Trigger pull for Dangerous Game

fourfive8

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IMO- proper safety and trigger on a bolt action hunting rifle. The Winchester type, "striker blocking", three position safety is superior. And, it's difficult to improve upon the elegantly simple design and reliability of the Winchester trigger. :)

Win 70 Safety.png


Win 70 trigger.png
 

IvW

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IMO- proper safety and trigger on a bolt action hunting rifle. The Winchester type, "striker blocking", three position safety is superior. And, it's difficult to improve upon the elegantly simple design and reliability of the Winchester trigger. :)

View attachment 216931

View attachment 216932

On a DG rifle the three stage is actually unnecessary. All you need is a two stage. Safe and fire.
The Winchester safety however is ergonomically very good though.
 

petrusg

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I prefer no creep and light. Must be a crisp break as you pull that trigger!
 

Rule 303

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I prefer a two stage trigger, learnt to shoot SMLE actions. I do not mind a single stage trigger and treat any creep as the first stage. I like my triggers set between 3 and 3.5 lbs.
 

siutis

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All my rifles are custom fit to my length of pull and 3 lbs on the respective triggers .
 

Milan

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I like consistent two-stage triggers for hunting in the 2-3lb range. I like set trigger usually but now for hunting I tend to lean towards simple non-set triggers. I also prefer simple 2 position safety. On or off. If it is to be 3 position, make it the original Mauser wing-style safety.

I never thought I'd get overly excited when hunting. I mean I get very excited, as I like hunting but not overly so. Yet it happens even when you have been hunting for years and never had the shakes. New gun, hunting off-sticks, PH urging you to shoot, the safety on the gun reverse from what you used to use for years (bloody CZ changing safety to cater to some other fools :) ) and trying set trigger....and yes I practiced with all this beforehand and yes I did hunt with the gun before taking it to Africa, but obviously not enough and as you can see too many things that were different from something I used to do a lot and next thing you know animal appears, PH says go, I set trigger, unset the safety, aim, fire, click. Ph urges to shoot again. I set trigger again, click. PH WTF? PH hurry up! I rack the bolt thinking I forgot to initially, live round is on the ground, new one in chamber, I don't set trigger, fire. Nothing. PH upset now. And now I get nervous. But at least by not setting the trigger I realize safety is on the fricking middle safe position. PH shakes his head, I unset safety, shoot, animal drops, PH unsure, I'm unsure, another shot not possible as oryx is behind a bush now. Animal gets up after two minutes, animal moves much farther and in a thicket, I shoot, bullet hits a branch and you can literally see it dust off 5 m to the side of and behind the animal, I get the shakes as this now a "cluster*(&%", animal moves beyond 400 m. Buddy hands me a 7mm RM and I shoot at an ass trying to anchor a hurt animal before it crests the hill and disappears, luckily the 7mm delivers, he is hit but still crests the hill and now we have to follow up. One shot in the heart from 20m, a good hike later ends the ordeal but what a horrible experience.

A horrible experience, luckily not with a dangerous animal up close. It was also good for me to experience this as it showed me few things. One even if you hunt for a long time but do not hunt a lot, shit can happen that is new to you, two, I was right to be nervous about hunting with a new gun (no choice, I sold all my old ones and did not hunt for years and then picked up the hobby again), two, the "usual" back=safe, forward=fire safety I still do not like because I used to use "pull back cocking hammer" safety on the ZKK, three, three positions on a safety instead of just two, and four, the set trigger added to the confusion when things did not work out. Again none of it real issue, all of these I still use and am not nervous about using but back then in a heat of the moment, they magnified my unpreparedness/unfamiliarity.

I still prefer, old-school two-position safety. It's either on or off. I prefer single non-set trigger, it either fires or not. I prefer a two-stage trigger.

I do like dual set triggers or even the CZ's single set triggers but one really has to be in the right set of mind to do everything properly.
 

1dirthawker

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if you are hunting in a cool/cold weather climate a 1.5-2 lb trigger is almost dangerous. your fingers get cold and it is difficult to have the gun go off when you want it to. also, we are not shooting gophers at 500 yards, or tiny groups at 1000 in a bench rest situation

i like a clean breaking 3 - 3.5 lb trigger. light enough to shoot well, heavy enough to be safe.

i had an air rifle with a 1.5 lb trigger, was hunting ptarmigan in the spring. the gun went off all the time by itself.

i have read about hunting dg, if you can't shoot your rifle well, practice! well, if you can't use a rifle with a 3-3.5# trigger well, then practice!! (y)
 

Milan

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And I agree on the slightly stiffer triggers for hunting. I like to feel it even with gloves on. Does not mean it has to be stiff but more than just few ounces. :D I like between 2 and 3 lbs.
 

Nyati

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I am used to competition triggers, so 1 Kg. is fine with me.
 

CTDolan

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I prefer a two stage trigger, learnt to shoot SMLE actions. I do not mind a single stage trigger and treat any creep as the first stage. I like my triggers set between 3 and 3.5 lbs.

Same. Two-stage is the safest and, among these, the Mauser 98 has/had the best (the original safety is the best, too, and, as I do not use scopes, is in no way a problem).

