Anyone familiar with firearms will have heard of the original and legendary Colt 1911, or the M1911 pistol as it is formally named. This pistol was released over a century ago now. Yet it still inspires gun makers to incorporate the raw design elements of its very popular and reliable construction.
Now, we’re going a step further and looking at an amazing selection of custom 1911 triggers. These can be used to upgrade your original 1911 pistol or 1911 style handgun trigger. We searched long and hard to find a well-rounded bunch of triggers to improve your 1911 shooting experience – so you don’t have to.
Before we go to the reviews, we’d like to first take a look at the reasons you should upgrade your 1911 pistol’s trigger…
- Benefits of Upgrading a 1911 Trigger
- Top 6 Best 1911 Triggers On The Market 2020 Reviews
- Best 1911 Triggers Buying Guide
- Best 1911 Triggers – How To Install a 1911 Trigger
- Best 1911 Triggers – Signing Out
Benefits of Upgrading a 1911 Trigger
The 1911 pistol has been around for over 100 years since it was adopted by the US military in 1911. And, it is still happily used by military personnel to this day as well as a huge number of civilian owners too. So many people will be familiar with how 1911 trigger functions.
When Should You Update Your 1911 Trigger?
It is said that the older 1911 pistols tend to have a heavy trigger pull. This is thought to be the case because they were used in military operations in numerous wars, and the trigger needed to be safe and reliable.
Although the pull can be heavy on the older models, they usually are pretty smooth in their operation. That being said, when compared to today’s standards, you might want to look at upgrading your trigger to be much lighter and crisper.
Plus, even if you have a newer 1911 pistol, it still might not be to your exact liking. There are plenty of aftermarket triggers out there at the moment, so you can probably find the perfect trigger to suit your needs.
Is It Hard To Change The Trigger?
Well, there’s enough information available for you to follow, either by watching a Youtube video tutorial or through written instructions to easily and quickly change your trigger.
It’s just a matter of using the right tools and to follow the step by step process. We are sure that even if you have never taken your 1911 apart before, that you could be competent enough the first time, to switch your triggers.
One of the side benefits of replacing your 1911 trigger is that you will learn more about how the pistol works internally. This is because you will have to completely disassemble your pistol down to the basic frame. Alternatively, if you really aren’t confident enough taking your gun apart, you can just as easily take down to your local gunsmith who will do it for you for a small charge.
So a generalized description of the process begins with you completely disassembling your 1911. Then, you’ll need to make sure your new trigger fits with enough glide within the frame. You can actually file the top and bottom part of the custom 1911 trigger down if needs be to make a perfect fit.
Also, you need to make sure that the trigger bow allows for the magazine to slide through it freely. Finally, you just reassemble your 1911 back to its functional state.
We’ll run you through a straightforward and compact guide later on in the article in our – How to Install a 1911 Trigger section.
The Real Benefits…
Choosing a new trigger should certainly make your shooter experience smoother, lighter, and crisper overall. Because most new triggers will have exceptionally well-polished sides on their trigger bow, the trigger should glide through the frame with fluidity.
Additionally, many new trigger designs are made from aluminum or other light materials, which makes the trigger lighter and, therefore, crisper. As well they’ll be very strong, meaning you’ll have a long-lasting trigger upgrade.
Now that we’ve looked at why you should consider getting a new trigger for your 1911, let’s fire through and review each of our chosen trigger upgrades one by one…
Top 6 Best 1911 Triggers On The Market 2020 Reviews
1 PSA 1911 Trigger 3 Hole Aluminum – 7789640
The first trigger on our Best 1911 Triggers reviews list is this PSA 1911 Trigger, made with three holes, and it is constructed from aluminum.
As mentioned in the benefits of upgrading your 1911 pistol section, a newer trigger should be lighter and crisper. This PSA 1911 Trigger is extremely lightweight, with the tree hole design adding to the lightweight nature of it even further.
Although lightweight, it is incredibly strong and durable because a high-grade aluminum has been used in its construction. Each side of the trigger bow is well polished, allowing the bow and, therefore, complete trigger to slide back and forth with fluidity and smoothness.
PSA has made sure that the dimensions on this trigger are exactly right for a 1911 handgun. So no filing down to size is needed – this trigger should slot into the frame perfectly, and allow the magazine to freely move in and out with no obstruction.
Additionally, PSA offers this custom trigger for a very fair price that won’t break the bank.
