Question of the Day: What’s the Worst Trigger You’ve Ever Pulled?

I had the chance to fire my friend’s new pistol the other day. He’d picked up a new SigPro 2022 in 9mm. It was lightweight, accurate and felt good in my hands. But the trigger made me recoil in terror. The pull was marathon length and the reset was almost as far; I was seriously unimpressed. Having pulled the go pedal on everything from Hi-Points to Dan Wessons I’ve run into the good, the bad and the ugly of triggers. I never expected a SIG to take top honor in my personal crappy trigger contest, but there it sits at the top of the heap. So I ask you faithful readers; what’s the worst trigger you’ve ever had the “pleasure” of pulling?

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About Ryan Finn

Ryan Finn is the Director of Operations and an Associate Instructor for Montana Tactical Firearms Instruction as well as a contractor for Vanguard Security Consultants when he isn't writing for TTAG. In his free time he is a volunteer firefighter and enjoys spending time in the mountains with his family.

64 Responses to Question of the Day: What’s the Worst Trigger You’ve Ever Pulled?

  1. avatarPete says:

    Tossup between a KelTec 9mm (the really small one) and a Taurus PT140- .40cal. Long, heavy, and lots of creep. You keep wondering when the @#$^* thing will go off.

    Best trigger pull (handgun category) – a S&W New Model No.3 top-break, single action target model in .44 Russian, made about 1897. Only 114 years old, although it had a factory tune-up in 1946.

    • avatarTerry4Strokes says:

      I would guess you would be speaking of the KelTec P11, it would be right up there in the all-time bad triggers. The PF9, on the other hand, is not all bad.

      • avatarIan says:

        I totally agree about the P11. It was my first pistol (cost was a HUGE factor). I never did get over that mile long trigger pull.

  2. avatarTravis Leibold says:

    Worst: AMT Backup 45. At least 15 lb long DA pull. Rediculous.
    Best: An obviously worked on Colst Detective special. DA trigger like rubbing your finger on oiled glass.

  3. avatarNick says:

    Smith and Wesson Sigma Series

  4. avatarAdam Z says:

    I agree with Nick – Smith & Wesson Sigma Series. Its terrible. Whenever I’m in a gun store & see someone looking at these low-priced automatics, I tell them to buy a Ruger P-series. Price is comparable & they have MUCH better triggers. Or spend a little bit more & get something in the SR-Series.

    Everyone I’ve ever known who owned a Sigma purchased it as a first gun, due to the price & the name recognition of S&W, but they later hated it once they shot other handguns with better triggers.

    Ever notice that in order to move Sigmas S&W often gives a $50 mail-in rebate or 2 extra magazines? The trigger is the reason IMO.

  5. avatarCharles says:

    Ruger SR9.

    • avatarVan says:

      Held one today and thought of your comment as I tested the trigger. It is a looooooong pull before the break.

  6. avatarNate says:

    One of the many H&R 9-shot 22lr revolvers. Near the end of the cylinder I could not physically work up the strength to finish a double action pull. Had to be at least 30 pounds.

    The SA wasn’t much better, not a lot of creep, but still heavy at about 8 pounds

    • avatarTerry4Strokes says:

      Really? I have a 939 Sidekick with a fantastic trigger. Bought it used, maybe it had some work done…

  7. avatarAdam Z says:

    Charles – if you had an SR9 with a terrible trigger then it was probably because an ignorant gun store employee let people repeatedly dry fire it without the magazine in the gun. This can cause damage to the firing pin & create a very gritty trigger pull. I’ve got a SR40, a SR9C, and I used to have a SR9. Triggers have been fine on all of them. This is another thing I’ve corrected gun store employees on. I’ve seen them drop the mag & hand the gun to customers for dry firing & butted in to prevent damage to the gun (& the spread of ignorance).

    • avatarRokurota says:

      Also, I understand the trigger’s been upgraded (2009? 2010?). I have a 2011 SR9 and the trigger’s comparable to a Gen3 Glock’s.

    • avatarCharles says:

      Thanks, Ill check the firing pin.

      My SR9 trigger isn’t really all that bad, just the worst I have pulled. Once you break the SRs in, they shoot fine.

  8. avatarJustin Freeman says:

    Sig Mosquito. Trigger s**ked along with the FTF, FTE, FTC, etc.

  9. avatarB. Malloy says:

    WORST : Beretta 92 Fs. Long and gritty in the examples I shot.
    BEST: SigPro 2022, the DA is long, but breaks cleanly. The SA is short and crisp. I love it so much I bought a second one.

