Buying a new trigger

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Buying a new trigger

Post by mikemyers on 5/31/2018, 10:49 pm

Lots of discussions about having a trigger on your 1911 that fits your hand, rather than the other way around.  I'd like to get some basic information about this.

Suppose I wanted to buy a new trigger for my 1911, maybe longer, maybe shorter.  Let's say, I wanted this one:
https://shopwilsoncombat.com/Trigger-Ultralight-Match-Long-Standard-Pad/productinfo/190/


Do I just disassemble my gun, and drop this one in, replacing whatever I had before?
Does anything need to be hand fitted to work properly with the gun?
Is it a "standard", so all the different triggers are essentially interchangeable, like with grips?
Does it in any way effect the trigger pull, increasing or decreasing the pressure needed to fire?

Are there things one would consider, even if it did drop right in, to get it to feel the best it can?  If one wanted a longer or shorter trigger, what other options might one want to know about?  Is the width of the trigger something that varies?   Maybe I should be asking Jon, if he were installing it, what other things he might do to make it better.
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Re: Buying a new trigger

Post by james r chapman on 6/1/2018, 5:13 am

If you want GI sloppy, probably drop in.
Match quality, it has to be fitted for reset, length, width, relieved for magazine drag, etc.
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Re: Buying a new trigger

Post by fpk on 6/1/2018, 6:20 am

There is a bunch of minor fitting with anyone that you buy, and you have to take it all apart to do it. It should take someone that knows what they are doing 15-20 minutes with some punches and a file. Blue locktite that reset screw after you set it where you want it.

The trigger pull should be the same, unless you fail to address any points of friction. Generally top/bottom of will likely need a bit of metal relieved to fit into the channel, and as Jim mentions, you need to make sure it doesn't squeeze the magazines. The plastic 22lr magazines from conversions are generally largest and need that care.

Width is fixed to the size of the channel, which is standard.  If you want a wider trigger face, then you want a trigger shoe, which Frank here on the forum makes very nice aluminum-bronze shoes. If you are going to want a shoe, figure 1/16th of an inch for the shoe when choosing the trigger size.

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Re: Buying a new trigger

Post by apipeguy on 6/1/2018, 7:27 am

I just installed that trigger in medium length on a SW1911TA that I stripped and rebuilt with all Wilson Bullet Proof parts and used a TR Sear Jig on their sear for a dedicated lower for my Nelson Conversions. Although I normally find that I have to file off some from the top and bottom to fit properly in the trigger channel, I did very little on this one but probably just lucky. They are normally made a little taller so that you can file to fit and not have any up or down slop. Extremely nice trigger by the way. I should add that I had to fit the factory grip safety (only part not replaced) to that trigger as the factory trigger had different dimensions. The lower tabs just behind the trigger shoe can be bent out to take away any front to back slop.
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Re: Buying a new trigger

Post by Amati on 6/1/2018, 8:21 am

mikemyersSuppose I wanted to buy a new trigger for my 1911, maybe longer, maybe shorter. 

First you have to decide what length you want. 1911 triggers are available longer, shorter and adjustable. Then you decide if weight is important to you. Decide on the surface configuration and the radius of the finger contact point. Which part of your finger is making contact? Lots of decisions to make. 
Installing a trigger to a 1911 may seem simple but properly fitting it on a competition gun and having it yield the same feel, take-up, reset, weight etc is best left to a truly experienced 1911 gunsmith. Otherwise you're building a GI trench gun.

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Re: Buying a new trigger

Post by willnewton on 6/1/2018, 8:29 am

This post will restate a few things already mentioned, but add some trigger info as well.

Will it drop in?  After filing the top of the trigger to fit, it probably will.  Will it cause the gun to fire? Mmmm, probably.  OK, that is the end of the “drop in” part.

Will it interact with the grip safety correctly?  Maybe, maybe not.
Will the trigger overtravel screw need setting?  Definitely 
Will the disconnector interface area need polishing? Yep
Will the bow need pads, filing, or a trigger stirrup die for proper fit in the frame? Yep
Will you need to fine tune the trigger track surfaces on the frame? Yep
Is that middle sear spring finger clearing the trigger bow?
Etc. Etc. Etc.

Suddenly, this is “drop in” part requires an awful lot of fitting!  As for needing a gunsmith or trying to DIY it, that is your call as you will know your own comfort level of tinkering.  A 1911 is not a bunch of individual parts, it is a complete system.  When you change a part in that system, you can change the entire system.  An experienced gunsmith can address the system, whereas most DIYers only have the limited ability to address the part.  This is a subtle difference, but a critical one.

Personally, I would start by skipping the Wilson trigger.  It should be called the Ultraflimsy, not Ultralight.  I have one sitting in a drawer that I installed and later removed.  The relieved trigger bow cannot withstand any mishandling and it won’t be long before it is bowed and rubbing your frame and/or magazines, no matter how well it is installed.

