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View Full Version : What is the best factory trigger on a semi-automatic?


adrian44
November 7, 2014, 06:39 PM
Let's hear your personal opinions. Limiting this to factory semis (no custom or after market tweaks), which gun do you think has the best trigger, as in crisp, intuitive reset, clean break, pull weight, etc? Price is not an issue.

UncleEd
November 7, 2014, 07:17 PM
Probably one or two should qualify, no more. But you're going to get a myriad of answers all reflecting the individual experiences and more importantly prejudices.

mellow_c
November 7, 2014, 07:30 PM
I can say with a fair bit of certainty that the semi auto handgun that would receive the most votes for having the best trigger would be............

A 1911

Elvis has left the building :D

Uncle Malice
November 7, 2014, 07:35 PM
There isn't much that can compare with a true single action design like the 1911. Even a bad 1911 trigger is still better than just about everything....

Outside of the 1911... I'm a mighty big fan of SIG triggers. Solid, smooth, crisp... perfect.

hodaka
November 7, 2014, 07:37 PM
Yes, 1911's are hard to beat. Steyr is good as is Walther but not as good as most basic 1911's.

SIGSHR
November 7, 2014, 07:46 PM
I have an S&W M639 that has an incredibly smooth and light trigger in both SA and DA.

WVsig
November 7, 2014, 08:00 PM
The 1911 will be the # 1 answer because that is the best trigger most shooters have ever encountered. You say factory no custom or after market tweaks, but what about semi-custom 1911s and guns like Performance Center guns from S&W? If money is not a factor there are factory guns which can some close to custom guns.

That said I still think a good 1911 is hard to beat but there are a lot of other guns which are close. IMHO there is not a striker ever made that will come close to the 1911. The 2 that immediately come to mind which are comparable to the 1911 straight from the factory are the Sig P210 and the S&W 952.

http://lundestudio.com/photos/p210-2-hc-right-flat.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v238/Gixerman1000/Handguns/SWPC952.jpg

Both of these are $2500+ guns so a fair comparison to them in the 1911 world is a Semi-custom Wilson, Les Baer, Guncrafters, Ed Brown etc... which are hard to beat. For me head to head I will take a custom or semi-custom 1911 over these other two but a P210 and 952 are on my wish list. ;)

JohnKSa
November 7, 2014, 08:17 PM
The Grand Power K100/STI GP6 and its variants have a very nice trigger.

TunnelRat
November 7, 2014, 08:26 PM
Outside of the 1911... I'm a mighty big fan of SIG triggers. Solid, smooth, crisp... perfect.

The production triggers of SIGs I've handled recently have run the gamut of quality. Some of them do meet what you describe above, but plenty don't. I am not sure what you mean by solid. Smooth seems hit or miss, as well as crisp. If you can inspect it go for it. But I've literally handed multiples of the same model from the same case in a store with production dates only a week apart to find one excellent and the other quite frankly mediocre at best. If I wanted to recommend a DA/SA trigger I honestly think the best would be a Walther P99.

Uncle Malice
November 7, 2014, 08:31 PM
I am not sure what you mean by solid.

I mean no trigger flex. Metal-to-metal the whole way. When you move the trigger, it moves the trigger bar.

Many guns have triggers that flex a bit... HKs, M&Ps, etc. There is a little bit of flex in the trigger before it actually starts moving. Hard to explain I suppose.

TunnelRat
November 7, 2014, 08:36 PM
I mean no trigger flex. Metal-to-metal the whole way. When you move the trigger, it moves the trigger bar.

Many guns have triggers that flex a bit... HKs, M&Ps, etc. There is a little bit of flex in the trigger before it actually starts moving. Hard to explain I suppose.

I don't find that on HKs (the trigger is metal covered in polymer), but I get what you're saying.

I'm not aware of a pistol that uses a polymer trigger bar, so all of the interacting parts are still metal. A stock M&P does flex a bit because of the hinged trigger safety, but many polymer triggers don't seem to flex too much to me, though as you said it's subjective.

burrhead
November 7, 2014, 08:42 PM
Sig 210

TunnelRat
November 7, 2014, 08:52 PM
I handled a CZ 75B SA some back that was quite nice, but even its trigger wasn't as good as a $400 RIA 1911.

