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Thread: Trigger pull mod

  1. #1
    Regular Member BFDMikeCT's Avatar
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    Trigger pull mod

    I am sorry of this has been discussed already but I didn't see it when I searched. I wanted a lighter trigger pull on a gun I am looking at purchasing and the store owner told me that if I change it and have to defend myself with it as I plan on carrying it, that I would serve jail time and maybe face murder charges if that person should die. All because I changed the trigger pull. Please any help on this I would appreciate. Signed,
    The new guy!
    Last edited by BFDMikeCT; 04-28-2012 at 09:53 AM.

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    Also interested, as the pistol I am getting is for target shooting....

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    I don't think people who say things like "lighter trigger" == jail time quite know what they are talking about. Just about everything with relation to self defense really comes down to how well you can articulate your decisions.

    Instead of debating the merits and issues however, I think a good training course with shooting instruction and discussions on self defense law would be far more valuable.

    Trigger pull, in my opinion, is not very relevant and is simply a matter of preference. Many people do it for the wrong reasons though and training can help determine if this is the right course of action or not.
    Last edited by Rich B; 04-28-2012 at 01:33 PM.
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    I really enjoyed my instructor as he is a friend of a close friend, and he put a lot of emphasis on our state laws and what would or would not hold up in court as far as "defensive carrying" and shooting for self defense....
    Anyway I was wondering more along the lines of anything that modifies a weapon, not particularly trigger pull. For example, ruger target pistols have magazine safety mods and bolt "slingshot" mods, the list goes on. Could any modification of a pistol of any kind be used against you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich B View Post
    I don't think people who say things like "lighter trigger" == jail time quite know what they are talking about. Just about everything with relation to self defense really comes down to how well you can articulate your decisions.

    Instead of debating the merits and issues however, I think a good training course with shooting instruction and discussions on self defense law would be far more valuable.

    Trigger pull, in my opinion, is not very relevant and is simply a matter of preference. Many people do it for the wrong reasons though and training can help determine if this is the right course of action or not.
    Spoken like the Hero he is. Education is the best lesson in opinions.

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    Regular Member BFDMikeCT's Avatar
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    The main reason that I would want to change the trigger is because I want to do some target shooting as well as carry. I don't want a 10 pound trigger to target shoot.

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    Regular Member KIX's Avatar
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    What Rich B. said is entirely correct.

    I tell my students that they'd be better off with better training.

    If you want a lighter trigger however, get a second gun to target shot with.

    I learned in law classes (not a lawyer, just a couple years of courses) if you can poke a hole in an argument, you add suspicion and doubt. I wouldn't want a raging prosecutor to say "he even modified his gun so he can get more rounds off". Doesn't mean he is right at all. Any similar arguments don't have to be factual at all, just plant the seed.

    Then, you have to hope that you have jurors that are shooters or understand shooting sports to understand your defense. Nearly 174,000 permit holders with a two million plus citizenship in CT. Odds are entirely in your favor.

    If it's a matter of having a more stable defense, I'd much rather buy the second gun for target or competition and carry the stock version of the same gun on my side.

    Training...... is never a bad thing.

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    Rich B: My favorite argument against OC being legal in CT is "I have never seen someone OC in CT".
    I have never seen a person drink tea from a coke bottle while standing on their head, that doesn't mean it is illegal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KIX View Post

    I learned in law classes (not a lawyer, just a couple years of courses) if you can poke a hole in an argument, you add suspicion and doubt. I wouldn't want a raging prosecutor to say "he even modified his gun so he can get more rounds off". Doesn't mean he is right at all. Any similar arguments don't have to be factual at all, just plant the seed.

