The famous Colt or M1911 has been around for over 100 years. The U.S. Military adopted it in 1911 and hence gave it its name. Due to its longevity and illustrious history, there will be owners of guns that can be quite old. For this time resistant design, the most popular upgrade is the trigger system.
An upgrade can greatly improve the finger comfort, the pressure needed, as well as the speed and accuracy of your shooting. But, the variety and range available for the best 1911 triggers is pretty comprehensive. So, let’s take a look at some of the best options on the market and find the perfect 1911 trigger for you…
6 of the best 1911 Triggers currently available
Before the serious shooter faces down his target or opponent, he or she has to face down some serious choices. Some of us end up looking at the options in this market and just getting confused.
So, let’s take a look at some of the considerations. There are any number of variations; materials used and after-market options. This can make the choice look more difficult than it needs to be. More options involve the ease of installing the trigger system. Whether or not you feel confident in installing it yourself. And whether or not you are actually building the gun yourself from scratch.
Some of the products are great drop-in triggers that make the best 1911 trigger kit. Others need a bit more expertise fitting, for which you may feel you need a gunsmith. Some you can drop in easily, while others are a tight fit in order get maximum precision and may need a little more adjusting during the install.
There are products that do not make the grade in the quality we want or need, for a high-quality weapon. By installing custom 1911 triggers, you also open up other choices. These will concern, one or two stage triggers, trigger creep, and trigger take-up. Owners familiar with these issues can factor the options into their final choice.
Top 6 Best 1911 Triggers Reviews
1 PSA 1911 Trigger 3 Hole Aluminum – 7789640
Our first trigger reviewed is an ideal choice for the enthusiast who is building his own gun, and is an excellent 1911 trigger replacement. It would also suit an owner who has reasonable skills but may want someone looking over their shoulder on the project.
As its name suggests, it’s crafted from aluminum. This gives it excellent durability and provides a beautiful clean finish that is resistant to scratching and damage from wear and tear.
This is a precision-machined item. Designed for precise fitting, the shoe height is modestly oversized to get a trigger movement with no flex, and the bow is crafted from stainless steel.
Attention to detail
An over-travel stop screw eliminates creep. To give you the right length of pull, there is a choice of a solid, long, and short length shoe. An even lighter pull is delivered in the 3 hole shoe but is only available in the longer length model.
The finely serrated surface of the curved shoe gives excellent trigger control while providing a good feel.
Besides being built to last, this item is certainly crafted for looks. And some of us here think that the 3 hole look is pretty funky.
- A good fit with most 1911 Models.
- An excellent 1911 upgrade.
- The aluminum used guarantees strength and durability.
- For owners building their own 1911, it’s hard to fault.
2 Wilson Combat 1911 Short Pad Trigger – 190S
A Trigger for all occasions
Well known as one of the leaders in the field of trigger manufacturing, Wilson has a great offering here. Whether its replacement of damaged items, gun rebuilds, or original gun builds, Wilson has a lot of experience in parts for custom 1911 triggers.
Modification is another field for owners who have bought an older 1911 gun or owned one for a long time. This item is usually present as standard in 1911 trigger upgrade kits from Wilson.
How about the good looks?
Including and adding to the design, textured grooves in the metal give a good feel with extra grip and less slip. That’s especially good for dirty or wet conditions, and the matt silver finish is very appealing.
This great replacement trigger weighs a mere 80 grains or just over 5 grams. This helps keep the overall weight of the gun down. It should also contribute to an easier pull.
Does the lightness give away any strength?
This is reduced by the aircraft-grade aluminum construction, which gives nothing away to the strength. Installing a quality trigger like this in your 1911 fits with the strength and longevity of the gun.
How about trigger warp?
If the bow warps, it can affect the travel of the bow. This can involve scratching the magazine and snagging the frame. The bow is made with strengthened stainless steel, and it should never show any warp. Also, being well polished to make the glide action smooth means less effort on the pull.
