CCW Weekend: Good And Bad Triggers

Guns and Gear | Contributor

By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters

The trigger is the heart of any gun. It’s the bit the user interfaces with the most, outside of the grip anyway. Like the gas pedal of a car, it’s the part that makes the thing go. Also just like the gas pedal, if that system isn’t at least tuned okay, it makes the whole thing less than pleasurable to operate if not – in some cases – maybe impossible to operate.

Look at gun reviews, either in major publications or what people say online about their new gun or a gun they handled, and it is also one of the single most common complaints. While many are not perfect, how many are really all that bad?

At the risk of offering too much personal opinion, my experience is that only a few are really, truly bad. Having handled and fired dozens of makes and models of handguns and otherwise, only a few were close to unusable. A few are really good. Most can be said to work.

A truly good trigger usually requires spending a healthy sum of money, but there are some guns out there that will surprise you with how good the go pedal is relative to the price point.

The best handgun trigger I’ve ever come across was on a custom 1911, not an uncommon sentiment. Out of the more typical carry guns, the H&K VP9/VP40 take the cake among the poly striker guns. The CZ P07 and P09, which again is just one goofy person’s opinion, have the best double-action triggers in a semi-auto.

The worst, in my experience, usually belong to DAO pocket .380 pistols. Not that there aren’t micro guns with decent triggers (the Sig P238 springs immediately to mind) but – and again, it’s just my experience – this class of guns is the pond where the lame ducks swim.

A good pistol needs sights and a trigger you can use, but just how refined does one have to be in order for it to be a viable CCW pistol?

The truth is not much. The user merely has to be able to reliably press it home to trip the sear and that’s really about it. So long as it does that, that’s really all you need, and there are plenty of compellingly mediocre stock triggers out there that will do so every single time without issue.

Where people tend to notice a lackluster bang switch is when they pull slow, even more so if they’re using a two-stage pull technique. If you just press to the rear, with a smooth, steady squeeze, you won’t notice as much.

So while lots and lots of pistols at your local gun store won’t have the crisp, clean break of a Wilson Combat, Nighthawk Custom or what have you…the truth is not many do, but it doesn’t really matter as long as you can use it.

What do you think though? Was there ever a gun that had a trigger that was truly unusable? Sound off in the comments.

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Sam Hoober is Contributing Editor for, a subsidiary of Hayden, ID, based Tedder Industries, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. Click here to visit


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