Ruger trigger too light

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Ruger trigger too light

Post by desben on 8/31/2015, 9:17 pm

When I got my Ruger Mark III two years ago, I installed a Volquartsen sear and adjustable trigger in it. It had no trouble passing equipment control initially, but now, 10-15k rounds later, things have polished up inside and it's borderline. The trigger trips half the time in picking up the weight, and it releases every time if I position the weight lower on the trigger...

How can I make the trigger heavier by a few oz? Should I:

  1. replace the sear and/or hammer with new parts?
  2. replace the main spring with a new part?
  3. make the engagement surface more coarse using low-grit stones?


Your suggestions are welcome...

And while I order parts, is there anything else that may be worth getting for a pistol going on 20k rounds? A new firing pin maybe?
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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by dstates on 9/1/2015, 9:35 am

I also have a MkIII and I added VQ trigger and sear as well as a Tandemcross hammer bushing that allowed me to remove the magazine disconnect.  I ended up with a trigger below two pounds.

First thing I did was put the original trigger spring back in (the one that pushed up on the disconnector that is in the trigger).  The ruger trigger spring is stiffer than the VQ one (the wire diameter is slightly larger).  That got me closer.  Then I put the magazine disconnect back in (I didn't really like breaking the rules anyway).  I was still slighly under 2 lbs.  The next thing I did was stretch the trigger spring slightly.  That got me to above two pounds.  However, about a year or so later, it was just under two pounds again.  I have a feeling the spring loses some of the pre-stretch.  The stretching method is a little 'sketchy' so be careful.  My next thought was to look around for other springs, but I haven't done that yet.

You might get lucky and only have to install the original Ruger spring back in the trigger.

Hope this helps.
Doug

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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by desben on 9/1/2015, 11:40 am

Right! I forgot about that trigger return spring. I'll start there as it's free and non-destructive. Thank you for the idea.

You can order these springs straight from the Shop section of the Ruger website for $2. Look for part 61064. (+shipping). Luckily, I still have my original spring.
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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by Colt711 on 9/1/2015, 4:34 pm

Rugers, experience 1.
A shooting friend asked me to try his Ruger the last trip to the range. The 2nd HARDEST trigger pull I have ever tried. He shoots in our club's steel competition and I do not see how.

Experience 2.
This friend bought a new one and installed a VLQ trigger kit. This resulted in about a 1/4" inch of creep and a very soft, mushy feel.

#1 says the Ruger's are prevalant in the steel matches and I see both on the firing line and here on the forum new shooters usually advised to "get a Ruger". #1 says almost all the steel shooters have semiauto feed probs. Rifle & pistol in most all brands
 From my limited experience this seems like very poor advice. I have heard good reports about the Hammerli Xesse and my experience with Marvel conversions has been good. Now I hear Nelson's are an improvement to Marvels. Would not advising a Nelson or a Hammerl be a wiser course?

The last I checked Clark's site, he offered Ruger pkg's. I have never used one but Clark was the leading BE 'smith for many yrs. Jim did the original design and actual work on the Ruger. He shot one in winning Perry "back in the day". They also do the Ruger 10-22. They seem quite pricey too me.

What am I not seeing here?

Ron Habegger

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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by Jon Eulette on 9/1/2015, 5:03 pm

Ruger has pivoting trigger. Weight is measured at middle of trigger curve. To add a few ounces you can bend the sear spring to add weight.
Volquartsen parts creep 99 percent of the time and the aluminum trigger does make it feel spongy. I use Clark steel triggers exclusively for trigger jobs.
Jon
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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by 243winxb on 9/1/2015, 6:09 pm

Remove oil or lube from the sear, hammer contact surfaces.
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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by Jwhelan939 on 9/1/2015, 6:42 pm

I have a Volquartsen Scorpion that came at 1lb 14 Oz. I replaced the volqaurtsen trigger spring with a stock ruger spring. The pull went up to 2lb 6oz. Wish I could get it to a happy medium!

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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by desben on 9/1/2015, 7:24 pm

Thank you for the info everyone. I appreciate it. I'm confident I'll be able to get my trigger above 2lbs with these tricks.

Colt711, as to the allure of the Rugers... Well, they are inexpensive. You could buy 2 or 3 for the price of any of the better alternatives. They are as accurate. In my experience, they are more reliable than any other 22 pistol. You can use any ammo in them; standard velocity target loads or hot high-velocity hollow points. Their downside, as you know, is the trigger... With a properly setup Volquartsen kit, it's workable, but not great.

