Trigger Pull Weight

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posted on March 21, 2014
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Q: A guy from the range, who usually gives pretty good advice, told me he prefers to have a "hair trigger" on his hunting rifles. Is this a good idea?

A: Generally, a very light trigger pull weight (anything less than 3 pounds) is not a good idea on a hunting firearm. Benchrest-type accuracy made possible by a very light trigger isn’t necessary in the field. If it’s cold outside or the shooter is excited (or a combination of both)--conditions encountered frequently while hunting--a light trigger pull can be dangerous when the hunter prematurely and/or unexpectedly pulls the trigger. At the least, a trigger with a pull weight that's too light can result in a poorer shot on game (or a miss) than one having a normal pull if it causes the shooter to fire the gun before the sights are settled. In most cases, a 3- to 5-pound pull weight is all anyone needs in a hunting rifle.

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