AK103K
November 7, 2014, 10:04 PM
Best trigger for what?

I would say most of the factory triggers Ive shot have been fine. I dont like the overly light triggers some of the 1911's come with, as think they are to light for serious use. Most of the DA/DAO triggers Ive shot have been good, as have the striker fired triggers.

I personally think people worry on the trigger way to much. If you practice with the DA triggers on a regular basis, and have them mastered (not a biggie either), you can shoot pretty much anything well.

Cyanide971
November 7, 2014, 10:41 PM
Grand Power P1 Mk7, a pistol that can be had all day long in the
$400-450 range.

Cyanide971
November 7, 2014, 10:45 PM
I personally think people worry on the trigger way to much. If you practice with the DA triggers on a regular basis, and have them mastered (not a biggie either), you can shoot pretty much anything well.
^^^^^THIS! [emoji106]

Elerius
November 7, 2014, 11:51 PM
Like many others have said in other threads, the Walther PPQ trigger is pretty nice. I handled a used M1 today for the first time and wanted to buy it... but I was there for an LCP.

In personal experience, excluding the 1911 and my Browning Hi Power, my favorite trigger has been on a Ruger SR9. I like how it breaks with very little movement. But I may be alone on that one.

jmstr
November 8, 2014, 01:23 AM
Best trigger out of box on sub $1000 gun w/o any changes? Imho: browning buckmark. Only 1911s I've felt better were over $1000 or had work done. Sig w/ srt and short riggrr is pretty nice too, but buckmark was very surprising.

I know you said price is no issue, but at a certain point the gun may be 'stock' but have a trigger that should count as an aftermarket tweek.

A $2500 Wilson Combat is a better gun than a $600 Rock Island. I can buy that Rock Island and drop a C&S Ignition kit in for under $800. After fine tuning the trigger itself, its trigger may be indistinguishable from the Wilson Combat: even if it cost $1700 less.

However your standards in the original post would allow the WC 1911 and exclude the RIA 1911.

Price IS a consideration of any meaningfull comparison.

"Price is no object, but which factory original car (no aftermarket engine tuning allowed) has fastest acceleration?"

Do you want to hear Corvette, porsche, ferrari, Lambo, Maybach, Bughatti, maclaren or what? Btw, my 'tuned' motorcycle cost under $12000 with tuning, but does 0-60 in @2.9-3 seconds. Not with me on it, but it was rated at 3.1 befor I added 20-30 horse and 20ft/lbs torque.

Seems silly to really be comparing a $12000 vehicle to a $2mill one.

Like it seems silly (to me) to not allow changes to a guns trigger, but allow guns costing over $4000 to be compared to $300 ones. Above a point they may be 'factory' by some standards, but should be thought of as a gunthat had trigger work done.

Maybe your definition should be to compare guns that were assembled only: none that a gunsmith fits parts to individually. Again, that will prob keep the cost undrr $1000.

Water-Man
November 8, 2014, 01:40 AM
For striker-fired, out of the box:

HK VP9
Walther PPQ
Sig P320

Dragline45
November 8, 2014, 02:11 AM
Gotta agree with others and go with a quality 1911's trigger. As far as strike fired, believe it or not the Ruger SR series has one of the better factory striker fired triggers I have ever felt.

Sevens
November 8, 2014, 05:33 AM
In semi-auto pistols that I have, I'll say that my Tanfoglio Elita Match has a very good trigger in all the ways laid out by the OP. In rimfire, my Sig Trailside has a most excellent trigger. But no semi-auto that I own can truly come close to the trigger on my Smith & Wesson 845. That's in another world.

WildBill45
November 9, 2014, 07:23 AM
I know you said price is no issue, but at a certain point the gun may be 'stock' but have a trigger that should count as an aftermarket tweek.


