trigger jobs


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shattered00
October 12, 2006, 09:23 PM
I constantly hear of people performing trigger polishing on their guns. Was there ever a gun that couldn't benefit from a trigger job (referring to straight from the factory guns - not custom jobs)?

Also, what would be the best item to use when polishing a trigger? I want to stay away from dremels if at all possible.

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browningguy
October 12, 2006, 09:55 PM
Was there ever a gun that couldn't benefit from a trigger job (referring to straight from the factory guns - not custom jobs)?

I'd say, based on only a sample of two, that the Witness Elite models need absolutely nothing done to the trigger. They are as clean and crisp as any well tuned 1911 trigger I have ever tried. Mine breaks at 3 lb. +- , so I guess if for some unknown reason you needed it lighter you might do something.

Unfortunately I don't have enough faith in my hand skills to work on triggers so can't help on the polishing.

MountainBear
October 12, 2006, 10:37 PM
Just take the gun to a pro. Its safer and he will know exactly how to do it and make the gun still function safely. As to the other question, most guns I know can benefit from a good polishing of the internals.

RyanM
October 12, 2006, 10:40 PM
Swiss K-31. Anything you do to the trigger would only make it worse.

For polishing, I use Veritas honing compound. It's actually meant for stropping woodcutting tools, so it cuts very quickly. About 1-5 dry-fires (depending on the surface finish to begin with) with a bit of honing paste on the surfaces that rub together will do the job.

Standing Wolf
October 12, 2006, 10:48 PM
Was there ever a gun that couldn't benefit from a trigger job (referring to straight from the factory guns - not custom jobs)?

Once upon a time, Pythons didn't need trigger work.

10-Ring
October 12, 2006, 10:57 PM
The first trigger job should be looked at like anything else you did for the 1st time...it's not going to be very good, when you're done, you're gonna know where you went wrong, you're gonna wanna try it again and you'll be spending some $$ to replace waht you messed up ;)
I have a shooting buddy that turned his 1911 into a full auto pistol w/ his first trigger job :what: He put a mag in the gun, racked the slide, pulled the trigger and it fired 7 times before it stopped. Put another mag in & 5 rounds later, he put it down and never fired it again....I think it still sits in the back of his safe :scrutiny:
Anyway, that said, I would go to a pro to have the work done and have some kind or warranty involved w/ the work :D

symr00
October 13, 2006, 01:48 AM
Dremel and the polishing compound that comes with Dremel kits is what I've used for polshing feedramps to trigger contact surfaces. It has never done more than just polish the surfaces and has made HUGE improvements.

JoeHatley
October 13, 2006, 11:18 AM
I want to stay away from dremels if at all possible.

Good plan. The Dremel is great for polishing, but it's real easy to round surfaces that need to be square. A hard Arkansas stone works quite well.

Joe

RNB65
October 13, 2006, 11:24 AM
I suggest using a professional gunsmith for trigger jobs. An amateur trigger job can lead to way more trouble than it's worth.

Third_Rail
October 13, 2006, 12:22 PM
Most of the guns I've bought have smooth, clean triggers. They've all been well-used before I've purchased them, though.

Mr White
October 13, 2006, 12:26 PM
Gotta agree with symr00. Merely polishing surfaces can do wonders. Doesn't really lighten the pull but will make it a whole lot smoother. Your intent isn't to remove metal, just to make the metal that's there shiny and smooth. You can easily accomplish this with a dremel, a buffing wheel and some polishing compound without too much worry of damaging something.

If you want to go to the next step and actually remove metal to lighten the pull, then EXTREME caution is the starting point and a professional is the recommended way to go.

Vern Humphrey
October 13, 2006, 12:37 PM
I have a shooting buddy that turned his 1911 into a full auto pistol w/ his first trigger job He put a mag in the gun, racked the slide, pulled the trigger and it fired 7 times before it stopped. Put another mag in & 5 rounds later, he put it down and never fired it again....I think it still sits in the back of his safe

I'll give him $50 for it, sight unseen.

The proper way to test a gun after a trigger job is to load one round in the magazine. If that round doesn't fire automatically upon chambering, the next magazine should hold two rounds. Continue testing by allowing the slide to go fully forward on each test -- don't ease it home.

Only when you're sure everything is functioning properly should you load a full magazine.

A new hammer and sear will rescue your friend's gun -- he can buy a prepped set from Chip McCormic.

Hawk
October 13, 2006, 01:50 PM
Blaser R93 can come out of the box not needing trigger work.

...or so I've heard.

Deanimator
October 13, 2006, 01:57 PM
Colt All American 2000. The way to improve the trigger is to sell it to a collector and buy a Glock.

One of Many
October 13, 2006, 02:35 PM
A trigger with a light pull (less than 4 lbs) should not be used on a gun designed for defensive carry. Such a light trigger increases the likelyhood of an unintentional discharge of the weapon. It is one thing to have a light trigger on a shooting range, where safety measures are constantly observed (but unintentional discharges frequently occur with guns pointed downrange), and unintentional discharges hurt nothing more than the pride of the shooter. When you have an unintentional discharge with a defensive carry gun in a public place, there is no safe background to absorb the bullet impact without damage to person or property.

Polishing a sear engagement should never be done with power tools. A HARD Arkansas stone should be used sparingly, to debur and smooth the original surfaces only, while maintaining the original edges and angles.

Some sear engagement surfaces are surface hardened only, and removal of even a slight amount of the surface cuts through to soft metal - then the sear engagement quickly wears away under normal use, and becomes unsafe.

