/Raison_DEtre/7/index.htm

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

Trigger pulls IMO varies in what the particular rifle’s “Raison Etre”. My .458 has a much heavier trigger pull than my medium or varmint rifles. On these I like something slightly less than 3-lbs pulls. None have creep. Reasons are obvious, especially since I shoot too many Clays and drink too much coffee.Hey, David! How come this format doesn’t accept italic’s and underlining? Makes us bloggers seem more illiterate than we are when we quote titles, etc. My college prof’s forced me to follow writing guides for those “A’s”….most likely because their prof’s did the same thing.…Come to think of it, I became more concerned about properly writing my bibliographies, footers, and end notes than the actual content of my papers because of those terminal, saber-toothed college Profs.And they wonder why I am the way I am.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Shickele wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

DanI'm impressed! most people wouldn't admit to the fact that their gun goes off before they have a chance to flinch.I don't think that your trigger is too light, it sounds to me like your getting yourself so psyched out that at the time the gun goes off, your not fully aware of your surroundings.This may be occurring because you are afraid of your rifle. If this is due to recoil, you need to reduce the recoil to a level that you can handle. I don't endorse muzzle breaks, but a slip on recoil pad, shoulder pad, or Caldwells lead sled can work wonders. Don't be ashamed to use these items, as shooting from the bench is not a normal shooting position, and recoil is generally far worse than is experienced when shooting from a field position.Mike

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from KJ wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

Well, ok...You know how you can tell when a moth farts?It flys in a straight line. (rimshot)Do you know the difference between an oral thermometer and a rectal thermometer?The taste. (big rimshot)Now - I'm back to Mozart and Rilke.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

To KJ: Gauche is my middle name. Do you think it's easy for a born lowbrow to maintain this level of culture?I understand The Decider likes fart jokes, and if the Decider can indulge in a little flatulence humor, why not us, his semi-loyal subjects?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dan wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

I have rem 700 adl that has a light 3 pound trigger. I think it's too light, when at the range, I usually see the orange burst of flame out my scope before I flinch...that's a crisp light trigger but I am having it set heavier as I like to "know" and feel the trigger before it goes off.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from KJ wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

"poopie-flavored lollipop"? We've gone from Christopher Wren, Jane Austen, and caviar to poopie-flavored lollipops. I suppose next we'll be sharing fart jokes. How gauche!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Shickele wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

DaveI agree with you that a 2 pound trigger is too light for a hunting rifle, but I disagree that most triggers can't be worked down to that level safely; by a gunsmith that REALLY knows what he is doing. If a Remington, or Timney trigger has been honed properly, and then set up properly, they will hold 2 pounds until the cows come home.If a 4 pound trigger has no creep, it feels lighter than a 2 pound trigger with some creep.I use a three pound trigger on all of my hunting rifles; I do this for 2 reasons: as a margin of safety if the adjustment ever does change, and when it is cold out, and my hands are numb, I still want to be able to 'feel' the trigger.I have invested in having all of my triggers break the same way; then I know exactly when the firearm will go off.Incidentally; I have instructions on how to adjust all of my triggers, plus others. But I refuse to touch them myself, I leave that to a professional trigger artist.Must leave to go hunting: Mike

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JA Demko wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

A poopie-flavored lollipop is a potentially useful item if your goal is to catch flies.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from KJ wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

The number of self-proclaimed experts on the internet only proves the point that one should take advice with a "shovelful" of salt. Anybody anywhere can put anything on the internet. And I'm an internet expert, so you can trust me on that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MattWV wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

What's really scary is to see the number of self-proclaimed snipers on the internet telling uninformed people that if they can't afford an aftermarket trigger for their 700P (this seems to be the most prevalent rifle used) that they should adjust it themselves. Most of these guys claim to get them down to 2-2.5lbs and that they are just as good as a custom job and completely safe. I sure hope people don't take this advice.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 7 years 27 weeks ago

My factory Savage BAT(Before Accu-Trigger) trigger breaks at approx. 4 pounds with some creep, but I find it managable.I recall shooting a two set-trigger job on a German manufactured rifle once that was sweet, and crisp, but I could see needing a lot of practice shooting it to avoid an accidental discharge.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment