Any modern handgun you can buy will very likely go BANG when you pull the trigger. It’ll shoot minute-of-bad guy without fuss nor muss. Well, maybe a little muss. But generally speaking, when it comes to a carry gun, you’re far better off worrying about your training that the caliber, type or yes size of your firearm. With one exception: the trigger.

A handgun’s trigger is key to accuracy. If the trigger’s too heavy, chances are you’ll pull your shot — especially under stress, when fingers turn to flippers. If the trigger’s light, accuracy is easier — provided you have trigger discipline. BUT – an  over-eager finger — or one that’s “registering” the trigger — may let loose a lead pill when you didn’t mean to.

As for the argument that a carry gun trigger modification can get you in trouble in a post-DGU prosecution — he wanted to shoot someone! — meh. Anyone who accepts the old saw “it’s better to be judged by twelve than carried by six” isn’t going to worry about that.

So, what gun do you carry? How’s the trigger? How important was the trigger to your buying decision? And have you modified your carry gun’s trigger?

66 Responses to CapArms Question of the Day: Have You Modified The Trigger on Your Carry Gun?

    • Have a whole bunch of Rugers, all with great unmodified factory triggers. I try all triggers on any gun; if it is not to my liking, not buying. Tried lots of S&W, Beretta, Taurus, Remington and a whole bunch of others that the triggers were not acceptable. If it does not work correctly straight from box, I don’t want it.

  1. I put an Apex Spring Kit in my SW 642. It is now possible to pull the trigger without the assistance of a pry bar or small wench.

    • Now that you’re done with that small wench, send her on over to my house. It be a wenches weekend at my house.

  2. Put 10# hammersprings and 8# trigg er return springs in both my GP 100s. Probably dropped about a pound off of both SA and DA pulls.

    • Me too. Still not quite as nice as my New Old Stock 80s vintage Redhawk, but much better than before.

    • Just did that with my SP101 plus a internal polishing job

      Since the trigger pull is still quite a bit heavier than most guns out there I’m not worried.

    • I changed my woods carry gun (redhawk) spring from the factory 17lb to a 12 lb, and added hammer shims. My daily carry gun is a sr9c, no work was needed, it is great as is ( for me at least).

  3. Only a few of my guns have unmodified or worked over triggers.
    The rest? All stoned, polished, honed, and to my liking.

  4. p938 has a tillamook stainless trigger (nice but unnecessary).
    i stone all the contact points on the transfer bar.

  5. I think if I handled a gun with a trigger so shitty I couldn’t reliably hit what I wanted when I wanted I probably wouldn’t buy that gun.

    Race/competition guns are a different story but from a pure DGU or “combat” POV I don’t see the point in spending the money.

    Does polishing count as modifying?

    • maybe. it’s like hastening a smoothness that would eventually be achieved with use. dry firing may help as well.
      anything more than finding witness marks and touching them up lightly gets too close to ‘smithing for me.

  6. Carry a SA XDs (bought and trusted long before this fiasco going on now.) I took the spring out of the trigger that makes that tab stick out. Thing rubbed my trigger finger hard when I was shooting. Feels better without it. Not really worried about removing a “safety feature”.

    • almost identical to the above, SAXD’s all part of my collection before the drama, all four of them are the way I purchased them, I like the triggers just fine, they have zero effect on my accuracy.

  7. I have considered buying heavier springs for the trigger on my Ruger American.

    It’s perfectly usable as it is, and it’s never fired when I didn’t want it to, but it’s erring on the light side of what I’d prefer for carry.

    Of course, that leads to a cycle of “Oh, now that the springs are heavier, I ought to polish engagement surfaces to make it smoother” and turns into a debacle, so I think I’ll keep it as is.

    • Same for me with the excellent LC9SPro. Great pistol and a nice light trigger but almost too light when my other EDCs include Glocks and an LCP for a bug. My muscle memory expects a modestly heavier trigger and the lightness of the LC9S always catches me off guard

  8. If you buy a gun for carry and the trigger is not acceptable yoy bought the wrong gun.

    • less acceptable (acceptable) more acceptable

      all of the above are acceptable. some more so.

