What is Trigger Pull Weight?

Trigger pull weight is the measurement of weight—or force—on the trigger of a firearm. More specifically, it measures the number of pounds or ounces applied before the trigger breaks and the sear releases.

Let’s Talk About Pull-Weight

If you’ve spent time around the gun shop or the firing range, you may have overheard conversations about trigger weights, and you may be wondering how this measurement affects your gun’s performance. These days, it seems that everyone wants to modify their firearms to get the best performance and consistency possible. Gun owners are quickly moving away from “stock” guns, seeking more customizable options. The problem is, however, that with more customization can come more confusion. We hope to unravel that confusion today, by explaining not only what trigger weights are, but also how understanding them can help you become a better shooter.

So, what exactly is trigger weight? The simplest answer is that it’s the amount of force needed to actually pull the trigger and fire the gun. While the actual functionality is a little more complex, this is what most people mean when they talk about trigger weight or trigger pull.

Trigger Basics

A trigger is a type of lever designed to provide mechanical leverage to pull or push the mechanism until it reaches its release point. This release point will allow the mechanism to strike the primer, ultimately firing the bullet down the range.

As with all levers, the farther the force is applied from the fulcrum, the easier it is to do the work. As you’ve probably noticed, this means that when you move your finger closer to the end of the trigger, it’s much easier to fire the gun than when it’s placed toward the top. To shoot accurately and easily on a consistent basis, then, your finger will need to be placed near the end of the trigger every time.

Potential Variables in Accurate Trigger Weight Pulls

The trigger pull weight should be measured over several pulls to get the most accurate measurement. This is because so many factors can cause a change in the pounds of force needed to pull the trigger. Anything from spring resistance to dust and debris in the mechanisms or on the trigger can greatly effect individual trigger pulls. You may notice that your own firearm doesn’t release at the same pull weight every time, as well, because even the tiniest of variables could make a huge difference in the trigger’s performance.  Note, Rifle Basix does carry our own trigger pull gauge, but you can find one at just about any gun shop online and offline.

The length of pull, trigger design, and trigger reset can impact the performance of your firearm as well. Over time, most gun owners also notice that the trigger pull weight will lighten, and the action will become smoother. However, you shouldn’t be surprised by the force it takes to pull the trigger. Your firearm should only fire when you expect it to do so. This is why the trigger pull weight measurement is so important, because we strive to know exactly when and where your bullet will travel every time.

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