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Thread: DB diatribe on triggers

  1. #1

    DB diatribe on triggers

    Can we please stop and have a common sense reality check for a moment on this stuff.

    Here comes some truth bombs. Human beings can screw up with any trigger system. Multiple violations of safety rules, unsafe practices, and pure human stupidity will win the day here every time. We simply cannot over engineer out stupid. What we can do is put some things in place to mitigate risk in line with how many of these guns are employed in a stress filled crisis situation. Shooting sports...whatever works, don't really care at this point. Operation of firearms in a home or in public, that is my focus.

    Triggers....interesting little things that initiate the shot in a handgun. We at some point need to be on it to finish a lethal force decision, that is the simple part. The complexity is when we start pouring in a bunch of other factors. Certain trigger systems will be a hardware solution to fix different portions of the equation.

    First....I have been in two shootings with shotguns, and one with a DA Pistol. I have been in multiple incidents where a lethal force decision was made and part way through the trigger press the situation changed and that press stopped. Those have been done with most of the action types we normally discuss.

    Want to know my perception of trigger weight....nothing drastic between any of them. What is perceptible is trigger movement. The way time is warped in your mind during a crisis, some of those trigger presses on DA guns (Revolver or auto) feel like they take forever, and most of my "stops" during the press involved those types of triggers. The shotguns, with essentially a short single action, just go off after almost imperceptible movement. This is neither "good" nor "bad", but can be either dependent on the situation.

    The biggest added benefit to a DA or LEM is that when your visual acuity spikes (found this in every case), you get both a tactile and visual confirmation that you are in fact getting ready to fire. You can literally see your trigger press and in near slow motion. I find this to be a positive from a purely people management and use of force scenario.

    What I look for in a striker gun is predictable movement of that trigger because I can't see it or really get a weight feel. My Glocks have been set up for more take up than stock (but using all stock components and factory trigger weights). A huge reason I love the VP9 is that the trigger is super predictable to me in feel. Others find other guns work for them, which is just fine. Some guns have very little movement to get them to go bang. I like "shooting" these, not so sure as a very fallible human being that l like them for managing a dynamic force problem. Another thing these combinations of trigger types can do is mitigate some risk. With a DA weapon, I can look at the gun and immediately assess some things about its condition. Obviously if the hammer is cocked, I have some additional concerns. With a striker gun, you don't actually have much of a clue until you physically put hands on that gun. From an instructor'sstandpoint, I also get some of that visual feedback as well.

    Other factors that start coming into play on mitigating stupid is a hammer. Can you holster a non-decocked gun with a finger in a trigger and have the exact same issues as holstering a striker gun with a finger on the trigger...absolutely. What changes the dynamic is you have a visual indicator that you have not decocked, and if taught properly to holster with a thumb on the back of the hammer, you get a tactile indication of an issue, combined with a trigger that is pretty easy to feel that it is in contact and moving if you holster with your finger still on the trigger. This is where solid mixing of hardware and software in training come into play. We can impart some checks into the training to help mitigate stress mistakes.

    A Gadget will also help this when added on to some striker platforms. Can anyone get a finger on a trigger early....very much yes. Do we have more indicators to the shooter making that mistake with a DA or LEM gun, yes. Both in tactile movement and visual indicator of the hammer. Same with draw stroke early finger insertions...obviously, a couple triggers are more forgiving of this. You can never depend on a trigger to stop negligent discharges. Triggers don't stop ND's. The problem has been with police administrators, misguided trainers and other "experts" who have come to this conclusion.

    What triggers can do is WITH PROPER REPETITIVE TRAINING is to help the operator of the firearm know they have made a mistake before the consequences hit. That is a proper loading and training with software to operate the hardware. Improper software training results in misuse of hardware (not de-cocking every time the muzzle comes off target, cocking hammers, early trigger prepping, thumb cocking, etc). Misuse is a major issue with ANY system. I find it funny that folks like myself and others who have some extensive experience in a high stress environments making complex force decisions on a daily basis over decades find ourselves capable of making mistakes and like some layers in place to have our chosen firearms to be a bit forgiving of those mistakes. Yet, many who the scariest thing they have ever done is come home and mom forgot to leave the porch light on discount this stuff as much ado about nothing, and retort with my favorite pre cursor to an expert opinion of "what I would do is".

    Overall, we can safely and efficiently operate all kinds of triggers. We can screw up all kinds of triggers. What I have found is that the triggers that are often a bit harder to master and shoot well, are also the triggers that are a bit more forgiving of mistakes. They do not mitigate mistakes, just are more forgiving. Just like a great trigger is not a guarantee of great shooting, they are just more forgiving of trigger press errors on the marksmanship side.
    Last edited by LittleLebowski; 08-13-2017 at 01:33 PM.
    Just a Hairy Special Snowflake supply clerk with no field experience, shooting an Asymetric carbine as a Try Hard. Snarky and easily butt hurt. Favorite animal is the Cape Buffalo....likely indicative of a personality disorder.
    "If I had a grandpa, he would look like Delbert Belton".