    My P239, on the other hand, is DAO and is long and heavy with a lengthy reset. IT took some serious getting used to. I can finally shoot quickly without pulling my follow up shots.

    • avatarJoe Grine says:

      Thats odd. My Beretta 92F has a fantastic trigger. And the action is buttery smooth. I think it’s made in the U.S.A. I don’t recall the ones I shot in the military having bad triggers.

  10. avatarJoe Grine says:

    On a pistol, i would say the honors go to my Radon P-64, prior to a new set of (Wolff?) springs. The double action trigger pull was originally so hard (25 lbs or so) and gritty that it was actually difficult to pull the trigger with one finger. On a rifle, I have a French MAS 36 that has a horid trigger. Some of my Russian 91/30s are pretty crappy as well. My 1944 Jap Type 99 also has a dog of a trigger.

    • avatarAaron says:

      My P-64 has a decent trigger, but the damn thing is a hand-biter. Thumb knuckle missing some flesh after only a mag or two.
      No plans to sell or trade the gun, it’s got the svelte lines of a Walther PPK, reasonably powerful cartridge, and super concealable.

  11. avatarTyler D. says:

    Worst being a tie between my PF-9 and Polish P-64. The Kel Tec is LONG and the P-64 is so heavy I cannot actually pull the trigger in DA mode.

  12. avatarVan says:

    1989 Volkswagen Fox. I really regret pulling the trigger on that deal.

  13. avatarjustin says:

    Worst: Dad’s S&W Sigma .40 S&W

    Best:
    My H&K P30 in Single Action
    My Browning Hi-Power Mk3 practical
    My friend’s Luger P.08

  14. avatarRalph says:

    The original M-16. Now that trigger was a POS.

  15. avatarMark says:

    My S&W 469 is pretty vile.

  16. avatarChris Dumm says:

    When I wrote my Marlin 1894c review (before the Wild West custom love) it was the worst rifle trigger I’d ever shot. It was.

    But tThat was before I ever met Joe Grine’s MAS 36. Words alone cannot describe how imprecise, heavy, and crude it is; you have to use gestures, unpleasant sound effects, and pained facial expressions to supplement the catalog of derogatory and scatological adjectives you’ll be uttering.

  17. avatarWade says:

    Nagant M1895. Had one as a kid and couldn’t fire it double-action. Some Winchester 94s have a horribly slack and not very crisp trigger.

  18. avatarlee n. field says:

    CZ100 (a true DAO. Pulling the trigger cranked that striker all the way back from rest, every time. And the feel varied from shot to shot.) or my buddy’s Grendel .380. It’s a tossup.

  19. avatarIndyEric says:

    Worst: KelTec P11
    Best: ParaOrdance Light Double Action in a c6.45 – loved that gun. Wish I never sold it.

  20. avatarMr. Lion says:

    Ruger P95. Barf.

  21. avatarDave says:

    H&K VP70Z, I really wanted one until I shot one, almost unusable.
    Kel-tec P11, functioned great, PITA to shoot accurately.
    The best was a S&W model 14.

  22. avatarBob H says:

    Worst is a tossup between a S&W .38 revolver the USCG handed me. Trigger was about 30 pounds (I couldn’t fire it for qualifying, 5 shots was beyond my hand strength, and that was when I was young and could crush sealed beer cans with that hand) and a friend’s Colt .45 revolver. I swear, you had to stand on the trigger.

    Best trigger: another friend’s Ed Brown 1911. 3.5 pounds of pressure and a very short reset.

  23. avatarRedfish says:

    Worst: my friends S&W sigma…. I told him not to buy it, but did he listen? Nooooooo. Didn’t take him long to get rid of it and buy a S&W MP.

    Best: my Dan Wesson V-bob

    • avatarDavid says:

      Redfish,
      I have a Dan Wesson V-bob also and I agree with you, its trigger is sweet…almost too good.

  24. avatarJake F. says:

    The Taurus PT101 just because its so long, maybe tied with a COP 357 but at least the COP, with no safety, had a reason for the heavy, long pull.

  25. avatarJerry says:

    My Ruger LCP .380 without a doubt

    • avatarNano says:

      I completely agree. That is not only the worst trigger I’ve ever pulled but also the worst gun I’ve ever fired.

