Installing A Rifle Trigger

Some Guns Are Pretty Easy, Some Aren’t

Thanks to the depredations of the tort bar, firearms manufacturers have been forced to make their production handiwork ever safer by dumbing down trigger quality, and hiking up pull weights and sear engagement. True, cost plays a certain part in trigger-pull quality but most of us would pay a little extra to have a safe trigger for our favorite Winchester or Ruger bolt-action, big-game rifle that didn’t feel like a Glock trigger lubricated with sand.

Luckily, there is help in the form of aftermarket parts. Just peruse the Brownells catalog and, chances are, you will find a trigger (or several) for your favorite rifle that you can install with a few simple tools on a quiet Saturday morning. Some triggers are quite complicated and must be installed by an experienced gunsmith, such as most anything that requires machine work. Ruger No. 1, Remington 700 and M98 Mauser double-set triggers are probably beyond the ken of most hobbyists. On the other hand, many Ruger, Winchester M70 and AR-15 triggers are near drop-in and really require only disassembly and reassembly to install. Many have a fair range of adjustments lacking on factory units and will yield-surprising improvements in trigger-pull weight, felt creep and over travel without recourse to spending the week’s beer money.

For example, the shop’s safe yielded a couple of likely victims on which to demonstrate—a seedy Ruger 10/22 .22 semi-auto kept to repel varmints, and a handy M77/44 .44 Magnum bolt-action carbine. As always, it is well to lay hands on some sort of disassembly guide if you are not familiar with the entrails of your gun. Though most bolt-gun trigger work requires the simple removal of barreled actions from the stocks, some autoloaders may have action disassembly. My greasy, dog-eared disassembly guides written by J.B. Wood will usually have the information needed to get me through.

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