I Am Not Alone: The 1911 Trigger

25-Jun-13 – 11:10 by ToddG

167 over at Master Class Chronicles wrote recently about his experience adapting to a 1911.

Can I get an amen?

While many people who cut their teeth on the 1911 platform think it has the greatest trigger imaginable, the reality is that it’s awesome at some things and challenging for others.

There is a reason why instructors from the old Gunsite “you’ve got a 1911 or you don’t have a gun” era put such a tremendous premium on trigger press as the most important part of pistol fundamentals. The crisp nature of the 1911 trigger break makes it incredibly easy to anticipate because you reach that breaking point and know it. Yet you still have to keep adding pressure to make the shot go off. That is, almost by definition, anticipation.

With a more rolling-style trigger, it’s hard to know the exact break point… and if you’re using the trigger properly, you don’t want to know.

The 1911 is great when you’re doing a slow, deliberate maximum-accuracy trigger press like bullseye. It’s great when you can benefit from its ultra-short reset for wide open high% targets, when trigger manipulation isn’t really as critical. But it’s that in between place, trying to make moderately accurate hits at moderate or fast speeds, where I find the 1911 trigger challenges me the most

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

  1. 8 Responses to “I Am Not Alone: The 1911 Trigger”

  2. My first pistol was a Loaded 1911 in 9mm. Then i went to a Glock 17. The process as been… messy.

    By Josh on Jun 25, 2013

  3. “if you’re using the trigger properly, you don’t want to know.” I have to respectfully disagree, I strongly believe in knowing your trigger (take up/weight/brake/reset/etc) so much that if you change the springs for maintenance you notice and adapted a little…

    By afs001 on Jun 25, 2013

  4. Very interdasting.

    By Jay Cunningham on Jun 26, 2013

  5. Is it possible that instead of using the 1911 trigger as it is, your finger is “trained” to treat it like a rolling trigger?

    By mer on Jun 26, 2013

  6. When I was shooting a 1911 I found that I tended to smash the trigger rather than press it. If the trigger is 4 pounds then try to learn to only press it with 4 pounds of pressure.

    By Kirk in Utah on Jun 27, 2013

  7. I have to disagree Mr. Green. I definitely want to know exactly when my gun is going to fire especially if it is a hostage shot or a police or swat officer is taking that shot with one of my family members next to a bad guy.

    If i’m wrong please explain. My son and I routinely shoot low probability targets out to a 100 yards with our pistols mine being a 1911.

    By L.Buce on Jun 27, 2013

  8. L.Buce – “I have to disagree Mr. Green. I definitely want to know exactly when my gun is going to fire especially if it is a hostage shot or a police or swat officer is taking that shot with one of my family members next to a bad guy.”

    I think you miss Todd’s point on wanting to know when the gun is going off. HE made the decision to fire the gun is on target and he’s pulling the trigger. So he knows the guns going off. What he doesn’t want is o know the exact point the sear is going to break because that can lead to anticipation and a flinch pushing the gun off target.

    Having shot DAO revolvers 90% of the time over the last 35 years I have to say I find myself in the same boat as Todd. I shoot the revolver at speed on low probability targets better than a striker fired pistol or SA auto no matter how nice their trigger was. My finger is looking for that rolling break and it gets the SA break and I just miss on a low percentage of the shots. My performance is only off by a couple of %, but it is off. I’ve even walked away from the revolver for a year and could still out perform the auto when I shot a revolver.

    By rsa-otc (Scott) on Jun 27, 2013

  9. Scott said: What he doesn’t want is to know the exact point the sear is going to break because that can lead to anticipation and a flinch pushing the gun off target.

    Todd says: QFT.

    By ToddG on Jun 27, 2013

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