  9. For a fact, Overwatch Precision Triggers are used by at least one LE agency.
    So, no worries.
    1. Accuracy is important in keeping bystandards safe.
    2. Training is important so your finger is not on the trigger until it’s on target.
    3. Gun Rule: Never point a gun at anything you don’t intend to destroy.
    If you don’t have to shoot it, you don’t need to point at it. Stay holstered.

    • TX223,

      If you don’t have to shoot it, you don’t need to point at it. Stay holstered.

      I hope you are not suggesting that someone must always shoot if they draw. In the time that it takes to draw and aim (between 1 and 2 seconds), the situation can change radically.

      Suppose that you are under attack and legally justified to use deadly force, no questions asked. So you decide to draw and shoot your attacker. In the process of drawing and aiming, your attacker stops their advance and drops their weapon. Why pull the trigger at that point? After all someone could argue that your attacker is no longer an imminent credible threat of grievous bodily injury and you would no longer be justified to use deadly force — your reaction time not withstanding of course.

  10. I replaced the V-Bob “mid-length” trigger with a 1911A1 short trigger, as with all my 1911s. Dan Wessons need no action work.

  11. Powder River Precision drop in trigger for an XD Mod 2 4-inch model in 9mm. (Purchased well before the recent fiasco in Illinois.) This specific trigger kit gets rid of the long pretravel, but leaves the pull weight pretty much unchanged.

  12. Keeping your trigger to manufacturer specs is the key thing here. A civil attorney could care less to paint you as a bloodthirsty murderer with a hair trigger, but rather a negligent manslaughterer with a hair trigger. One rings the cash register and is far easier to prove the other not so much.

        • A bit of talking past each other. Almost every tigger _can_ be improved. Not every trigger _needs_ to be improved.

          The latter may give you pause; the former shouldn’t.

  13. No modifications for me for everyday carry. Cars, motorcycles, and guns are some things people think they need to “improve” and modify. It’s that “But mine goes to 11” mentality. Some guys just have to be different. Modifications may improve machinery or may make it finicky, less reliable, and ugly. Though many of us would never consider selling a gun modifications aren’t necessarily going to be seen as improvements (thinking of home-made stippling for example) if we trade or sell a gun.

    • The desire to customize something to suit personal needs or personal tastes is what keeps Harley Davidson dealers, and AR-15 parts manufacturers, in business.

      The ability to own something and customize it at whim is one of the great demonstrations of freedom.

      • ‘The desire to customize something to suit personal needs or personal tastes is what keeps Harley Davidson dealers… in business.’

        Funny how every single Harley Davidson customer has the exact same personal taste as every other Harley owner and customizes his to be exactly like everyone else’s.

        • look closer. the subtleties are very subtle.
          like which way the spokes twist.
          and the three shims under the jet needle on that cvk (a wholly owned subsidiary of honda).

    • Lots of idiots modify their cars and trucks by ‘improving’ them, making them louder, slower and use more fuel. If it’s louder, it must be better.

  14. I carry a Smith and Wesson M&P 40 (first generation). While the factory trigger was usable, it was sub-par in my opinion. (Factory trigger was: gritty, had a somewhat mushy break, had no tactile or audible reset, and reset was long.) Obviously this wasn’t too bad or I would not have purchased it.

    While I could probably live with the factory trigger, I purchased and installed a full-blown Apex trigger upgrade with “duty” springs which cured all of the deficits of the factory trigger. Now, take-up is smooth, break is crisp, reset is very short, and reset is both tactile and audible. As with all striker-fired pistols, take-up is still fairly long. At any rate, I really like the trigger now.

  15. MY PPQ gives me no reason to alter.

    If I did have to alter – not sure I would want it as a carry piece in the first place.

  16. Massachusetts requires new double action (and striker-fired) guns to have a trigger pull of at least nine million pounds when they’re sold by an FFL, so yeah, all my guns of those types have new triggers.

  17. I put a GHOST kit in my Glock 26 (they sell several and I don’t remember which one). I think it has give me a marginal increase in accuracy. Hard to prove.

    The gun is for self-defense, but the trigger kit is for winning range bets.