  2. #2
    A .5lb striker fired trigger is perfectly safe so long as I follow Rule #2 with 100% accuracy for the rest of my natural life.

    Shouldn't be a problem.
    The Minority Marksman.
    "When you meet a swordsman, draw your sword: Do not recite poetry to one who is not a poet."
    -a Ch'an Buddhist axiom.

  3. #3
    Really good common sense explanation of the whole situation. Marry this post with the LEM street trigger one and there's a really nice short essay on the topic that ought to be required reading.

  4. #4
    Gray Hobbyist Wondering Beard's Avatar
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    Lots of stuff to think about here. Thank you DB.

    For me, the two following quotes are very central to the whole discussion:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dagga Boy View Post
    Improper software training results in misuse of hardware
    Quote Originally Posted by Dagga Boy View Post
    What I have found is that the triggers that are often a bit harder to master and shoot well, are also the triggers that are a bit more forgiving of mistakes. They do not mitigate mistakes, just are more forgiving. Just like a great trigger is not a guarantee of great shooting, they are just more forgiving of trigger press errors on the marksmanship side.
    P.S. when I handled the P30 with LEM (I think V1 from the factory) at my LGS about a year ago, while I liked it, all it felt like was long but with less weight to pull through than my stock Glocks and less pressure back to get to reset. While I didn't shoot the gun (and thus don't really know for sure), the LEM on that gun felt actually easier to shoot than the stock trigger on my Glock (all of mine have stock triggers) with its noticeable take up and stacking break. Maybe it's just an individual difference.
    “An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.” Alexander Solzhenitsyn
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  5. #5
    Site Supporter Trukinjp13's Avatar
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    Thank you for this. I am going to pass this along to some of my friends. I go through these discussions quite a bit. Having someone who can clearly establish the point. Who has had to implement said features into real life. Who can say why something helped or hindered more then another is great. My carry selection and thought process has changed a lot since I joined this forum. Between guys like you and Todd. It has really opened my eyes on what should really be focused on when selecting a carry gun. I appreciate your contributions.


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  6. #6
    Member Hi-Point Aficionado's Avatar
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    Sadly, my father recently had to make some decisions about triggers. Hand tremors are now a constant part of his life and he was becoming decreasingly confident in his ability to manage a striker trigger. Liking my LEM converted USP compacts, he asked if I'd trade my secondary for his G19. It's his now and he later showed up with a thumb safety and request that I install it. He also wanted a conscious switch between a holstered and firing state. Considering his trigger finger won't stop moving, I can't fault his logic. Long travel and a positive safety seem tailor made for a person in his condition.

    Anyway, thanks a ton for the OP. I genuinely appreciate a solid resource to point people to for a very well thought out comparison of the strengths of various trigger systems.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagga Boy View Post
    [snip]

    Overall, we can safely and efficiently operate all kinds of triggers. We can screw up all kinds of triggers. What I have found is that the triggers that are often a bit harder to master and shoot well, are also the triggers that are a bit more forgiving of mistakes. They do not mitigate mistakes, just are more forgiving. Just like a great trigger is not a guarantee of great shooting, they are just more forgiving of trigger press errors on the marksmanship side.
    The above snippet is pretty much where I have decided to land my choice of pistol. I am much more likely to make an error with a pistol than to need the absolute best trigger feel/press, so I bias my pistol and training choices to error mitigation. I am very unlikely to need to fire my pistol today, but I will certainly holster it (already did) and draw it once (when the holster comes off of me) today. So guns that allow me some extra margin of safety for those actions I perform every day are of value to me.

    I am currently working with three pistols now: 1) The P30 LEM, 2) the Gadget-equipped G26, and 3) the S&W M&P Shield. Two of those guns have features that let me know if the trigger is fouled when the pistol is going into the holster. One does not. The one that does not is the pistol that does not leave the property. The P30 LEM is my main carry pistol while the G26 is used for NPE carry.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagga Boy View Post
    Can we please stop and have a common sense reality check for a moment on this stuff.

    Here comes some truth bombs. Human beings can screw up with any trigger system.


    Overall, we can safely and efficiently operate all kinds of triggers. We can screw up all kinds of triggers. What I have found is that the triggers that are often a bit harder to master and shoot well, are also the triggers that are a bit more forgiving of mistakes. They do not mitigate mistakes, just are more forgiving. Just like a great trigger is not a guarantee of great shooting, they are just more forgiving of trigger press errors on the marksmanship side.
    I agree with what you're saying. I've been issued a DA/SA, a DAO and a striker fired pistol over the years.