More precision adjustments can be made to the action, with a small over travel screw.
- This trigger system will fit most 1911s.
- Great strength and damage resistant.
- Light Trigger Pull.
- Good for competition shooting.
- Some fitting may be necessary.
- If it does not match your measurements, it might need sanding.
3 Wilson Combat 1911 Ultralight Match, Flat Pad 190F
A variation on the short pad
Our third review offering for our best aftermarket 1911 trigger is also from Wilson. This trigger is very similar in many ways to the Short Pad, but not quite the same. However, the price, weight, and specifications are very similar.
The main variation is the shape of the trigger. Experienced shooters will know well what they are looking for in choosing this design difference.
Does the build quality compare?
The build quality and materials used are almost identical; however, shooters differ quite a lot on their choice of curved triggers and flat pads. If you’re not sure of your preferences, it is a good idea to get a feel of a gun with either system installed.
The similarities between these triggers lie in the aircraft-grade aluminum used and the silver matte finish. The bow is also hardened stainless steel, polished to avoid frame friction. There is the same over-travel screw for precision adjustments.
Trigger bounce is reduced in all Wilson Combat triggers, by skeletonizing. This is an important design feature in any trigger being presented in a best 1911 trigger kit.
The specifications are Height .920”, Width .245”, Length .480”, with a Weight of 99.5 gr. And the Wilson Trigger package includes the Trigger, a 1/16” Allen Wrench, and a 6-32 x 5/16” Set Screw.
These triggers offer few advantages over one another technically.
How about curved or flat triggers?
Some shooters maintain that the curved trigger is more comfortable and fit their fingers better. Others swear by the comfort and flexibility of finger placement on a flat trigger.
The beautifully crisp feeling of a Wilson Combat, some say, is enhanced in the flat trigger design. The flat design is definitely a preferred option for people with smaller hands and provides more room for wearing gloves.
Other shooters remark that the option of finger placement on any part of the trigger gives it the edge. This provides more control over the speed and strength of the finger pull.
The best answer to this question of choice is to get the feel of guns with either style trigger installed. And when you try them, take the pair of gloves you would normally use with you.
- Good for competition shooting.
- Ensured durability and reliability.
- Flat pad enables different finger placement and pull strength variation.
- Good for smaller hands and fingers.
- Adjustment may be needed in fitting.
4 Greider Precision 1911 V-Series Match Trigger
Greider Precision is one of the best-known names in the trigger business. So, whenever you’re looking for a custom 1911 trigger upgrade, this is a reliable brand to go for. They have a solid, top quality design and manufacturing, supply business. And many years of experience has resulted in their 1911 trigger upgrades being found in many Colt 1911s throughout the worldwide market place.
Quality in abundance
A skeleton trigger is designed around being light, to add as little weight as possible to your 1911. The other great benefit of the design is to reduce recoil.
Being one of the singular best in the market, this 1911 trigger is highly suitable for competition shooting. Light in weight, it eliminates drag, produces a really quick return, and reduces pull weight.
This model is produced from the same blueprints in design, as the Videki Speed Trigger, which set standards in the industry for many years. The Videki tooling on the aluminum and hardened 400 series stainless steel is first class.
Is it suitable for Custom Fitting
For custom kitting, the CNC-machined shoe is left oversized. This allows customers to adjust it for custom fitting to their individual gun.
Is there over-travel allowance?
Over-travel is also adjustable by a stop screw. The three hole design is yet another factor in the weight being kept down to a minimum. This skeleton is durable and lightweight and will drop into many 1911 pistols.
What are the rewards for competition?
Both match shooting and self-defence are suitable environments for this trigger. The rapid return in effect, means you get more ammunition off more quickly, and reap the resulting benefits.
- Great for competition.
- Easy and light pull.
- Inspired by Videki.
- Good for custom fitting.
- Great for competition.
