Considerations for Choosing a Competition Trigger

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Competitive shooting is becoming increasingly popular, and if you haven’t seen some of the videos of the professionals who dominate the sport yet, you’re missing out. It’s enough to motivate anyone to start some target practice as soon as possible. An important thing to know about competition shooting is that many professionals have highly customized firearms that are tailored to help them be more efficient with their movement and aiming. One part of that customization is having the right trigger setup – and this is what you need to consider when selecting a competition trigger.

Pull Weight

The pull weight determines how hard you need to pull the trigger back before it will fire. On an AR-15, the weight on a manufacturer triggers may be about 5 pounds but as little as 3 on a competition trigger. On a Glock, it takes about 6 pounds of force to pull the trigger all the way back, but you can lighten this by installing a Glock competition trigger. This usually involves changing out the striker spring – the striker spring weight can lighten or stiffen the trigger pull weight. If you go too light, there is the risk that it might not reliably ignite the round because the firing pin doesn’t hit the primer quite hard enough. On the other hand, if you go too heavy, it may slow down your trigger speed and increase the time it takes you to fire multiple rounds.

Staging and Break

Staging is how far the trigger pulls back before it reaches the breaking point. The break is the point at which the firearm will fire when you pull the trigger through. The length between the staging and after pulling through the break is called the trigger stroke, and it is usually around 13 millimeters total. A shorter staging means you get to the break faster and a shorter stroke overall. Different competition triggers may have different staging and break points, so it’s a good idea to experiment with different styles to find what suits you best.


The reset is how far the trigger needs to move forward before resetting to fire the next round. This is typically quite short, running around 4 millimeters for many Glocks, but it can be made even shorter with the right customization. Although it is a short distance, it can make it quicker to fire off successive rounds, thus helping you get through a stage even faster. A competition trigger is a personal choice, so it’s vital that you select what works for you. Be sure to try out different options and get plenty of practice to find what option will be most efficient for your competition needs.

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