Adjusting a Winchester Trigger

07 October 2001
By Paul "Pablito" Coburn
First, the disclaimer:

In the U.S.A., we live in a litigious society, and for those of you who live in Rio Linda, this means that fools will do really stupid things, and then sue someone else, because "It's their fault, they told me I could do it!".

For those of you that don't know what you're doing, STAY AWAY FROM TRIGGERS! You can hurt someone... usually someone else.

Adjusting the trigger of a new rifle was once an expected job of the owner of a new gun, just like adjusting the seats in your new car.

Remington forbids adjustment of their triggers, and doing so will void your warranty.

However, Winchester has no concerns about you adjusting their trigger, and adjusting the Winchester trigger WON'T void your warranty.

And finally, your mileage may vary according to road conditions. If you are new at guns, and lack experience to do minor internal repairs and parts replacement, then this project may not be for you.

Do not do the following unless you are skilled enough to work on guns, and responsible enough to handle them safely. I am presenting the following article as "For Information Purposes Only".

It is SOLELY your decision whether you have the skill and ability to use this information. If you have ANY doubts as to your ability to do what is described here, then take the rifle to a qualified gunsmith!

If you have an accident, it means that you weren't skilled enough, or responsible enough, so you shouldn't have done the following. So, it's not my fault, nor the fault of Sniper Country!

Winchester triggers are a piece of cake.

You will need a tiny 1/4", open ended wrench, (better to have two), and a very small screwdriver. Also, have a bottle of nail polish (pink;) handy to lock the screw and nuts in place after you have finished all the adjustments.

Pull the action out. There are three nuts on the trigger... the two nuts that are together, hold and lock the spring that controls the "pull weight". The single nut locks the over-travel screw in it's setting.

The engagement setting is machined into the trigger bar with a gauge, and I've never had one that had an engagement problem. If your trigger has excessive creep, don't try to file it. This is a job for a very skilled trigger 'smith, and for the cost of the labor, you are better off getting an after-market trigger like the "Jewel"!


Lay the barreled action out on a clean work space (tell your wife you'll be finished before dinner).

With the 1/4" wrench(s), loosen all three nuts.

Start by adjusting the pull weight. Move the nut "pair" down to contact the trigger, and try the weight... if it's too light, move them up towards the action, and try again, repeating as necessary until you like it.

If the pull is too heavy when the two nuts are down on the trigger, then unscrew and remove the trigger stop.
Remove the spring, and cut off one coil. Then replace the spring, and start over again.
When you have the pull weight as you like it, lock the two nuts against each other.

Next, using the small screwdriver, adjust the over-travel screw to your liking, and lock the nut against the trigger bar.

Now, put a dab of nail polish on the nuts to hold them tight.

Don't put Loctite on triggers... use women's nail polish on triggers (pink works best ;) to hold the screws or nuts in place... Loctite can seize the small screws and nuts used in triggers, making them impossible to adjust or remove.

The Winchester nuts won't shoot loose if properly tightened, but the Remington screws WILL slowly work themselves loose over time, so they MUST have nail polish on the heads.

Finally, put it back together. Remember that the two end bolts hold the action into the stock, and require 65 inch pounds of torque (if you have a torque wrench), or to be very tight, if you just have a screwdriver.

But also remember that the middle screw is just to secure the front of the trigger guard, and hold the magazine box in place, so have it snug, but not over tight... the middle screw does NOT hold the action in place.

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