Trigger Work: How Good Is Yours, Really?

You can build a fixture to help quantify your work so you can get repeatable results when working the trigger group.

by Gerry Ritacco

As an old-timer, I have listened to people discussing and comparing pistols and trigger jobs for many years. Phrases like “buttery smooth”, “clean break”, “crisp”, “no creep”, “pre-travel”, “over-travel”, and “short reset” come to mind. Double-action and single-action trigger pull are others. For the most part, buttery smooth, crisp and other subjective and relativistic terms are hard to quantify, as what may be acceptable to one person may not make the mark to another.

I came to gunsmithing with a machine design engineering background, so terms like smooth, crisp, and other subjective terms that cannot be quantified are good for open discussions and debates, but leave little to offer when a client’s pistol hits the bench. So, you want to improve the trigger on a pistol. Where do you begin and how do you know you’ve achieved your goal, really?


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