Rifle Trigger Pull Weight – What Weight is Right for You
A good trigger is a trigger you don’t have to think about!
If rifle trigger pull is so heavy you have to concentrate on the effort it takes; you have a problem.
If rifle trigger pull is so light you have to focus on avoiding a misfire; you also have a problem.
Your mind should be on your target, what’s behind your target, lining up your shot, controlling your breathing, etc. The trigger should be there to do the job cleanly and without much thought.
We will help you understand trigger pull weight and how you can find the right balance for your needs.
What is a Trigger Pull Weight?
Trigger Pull Weight is the effort it takes to pull the trigger, usually measured in pounds. Rifle triggers range from a pull weight of 1 pound and less up to around 8 pounds.
|Trigger Pull Weight||Relative Meaning|
|2 pounds and less||Very light trigger pull. Common on precision competition rifles.|
|2-3 pounds||Light trigger pull. Common on aftermarket triggers.|
|3-6 pounds||Common trigger pull. Common on factory bolt action rifles|
|6 pounds and up||Heavy trigger pull. Common on mil-spec AR-15 rifles.|
Trigger pull plays a part in rifle accuracy and safety
A trigger that is too heavy requires effort to pull. This effort can cause the shooter to squeeze the gun in an unnatural way pulling the rifle off target. It also may require additional thought to pull a heavy trigger causing the shooter to lose focus on breathing, positioning, and safety.
A trigger that is too light requires focus. The shooter must think about the trigger and be tentative about putting their finger on the trigger when it is time to shoot. They also may accidentally fire the gun before the gun is lined up for the shot. Not only can this seriously hurt accuracy, but is also dangerous.
The shooter should be able to comfortably place their finger on the trigger while they line up their shot. When the shooter is ready to pull the trigger, they should be able to consistently draw the trigger through the brake and into the stop without much thought.
What is the right trigger pull weight for me?
Correct trigger pull weight depends on a few factors such as shooting conditions and your rifle.
Weight of your rifle. A general rule of thumb for trigger pull weight it that it should be about half the weight of your rifle. If your rifle is 8 pounds, your trigger pull should be about 4 pounds.
If you are shooting from a bench, the trigger pull can be significantly less. Many precision rifle shooters will have a trigger pull of 2 pounds or less, and it is not uncommon to have a trigger pull less than 1 pound.
For those in the field, a trigger pull weight of 2 pounds is far too light. A heavier trigger pull may also be better if hunting with gloves on or if hands are cold. A heavier trigger is safer overall and will help avoid misfires but does make shooting accurately more challenging.
The key to rifle trigger pull is to find the balance where you are able to maintain smooth controlled trigger pulls while also being safe and without disturbing the rifle.
Try to find the trigger pull that allows you to focus on other aspects of shooting and check out our article about becoming a more accurate shooter for other tips to become the best shooter you can be.
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