- Easy and light pull.
- Being oversized may not suit some shooters.
- May need more fitting than advertised.
5 Harrison Design & Consulting – 1911 Extreme Service Trigger
Are you the sort of shooter that runs your gun hard?
You might be hard on your guns, and that means you’re going to be hard on the triggers. You may enjoy match or competition shooting, and always looking for the edge.
With this old style of gun, you’re going to need to replace the trigger mechanism at some point. You want your equipment to suit your shooting style both for finger comfort, speed of action, and reaction to recoil.
To get the most comfortable pull, coupling reliability and strength, the Harrison Extreme Service, is a really great 1911 trigger replacement.
What is on offer with this replacement?
None of the individual features above will bring you results by themselves. However, when put together, they add up to the improved speed and accuracy. It’s the trigger finger that does the damage between your brain and ammunition leaving the gun.
What to expect in this design
Harrison Design have brought us a good bundle here. All the specifications crafted to give you a smooth, consistent, High-performance trigger. This proven design is renowned for its accuracy and durability.
The solid aluminum shoe gives a comfortable, natural finger position. This transmits a consistent even pressure on the pull, which in turn contributes to accuracy.
Choice of shoe length
Shoe length comes with a choice for setting the pull length along the centreline. The shoe is attached firmly to the non-flex bow of highly polished, hardened stainless steel.
During installation, you can set the exact length of over-travel. Filing the tip gives it the right space to clear the hammer locks. This adjustment will remain true to the setting over time, and will not back-out during use. This makes the Harrison Extreme Service, a great 1911 Upgrade.
What is the end result?
The Harrison is easy to install. Having done so, you can expect some improvements in longer shooting sessions. This design cuts down on trigger fatigue and will go easy on your thumbs. Maintaining a taught but comfortable feel, it will display no creep.
- High-quality materials
- Very strong bow
- Easy installation.
- Stoning may be required in fitting some guns
- Filing for the fine fit may be needed.
6 Nowlin-1911 Drop-In Trigger Job
If you’re looking for the best 1911 trigger kit, then you should always consider a drop-in. A “drop-in” will denote that the kit only needs minimal fitting time and expertise. One of the best 1911 triggers replacement kits, is the Nowlin 1911 Drop In.
Let’s look at the advantages…
This kit fits easily into most 1911 models and gets much better results than models that are factory installed. What’s more, this kit can take literally minutes to drop-in or install. Also, while performing the drop in, you will become more familiar with your 1911.
Knowing your equipment…
Learning how the gun’s trigger system works normally improves our actual shooting prowess. Naturally, there’s also some self-satisfaction that goes into that process.
What are the specifications in this model?
As you would expect in a current trigger kit, the materials used are state of the art in lightness and strength. The pull weight should result as a light 3.5 pounds. The Pro Match features hammer and sear that are double heat-treated, then ground to a finish for outstanding durability.
This Nowlin Drop-In will give you a very smooth, clean breaking, quality product for your 1911. Many thousands of rounds can be put through this trigger kit with no signs of wear or failure.
Is it difficult to fit?
There have been some minor issues in fitting and rare cases of stoning required of the trigger hook surface. However, in most fittings, this is definitely one of the best, easiest, and most reliable drop in systems on the market.
What are its best uses?
- Competition shooting
- Target practice
- Specific advantage in home security
If you’re thinking about personal security and domestic defence, the light, even pull weight, makes for quick shots. This gives you an advantage in situations where you may be defending yourself.
- Fits perfectly with most 1911s.
- Good looking and easy to install.
- Good value, Safe, and Tough.
- No lengthy extra fitting needed.
- Produces a lovely light pull weight.
- Works with many guns.
- Great, made in the USA quality.
- Some instances of minor adjustments involving the sear spring
- Isolated, rare instances of stoning for the Trigger Hook Surface.
