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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I, like many otherhave concerns about the crisp, (NOT hair) trigger of the 1911 when used in LE work. I am sure that those of you who carry the 1911 have that same concern too. My question is this, "what do you have the trigger pull set at?" I mean, all my competition guns are 2 pounds or under, not exactly whatant to use for carry. My carry gun is a smith 4506, DA for the first shot and has a trigger pull of probably 10 pounds, then the single is about 5 pounds, but if I get to that point, there is no question I want to be shooting. So guys, how do you balance it? how heavy is your trigger?
Tom
 

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4 - 4 1/2 lbs.

Under duress, you will not notice the difference between a 10 lb. trigger and a 2 lb. trigger. You simply lose the fine motor skills necessary to feel the difference.

The key to being safe is to KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT, not the weight of your trigger pull.







[This message has been edited by shane45-1911 (edited 07-12-2001).]
 

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I agree with Shane...well said.
 

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Shane is Spot-On...

Tom, I can't see why there would be a concern over a 4# 1911 trigger when you have Police Carbines, and Shotguns as well as Sniper/Counter Sniper rifles with triggers at 3# or less.

I posted in another thread, how many don't associate the SA triggers to long arms in the same manner they view a Sidearm.

It REALLY comes down to training, Training, TRAINING! There just is NO substitute for good technique, applied from constant training.

In my experience, rarely has it ever been a question of mechanical failure that caused an accident. As I have tried to impress on my Kids, and Grandkids, it's not the weapon that makes firearms unsafe, it's the person, or "loose nut/screw" on the trigger.


[This message has been edited by jaydee (edited 07-12-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Originally posted by jaydee:
Shane is Spot-On...

Tom, I can't see why there would be a concern over a 4# 1911 trigger when you have Police Carbines, and Shotguns as well as Sniper/Counter Sniper rifles with triggers at 3# or less.
I understand what you are saying, and it is true. First, let me say that I think, in at least as far as firearms are concerned, we have a higher calibure (no pun intended!) of LEO here. Obviously the leo's here put a good deal of time and effort into their use of firearms. Now with that being said, one of the regulars in our dept related a story to me. He was involved with a man armed with a knife. The guy was in a bit over his head, and was a bit afraid to give up. This was back in the days of revolvers as standard issue. Now the regular officer was talking him down, AS he was pulling the double action trigger. (I think it was actually more like screaming to drop the f*#$ing knife, but you get the ideal). Anyway, this guy at the last minute decides to drop the knife and surrender. Now had this officer gbeen using a SA firearm, there would have/ could have, been a different story. I do aggree completely that training is key. The problem I see is when there are officers who are able to brag that the gun they are selling, (old duty gun) has less than 300 rounds through it. (true story and I think/ hope the exception). Most of the officers in my experience, (south eastern mich.), do not put much time into firearm training. Many departments only require quals once a year. (Oakland County Sheriff's Dept requires quals every 30 days, on an ever changing course, but they are the exception not the rule). In my city, one of our officers shot himself in the hand while putting his glock in the holster, to put in his locker. Obviously he violated the "finger in the trigger gaurd" rule. While I am pointing out this "poor performance" let me also point out that I have had experience with officers on the street that DID follow the finger rule. I ran a business and went in after closing, without going into detail I looked VERY suspicious. I had 4 cops, all with guns drawn, all very properly finger outside triggers, gunss at ready possition. handled things (they did) perfectly. Called the DP to compliment them, and sent a letter to the chief. I just don't want you guys to think I am down on LEO's, just I have a lot of exsperience with LEO's that are questionable in gun skill, and know none of them are here on this board.
Tom
 

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Had mine of the scale last week. It broke clean at 5.5lbs. A bit heavy but with what I'm working now I'm usually in gloves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Originally posted by shotgunner:
Had mine of the scale last week. It broke clean at 5.5lbs. A bit heavy but with what I'm working now I'm usually in gloves.
I know what you mean, my carry gun has a SA pull about 5#, feels REAL heavy to me, but for carry purposes I figure it is fine. All my guns, except those for carry, have SA triggers at a 2# max. Even they feel a bit heavy to me. Buth then on the range, I am able to concentrate only on shooting, and not on "shoot or don't shoot, what is behind my target, is my target shooting back at me, what is behind me that is in danger by my being under fire, etc etc etc." A fellow competitor in PPC works for the border patrol. He told me of a shooting a fellow officer of his was in. Now, he said this officer was not a "great" shot, but WAS good. Well, I guess there was a fair amount of "window dressing" in this guy's shooting, not at all up to his usual standards. So my buddy asked, "What happened? You are a better shot than that, what went wrong?" The reply??? "Hey, this was the first time the target was shooting back!" IT do make a difference, and I hope I never find out how much of a difference it makes.
Tom
 