These Greider/Videki triggers are just fine and affordable enough to get in every length for experimenting.  Long is the standard length on most 1911s.  Short is good for trigger shoes or if it helps get your finger in the right place.  For me, the medium trigger was not enough length difference to matter much, but your preference may be different.

https://www.brownells.com/handgun-parts/trigger-group-parts/trigger-parts/triggers/1911-v-series-match-trigger-prod20228.aspx
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Re: Buying a new trigger

Post by mikemyers on 6/1/2018, 8:37 am

You've answered my questions, so thanks.  Should I ever want that done, I'll ask Dave Salyer to do the work, and look over everything else.  He built my gun, long before I got it.

I was mostly curious, as so many places say pick the appropriate one, and replace what's in the gun.  I figured it would never be that easy - like switching grips.  As to the Wilson trigger, I just did a search for triggers and picked one.  

I have no desire to change mine, but certainly did want to know what's involved.  Some of the things mentioned above I guessed, but there were SO many more.  Bottom line, telling someone to get a trigger that fits their hand isn't all that simple.
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Re: Buying a new trigger

Post by SW-52 on 6/1/2018, 8:53 am

in my wadgun i use Harrison medium lenght trigger with frank's trigger shoe.
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Re: Buying a new trigger

Post by mikemyers on 6/1/2018, 9:00 am

I've got to ask.....     why might one want a "trigger shoe"?  To make the trigger wider?
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Re: Buying a new trigger

Post by LenV on 6/1/2018, 9:19 am

mikemyers wrote:I've got to ask.....     why might one want a "trigger shoe"?  To make the trigger wider?
It spreads the weight over a larger surface. Makes it feel lighter and because of extra width you have an easier time drawing it straight back from feel. You can tell if your pulling it back from the side or the center. That is my experience.

Len

If you add a trigger shoe and it makes it longer then you like you get good at making new triggers fit. And collecting take outs Very Happy 


Last edited by LenV on 6/1/2018, 9:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Buying a new trigger

Post by Amati on 6/1/2018, 9:37 am

Mike, you should also look at the electronic triggers with adjustment and actuation by bluetooth where you fire with the actuator in your pocket.

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Re: Buying a new trigger

Post by jglenn21 on 6/1/2018, 9:51 am

+1 on the Greider triggers. Extremely consistent and well made.
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Re: Buying a new trigger

Post by mikemyers on 6/1/2018, 10:25 am

Amati wrote:Mike, you should also look at the electronic triggers with adjustment and actuation by bluetooth where you fire with the actuator in your pocket.
That's the one that works with electronic bullets, right?
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Re: Buying a new trigger

Post by mikemyers on 6/1/2018, 10:29 am

Er, out of curiosity, who is Frank?  Does he have a user name here?
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Re: Buying a new trigger

Post by Amati on 6/1/2018, 10:33 am

No joke Mike. Some competitors used the remote electronic triggers in free pistol until the ISSF saw their own loophole and closed it.  Legal in BE?

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Re: Buying a new trigger

Post by james r chapman on 6/1/2018, 11:17 am

mikemyers wrote:Er, out of curiosity, who is Frank?  Does he have a user name here?
FRONECK
He posts on eBay.
SEARCH trigger+shoes
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Re: Buying a new trigger

Post by mikemyers on 6/1/2018, 12:29 pm

Amati wrote:No joke Mike. Some competitors used the remote electronic triggers in free pistol until the ISSF saw their own loophole and closed it.  Legal in BE?
I can't find electronic, but hydraulic is no problem....      :-)

http://hyskore.com/products/30010-hydraulic-trigger-release/

Thanks for the info on Frank.  One more thing to think about, eventually.  Do you guys use one????

....between this and the electronic scoring, I can leave my gun set up, settle down for a sandwich, and the computer will tell me how I did.   :-)
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Re: Buying a new trigger

Post by Magload on 6/1/2018, 1:32 pm

I have 4 of Franks trigger shoes.  They looked so good on my guns I couldn't just stop at one.  I have yet to determine it I shoot better with or with out them and keep putting them on and taking them off.  I do like the feel of them when using the pad of my finger but when i switch to the joint I think they maybe to wide.  Don
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Re: Buying a new trigger

Post by mikemyers on 6/1/2018, 1:40 pm

Both in Bullseye and in the book I was referring to earlier,  there's no "if".  The joint in the finger needs to be over the trigger.  Otherwise, when you apply pressure to the trigger, you can't tell if movement is coming from the trigger, or the soft fishy part of your finger compressing.  

I obviously don't know what I'm talking about - never tried this - but if the trigger got wider, I would have thought it would be curved a little, to let your finger wrap around it????

Do the experts use this, or is it mostly for people who want to get to be experts?
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Re: Buying a new trigger

Post by willnewton on 6/1/2018, 2:11 pm

I have had a couple of shoes, wide and narrower.  I have a couple from froneck and a couple of vintage Ace shoes.