He said Price is no issue, but still folks keep changing his question.:eek:

A 1911 overall is the best in regard to your question.

Nathan
November 9, 2014, 07:56 AM
There are basically 3 triggers out there:

SA:
1911: Dan Wesson or similar
T/C Contender

DA:
S&W revolvers like the 19-3??

Striker:
XD, very nice 2 stage pull
Kahr, different, but solid


All this said, I'm one who does not spend a lot of effort selecting a best trigger. I tend to spend my time learning my guns trigger. I did replace the NY1 trigger in my Glock, but haven't bothered with the 3.5 disco as I shoot this well enough.


** and this is my 2000th post! Yea me! Ok, now back to my coffee.

jmstr
November 9, 2014, 12:14 PM
He said Price is no issue, but still folks keep changing his question.

You are right. Mea culpa.

However, he also said "...limiting this to factory semis [no custom or aftermarket tweaks]...."

I took that to mean he wanted a [I]make/model you can place an order on.

So why do so many people just throw out a platform, instead of a make/model from a factory? Instead of saying 'get a 1911', a better answer should be 'get a Nighthawk T3' [for example].

My point was that his failure to take price into account makes this exercise moot.

How likely is it that a mass-produced 'factory' gun that sells for $500 will have the same quality trigger as a Nighthawk Bob Marvel Custom, a Wilson Combat Pinnacle or an Ed Brown Classic? None of these sell for less than $3000 [the Pinnacle is closer to $8000] and all can be legally defined as a 'factory' gun. They are as much 'factory' as my F150: both can be ordered with a specific blend of features.

So, if price is no object: buy the Wilson's Combat Pinnacle and be done with it.

It also meets your standards: buy a 1911.

But a RIA can have a trigger so good an average person couldn't feel much difference [with closed eyes] for less than $1200 [counting gunsmith fees].

Thus, the question seems to also include the idea of which gun has the capability to have the best trigger. After all, those 3 above just do all of the aftermarket/custom work in their factory.

I do agree though: the 1911 platform has the most potential!

barnbwt
November 9, 2014, 01:35 PM
The nicest trigger pull of all my semi's is my 1914 Steyr Hahn, believe it or not. I'm pretty sure that gun was worked over by a target shooter at one time, though, since it is way lighter than you'd ever want in a service gun (very occasional hammer follow, too). Apart from that, definitely the Mateba 6 Unica, but it doesn't count since that's a single action revolver trigger, even though the gun is autoloading.

Owing to its design, with a little tweaking and good steel parts, the R51 would likely have a trigger pull rivaling 1911's (fairly similar hammer/trigger layout)

TCB

lifesizepotato
November 9, 2014, 05:40 PM
Walther P88 Competition/Champion

or

Pardini GT9.

HK P9S Sport Group III is up there also.

Reader850
November 9, 2014, 11:43 PM
Probably a Browning, but my Ruger 1022 and Remington Model 1100 are pretty good. :D

marine6680
November 10, 2014, 01:05 AM
The best trigger I have felt was probably the one on a Nighthawk Custom I shot a couple years ago... very light and crisp.

I have felt an EAA Witness Limited, not long back, that had an excellent trigger... Pretty much any single action pistol I have tried, that comes race ready or semi race ready from the factory, has had very good triggers.

Most of the Sig DA/SA triggers I have felt have been very good.

I have felt a few CZs with good stock triggers, and some with worked over triggers that were outstanding.

I would say that a hammer fired trigger mechanism tends to make for better triggers. AS a broad rule, and not a blanket truth.

Most of the quality gun makers have at least one model that has a very good trigger or better in their lineup.


The PPQ has arguably the best stock striker trigger available right now.


Non-stock, I would say my M&P with Apex FSS and polished trigger bar and striker sear engagement surface is the best Striker trigger I have felt personally. The break on mine is similar to a series 80 1911 trigger but with more takeup. Even with the heavier "duty" trigger spring, due to the polishing I had done, it feels light... Lighter than the 5.5lb they say it would be. I need to hit it with a gauge and measure it, it may just be deceptive on my senses due to its smoothness.

