Jump to content
Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!

2 Pound Triggers


00bullitt

Recommended Posts

What is required to get a good crisp and reliable 2 pound trigger in an STI. I do my own trigger work and rarely can get a reliable trigger without follow at 2.5 pounds. Is the relief angle critical here. Shorter hammer hooks? Mods to the sear spring? If any of the Gurus would not mind helping......I would truly appreciate it. I've been lurking here for months and this is my first official post. I use the Yavapai magnified sear jig and jewelers goggles to mate my surfaces square and proper. What are the tricks for getting below 2 pounds reliably? I always use C&S(Extreme Engineering) hammers,triggers,and disconnectors with the occasional EGW hard sear. Also what kind of sear jigs do you use? I was considering getting a Power Custom II. Are they worth a damn?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is required to get a good crisp and reliable 2 pound trigger in an STI. I do my own trigger work and rarely can get a reliable trigger without follow at 2.5 pounds. Is the relief angle critical here. Shorter hammer hooks? Mods to the sear spring? If any of the Gurus would not mind helping......I would truly appreciate it. I've been lurking here for months and this is my first official post. I use the Yavapai magnified sear jig and jewelers goggles to mate my surfaces square and proper. What are the tricks for getting below 2 pounds reliably? I always use C&S(Extreme Engineering) hammers,triggers,and disconnectors with the occasional EGW hard sear. Also what kind of sear jigs do you use? I was considering getting a Power Custom II. Are they worth a damn?

Three words: Hard Earned Experience.

Anybody can buy the best equipment money can buy, and follow the instructions. But it is the perseverance and practice in "developing the touch/feel" which will finally do it for you. Obtaining that critical "balancing act" between the springs and "erring on safety's side" on your margins in dimensions will eventually do the trick.

But, PLEASE, do everyone a favor and do your reliability testing away from the course of fire at the matches, and follow sound safety testing patterns at the range. Obviously you already have more than the basic understanding on your craft. Now you just need to hone it down, and develop it, safely to the best of your innate abilities. Hope this helps. Maku Mozo. ;)B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I understand its hard earned experience. I am asking for someone to share a little insight from what they have learned. I am well aware how a 1911 trigger ticks the way and why it does. Does the trick lie in the height of the hammer hooks? Are people cutting them down to .016 or less to obtain the crisp two pound pull. Only so much pressure can be removed from the sear with the spring before you get hammer follow. Before I go attempting to ruin some hammers....I was looking for some insight. I am well aware how squaring up and equal contact from both hammer hooks are relative to crispness and stability of the componenets when they mesh. Again any insight from your hard earned experiences would be helpful.

BTW.....I perform total safety checks of all components before ever setting foot on a public range. I have a nice berm out back used for testing and zeroing my firearms.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bullitt,

What you are looking for lies in the correct geometry for each particular pistol. The sear length and angles that work for one gun could be all wrong for the next. The pin dimensions can vary greatly from gun to gun and adjustments have to be made for each gun. If these variations did not exist, people like Venry (and many others) could mail you parts that would drop in for a crisp 16oz trigger in every gun that you have.

For example, I have a buddy with an STI that has pin locations such that any stock parts will drop in to a sub 2lb trigger, despite all of the sear and disconnect pressure that you can add. It is obviously "rolling off" and requires adjustment to keep the combination safe. There is no "perfect dimension" that works for all guns. One of my STI guns is the opposite of his, it requires an extra long sear to achieve a reasonably light trigger pull. With that said, I have several SV guns that work perfectly with stock SV parts (without modification) but I think that there is more precision in his frames and parts than anybody else making guns.

Good luck and be safe.

Leo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The most key thing I've found is the amount of "slop" you have in your sear and hammer pin fits to both the frame and the sear and hammer. All other things being equal, (assuming you're using quality parts, which you are) if the hammer or the sear can "tilt" during engagement because of too loose pin fit, your trigger job will not get down to that magical two pound area and be consistent or crisp.

Brownells used to sell Al Marvel oversize pins and reamers but the oversize reamers they sell now do not match the last two sets of oversize pins I got. Last time I looked they weren't carrying the pin sets anymore.

That said, you may have to get pins custom ground or turned to match each gun. A hassle to be sure but the only way to ensure a solid base for the start of your trigger jobs. Be sure to check the pin holes in the frame for parallel-ness before ordering your pins/reamers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most people do not have any idea of what it takes to do a 2 lb trigger pull. To think it is all in the sear and hammer hook engagement is not thinking about the whole group. There is much more to it than those two things. I am not going to tell anyone how to do something I consider dangerous on the Internet. Let us just say I can do them and I won't do them. Good Luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm with Dave about the safety/liability thing of telling someone how to do it on a public forum. I am also with him about the un-desireability of this little devil anyway.

