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Rifle triggers may be plain of pull, as in a shotgun, single set trigger or double set. The single set trigger I have never liked on any rifle for any purpose. In its mechanism this trigger pushes well forward to set, and then, as it yields to pressure and releases the sear, returns to its original position, the trigger and finger movement being so great as to disturb the aim, I have never yet seen a single set trigger that did not have a variable pull, at one time yielding with half the pressure that it might on a second attempt. The result need not be dwelt upon; the marksman becomes afraid to touch his trigger, not being able to gauge the weight at which it will yield, and the consequence is a slower let-off than with a hard, plain trigger, as well as many premature pulls.

The double set trigger is admirably adapted to certain purposes, but should never be used on a heavily charged big game rifle; any arm with a pronounced recoil needs to be held, not tight but firmly, and it is a difficult task to put on a grip with the entire hand except the forefinger which is to barely touch a hair trigger. When the gun is swung rapidly for a snap-shot, or under excitement, the result is nearly certain to be disastrous. Nothing so rattles a hunter in moments of stress or danger as a premature discharge of his weapon; for dangerous game anything in the shape of a set trigger is not to be considered.

For small game rifles, single-shots, and those used exclusively at the target, by all means a double set trigger, but stop at that and never place it on your big game hunting rifle.

The trigger of a game rifle should be smooth, without drag, or any more " give " than is necessary to release the sear. The trigger pull should be from three to five pounds, depending upon the weight, caliber, and recoil of the arm. I have never seen the need of a trigger pull heavier than five pounds, even on a military rifle, and four pounds is enough. The trigger should yield to the ounce, though, time after time. Giving with a three pound pressure for one shot and five the next is a fatal defect.

No matter what quality a rifle may have, if the trigger pull is bad the arm is not fit to place faith in. I have noticed that plain triggers with a very light pull, say two and a half pounds and under, are more likely to be variable than those that are harder. A regular seven pound pull is odds better than one that lets go from two pounds up.

The marksman of a mechanical turn can generally improve his trigger pull by careful work with an oil stone, testing the let-off frequently while at work by attaching a weight to the trigger. Should he find either the sear or hammer soft, after adjusting the pull to his taste, take the pieces to a gunsmith and have them hardened. It not infrequently happens with cheap rifles that the parts will be found too soft to retain a perfect release, especially if it is light.

Askins, Charles. Rifles and Rifle Shooting. New York: Outing, 1912. Print.

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