    Jonathan
    Prosecutor: "Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury our analysis of the weapon used in this shooting has revealed that the defendant modified this weapon. Modified it in a way that makes it easier to pull the trigger. What was done resulted in what is commonly referred to as a 'Hair Trigger'. Do you think it is reasonable to believe the defendant knows more about firearms manufacture than a multi-million dollar corporation that has been producing these firearms for decades? Or perhaps the defendant was trying to make it easier for himself to shoot someone? I submit you consider the latter."
    Last edited by JohnO; 04-29-2012 at 02:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnO View Post
    Prosecutor: "Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury our analysis of the weapon used in this shooting has revealed that the defendant modified this weapon. Modified it in a way that makes it easier to pull the trigger. What was done resulted in what is commonly referred to as a 'Hair Trigger'. Do you think it is reasonable to believe the defendant knows more about firearms manufacture than a multi-million dollar corporation that has been producing these firearms for decades? Or perhaps the defendant was trying to make it easier for himself to shoot someone? I submit you consider the latter."
    This is plainly rediculous to say. Unless your a prosecutor, your just guessing and trying to scare people.

    Read the CT statues and show me the law where it states people can't lighten a trigger pull.

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    State Researcher lockman's Avatar
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    I fail to understand what relevance the trigger pull force or other legal modification to a firearm would have any legal bearing on the result of a legitimate/legal use of force.

    If you a justified to draw and fire a 10 lbs trigger, are you not justified if it has been legally modified to 8, 5 or 3-1 /2 lbs?

    The only legal action where this bucket may hold water would be a negligent discharge situation where the modification can be argued as at least a contributory factor. It is much more likely that an improper holster, lack thereof or finger on the trigger when not ready to fire is the reason then the trigger pull force.

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    Regular Member BFDMikeCT's Avatar
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    I would love to get two guns one for carry and one to target shoot. With two kids and a wife that has not received a paycheck in over a year that is not an option right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lockman View Post
    I fail to understand what relevance the trigger pull force or other legal modification to a firearm would have any legal bearing on the result of a legitimate/legal use of force.

    If you a justified to draw and fire a 10 lbs trigger, are you not justified if it has been legally modified to 8, 5 or 3-1 /2 lbs?

    The only legal action where this bucket may hold water would be a negligent discharge situation where the modification can be argued as at least a contributory factor. It is much more likely that an improper holster, lack thereof or finger on the trigger when not ready to fire is the reason then the trigger pull force.
    I agree with you 100%

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KIX View Post
    If you want a lighter trigger however, get a second gun to target shot with.
    I shoot what I carry. If I modify one trigger, I modify both. Carrying a firearm with a better trigger is not a worry.
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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lockman View Post
    If you a justified to draw and fire a 10 lbs trigger, are you not justified if it has been legally modified to 8, 5 or 3-1 /2 lbs?
    Further, if you have a 10lb trigger and miss and cause damage/injury/death to a third party, look at the liability then.

    Get a good firearm set up coupling the experience of training and the advice of good instructors. Get good at shooting and confident with your skill and platform.

    There is far more bad advice than good advice out there, be careful of your sources for information.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTSurvivor View Post
    This is plainly rediculous to say. Unless your a prosecutor, your just guessing and trying to scare people.

    Read the CT statues and show me the law where it states people can't lighten a trigger pull.
    Ridiculous, not at all!

    It is perfectly legal to lighten the trigger pull to what ever you want. I never said otherwise. However doing so could present an opportunity to the prosecution to exploit. Not guaranteed at all but possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnO View Post
    Ridiculous, not at all!

    It is perfectly legal to lighten the trigger pull to what ever you want. I never said otherwise. However doing so could present an opportunity to the prosecution to exploit. Not guaranteed at all but possible.
    I have been around those gun shops that sell people on this ridiculous notion. Also coming from those same people who are telling permit holders it is illegal to open carry. Because a gun store said it, it has to be true.

    So the guy who has a Kimber 1911 with a stock 3 pound 12 ounce trigger pull is less likely to get prosecuted than the guy who put a reduced 4 pound trigger pull on his Glock?
    Yea ok!

