Will trigger weight matter in a defensive situation?

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Thread: Will trigger weight matter in a defensive situation?

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    Member Array ak74's Avatar
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    Will trigger weight matter in a defensive situation?

    Heart pounding and adrenaline rushing. Fighting to save your life, is the weight of the trigger pull going to matter? It seems buyers always want that light, smooth, and crisp trigger pull but I just don't see how that is an advantage in a real world scenario. Maybe I'm wrong. What's your opinion?

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    A good trigger is always an advantage to have. With adrenline dump, you will not have the best trigger discipline, so anything that helps the trigger break smoothly will keep you from pulling the shot as bad as a heavy trigger will. It is true, you may not notice the difference in that situation, hell, you wont even hear the shot or feel recoil, but, the advantage of having a good trigger is one that will be felt on the recieving end moreso than noticed by you, and thats what counts.

    Also the shootability that a good trigger gives, and the accuracy potential it brings out instills confidence in practice, and goes a long way to being advantagous in that moment.
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    It matters a great deal to me.

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    JD
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    In terms of DA/SA guns it definitely can. If one hasn't built up good trigger discipline with the DA part of that equation, I've seen people throw the first shot clean off the paper at 7 yards when under a little pressure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    In terms of DA/SA guns it definitely can. If one hasn't built up good trigger discipline with the DA part of that equation, I've seen people throw the first shot clean off the paper at 7 yards when under a little pressure.
    I resemble that remark.
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    RKM
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    I think people like smooth, light, crisp triggers for shooting at the range. On a defensive gun, I don't really care. As long as it's not abnormally heavy. DAO guns are usually just fine. I'll admit, I don't like the DA pull of most DA/SA pistols, or the inconsistency for DA to SA. But if my life depends on it, I'll just be happy I have a gun. In the moment, you won't know or care. Changing the 5lb connector to a 3lb in a Glock IMO is pointless for defensive reasons. However, the DAK and LEM triggers in Sig's and HK's, I can see justification in those as you're improving trigger consistency. Same pull everytime. That's why I typically prefer a DAO for carry. As far as the lightness of the trigger, as long as it's not abnormally heavy, who cares?

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    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    I'd say definitely....too light a trigger would be a mistake for most people without alot of training and experience in high'stress situations.

    Now that I do cowboy mounted shooting, with a 3 pound trigger, I've accidentally pulled the trigger a few times when pulling back the hammer between targets....a small blip in my horse's stride, a slip with the hammer, any bobble. It's been surprising how little it takes. (We do not use live ammo, we use black powder blanks).

    I imagine a self-defense scenario with my DA, where I might already be aimed (and thus already have my finger inside the guard) and need to shift position, or stumble, or the bg might grab for my gun....(almost) no RL situation is going to allow you to stand and breathe and prepare and shoot from a perfect stance.

    All this doesnt even take into consideration the unconscious reflexes of high stress & fear. So the trigger pull of any self-defense gun is not likely to ever be too heavy.
    helderberg likes this.
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    Member Array gorilla45's Avatar
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    i think a smooth trigger and clean break are more important that the trigger weight. unless your talking about a 12lb trigger. If the trigger operates smoothly, its percieved feel will be lighter. Having said that I try to keep my carry guns trigger weight around 4-4.5lbs. Just personal preference. It's what I train with, it's what I compete with. IMO practice practice practice. That will give a bigger advantage.

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    Senior Member Array canav844's Avatar
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    I think it was Shooting USA that had a segment on an all Female outing of people associated with S&W. They had one of the executives that worked on their Bodygaurd series, where they had put on a heavier trigger; they showed the ladies trying them on range just target shooting, and many had complaints about the heavier trigger, later in the class the executive put them in a little time competition with the Bodygaurds, then asked them about the trigger. When that little bit of adrenaline got going they didn't notice it anymore. In a self defense situation, so long as your able to get a smooth pull on the trigger the few pound difference is of minimal consequence on your perception.

    However I am a firm believer in you need to train how you fight and that means you're going to need to shoot what you carry, and to keep adrenaline pumping constantly is hard. When you've got a small gun and a heavy trigger, and a moderate caliber, that's a lot of pull and a lot of kick and those can add up to make shooting not fun; esp for newer shooters where it may well be the only gun someone owns. When it gets to be not fun, then it means people don't practice as often, the perishable skill fades and then when they need it, they aren't accurate with it. So to that extent it can matter.

