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Old April 3, 2013, 04:10 PM   #1
chrisintexas
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Ideal trigger pull weight

what is an acceptable trigger pull weight on a handgun?
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Old April 3, 2013, 04:19 PM   #2
bonefamily
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That would depend on: DA/SA trigger, DAO trigger, SAO trigger, shooters hand strength, etc. Too many variables to have one said acceptable trigger pull weight. IMO, of course
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Old April 3, 2013, 04:20 PM   #3
Japle
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What handgun?

What's it being used for?

I have a 7 oz trigger on my Wichita silhouette pistol, a 1 1/2 lb pull on my STI SteelMaster, a 5 1/2 lb pull on the XDm that I carry, etc.

It depends on the gun and the purpose of the gun.
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Old April 3, 2013, 04:27 PM   #4
chrisintexas
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carry handgun
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Old April 3, 2013, 04:36 PM   #5
Nathan
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I like about 4lb on my SA 1911 which I carry.

In general, I think 5-8lbs is better and I can shoot well enough with all of them. The only one I don't really like the feel of is my Glock 21 at like 6.5lbs, if I remember right.

I feel that pull feel through the stroke is most important. My XD is about the best. It has a medium length light pull with a relatively short 5.5lb break.

Still, I happily live with a 10 lb DAO revolver, 8 lb Kahr, 1911 @ 4, 5 & 6 lbs, SSK Contender at 2 lbs, 3lb Ruger SA...

You get my point. Over 15 yds, trigger pull weight becomes key. Under, safety should drive the weight higher.
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Old April 3, 2013, 04:39 PM   #6
RickB
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For a single action pull, I prefer 3.5#, but a lot of people prefer a heavier pull - 5# - in the interest of safety (believing that when they already have their finger on the trigger, they'll still be trying to decide if a shot is warranted, or not?).
For double action, I'd say 6-8 pounds.
It might be a peculiarity of mine, but I tend to prefer small, light, but powerful carry guns, and I squeeze them harder than full-sized guns. Since you can't operate one finger completely independently from the others, a somewhat heavier pull weight feels about the same to me as a lighter pull weight on a bigger, heavier gun. So, 4# is good for a powerful compact pistol.
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Old April 3, 2013, 04:46 PM   #7
51.50
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Trigger pull

If squeezing the trigger pulls you off your target, it's too heavy
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Old April 3, 2013, 05:13 PM   #8
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You forgot sdt !
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Old April 3, 2013, 08:56 PM   #9
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Down to only two handguns, both Smith revolvers, a 10-5 and my carry gun, a DAO 640. Thanks to a good gunsmith both have smooth double action pulls around 8 pounds. I haven't measured the SA pull on the Model 10, but I'd guess 2.5 to 3 pounds. Doesn't matter--it's a head-of-the-bed HD gun and I'd only shoot it DA in an emergency situation.
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Old April 3, 2013, 09:01 PM   #10
Frank Ettin
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A fellow I know who is a police officer, police firearms instructor and armorer will not set the trigger of a 1911 intended for service use to less than four pounds. He likes 4.5 pounds, and I have all my 1911s that I might carry set between four and five pounds.
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Old April 4, 2013, 03:13 PM   #11
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As others have noted, way too many variables in terms of purpose and practicality required in a specific handgun for one answer. There's a world of difference between the trigger pull poundage needed on a pistol to be competitive in, say, a Bullseye match and a pistol intended for use in, say, self-defense.
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Old April 4, 2013, 07:07 PM   #12
481
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The factory 5.5 lb. trigger pull on the Glock 17 and 19 (which after a little use settles in at ~5.0 lbs) is pretty much "ideal" to me since it is neither heavy enough to affect my accuracy to any great extent nor so light that I cannot feel it under my finger without discharging unintentionally it under stress.

Of course, I have also carried the S&W 5906 and SIG P226 during my career with little problem, their double action / single action triggers giving me no problem either. The trick is to "learn" the trigger and how to control its idiosyncracies- training can alleviate a lot of the evils of many such systems.
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Old April 4, 2013, 10:12 PM   #13
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For carry purposes, I think about 5 pounds is ideal for single action, and not less than 4-1/2. It's virtually impossible to get a double action trigger that light, so ... whatever you can get.
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Old April 4, 2013, 10:22 PM   #14
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In my experience, the character of the trigger is more important than the weight. I have handguns with relatively light triggers that make accurate shooting difficult due to creep and overtravel and others with heavier trigger pulls that are easier to shoot well because the trigger moves smoothly, breaks cleanly and doesn't have a lot of overtravel after it breaks.

There is a point at which it becomes very difficult to shoot a handgun accurately due to a heavy trigger. What that trigger weight is depends on the hand strength of the shooter in question and his/her willingness the spend time trying to master the trigger.
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Old April 5, 2013, 07:18 AM   #15
jad0110
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Quote:
In my experience, the character of the trigger is more important than the weight. I have handguns with relatively light triggers that make accurate shooting difficult due to creep and overtravel and others with heavier trigger pulls that are easier to shoot well because the trigger moves smoothly, breaks cleanly and doesn't have a lot of overtravel after it breaks.

