Definition Series - Part 14: "Pre-Travel"
by Kirk Lawson

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As should be clear by now, the mechanics of the trigger pull are very important for accurate shooting and shooting comfort. One element of the trigger stroke which is commonly discussed by experts, aficionados, and wannabes is Pre-travel.

Pre-travel is the period of a trigger stroke, starting from the fully forward position, until some resistance begins to be felt in the pull weight. Many triggers will sort of "swing" back with little resistance to the finger pulling it and then hit a point in the pull where the trigger is clearly "engaged" and the work of pulling to the Trigger Break begins. Many shooters feel that excessive pre-travel, or sometimes any at all, is a detriment to accurate shooting and to be avoided if possible. Some triggers have adjustments which can be made to reduce pre-travel and, in earlier times, gunsmiths were able to make money doing custom adjustments to triggers, among them reducing pre-travel.