Trigger weight and sear overlap for Dangerous Game

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by Nhoro, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. PaulT

    PaulT AH Elite

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    Here's a funny, but true story.

    Several months ago I was in my local gun shop, just for a friendly visit and catch-up.
    The shop-keep knows me well and knows my taste and always delights in showing me the latest the he knows will turn my crank.

    I'd barely got through the door when he pulled a firearm off the rack, opened the bolt and handed it to me saying "I know you're going to like this".

    It was a M70 feather-weight that had been custom tailored into a take-down switch barrel in .270 and 9.3x62.
    It was all extremely well done, tight and in excellent condition.

    I was then prompted to try the trigger, which I did.

    I then firmly informed the keep that this gun is not safe.
    He laughed and agreed that the trigger was light.

    NO, the trigger is not light, this gun is not safe, I replied.
    Several repeats of the same statement seemed to have little input until I passed the rifle back top him and instructed him to cock it and hit the butt on the floor.

    When he did that the audible sound of the firing pin falling was deafening.
    The shop keep was quite shocked and red-faced and put the rifle straight back up on the shelf with a new tag in the trigger guard saying "NOT SAFE".
     
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  2. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    yes paul, there can be a difference between light and unsafe.
    bruce.
     
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  3. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Fanatic

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    If you don't know what you are doing you can incorrectly set the sear engagement and/or the sear engagement angle and really foul up a trigger and make it unsafe.

    My DG rifles- a 416 Rem Mag and a 450 Watts both use Win Model 70 original design triggers set at a crisp 4 lbs with no creep and minimal over travel.
     
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  4. Nhoro

    Nhoro AH Veteran

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    That was exactly why I started this thread. I can lighten the spring tension and minimise the overlapping surfaces. The trigger may be safe on a bench with the muzzle pointed downrange but it may go bang if you drop it. The other extreme is a trigger that has so much overlap and spring tension(completely safe) but only the Hulk can fire it. So I have a slightly heavy and slightly creepy trigger(maybe too creepy) What do you think a safe trigger weight is ? And what would a safe sear overlap be ? I think I am overdoing things but my main concern is not shooting a client and any shots I take in anger will be at 10 yards so trigger pull is not a huge issue. If I were the hunter, I would lighten the trigger and carry on empty chamber.
     

  5. Nhoro

    Nhoro AH Veteran

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    Interesting side note- Yesterday I found out that if I rest my finger on the trigger and let off the safety, it fires(dummy rounds so no bang). I obviously put leverage on the trigger as I took off the safety without thinking about it.So even my heavy trigger pull with a bit of creep doesn't beat poor habits.
     

  6. Longwalker

    Longwalker AH Enthusiast

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    I don't mess with the sear engagement or angle on any of my rifles, I leave that to a professional. But I do set weight of pull, and it varies with two inputs: weight of rifle and whether it will be used with gloves. A very light weight rifle never used with gloves is set at 1 kg / 2.2 lbs, most of my regular rifles are set at about 3lb, and heavy weight big bores or rifles used in winter are set a little heavier, up to a maximum of 1.8 kg. / 4 lb.
    Like the wild boar I missed while hunting in Germany last November, I've missed far more game from a light trigger I couldn't feel with cold gloved fingers than any game I've missed because the pull was too heavy. I personally won't hunt with a trigger pull under 1 kg / 2.2 lb, no matter what, I think the quest for ultra light pull weights is counter productive and may sometimes be unsafe.
    Both my .375's are set at 1.5kg, and my 450-400 is set at 1.5&1.8. The back trigger of a double is pulled at a different angle and requires just slightly heavier pull for the same apparent "feel" as the front trigger.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019

  7. Nhoro

    Nhoro AH Veteran

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    Thank you for your reply. That puts me in similar territory with 3,5 pounds.
     

  8. Eric Anderson

    Eric Anderson AH Enthusiast

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    Most of my rifles have between 3.5-5 lb triggers. A clean break, with no travel is much more conducive to good shooting than an ultralight trigger in my opinion.

    Do whatever both works for you and is safe.

    An extremely light trigger is not inherently unsafe though, as long as the rifle does not go off without the trigger being pulled.
     
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