There is a point at which it becomes very difficult to shoot a handgun accurately due to a heavy trigger. What that trigger weight is depends on the hand strength of the shooter in question and his/her willingness the spend time trying to master the trigger.
Very well said ... beat me to it.

I guess I must have strong fingers because my double action revolvers (most have pulls between 10 and 14 lbs) all feel great to me. They are consistent, smooth and have a nice clean break. I had a Taurus 94 that must have had a 15+ lb pull, and would have been fine with the weight had it not been for all the lumpy, gritty crap going on in the works.

OTH, I had a 1911 with comparatively lighter SA trigger that although light, was absolutely terrible overall (very rough, lot of initial slop, jerky inconsistent release and too much over travel). I was having trouble maintaining basketball-sized groups at 7 yards with that gun, until I had it cleaned up. Now ragged one hole groups are achievable at the same distance.
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Old April 5, 2013, 12:57 PM   #16
ClydeFrog
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Massad Ayoob; 5lbs...

Author, legal use of force expert & sworn LE officer: Massad Ayoob says a single action, 1911a1 type pistol should have a 5lb trigger with no creep. He says it should feel like a glass rod breaking.
For a smooth DA pull I like about 8-10 lbs. some DAO or duty type pistols go from 10-14 lbs. 12-14lbs is a bit much IMO.
New designs like the Beretta C(constant), the HK LEM(law enforcement modification) & SIG Sauer DAK(Double Action Kellerman) are great for duty, armed citizen defense, IMO.

About 2 years ago, I went into a local FFL holder/gun shop and asked a young clerk to see the SIG Sauer DAK pistols. "Only cops & federal agents want to look at those." he said. "exactly", I responded.
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Old April 5, 2013, 01:25 PM   #17
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carry handgun
4 to 5 Lbs. No less. Under stress it would be too easy to inadvertently trigger a round. Smooth is better than light.

I have heard it said that 80% of marksmanship is trigger control, and I tend to believe this. When I started paying more attention to my trigger, I became a lot better real quick. (Especially with rifles!)
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Old April 5, 2013, 01:34 PM   #18
bonefamily
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Quote:
Smooth is better than light.

I have heard it said that 80% of marksmanship is trigger control, and I tend to believe this. When I started paying more attention to my trigger, I became a lot better real quick.
Completely agree.
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Old April 5, 2013, 06:52 PM   #19
BigJimP
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Smooth is better than light....

but I want my carry gun, a 5" 1911 in .45 acp, right at 4 lbs....because its what I prefer. My range practice, target 1911's I like at around 3.5 lbs...and I want both of them smooth, no creep, no slack...so they break like glass - and reset just as smoothly.
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Old April 14, 2013, 08:27 PM   #20
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not normal

My finest "carry" gun, a (custom) 1911, has a trigger weight of just under 2lb.

I have great mental clarity under stress.
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Old April 16, 2013, 01:06 AM   #21
Samopal
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It really depends on the gun in question and the action, as others have said.

My LCP has a pull of about 7lbs. It's exceptionally smooth, and I can shoot quickly and accurately with it. I really like it and wouldn't change it.

On the flip side my brother has a PA-63 with an 18lb DA pull and 10lb SA pull, which is entirely too much. In SA there's virtually no travel, just a stiff, crisp break, but the DA is ridiculous and very hard to shoot accurately with.
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Old April 17, 2013, 09:00 PM   #22
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Target handgun @ .5-1.5#

Hunting handgun SA @ 2-3#

Defense handgun SA @ 3-5#

Defense handgun DA, always too heavy but they do have a hammer I can cock ;-)
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Old April 17, 2013, 10:03 PM   #23
newfrontier45
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I agree that smooth and crisp are the more important than letoff.

For a single action pull, be it a DA or SA, I like them around 2lbs.

I'd like to get my 1911's down to around 3lbs.
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Old April 17, 2013, 10:13 PM   #24
ClydeFrog
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Post #20...

Jokes are one thing but I wouldn't want to be in open court or a wrongful death civil trial trying to explain my actions & reasons to a jury/judge on why I used a 2lb trigger on my sidearm.

Juries DO ask to review firearms & gun related evidence.
Research the case of Ward vs Florida. "Bob" Ward shot his wife with a S&W revolver then claimed the woman(victim) shot herself by accident in a struggle with Ward. The victim had GSR on her face and eyes and the jury didnt buy Ward's story of the light trigger pull & a AD.

CF
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Old April 17, 2013, 10:14 PM   #25
jfrey
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Ayoob can say what he wants, I don't care. He's not the end all authority in my book. My 1911s are set from 2.5 to 3.5 pounds depending on which one it is and all break like a glass rod. My Glock 19 is 4 pounds. Heavy triggers and accurate shooting don't go together. I want light and smooth triggers on any gun I shoot.
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