  26. avatarVincit Veritas says:

    Worst was a Para Ordnance 1911-style .45 with the flush hammer. Allegedly DA/SA, in SA the hammer was still only partially cocked, so the trigger would do more than just release it. It also had a very long reset, so much so that I though I slipped on the safety for my first follow-up shot.

  27. avatarAaron says:

    Thoroughly dislike the trigger on my Taurus 94 4″ .22 lr revolver.
    Ruger GP100 trigger just keeps getting better and better.

    • I added a spring kit to my GP-100 shortly after I bought it and the trigger pull is absolutely wonderful. I’m glad your stock GP has gotten better over time, maybe I wasted my money…..

  28. avatarTodd S says:

    Nagant 1895 Pistol… 20lb DA pull. It’s only 10lbs in SA!

  29. avatarsdog says:

    every hi point i’ve shot

  30. avatarSteven says:

    Hands down worse, Nagant revolver. Very long gritty triple action at about 24-30 LB.

    CNBC makes me think twice about safety, but the best trigger feel for me is a finely tuned Remington 700.

    Best and worse pistol triggers where both 1911s. Had an issue example which the safety would engage for no apparent reason… Nightmare, squeeze , squeeze, and nothing. Had friend with competition 1911, it had the feel of fine rifle trigger. However, none of these examples would make a good self-defense firearm.

  31. avatarDavid says:

    Worst trigger for me is my 1943 Spreewerks P38 in double action; long at roughly 3/4″ and a hard pull at about fifteen pounds, but single action is good. I also have a 91/30 Mossin that has a tough trigger that fights back, while another is very nice. Go figure.

  32. avatarMrCrispy says:

    I’m noticing an interesting trend…. In just keeping a tally in my head as I read through I have come to this conclusion: Every gun has the worst and the best trigger. ;)

    • avatarPete says:

      Have to agree with you up to a point – sometimes it seems to be luck of the draw [bad pun alert] on a specific model. Maybe the 2nd year’s production changed the trigger, maybe you have a used one that someone else broke in, it’s hard to say why one specific gun will have a good trigger pull, but the same model in a different gun will have a crummy one. I will make a sort-of accurate generalization, that most of the older S&Ws I have shot (pre-1960s) tend to have really nice triggers. That may be a function of the amount of use they have seen, but even the 99% finish/low use ones seem to have nice triggers, more consistently than newer guns. I suspect that is related to the amount of hand finishing inside the action, compared to the newer stuff. It would also seem to be easier to make a single action trigger pull a lot better than a double action – fewer moving parts.

      Of course, if you have a really fine gun budget, buy a Freedom Arms single action in any caliber. I don’t own one ($1500 or s0), but the folks who do have one tend to rave about them.

  33. avatarMike S says:

    HK VP70Z, the absolute worst ever ( I have 2).

  34. avatarPatrick from Texas says:

    Worst I’ve ever shot was a tube-fed Marlin .22 back in the late 1970′s. It was so heavy that I thought the safety was on. Actually had a bruised trigger finger after about 20 rounds. I still remember that one.

    I had forgotten about the AMT Backup 45 until I read Travis’ post. It does smooth out after about 1000 rounds. After that it’s just like a staple gun. Then the dang thing goes off and all the sharp edges in the frame dig into your hand.

    Best double action: a Colt Python that had been worked-over by someone who knew what he was doing.
    Best single action: my S&W model 29 that I’ll never sell. It’s also pretty slick DA.

  35. avatarMark says:

    A Taurus Model 94. They’re not *all* horrible, but one example I tried a year or so ago was abysmal.

  36. avatarJamie says:

    Hands down winner for me is a Saiga .308, absolutely pathetic!

  37. avatarBob says:

    Gotta defend the Sig triggers. I’ve got a Sig Pro SP2022 and love the trigger feel.

    Obviously Ryan was talking about the DA mode, because it is a very long pull and takes about 10 lbs. You do begin to wonder if it is ever going to fire! That makes me feel safer though, because I carry with one in the chamber and de-cocked. Since the SP2022 has no safety lever, I depend on the long and heavy DA trigger pull to help prevent an unintended discharge.

    The SA trigger feel is great! Only about 4.5 lbs, smooth as glass, and the trigger break is like glass too. I liked the trigger on the Sp2022 so much that my next purchase was a Sig P220 (.45 cal).

