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  #1  
Old 06-19-2006, 09:36 AM
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Trigger pull, how light is too light...


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...for a hunting rifle?

I have an A-bolt-II Medallion .270win. The trigger pull was pretty nice to begin with, but I bought the Timney Trigger Spring kit just to see how much it would lighten the pull. Can't beat a $20 trigger job I also used the springs as an excuse to buy a Lyman Digital Trigger Pull Gauge. Well my original trigger pull, adjusted to least amount of weight, was a hair over 3 lbs, I then put the new lighter trigger spring in and it came to be about 1.5 lbs.

So is this too light for a hunting rifle? I think back to my friend's ND with a .243win. He was out coyote hunting, with some of his buddies, from a pickup, saw a coyote in a field. So he got his .243 and was aiming out the window. The coyote then took off, so he put his rifle in between his seat and the mid console (pointing downward of course) then took off after the coyote across the field. He hit a large bump and the cab of the pickup filled with smoke and they couldn't hear anything for about 30-min. He ended up putting a hole in his engine block, not a large one but enough to cause him some problems. He might have just cracked it or something. But any case, he said he had a hair trigger on the rifle and that's why it went off, no counting the fact that the safety was off and had a round in the chamber, as he was driving through a field. His excuse is, he was young and stupid back then, and I believe it.

So I don't plan on driving through any fields with a rifle with a chambered round and no safety on, but again, every hunt I forsee is perfect and it doesn't matter what the trigger pull would be. Also, you aren't ever supposed to 100% trust a manual safety.

So basically is my trigger pull too light for hunting?
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  #2  
Old 06-19-2006, 10:21 AM
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Niner, my hunting rifles have their trigger pull set at 3.5 pounds. My Big Bore rifles have their trigger pull set at 4.5 pounds. My varmint rifles have their trigger pull set at 2 pounds.
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Last edited by Cozy; 06-19-2006 at 10:23 AM.
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  #3  
Old 06-19-2006, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niner
...for a hunting rifle?

I have an A-bolt-II Medallion .270win. The trigger pull was pretty nice to begin with, but I bought the Timney Trigger Spring kit just to see how much it would lighten the pull. Can't beat a $20 trigger job I also used the springs as an excuse to buy a Lyman Digital Trigger Pull Gauge. Well my original trigger pull, adjusted to least amount of weight, was a hair over 3 lbs, I then put the new lighter trigger spring in and it came to be about 1.5 lbs.

So is this too light for a hunting rifle? I think back to my friend's ND with a .243win. He was out coyote hunting, with some of his buddies, from a pickup, saw a coyote in a field. So he got his .243 and was aiming out the window. The coyote then took off, so he put his rifle in between his seat and the mid console (pointing downward of course) then took off after the coyote across the field. He hit a large bump and the cab of the pickup filled with smoke and they couldn't hear anything for about 30-min. He ended up putting a hole in his engine block, not a large one but enough to cause him some problems. He might have just cracked it or something. But any case, he said he had a hair trigger on the rifle and that's why it went off, no counting the fact that the safety was off and had a round in the chamber, as he was driving through a field. His excuse is, he was young and stupid back then, and I believe it.

So I don't plan on driving through any fields with a rifle with a chambered round and no safety on, but again, every hunt I forsee is perfect and it doesn't matter what the trigger pull would be. Also, you aren't ever supposed to 100% trust a manual safety.

So basically is my trigger pull too light for hunting?
Cozy pretty wells sums up trigger pulls. Anything much lighter than this can equal up to accidental discharges. My suggestion for lighter trigger pulls is to install a good single set trigger such as the Canjur or look to the new savage with the accu-trigger.

Safety is always the overridding issue here and a clean crisp trigger with no overtravel breaking at 3.5 pounds is extremly pleasent to shoot.
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  #4  
Old 06-19-2006, 12:08 PM
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Seems the 3# minimum on hunting firearms is pretty much the accepted norm. Benchrest target shooting is another matter, and some of these are adjusted down into the lower ounce range.

Mainly, you want a crisp trigger break (breaking glass is an old measurement standard) with no creep or backlash, no matter the weight of the pull.
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  #5  
Old 06-19-2006, 12:53 PM
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Depends how cold your fingers get. You definitely will have less dexterity at low temperatures. I run all of mine around 3 lbs, when it's possible to get that low. With warm-weather hunting here, it's definitely not a problem at 3 lbs.

