You can have the most accurate custom rifle on the planet but, without a quality, manageable trigger you will not extract maximum performance from your rifle.
Benchrest shooters were arguably the first to realise the need for a quality trigger and the American Jewel trigger has its origins in benchrest shooting. Up until the end of the last century, the Jewel trigger was without equal and, even today, it is still a fine trigger.
Most benchrest shooters will use a trigger breaking at no more than two-ounces and, with the advent of F Class a couple of decades ago, many shooters built their rifles with 2oz. Jewel triggers.
With a background in Benchrest, pretty well all my rifles – be it Benchrest, F Class or Tactical – have 2oz triggers but, I’d be the first to concede that a heavier trigger-pull is more suited to an F Class or Tactical competition gun.
With a rested rifle – as in benchrest – the shooter can sit, watching the windflags, with his rifle firmly rested fore and aft on a solid, concrete bench with the index finger lightly touching the trigger blade. With F Class, the set-up is less ‘stable’ and we are out in the weather, rolling about on grassy firing-points so really, a slightly heavier pull is desirable – maybe 8oz to 1lb. If you are a new shooter, even this may be too light – maybe try a couple of pounds until you get the hang of it. UK Target Rifle shooters (sling & aperture sights off the elbows) have a mandatory 3.3lb trigger-pull and so often prefer a two-stage trigger – allowing the index finger to take up the first stage then letting off the shot with a lighter second-stage pull.
The new GS branded Sidhe triggers from Italy cover all these options. Let’s have a look at each one.
The super-light requirements of a benchrest trigger are the most challenging for trigger manufacturers. The conventional Remington-style trigger is often composed of two side-plates screwed or riveted together. The moving parts of the trigger run on steel pins and this system can be prone to friction or binding – often resulting from careless installation. Kelbly, the American company who manufacture the famous Stolle action – which has probably won more benchrest competitions than any other – were the first to offer a solution by making a trigger with a ‘solid’ housing, wire-cut and CNC machined to eliminate friction and binding.
The Sidhe trigger uses a similar technology with a CNC machined body and side-plate – which allows the installation of five tiny frictionless ball-bearings rather than steel pins. These do not need lubrication – which can attract dust/grit. Internal levers are TiN and DLC coated which further reduces friction and eliminates wear. The trigger is designed to break at three-quarters of an ounce (21.5 grams). Don’t put this on your F Class rifle!
The Sidhe F Class trigger is still plenty light enough, breaking at 12 to 14 ounces. Again, this is a single-stage trigger but there is an optional safety offered and bolt-release – if you are using it with a Remington. The actual trigger-blade can also be adjusted for position and over-travel. The option of a conventional curved or straight trigger-blade is offered. Internals are again TiN and DLC coated to reduce wear and friction.
Again, the bolt-release and safety is an option and it is also available as one or two stage and the pull – adjustable over a 12 to 19 ounce range. Curved or straight blade is offered and internal components TiN and DLC coated.
All the Sidhe trigger bodies are machined from an aluminium alloy ERGAL 7075. This is one of the strongest aluminium alloys available and is used in aerospace, automotive and military applications. After machining, it is hard-anodised.
To date, I’ve not had the opportunity to live-fire a rifle fitted with a Sidhe trigger but hopefully I will get the opportunity before too long. I would love to try that ¾ ounce trigger on my benchgun!
Pricewise, GS Precision tell me that the Sidhe triggers will be competitive with other top-line triggers such as Bix n Andy but of course, price will vary a little depending on the model. Contact GS Precision on firstname.lastname@example.org d