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Ignorant trigger adjustment questions

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Pantera Mike View Drop Down
Callahan's Auto Mag
Callahan's Auto Mag


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    Posted: 01 Mar 2019 at 10:00pm
All,

I am not afraid to display my ignorance for all to see. I was shooting my 357 Auto Mag yesterday and the trigger was driving me nuts.  I hate adjustable things generally, because all they do is afford me 1000 ways to get it wrong and only one way to get it right. The Auto Mag has a trigger that can be adjusted (screwed up) in two different ways. 

For me, the gold standard for automatic triggers is the Colt 1911 Gold Cup.  That trigger is adjustable for overtravel but I never dared to adjust it.  That trigger responds to pressure. I put my finger on it, take aim, apply pressure, and with almost no trigger movement the gun fires. 

In contrast the Auto Mag has a very long trigger pull. I put my finger on it, take aim, apply pressure, and the trigger starts to move rearward. It moves and moves, in a somewhat creepy and non-smooth manner, about a mile and a half, meanwhile the sights start to wobble all over the place, and eventually it fires. It’s very distressing. I believe this is excessive foreplay.

From the Auto Mag Shooter’s Manual:







I have tried adjusting the foreplay with little success. Clockwise rotation decreases foreplay. I turned it a half turn with little noticeable difference, then turned another half turn and the gun would no longer fire at all. Could it be that I ran into a trigger overtravel problem? Should I be trying to decrease foreplay and increase overtravel at the same time?

Help me get a Gold Cup trigger in my Auto Mag and I will be a very happy bunny indeed! Thanks!



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jw4570 View Drop Down
Callahan's Auto Mag
Callahan's Auto Mag


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jw4570 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Mar 2019 at 12:39am
I would adjust overtravel first . Then adjust the foreplay . I always called it take-up Not foreplay.  

You do not want either adjusted to a bare minimum.  You want it to overtravel some.  You don't want the sear 
to drag on the hammer as it falls.  

Then adjust the take-up to a bare minimum and back off some.   You need some take-up.  

This is what I do. 
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Pantera Mike View Drop Down
Callahan's Auto Mag
Callahan's Auto Mag


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pantera Mike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Mar 2019 at 1:45am
Okay, this is a good start. 

I note that the resting position of my two triggers is very different. Neither has a good trigger pull, but they are very different from one another in character. 




Note that on my 44 Auto Mag (below) the trigger is further forward, such that there is a scallop visible at the bottom rear which is hidden on the 357 above. Will turning the setscrew in the face of the trigger on the 357 cause it to move forward, as in the one below? Would you say the one below is too far forward? I don’t recall seeing that scallop visible in photos of other Auto Mags? 
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jw4570 View Drop Down
Callahan's Auto Mag
Callahan's Auto Mag


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jw4570 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Mar 2019 at 1:20am
How much the trigger moves forward is the takeup in the top of the frame. The overtravel is in the face of the trigger.


The one on the bottom must have a bunch of takeup (slack) before you feel it hit the sear and then trip the sear.


Jason
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Gunfixr View Drop Down
Baby Auto Mag
Baby Auto Mag


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gunfixr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2019 at 3:56am
Make sure the pistol is empty, i'd catch the hammer with a thumb, so as to not dry fire it.
First, you should adjust overtravel. This is the screw that can be seen in the front face of the trigger itself. Crank that screw in until you cannot drop the hammer. Back it out until you can fire the pistol. Then, controlling the hammer, and holding the trigger all the way back, ease the hammer down. If you feel it hitting anything as it passes where the half cock notch is, you need to back off the screw until it no longer does. Go slow, turning a little at a time. Once you feel nothing as the hammer is eased forward, back the screw out somewhere around 1/4 to 1/2 more turn.
Now for pre-travel ( the real term, not foreplay, that is something else entirely). Go ahead and remove the barrel assembly, and carefully ease the bolt back to the closed position. With the hammer at full cocked position, if you lightly pull the trigger back, you will notice that it freely moves back with only its spring pressure a bit, and then hits something, which then requires some additional pressure to continue moving. This is the sear. That bit of movement is pre-travel. Turn in the screw that is in the top of the frame, above the trigger, now exposed since you removed the barrel assembly. Check the trigger movement as you do this, until you note that there is no movement, as it is against the sear. Be careful not to drop the hammer during this procedure. Once you achieve this point, back the screw out 1/2 to 1 turn. You should be able to feel a very small amount of movement of the trigger before it hits the sear, and then releases the hammer.
Retract the bolt to the rear, and reassemble. Test fire for function.
You should be gtg. If you have problems getting the pistol to fire, back off the screw in the trigger 1/4 turn at a time until it fires reliably. If you have problems with reset (the trigger getting back in front of the sear when you release it), remove the barrel assembly, back off the top screw 1/4 turn, reassemble and test until it works reliably.
If you still find the trigger pull excessively long, it is most likely the sear engagement, and will require the hammer/sear engagement to be fitted.
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Pantera Mike View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pantera Mike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2019 at 6:01am
Now THAT’s what I’m talkin’ about! THANKS!

It will be a bit before I can get to it, but I will report back once I do. 

Thanks again!
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Pantera Mike View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pantera Mike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2019 at 5:01pm
Okay, I followed the procedure outlined above and here is what I have found. 

With pre-travel adjusted appropriately on both guns, I can feel the trigger touch the sear after slight rearward movement. On my 44, slight additional movement drops the hammer. On the 357, the trigger must move and move some more, and then the hammer drops.  If I adjust the trigger screw a bit further it won’t drop at all. It’s not nearly as terrible as it was before, but it’s still not as good as the trigger on the 44. 

But it’s much better, so my great thanks to you!

Also, rather than worrying about trying to control the hammer during all this testing, I simply inserted a foamie earplug in the back of the cocking piece. The hammer could therefore safely be dropped without striking the firing pin. It’s an effective tool for safe dry-firing practice....
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Pantera Mike View Drop Down
Callahan's Auto Mag
Callahan's Auto Mag


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pantera Mike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Mar 2019 at 12:48am
Just got home from the range. My trigger is a bit better, but is still plagued with what is probably best termed ‘creep’.  It made shooting somewhat difficult. 

I am finding the Auto Mag platform, generally, is unusually accurate. Even with the trigger issues, I was able to get six rounds into one ragged inch-size hole at 25 yards which is much better than I am normally capable of shooting anything. 

Of course, the other six holes were spread around here and there, with a couple of flyers in the white.  So the resulting target wasn’t nearly as impressive as it might have been. 

Still, shooting the 357 is a lot of fun, and recoil is surprisingly manageable, more of a hard push than a sharp kick. I let somebody else try it just so I could watch it run. The fireball from the 6.5-inch barrel (which is more or less invisible to me when shooting) is spectacular when viewed from the side!

Several people who have both 357 and 44 told me the 357 was their favorite, and I can see why. Time to get the 44 out again!
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