As for creep, my M77 RSM has a bit and I do the same (take it up, after which she breaks clean at 3 lbs.).
 

Rule 303

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if you are hunting in a cool/cold weather climate a 1.5-2 lb trigger is almost dangerous. your fingers get cold and it is difficult to have the gun go off when you want it to. also, we are not shooting gophers at 500 yards, or tiny groups at 1000 in a bench rest situation

i like a clean breaking 3 - 3.5 lb trigger. light enough to shoot well, heavy enough to be safe.

i had an air rifle with a 1.5 lb trigger, was hunting ptarmigan in the spring. the gun went off all the time by itself.

i have read about hunting dg, if you can't shoot your rifle well, practice! well, if you can't use a rifle with a 3-3.5# trigger well, then practice!! (y)

Totally agree. If people like them lighter and are safe with them well go ahead but for me anything under 3lb in stress situations or way cold is to light.
 

rookhawk

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On my scoped rifles that would be considered "small bores" I tune them to between 2.5 and 2.75 pounds, no creep, minimum over travel. (usually a riflebasix or timney) For dangerous game magazine rifles and double rifles, my triggers are 3lbs to 3.5lbs. I don't mind the first stage type in the magazine rifles because I can still make an accurate distance shot and a very quick running/moving/instinctive shot.

The thing I learned when I got my lyman digital trigger scale is that my opinion of trigger pull was shocking. I realized by using the pull scale that some triggers were just gritty and inconsistent, yet I thought they were higher weight than they were. Others were glassy smooth and seemed "light and crisp" when they were actually heavy and crisp at up to 4lbs. A scale debunks personal opinions on the matter. The quality of the engagement and smoothness can give the sensation of a lighter pull than you actually have. $40 for a scale is a great investment.
 

Dwight Beagle

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I like two to three pounds on a hunting rifle but it must break CLEAN, no creep, no drag, just "click".

I’m the same way. All of my triggers are single stage except for my CZ 550 which I had a gunsmith work on. Unset is 2.75 lbs and set is 12 ounces.

I don’t own a DG rifle. Common senses tells me I’d want the same trigger pull on a DG rifle as I do on my others. If I ever get a DG rifle I’ll certainly be open to suggestions as to why I should go with a heavier trigger.

Or maybe if I lived in a colder climate I’d want a heavier trigger.
 

rookhawk

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I’m the same way. All of my triggers are single stage except for my CZ 550 which I had a gunsmith work on. Unset is 2.75 lbs and set is 12 ounces.

I don’t own a DG rifle. Common senses tells me I’d want the same trigger pull on a DG rifle as I do on my others. If I ever get a DG rifle I’ll certainly be open to suggestions as to why I should go with a heavier trigger.

Or maybe if I lived in a colder climate I’d want a heavier trigger.

The reason for a heavier trigger on a dangerous game rifle is as follows: A.) You might be running about while firing, a hair trigger is not controllable as you're shooting and backing up in the face of a charge simultaneously. B.) Accuracy is far secondary to control. C.) If you bump a DG rifle off accidentally the recoil for which you're not prepared for could be very injurious. D.) You're more likely to drop a DG rifle because its a close quarters, nasty terrain gun. You'd like a bit more sear engagement. E.) You're shooting them off sticks a lot...you just don't have the sub-MOA accuracy requirements in that application that would justify the need for the 2lb trigger.

For DG, 3lbs-4.5lbs is completely reasonable, or a long first stage so you can pull back awhile, hit the wall, and then push through it smoothly for the shot. A good trigger with a crisp break and a consistent pull is more important than a "light" trigger pull in my opinion. I'm sure you'll get a variety of inputs on the topic to consider.
 

Dwight Beagle

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Dwight Beagle said:
If I ever get a DG rifle I’ll certainly be open to suggestions as to why I should go with a heavier trigger.

I haven’t purchased a DG rifle in the past 10-11 hours.
 

Eric Anderson

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I second the thought that a clean break with no “grittyness” is far more important that a super light trigger. I’d rather have a 6 lb trigger that breaks like a glass rod every single time than a 2lb trigger with creep and roughness.
 

CTDolan

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The reason for a heavier trigger on a dangerous game rifle is as follows: A.) You might be running about while firing, a hair trigger is not controllable as you're shooting and backing up in the face of a charge simultaneously. B.) Accuracy is far secondary to control. C.) If you bump a DG rifle off accidentally the recoil for which you're not prepared for could be very injurious. D.) You're more likely to drop a DG rifle because its a close quarters, nasty terrain gun. You'd like a bit more sear engagement. E.) You're shooting them off sticks a lot...you just don't have the sub-MOA accuracy requirements in that application that would justify the need for the 2lb trigger.

For DG, 3lbs-4.5lbs is completely reasonable, or a long first stage so you can pull back awhile, hit the wall, and then push through it smoothly for the shot. A good trigger with a crisp break and a consistent pull is more important than a "light" trigger pull in my opinion. I'm sure you'll get a variety of inputs on the topic to consider.

Spot on.

Really, it’s the responsibility of the hunter to know his/her rifle and its trigger. Dangerous game is not prairie dogs (or plains game) at a distance. It is (or ought to be) a close encounter of the most visceral, grounding kind.
 

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