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How to adjust 1911 pistol trigger?

Admin Changed status to publish September 9, 2022

There are a few things that you can do to adjust the trigger on 1911.

  • First, you can adjust the sear spring tension. This will affect how much force is required to pull the trigger.
  • Second, you can adjust the trigger pretravel. This will affect how far the trigger needs to be pulled before it fires.
  • Lastly, you can adjust the trigger overtravel. This will determine how far the trigger travels after it is released.

You will need to experiment with each of these settings to find what works best for you and your gun.

To adjust sear spring tension secure the frame of your firearm in a vise so that the frame rails are even with the top jaws. Next, take a Trigger Pull Gauge and slowly pull it rearward until you reach the point where the disconnector just starts to move. At this time, note what is shown on the Gauge. If you need to adjust the tension of the center leg of the sear spring by bending its leaf above the pivot point located at the mainspring housing; raise pressure by bending inward or reduce pressure by doing opposite-bending outward.

The pretravel is how far you have to press the trigger before hitting resistance.

For its adjustment take a small screwdriver or pliers and bend the ears on your trigger bow outward. Doing this will make it so the ears push against the frame and set your trigger back, thus requiring less movement from you. Make sure to get the ears as matched up as possible before moving on. To test how well this works, put everything back together again and pull the trigger gently a few times. If you bend out the ears too much, then there’s a chance that during testing, the trigger might not fire at all–in which case you’ll need to simply bend those ears back in until they’re like how you want them.

Overtravel is how far the trigger continues to move after it breaks.

This is the amount of time you must wait until you can shoot again, depending on how far back the trigger was pressed. Changing this one is simple since all you need is a suitable Allen wrench to reach the overtravel screw in the trigger hole. To test the trigger reset, screw it inwards and cock it before firing.

Keep your finger on the trigger and rack the slide until you hear a click. After that, figure out how far you need to move the trigger before hearing a click.

To test your 1911, make small adjustments and conduct basic function checks to verify that it is operational.  For example, if you’re noticing the trigger doesn’t press, it’s likely because you’ve screwed in too far–try Screwing out 1 full turn.

Learn more about the process in this video:

Martin Mapa Answered question September 6, 2022

There are different ways to adjust a 1911 trigger, but the easiest way is to use an Allen wrench.

Here’s how to do it right: Cock the hammer and insert a 1/16″ Allen wrench into the trigger’s set screw hole, which is near the bottom. You’ll notice that because of the trigger guard, you can only get about a quarter rotation on the screw per turn. While holding 1911 in a standard fashion with the grip safety ON, tighten the set screw (clockwise) as many turns as needed until releasing the trigger does not release the hammer.

Hold 1911 in a normal manner, gripping the grip safely. While holding rearward pressure on the trigger, start loosening (counter-clockwise) the set screw. The hammer will release at some point; when it does, continue to loosen the set screw another 1/4 turn for optimum performance.

On Colt Series 80 pistols, extra overtravel is required to raise the firing pin block enough to allow free movement of the firing pin. Once you set the adjustment, stake or Loctite the screw so it doesn’t back out.

Make sure you have the gun unloaded before you start adjusting anything, and remember to tighten the screws after you’re done. Be careful not to over-tighten them or you could strip the screw head. If that happens, you’ll need to find a replacement screw or take it to a gunsmith.

Happy shooting!

Admin Edited answer September 9, 2022

The most common method you can use to adjust a 1911 trigger is to use a hammer and punch.

Remove the grips from the gun and then use a hammer to gently tap out the pins that hold the trigger in place. Once the pins are removed, you can use a punch to push down on the spring that holds the trigger in place. This will allow you to move or adjust the trigger as needed. Be sure to check your work after adjusting the trigger and re-install the pins before putting the grips back on.

Andy Larsson Answered question September 6, 2022

There are a few things you can do to adjust your 1911 trigger.

  1. Adjust the trigger tension by turning the screw on the trigger itself.
  2. Adjust the sear engagement (how far back the gun cocks when you pull the trigger) by adjusting the screws on the sear and hammer.
  3. Adjust how much slack is in the trigger by adjusting the screw on the disconnector.

One simple thing you can do is adjust the trigger pull weight. You can also adjust the overtravel and pretravel, which refer to how far the trigger travels before it fires and how far it travels after it fires, respectively. Lastly, you can adjust the tension on the spring that pulls the hammer back.

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