How does trigger pull weight affect your accuracy?

How does trigger pull weight affect your accuracy?

This is a discussion on How does trigger pull weight affect your accuracy? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I just had an Apex DCAEK installed on my M&P9c. I left the stock sear spring in to make the trigger pull weight just over ...

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Thread: How does trigger pull weight affect your accuracy?

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    Member Array ponchsox's Avatar
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    How does trigger pull weight affect your accuracy?

    I just had an Apex DCAEK installed on my M&P9c. I left the stock sear spring in to make the trigger pull weight just over 4 lbs. When I tested it out, I accidentally double tapped twice due to the light weight and struggled with accuracy. Do you prefer a lighter trigger pull or does too light affect your accuracy?


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ponchsox View Post
    I just had an Apex DCAEK installed on my M&P9c. I left the stock sear spring in to make the trigger pull weight just over 4 lbs. When I tested it out, I accidentally double tapped twice due to the light weight and struggled with accuracy. Do you prefer a lighter trigger pull or does too light affect your accuracy?
    I have a commander sized 1911 that does the same thing your smith does. I will not carry it because I do not trust the trigger. This is your call, all the way, but if its doing that to you, undo what you did. JMO
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    Senior Member Array sensei2's Avatar
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    imo, there are several elements to a good or bad trigger: pull weight is just one. others are length of pull, length of reset, and smoothness, or lack thereof.

    4 pounds is about the minimum that i, personally, would want in a SD handgun. you may have been taken by surprised by the reduced pull weight, or it's possible that the new trigger has a shorter reset than the stock one. just shoot some more: slowly, at first, maybe just dry-fire (if it's OK with your gun) and give yourself time to feel how the trigger operates. feel the weight, release the trigger slowly, and check where it resets. my guess is that you just need a bit of practice to adjust to it.

    for most of us, reduced weight, if the trigger is smooth, will enhance accuracy. some top level shooters will have pulls as light as 2 pounds on their competition handguns, and target grade .22's can have even lower ones if the shooter desires. but on an SD gun, triggering a shot accidentally could be tragic. with weight of pull, there is a trade-off between better accuracy and safety. that's why 4 pounds is my absolute low limit for my SD handguns.

    it's a different story with rifles. 2-3 pound pulls are more the norm in hunting rifles.

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    Member Array billstaf's Avatar
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    Trigger pull is a big deal for me. My Ruger SR9c has the sweetest trigger of any handgun I've ever fired. It is so smooth and breaks so cleanly, that my shooting accuracy is very much improved.

    On the other hand, my AR15 (the Ruger SR556) has an 8 lb. trigger pull that really snaps. Even shooting off the bipod is affected by this. I don't know why Ruger would put such a crumby trigger on an otherwise excellent rifle. (Except that the trigger is milspec).
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    Sensei2's post is an excellent, concise read.

    I like a good trigger. One that's crisp, with no overtravel or long take-up pull will do nicely. While I can do double-action when necessary I don't personally desire DAO pistols or revolvers. Single-action automatics are preferred.
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    Senior Member Array ntkb's Avatar
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    I like mine light, that is why I carry a 1911 can't beat the trigger on one, if it is set correctly, unless it's a cocked revolver. I don’t think much of DA/SA on auto triggers because they tend to cause double firings, also accuracy is hampered between first and second shot.

    A light trigger is much easier to control for accurate firing.
    1911 when a follow up shot just isn't an option

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    Unless a trigger is horrid or defective, I can learn to shoot decently with any of them. Different triggers all shoot about the same for me. My target pattern for my Glock is about the same for my S&W Gen 3 which isa bout teh same as my CZ. I'm not much for messing with triggers. Sometimes you end up with something you don't expect, like inadvertant double taps.
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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    One of the reasons why short, light, SA handgun (1911) triggers are all but vanquished from the LE community was explained to me by a U.S. Marshal friend serving in "Dangerous Fugitive Recovery". They had gone after an EXTRA BAD bad guy co-oping with the local Metro SWAT team. Everyone was a pro. Everyone expected armed resistance. As they entered the house one of the SWAT team had a 1911 at low ready, safety off, finger off the trigger. To his right an interior door suddenly flew open & the door's leading-edge cracked into his right elbow's "funny bone". The resulting unconscious, immediate nerve/muscle contraction of his hand sent his finger inside the trigger guard, squeezed the trigger & discharged the 1911. Fortunately, no one was injured beyond ego and a sore elbow.

    Yeah, he could have swept that safety off as he brought the pistol to eye level preparing to shoot. But most shooters, even experienced shooters, would have felt confident & safe prepping for a fight in exactly the same way he did. In reviewing the incident, it was officially agreed that a longer pull might have prevented the discharge. I like the 1911 trigger, but like some others have said, it's an unavoidable compromise in speed vs. safety. Unlikely & unpredictable are standard happenings in LE & self-defense. Anything under 4-5 lbs. of SA trigger weight is more risk than I'm willing to take.
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    I picked up SA Commander dirt cheap due to the horrendous trigger pull. I took it to the range and was lucky to get 12 inch patterns at seven yards. I took it to a local gunsmith and it maxed out his 12 pound trigger scale. He reworked and reduced the pull to a nice crisp 4 ½ pounds. The next trip to the range produced groups measuring two inches.
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    I've shot several older, heavier revolvers in which the trigger pull was very heavy. But in a few cases, the pull was smooth as butter, and IMO that made all the difference. Heavy is fine, so long as the trigger's otherwise perfect: smooth, with a clean and consistent break.

    An M1 Carbine that I had comes to mind. Trigger pull weight was heavy as sin, but it was consistent and broke cleanly every time. Resulting in one of the most accurate weapons I've ever fired, in spite of the heavy pull.

    But, for normal triggers that have a bit of jump and grit to them, adding a heavy pull weight to them can result in heinously inconsistent targeting.

    Haven't had a handgun with a trigger that was too light to affect accuracy. And the only rifle that I've fired in which the trigger was too light such that it began to affect accuracy has been a Rem 700 with a Jewell HVR trigger installed. On the lightest spring, it's scary close to firing on its own (and did, once, at the slightest bump of the stock). On the heaviest spring tuned light, it's a dream to shoot.
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    Not much more can be added to what Sensei2 said.
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    Ex Member Array CaveJohnson's Avatar
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    Yes, but not once you're used to it.

    When I got my first gun, my S&W Model 10-5 I was aiming up and left because of the heavy trigger. Once I practiced with it enough, I was nailing water bottles at over 100ft.

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    Distinguished Member Array hardluk1's Avatar
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    I leave my CC guns allone but all my rifles are under 2lbs and revolvers are under 2 1/2lb SA pull. Just makes for better control when hunting. One less thang to think about.

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    +1 Sensai. Also, be careful of firing faster than you draw - outcome can be less than ideal.

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    Senior Member Array IAm_Not_Lost's Avatar
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    Pull weight doesn't really matter to me. As long as the trigger is smooth(ish) and consistent I can make it work just fine.
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