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Right on the money about 4.5 to 5 lb trigger pull is about right. In an actual shooting you would not notice much difference. Any thing much lighter and if you have a civil suit brought against you a lawyer would have a field day with a 2 lb trigger pull on a duty weapon. Don't forget in a justifiable shooting the grand jury may not return a true bill, however there are plenty of lawyers just waiting in the wings on a civil suit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Originally posted by lawdog1834:
Any thing much lighter and if you have a civil suit brought against you a lawyer would have a field day with a 2 lb trigger pull on a duty weapon. ......there are plenty of lawyers just waiting in the wings on a civil suit.
Amen on the civil aspect! That is why my carry gun is completely unmodified. I will not use handloads in it either, only factory ammo. Sad that there are lawyers out there, who would be willing to attack anyone just for money. Some guy could try to rape and murder your wife, you shoot him in defense, and then the lawyer would argue that the reason you shot his is you are some gun nut that has a "customized gun [trigger job] shooting ammunition you made yourself because it is so nasty that no commercial loader makes it [700fps 250 grain RNFP] and you were just looking for an excuse to use the gun. The fact that the guy was trying to kill your wife had nothing to do with it! The only thing that is sadder than lawyers who would argue that, is juries who would buy it. Truly sad that juries allow to pass the arguments that they do. Sometimes I have to wonder what their heads are up!
Tom
 

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Lawyers will have a field day with anything they want. The biggest concern from lawyers is due to unjustified shootings by officers. If the officer had the right to use lethal force and did so on the correct target with legal equipment, then he did fine. Same with handloads.

Look at it another way, chances are that if you shoot and kill someone, legal or not, they will likely have a relative who will sue you. Police get sued for things like that and even people protecting their own homes in a legal manner get sued by the relatives of the bad guys. Personally, I would contend that if you do everything right by the book, the type of bullet, trigger pull, type of gun, etc. are factors for your lawyer to handle. The important thing is for you to survive.

Speaking of trigger pulls, I visited Alex Hamilton's Ten-Ring Precision gunsmithing shop last year. He had a Springfield Champion on his work bench. The trigger felt crisp and light, better than my buddy's 4 lb trigger, but Alex said it was a 5 lb. trigger pull. I didn't believe him, so we put the weights on the gun and it broke cleanly at 5.5. My buddy's broke at 4.5. My point is that good gunsmithing can make a heavy trigger pull appear to feel less demanding than a lighter trigger pull. If trigger pull pounds are something you are worried about for legal reasons, go with higher amount, but have a professional trigger job done on the gun such that the perceived pull is less than the actual pull.
 

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Here are my thoughts, FWIW:
If you're justified in your decision to shoot, it won't matter whether your trigger pull is measured in pounds or ounces. The issues that any factfinder will have to tackle center primarily around the intent and mindset of the shooter at the time of the incident. Was the shooting justifiable, or did the shooter act maliciously, recklessly, or unreasonably under the circumstances? The only situation I can think of where something like trigger weight might come into play is in the event of an accidental/negligent discharge causing injury or death. A plaintiff's attorney in a resulting civil suit might try to bring out facts concerning modifications to the gun (i.e. a "hair trigger") to help demonstrate that the shooter acted negligently or recklessly in the way they handled or set up their firearm. But, if the gun fired because the shooter made the conscious decision to take aim and pull the trigger, suddenly trigger weight becomes a moot point and you're back to issues involving state-of-mind, such as intent, perception of a deadly threat, necessity, etc. To argue that a light trigger pull is evidence that the shooter harbored some kind of generalized, malevolent intent to harm others is weak and holds little merit in my book.

To paraphrase Jeff Cooper, "If you don't solve Problem A [the immediate threat], then you won't live to worry about Problem B [the legal result of your action]."

I know at least one officer who likes his duty 1911 set to around 5 lbs. FBI SWAT orders their Springfields with 5 lb. triggers, as well. Many others I know keep them at around 4 lbs. I personally don't care for anything below 3.75 lbs., as much for reliability reasons as anything else. IMO, about 4 lbs. is perfect.
 

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I prefer 4 to 4.5 lb. triggers on duty guns , I have shot the 2 lb ones and they are just to light for my liking . Especially if I am going to be pointing it a someone . I even go the extra step on some instances and leave the thumb safety in the up position . I know it only takes a snick to lower it and fire . This has worked for me for over 11 years now .

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