IMHO, if you can't make the shot with a crisp 3.5lb trigger, you ain't gonna' make it with a 2lb one either ;-/

I am of the opinion that right around a 3lb set is what a super light trigger really oughta' be for very many reasons.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most people think mainly about sear geometry and hammer hook height, and these are certainly factors, but I never cease to be astonished at how different a trigger job can feel with minor differences in sear spring tension.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am asking you guys this question to help me get that little bit further. If I do not ask I cannot learn. I do not consider myself a rookie or novice but more of a higher intermediate gun tinkerer. I want to know how to proficiently work on my own guns to not be at the time and waiting experience of a high level smith. I like to be able to do everything except machine work to which someday I will buy the equipment and attempt.I can already do a great 2.5-3 pound trigger job to which I am very happy with. I just would like to be able to get that 1/2 pound lighter for my competition only guns. As I said previously....I have a berm out behind my house that I use for safety checking and sighting of all my weapons after tinkering. I do not take them to the matches or public ranges if they are not right and 100% safe.

I understand there are multiple pieces to the light trigger puzzle. I also understand that it is more than sear and hammer engagement geometry. I understand disconnector timing. I understand spring pressure.That is why I have turned to this forum. I do all my sear and hammer work on my jig. I cut my hammer hooks to .017-.018 and they are 90 degrees square and even as well as perfectly square sear angles. How much secondary angle and exposed sear face do you run? What kind of spring pressure yields these light triggers? I understand how important square engagements are for crispness and reliability. What hammer hook heights do you use for 2 pound triggers? It makes sense that .016 or even .015 may make a big difference. I would just like some insight before ruining some good hammers.I check all my engagemnt surfaces on the gun after my jig work to maintain consistency of engagement with some frame pins. I understand how relative and crucial that is. I have discarded frames before because they are not true. I run Infiniti Ti triggers that are about as light as you can get to minimize trigger bounce.

If you are uncomfortable posting on the net for others to see....would you shoot me an email or PM please?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you search the forums? A lot of trigger work info has been posted. Don't overlook Brian's super sear JuJu. You will ruin parts perfecting it, but it is on my list of technology to persue.

I have went back through the archives but found nothing any different than I know.

Where can Brian's super sear juju be found?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are more than a few 1.5 lb triggers that are safter than a lot of 5 lb triggers out there. Safety is a product of competent gunsmithing more than pull weight.

00bullitt: Slide Glide is great for sears. Buy all 3 weights so you can try them out. http://www.brianenos.com will get you where you need to be.

Sounds to me like you know what you're doing with the trigger work. You might consider buying a pre-prepped hammer/sear combo from Bob Londrigan http://www.brazoscustom.com and seeing what a pro things the geometry ought to be. Bob is generally very supportive of people doing their own gun wrenching (probably save for trigger work), but I don't think he'll mind too much provided you don't post a "How to Reverse Engineer Brazos' Trigger Geometry" thread or something. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I uderstand your desire to learn this stuff, Bullit. I had to learn it and that was before the information overload of the Internet. Many teachers included Bill Bidwell, Chuck Rogers, Don Williams, and many other neat guys. I ruined many sears and old hammers and then my trigger work changed for the better. I insisted on new parts all the way through and have done many 56 ounce triggers that break clean and work just fine. Remember that I am not a gamer any more and that I think Brian or Rob can clean anyones clock with an old beat up GI gun with a 6 lb trigger as long as it breaks clean and nice. I cannot cut a GI hammer and sear in two days to my satisfaction. I can drop in a 56 oz (3 1/2 lb) with a little bit of time spent on the Job. I use a certain trigger group that the internet experts deride (MIM) and at the present time have one of our Online 1911 GSP EX pistols at Gunsite going through a Hard Use Test. It has been there six months. I am sure if it broke, I would hear about it. I expect these guns to do 100,000 rounds before needing a new hammer , disconnector, and sear. I like a Gold Cut hammer srtut pin hole, a quality machining job on the parts and very little time wasted on jigs. That used to be where it was at, but we do not need that anymore with the wonderful parts available. I like a Gold Cup 1/2 cock notch, also, a high end hammer strut, a frame with the holes in the right place, good machining on the trigger tracks in the lower end, and on and on. The trigger rides in four places on the shoe and four places in the tracks. I have a machinist cut the hammer hooks on a mill so I have a good place to start. Then all I have to do is all of the rest of the work and balance the sear to the hammer hooks , set the springs, and away we go. I even use new pins!