  18. None of my carry guns are 100% stock in the bang department.
    All my true 1911 series 70 single action carry guns are modified to get me as close to a 3-4 pound pull as I can. My Hi-Power is a tad over 5 pounds thats with a 25 year old trigger job. I suppose it can be made better at this point in time. But I havent carried it in 15+ years
    My 2 Sig pistols the P238 and P938 are hopeless. 5.5 is the best I can do without a compromise here or there. So they sit in my safe. None of my range guns have been played with and are shot as they came out of the box new. I should add no gun I have. Has more then a 7 pound pull. No amount of practice on my part with a heavy SA trigger works for me. Except my1st gun ever bought. My 2.5inch Magna Ported DAO Model 66. It has a smooth as glass 10 pound pull.

  19. My carry gun didn’t come from a factory. Glock 19 desert tan frame, G17 slide (19L barrel and a slide spacer) and internals from Lone Wolf, 3.5 lb connector. Between competition and carry, the only thing that changed was the ammunition.
    A Ruger Redhawk 357 8 shot will be my next all purpose gun. Been waiting on Ruger to make them for a long time.

  20. All my guns were lost in a tragic boating accident. But the Glock 19 I loved so dearly for EDC, had a Ghost Edge connector replacing factory stock. Made for a much nicer trigger pull, and much safer as it was more predictable.

  21. I replaced the trigger on my first EDC, a KelTec PF9. It was a great improvement, and I was happy until I felt the pull on a Ruger LC9Spro. Goodbye KelTec, hello Ruger – no modifications required. 🙂

  22. I have smoothed the actions on all my Smith and Wesson revolvers.

    I removed the magazine safety from my SR9c and it actually made the trigger a little smoother.

    Win-win….

    • The SR9C,. SR9 & 9E were all designed to simply leave the mag disconnect out when you clean the striker assembly. Decide you want mag disconnect back, just put part back in. Superb design; I actually like the disconnect.

  23. Performance center shield 9mm. More perfection than perfection. Intentionally purchased instead of a regular shield because of the trigger, night sights, and ported barrel. Got a little grief from a friend about carrying a ported 9mm when he saw it but I’m willing to bet he’ll buy one if I let him shoot it. Anyone have any experience with the pc vs the regular shield, thinking about one as a cheap backup pistol but heard not so good things about the factory trigger.

  24. I never understand the people who say you can’t modify a trigger. If I carry a semi-auto instead of a revolver that is a huge improvement trigger wise so can people only carry revolvers because they have the heaviest triggers? Maybe bobbed hammer revolvers so they can only be fired DA? Even among semi-autos a stock 1911 trigger might still be better than a modified glock trigger. Can we not carry a 1911 then? If your gonna carry a semi-auto can you only carry hi-points? Is carrying an expensive 1911 not ok because it had a trigger job done to it when it was manufactured?

    None of those scenarios would make sense so why in the world would a modified trigger get you in jail?

  25. I’ve installed sears, disconnectors, and long reach triggers in all of my 1911’s. That might could be termed a modification. I don’t live in a commie controlled area of Ohio, so I’m not too terribly concerned. I travel regularly to Iowa, Nebraska, Kentucky, and Indiana. I’m not really concerned about a DGU in those states either.

  26. When the opposing attorney presses you on polishing the ignition system to “hair trigger” your murder weapon, ask them if polishing their car, or putting on better tires makes a vehicle more liable to KILL in an accident.

  27. I got a custom trigger on my Bodyguard.380 in addition to some other minor modifications. The stock trigger is strange, to say the least.

  28. I had SIG install their short reach trigger with the short reset in my P228. My Kimber Pro Eclipse II has a really sweet trigger. I bought it used, but I wonder if a previous owner had some work done on it

  29. Drop a line to Mas Ayoob. He has his say on trigger mods from perspective of a man who thinks one steap ahead of 12-6.

  30. Things the gun world should lose: The phrase “minute-of-bad guy.” Are there other phrases in the gun world that convey as little information as this one?

  31. Modify your technique and you won’t have to worry about modifying the trigger pull. Learning how to pull the trigger without moving the barrel takes lots of dry-fire practice. Use a laser to help you.

  32. Galloway trigger, hammer spring, recoil spring and guide rod on Taurus 738 TCP. Better accuracy and much less felt recoil.

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