Understanding how a trigger works is hardly complicated. A trigger is little more than a series of levers and springs. Safeties stand in the way of these levers. When you remove the impediment of the safety and pull back on the lever that is the trigger shoe, the machine springs into action. Yet there’s much more to the philosophy of a trigger—and any basic discussion of big-picture ideas begins with trigger pull weight (how much force is required to pull the trigger). When would you want a light trigger? Why would you want a heavier pull?

Trigger Weight

At the highest conceptual level, we can separate triggers by platform. A handgun trigger will need to do things that a shotgun trigger might not. Rifle triggers, too, should be tailored to the intended use of the rifle and the preferences of the shooter. 

Tactical shotguns and most handguns have heavier trigger pulls. These guns are designed to perform well in high-stress situations where a shooter has a solid grip on the gun and a full finger on the trigger. A heavy pull weight will help mitigate trigger pulls from unintended movements or sympathetic muscle contractions. The pull, when intentional, fires the round. 

Sporting shotguns may have heavier pulls, too. Waterfowl hunters and wing shooters focus more on movement and follow-through than they do on the nuance of finger placement and trigger pull. And, because the gun is moving, a heavier pull helps to keep unintended trigger pulls from sending shot skyward too early. 

The turkey shotgun, though, this is where a light trigger begins to really shine. While there are critical skills involved in the manipulation of tactical and sporting shotguns, the turkey hunter often needs to conserve movements. The gun is often completely still, and the trigger can be pulled with a precise efficiency.

For those who want complete control over trigger pull on a scattergun, Savage’s 220 and 212 families of shotguns come equipped with AccuTrigger. 

The shotgun trigger pull weight can be dialed down as low as 2.5 pounds. This is ideal for long-range accuracy and the light weight is backed up by the protection of the AccuRelease: a lever that—when at rest—completely blocks the path of the sear. Even if the safety is off, the gun won’t fire unless AccuRelease is depressed, fully. For those that carry their firearms in the field, as many of us do when we hunt, the weight can be dialed up to as much as 6 pounds. 

While trigger pull is something many shotgun owners take for granted, it becomes increasingly important with rifles. 

Savage has built AccuTrigger into long-range tack drivers like the Model 110 Precision. When precision and performance matter most, having an AccuTrigger that breaks clean at 1.5 pounds provides a competitive edge that is hard to match in a production class rifle. 

But you’ll find the AccuTrigger on the diminutive Rascal .22 LRs, too. Rascals are teaching tools that provide young shooters an unparalleled platform for mastering the basics. When a child’s shooting skills are developing, a heavier pull will help to illustrate basics—especially if the child is standing or kneeling. As their abilities increase, lighten the trigger pull and work more on advanced skills. 

A light trigger pull is a crucial component of long-range accuracy as the force needed to move the trigger is less likely to move the gun. A heavier pull, though, is often beneficial for those who hunt on the move, or in heavy brush, or from shooting positions that require solid grip in the shooting hand itself.

Why does trigger pull weight matter?

Accuracy is everything. A gun’s trigger is an integral part of the potential for accuracy. But there’s not one weight that’s right for every shooter in every situation, even if everything else on the gun is capable of serving multiple purposes. An adjustable trigger increases any gun’s versatility for any user. 

Twenty years ago, when AccuTrigger made its debut, even the best triggers had only one available pull weight. AccuTrigger changed the game. Not only is its pull weight adjustable, but these adjustments can also be made on the fly, without the need of an armorer or a gunsmith.

From the rimfires we rely on to teach the fundamentals, to the rifles we use to put meat on the table, to the scatterguns we trust for taking Toms, AccuTrigger is there, defining each and every pull with a crisp, clean break at the perfect weight. From Axis to Impulse, AccuTrigger sets the bar high.

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