Had a friend who shot a hole in his toyota. He grabbed the rifle as the front end went into a ditch, and finger caught the trigger. Casualties were the floormat, brake line, and a Michelin tire on the right front wheel. Ballistic Tip came apart going through the tire and didn't damage the wheel, amazingly enough.
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  #6  
Old 06-19-2006, 02:33 PM
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I like mine about 2.5 to 3 pounds, the big thing is to make sure its safe. If it were me, I would probably put the old springs back in and leave it be, but whatever floats your boat
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  #7  
Old 06-19-2006, 02:46 PM
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Another consideration is whether you will wear gloves and how thick they are. Anything i'll wear gloves with (and i wear Nomex gloves normally, so pretty thin) is set between 3.0 and 3.5, generally closer to 3.5. Bare hands rifles will generally be between 2.0 and 3.0.
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  #8  
Old 06-19-2006, 03:00 PM
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The rifle you mentioned should be at least 2.5-3.5 lbs. I use a 12 oz. trigger on my varmint rifle, and a 1lb. trigger on my .22's. Any big game rifles should be set heavier for the reasons others have mentioned. Gloves, cold fingers... etc.
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  #9  
Old 06-19-2006, 03:00 PM
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A good clean trigger in the 3.5 - 4 lb on a big game rifle is very pleasant.. figure cold weather, gloves ect...

on a west varmint rifle (not shooting for a truck!!) I've hear down to oz es.. these are carried to a shooting position unload and only loaded when pointed "down range).. for a warm weather, runnin gunning cayote rifle I could see 2-3 lbs, but SAFE!!!

I have a Mod 70 that I set down to 2.5 lbs... feels great. BUT this is a .375 dangerous game rifle... so, this will be set back up in the 4 lb range. It is still no take up, little over travel and that's what makes um "feel good" to me..

Best o luck

Nate
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  #10  
Old 06-19-2006, 07:55 PM
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I think your first cosideration has to be safety. Don't get that trigger pull down to a point of it being dangerous in terms of accidental discharge. Having said that I guess your main concern is how the rifle is to be used. Several of mine are bench rifles so I want a very light trigger pull, often under 1 lb. For my hunting rifles 3 lbs. has always seemed about right to me. Just one mans opinion. Best wishes.

Cal - Montreal
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  #11  
Old 06-19-2006, 08:28 PM
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yeah I figured it was a bit light for hunting, but I will probably keep the current spring (1#) for range use, and either tighten the adjustment or just change the spring for hunting. I just thought I would get some other opinions. Thanks all.
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  #12  
Old 10-08-2014, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faucettb View Post
Cozy pretty wells sums up trigger pulls. Anything much lighter than this can equal up to accidental discharges. My suggestion for lighter trigger pulls is to install a good single set trigger such as the Canjur or look to the new savage with the accu-trigger.

Safety is always the overridding issue here and a clean crisp trigger with no overtravel breaking at 3.5 pounds is extremly pleasent to shoot.
Trigger pull is a matter of personal preference. There is no such thing as "accidental discharge". There is 'operator failure', 'carelessness', or 'unqualified personal attempting to operate a machine they have not received proper training for'.
Having hunted for over 20 years with a rifle equipped with a Canjar Single Set Trigger with NO mishaps. Standard trigger pull was 2 lbs; set trigger was about 2 oz. Getting familiar with the equipment is of utmost importance. Practice handling the weapon until you don't even have to think about what you are doing; it becomes automatic reflex. Anything less is irresponsible and should not be allowed.
One of your "Accidental Discharges" may have you attending a funeral, possibly even your own. What if it's your best buddy or friend? Bullets and words are without recall. Think about it.
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  #13  
Old 10-08-2014, 05:34 PM
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8 year old thread...
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  #14  
Old 10-09-2014, 12:50 PM
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Old thread or not, this represents all the things that we should not do.
Shooting out of a moving truck?
Not being familiar of your rifle and the trigger?
Anti gunners would feast on this thread.
Jim
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  #15  
Old 10-09-2014, 04:53 PM
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a lot of it has to do with the shooter too.