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    Regular Member KIX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTSurvivor View Post
    So the guy who has a Kimber 1911 with a stock 3 pound 12 ounce trigger pull is less likely to get prosecuted than the guy who put a reduced 4 pound trigger pull on his Glock?
    Yea ok!
    Ummmm yes.

    Look at the logic.

    You're in front of a jury, a prosecutor brings up a stock version of your gun. Then brings on an expert that the gun was modified. Prosecutor makes the argument that you (or someone you paid) modified your firearm to make it "shoot faster". Shooting faster caused more injury (hoping an innocent bystander didn't get hit, mind you).

    I only took a couple years of law, but man, that's an easy argument to make in front of a jury.

    We know it's insane. Unless we have shooters in the jury box....... it's a gamble.

    One, I'm not going to take.

    Jonathan
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    Rich B: My favorite argument against OC being legal in CT is "I have never seen someone OC in CT".
    I have never seen a person drink tea from a coke bottle while standing on their head, that doesn't mean it is illegal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KIX View Post
    Ummmm yes.

    Look at the logic.

    You're in front of a jury, a prosecutor brings up a stock version of your gun. Then brings on an expert that the gun was modified. Prosecutor makes the argument that you (or someone you paid) modified your firearm to make it "shoot faster". Shooting faster caused more injury (hoping an innocent bystander didn't get hit, mind you).

    I only took a couple years of law, but man, that's an easy argument to make in front of a jury.

    We know it's insane. Unless we have shooters in the jury box....... it's a gamble.

    One, I'm not going to take.


    Jonathan
    Where do extended mags fall under when carrying a compact?

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Hair trigger.
    Yes, it's ridiculous, and yes, it's going to be brought up by the prosecution as part of his "theory of the case."
    Unless the trigger is dangerously light it will be countered by a competent defense.

    Having "Punisher" grips will be brought up, as would "Smile, wait for flash" engraved on the muzzle end, even hand-loaded ammunition. It might not affect the legality of a shoot, but one must consider not only the law but the public (or jury's, in this case) sensibilities. Sadly, people have been convicted of things they did not do because juries were unable to vote courageously in spite of the possible consequences.

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    I find this very interesting since I will be sending back smith&Wesson for a trigger repair. If in fact the trigger is replaced ot work is performed to repair such triggers operation am i then a criminaL if i ever need to use in self defense? Will i be able to produce documentation from the manufacturer to state its lighter and sue manufacturer for it? Do night sight make you more likely to shoot in the dark? Does having a custom made holster insuate you wanted to really conceal your gun? All stupid questions unless we end up on the opposite side of the bench. Anyone care to provide a legal case for reference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IH8SPM View Post
    I find this very interesting since I will be sending back smith&Wesson for a trigger repair. If in fact the trigger is replaced ot work is performed to repair such triggers operation am i then a criminaL if i ever need to use in self defense? Will i be able to produce documentation from the manufacturer to state its lighter and sue manufacturer for it? Do night sight make you more likely to shoot in the dark? Does having a custom made holster insuate you wanted to really conceal your gun? All stupid questions unless we end up on the opposite side of the bench. Anyone care to provide a legal case for reference.
    I agree. Any cite of authority would be nice. A published source of law that can back your claim up - statute, ordinance, court case, newspaper article covering a legal issue, etc... as stated right in the forum rules.

    Type of ammo, holster, training, and caliber can all be argued in a court of law.
    Saying not to enhance your trigger to make a shooter more accurate to better hit his intended target is an even worse argument.

  22. #22
    Regular Member KIX's Avatar
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    Here, from a thread I grabbed elsewhere, but there is a valid link:

    (http://online.ceb.com/calcases/CA4/5CA4t822.htm)
    Basically, what happened was Mrs. Du shot Latasha Harlins with a 38 S&W revolver. Part of Mrs. Du's defense claim was that she didn't know of the "hair trigger" the gun supposedly had.