James K
November 10, 2014, 02:17 PM
Most folks seem to be thinking along the lines of defense guns, but the OP did not set that kind of limit. So I would have to go with the Walther Olympic and guns like European rapid fire pistols. My personal experience has been with a pre-war Olympic, an S&W Model 41 and an S&W Model 52, all factory guns with no special work done on them.

Jim

zincwarrior
November 10, 2014, 03:00 PM
Indeed. I was thinking my Ruger target pistol or a Sig X-Five.

marine6680
November 10, 2014, 03:13 PM
That's why I mentioned race guns... Best trigger is subjective and use dependent... But based solely on the usual desired traits of a trigger, competition guns fit the generic term of "best trigger" the most.

I also limited my response to direct experience...

I would love to try one of those high end Olympic level guns though.

joe-lumber
November 13, 2014, 10:43 AM
I would say that almost any 1911 is the best but the PPQ that I have is just as good for a stiker fired pistol.
J

Rinspeed
November 14, 2014, 12:33 AM
Best trigger for what?





Maybe for shooting. :confused:

AustinTX
November 14, 2014, 04:58 AM
That said I still think a good 1911 is hard to beat but there are a lot of other guns which are close. IMHO there is not a striker ever made that will come close to the 1911. The 2 that immediately come to mind which are comparable to the 1911 straight from the factory are the Sig P210 and the S&W 952.

These were the top three I was going to post (though I'm not sure exactly which 1911s the OP would view as qualifying).

The "target" trigger on the -5 and -6 versions of the Swiss P210 is sublime. Same with the PC952's (and older Model 52) trigger.

The Pardini GT9's trigger is right there with them (some would very reasonably argue above them). The SAO trigger on the CZ Custom Shop-tuned CZ 75 Champion I just picked up is also close to perfect (bearing no relationship to the standard CZ 75 DA/SA trigger, which I really dislike). I haven't yet had the pleasure of shooting/owning the HK P9S Sport Group III or the Walther P88 Champion or Competition, but those are supposed to be pretty close to perfect. The trigger on the P226/P220 X-Five/X-Six is also terrific, but it's just a tiny bit less crisp than the best ones here.

The P210 Legend's trigger, while good, is unfortunately distinctly inferior to the trigger on the different Swiss P210s, thanks to the automatic FPS and the poor design of the new magazine catch, which interferes with the trigger stop screw.

AustinTX
November 14, 2014, 05:01 AM
The production triggers of SIGs I've handled recently have run the gamut of quality. Some of them do meet what you describe above, but plenty don't. I am not sure what you mean by solid. Smooth seems hit or miss, as well as crisp. If you can inspect it go for it. But I've literally handed multiples of the same model from the same case in a store with production dates only a week apart to find one excellent and the other quite frankly mediocre at best.

No doubt. That's the cost of using low-quality, Bangalore-produced MIM for your trigger bars, sears, and hammers. The Ron Cohen Way.

In any case, DA/SA triggers on mass-production guns definitely don't make this discussion.

AK103K
November 14, 2014, 08:15 AM
Maybe for shooting.
Again Ill ask, shooting what? What type of gun? What type of shooting? Target, self defense, hunting?

Are you saying all triggers, are acceptable for all uses?

The basic question is way to broad to get any kind of real answer, and even narrowed, its still, a personal preference/opinion thing.


In any case, DA/SA triggers on mass-production guns definitely don't make this discussion.
I beg to differ. Its been my experience that 99.9% of the "factory" DA triggers Ive shot, have been acceptable and shootable, and would have required no other work.

lifesizepotato
November 14, 2014, 01:29 PM
I beg to differ. Its been my experience that 99.9% of the "factory" DA triggers Ive shot, have been acceptable and shootable, and would have required no other work.

"Acceptable" and "shootable" are much different than "best," which is the topic at hand.

I have some excellent DA/SA triggers (relevant: they're not on mass-produced guns), but they'll still never beat a dedicated SAO setup when you evaluate using break/creep, reset/return, overtravel, and weight as your metrics.

