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Old 07-16-2019, 01:00 PM
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The rebirth of my A22 trigger



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I have an A22 Pro Varmint, and like too many posts I’ve read, the trigger was a disappointment. Too heavy for what the Accutrigger is claimed to be, with a combination of grit and creep that makes it feel like the sear drops into three notches in the hammer before it finally disengages. I was determined to improve it short of the outrageously expensive Jard solution. So I schooled up on the RFC and Youtube knowledge bases. Thanks to those sources, I ended up with a great, easy, and quick fix for my trigger that I thought was worth sharing.

While I reviewed a lot of posts and videos about the Accutrigger, I owe a shoutout to the Youtube video about modifying it “2lb to 12oz for $2” by the guy who shows us how to do it without putting down your smoldering Marlboro. I also owe a shoutout to Nebbiolo for his 1/22/19 post in a thread in this forum, where he puts a screw/nut in the unused hole in the back of the trigger/sear bar to raise it and remove the ugly trigger creep. Important elements of each of their offerings played an important part in the solution for me.

The only purchase I had to make for my trigger fix was this:

Sav3.jpg

It’s a 10-24 x ˝” set screw. It fits a 3/32” allen/hex head wrench. I got it at Ace hardware for 65 cents.

Step one was to remove the trigger spring at the back of the trigger assembly. Easy enough – at the top, the spring tip is bent upward and the tip goes into a tiny hole in the top of the trigger assembly to hold it. Compress the spring downward a bit and it pops right out of that hole; then it sort of screws up out of the bottom hole.

Here’s the important tip I learned from the Youtube Marlboro man. That bottom hole is threaded, and the thread pitch is 10-24.

Sav2.jpg

I put the set screw in that bottom threaded hole, screwing it in from the topside with the hex-shaped hole for the wrench facing downward. There’s enough room to do this, but no room to spare between set screw and the top of the trigger assembly as you put it in place. That means there’s room for my fumblefingers to hold the set screw in place over the threaded hole, but not really room to fingerscrew it down into the hole. I found it’s much easier to insert the 3/32” allen wrench in from the hole in the bottom of the trigger guard, put the set screw on it, and hold the set screw while screwing it down into the trigger/sear bar using the allen wrench.

Note: the allen wrench fits through the holes in the trigger guard like it was made for it, but if the trigger/sear bar raises up off the bottom of the trigger housing, the holes in the trigger guard and the hole in the trigger/sear bar go ever so slightly out of alignment, making it feel like the set screw is slightly binding. It’s the allen wrench slightly binding on the out-of-alignment holes, so keep the trigger/sear bar down against the bottom of the trigger housing as you screw the set screw downwards, and the set screw will thread into the trigger/sear bar as smooth as can be.

Sav5.jpg

Once the set screw catches the threads, screw it down into the trigger/sear bar almost all the way, leaving only 2 threads or so showing at the top of the trigger/sear bar (before screwing it down I put a drop of Loctite on the set screw; more convenient to do it here than later in the process). This will raise the trigger/sear bar to where, if the hammer is cocked, the sear will disengage and you’ll feel the hammer partly fall and hit the Accutrigger safety trigger. Don’t reset the hammer just yet.

The next step is the one that made me a bit queasy, because it’s not reversible. The factory spring has small coils at the bottom that are intended to screw in and out of the threaded hole in the sear/trigger bar, adjusting the trigger pull (in my rifle, this never made any noticeable change in the trigger pull weight). Just above those small coils are some larger closed coils, one of which is sort of a half coil cutting across the internal diameter of the spring. I think this half coil is what the factory trigger adjustment tool is supposed to catch. Just above the larger closed coils including that half coil, are larger coils that are open. I cut the spring with some wire cutters just above the larger closed coils/half coil. EDIT: I think I later cut off one more coil than you see in this photo; the photo below with the spring installed shows one less coil. Keep in mind this is the nonreversible part, so start conservatively. You can always cut off more later, but not less.