    • avatarAlex says:

      I’ve got to second this comment. The trigger is smooth and predictible, maybe a little long on the reset but very clean with no grit. Best SA trigger was ma S&W 637, but the DA could have been better. Best DA would be a toss up between the 2022 and a ruger GP100. Honorable mention to the CZ75. Absolute worst, hands down, was a HI-Point .380. Part of the problem was that there were so many FTE, the trigger essentially did nothing half the time.

  38. My worst is the pull on my NEF Ultra Varmint Fluted in .243 Winchester. Heavy, inconsistent and takes forever. Its the one that come with the really nice Choate stock and and 24″ fluted heavy barrel. Despite the crap trigger I’ve managed 3/4 minute four-out-of-five groups with it using handloads. I’ve heard/read that NEF will do a trigger job for you if you send it in for another barrel which I plan to do. I need another barrel in .223 to keep costs down.

    Since others are chiming in with their best triggers I have to mention my S&W i-Bolt in 30-06. It comes from the factory with a full-on Timney trigger and very few units can best a Timney. The i-Bolt seriously was one of the most overlooked/underrated rifles EVER. Its the first and only fully S&W designed and manufactured bolt-action rifle.

  39. avatarxstang says:

    HK VP 70z.

    20lbs trigger, and it stacks.

  40. avatarMcCaveman says:

    Worst – Bond Arms Cent 2K .410 derringer. Unless you get your finger in just the right spot where the trigger pivots its 40lb pull (a guess). Still carry it every day…

    Best – Kimber 1911 SiS full size. Hands down the best I’ve ever fired.

    • avatarTerry4Strokes says:

      You think the Bond is bad, you should try a chepo Cobra Derringer. Wow! The veins pop in my arm with every pull.

  41. avatarmichael Bakowski says:

    By far Glock 17. It feels like you’re pressing into a block of jello with 8lbs of resistance. Then a surprise break that you never see or notice until it has happened.

  42. avatarYou suck says:

    You suck…FPSRussia is way better…this shit is boring…anyone can write a 1 paragraph comment on guns anyone can afford. Go show some stuff with REAL firepower…idiot…stop being jealous

  43. avatarBarry Conner says:

    The worst trigger on any pistol has to be the HK VP70Z. To my knowledge there is nothing even it it’s class for the absolute worst gun I have ever owned. I gave it away for free after shooting it once.

  44. avatarSean V. says:

    Worst trigger pull? My buddy’s girlfriend’s Magnum Research Micro Desert Eagle.

    Best trigger pull? My dad’s old Colt Python. Probably the best factory trigger I’ve ever shot. Of course, it’s been worn in and lovingly maintained since the 1970′s, and it sees an old-school Colt armorer periodically.

    I’m surprised that you had such a bad experience with the SigPro; I picked up an older 2340 in 2003 for a song- about $250.00 out the door in .357SIG. It has a much better trigger pull than what you’re describing; long in DA, but not the worst I’ve felt, a bit under 10lb. The reset is a touch longer than I’d like, but the SA is crisp, clean, and uniform at about 4lb. Perhaps the newer models have a different trigger assembly, or some modification?

  45. avatarDarryl G. says:

    Glad to see the HK VP70z get so much love. It is the worst pistol I have ever owned and definitely the worst trigger.

    Best: Single-action pull on my Dan Wesson Model 15.

  46. avatarCustom 1911 says:

    Hello,
    WORST-
    HKs,i cannot believe such a well built weapon would have a boat anchor trigger and a false-2click reset. Years ago at the range i rented one and my newbie buddy was slowly pulling trigger and then set it on bench and said the safety is stuck,the trigger wont break..it was the trigger pull was so long compared to my 1911custom and glock-34 theonly two pistols he had shot so far prior to wanting to rent and purchase his own.He didnt realize the trigger broke damn near hitting the rear,it was so longsuffice to say he nor i,ever purchased an HK ever..

    BEST-
    ive had numerous 1911s and wasnt a GLOCK fan until my 30s. However an SVI INFINITY 1911, then my SATTANI PRECISION 1911(made in florida),bob pattison THOROUGHBRED 1911s (gilbert AZ). Then any GLOCK with all ZEVTECH internals,3.5lb commector,spring kit and flitz polished. then for semi-custom, STI,NIGHTHAWK,LES BAER,WILSON….FUCK ED BROWN he was rude when i contacted them,i since never bought a single ed brown item. He said he didnt care about what anyone thought because he has a 1-1/2 year wait on his customs…now i see LES BAER is getting more business and ive noticed online others besides myself have run into ED BROWNs bad attitude with customer service issues he tries to handle himself.

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