As for the "no real answer" theory, I think that's wrong and some triggers are objectively better than others. When you get to the absolute top-tier SAO triggers, you're splitting hairs and there may not truly be a "best," but if it's a Pardini GT9 vs. a Glock, well, one is absolutely better in any meaningful way you can think of.

One can move goalposts and say that "best" depends on a gun's intended use, but it's still taking the actual best trigger and compromising or watering it down, like adding weight or creep to a defensive gun's pull.

AK103K
November 14, 2014, 02:02 PM
I have some excellent DA/SA triggers (relevant: they're not on mass-produced guns), but they'll still never beat a dedicated SAO setup when you evaluate using break/creep, reset/return, overtravel, and weight as your metrics.
I guess Ive just gone beyond all the usually given reasons a trigger is "bad" to some, and just shoot the gun.

I dont buy into all the worry about break, creep, over travel, even weight (unless way off base, which is rare these days), I just focus on the sights, target, or both, and shoot the gun. I rarely ever even think about the trigger when Im shooting. I get a sight alignment or index and the gun goes bang.

lifesizepotato
November 14, 2014, 02:04 PM
I guess Ive just gone beyond all the usually given reasons a trigger is "bad" to some, and just shoot the gun.

I dont buy into all the worry about break, creep, over travel, even weight (unless way off base, which is rare these days), I just focus on the sights, target, or both, and shoot the gun. I rarely ever even think about the trigger when Im shooting. I get a sight alignment or index and the gun goes bang.

Nothing wrong with that at all. But in an academic discussion about the "best" trigger, those things matter. :)

WIL TERRY
November 14, 2014, 02:09 PM
Right out of the factory and as crisp as the BEST S&W SA letoff on a sixgun:
BR/FN GP35
SIG P210-5

AK103K
November 14, 2014, 02:39 PM
Nothing wrong with that at all. But in an academic discussion about the "best" trigger, those things matter.
But thats my point, do they really? I just think its all subjective.

buckfynn
November 14, 2014, 04:42 PM
The best factory trigger I have come across was on a 1949 Colt Woodsman Match Target .22LR pistol.

AustinTX
November 14, 2014, 07:50 PM
Right out of the factory and as crisp as the BEST S&W SA letoff on a sixgun:
BR/FN GP35
SIG P210-5

The Hi-Power? There aren't many that will share that opinion. The trigger design is definitely not the high point of the BHP. The trigger pull is pretty poor with the mag safety intact, and it's not easy to make it exceptional even with the mag safety removed.

I still love the BHP, but the trigger is probably the single-most unimpressive thing about the gun and its design, in my opinion.

AustinTX
November 14, 2014, 07:53 PM
But thats my point, do they really? I just think its all subjective.

Yes, in an academic discussion of trigger quality, those characteristics do indeed matter. You can very reasonably argue that these things might make no practical difference to a skilled shooter, but that's beside the point of this particular thread.

jad0110
November 14, 2014, 09:07 PM
In my experience, the best is my mom's Hi Standard Supermatic Citation. Very smooth, clean break and barely any overtravel.

My Vz.82 has a surprisingly slick double action trigger, a delight in a gun I paid a little over $200 for. My father's Kahr K9 is smooth as well, but a little wooden feeling. OTH, my S&W K, L & N frames are a cut above the Vz and K9.

1911s vary a LOT. Most people automatically equate a light trigger with a good trigger.

1911s can be quite good. But my Springfield Armory Mil-Spec had a jerky, gritty trigger out of the box with a lot of slop. So does my new Colt Series 70, though it is notably better than my SA.

Rinspeed
November 14, 2014, 09:50 PM
But thats my point, do they really? I just think its all subjective.





Maybe you're just reading way too much into the question.

AK103K
November 14, 2014, 10:30 PM
Maybe you're just reading way too much into the question.
I guess.

So what is the "one" answer then?

Sevens
November 14, 2014, 11:24 PM
Read each post and you will find EACH particular person's ONE answer. Or top three, anyway. My post had three answers, I can pare it down to the 845.