I am retired now and do not work for anyone anymore except certain folks who won't let me go. When I did this kind of work, I did not take orders on trigger pull weights. They were 3 1/2 lbs and up. My own guns are 4 1/2 lbs and up. I do not require a light trigger pull for myself, since I carry these on my right hip.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to think I knew a little something about setting up a trigger in a 1911. For years I have been able to set them up around 4 pounds, crisp and solid. and have them last a LONG time. Then I got an STI from Benny Hill. It is 2 pounds flat with oil, 1.5 pounds with light Slide Glide. It has at least a hundred thousand dry fires on it, and hasn't changed at all that I can feel or measure.

Ballpark measurements the hooks are milled square at .022" depth with full sear engagement, and the breakaway is only about 5 or 6 thousandths. Spring weights are split pretty evenly between sear and disconnector.

How did he get 2 pounds and as crisp as I have ever seen a trigger? HellifIknow, but he did. It is the best 1911 trigger I have ever had personally and as good as anything I have ever tried. Benny must have some sort of kung-fu jig technique, when I set one up as close as I can get to the same way using cheap parts I get a little over 3 pounds and can feel the sear move before release. I don't know if mine would last like his or not, but the fact that it feels different tells me that the life would likely be different too.

I can either live with 3.5-4 pounds or so and a little creep (I actually like a little creep, helps me with really tight shots but YMMV), spend an undetermined amount of money ruining parts to learn his 'secret', or pay him a fee that I feel is pretty darn modest to do it for me. Between the modest fee he charges and REALLY good turnaround time for a quality gunsmith I would just send him the gun to work if I want a sub 4 pound trigger.

There are some things I won't pay to have done under most circumstances, but after running a master class trigger job for a while I don't feel the need to pursue learning to do it on my own.

If I were you I would try to spend some time on the phone with really good gunsmiths. They will usually share their knowledge with you in the interest of building trust and potential business.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The trigger job in question is going on one of Benny's Fat Frees. It is an older gun pre triangle logo. I bought it used and the trigger was terrible. Right at three pounds and mushy. I just got my new parts and got them dialed in last night. I've got it set at 2 pounds 4 ounces right now and as crisp as they ever come. I think I'll try a bit of that slide glide and see how it works for reducing pull. Fixing to go out to the berm after while and run my safety checks on it.

I have no problem spending money. What I do have a problem with is sending my gun out of state and waiting on a smith to get to it when I am capable to do it myself. Thank You for all the advice. Safe Shooting!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The trigger job in question is going on one of Benny's Fat Frees. It is an older gun pre triangle logo. I bought it used and the trigger was terrible. Right at three pounds and mushy. I just got my new parts and got them dialed in last night. I've got it set at 2 pounds 4 ounces right now and as crisp as they ever come. I think I'll try a bit of that slide glide and see how it works for reducing pull. Fixing to go out to the berm after while and run my safety checks on it.

I have no problem spending money. What I do have a problem with is sending my gun out of state and waiting on a smith to get to it when I am capable to do it myself. Thank You for all the advice. Safe Shooting!

OK, I just connected the dots. Now I know which gun this is.

That particular trigger definitely needed some attention..

Note: The gun in question is not in "as new" condition. I'm sure if it still had Benny's original trigger job in it Bullitt wouldn't be needing to clean it up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm with Dave about the safety/liability thing of telling someone how to do it on a public forum. I am also with him about the un-desireability of this little devil anyway.

IMHO, if you can't make the shot with a crisp 3.5lb trigger, you ain't gonna' make it with a 2lb one either ;-/

I am of the opinion that right around a 3lb set is what a super light trigger really oughta' be for very many reasons.

:blink::blink::blink:

Another vote for Brazo's trigger group sets, with an STI trigger (Brazos sells them on the site). An easy 2lbs without follow if you are carefull when adjusting the sear spring-very nice.

Also a good discussion can be found here:

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=24074

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am asking you guys this question to help me get that little bit further.
There are three forces your finger has to overcome pulling a 1911 trigger:

1) The "sear" spring leaf against the trigger itself

2) The "sear" spring leaf against the sear (through the disconnector)

3) The force to cause the sear to rotate and drop the hammer.

Numbers #1 and #2 are easily understood and adjusted by bending the leaf in question.

#3 is made up of a number of aspects.... for one, the hammer spring weight. Most trigger jobs require a sear/hammer hook angle such that the hammer is deflected rearward slightly as the sear nose rotates. This "positive camber" helps lock the sear into the hook and prevent hammer follow.... it also increases pull weight since it is moving the hammer against the mainspring.

The sear itself has two cut faces: the primary (I call the "capture" face) and the secondary "relief" cut.

