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 By Mike Coviello (Tanner)
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Gun Trigger Parts, Definitions & Terminology


Gun Shooting Training Devices


What is Trigger Pull?

The amount of force (expressed in pounds) on a trigger needed to fire a gun.


What is a Trigger Pull Gage?

A mechanical device used to measure how much force it takes to pull the trigger.


What are Trigger Pull Weights?

A set of metal weights used to measure trigger pull. One end of a wire is attached to the trigger pull weights, the other to the trigger. When enough weight is added the trigger actuates. The total weight used defines the trigger pull the firearm.


What is Trigger Slack?

The amount of movement after the trigger is pressed before resistance is felt. Also called trigger creep and military creep.


What Does "Taking Up The Slack" Mean?

Taking up the slack is the term used for pulling the trigger to the point where the striker or firing pin is released (where resistance is felt and the trigger "breaks").


What is Trigger Break?

The point at which the striker or firing pin is released and the firearm discharges.


What is Trigger Finger?

The forefinger of the strong hand used to actuate a trigger, but any finger can be a trigger finger.


What is Trigger Group?

The entire assembly of a firearm's trigger components.


What is a Trigger Guard?

A protective structure surrounding the trigger to prevent the accidental pulling of the trigger.


What is a Trigger Lock?

Any lock that prevents the trigger from being pulled.


What is Trigger Over-Travel?

It is the continued rearward movement of the trigger after the point at which the firing pin or striker is released.


What is Trigger Reach?

The distance from the front of the trigger to the front of the grip.


What is a Trigger Return Spring?

The spring used to bring the trigger back to it's original position after a firearm is discharged.


What is a Trigger Safety?

A mechanical device used to stop the inadvertent pulling of a trigger.


What is a Trigger Shoe?

An accessory that is mechanically added to the blade of the trigger to give the trigger a wider surface area for easier pull. Some trigger shoes are serrated or textured to provide additional grip.


What is a Trigger Stop?

A mechanical device (over-travel adjustment screw) used to prevent a trigger from traveling beyond the trigger break (point at which the striker or firing pin is released and the firearm discharges).


What is a Trigger Over-Travel Adjustment Screw?

A  screw located on the trigger, the trigger screw or the frame that is used that is used as a mechanical stop and prevents the trigger from moving beyond the trigger break.


What is a Trigger Job?

Changes made to a firearm's trigger to reduce or eliminate trigger creep and reduce felt pull weight. A good trigger job will increase the accuracy of a firearm by providing a smoother trigger pull and a sudden or crisp trigger break.


Authored By Mike Coviello (Tanner)


Ask A Question/Tell Your Experience



Monday, January 31, 2011 11:38 PM

I want to thank you for your very helpful glossary. I went to a gun store the other day and asked some trigger questions, but knew that I wasn't getting sufficient answers. I have finally learned the difference between "creep" "or slack" and "over-travel." Just one concern: you defined "slack" as "the amount of movement after the trigger is pressed before resistance is felt." You then define "taking up the slack" as "pulling the trigger to the point where the striker or firing pin is released," and then further assay to clarify by adding: "(where resistance is felt and the trigger "breaks").

I hear two different things here. If travel or creep is the distance from the initial pull which continues until resistance is felt, then from the point that resistance is felt up to the breaking of the trigger is a separate matter and should be defined separately. Thus "taking up the slack" would seem to me--if I am catching on to what is being said--to refer only to the the finger pressure up to the poing of feeling resistance and not beyond that point, i.e., not including "(where resistance is felt and the trigger "breaks"). In my mind, and I don't have much experience at all, there is a motion (or whatever) distinguishing where resistance is felt and when the trigger actually breaks. In other words: Pull (and slack); encounter resistance (the trigger mechanism begins to function); and then the amount of pressure needed to actually complete the necessary motion for the trigger to release the firing pin. Three steps, not two.
Thanks a bunch,