Rifle Triggers: A Weight Problem

_by David E. Petzal _ Upon reading that the Jarrett Signature’s trigger was set at 1 ½ pounds, Dickgun, a … Continued

_by David E. Petzal
_
Upon reading that the Jarrett Signature’s trigger was set at 1 ½ pounds, Dickgun, a regular blogger, a hunter of vast experience and a bush pilot of otherworldly ability, asked if that was a good pull weight for hunting rifles in general. To which I reply, great gobs of goose grease, no! Kenny sets his triggers light because almost all the rifles he builds are for carefully set-up shots at long range, and are purchased by experienced shooters who take the time and ammo to get to know their rifles. Bush rifles they ain’t.

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For general use, anything below 3 pounds is asking for it. If you’re excited, or your hands are cold, or you’re wearing gloves, or any combination thereof, a trigger pull of less than 3 pounds is going to get you into trouble eventually–the rifle will go off before you’re ready. The M24 sniper rifles used by the Army have triggers that are set between 3 and 5 pounds because even for the coldest-blooded practitioner, sniping is a high-stress occupation that is performed in all kinds of weather. Good dangerous-game rifles have their triggers set at 4 to 5 pounds, and I’ve pulled some heavier than that.

Standard triggers are not designed to hold at weights lower than 3 pounds. Take most of them down below that and there’s not enough sear engagement to hold the firing pin. If you must have a light pull, there are some excellent aftermarket triggers that will hold at a weight of as little as 2 ounces, but you better practice with them, because controlling a trigger that light takes some thought and effort. Fail to do so and you could be the subject of one of MSNBC’s idiot documentaries.