    The smoother the break the easier it is to keep the sights steady, slow marksmanship this makes helps with accuracy, under pressure while it is felt less a smooth trigger pull helps those shots stay were they belong. I don't think trigger pull is the end all be all, but it can make a difference on a few fronts. In the heat of the moment I doubt you'll notice the trigger pull, but the road to get to when it's needed may vary significantly.
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    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canav844 View Post
    I think it was Shooting USA that had a segment on an all Female outing of people associated with S&W. They had one of the executives that worked on their Bodygaurd series, where they had put on a heavier trigger; they showed the ladies trying them on range just target shooting, and many had complaints about the heavier trigger, later in the class the executive put them in a little time competition with the Bodygaurds, then asked them about the trigger. When that little bit of adrenaline got going they didn't notice it anymore. In a self defense situation, so long as your able to get a smooth pull on the trigger the few pound difference is of minimal consequence on your perception.

    However I am a firm believer in you need to train how you fight and that means you're going to need to shoot what you carry, and to keep adrenaline pumping constantly is hard. When you've got a small gun and a heavy trigger, and a moderate caliber, that's a lot of pull and a lot of kick and those can add up to make shooting not fun; esp for newer shooters where it may well be the only gun someone owns. When it gets to be not fun, then it means people don't practice as often, the perishable skill fades and then when they need it, they aren't accurate with it. So to that extent it can matter.
    The smoother the break the easier it is to keep the sights steady, slow marksmanship this makes helps with accuracy, under pressure while it is felt less a smooth trigger pull helps those shots stay were they belong. I don't think trigger pull is the end all be all, but it can make a difference on a few fronts. In the heat of the moment I doubt you'll notice the trigger pull, but the road to get to when it's needed may vary significantly.
    And you need to MOVE! You need to be able to aim and shoot smoothly while moving in any direction and many positions.

    IDPA practice is a great opportunity to do this sort of thing which you cant in the normal range setup.
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    The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)

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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    I think smoothness is more important than weight. But over all I think it is how many times you have pulled that trigger that ultimately matters. I would be more comfortable carrying a pistol with an average trigger I had fired a couple thousand times than a brand new out of the box one with great trigger.
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    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Girlie men... (and girlie girls too, just to be PC)

    My DA trigger pull is 24# that's not a misprint... twenty four puonds. On one of my carry guns...

    Does it make a difference?

    You BET it does! I've trained for it as best I can but my first attempts were a sad sad sight to see, shoulda had a target on the next lane... Subsequent SA trigger pull is very light (not measured, but I should someday.)

    Now, I keep thinkin to change the spring... but I'm looking to even out the pull between the two... and that's gonna take some doing... If I lighten the mainspring, the SA pull lightens up, too. And too much. There were some rumors about someone that had used 2 springs that evened out the pull but no subsequent posts from the modifier that supposedly had success.

    The difference between Polish engineering and Czech engineering.. the P64 (Polish) is the 24# the CZ 82 (Czech) has a nice pull both SA and DA.
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    Senior Member Array Ring's Avatar
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    look up the shot to hit ratio for the NYC police... having had shot 1 of there 12+ pound sig's, i can see why

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak74 View Post
    Heart pounding and adrenaline rushing. Fighting to save your life, is the weight of the trigger pull going to matter? It seems buyers always want that light, smooth, and crisp trigger pull but I just don't see how that is an advantage in a real world scenario. Maybe I'm wrong. What's your opinion?
    Heart pounding and adrenaline rushing. Fighting to save your life, is the weight of the trigger pull going to matter?
    That depends on a few things........have you trained with the weapon? Or did you just pick up a gun off the floor? Pretty much comes down to training. Trigger pull might and might not save your life, or it could put you behind bars in an incident.
    You choose your carry pistol for certain reasons...mainly your ability to operate effectively. Advantages in real world scenarios are all up to you and the tools you use. The main advantage in any scenario is your mind and how your body is programmed to react. The tools you choose or have at hand at the time may be random. Therefore, the trigger pull is a mute point just like each and every one of us is different in many ways. First shot may be more to think about than follow up shots depending on the pistol. DA/SA, etc....... My idea of a "good" trigger would obviously be different than yours. I have competition pistols, then I have simple self defense pistols.....sometimes I have those that serve both purposes with no changes required. Training relates directly to real world scenarios. Adrenaline can do many wonders all by itself such as lifting a car and demonstrating some form of inhuman strength.
    To answer your question........trigger weight of pull should not matter in a defensive situation. For those who have that in mind it most likely will. Using your tools effectively will get results, using your tools in the wrong way will will bust your knuckles and make you bleed. Simple rules apply. Use your mind first and your tools as they apply. Keep it simple and you'll simply survive.
    oakchas likes this.

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    Senior Member Array Rotorblade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak74 View Post
    Heart pounding and adrenaline rushing. Fighting to save your life, is the weight of the trigger pull going to matter? It seems buyers always want that light, smooth, and crisp trigger pull but I just don't see how that is an advantage in a real world scenario. Maybe I'm wrong. What's your opinion?
    No........you likely won't even notice, you probably won't remember looking down the sights or even how many rounds you shot.
    To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last - but eat you he will.
    Ronald Reagan

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