View Full Version : 1911 trigger
for many years i carried a .45 combat commander. I had sent it off to Wilson years ago and among the work done I had a trigger job that produced a 4.5lb. trigger. at that time it was the preferred trigger for a safe SD 1911. now with all the striker fired and DA triggers that are common, that 1911 trigger with very little take up and overtravel would seem dangerously light to the untrained individual [juror / prosecutor]. I mostly carry Glocks or DA only Smiths for that reason but wonder if 1911 triggers are easily defensible without having to pay a half a dozen expert witnesses?
It's frustrating to us as shooters and gun people to see a 4.5 pound trigger pull listed as "too light" for one gun, and OK for another. We have to stop thinking about it like the shooters we are now, and start thinking about it like the potential defendants we're going to become the instant we fire the gun in self-defense.
For prosecutors and plaintiff's lawyers alike, a too-light trigger pull creates a hook upon which to hang an argument that the shooter fired by unjustified accident instead of justified intent. In short, "He recklessly used a gun with a hair trigger, and fired it by accident." What determines whether any machine is properly adjusted, as seen through a legal eye, are two factors: factory specification, and "common custom and practice."
With the 1911, unlike some others, a hundred years of "common custom and practice" has shaken down to a general recommendation (by most gunsmiths and most factories alike) of no more than 4.0 pounds pull weight for defensive use. With that in mind, I for one would see the 4.5 lb trigger on a 1911 as "court-defensible," but would foresee a significant problem if it went below 4.0. Another type of pistol, developed later, might have a 4.5 pound option for its target guns but recommend in black and white that nothing less than 5.5 pounds be considered for a duty gun. That gives you a very high hill to climb in court if you have a 4.5 pound pull on THAT gun when it's involved in an actual shooting.
Hoping that this has provided clarification,
would it be smarter to buy a 1911 factory stock model that comes with the options I want and use that for carry instead of a 30+ year old 1911 with custom work on it?
I am comfortable with my Glocks and will still carry them most of the time but nothing inspires the confidence that I have in .45 1911s that I have been shooting for over 30 years.
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