For $400, you get a pistol that's good enough to start and make it to expert. Many have. I wouldn't have gotten into the game if I had to buy a Pardini as my first pistol.
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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by Jon Eulette on 9/1/2015, 7:36 pm

High Master with Ruger!
I've shot many 889's with a MKII
Jon
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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by Keyholed on 9/2/2015, 12:57 am

desben wrote:Thank you for the info everyone. I appreciate it. I'm confident I'll be able to get my trigger above 2lbs with these tricks.

Colt711, as to the allure of the Rugers... Well, they are inexpensive. You could buy 2 or 3 for the price of any of the better alternatives. They are as accurate. In my experience, they are more reliable than any other 22 pistol. You can use any ammo in them; standard velocity target loads or hot high-velocity hollow points. Their downside, as you know, is the trigger... With a properly setup Volquartsen kit, it's workable, but not great.

For $400, you get a pistol that's good enough to start and make it to expert. Many have. I wouldn't have gotten into the game if I had to buy a Pardini as my first pistol.

This.

The Ruger is a really good pistol for the money. Properly-maintained and broken-in, yeah, it's perfectly reliable. I don't think there's anything wrong with Buckmarks or 22A's, but I think the Ruger is just a little bit...well, more. They're not ammo-picky at all, although naturally you're going to get the best results with a standard velocity (sub-1100 FPS) lead roundnose.

Colt711 wrote:#1 says the Ruger's are prevalant in the steel matches and I see both on the firing line and here on the forum new shooters usually advised to "get a Ruger". #1 says almost all the steel shooters have semiauto feed probs. Rifle & pistol in most all brands
 From my limited experience this seems like very poor advice. I have heard good reports about the Hammerli Xesse and my experience with Marvel conversions has been good. Now I hear Nelson's are an improvement to Marvels. Would not advising a Nelson or a Hammerl be a wiser course?

In my experience, you can generally trace Ruger feed/eject problems to a limited number of sources:


  • Gun is not broken-in; needs 500 rounds at least
  • Owner over-oils the gun
  • Shooter rides the bolt stop with his thumb while shooting
  • Shooter uses the bolt stop to release the slide instead of slingshotting
  • Magazine issues--always number your magazines, always try and use them in the same order until you're confident in each one.


In other words, it's almost never really the pistol's fault. Lots of guys bring their new pistols home and immediately swap out the extractor, but I've never seen it be really necessary.

The Hammerli Xesse is a fine pistol, but there's a couple minor things with it. First, compared to the Ruger, the pistol itself is more expensive ($200-$300 more, depending), and the magazines are a lot more expensive. If you're going to have six magazines, the difference between a $15 Ruger magazine (I didn't pay that much for any of mine) and a $35 Hammerli magazine is $120. Some people just don't like the Hammerli's ergonomics.

The Nelson Conversion is great (mine just arrived today!  Surprised) but it's four hundred bucks, plus magazines. Worth every penny for a committed junkie, kinda hard to justify to a new shooter. And that's assuming you already have a good-quality 1911 to strap it onto. A lot of people don't have one.

Personally, I tell new shooters about four pistols--the Buckmark, the Ruger, the 22A, and the Sig Trailside/X-Esse. I tell them a little bit about each one, explain why I went with the Ruger, and leave it at that.

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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by Rob Kovach on 9/2/2015, 7:44 am

I hate to say it, but the quality on the new production Rugers has been abysmal. The examples I've seen left a bad taste in my mouth. One example was so bad that the gun wouldn't fire. It was definitely the guns fault.
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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by 285wannab on 9/2/2015, 8:36 am

One thing about Rugers is there are a lot of aftermarket parts.  Making HM with a Ruger that's awesome.  Jon care to share with us what you did to your Ruger.  The reason why I ask is because I shoot a Ruger.

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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by Jerry Keefer on 9/2/2015, 8:52 am

Rob Kovach wrote:I hate to say it, but the quality on the new production Rugers has been abysmal.   The examples I've seen left a bad taste in my mouth.  One example was so bad that the gun wouldn't fire. It was definitely the guns fault.

