The importance of quick reset and bore axis?


December 26, 2002, 12:25 PM
How desirable, in your opinion, is having a low bore axis and quick trigger reset in a serious handgun. I say "serious" to distinguish between plinking, bullseye, fun things, etc. This is a handgun to be used for protection.

Given that two handguns are equally tough and reliable and have good triggers, does the reset of the trigger necessarily come into play? I have heard that some experts feel that it actually isn't that important, as they let out a little more of the trigger just to be sure they aren't going to short stroke and don't necessarily rely on the quick reset.

Regarding the bore axis... I've seen some pretty quick shooting with revolvers and pistols that have a higher bore axis relative to Glock or the P7 series... so is low bore axis really that big of a deal or is it just a minor part of the overall ball game?

Skills trump gear, but should you consider reset and axis as important features in looking for a "serious pistol?" My current one... a USP .45 has neither a quick reset or low bore axis, but it shoots faster than I for the time being...

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December 26, 2002, 12:34 PM
Higher Bore Axis will contribute to more of a muzzle flip. This can be resolved with training or buying a pistol with a lower axis bore.

On the other hand the slow trigger reset can really be bothersome. I have been bless with a Walther P99 which IMHO has one on the fastest trigger resets next to a 1911 (I have one of these too :) ).

A trigger resets in a less then a hundreth of a second. For SD I am more worried about reliablility and accuracy of the pistol. If I pull the trigger and it goes pop but doesnt cycle the slide back and chambers another round into the chamber I would want something else.

Do not underestimate your USP 45. IMHO I would rank it with the "serious HG" group.

Practice Practice Practice

December 26, 2002, 12:45 PM
Until you can outpace the gun you have picked to do your serious work it is not a factor at all. 2 shots that HIT WELL in 5 seconds is WORLDS better than 15 shots and one hit in 5 seconds for example. For most people one solid shot per second would be a good goal. Practice will negate muzzle flip and recoil to a large extent. I find the 1911 or a K-frame 357 to be perfect for me, and neither is known for having a low axis. Even though the 357 has a higher bore and more recoil I can shoot it faster as I never have to wait for the slide to close. Pick a super reliable piece and PRACTICE.

December 26, 2002, 12:45 PM
Trigger must reset as fast or faster than my finger.
Gun must fit ME.
Rest is up to me.


December 26, 2002, 01:50 PM
Sam's right.

I want the gun waiting on me, not the other way around.

As for bore axis, that's a consideration when buying the gun I suppose, but not a very important one. Never had any problem with muzzle flip or getting back on target.

December 26, 2002, 02:41 PM
Agree with Sam.

A bad trigger will take way to much work to overcome. The time you spent learning that bad trigger would probably be better spent learning to get really good on a good trigger.

December 26, 2002, 03:00 PM
i'm still practicing the reset. i usually short stroke it and have to take an extra second to get my second shot off.
but the steyr has a perfect (for me) bore axis and has minimal muzzle flip. its comparable and maybe slightly better than glock.

like i said though, i still need practice. havent been to the range since i qualified for CCW, and that was back in november.

December 26, 2002, 03:06 PM
A consistent trigger with a quick reset is more important to me than a low bore axis based on the fact that muzzle flip can be managed through technique to the point that bore axis becomes almost irrelevant anyway.

December 26, 2002, 03:41 PM
Agree with Sam and Correia.

Those who say bore axis is of relatively minor importance are correct, when discussing trained shooters. The slight difference in moment from a 1/4" bore height difference can easily be managed with training.

The trigger does matter.

The time split difference on 7-yard hammers (second shot fired without flash sight picture) between my 1911's and my USP Compacts is about 0.10-0.12 seconds (measured with a PACT MKIV).

I average about .12-.15 with a properly set up 1911- slightly faster than I can manage a box-stock Ruger Mark II .22 LR- and .22-.25 with the USP's. The 1911's typically shoot a tighter group as well. I can keep a 7-yard hammer pair within 2-3" with the 1911, but tend to use all of -0 on an IDPA target at the same distance with the USP's.

The trigger is the largest difference in speed. The mass of the pistol and the nature of the HK trigger account for the group differences.

Another way to look at this- it took me 3-5 times more practice (live and dry fire) to become as proficient with a USP Compact as I am with a 1911. It can be done, and I did go to the effort, but to what end ?

I wanted a more reliable platform than the 1911's me and my circle of shooting friends shot. Those pistols could be counted on to have 3-4 FTF's for one reason or another every two hundred rounds. Not that big of an issue at the range, but unacceptable for a carry weapon.

The three USP's I have owned have all been completely, utterly reliable, but I have found the same reliability in a properly tuned 1911- something I was too stubborn to pursue before I had a "come to Jesus" lecture from a slightly cantankerous gentleman with a large black bird on his house (and several mini-lectures from his minions).

If I had taken that route in the first place it would have been cheaper in both time and money than the effort I made to get proficient with my USP Compacts.

Live and learn.