When you think about it, investing in such a small upgrade for your 1911 can change your entire shooting experience. You’ll be able to go down the range, or wherever else you shoot your gun and have a smooth shooting 1911 in your hands.
Finally, we think this PSA 1911 Trigger with its three holed aluminum finish will enhance the look of your 1911, bringing it into the 21st century with both substance and style.
- High-grade aluminum.
- Lightweight and crisp.
- Polished trigger bow.
- Perfect fit.
- Modern look.
- Feels smooth on the pull.
- May not match your gun’s older look.
2 Wilson Combat 1911 Short Pad Trigger – 190S
Next up, we have something a little different with this Wilson Combat 1911 Short Pad Trigger. It has textured metal grooves where your finger contacts the trigger, giving you little extra grip so that you won’t slip on the trigger.
Wilson has a solid reputation for upgrading and customizing guns, with 1911 pistols being part of their repertoire. And in their workshop, if Wilson Combat is modifying a 1911 handgun, they will use this trigger as one of their standard go-to choices for customized upgrades – or replacement of damaged triggers.
It’s an incredibly lightweight design, weighing in at just 80 grains. This allows the trigger to bring down the overall weight of the gun. Plus, the trigger should be a lot easier to pull.
Wilson Combat decided to use aircraft-grade aluminum for the trigger pad on this 1911 trigger. This is why it’s so lightweight but strong and durable at the same time. Ideally, you want a replacement part that matches up to the renowned longevity of the 1911 – and this fits the bill perfectly.
It also has a matte silver finish, which gives it a high-quality overall look.
The bow is made to fit snugly within the frame, but will smoothly move forward and back with little effort when you complete the shooting action of pulling the trigger. The trigger bow should stand the test of time too, without warping, due to the bow being made from hardened stainless steel.
This is important because if the trigger did warp, it could block the magazine entering, scratch your magazines or even start snagging on the frame itself.
In addition, the bow is polished well for a smooth glide. And you also get a little adjustable over travel screw to make precision adjustments to the trigger.
- Aircraft-grade aluminum pad.
- Stainless steel bow.
- Polished bow sides.
- Matte silver finish.
- Adjustable over travel screw.
- Minor fitting is obviously required.
3 Wilson Combat 1911 Ultralight Match Trigger
Moving on, we take a look at another Wilson Combat 1911 trigger. However, this one is the Ultralight Match Trigger. It features a flat pad, a 190F trigger point, and then all the usual signature specs that Wilson provides in their 1911 trigger range.
So the major difference in design with this trigger is that it’s flat where your finger comes into contact with it. This really is a style preference more than anything more significant – but you may prefer it this way?
The pad is constructed from lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum, and the trigger bow is made from hardened stainless steel. The stainless steel aspect is there, so the bow doesn’t become misshapen over prolonged use. To give it a quality look, they’ve also added a matte silver finish too. And anyone who owns a silver 1911 will be proud to update their pistol with this matching silver trigger.
Well, due to it only weighing 100 grains, the trigger won’t be too heavy on the pull. As well, because the bow is polished to a high level, it will slide crisply and smoothly through the frame to engage the hammer.
If you’re looking for something slightly different? Then this Wilson custom trigger for 1911s is a good way to go with its flat pad and lightweight design.
It also has metal grooves on the pad for firmer contact with the trigger.
- Aircraft-grade aluminum pad.
- Hardened steel bow.
- Weighs 100 grains.
- Smooth on the pull.
- Matte silver finish.
- Polished bow.
- Not everyone will like the flat pad shape.
4 Greider Precision 1911 V-series Match Trigger
Here is a 1911 competition trigger that stands out from the crowd. It has proven competition-winning performance and has all the right ingredients to make for an ultimate 1911 trigger upgrade.
If so, Greider Precision has delivered by using the same blueprints as the renowned “Videki Speed Trigger.” It is made to glide effortlessly through the frame of your 1911 pistol, giving you a super light and smooth pull, with minimal drag. Plus, unlike many trigger upgrades, this one has a very fast return, so you can carry out your next shot that split second quicker.
The fast return is also beneficial, not only for match shooting but for self-defense scenarios in everyday life. Having that split second quickness over an attacker could save your life or somebody else’s life in a real combat situation.
The trigger bow is made extra stiff so that it doesn’t bend or warp while in the frame. The stiffness to the bow makes for good longevity and predictably smooth performance every time. It also helps that Greider Precision has used Class A Videki tooling and 400 series stainless steel to machine build this trigger to what it is.
