Aftermarket Pistol Triggers
If you've recently purchased a handgun or have a pistol you've owned for quite some time, you might want to consider replacing the factory trigger. The highest-quality pistols often come with low-quality triggers, affecting accuracy and comfort levels for the shooter.
The factory trigger, or the trigger the gun manufacturer installs in the gun, often has a gritty feel and takes a five to ten-pound pull to fire, which can be heavy for an accurate shot. If you want to upgrade your pistol, considering the trigger is a factor you don't want to overlook. With an aftermarket trigger of your choice, you'll see an immediate difference in how you shoot and how your pistol feels.
How do you know which trigger to choose? A lot depends on your personal preference and the purpose of your pistol. A tactical shooter may not want the same trigger as a competitive shooter, for example. We'll look at the different types of aftermarket pistol triggers to help you choose the best one for you.
Before we get started, it is helpful to know the following terminology that is generally used to describe how a trigger feels and performs:
- Creep: Increased resistance as the trigger moves back toward the break. A good trigger will offer less noticeable creep.
- Break: The point where the pistol or other firearm discharges.
- Over-travel: After the trigger breaks, over-travel backward could lead to an excess movement that might throw you off the next shot. For a competition pistol, the less over-travel, the better.
- Reset: The time it takes for a trigger to move back to firing position after the break.
- Grit: An uneven or crunchy feeling often present with a low-quality trigger. A high-quality trigger will glide and feel smooth.
Types of Triggers
Pistols were developed as early as the 15th century and may have been named after the city of Pistoia, Italy. These handheld guns are easy to carry and are ideal for quick self-defense. Simeon North and Eli Whitney, both American innovators, also both developed interchangeable rifle and pistol parts around the same time in the 19th century. Gun enthusiasts, military members, police officers, hunters and competitive shooters can all thank early American manufacturing for the option to customize their pistols.
Whether you use your gun for self-defense or recreation, each type of trigger requires consideration, especially for new gun owners. You will almost always benefit from upgrading your trigger, and you'll feel a difference you'll appreciate right away.
When it's time to choose a new trigger for your handgun, you'll want to have an understanding of how each trigger feels and functions. The first factor to consider is if you prefer a lightweight trigger kit or a custom trigger shoe with OEM parts. Let's look at each:
Lightweight Trigger Kit vs. Custom Trigger Shoe With OEM Parts
Lightweight Trigger Kit
An aftermarket lightweight trigger kit takes a much lighter pull to fire than a factory trigger. Most pistols come with a factory trigger that has a five to eight-pound trigger pull weight. It can be tough to tell when the trigger will break with factory triggers, which could potentially lead to inaccurate shots.
With a lightweight trigger kit, there is minimal take-up. Take-up refers to the trigger movement after pressure has been applied by the user before it engages with any kind of mechanism. As soon as the user pulls the trigger with a good custom trigger kit, as soon as you squeeze the trigger, there will be will little or no movement before it engages the sear, which then engages the hammer and the pistol will fire. Some trigger kits are set at a two-pound pull, which is too light for an inexperienced shooter.
A lightweight trigger may be the preferred trigger for competitive shooting when the user needs to shoot accurately and quickly. Lightweight triggers may not be the best choice for first-time gun owners because of safety issues. In a stressful situation, an inexperienced user could react too quickly and too easily with a light trigger. It's highly recommended that lightweight trigger users have experience or training.
Custom Trigger Shoe With OEM Parts
In short, a custom trigger shoe with OEM parts usually has the same pull weight with factory triggers. This is to ensure the trigger maintain all factory safety features. A custom trigger shoe is usually more ergonomic, reduces take-up, and have a shorter reset. Some trigger kit even have special coated or polished OEM parts so that it has a smoother trigger pull with a crisp break.
A custom trigger shoe with OEM parts is a safer option for beginner gun owners and helps with accuracy in sporting activities like hunting. Users do not have to worry about the safety of the firearm after upgrading the trigger. A these trigger might be a better choice for self-defense handguns as well because of a heavier pull and a lower chance or unintentional discharge. Ultimately, the choice is yours.
Curved vs. Flat Trigger
When upgrading your pistol trigger, you'll also consider the bow of your trigger and whether you want a curved bow or a flat trigger. The greatest difference between the two mainly comes down to personal preference and the feel you want. Some gun owners also prefer the aesthetics of one trigger style over the other. Test out the differences and choose the trigger that feels most comfortable to you.
A curved trigger is the traditional "hooked" trigger you will see on most pistols. With a curved trigger, you have a place to rest your finger on the trigger. For this reason, a curved trigger is more ergonomic for many pistol owners.
Opinions can vary greatly, but some gun owners claim that a curved trigger works best for fast shooting and are easier to use in slippery conditions. However, some also feel that it's difficult to find the same spot on the trigger every time they shoot, so a curved trigger may affect consistency.
Again, choosing between a flat trigger or a curved trigger truly comes down to personal preference — neither style outperforms the other. Some shooters claim they can get to know their favorite position better on a flat trigger, and that they can better feel the pressure being applied. Others say that flat triggers feel lighter even though they are not a lighter trigger. You may find you have more space to move your finger around on a flat trigger, which could work better with certain guns.
Our Apex Action Enhancement Flat Trigger for Sig P320, for example, replaces the factory P320 trigger and allows the user to place the finger lower on the trigger for lower pull weight, reducing the pull weight by approximately 18 percent.
Match Grade Competition Triggers
The goal of a match grade competition trigger is to suit the needs of shooters in a competitive shooting match. Match grade triggers are designed to increase speed and precision. Competitive shooters consider trigger pull weight, length and reset when choosing the right trigger for their firearm.
