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GUNS Magazine October 2011 Digital Edition - Page 12
• h A M I L T O N S . B O W E N • Some guns are pretty easy, some aren’t. hanks to the depredations of the tort bar, firearms T manufacturers have been forced to make their production handiwork ever safer by dumbing down trigger quality, and hiking up pull weights and sear engagement. True, cost plays a certain part in trigger-pull quality but most of us would pay a little extra to have a safe trigger for our favorite winchester or ruger bolt-action, big-game rifle that didn’t feel like a Glock trigger lubricated with sand. Luckily, there is help in the form of aftermarket parts. Just peruse the Brownells catalog and, chances are, you will find a trigger (or several) for your favorite rifle that you can install with a few simple tools on a quiet Saturday morning. Some triggers are quite complicated and must be installed by an experienced gunsmith, such as most anything that requires machine work. Ruger No. 1, Remington 700 and M98 Mauser double-set triggers are probably beyond the ken of most hobbyists. On the other hand, many Ruger, Winchester M70 and AR-15 triggers are near drop-in and really require only disassembly and reassembly to install. Many have a fair range of adjustments lacking on factory units and will yield-surprising improvements in trigger-pull weight, felt creep and over travel without recourse to spending the week’s beer money. For example, the shop’s safe yielded a couple of likely victims on which to demonstrate—a seedy Ruger 10/22 .22 semi-auto kept to repel varmints, and a handy M77/44 .44 Magnum boltaction carbine. As always, it is well to INSTALLING A RIFLE TRIGGER lay hands on some sort of disassembly guide if you are not familiar with the entrails of your gun. Though most bolt-gun trigger work requires the simple removal of barreled actions from the stocks, some autoloaders may have action disassembly. My greasy, dog-eared disassembly guides written by J.B. Wood will usually have the information needed to get me through. The 10/22 While a beautifully designed and handsome .22, the 10/22 has a moderately heavy and slushy trigger out of the box and cries out for improvement. Like many Ruger products, the 10/22 has spawned a cottage industry of firms, making barrels, triggers and everything in between. Indeed, like the Ford Model T, you can build one complete with aftermarket parts. There are several sear kits, triggers and whole trigger units available for the ubiquitous Ruger .22. Since the existing trigger already has an over travel stop screw in place, all we really need is a sear kit to lay in the Power Custom parts. The Power Custom Pre-Travel Adjustable Hammer & Sear kit includes a heat-treated, EDM-machined hammer and sear of proper geometry to provide a crisper, lighter pull with little work beyond swapping the parts. Working from the front of the trigger group towards the rear (reversing the procedures on re-assembly), the job of replacing the hammer and sear is quite straightforward. Just be sure to examine closely the relationships of the parts, noting what they do and how, before drifting out the pins. There are only a couple of tricky points. Thanks to the provided slave pin, shimming the sear and trigger isn’t difficult (but you must hold your mouth just right). If there is anything that requires a bit of fussing, it is adjusting the pretravel take-up screw. You want the sear/disconnector to reset and can’t cut the adjustment too close. Took me at least a couple of ins and outs of the parts to get it right. Some guns will require a bit of fitting on the sear leg to produce proper safety function, a simple procedure performed with a For those of us who do not work on specific guns everyday, a takedown guide is invaluable. This one, by GUNS contributor J.B. Wood, is priceless. 12 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • OCTOBER 2011