What is an acceptable handgun trigger weight? Does context change what you deem acceptable? For example, is it OK to have a 3.5 lb trigger on a competition gun, but not for a carry gun?
For some reason, those of us who carry a striker fired handgun get the raised eyebrow when trigger weight comes up and we announce in conversation that we have a custom trigger or a reduced trigger pull weight.Â The general consensusÂ seems to be that anything below 4 pounds (or custom inÂ anyÂ way) is unacceptable toÂ many shooters. Usually it’s for one of two reasons: safety or minimizing chances of litigation/prosecution.
I know you’ve heard this one before: don’t modify your trigger because, God forbid, if you are involved in a shoot, it’s going to look bad in a court of law. Some prosecutor is going to argue that with your modified gun you accidentally shot when you didn’t have to, that you were looking for trouble, etc, etc. To combat this perceived potential problem (alliteration on a Thursday), most guns come from the factory with a “heavier” trigger pull – sometimes you’ll hear this described as a lawyer trigger – and the general consensus is that you shouldn’t mess with this pull weight on a carry gun.
Aaron is calling BS on this one.
When it comes to litigation/prosecution concerns, I blame the internet and gun shop gossip.
What is the â€œacceptableâ€ pull weight on a striker fired pistol? Glock comes from the factory with a 5.5 pound pull, XD and XD(M) varies from 5.5 to 7.7 depending on the source, and S&Wâ€™s M&P line seems to be 6.5 LBS. … When trigger pull is reduced below 4.5 LBS to say, 3.5, suddenly it is anointed with a â€œcompetitionâ€ title as if by magic.
The rest of the article is just as good. For example, according to Aaron, in order to prevent a negligent discharge, you would need a trigger pull greater than 25 lbs.
…in 1991, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center conducted a study that foundÂ the human hand was capable of convulsing suddenly and involuntarily with up to 25 pounds of pressure under a startle response.
You can read the rest of the article here, it’s well worth your time. This is only part 1, so make sure you stay tuned to Breach-Bang-Clear for part 2 coming soon. Also, if you have modified the trigger on a gun you carry, let me know in the comments, I’m interested to what folks have done. My Glock 19 has factory everything except for sights.
Update – part 2 has been released.