The pad is CNC-machined from high-quality aluminum billet. They constructed it to be slightly oversized as well. So that you can custom fit the trigger to your own personal specifications. It also includes a stop-screw to prevent over travel, and it has grooves on the pad for a better grip with your index finger. Also, the three holes enable even more weight to be shaved off – for maximum performance.
Finally, this Best 1911 Triggers comes in three distinct sizes, so one of them should fit well with whatever 1911 model you have.
- Competition trigger.
- Light pull.
- Videki Speed Trigger inspired.
- Allows for a custom fit.
- Aluminum billet.
- 400 series stainless steel.
- Stop screw.
- Oversized – might not suit everyone.
5 Harrison Design & Consulting – 1911 Extreme Service Trigger
Now we’re taking a look at this Harrison Design & Consulting 1911 Extreme Service Trigger. It comes at a very fair price and is built for high-performance.
If you’re the type of gun owner that likes to really test your gun, then this Harrison trigger could be a solid choice for your needs. It should stand the test of time, yet give you a smooth and fluid trigger action consistently.
The pad or shoe, as it can be termed, is ergonomically curved to suit the shape of your index finger. So you can let off round after round without straining or callusing your shooting finger.
Also, having a comfortable and natural finger grip on your trigger should aid your shooting accuracy – as opposed to an uneven grip. The smoothed out curved edges on the trigger also reduce abrasion significantly, when comparing it to your average trigger.
Harrison has made sure that the bow is connected solidly to the pad, making this a very rigid construction. Also, the bow is polished to a high standard. This makes the trigger run smoothly through the frame, time after time.
There’s no need to worry about this trigger because it has a built-in fixed internal overtravel. This will prevent it from backing out at some point. However, you will have to file down the stop to an extent for it to function properly.
Finally, we should mention that the pad is made from lightweight aluminum, and the bow is solid stainless steel. There’s also options of two finishes – a black IonBond DLC Finish, or a natural silver one.
All these great features easily make it one of the Best 1911 Triggers on the market. But will it be our winner? Read on to find out…
- Ergonomic pad design.
- Well-balanced grip.
- Polished bow.
- Rigid construction.
- Built-in overtravel.
- Some filing is needed.
6 Nowlin – 1911 Drop In Trigger Job
Our final review has been awarded to this Nowlin 1911 Drop-In Trigger Job. This is a complete trigger overhaul with parts that are ready to just drop in, once you’ve unscrewed the necessary elements.
If you’re after a clean-breaking trigger that responds very smoothly – this final Nowlin trigger job could be just what you’re looking for. It’s specifically made for a 1911 Auto, and all the parts in this kit can be quickly and easily installed in just minutes. That’s as long as you have the right tools and are at least a little bit accomplished at dismantling your pistol.
So you get a pre-ground and fully prepped hammer, a pre-polished sear, springs, and lastly, a machined crafted disconnector in this package. All the parts are made to a very high standard, and they should install into most 1911 Auto models with little fuss.
The whole idea of this kit is to enhance your current triggers performance. All these parts do this by allowing you to have better trigger control, which in turn should help you achieve better accuracy and trigger stability. Additionally, the hammer and sear are double heat-treated to give them extra strength and durability.
The overall trigger weight for the Pro Match set-up, once this trigger job is installed, is estimated at around 3.5 pounds of pull weight. So it’s going to be pretty light and crisp.
If you choose the Commander Match set-up, you’ll get a heavier trigger pull at 4 pounds – which is still light. The Commander Match set-up is more suited for self-defense and carry, where you want a heavier trigger for safety reasons and more reliability.
- Quality trigger job.
- Fits 1911 Autos.
- Heat-treated components.
- Polished sear.
- Two set-up options.
- Improves trigger control.
- Drop-in design.
- It’s not a new trigger – but a trigger enhancement.
Best 1911 Triggers Buying Guide
We’ve shown you six of the best ways that we could find on the market today to upgrade your 1911 trigger. Now, we’d like to run through some suggestions about which trigger, or trigger job even, could suit your needs best.
Out of all the triggers we looked at, we think some are more suited for particular needs and wants. Some will be better for competition shooters, and others will be more suited to gun owners who own 1911 pistols for self-defense, for example.
So here’s our…
Best 1911 Trigger Set-up for Self defense
For self-defense and a gun that you carry on you throughout your day-to-day activities – you might want a slightly heavier trigger for safety purposes.