^^^^^^^^^^^^
I have done a huge number of Rugers in past years... Stock to  heavily modified. It's a very basic design, with much less than precision machining.  
Has anyone ever bore scoped or dissected a Ruger barrel..??  It's testimony to the resilence and inherent accuracy of the .22 projectile.
BUT....
Jimmie Clark senior made the Ruger famous at Perry many years ago.. A good friend,  set a 22 senior long line  record at Perry several years ago with a MKII. A police competitor for my PD won the Expert Police class 2 years in a row with a "souped up" MKII.
The MKI and MKII are the only ones I would consider.. The platform can be made very competitive with the right work and  modifications.
The MKI can be modified to lock back with some minor machining and switching out of the lower.  The triggers are a lot of work to approach decent match level qulaity. Bushings and pins..It is doable..
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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by Jon Eulette on 9/2/2015, 9:08 am

I was using a MKII Government. I can't shoot a heavy pistol so I slab sided the barrel, fluted the bottom only and re-crowned it taking about 3/4" off the length. I put a Clark steel trigger in it and did a 2# trigger job. Since I was doing trigger job myself I spent the extra time to get minimum safe sear engagement and had one heck of a nice short trigger pull. I cut top of receiver for .22 ring mounting and scoped it. Arnie Vitarbo made me a set of grips and I was off and running. When I was shooting it a bad match was low 880's and a typical match was 887-889. I switched to Hammerli and only shot marginally better. Did shoot 890's with the Hammerli, but believe Ruger is just as capable. Ruger MKII with a trigger job from a BE smith will give you a very competitive pistol without breaking the bank.
Jon
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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by Colt711 on 9/2/2015, 4:47 pm

Thank you fellows for following up w/ all the info! Jon I have seen a mid  880 score shot by a master here. He was using the 22/45 and had modified a set of SW 39 factory grips to fit it. i'm sure the trigger was worked  on. Today I spoke w/ another of our "steel group" today and he expanded on the malfunctions I had heard about. He has observed the shooters using MK ll's have very few problems.

I am at the age at which arthritis handicaps my holding ability (strength) severely. I am using lighter guns, a pair of Marvels both having Bushnell TRS-25's, and I forsee lighter guns in the future. Info on Rugers, especially the light barreled version currently offered might be something to go to later. Now I'm thinking sticking w/the Marvel, with lightening mods would be the best course.  Strangely I shoot a HS .38 conv a little better than the .22 but the no. of rounds is less than the.22.  Jon-Congrats on some nice scores. May I ask why, and how, you went back to Master? I was informed I had to turn in no scores for 5 yrs to go below Master? Has there been a change?
Thanks again to all who commented!
Ron Habegger


Last edited by Colt711 on 9/2/2015, 4:56 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : 9/2/15 Grammer.)

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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by Jon Eulette on 9/2/2015, 5:01 pm

Ron,
I didn't shoot a BE match from 1994 until 2006ish. Basically had to start all over again. I shoot about once a month and only shoot about 5 matches a year. Shot master first match back and have remained there. So I'm stuck at master until I get off my tail and practice. I am addicted to pistolsmithing and typically only shoot to test/function fire the pistols I work on.
Jon
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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by Ed Hall on 9/2/2015, 5:05 pm

I'm not a gunsmith, but I modified my original Ruger trigger group many years ago and was able to shoot 880 with it.  I must confess that Hammerlis have taken me further since then.  I did several things to my Mark II:

-radiused the hammer after the hook, so it would stop dragging on the sear.
-added a plastic sleeve inside the hammer, so the pin slop would be reduced
-added a pre-travel adjustment screw within the trigger, to minimize the take-up slack
-trued the sear tip to the hammer and added a small secondary face
-adjusted the trigger stop to hold the sear just off the hammer as it traveled its arc

As to break-in and usage:

My Ruger wouldn't shoot certain ammos (I remember RWS was one) until after about 500 rounds went though it.  Then for many years it was nearly 100% trouble free with anything I tried.  Oddly, at some point I started having issues.  The idea of magazine troubles surfaced, but all three original mags failed the same.  Many 'smiths examined and could not find anything wrong, one even trying a Mark I bolt.  I also bought a whole new bolt from Ruger.  Somewhere after much aggravation, someone handed me a new magazine and it worked flawlessly.  It turned out that all three of my original magazines failed at the same time.  What are the odds?  With new mags, it worked fine until it was replaced by Hammerlis.  Since then, it has only seen daylight a very few times and I don't remember having any troubles with it on those occasions.  I also don't remember troubleshooting the original mags.