If you shoot the rifle a lot [a few hundred rounds a year], then light is right. If you're a weekend before the season shooter, heavier is better. Just make sure you practice safe trigger habits and leave the finger off the trigger until you want to shoot the target.

ALL my hunting guns are 2-2.5 pounds, but I have a lot of trigger time.
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  #16  
Old 10-09-2014, 06:35 PM
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This is where a trigger with the sear blocker like the Savage accutrigger and it's knock-offs have a distinct advantage. The trigger can be set light, with no danger of an accidental discharge. - If the trigger is jarred and releases somehow, the worst that happens is that you have to re-cock it before you can fire the gun.

That little blade that sticks out of the trigger is the sear blocker... If it is not activated, no bang.
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  #17  
Old 10-10-2014, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by CharlesB View Post
This is where a trigger with the sear blocker like the Savage accutrigger and it's knock-offs have a distinct advantage. The trigger can be set light, with no danger of an accidental discharge. - If the trigger is jarred and releases somehow, the worst that happens is that you have to re-cock it before you can fire the gun.

That little blade that sticks out of the trigger is the sear blocker... If it is not activated, no bang.
My comment didn't have anything to do with the mechanics of the trigger being safe, it had to do with the persons finger knowing how the trigger feels, and being able to control it with a cold hand or gloves.

I have 2 Marlin "X" guns I shoot quite often, and the blade does nothing more for me than tell me when the trigger is ready for doing it's job. Think if it as a 21st century version of a two stage trigger. You have to take up the slack of the blade, before the trigger can release the sear. If the person squeezing the trigger doesn't pay attention, the bladed triggers will go off unexpectedly just like any other style of trigger. Unexpected releases are the reason for accidents and misses in the fields.
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  #18  
Old 10-10-2014, 09:15 PM
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I had the trigger on my .243 set at 1.5 pounds, no problem as touching the blade let me know to get ready for the light pull.

On the savage, you can pull the trigger without touching the blade, by touching it on the side. - It de-cocks the gun, as noted above.

For field use with a big game rifle, I'd say that 2.5 pounds would be more like it, maybe three.

My .243 had a heavy barrel, shot 70 grain bullets, it was set up as a long range varminter.
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  #19  
Old 10-10-2014, 10:45 PM
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Most of my rifles have adjustable triggers, silhouette rules for hunting rifles require a 2lb minimum trigger pull and they check it at big tournaments. I've gotten used to triggers set at 2.5 lbs so I set all of them at that weight...exactly, including live game hunting rifles. Because they all have the same weight triggers even the ones I shoot a couple of times a year there's never any surprise trigger breaks when hunting. They feel just like the triggers on the guns I shoot hundreds of rounds a year from.
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  #20  
Old 10-12-2014, 07:49 PM
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When my son was sixteen, we bought him a Browning A-Bolt Gold Medallion in .300 Win Mag for Christmas. We tried several different brands of ammo and bullet weights (Before I started handloading). He was shooting patterns, not groups. He was determined to get this rifle sighted in by himself. I finally convinced him to let me shoot one round. As I pulled and pulled on the Attorney trigger, I realized the problem His other rifle was a Remington 7400. He could put 3 168 gr Win Ballistic tips into one ragged hole at 100 yds. With this rifle it looked more like a shotgun pattern. We had our gunsmith do a trigger job on the Remington and it broke at 1.5 lbs. This Browning was close to 4 lbs. After a trigger job, the Browning broke at 1 lb 4 oz. He began shooting groups like he was used to. He tried the Superformance ammo and shot a coyote at 450 yds while working on an internship on a deer/quail ranch in south Texas. On the ranch in Texas, he carried a rifle, shotgun and/or pistol every day. He never had to worry about an accidental discharge since he had learned firearm safety at a young age. Safety on until your firearm is pointed in a safe direction, finger is on the trigger only when you are ready to shoot. If you have an accidental discharge in a truck, you have violated one of the basic safety rules. A light trigger is dangerous in the hands of someone who does not follow basic safety rules, but then any trigger is dangerous in that circumstance. My current hunting rifle breaks at 1 lb. I have never worried about and accidental discharge.

Dennis
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