Whether or not you choose premium match grade triggers is completely up to you. Competitive shooters require a high-level of precision and quality. However, if you mainly use your pistol for hunting or self-defense, you may find competition triggers unnecessary and unsafe.
If you are a competitive shooter, take a look at our Match Grade pistol triggers which reduces pull-weight and offers a smooth, crisp break and fast reset — perfect for matches.
Benefits of Upgrading Your Trigger
The trigger is perhaps the easiest upgrade you can make to your handgun, and yet it can make a significant impact on performance and usability. Usually, gun manufacturers use a heavier trigger akin to MIL-SPEC firearms that is suitable for tactical use. MIL-SPEC stands for military specification. A duty firearm must meet specific criteria and be approved by an inspector to be considered "safe". Pull on a factory trigger is anywhere between five and 12 pounds and is a lower-quality trigger.
Although a quality aftermarket trigger will not turn an amateur into a world-famous shooter, a good trigger can help a gun owner build their shooting skills and reach their potential. A quality trigger also helps a pistol user gain greater control of their gun, which increases safety in stressful situations. A trigger upgrade is something worth considering for all gun owners who want maximum performance out of their firearm. With a custom trigger, you can enjoy the following benefits.
If you decide to upgrade your pistol, you have the option to install a trigger that feels better than the factory trigger according to your personal preference. Often, factory triggers feel awkward and might not fit your hand well. A better feel will make a difference in how you shoot and will ultimately improve your skills.
No one's hand is the same shape and size. A custom trigger will work better ergonomically for your hand, meaning your hand will interact with the gun with more comfort, and you'll enjoy a greater sense of control. When choosing a trigger that fits you well, you'll want to consider:
- Distance from the back of the grip to the trigger
- Length to reach the trigger
- Distance of pull
If a trigger is too big or too small for your fingers, you might miss the chance to reach your shooting potential.
An aftermarket trigger with a lighter pull reduces the effort the shooter has to put on the trigger. With less focus on pulling the trigger, you can shift your attention to hitting your target.
Consider the weight of your gun and the weight of the trigger pull. If, for example, your pistol weighs one and a half pound and the factory trigger pull is six pounds, the amount of pressure you need to apply to fire could cause the gun to move. Manufacturers are more concerned with safety and lawsuits than accuracy, but fortunately, the power is in your hands to make an upgrade with a trigger better suited for your pistol.
A lower trigger pull weight lets you group shots more consistently. With a pistol that fits you like a glove, you'll be able to shoot more consistently, and you'll experience increased performance overall. If you know your gun well and if it has a comfortable trigger, you'll also handle it much better in high-stress situations.
With a more consistent pistol, you'll be able to predict how your gun shoots and alter the interaction between you and your gun accordingly. Eventually, you'll know how to react to your gun with every shot.
Reasons to Upgrade Your Trigger
Not everyone will say they need to upgrade their trigger. Depending on the reason for your pistol, you might be content with the factory trigger. The choice is yours whether you want to customize your pistol or not.
However, if you want a more personalized feel, greater precision, and stronger shooting skills, we recommend a trigger upgrade. You do not need to be a professional gunsmith to replace your pistol trigger, either. Our custom trigger kits and triggers make installation simple whether you want to enhance the performance of your Glock trigger or another firearm.
Competitive shooters and those who own pistols to protect their homes should especially consider a trigger upgrade:
Competitive shooters need a high-quality trigger, and factory triggers usually don't cut it. The quickest way to improve accuracy and consistency is with a trigger upgrade.
Without the ability to predict how your gun acts with a lower-quality trigger, it's difficult to improve your shooting skills. Competitive shooters need consistency and a pistol they know will deliver the shots they want to make each time.
Also, competitive shooters need a pull weight that helps them hit their target, and a trigger that is too heavy or too light can interrupt their process. With a factory trigger, you'll feel a gritty and inconsistent pull. Competitive shooters need shots to be smooth so they can focus on their target instead of trigger-feel and reset in the amount of time they need. A light pull and smooth feel are ideal for rapid shooting.
Those who have pistols to defend their homes and families need to be careful with the trigger pull weight. A trigger that is too light, like the ones used in competitive shooting matches, are not recommended for home defense purposes because a light trigger can get a homeowner in trouble.
Situations that call for self-defense are usually extremely stressful. You don't want a pistol that fires too easily as it could lead to a big mistake. However, you also don't want a trigger that is uncomfortable and reduces your sense of control.
The purpose of a self-defense pistol is to protect yourself and your loved ones from harm. A high-quality trigger will improve your accuracy and help you hit your target. As a result, you'll enjoy peace of mind and greater safety.
Some gun enthusiasts suggest never carrying a gun with a pull weight of fewer than four pounds to avoid legal issues and increase safety. Nevertheless, it may be most important to carry a pistol that you can shoot well and feel comfortable with when it comes to self-defense.
Shop for Pistol Triggers
Increase the potential of your pistol and your shooting abilities with a trigger designed to perform. At Wing Tactical, we offer high-quality pistol trigger parts whether you want to upgrade and maximize your Glock, Sig Sauer or other firearms. Our Apex pistol triggers fit almost all Glock handguns to make factory trigger replacement simple and well-worth it — you'll notice an improvement right away.
If you changed your mind on your new trigger or trigger kit, we will give you a full refund within 30 days. Do you have questions or concerns about our products? Feel free to contact us, and we'll be happy to help you. We put our customers first and deliver the highest-quality firearm parts and accessories at the lowest prices. Give yourself an edge and shop our line of pistol triggers today.