Short vs. Short-Reset Triggers: What's the Difference?

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posted on May 14, 2019
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I have a SIG Sauer P226 9 mm that I shoot IDPA with and use for everyday carry. I heard SIG Sauer offers a short trigger and a short-reset trigger for this pistol, which will improve my trigger pull and help me to shoot faster. Is there a difference between a short trigger and a short-reset trigger, or is this two different names for the same thing? Also, is this something I can install, or is this a job better-suited for a gunsmith or armorer?

Josh Littlefield via e-mail

Short trigger and short-reset triggers in the SIG Sauer Classic Line pistols are different options and have two different effects on shooting this handgun.

The short trigger, or short-reach trigger, was designed to better fit the P226 and other models of the SIG line to the shooter. A short trigger reduces the distance needed for proper placement of the index finger across the face of the trigger by approximately .150 inch. This was first done by simply grinding down the face of standard triggers.  Later versions are metal-injection molded and manufactured to a similar specification. The only difference between a standard trigger and a short trigger is at the face of the trigger to accommodate the trigger finger of the shooter. The length-of-pull is unchanged.

Installation of the short trigger can be done by a mechanically savvy individual, an armorer, a gunsmith or by the factory itself. As always, it’s safer to have a trained individual modify your firearm.

The process involves field stripping the pistol and working only with the frame. The takedown lever, locking insert, slide-catch-lever spring, trigger-pivot pin, right-grip plate and trigger-bar spring will need to be removed, in that order, to access and remove the trigger and trigger bar. By removing the trigger and trigger-bar assembly, the existing trigger can be removed from the trigger bar and replaced with the new short trigger. When the pistol is disassembled to this level, this is a good opportunity to clean and lubricate all the friction surfaces of the trigger assembly, which will improve the feel of the trigger in weight and smoothness. Reassembling the pistol in reverse order will get you back where you started with a better-fitting pistol.

A little tip that will help with the reinstallation of the locking insert and slide-catch-lever spring is to ensure the trigger-pivot pin is centered in the frame with the slot in the left-end horizontal. After installing the locking insert, if the holes for the takedown lever don’t align with the holes in the frame, remove the locking insert, turn the trigger-pivot pin 180 degrees and reseat the locking insert. The holes for the takedown lever will align, allowing the pistol to be reassembled.

A short-reset trigger decreases the reset distance of the standard trigger configuration by about 60 percent. This gives the shooter a speed advantage if the trigger-manipulation method used is to release the trigger only to reset after firing a shot. If you train to release the trigger fully for each shot, there is no practical advantage to installing a short-reset trigger. A short-reset trigger kit consists of the sear and the safety lever to replace the originals.

Here is one of the recommended ways to install short-reset-trigger parts: If you are installing a short trigger in addition to the short-reset trigger, proceed as described above, then continue by releasing the tension on the sear spring. Next, push the sear pin from right to left enough to release the safety lever, sear and sear spring. Leave the sear pin in the frame to hold the ejector in place. Install the sear first, then the sear spring and finally the safety lever, pushing the sear pin to hold each part in place as they are installed. Once the assembly is in place, re-tension the sear spring. Assemble the pistol as mentioned before, leaving the right-grip plate until last. Once the pistol is reassembled, pull the trigger to ensure the trigger bar moves the sear and safety lever simultaneously to test your work. Reinstall the right-grip plate and reassemble the pistol fully to perform a function check.

Finally, test fire the gun and notice the improvements you have made. Run through some practice drills, then go out and win some matches.

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