Sav6.jpg

After cutting the spring, I inserted the top tip back in the tiny hole at the top of the trigger assembly, and lifted the bottom over the little bit of set screw protruding from the top of the trigger/sear bar. The spring drops down over the set screw easily, and doesn’t fit onto the set screw tightly; the set screw just acts as a pillar that keeps the bottom of the spring in place.

Sav7.jpg

Cutting the spring lightened and smoothed the trigger pull greatly. I don’t have a trigger pull gauge, but to the finger, it feels like the accutrigger blade now contributes more weight to the overall pull than the trigger does. I wouldn’t want it any lighter. The set screw no longer adjusts trigger pull weight (because screwing it up or down only indirectly compresses the spring, and even then, only a bit), but I’m okay with that. With the trigger pull now joyously light, I don’t need to adjust it further. No big loss on that score; adjusting the trigger pull weight in factory configuration never made much of a change anyway.

Another benefit of this mod that I only realized when complete, is that the set screw now adjusts sear engagement the way Nebbiolo’s mod with the screws/nuts did. The 3/32” allen wrench fits through the trigger guard holes and into the set screw smoothly, but the outer diameter of the set screw is bigger than those holes, so when screwed downward out the bottom of the trigger/sear bar, it bottoms out on the trigger housing, thereby raising the trigger/sear bar.

You can screw the set screw downward (raising the trigger/sear bar) until the sear disengages and the hammer drops against the safety trigger, then back the screw upward somewhere around one-half to three-quarters of a turn. Cock the hammer, pull the trigger feeling for creep, adjust the set screw downward a tiny bit, and repeat. Within five to seven pulls of the trigger with tiny set screw adjustments each time, you’ll find that sweet spot where there’s no creep.

I haven’t done a live fire function test yet, but everything functions fine through about a hundred snap-cap cycles of the action (the trigger felt so good, I just couldn’t quit “testing” it). I’ll get to the range later this week and report on the live fire results.

This mod was quick, easy, and it came out just as I hoped – a trigger that’s satisfyingly light, crisp, and with absolutely no grit or creep. I wish it didn’t involve a somewhat nonreversible step (cutting the spring), but if it turns out to be dysfunctionally light, I’ll just get another factory spring (or maybe 2 or 3, to try again) from Savage.

I hope this bit of information is useful. Of course, disclaimer, waiver, all rights reserved, caveat emptor, if you do this, then shoot yourself and sue me, you’ll lose the case, blahblahblah etc. etc. Be smart, be careful, and be Savage.

Last edited by JEC; 07-17-2019 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 07-16-2019, 01:46 PM
Nerostarr
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Thank you so much for that information, I've wanted to buy an A22 but the trigger issues were keeping me from it. Excellent description and pictures and write up, much appreciated. You did good and now I can buy another rifle...
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:32 PM
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Thanks for the kind words Nerostarr; contributing to the cause always feels like its own reward.

I couldn’t wait for the range to open tomorrow. I took the A22 out into the desert for a live fire function test. It shoots. Just the way I hoped it would. Nary a hiccup. Life is good!

Last edited by JEC; 07-16-2019 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 07-17-2019, 10:05 AM
jac54
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Great post. I have collected several springs and was trying to figure out a way of making them work because the trigger pull on my A22"target" was just to hard. I am going to see if I can make some of these other springs work but now I know how I am going hold the bottom of these springs in place.
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Old 07-17-2019, 11:40 AM
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Good luck jac54; let us know if you find a spring that's a good alternative to a chopped factory spring. If there's a "just right" aftermarket spring for this mod, I think being able to put the intact factory spring aside would be the preferable option.

I think the biggest, but realistic, challenge for using an aftermarket spring will be bending the top coil to produce that small vertical tip at the center point of the coil. I don't think that tip would have to be perfectly centered, but I'd want to get it as close as I could.