In effect, the primary face is the area the hammer hook face has to "catch" and rest against to hold the hammer cocked. The relief cut is simply removing metal to allow the hamemr to drop with less movement of the sear. The angle of the relief cut is such that the hammer spring will cause the hammer to push by the sear (and drive it out of the way).

Hammer follow occures when the primary face is too narrow or at the wrong angle, and the hammer does not "catch" on it securely coming forward. The trade off is, the narrower you make the primary face, the crisper and sharper the trigger will break... but the gun is more prone to hammer follow. As the sear nose wears and "rounds over" in the transition between the primary face and relief face, that's when hammer follow starts occurring.

Getting the angle too flat on the primary cut will cause hammer follow right away. In some guns I've seen that only "don't follow" at 3 -4 pounds or more, the sear spring force is actually being used to compensate for a trigger group that is set up wrong. if you crank up enough spring pressure, you can usually get the hammer follow to stop... but that is definitely not the way to fix it.

BTW, I also vote for letting the pros do 1911 triggers. There are many guns I do trigger jobs on, the 1911 ain't one of them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting comments here on this thread. Perhaps it's time to explain why I would not do 2 lb triggers for most folks. I did one for a Green Beret Colonel a few years ago that held up just fine and continues to. He is an experienced shooter and competed world wide in IPSC before it became the arms race it is today.

I am not going to open up for litigation in the times we live in now. I believe that there are other people in the "Smith" business who can and will fade the heat, but I am not one of them. I much prefer the "do it yourself 2lb trigger job" to one done by a smith. Then when it turns into a machine gun at the range, you can sue yourself! I have lived with 3 1/2 lb triggers for over 20 years and that is good enough for the folks I did work for. The gun I sent out to Gunsite had that kind of trigger and Cory beefed it up to 5lbs because he did not feel the students could handle it. It is wonderful at that weight, by the way, and it never burped in 6 months.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting comments here on this thread. Perhaps it's time to explain why I would not do 2 lb triggers for most folks. I did one for a Green Beret Colonel a few years ago that held up just fine and continues to. He is an experienced shooter and competed world wide in IPSC before it became the arms race it is today.

:unsure::unsure::unsure:

Interesting:

1. 2 lbs triggers are unsafe.

2. IPSC is an "arms race."

In response, I expect that the majority of the USPSA shooters are using a 1.5 to 2.5 triggers on their 1911s. Try working the Chrono at a couple of matches and you will see quite a few light triggers. Dave-working the Chrono means you get to shoot everyone's gun.

Question-how can we have so many USPSA events with these light triggers for many years now without a serious accident?

On TGO's site he lists the trigger weight of his guns, none over 2.5. Alot of shooters I meet and know do alot of their own gunsmithing, including their own trigger jobs. Yea they buy the stones and jigs and experiment, and their guns are always pointed toward the targets/berm during matches. Guns malfunction, that is why we have these rules. Never seen a single gun malfunction (double or otherwise) that turned into an unsafe event. I've seen guns double-but they are pointed at the berm. No harm whatsoever.

I don't view USPSA as unsafe events, and I expect no one else on this board does. Do you, when taken into consideration how many "light" triggers are all around you???

Finally, so you believe IPSC is an "arms race." Oh, you are not a USPSA shooter, are you?

Let's see, shoot a stock Glock in production (2 lb trigger), a Limited gun in limited (2lb trigger), and a stock single stack 1911 in SS and L10 (2 lb trigger). I missed the arms race. Maybe you should go to a USPSA event and shoot Single Stack with your safe 4 lb trigger. I'll bet you will enjoy yourself and find that you are dead wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mod note: Polite and respectful, please.

I do know that Dave Sample knows how to play the IPSC / USPSA game-- he's posted pictures of full-house Open guns he used to shoot, and has ads in some 1980s and early 1990s Front Sights (when there really was an arms-race going on) and he might still be playing the game if he were able.

I know a lot of shooters with light triggers and I also know a lot of smiths that won't do them for the same liability reasons. The US Olympic team brought some of their Free Pistols to the Steel Challenge several years ago and let the shooters shoot the olympic course with them. The number of ADs into the dirt from experienced shooters was amazing. With a trigger measured in ounces and fractions of an ounce, I let one go (into the target or thereabouts) just trying to find the trigger with my finger.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mod note: Polite and respectful, please.

Noted.

Bullitt requested information on the gunsmithing forum. It is sad that he received a number of posts that esentially tell him "I know how but I won't tell you" and implying that he is going to do something unsafe and do not provide any information.

I do not mean any disrespect to Dave or anyone else. However, I read many of Dave's posts on other boards and he has alot of knowledge to share.

Maybe if we could all sign a group liability waiver something like Burkett's video that starts out "If you shoot yourself or someone else it's your fault." B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...