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Why are 1911 triggers so revered?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by pak29, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. pak29

    pak29 Well-Known Member

    Recently I've come across several references to the particularly crisp break of a 1911 trigger, such as in TheTruthAboutGuns' review of the Kimber Super Carry Pro HD, in which the author eloquently writes:

    Is there some inherent design advantage to the trigger mechanism on 1911s that makes them crisper or superior to other guns in single-action mode? Is this merely a reflection of the quality and additional hand-fitting that you get when you lay out $800-3,000 that 1911s customarily cost?

    I shoot a Ruger P95, and am fairly happy with the trigger in single-action mode. It does, however, have some creep before it breaks and does not break like the "glass-rod" ideal that I sometimes hear described. I like that it is a DA/SA gun because I like the SA mode when target shooting. Will a 1911 trigger change my world?

    While I'm on it - how does the relative bargain Ruger sr1911 compare to the higher-priced Kimbers in terms of trigger quality?
  2. Nushif

    Nushif Well-Known Member

    From my little experience I find that the 1911 style trigger is very easy to use well.

    It is short and light, meaning the average user has little to no chance to mess things up. This is probably (probably) because of the way it is designed. I find I have a lot more chance to screw up a perfectly good sight picture during a long trigger pull than the like ... 2mm pull the 1911 has.

    It's not really a "superior" trigger as much as it's a very, very easy trigger to use well, at least for me.
  3. pak29

    pak29 Well-Known Member

    Is it shorter or lighter by design than other guns in SA mode? I'm not comparing it to DA or SAO triggers.

    I suppose the heavier-weight metal frames of 1911s also help the shooter capitalize on the trigger, reducing felt recoil and target re-acquisition time.
  4. Nushif

    Nushif Well-Known Member

    Shorter ... YES! Lighter .. Depends. But yeah, it is basically an entirely different animal from a gun that is not purely SA.
  5. Carter

    Carter Well-Known Member

    Because its creation was the product holy enlightenment....I kid I kid.

    I find it easier to use than any other trigger. I think its because of the lack of take up on the trigger. Its just squeeze and bang. I also like that it is pretty much a bar you push straight backwards, it feels and works better for me.

    I don't own a 1911 though, just borrow a friends as much as possible =)
  6. JTQ

    JTQ Well-Known Member

    It only moves on one plane, horizontally.

    Other triggers have a pivot point and swing back and upward, like a pendulum.
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    And it's very easy to tune.

    Giving the right sear jig and a little knowledge & skill, even a cave man can do it!

  8. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer member

    A 1911 trigger is like a rifle trigger. Or, at least it can be tuned to break like a target rifle. You wouldn't choose a rifle with a mushy trigger, so why choose a handgun with a bad trigger?
  9. daytodaze

    daytodaze Well-Known Member

    +1 to JTQ

    You pull the trigger straight back, directly into the frame. A good squeeze on a well-tuned gun and you can really do some amazing things with them.

    That's not to say you couldn't do it with any other gun, but you'll need to master the trigger with a lot of practice to do it.
  10. pak29

    pak29 Well-Known Member

    I hadn't even thought of the straight-back versus pivoting trigger. That's interesting.
  11. Apocalypse-Now

    Apocalypse-Now Well-Known Member

  12. Overkilll0084

    Overkilll0084 Well-Known Member

    I finally tore my 1911 down to bits and bare frame a while back and one thing I noticed: the simplicity. There are no linkages, pushrods or Rube Goldberg devices to detract from the process. Push on trigger, it's a straight shot to the sear releasing, no middleman.
  13. Lubricant

    Lubricant Well-Known Member

    Don't forget the double trigger bow.It assures force is distributed equally to the rearward motion.Get the bows and the channels they ride in polished up,and the bows spread just right[not that hard to do]and wow,pure trigger.
  14. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Well-Known Member

    I'd skip the Ruger and go with Colt, STI, Dan Wesson, Les Baer.
  15. cavman

    cavman Well-Known Member

    A plain Jane 1911 to a top-of-the line 1911 are all capable of having a sweet trigger.

    As rcmodel said, it can be as easy as you with a good sear jig and a little know how to get one.
  16. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Well-Known Member

    Why people like the old style single action so much?

    Because it is easy to use and get good at it.


    It will spoil you when you try it.
  17. Jolly Rogers

    Jolly Rogers Well-Known Member

    I'm glad you offered the qualifications the "cave man" needs. The reports I have read on the various forums that describe free hand trigger jobs using emery boards and/or Dremels make me cringe...:eek:
  18. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    It's not only the clean break. The short reset enters into it, too.
  19. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Well-Known Member

    The only hard part is restraining yourself from cutting too much, holding the stupid sear jig, and cutting the secondary edge on the sear. Then alighning the hammer and sear on the outside of your frame with the pins in to use your frame as a jig to check engagement.

    That secondary edge is just rounding the back a bit. I don't think it's too big of a deal. I've done a few with good results, but I'm no expert. I actually like the creepy bad one I made with old scrap kimber parts. It's lighter feeling. I'm not sure the glass rod break is really the best solution for bullseye.....maybe I'm on to something new.

    I still haven't figured out if I'm supposed to move the feeler guage shim with the stone or not when doing the primary edge? If you move the shim you're making a rounded edge. Moving the shim changes the angle you're cutting. If you hold it still you're making a crisp flat angled edge.

    I think Wilson's most expensive sear needs no work? Just clean up your hammer and drop 'em in.
  20. schmeky

    schmeky Well-Known Member

    1911 Tuner,

    Beat me to it. Yes, the reset is the reset all others are measured by. Not to mention the ease of getting the trigger to break like glass in the 2.5-3.5# range.

    So, 100 years later and it's still the standard in many respects.

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