    The entire court case is long, so I'll post the relevant parts here.(Emphasis mine)

    Here is what their supposed expert whitness said for the record. I am quite disappointed in their whitness.
    David Butler, a Los Angeles Police Department ballistics expert, testified extensively about the gun, a Smith & Wesson .38-caliber revolver with a two-inch barrel. In summary, he testified that the gun had been altered crudely and that the trigger pull necessary to fire the gun had been drastically reduced. Also, both the locking mechanism of the hammer and the main spring tension screw of the gun had been altered so that the hammer could be released without putting much pressure on the trigger. In addition, the safety mechanism did not function properly.

    The part of the court's opinion regarding this is here.
    The court commented at sentencing that it did not "believe that Mrs. Du would be here today if the gun that she grabbed for protection had not been altered." The court elaborated: "This was a gun that had been stolen from the Du family and had been returned to them shortly before the shooting. The court has been presented with no evidence, and I do not believe that Mrs. Du knew that the gun had been altered in such a way as to ... make it an automatic weapon with a hairpin trigger. Ordinarily a .38 revolver is one of the safest guns in the world. Ordinarily, a woman Mrs. Du's size would have to decide consciously to pull the trigger and exert considerable strength to do so, but that was not true of the gun used to shoot Latasha Harlins. I have serious questions in my mind whether this crime would have been committed at all but for the altered gun."

    Ultimately she got probation for her acts....

    For that, she was lucky.

    *****
    Then there's US v Olofson, famous case about a rifle that was supposedly "broken" and double fired. This guy was still doing time last I knew. ATF took the gun, didn't allow the defense to have an expert look at it. Just because the AR did a double tap and an ATF agent happened to observe it.

    Different scenario, but still clueless juries with firearms dishing out jail time for something they obviously can't comprehend (and a judge that let the system railroad this man).

    ****

    That being said......... Especially in CT, I don't want to be the test case.

    Also, I think if you do have a modified trigger, and you actually defend yourself, I think the modified trigger is the least of your issues - at least survival is the first.

    I'm not saying don't - it's your choice. I've seen crazier arguments in court that made my head spin.

    Jonathan

    Yes this is an older court case, but it was one we are currently studying.
    www.ctpistolpermitissues.com - tracking all the local issuing authority, DPS and other insanity with permit issues
    www.ctgunsafety.com - my blog and growing list of links useful to gun owners (especially in Connecticut).

    Rich B: My favorite argument against OC being legal in CT is "I have never seen someone OC in CT".
    I have never seen a person drink tea from a coke bottle while standing on their head, that doesn't mean it is illegal.

  23. #23
    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    'Hair trigger' is a term used when stupid people use stupid defenses. If you shoot someone when you are in fear for your life, don't go around telling people you shot the person accidentally.

    If I shot the guy, I mean to shoot him. Case closed. The weight, travel or feeling of my trigger means nothing in my choice as I wouldn't draw my firearm on someone who wasn't presenting an imminent threat to my life. Everything I did after I drew was intentional.

    Right or wrong, you live and die in your scope of responsibility.


    Good training would have fixed this man's case. Not a trigger job.
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    Regular Member BFDMikeCT's Avatar
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    That case doesn't sound relevant cause from what it says it was crudely modified, to me that means either some one did it at home with a file an a hammer or hired a hack. I was talking about a manufactured part installed by a gun shop. Am I crazy or are they 2 different things. I spoke to a cop yesterday and he said that if you were defending your life it doesn't matter what your trigger pull is. justified is justified!

  25. #25
    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFDMikeCT View Post
    I spoke to a cop yesterday and he said that
    Rule #1: Don't ask for legal advice from LEOs.
    Rule #2: No one on the internet is a lawyer, no matter how many law classes they believe they have attended.


    Seek professional training.
    Last edited by Rich B; 05-03-2012 at 09:28 AM.
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