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Why Your Trigger Pull Matters

I have been a gun reviewer for many years, and the one thing I have learned more than anything else is that trigger pull matters. The greatest concern that shooters have with any handgun review is the trigger.

Does trigger pull matter on a handgun? Does it matter more on a competition pistol as opposed to a defensive firearm? The author takes a hard look at the realities of trigger pulls in this article.

Typically, a handgun’s trigger pull will dominate the conversation well above the other features a specific handgun offers. Shooters want to feel confident knowing the trigger will suit their needs and shooting style.

With this review, I examine various handgun trigger types in the vast line of Springfield Armory handguns. We will explore why certain handgun triggers are different and why, along with other trigger facts that you may not have considered.

Purpose

The trigger on a carry pistol versus that of a full-size competition pistol is completely different — and for good reason. Different handguns have different purposes, and therefore different needs from their trigger pulls.


drawing a 1911 pistol
There are many aspects to the efficient use of a handgun. The author believes that a gun’s trigger pull is one of the most important.

There are many people who pocket carry a handgun. The idea of having a very light trigger with a handgun in the pocket is foolish. Even with a pocket holster, which I strongly suggest, an extremely light trigger serves no advantage.


trigger pull on striker fired pistols
Should the trigger pull be different based on the size of the pistol? What about it’s intended use?

The Springfield XD-S Mod2 9mm has a 5.75- to 6-lb. trigger pull in my experience. A trigger in this range gives users peace of mind while knowing that the handgun is more than capable of very good accuracy — even compared to a lighter trigger handgun. If you ask anyone who carries a pistol everyday, they will explain the value of peace of mind.

By contrast, a full-size pistol like the Springfield Armory Echelon generally has a lighter trigger with a short trigger reset. There is nothing as fine as ringing steel and transitioning targets with the full-size Echelon.

Most shooters prefer a lightweight trigger pull with full-size pistols like the Springfield 1911 handguns, the Echelon or the Springfield Armory SA-35. Although these handguns can be carried for EDC, they are seldom used for deep-cover carry.

A smooth and lightweight trigger aids with quick shooting and accuracy. This explains why many competitive shooters will choose a full-size pistol with a light trigger and a short reset.

“Gauge” the Difference

When shooters shop for a handgun, they often want to know what the trigger weight is. We have to be careful with this question. Trigger scale results vary quite a bit.

I have an electronic trigger scale and a spring-loaded trigger scale, and I have found they can measure the trigger poundage differently.


trigger pull on single action pistol
The trigger pull on single action pistol like this SA-35 is mechanically different than that of a striker-fire pistol like the Hellcat Pro. But, what does that really mean in use?

Let’s take a look at the Springfield Prodigy 1911. With the electronic trigger scale, the 1911 DS Prodigy measures the trigger at 2 lbs., 8 oz. Frankly, I did not think the trigger weight was that light. When I did the exact same measurement with the spring-loaded trigger scale, the 1911 DS Prodigy’s trigger came in at 5.5 lbs.

Frankly, I believe that measurement is too heavy. In cases like this, I have found it best to average two measurements for the most accurate estimate trigger poundage. This practice has served me well throughout the years.

Perfect Balance for Carry

I truly love the Springfield Armory Hellcat line of pistols. They are excellent pistols to carry. The trigger weight hits the “sweet spot” between what is considered too light and what is considered too heavy.


trigger pull on Hellcat pistols
The trigger pull on similar guns should be similar. For example, the Hellcat and Hellcat Pro triggers will seem very alike. However, a Hellcat and a 1911 will feel significantly different.

The Hellcat trigger pull weighs approximately 4.5 lbs. with a fairly short trigger reset. I think the Hellcat trigger measurement is the perfect balance for safe and effective pistol carry. Whether the carrier decides to pocket carry or ride the Hellcat holstered on the hip, they will have “peace of mind” while knowing their handgun is safe and yet ready for use.

Conclusion

Let’s face it, trigger pull matters. The proper function of a pistol’s trigger is the difference of an impact on target or a missed shot. It doesn’t matter if the pistol is used for competitive shooting or self-defense, shooters prefer the best performance possible.

In my opinion, Springfield Armory has all of the trigger bases covered for any and all handgun applications. One should feel confident with a Springfield Armory handgun that the trigger control and accuracy will perform precisely so long as the shooter does their part.

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