It is very popular these days to crap on milspec triggers on rifles, and stock triggers on pistols. I think this comes from a passed down misconception that you cannot hit a target unless you lower the trigger weight to the point that you can eliminate the trigger control variable. This is a huge problem because if you take a minute to look at the designs of the triggers themselves, you will find that they were designed to last a long time with reliable performance.
It all comes down to training with your weapons. The milspec rifle triggers and stock pistol triggers are not the problem. It is the lack of commitment to training and even the overboard journey to being faster. People seem to think that by lightening their triggers, they don’t need to spend as much time training and practicing. But this is a dangerous illusion because there is more to shooting than just trigger control. You have to develop a pattern of consistently being able to make good hits in a timely manner under pressure. A lighter trigger is not going to do this for you. Sure you will let off your shot sooner, but most of the time I see people prematurely letting off their shot before they are able to have any sight accountability.
This is very evident when seeing people shoot fast. Shooting fast requires more than just laying rounds down range. Most of it is controlling the firearm and being able to register the sight placement on your target before taking a followup shot. This is best seen when people perform the classic and misunderstood double tap or hammer pair. It is a popular belief that this method of engagement requires only one sight picture. This is false, and in fact, the point of the drill was for the shooter to practice getting their sights realigned so fast that it seems to onlookers that the followup shots are not aimed. But this seems to have been lost in time, as has the purpose of the Mozambique or failure drill. You see people impressed by shooters doing this drill in record times. What is the point of shooting twice and the body if the ultimate goal is to deliver a kill shot to the head? It has no practical purpose and has turned into a parlor trick for shooters to show off their ability to place shots in different areas in as little time as possible.
Don’t get sucked into this culture of misconception when it comes to triggers sucking. They are the product of decades of battlefield experience, and they are designed to strike a fine balance between safety, long term reliability, and the ability to shoot the weapon accurately with little training. With time on your stock pistol or milspec rifle trigger, you will find this to be true. I know some of you are saying that because you can’t make it out to the range often, you need to lighten the trigger to make up for it. I say this is not a good answer. You can use dry firing to establish good fundamentals and train your trigger finger to handle the trigger weight. Range time should be used as a confirmation of skill, not the primary means to obtain it.
Take for example the fact that most double action triggers use a hammer. The hammer needs to be capable of striking the firing pin with enough force to ensure that it can hit the bullets primer with enough force to set it off. With the M9, alot of the problems they are plagued by, aside from weak magazine and recoil springs, is a weak hammer spring. If you lighten the spring that ensures a long life of reliable hits to the firing pin, you are going to run into problems down the road with light primer strikes. Many competition shooters who employ these lighter springs know this, and change their springs regularly to ensure that their guns remain reliable. Ultimately, you need to realize that every spring in rifles and pistols was designed to work in harmony with the given parts in order to deliver a long life of reliable service.
Here is one last point. If light triggers were so necessary for fast and accurate shooting, how do you explain the effectiveness that people had with revolvers and how were world records broken? It wasn’t from hair triggers. They had to deal with a long trigger pull regardless. It was done through practice, practice, practice.
David served in the USMC for a few years. Deployed twice and got wounded. Retired and moved to Alaska. Has a passion for reviewing and testing guns and gear of all kinds. Enjoys working to dispel myths and show that you can train and practice in a realistic, safe, and practical way.