1911 Pistol Modifications - Triggers

by Dennis L. Schrieber

Have you opened a parts catalog lately to the trigger section? Probably left you a bit confused with all the selections. You probably asked why anyone could possibly need such a selection. Or maybe you where at the range and every shooter you talked to had a different idea about the trigger you needed. Discussing custom pistol components is like talking politics or religion. Everyone has there own ideas. I can’t tell you what’s right for you. I can only guide you through the options. Triggers are no exception.

Most of us are familiar with the long “target” trigger. Vidiki, King and others have been making the basic long, as well as the medium and short, triggers for years.In basic marksmanship, we learned that it is important to place the pad of the finger on the trigger. The right length trigger helps us do this consistently and helps us pull the trigger straight back. But, enough for the easy stuff. What about all the other options?

Triggers are now made from several different materials including: nylon, steel, Aluminum, Titanium, Magnesium and Carbon Fiber. The reasons are inertia and friction. The actual weight of the trigger is very small in the overall weight of the pistol and of no consideration. But, both mass and friction play a large part in the way the action feels and works. Its simply a matter of the spring tension necessary to move the trigger back into place after being pulled. The more the mass and friction the more the spring tension. The more the spring tension, the higher the trigger pull. The first thing that was done to lighten the trigger was to skeletonize itThe next was to change the material. Thehighest tech. ones are made of carbon fiber or Titanium. Both types usually feature Magnesium bows. The mass of these triggers is extremely small and consequently much harder to fit properly. A properly fit trigger must fall through the frame under its own weight without any slop. A time consuming job but, well worth the effort.

One of the most common options from on today’s triggers is of course the over-travel stop. One of the newest is the stacking (pre-travel) adjustment. This is usually a tab at the front of the trigger bow. This helps to remove that two stage feel of the 1911 trigger. Not all shooters like or want this feature and if not adjusted properly it can be safety problem.

Some other variations are triggers that a straight, not curved, at the front. These are popular with some ISPC shooters who feel that this allows for more speed and better control. And if this is not enough, you also have a choice of: smooth or serrated, polished or bead blasted and even a choice of colors.

Have fun choosing a trigger. Keep it all in perspective and keep it safe. And don’t forget is visit your favorite pistolsmith. Any comments or questions should be directed to Dennis L. Schrieber,Burnt Mill Smithing, www.burntmill.com

  or e-mail - denniss@burntmill.com.