If you want to change the trigger pull weight, take the gun to a professional with a lot of experience - many guns have been ruined by gunsmiths that lack experience doing this type of work.

dm1333
October 13, 2006, 04:21 PM
My two Thompson/Center Classics and the R55 Classic I have now all had fantastic triggers right out of the box.

db_tanker
October 13, 2006, 04:27 PM
The one item I suggest is the one you don't want to use.


The dremel when used with Craytex is probably one of the best items to use.


http://www.woodtechtooling.com/Cratex/CratexDressingWheels.html


This is some of the best stuff...started using it on threads and sealing surfaces at work years ago.

D

Bullet Bob
October 13, 2006, 04:52 PM
I have a safe full of S&W revolvers from the 1930's to the 2000's, and every one of them has a wonderful trigger. Some are slightly better than others, but all are great.

Forgot to add, all my Hamden High Standard .22 auto target pistols are also excellent.

Lessee, my Cooper and Kimber of America rimfire rifles are superb, my Winchester 52D .22 is unbelievable, and my Anschutz Match 54 is no slouch. My K31's are great for a military rifle. I'm sure I'm forgetting some.

Other people will undoubtedly chime in about the terrible examples they've had of the above, and I'm sure that happens. Others will say they could be better, but not better for my purposes.

shattered00
October 14, 2006, 11:23 AM
Thanks for the responses.

I am looking into just polishing the trigger (i.e. rough spots). I do not want to remove high amounts of metal to reduce trigger pull weight. My main goal is to create as smooth a trigger pull as possible.

Since many recommend taking it to a pro, I have lost my confidence to "do it yourself." Are there any excellent gunsmiths in the DFW, Texas area that I could take my guns to for a good trigger polish job?

It might help if I list some of the guns in my possession.

Glock .40, Winchester M70 pre-64, CZ-52, Rem 870...

RyanM
October 14, 2006, 11:04 PM
A Glock, you can dremel no problem. I've done it. You could take 1/10" off every single surface, and it would still work. :) What I did is dremel off some metal from the tab on the trigger bar, which engages the connector, to eliminate overtravel. Just makes more sense to me than putting in a screw, pin, or tab to make the trigger not go back as far. Then if the mechanism gets too dirty, the gun won't fire at all! But with the tab ground down, dirt will just bring the overtravel back.

What I recommend doing to a Glock is just lightly polishing, by hand, every single surface which rubs together on the inside. Use a hard Arkansas stone, as has been recommended, or perhaps a piece of leather or a rag with some metal polishing paste on it. That's really all it needs.

But if you want to totally change the feel of the trigger, you can also get different connectors, trigger springs, firing pin springs, and grind some other parts. Just don't try to shorten the pull to less than about 3/8", measured at the tip, or the drop safety becomes very iffy. And the firing pin safety wouldn't be much help if the gun is dropped, since the trigger spring will pull the trigger back, quite possibly faster than the striker falls.

If you want to improve the "crispness" of the break a tiny bit, you can grind down the hood of the striker (the part that the trigger bar cruciform pushes). When viewed from the bottom, barrel facing directly away from you, it's the top right corner you want to grind down, at a 45 degree angle, until the face of the hood (where the cruciform contacts) is about halfway gone. So when viewed from the bottom, instead of a square, you've got a square with the upper right corner missing. This helps because the trigger bar torques to one side. I can take a pic if you want to see exactly what it should look like.

To reduce the transition between takeup and break, you can drill a 1/16" hole in the trigger bar, right above the existing hole where the trigger spring attaches. Try to get it pretty close, so the thickness of the metal between the holes is the same as the amount of metal between the original hole and the bottom. By attaching the spring to the new hole (the end of the spring goes through the original hole, instead of dangling out the bottom), you reduce the upward force exerted by it, thus lowering the break weight without affecting the takeup weight much. And you can always attach the spring to the original hole again. Once again, I can do a pic if you like.

If you want a revolver-like trigger, you can get an NY-1 trigger spring, a 3.5 pound connector, and an increased power striker spring. I recommend removing the metal spring from the NY-1 housing, so that all you have is the plastic part. This setup will give you around a 6 pound takeup, 8 pound break. I've fired a few hundred rounds in exactly that configuration on my Glock 23 (plus the ground down striker hood), no problems. Probably one of the best possible "combat" trigger jobs you can do, if you also shoot wheelguns. And because it uses the NY-1 trigger spring, you don't have to drill a hole through the diamond-hard trigger bar.

If you want the trigger to feel like a true two-stage single-action trigger, I recommend an 8 pound connector, increased power trigger return spring, and the hole drilled in the trigger bar. In this configuration (plus the increased power striker spring, which I wouldn't recommend for a two-stage feel), my gun has a 2 pound takeup and 6 pound break. I estimate with the regular striker spring it'd be 1 pound takeup and 5 pound break probably. Or if you'd rather have a heavy single action trigger, skip drilling the hole and you'll have about a 7-9 pound break or so, same takeup.

The other guns, I don't know nothing about.

Edmond
October 14, 2006, 11:51 PM
I find that a nice cleaning and lube will significantly bring the trigger back to a nice smoothness.

javacodeman
October 15, 2006, 12:00 AM
I'll give him $50 for it, sight unseen.

$55 here. :D So can someone enlighten me as to what would make someone go and start messing with the internals of his/her gun? What's the difference in a 3lb pull and a 3.5 lb pull. I may be looking at this from a purely self-defense angle (thats why I have my guns) as I do not do any highly accurate target shooting.

java

warwagon
October 15, 2006, 02:43 AM
I have to agree with the above post, If the action is not so terrible as to affect performance, why mess with it?

In a combat situation, it will be the last thing you notice.

If target shooting is the purpose, then all changes.

And I do enjoy a nice smooth trigger pull, I just see no need for a "speed trigger" on a defense weapon.

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