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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by Jerry Keefer on 9/3/2015, 8:36 am

Colt711 wrote:I am at the age at which arthritis handicaps my holding ability (strength) severely. Ron Habegger

Ron
Something I did a lot of for weight sensitive Ruger shooters,  is to sleeve the barrel with aluminum.. Makes a very big improvement. Many shooters do quite well with a light gun.. Pardini shooters sometimes find the steel barrel shroud objectionable.. An aluminum shroud for the Pardini is complex to make, but a Ruger barrel sleeve is simple and effective..
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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by 285wannab on 9/3/2015, 4:47 pm

I think it's cool that a lot of top shooters have used a Ruger at one time or another.  I have been thinking of upgrading for some time now but I like my Stainless 5 1/2 target 22/45.
Jon and Jerry if weight is an issue why not cut the barrel down some?
Ed you say you added a small secondary face to your sear.  Is that like a S&W 41 sear?
One thing about my gun is that it doesn't group as well as I want.  I would also like to add an  U/D Lt instead of my U/D tube.  And have it sit like Jon talked about.

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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by Colt711 on 9/3/2015, 5:17 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:Ron,
I am addicted to pistolsmithing and typically only shoot to test/function fire the pistols I work on.
Jon
I can understand that! My best friend for many yrs, now gone on, had a small shop w/mill, lathe, surface grinder, and many small tools. We spent many hours together mangling small parts, and rebuilding the various things a shooter uses and/or thinks he needs done. Small appliances used around the home which were never intended for repair weren't safe either.

Jerry,
I certainly do enjoy your comments & explanations of the various problems and projects shooters come up with.

K C Crawford,
Any mention of 'smithing must include you and your work, the illustrations and explanations of which I find interesting and informative.

I have a great deal of respect for you guys that have come up w/ the mods that make something like a Ruger into a quality target pistol!

Ron Habegger

PS: Ed Hall is certainly another. I am embarrased I had to edit to include him. His understanding of the game and the equipment needed to perform at a high level is apparent in his writings on this forum.


Last edited by Colt711 on 9/3/2015, 5:24 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : 9/3/15 Ed Hall comments.)

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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by Ed Hall on 9/5/2015, 5:02 pm

Thanks Ron, but I don't know that I need to be included with the others. Smile

In fact, let's test my knowledge here:

285wannab:  I've understood (perhaps erroneously) that an advantage of the secondary angle on the 1911 sear is to provide a surface that rides the hammer during reset, keeping the most important edge, the one that provides the trigger break, away from dragging on the hammer radius when the hammer is being cocked, either by the slide or by thumb.  Since the Rugers (and, all hammer type semis I'm familiar with) also disconnect the sear during cycling, I put a small secondary angle on it, too.

I should probably refine something from earlier:

"-radiused the hammer after the hook, so it would stop dragging on the sear"

This should read:

"-radiused the hammer after the hook, so it would stop dragging on the sear, after the break, during hammer fall to ignition"

Once the disconnector releases the sear, it does drag during reset - no way around that.

I did that for the same reason the 1911 trigger stop should be adjusted to miss the half-cock.  The hammer should be totally free during fall to ignition.

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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by 285wannab on 9/9/2015, 9:15 am

Thanks Ed for the reply.

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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by Jerry Keefer on 9/9/2015, 9:51 am

Not the original topic, but here's a photo of an aluminum sleeved barrel, for those who are weight sensitive. This is a HS barrel, but exactly the same process.
This entire barrel weighs 6 oz..
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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by desben on 9/10/2015, 5:13 am

I re-installed the original Ruger trigger spring as dstates suggested and my trigger gained 3/4 lbs. I'm now well into the legal zone. I thought my scores would suffer, but I shot my best slow fire in a long time... 97, followed by a 93. Sometimes when things are different we pay more attention (but that's a thread for the Fundamentals forum).

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Re: Ruger trigger too light

Post by Fire Escape on 9/10/2015, 7:47 am

desben wrote:I re-installed the original Ruger trigger spring as dstates suggested and my trigger gained 3/4 lbs. I'm now well into the legal zone. I thought my scores would suffer, but I shot my best slow fire in a long time... 97, followed by a 93. Sometimes when things are different we pay more attention (but that's a thread for the Fundamentals forum).




That fits with a 'quote' I use frequently: "You can't buy points ..... but you can rent them".

Certainly a hugely better or improved gun can improve our score and allow us to perform at a higher level if we were truly 'equipment limited' (so yes, you can buy points).

Usually any change we make will see our score improve temporarily which I attribute to paying more attention because something is different, this I term 'renting points'.

End of hijack of the Ruger trigger pull thread.


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