I recently picked up my friend’s gun and noticed a big difference in the trigger pull. On mine, there is a gap between the time my finger first touches the trigger and point at which the gun goes off. Also, sometimes the trigger doesn’t fire the second barrel because I haven’t released it far enough after the first shot. I really liked my friend’s trigger. What should I do?
As you gain experience, you will have a greater appreciation for a really nice trigger versus one with a lot of “slop.” First of all, let’s define some terms. We refer to the pulling of the trigger by the trigger finger as “positive pressure” and the releasing of the trigger as “negative pressure.”
When applying positive pressure to the trigger very slowly and gradually, you will feel five things: 1) Take-up is the gap between the position of the trigger at rest and the point at which you feel resistance. 2) The wall is the point at which you first feel the resistance of the trigger against the sear. 3) Creep is the gap between the wall and the point at which you hear a click or a bang. When we refer to trigger pull in pounds, we are referring to the amount of pressure it takes to activate the trigger, from the wall to the point at which the trigger breaks. 4) Trigger break is the point at which you hear a click or bang. 5) After the trigger breaks, you will feel the trigger continue to move backward a bit. This is referred to as over-travel.
Upon reaching the trigger stop, you start to release the trigger, thus applying negative pressure. The gap between the trigger stop and the point at which the trigger resets is the “trigger reset.” Personally, I prefer triggers with minimal take-up, minimal creep, trigger pressure of about 3.5 to 4 pounds and minimal overtravel before the trigger/sear resets.
Another issue you might find with your triggers is that one trigger might feel different than the other. I am not a gunsmith, but there are some really good ones out there who can make your sear sing. If you want to improve some aspect of your trigger’s performance, use the above terms to communicate your preferences to the gunsmith.