But seriously... it's a discussion. It's not likely possible for their to be ONE answer above all others. At least I was able to go from "everything" to "most" to "many" to "THREE!" and down to "845."

You seem to be stuck on "everything."
That's a very good place to be if you're shooting. If you're still taking part in a discussion and you're stuck on "everything", it sure seems like you've gotten all you'll likely ever get from the discussion.

AK103K
November 14, 2014, 11:30 PM
What I got from the discussion is, there are a lot of people "stuck" on the trigger. ;)

Sevens
November 15, 2014, 12:01 AM
As I have chased more guns over the last couple of years, I've absolutely come to appreciate the pure joy of a fine trigger and I can very easily see the difference in a "better" trigger when compared to an "average" trigger. In much the way that I seem to have the ability to pick up handguns and shoot any of them with some level of proficiency (and not get all uptight over feel, grip angle, bore axis, etc), it certainly doesn't mean that I don't have preferences and don't chase some guns that fit my hopes & ideas a little better than others.

I have had a long fascination with Smith & Wesson steel semi-auto pistols. We often simply call them "3rd Gens" in most of our discussions here, but I'm talking about all three generations which began with the Model 39 and basically got phased out somewhere in the midst of the M&P and S&W's finally caving to the 1911 craze.

My point is that I've always had a fondness for these for many reasons and I now happen to have six of them. 3 of them make for interesting discussion right now:
circa '87 Model 745
circa '92 Model 1006
circa '98 Model 845
The 745 is interesting to me in that the length of travel is extremely short. Very clean, no drag, and I have an overtravel stop that is adjusted to a very beneficial spot-- this is a very nice trigger, however... the actual pull weight and break is amongst the heaviest I've handled for a trigger with this short, fine range. Trigger BARELY moves & moves cleanly, but it takes a lot of effort to move it.

The 1006 trigger is a joke compared to any "fine" trigger by any measure. It's a better trigger than the one on my Ruger P-90 :p but this is like saying that the 1975 Impala is svelte because it weighs less than a 1977 Fleetwood. It may weigh less, but that doesn't make it lean.

Now the 845 is simply not fair. As discussed by others above, this may not be a "production gun" as roughly 650 of these guns exist on the planet and all were put together as much by human hands as by advanced machinery at the S&W Performance Center. The 845 has a trigger that, IMO, rivals the Les Baer 1911 triggers I've gotten to work with -- admittedly, only two LB's that I've shot. I can only suggest that if you spot an 845 (or most likely the similar feel you'd get from a 952) I do hope that you ask to pick that handgun up and try a dry-fire or three.

Doing that or even shooting one should -NOT- ruin the ability you have with other (lesser) handguns. And it certainly doesn't mean that you would moments later find it a good idea to spend two grand to get one when you get plenty of enjoyment from, say, a 5906.

But none of any of this makes the discussion moot.
Also, it's worth noting that I still love my 1006 for many reasons... none of which include it's trigger. (because it's trigger is functional and no better than that)

lifesizepotato
November 15, 2014, 11:04 AM
I think the best trigger is definitely the HK VP70Z. Second place might be the Nagant revolver.

And that's my opinion so it can't be wrong. :cool:

AK103K
November 15, 2014, 11:53 AM
Ever shoot a VP70? My buddy has had one since the 80's, and its really not as bad as you hear. He doenst have the "stocked" version, but you cant have everything. :)

I was always amazed at how many American shooters complained about the HK "G"/"90's" series rifle triggers too. You'd think they were unshootable if you listened to them.

vito
November 15, 2014, 03:28 PM
My new Ruger LC9s has a really nice and smooth trigger. But I will admit that I only own five semi-autos, four of which are Rugers, and one Browning. The LC9s is striker fired and seems light years better than the older LC9. This gun also is a great combination of small size, decent capacity (8), good stock sights, and reliable mechanics. I bought it when I was considering the S&W Shield and found this new Ruger far better to my liking, a major part of that was the excellent trigger.