I think you'll also do best using a spring with a coil diameter big enough to fit loosely over the set screw. In my first attempt, I used a spring I picked up at Ace when I got the set screw. I had thoughts of making the set screw adjust trigger pull weight by using a spring with a small enough coil diameter that it threaded snugly onto the set screw. That turned out to be an exercise in frustration and futility. It was in the course of that attempt that it dawned on me to snip off the bottom of the factory screw.

Experimenting with aftermarket springs with a coil diameter similar to the factory spring, and snipping coils as needed to get the right weight, may be the best option of all. FYI, when shopping for the set screw I noticed ACE has a good assortment of spring sizes with various spring rates. You can buy a handful of springs to experiment with at a cost of probably a ham sandwich.

Even though the outcome of this mod is no adjustable trigger pull weight, with the right spring that's not an issue, and being able to adjust sear engagement makes the trigger pull ever so much more crisp, creep free, and predictable. This mod makes the process of adjusting the sear engagement with an allen wrench up through the holes in the trigger guard so smooth it seems like the factory should have included the set screw.

Again, good luck, and if you discover a good aftermarket spring alternative, please spread the word!
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Old 07-17-2019, 02:59 PM
jac54
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JEC

I just spent 2.5hrs in my shop playing with different springs I picked up at Farm and Home, Unfortunately the size I believe I need is in between the 2 I have. My thoughts are to hit another store and give it another try. I am thinking of screwing the set screw up higher to use it as a guide so the spring will not bend out of position. My expectation that this will work is about 25%.

In the end I will probably do the same thing you did but I just haven't tortured myself enough.
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:39 PM
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Years back I bought two plastic tubes with springs in from brownells, one tube was heavier guage springs the other lighter gage. I have used these springs for many gun uses, just cut to length.
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:27 PM
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The spring kits were number 69 and 71 compression gun spring kits.
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Old 07-18-2019, 10:31 AM
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Awesome job! Makes me want to chop the spring in mine... When I had the springs completely out, the trigger felt perfect - but unfortunately we do need some tension there in order to get the sear to catch. Let us know how she runs!
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Old 07-18-2019, 08:38 PM
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Beagleman I think that is my next step. I have not been able to find what I want at the local hardware stores. I was looking at the trigger again today and think I can make something work if I get the correct spring. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:23 PM
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I took that spring out and test fired a mag and even though it cocked itself and fired every round I had to reset the trigger with my finger after every cycle of the action.
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Old 07-31-2019, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savagelover22 View Post
I took that spring out and test fired a mag and even though it cocked itself and fired every round I had to reset the trigger with my finger after every cycle of the action.
I had a reset problem when my gun was new and had to push the trigger forward most of the time. After polishing the disconnect surfaces it works most of the time.

I put a weaker spring on the farthest back and it is now doing it again. The A22 "accutrigger" is just a poorly designed joke that is even more poorly executed. I could probably get away with changing the contact angle of the disconnect but I do not want to risk it going full auto.
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Old 08-02-2019, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jac54 View Post
Beagleman I think that is my next step. I have not been able to find what I want at the local hardware stores. I was looking at the trigger again today and think I can make something work if I get the correct spring. Thanks for the tip.

FWIW, I found a spring that might work. It comes from a Pentel EnerGel click gel pen. It snugly fits over a #10 set screw, which one poster mentioned using as an anchor. Even without using the anchor screw idea, this spring should be able to have its wire bent to make fingers to insert into the holes as the factory spring does. I have not tackled this job yet, but thought it just might be the solution.


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Old 08-04-2019, 04:13 PM
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I have tried all sorts of different springs the closest that I could come to getting it right was a larger diameter spring that fit over a nylon post that I had tapped for the screw that went into the 10x24 screw. Then I had reset problems that I fixed by polishing the mating surfaces.

Today I pulled the trigger (pun intended) on a new Jard 1.5lb trigger.
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