I used them all at various times on different pistols and now use none.  I was never sure if it helped or not.  It feels good, but did not think it added points.

In the end, I decided to remove them because it is just easier to make things less complicated.  

Yet, I have not gotten rid of them either!

  I will say that my least favorite is froneck’s “regular width” shoe.  Nothing against him or the shoe, it just is not a good fit for my finger.  His narrower “1911” trigger shoe is pretty nice.  I actually like my Ace shoes best, but mostly because they are on the small side and feel like my Hammerli 215 trigger, which is not too wide and has serrations, which I like.

But this is just opinion, not fact or proven via points.   As I said, I just use stock trigger widths now and have even wondered about desecrating my Hammerli by narrowing up the trigger on my mill.
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Re: Buying a new trigger

Post by LenV on 6/1/2018, 6:11 pm

mikemyers wrote:Both in Bullseye and in the book I was referring to earlier,  there's no "if".  The joint in the finger needs to be over the trigger.  Otherwise, when you apply pressure to the trigger, you can't tell if movement is coming from the trigger, or the soft fishy part of your finger compressing.  

I obviously don't know what I'm talking about - never tried this - but if the trigger got wider, I would have thought it would be curved a little, to let your finger wrap around it????

Do the experts use this, or is it mostly for people who want to get to be experts?
Sorry Mike, time to read new books. There is no such thing as no "if". A. When my trigger moves it fires. There is no creep (roll). B. There is no soft fishy (fleshy) part in my finger either. Callouses yep. And smell fishy a lot Very Happy  C. Ok, I will concede that my finger compresses some as I apply pressure to the trigger. but I am 100% certain I can tell if the trigger is creeping back when I do. These statements are coming from a shooter that has found very few triggers in my lifetime that I could get my finger in far enough to actually reach the joint. Not that my hands are too small to reach. More like there is no room between top and bottom of trigger guard. Franks shoes fit my pad perfectly. Once I put in shorter triggers. Here are some pictures.

Shoes on 3 of them.


Why I smell fishy a lot. ( I know it was a typo. Just having fun with it)



Running out of room in a 52. Pad is on trigger.
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Re: Buying a new trigger

Post by mikemyers on 6/1/2018, 10:25 pm

The difference is, you're one of the people who could write the books.  You already know what you need to know and feel.  At least between fishing trips.  Your photos make it look like you've got a scale model of a Model 52, in reduced size.

I suspect that for most people, most of the time, the advice about finger placement is a good guide.  

The last book I was reading said to buy a gun that fits your body.  I guess that's not always possible.  For me, maybe because my spare time is spent on cameras and computers, not boats, the "pad" part of my finger feels like a wet sponge, and the joint feels like solid plastic covered by skin.  

You're a much better person to reply to this thread, not me.  Maybe you're a better person to give advice than the authors of these books, certainly more applicable for Precision Shooting.  I bet you're a better "shooter", too!!

(My own, apparently incorrect, thoughts are that the easier the trigger is to apply, the less finger I need sticking through the trigger guard (as I don't need much leverage and power), and the harder the trigger is to applyy, as with a double action revolver, the more I need to push my finger through the trigger guard, to get more leverage.  This has never been written in any book I've read, and probably never will.  I no longer think it is applicable to bullseye shooting with the guns I use.)
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Re: Buying a new trigger

Post by LenV on 6/1/2018, 11:29 pm

Hi Mike, True what you say. For most people most of the time. I was just trying to say that sometimes there is an "if". I appreciate the thought that you think I could write the book. I am pretty sure that it takes a longer attention span then I have (squirrel). As far as outshoot them? That's why we have matches..

Len
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Re: Buying a new trigger

Post by mikemyers on 6/2/2018, 2:26 am

Actually, I agree with you - there is almost always an "if".  About anything, and everything.

As to "books".....     So many times I've been reading through "The Pistol Shooter's Treasury".   I doubt if anyone involved in writing it would be considered a professional writer.  On the other hand, they were all very experienced at Bullseye - as you are.  To me, so much of that book is good solid information for Bullseye Shooting.  Were you to write a book, I would bet it would be far more useful than were most of the writers for all the gun magazines do now.
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Trigger

Post by rich.tullo on 6/5/2018, 6:23 pm

In my experience the best triggers are 

Harrison Design and Night Hawk. 

Night Hawk is adjustable for slack they are light and the bows fit in the frame without much work. Nighthawks do not rub much on the magazine if you don't mess with them much. 

Harrison is well made, not to hard to fit and they feel great, also if you are using a shoe it will work on a small blade with about 100th to spare. 

I use medium Night Hawks with a shoe. 

Really expensive triggers have no benefit in my experience and really cheap triggers are more expensive than the Night Hawk and Harrison design. 

Not a fan of the Wilson. Harrison is like the Videki only better. 
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