With that thought in mind, we would suggest the…
The Commander Match set-up with this trigger job gives you a little bit more weight on the trigger pull at four pounds. This arguably is just enough for you to feel safe carrying your 1911 around, without it letting off a round in your holster.
Obviously, the option above isn’t a trigger but a trigger job. If we had to choose one trigger out of the five we looked at; it would have to be the…
This trigger is designed to run hard, but it still has a fluid smoothness to it as well. This makes it an ideal choice if you are carrying your 1911 for self-defense, for example, in one of the best concealed carry holsters available, but want a smooth and reliable trigger pull if the need arises to defend yourself.
Now we’ll move onto…
The Best Light & Crisp 1911 Trigger
If a light trigger is what you’re after, this article is full of them – making it quite difficult for us to choose a favorite. However, after some deliberation, we settled with the…
The actual trigger weighs a mere 80 grains, and the trigger pull action is super lightweight, short, and crisp when it’s installed into a 1911 pistol. The polished bow sides also add to the smooth glide you will get with this trigger. Plus, the adjustable over-travel screw really helps too.
Other triggers could be lighter than this one. However, we think this Wilson Combat design is user-friendly and fairly easy to install compared to some of the others.
For any competition shooters out there, though, we would suggest the…
This trigger has been modeled from the renowned “Videki Speed Trigger.” As well, Greider Precision has even gone to lengths to use Class A Videki tooling in the construction of this trigger.
If you can handle a lighter trigger in the self-defense and carry world – this could be a good investment. The trigger is so quick off the mark and returns back to its initial positioning rapidly. It gives you an edge over any potential attacker.
That’s why we’ve decided this is our favorite 1911 trigger upgrade out of the bunch. You may need to have some work done with it to get it installed, just how you like. But when it’s fully installed, you’ll be amazed at how effective this trigger truly is.
Best 1911 Triggers – How To Install a 1911 Trigger
So we brushed on this topic before in our Benefits of Upgrading a 1911 Trigger section. Here we will expand on the installation process by showing you a few steps you should take when installing your replacement 1911 trigger.
Bear in mind, this is a basic guide, and we advise you to research this process for your particular trigger and read any recommendations that come with it. Some triggers may need more work than others.
But let’s just say the trigger fits just right in your 1911 and you just need to get it in there…
The first thing to do is remove the slide, which is pretty basic stuff if you’ve done any field strip procedures with this gun. The grips will then need to be removed. Usually, the grips don’t need to be removed when you are doing an upgrade. But in the case of a trigger change, you will need to do this to get a full view of the fitting.
Normally, the grips are in place with small screws, so the right size screwdriver is needed. The screws are located on the grips on both sides of the firearm.
Next, you will need to remove the mainspring housing on the rear of the gun. You should have a mainspring housing pin that is made to take the mainspring out of this gun. Simply push the pin through the hole at the bottom, and the mainspring housing will become detachable when the internal pin is removed.
The grip safety and underspring pins at this point should be removable as well – so take those out as well.
Now you’ll need to take out the sears spring at the back of the gun. Once that’s done, remove the pin that holds the hammer in place and then remove the hammer itself.
Then you should see a smaller pinhole next to the larger hammer pin. Push that pin through, and it will detach the sear and disconnector.
To remove the trigger bow at the back, first, you have to remove the magazine release. There’s a very small screw that holds that in place, so just go ahead and unscrew that. Now the trigger should just slide out the frame, and you’re now ready to put your new and well-fitted trigger into the gun.
So just get your new trigger in hand and slide it from the back of the gun into place. After that, you are ready to reassemble by just fully reversing the process.
Apart from one small aspect of the reassembling phase. All you need to do is follow our disassembly process the opposite way. To end up reconstructing your gun to its functioning glory.
The slightly tricky part is when you need to align the sear spring so that all three tabs are correctly in place. However, once you’ve got that sorted, everything else is straightforward assembly.
Best 1911 Triggers – Signing Out
To conclude this article, first off, we’d like to congratulate you in making the choice to upgrade your 1911 trigger. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much of a difference one the triggers on our reviews list will make to your shooting experience.
The challenge of updating and customizing your 1911 can be a very enjoyable experience in itself too. Some of these triggers will need a little bit of work doing to them to make them fit how you want them to. But that’s part of the charm of customizing you 1911.
All-in-all, we hope you find this article both informative and inspiring. And you are now ready to take the leap into installing a fresh and crisp new trigger into your 1911 pistol.