Long trigger pulls - detriment to shooting, or is that a false perception?

Long trigger pulls - detriment to shooting, or is that a false perception?

This is a discussion on Long trigger pulls - detriment to shooting, or is that a false perception? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This is just some thoughts with the hope to stimulate some open and honest thinking about our perceptions and other things we commonly read and ...

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Thread: Long trigger pulls - detriment to shooting, or is that a false perception?

  1. #1
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    Long trigger pulls - detriment to shooting, or is that a false perception?

    This is just some thoughts with the hope to stimulate some open and honest thinking about our perceptions and other things we commonly read and claim. This is just one aspect of a gun – the trigger.

    In researching the Sig P250 for a possible purchase, I noticed a common theme among threads about the P250 - it's got a long trigger pull. It's been a while since I had a P250 in my hands, but I don't remember the trigger pull being significantly longer than the first DA pull of DA/SA triggers. What I did notice was the trigger on the P250 was smoother and lighter than any DA/SA trigger - some have likened it to a DA revolver trigger.

    There seems to be a perception that a shorter trigger pull makes a gun better than a gun with a longer trigger pull. If that is true then the 1911 is, based on trigger characteristics, the king of all guns, case closed. It should logically follow that a 1911 can be shot faster than any other gun, right? I mean with the light, short trigger pull and the short trigger reset, why would one choose any other gun?

    As for me, since I shoot a lot and sometimes just want to take a break and do something different, I occasionally shoot a bunch of guns side-by-side and see what works best for me that day. The results have been amazing. One time I can shoot a 1911 better than anything else; another day it's a Glock, another day it's a Sig, another day an H&K, etc. But there is one exception - if my S&W 686, 2-1/2 bbl revolver is in the mix, it is the one I shoot better, every single time with no exceptions. Know how I shoot it? DAO exclusively, big ol long trigger pull and all. Granted, I have done some trigger work to lighten the trigger a bit, but nothing to shorten it.

    Also, it's curious how some that find the DAO such a detriment to shooting, turn right around and claim they do much better with a DA/SA. From my experience, ALL DA/SA may be a bit shorter than say a P250, but it's also a lot heavier and noticeably not as smooth. So what happens? We draw our DA/SA and fire that first shot with a heavy, i.e. about a 10 lb pull, and it doesn't have a short pull. So our first defensive shot out of the holster is the one that's the hardest and I bet we practice the very least.

    Just a guess on my part here - most that prefer DA/SA shoot 99.9% of their shots in SA. Typically we load the gun, rack the slide and now we’re in SA. We shoot the gun empty, stuff in a full mag, drop the slide and blaze away. That's all SA, so yeah, I bet we do like that, but let us not forget that first shot out of the holster is gonna be DA - the one we practice the least and we consider the least desirable trigger action.

    Then there’s the speed perception that a SA trigger is faster in rapid fire. I wonder. I read the claim that you can’t defy physics, but I wonder if we’re fully taking physics into account. E.g., here’s a physics problem: I can run about 5 shots a second, which means I have to fire a shot every 0.2 seconds. Two tenths of a second, I wonder if the gun has recoiled and settled back on target in 0.2 seconds? Well, by my tests, which include a timer, it hasn’t. Now if you just count a hit as anywhere on the paper (a static target quite different than a real-world confrontation), then recoil isn’t a problem – you just spray and pray as fast as you can.

    There are a number of variables that need to be accounted for to do a fair comparison between guns, esp. trigger types. E.g. let’s say I have carried a Sig 229 DA/SA for three years and shot it fairly regularly. Then I see someone at the range with a P250 and I shoot it. Is there any doubt which gun is gonna shoot better, feel right, and have the better trigger system for me? But, what if I carry a P250 for three years and shoot it regularly, and then one day shoot a P229 DA/SA. Is that gonna be a predicable outcome? I think so, and if not, it is inescapable that there will be an inherent bias for the gun I carry and shoot the most.

    So I guess it comes down to this: have there actually been carefully executed tests to determine which trigger is best or advantageous and to who and when is it advantageous and why? Have we even used a timer and scored ourselves, AND given each gun equal and fair carry/shooting times, to see if trigger configurations really make a difference? Or, are we going by feel and perception? If the latter is true, realize that’s not expertise; it’s biased opinion.

    I’ve even gone to the range just to see if one gun is better than my current favorite – guess what it never is. What I’m saying is there is a lot of bias inherent in us that sway our perceptions and even our performance when comparing two different guns.
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    If one doesn't desire a long trigger pull on his favorite rifle or shotgun than why would he be alright with it on his handguns? I loathe any flavor of DAO design.

    I'm not even into DA/SA designs. Only 1911s and Hi-Powers need apply.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    If one doesn't desire a long trigger pull on his favorite rifle or shotgun than why would he be alright with it on his handguns? I loathe any flavor of DAO design.

    I'm not even into DA/SA designs. Only 1911s and Hi-Powers need apply.
    I understand personal preferences - this is not about personal preferences. What it is about is when personal preferences and/or any other unfounded issue becomes the basis for claiming that other trigger systems are 'less', inferior, or not as fast. Until that has been thoroughly tested fairly without the influence of bias, we can't really substantiate any claims about trigger types.

    I've seen too many times where our perceptions and 'logic' prove to be far from accurate, esp. when it comes to time perceptions as pertinent to shooting.
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    It has been my experience that a longer trigger pull is a detriment to shooting accurately for people that dont shoot much or have never shot at all until that day.

    Many of those attending our CHL classes will bring a a gun that is designed for personal defense,its usually compact and many of them have DAO triggers.

