Definition Series - Part 16: "Trigger Reset"
by Kirk Lawson
After the Trigger Break, the trigger must be allowed to move forward again to reengage the sear and prepare it to again be pulled rearward toward the Trigger Break. The point at which the trigger catches the internal sear mechanism and is again ready to pull backward is called the Reset. It is common for the shooter, particularly when working with an unloaded gun, to be able to both feel and hear the Reset with a tactile and audible "click." An audible and tactile Reset is not mechanically required for the trigger to function but it is often considered desirable. It is thought by many that a tactile and audible Reset allows the shooter to train his or herself to the exact moment in letting the trigger go forward to begin pulling it back. This reduces the time to firing the next shot by a very tiny, but sometimes important, amount.
The point at which the trigger will Reset is often, but not always, related to the Pre-travel of the trigger, sometimes called "Play." It is usually considered desirable if a trigger adjustment removes all or most Pre-travel and adjusts the trigger release stroke to only the bare minimum of forward travel before Reset. If this is also paired with an adjustment which reduces or removes all Post-travel, this creates a trigger which has the minimum (for that gun) amount of trigger pull and trigger release in order to fire the gun and then make the trigger ready to fire it again. This has the effect of minimizing the distance the shooter's trigger finger has to move, both backwards and then forwards again, which make is possible to shoot a tiny bit faster. Do not let the fact that this is a very tiny amount mislead you as to the potential importance. The top competitive shooters often only have hundredths of a second differences in times from one to another and a more efficient trigger can make the difference between winning a match and taking home the prize money or coming in second place.