With that said, the USP is still a very "serious" pistol and I would not feel misarmed with one, ever.

December 26, 2002, 08:14 PM
Thanks for the good info folks.

I love the USP and it serves it's role well (HD). I don't plan on competing with it or using it to rescue hostages. I'm due for a new purchase and want a different platform besides USP and Glock (have G27). I can feel the potential of the G27 in terms of low bore axis and quick(er) reset, but am limited by the power/size ratio with the shorter grip.

December 26, 2002, 09:54 PM
FWIW Glock and S/W are my two favorite autos owned and have put a lot of rounds through several types of each.

Glock has a very low bore axis, but only average reset, S/W has extremely fast reset but high bore axis. I shoot Glocks faster.

January 4, 2003, 12:40 AM
defensive work. If that's all the faster you can hit, you'd better have a very mean load, and you'd better never miss the chest, even when being shot at, dodging blows, at a cover using or moving man, in the dark, with your ears blown-out, eyes dazzled by muzzle flashes, and perhaps already wounded before you got your gun in hand. Practically anyone can hit at the rate of 3x per second, with a good, SA .22 auto, and most can do so with very little work with a good SA 9mm, too. That is .33 second between hits, or "splits" as the IPSC match guys call them. 1 second is time enough for a man to charge from 10 ft, and stick a knife in you, from a standing start. If he's already at full speed, one second will let him do the same thing from 25+ ft away. Since most hits are poor ones, and even good hits with most loads are not stoppers, I suggest that you get much faster with your repeat hits than one second each.

January 4, 2003, 04:35 PM
drop like a sack of fertilizer after being shot once. And if you have been in martial arts then you know a ten foot distance is a pretty big lead (guys training with wooden tanto ~6ft range.) If you don't move your centerline out of the way, you might get it even if you score a COM hit. Perhaps if knife attacks are that common then might be good supplement range training with dojo training?

With this in mind, do you really think that a shorter spread between double taps or hammers is that critical. I see it almost as diminishing returns... cut your time from 1sec to .80 secs between shots and spend three times longer going from .80 to .72 and so on... is it really worth it?

And I also think of the situations like Carbon_15 had on New Years... wonder how well shots faster than 1/sec would have helped, considering he wasn't at CQ ranges?

January 4, 2003, 04:44 PM
krept when you say SERIOUS do you mean "TACTICAL"?? :D


January 4, 2003, 10:23 PM

I'm going to sell everything and get really good with the .22LR

January 4, 2003, 11:39 PM
There was a time I didn't know what people were talking about when they mentioned "trigger reset". When I would fire, my trigger finger would instinctively snap forward off the trigger face, so by the time I had sight picture again I was already reset. It wasn't until I spent some serious time with a long-resetting .22 that I began to hold my finger back after each shot. If I had to guess, I would say that losing that instinct has hurt rather than helped my speed shooting. Still, if you can get your sights back on target faster than you can reset your trigger, you're already shooting much faster than you need to be. And Jerry Miculek can fire 8 shots in one second with a DA revolver of all things!

January 4, 2003, 11:53 PM
And Jerry Miculek can fire 8 shots in one second with a DA revolver of all things! I don't think my finger can move that fast, much less pulling a DA trigger! :D

Zak Smith
January 5, 2003, 12:11 AM
I usually think of "quick reset" in terms of "short reset". On every shot, I always hold the trigger to the rear until the shot and follow-through is completed. If I am shooting again, I move my finger forward until the trigger resets.

On Glocks, this is a short distance, and is easily felt (ie, "tactile").

On CZ "B" models, this is a longer distance, and is still pretty easily felt.

On CZ non-B models, the distance is shorter than the B models due to no firing pin disconnect operation.

On my BHP, it was "long" from the factory, and somewhat nebulous.

Most 1911's I've tried have had pretty short reset distances.

To the actual questions: I think bore axis is part of the ergonomics of the pistol. The felt recoil and flip are going to depend on your particular grip geometry (how you hold it) and other factors which include bore axis, and it is not alone enough to determine muzzle flip.

Reset distance is not so important as long as you are trained to operate the particular pistol reliably.


January 5, 2003, 12:12 AM
I never thought about or questioned reset distance myself until I brought home a beautiful SIG P239 in .40. I was happy to finally have a SIG. Thought I had arrived. Perfect in every way except I kept wondering why the trigger had to go so far forward to reset, and the letoff point was so far back. Coupled with a weak trigger return spring, it was just too uncomfortable for me. Could easily be shortstoked. If it was the only pistol I intended to use, I'm sure I could have gotten used to and proficient with the setup, but there are just too many other quality arms that don't have that problem. I hate to keep lipping on the P239, but it's the pistol that made me aware of reset, and how big a factor it is in a serious self-defense arm. I asked myself "Could this be a factor in a gunfight, and could it get me killed?" and the answer was "Yes". So this is a long was of saying quick trigger reset is VERY desirable to me in a serious handgun. Doesn't really matter what anybody else thinks, it's how important it is to me. And you.

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