    Although it is OK for defensive purposes, it sucks for new shooters because if they don't hit the target, they are easily discouraged. That long trigger pull, no matter how smooth it may seem, allows too much movement of the gun in the hand, therefore the sights wont be on center where they were when they started taking up slack.

    Without fail, these new shooters shoot much better when given a single action design, such as a 1911 clone or even a Ruger MK 2 or 3 .22.

    As for the testing of such, in my hands I shoot much faster with a single action trigger than a double action, my scores when shooting steel plates from a draw are much faster.

    Of course, it's whatever you are used too. All of my Sigs have both double and single action. For the purposes of accuracy on a paper target that is standing still and not shooting back, I'll thumb back the hammer every time. When shooting Police qualifications with it, most of it is from a long double action trigger. Although it doesn't seem to affect my score much, too me it feels atrocious, especially if I happened to use my Colt XSE first.

    In reality, I think that its not the gun that matters, its the man(or woman) behind it that makes the difference and alot of it is what you are comfortable with.
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    I agree with HotGuns, it's the person behind the trigger, not the trigger that matters. Based on that, I'll come down on the side that says a long/DA trigger won't matter. There are two types out there... those who have inadequate training with their firearm (we all saw them in our permit classes), and those who train regularly. For those who train regularly, the discipline takes over and the trigger doesn't get touched until they're ready to shoot. For those who are inadequately trained, the adrenaline will be pumping so much that the trigger could be set at 15 pounds and they're going to stroke it without even noticing.

    It's got way more to do with the gun-handler than the gun.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rico68 View Post
    I agree with HotGuns, it's the person behind the trigger, not the trigger that matters. Based on that, I'll come down on the side that says a long/DA trigger won't matter. There are two types out there... those who have inadequate training with their firearm (we all saw them in our permit classes), and those who train regularly. For those who train regularly, the discipline takes over and the trigger doesn't get touched until they're ready to shoot. For those who are inadequately trained, the adrenaline will be pumping so much that the trigger could be set at 15 pounds and they're going to stroke it without even noticing.

    It's got way more to do with the gun-handler than the gun.
    Disclaimer: The posts made by this member are only the members opinion, not a reflection on anyone else, nor the group, and should not be cause for anyone to get their undergarments wedged in an uncomfortable position.

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    As someone who owns a few pistols, including at Sig P250. I think it comes down to being a shooter with basic fundamentals. I can honestly say that it took a couple times to get used to shooting the P250, but now I think it's a sweet trigger. It has a great, light, smooth pull.

    As far as shooting it fast, well it's fast enough for me. I honestly don't think that the speed is much of an issue for defensive purposes. We are talking milliseconds here folks.

    I think this might be the most underrated gun on the market. The simplicity is unmatched only to a revolver. You don't have all the safeties to deal with like striker fired pistols and 1911's.
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  8. #8
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    DA, DAO, SA is all fine with me. The only trigger I hate is DA/SA...I hate the transition from DA to SA. As long as the trigger is consistent shot to shot, I don't care what it is.

    In a real-world fight, I don't see a difference in shot times due to the trigger. Once the firing starts, it's more an issue of recoil control than the trigger.

    I keep reading (as an example) folks complaining about the trigger and accuracy with DAO pistols like the LCP and P3at. I can keep all my shots within a 2" circle at 7-10 yards with my LCP - and I am not a great shot. It's just a matter of training.
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    There's a reason most champion shooters use a 1911...short, light, consistent trigger pull.
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    A measureable example: my HK P2000 V3 (DA/SA) has a long 12lb DA and a relatively long SA reset. While it's a fine firearm (truely), there is no comparision to how much faster I can shoot my Glocks because of thier relatively short pull and reset. My 1911's are, well they're 1911's.

    I'm a reluctant Glock dude FWIW.

    C-

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Husker View Post
    There's a reason most champion shooters use a 1911...short, light, consistent trigger pull.
    They are great for plates.
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    Long Pull Confusion

    I'm attaching a close up of the trigger from my 1911 Gold Cup (after the late Austin Behlert remade it).

    I've been told numerous times that the pull is too long.

    Considering I won a bunch of awards shooting I.P.S.C., and this is my main carry gun and I've been shooting it for approx. 25 years, and I wear a size 7 glove, I don't find the pull too long at all.

    Maybe I have long fingers, doubt that, or this is what I'm use to, or a too long pull is an easy excuse for poor shooting?

    Can't figure this one out?

    Behlert-Trigger.jpg



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    LOVE my Sig DAK, but I'm biased, it's my first gun, my EDC, and what I learned to really shoot well on.

    I agree that it's the shooter, mainly, not so much the trigger, though each affects the other. If you're talking just precision, I love the DAK with its long pull, and can get downright surgical with it. Since it's my EDC and there are no real external safeties, I also appreciate the long and heavy trigger pull, because it's almost like a semi-safety in my mind. Though other folks who play with it at the range like it, they do complain about the distance.

    If you're talking about something for speed and competition, then probably not, because something like an SRT would give you even just a fraction of a second's edge per shot, but every little bit counts, right?

    Personally, I'm just a big fan. The long and heavy pull help me work on trigger control with myself and my students, and I see that as a valuable tool. But speed-wise, it's probably not the way to go.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crucible View Post
    A measureable example: my HK P2000 V3 (DA/SA) has a long 12lb DA and a relatively long SA reset. While it's a fine firearm (truely), there is no comparision to how much faster I can shoot my Glocks because of thier relatively short pull and reset. My 1911's are, well they're 1911's.

    I'm a reluctant Glock dude FWIW.

    C-
    I am talking about a 5.5 to 6.5 pound DAO trigger pull on a P250. A 12.lb trigger pull is a different animal.
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    Any of them, makes no difference to me, never had a problem shooting any gun, neither has my wife.

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