Best 1911 Triggers Buying Guide
This is not just about a trigger for any gun. This is all about choosing a trigger for a famous and iconic gun. Not only that, a gun that lends itself to the aims, (sorry), of any shooter. Whether you are a beginner or very experienced is not an issue.
The 1911 is so popular it has a lot of mystique attached to it. The trigger is such an important part of the shooting process that you need one that really improves your shooting. It needs to improve your shooting on different levels, and for the different environments, you operate your 1911 in.
The material used in manufacture
What we find in the market varies somewhat. However, the choices we have reviewed here are very consistent. In all cases, the materials and the construction protocols are state of the art. From the high-grade aluminum in the trigger to the hardened stainless steel shoes. The ways they are cut, ground, polished, and connected are all similar in quality.
Once again, the quality of materials used in our comparisons, are state of the art. The materials, in all cases, would be hard to fault. Therefore all of them will be hard wearing and long-lasting. They will all give extensive and satisfying life spans without the need for replacement or repair.
Flat or curved trigger
Here is an area of discrimination, taste, and preferences you can exercise. That in itself can be broken down into three sub-categories. Visual only, trigger feel, and shooting ease.
While these are separate, they are also interrelated, and experienced shooters will know exactly what they need. It may also depend, to an extent, on which trigger you feel looks best with your particular model design of 1911. If you’re not so experienced, get a feel of the difference between flat and curved triggers and the adjustments they offer.
Ease of Installation
This is another area where you have quite some differentiation. Again varying with your level of expertise. Whether or not you have replaced a trigger before. Whether or not you are building a gun from scratch and what sort of trigger you want in those terms.
Most of them are not hard to install. Some will require more modification in the fit than others, and some will be far simpler and easier to install than others. We have discussed this in each individual review. Either way, you will decide on the shape and uses you need the trigger for. Having done that, unless you are a competition shooter, it may come down to the look of it.
How to Install a 1911 Trigger
If you’re new to installing a trigger on a 1911, it could be quite challenging. The following are the basic steps you take when doing the installation. You could use a camera or your phone to keep track of what you do by taking a picture of each step.
These are the steps:
- Concentrating on the frame, take out the slide and also the slide barrel of the gun.
- Take out the grips.
- Punch out the pin and take out the mainspring housing. When you’ve got it out, you can remove the housing.
- Take out the grip safety.
- When taking out the sear spring, put it to one side.
- There are two pins that keep the hammer in place and the hammer boon. Remove the larger one first. Then remove the small pin, which is holding the disconnector and the sear in place.
- Now the trigger bow needs to be removed. This is done by taking apart the magazine release. Once removed, the trigger will slide out of the frame.
- Install your new trigger through the back of the frame the same way took the previous trigger out from. Inspect that it moves freely by sliding it back and forth. The easier it feels to slide, the better it is.
- Replacing the magazine release first, the secret lies in replacing all the parts in the reverse order to how you take them out. For this, it’s best to use an empty magazine. Once the magazine release is replaced, check it’s function, and try the trigger movement. See that they are both free and working nicely. Once you’re satisfied with the actions and functions, replace all parts in the order you took them out.
Looking for another 1911?
As opposed to upgrading your current pistol, some shooters decide on upgrading the whole gun. If you’re considering this, please check out our reviews of the Best 1911 Pistols currently available. You may also be interested in our in-depth Rock Island 1911 review.
So, what are the Best 1911 Triggers?
There can be a significant difference in price between a simple trigger replacement and installing a “drop in.” As we discussed in our buying guide, all the components and brands we review here use excellent quality materials.
However, our favorite is the…
…for two major reasons. This drop in is quick and simple to perform and should present the fewest complications. There can be very rare occasions of fitting and minor adjustments to be made. This drop in is made easy, simply by keeping track of all the parts and viewing the installation video on the Brownell’s website.
The result will be a tough, dependable, durable best 1911 triggers system with a very light pull and great longevity.