Poor man’s trigger pull scale

Lately I’ve been giving some attention to the triggers on my rifles. I recently picked up a Clark Custom trigger for my Ruger 10/22. The trigger on my 10/22 was not bad, just that it could be a bit better.

Normally, I’m a huge believer in using the right tools for the job. The tool in question was a trigger pull scale. Midway has these tools starting at $36 and going up from there. I wanted to be able to measure the difference between the two triggers. I can’t tell you how many times I looked at these tools at Cabela’s and put it back down because I just couldn’t justify the cost. What to do….

So one day at work while trying to solve a completely unrelated problem, I came up with this:


Just a piece of a clothes hanger, and a bag. For weights, I gently drop in bullets until the trigger trips. I may repeat this a few time to get close to a consistent measurement. It’s not pretty. Heck, It may not even be accurate, but it did show me that there was a difference between the two triggers, and that’s what I was interested in seeing.

For you math challenged folks, the formula looks like this:

        (# bullets X bullet weight (in grains)) / 7000 grains = trigger pull in pounds

So, for my factory Ruger trigger:
        (196 bullets X 230 grains/bullet) / 7000 grains = 6.44 lbs

After installing the Clark Custom trigger:
        (84 bullets X 230 grains/bullet) / 7000 grains = 2.76 lbs.

Quick, dirty, and cheap. If I did a lot of trigger work, then I’d want a the real tool. But for now, this will work just fine……

Coming in the next month or so, I’ll be installing a JP trigger in my AR. We’ll see how well this method works then……..

This entry was posted in Guns, gunsmithing, tools, triggers. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Poor man’s trigger pull scale

  1. X says:


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