Triggers and their affect on ignition.

We wanted to take a quick minute to demonstrate a trigger that promotes good ignition and then a trigger that promotes poor ignition.  What is ignition on a bolt action rifle? It is the system which delivers energy to the cartridge’s primer. Here is what we want out of an ignition system.

  • Minimal friction: Friction can steal away valuable energy from the firing pin and make the system less consistent. The main picture shows an excessive amount of drag on the bottom of the cocking piece caused by a triggers top sear rubbing on the cocking piece once the rifle has been fired.
  • Consistency: We want the firing pin to deliver the same amount of energy to the primer as possible.
  • Energy: We want enough energy to set the primer off and minimize the firing pin from having a “bounce” when it strikes the primer.
  • Firing pin travel: We want the firing pin to have enough distance traveled and we want it to travel in a straight line with no where to go but straight forward.

Our Guided Firing Pin service ensures that the firing pin tip is always supported and guided in the firing pin tip guide channel. We have proven that the ignition system becomes more consistent and the lock time decreases as well. However, if your trigger is stealing energy from the firing pin assembly, the ignition system will still suffer.


Here is a video of a trigger that promotes poor ignition.


Here is a video of a trigger that promotes proper ignition.


More ways the trigger can affect the ignition system.

Firing pin travel. If the firing pin is optimal at a certain amount of travel before striking the primer, say .230″ of travel. Anything less can have negative effects on accuracy.  In these pictures below you can see how the trigger is “under-cocking” and losing firing pin travel. In the first picture you can see that back of the cocking piece is extending outside of the bolt shroud slightly. When the cocking piece is handed off from the bolt body to the trigger, it “under-cocks” forward. This is generally caused by incorrect timing or geometry of the cocking piece, action’s trigger pin placement, bolt body length and the triggers top sear.

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