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.