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Thread: How to adjust an adjustable trigger?

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  1. #1

    How to adjust an adjustable trigger?

    I'm new to 1911s (obviously). What exactly does the screw in my adjustable trigger do? Can anyone please give me a quick toutorial on how to adjust it?
    TIA

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    It will adjust how far the trigger will continue to travel after the hammer falls, and nothing else.

    If you're not sure what to do with it, leave as it was set from the factory.

    If it is adjusted for not enough travel it can ruin the trigger pull weight (make it harder to pull) and add creep..........as the sear will not have enough room to fully disengage from the hammer to allow it to fall, it will scrape against the hammer as it falls putting gouge marks on the sear nose.

    The sear is what holds the hammer back after each shot, and it is highly polished to allow for a crisp trigger pull that has no noticeable roughness to it.

    So, having too much over travel will not hurt anything, as the grip safety has a built stop anyway.............BUT have too little travel and you've just ruined your trigger pull weight ..........and it only takes 2-3 pulls for that to happen.
    If it isn't durable, it isn't reliable.

  3. #3
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    Wichaka is the expert, but the way to adjust it, is so that the trigger has about 2 mm of over travel, after the sear breaks. Too little overtravel (even if the trigger pushes the sear enough to clear the hammer) and you are now pushing the trigger against the frame sideways, in reality, which can be detrimental to your accuracy.

    Leave at least 2-3 mm of overtravel, after the sear breaks.
    John Caradimas SV1CEC
    The M1911 Pistols Organization
    http://www.m1911.org

  4. #4
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    For a target pistol, 2mm overtravel is a lot, at least for me. I usually set mine so that the sear has a very slight amount of clearance (just a few thousandths of an inch) to all surfaces of the hammer upon which the sear can drag. For a service grade gun, overtravel is not as big of a concern.
    There is no problem that can't be made worse with a Dremel!
    I'm not a professional, I'm just trying to not be a "Bubba".

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by wichaka
    It will adjust how far the trigger will continue to travel after the hammer falls, and nothing else.

    If you're not sure what to do with it, leave as it was set from the factory.

    If it is adjusted for not enough travel it can ruin the trigger pull weight (make it harder to pull) and add creep..........as the sear will not have enough room to fully disengage from the hammer to allow it to fall, it will scrape against the hammer as it falls putting gouge marks on the sear nose.

    The sear is what holds the hammer back after each shot, and it is highly polished to allow for a crisp trigger pull that has no noticeable roughness to it.

    So, having too much over travel will not hurt anything, as the grip safety has a built stop anyway.............BUT have too little travel and you've just ruined your trigger pull weight ..........and it only takes 2-3 pulls for that to happen.
    So are you saying that adjusting it for too little travel will cause my trigger pull weight to change permanently, or just until I add more travel? I'd like to leave it as it was from the factory, but I've already started messing with it!

    Maybe I'll just back the screw all the way out until I bring it to my gunsmith to work on the trigger. I'll let him set the screw after he get's done with his trigger work.

  6. #6
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    The screw has no effect on trigger pull weight. The screw adjusts overtravel only. What Wichaka is describing is a by-product of wrong adjustment, which is messing up your parts and especially the sear.
    John Caradimas SV1CEC
    The M1911 Pistols Organization
    http://www.m1911.org

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by John
    The screw has no effect on trigger pull weight.
    I understand that perfectly (and did even before my post ) The only reason I mention trigger pull weight is that Wichaka says:

    Quote Originally Posted by wichaka
    If it is adjusted for not enough travel it can ruin the trigger pull weight (make it harder to pull) and add creep...

    ...BUT have too little travel and you've just ruined your trigger pull weight ..........and it only takes 2-3 pulls for that to happen.


    Quote Originally Posted by John
    The screw adjusts overtravel only.
    I now understand this concept as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by John
    What Wichaka is describing is a by-product of wrong adjustment, which is messing up your parts and especially the sear.
    So to confirm that I understand THIS as well...if I adjust the trigger incorrectly (screw too far IN), I could be doing PERMANENT damage to my sear?

    Again, thanks in advance for the info.
    Last edited by chrisct; 12th October 2005 at 11:43.


  8. #8
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    Too far in, and the pistol will not shoot.
    Just in between "just right" and "too far in" can leadto damage on the sear nose.
    Too far out causes just excessive overtravel, which for a target pistol is not good.

    Basically, adjust it just to the point where the pistol does not shoot. Then back the screw out one full turn and Loctite it there or pinch the trigger so that the screw does not move.

    Sorry if I stressed something you knew, but it was not clear from your posts.
    John Caradimas SV1CEC
    The M1911 Pistols Organization
    http://www.m1911.org

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by John
    Sorry if I stressed something you knew, but it was not clear from your posts.
    No reason to be sorry at all, John. You're the one giving me the much needed info to get my 1911 up and running as it should. I tried to include a smiley to let you know that my post was benign.

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    Basically, adjust it just to the point where the pistol does not shoot. Then back the screw out one full turn and Loctite it there or pinch the trigger so that the screw does not move.
    I'm now leery of adjusting it too far in, especially if 2-3 pulls is enough to damage my sear. I'm just going to leave it all the way out, and I'll let my gunsmith set it correctly after he works on my trigger.

    Thanks again!

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