    I think it needs to be about balance. A balance between a trigger system that permits one to put rounds on target under stress but yet is still a decent threat management tool.

    Shoot ability combined with safety...

    The trigger also needs to be safe if dropped or gets banged into. I have dropped pistols while at work. I have had my holstered pistol banged into brick walls, pavement, ect. when struggling with suspects.

    While I understand what you are saying in your post. My question though would be, do you feel that the firearms industry, driven by the gun buying market, is trying to fix a software problem with a hardware solution in the form of lighter striker fired triggers?

  9. #9
    I absolutely believe the entire market right now is really about "buying performance". Let's face facts....triggers that are easier to manipulate with the least chance of moving the sights can help mitigate errors in pressing a trigger without disturbing the sights. Todd Green started the ball rolling on showing that you could shoot a not so easy trigger well with the LEM. I think it gave many a bit of a false hope. You can do really solid work with more difficult to manage triggers, but that requires some dedicated training and training with folks who understand them. A vast majority of firearms consumers have no interest in putting in solid, dedicated work with professional experienced instructors. USPSA and high level tactical training classes are absolute outliers. Go to a public indoor shooting range....look around......THOSE are the "serious shooters", and it is fairly pathetic. Then there is the buy and ogle crowd, which is normal. We live ina world dominated by buying performance rather than working hard for it. It is simply the way we are evolving with technology and how people perceive hard work. The gun industry as a whole is selling a whole lot of viagra and boob jobs. There is an entire "Call of Duty" generation that really believes if you buy a tricked out AR.....you are DeltaNinjaSEAL Devteam17. Same with pistols, buy a Striker gun with lots of mill work, colors, and enhanced triggers, and you are a cross between Rob Leatham and Chris Costa. I am not saying this is good or bad, as I should not be judging it from a pure business model. As a purist of my craft....much of it disgusts me. As a red blooded capitalistic American, I am all for the Zombie slayer 5000 and whatever needs to be done to sell. I would like it to at least be mechanically safe, but if it sells.....Well, ...' Murica.
    Last edited by Dagga Boy; 08-12-2017 at 12:23 PM.
    Just a Hairy Special Snowflake supply clerk with no field experience, shooting an Asymetric carbine as a Try Hard. Snarky and easily butt hurt. Favorite animal is the Cape Buffalo....likely indicative of a personality disorder.
    "If I had a grandpa, he would look like Delbert Belton".

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Dagga Boy View Post
    I absolutely believe the entire market right now is really about "buying performance". Let's face facts....triggers that are easier to manipulate with the least chance of moving the sights can help mitigate errors in pressing a trigger without disturbing the sights. Todd Green started the ball rolling on showing that you could shoot a not so easy trigger well with the LEM. I think it gave many a bit of a false hope. You can do really solid work with more difficult to manage triggers, but that requires some dedicated training and training with folks who understand them. A vast majority of firearms consumers have no interest in putting in solid, dedicated work with professional experienced instructors. USPSA and high level tactical training classes are absolute outliers. Go to a public indoor shooting range....look around......THOSE are the "serious shooters", and it is fairly pathetic. Then there is the buy and ogle crowd, which is normal. We live ina world dominated by buying performance rather than working hard for it. It is simply the way we are evolving with technology and how people perceive hard work. The gun industry as a whole is selling a whole lot of viagra and boob jobs. There is an entire "Call of Duty" generation that really believes if you buy a tricked out AR.....you are DeltaNinjaSEAL Devteam17. Same with pistols, buy a Striker gun with lots of mill work, colors, and enhanced triggers, and you are a cross between Rob Leatham and Chris Costa. I am not saying this is good or bad, as I should not be judging it from a pure business model. As a purist of my craft....much of it disgusts me. As a red blooded capitalistic American, I am all for the Zombie slayer 5000 and whatever needs to be done to sell. I would like it to at least be mechanically safe, but if it sells.....Well, ...' Murica.
    Well said. I'm not a grand master level shooter, but few things in the shooting realm give me more pleasure than smoking another competitor who has attempted to buy performance but lacks the fundamentals, while I shoot a stock Glock, using a concealment holster, from concealment.

    With your years of training have you seen where the upper end of the trigger issue is? I ask because we see poor marksmanship in NYPD shootings and many attribute that to their NY trigger. The first time I felt a NY trigger was in an armorer class and I remember thinking it was horrible and does more harm than good.
    Last edited by El Cid; 08-12-2017 at 02:52 PM.

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