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Old 03-05-2011, 12:46 PM
SGW Gunsmith
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Thoughts on Trigger Adjustment



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Questions pop up now and then concerning the advantages of an adjustable trigger for pre and post travel. Here are a few thoughts on this subject.

The above pic represents a Mark II trigger with a screw in the front, top face of the trigger. In this position, the screw can be considered to act as an over-travel screw in that it is positioned above the trigger pin (pivot point). When the trigger is pulled, this screw will restrict the amount of rearward movement once let-off is reached. In this position, an over-travel screw is a PITA to deal with because the trigger must be out of the frame for adjusting. Once adjustment has been satisfied, there is normally no reason to go further.

The recently introduced VQ stainless steel trigger also has an adjustment screw in the front face of the trigger (same set-up in the black anodized aluminum trigger). This screw is at an angle, below the trigger pivot pin and represents the ability to adjust pre-travel by restricting forward movement of the trigger after it has been pulled for firing. Care needs to be excersized when adjusting this screw too far out and thus preventing the disconnector from re-setting. A huge advantage with the arrangement of this screw is the ability of being accessed without disassembly. With easy access the screw threads can be coated with thread locker and then set to the desired position before the thread locker sets. Once set, inadvertant movement is negated.

A trigger I've been working off and on with has a pre-travel set screw that comes straight out the front of the trigger face. This arrangement provides more surface on the bottom end of the screw contacting the pistol frame. Location of this screw is also below the pivot point of the trigger. One slight disadvantage is access for adjustment. This trigger was made for a Mark I target pistol. The Clark steel trigger would profit from having a pre-travel screw added in this fashion.

The adjusting end of the screw is only accessible when the upper has been removed from the frame. It is still possible to pull the trigger (with the mainspring housing in place) while restricting the forward movement of the hammer with a thumb until the point is reached where the disco is re-set but excessive forward movement is restricted. Over-travel can be set at the same time.

Some aftermarket triggers have a set-screw going through the face of the trigger shoe that allows adjustment to restrict the rearward movement of the trigger after the hammer is released. The factory provided Ruger trigger does not have this screw but it can easily be added.

Here both options of how the pre-travel screw protrudes from the trigger face is depicted. My preference is for more surface of the bottom of the screw to contact the frame. Both methods do the job.

To help keep the screws from moving in place while setting either pre or over-travel and until the thread-locker (Read #242 blue Loctite) sets, it will help to pinch the crown of the threads very slightly with a pliers. This is done to put a tiny flat on the crown of the threads which creates a slight drag when turning the screw into place.

Last edited by SGW Gunsmith; 03-05-2011 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:33 PM
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I modified my MKI trigger with an overtravel screw and a pre-travel drilled at an angle a la VQ. I found a dab of blue Loctite holds the screws in place but they can be adjusted if needed.
I also polished the sear and hammer notch, and put in a lighter disconnector spring. Combined, they made a big difference (but still not as nice as my Victor.)
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Old 03-05-2011, 04:04 PM
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Nice write up SGW Gunsmith with good pics to boot.

mbopp is right, IMO - Blue Loctite works like a champ on the pre and over travel screws once they are set as they have a tendency to"Walk" out of adjustment without it...
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Old 03-05-2011, 05:11 PM
SGW Gunsmith
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Agreed, I did mention thread-locker only. I've edited it now to read #242 blue Loctite because that's what I do use for keeping screws in place . The reason I crimp the threads a tad is to create a tiny bit of drag so the screw doesn't move too easily during adjustment and then to help keep it in place while the thread-locker (serviceable blue Loctite) completes the bond.

~Later,
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:45 AM
blue68f100

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Nice write up and very good photos. I have always wonder if there is enough space to have both pre and post adj screws angled at the top part under the pivot pin. You do see the post adj (photo #2) with this but never both.
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SGW Gunsmith View Post
Agreed, I did mention thread-locker only. I've edited it now to read #242 blue Loctite because that's what I do use for keeping screws in place . The reason I crimp the threads a tad is to create a tiny bit of drag so the screw doesn't move too easily during adjustment and then to help keep it in place while the thread-locker (serviceable blue Loctite) completes the bond.

~Later,
A slight crimp on the threads is a great idea, IMO.
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