Taming Triggers

| Pistolsmithing |

Questions about triggers and sights dominate the majority of discussions in all gun shops. I have written about sights and the thousands of combinations available in the past, so it is time for a refresher on triggers.

Triggers on the little pistols, such as the Walther PPK and others around that size and smaller, like the little .25-caliber pocket pistols, have very heavy pulls. There’s not much even the best pistolsmiths can do to lighten the trigger on these. Before you buy one you need get permission to dry fire the pistol to see if you can manage the trigger. If your hands are small, or your lady friend has a hard time with the double-action pull, you are going to be better off putting the pistol back on the shelve and looking at something a little larger.

One good way to tell if the tiny pistol is for you is to dry fire and notice how far you are off the center of the target after the trigger is pulled. If you are off more than just a couple of inches you need to think twice before purchasing.

The reason the triggers on the small pistols must be so heavy is due to the tight geometry. The hammers are small, and the distance between the pivot point and the firing pin strike point is short, so an extra strong spring must be installed to drive the small hammer into the firing pin with enough force to crush the primer. Installing lighter springs is not an option in most cases, as misfires will result.

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