Single action semiauto trigger pull

I am an older man who is now suffering with arthritis in his hands. As luck would have it, the worse spot on my hands for pain is my right index finger. It is very painful to fire double action requiring 6 to 9 lb trigger pull. I tried a couple of semiautos and found that the single action pull on the few semiautos that I tried were not as light as my S&W revolvers fired single action. Does anyone know of a semiauto that can be carried cocked and locked with a trigger pull in the range of three or two or less pounds? Of course, I can always just carry a revolver and only fire it single action.

The simple answer to that question is a 1911 platform. I’m not exactly sure what my SA XD pulls at but it’s fairly light for a striker type SA gun. The better question B is how big do you want it.




I once had a smith do a trigger job on a S&W 686+. He set the SA trigger to 2 pounds. I’ve read that this is very easy to do on a revolver but semis are more difficult. If you do go to 2 pounds or less be very careful with it. Especially if your hands shake. I sold that gun, it had a tendency to fire rapid second shots into the ceiling at the range. Maybe I should have kept it and set the trigger pull to a higher value as I eventually went out and bought another 686+.

Craig, I thank you for your input. I thought about the 1911 platform. The 1911 does have a light trigger pull, but I tend to think of 1911’s as big and heavy guns to wear all day. But you are correct, we now have the 1911 platform in different calibers and different sizes and weights, Thanks for the input. Maybe I was to quick to simply brush off the idea of that platform because I did not take into considerations the recent innovations applied to the 1911 platform. Thank you again.

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Daniel I thank you for your reply. (A 686 is a potent piece to carry) Not sure what I am going to do yet, but I sure do appreciate the input that I have received. Again thank you.

Yeah, K/L frame 686+ would probably not be the right choice if you want something lightweight but you could probably choose a lightweight J frame and set its pull down to 2 pounds. Sadly, there isn’t any way to do this on a rental.

J frame model 36 has been around a long time.

Most striker-fired semi-autos are going to be somewhere around 5lb trigger pull. Think of a Glock, M&P, P365, etc.

To get a single action that is less than that you’re going to want something hammer fired DA/SA like a Sig P229, CZ75, Beretta 92, and other similar to that but afaik, none of those are light. I think that entire category is full-size.

I don’t know much about carrying DA/SA, hopefully someone else can chime in with experience on that. You will need to be careful when holstering and de-cocking the hammer.

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I carry 1911s almost exclusively and yes, the trigger break is good. I like the compact/commander (4 or 4.25 inch barrel) versions as the full size is too heavy. I use defender (3 inch barrel) size when pocket carrying. I always use either a pocket holster or a belt slide with a retention strap that can be used as a thumb break. Run the retention strap through the space between the hammer and firing pin. Then the thumb break has to be disengaged during the draw by pushing down on the snap with your thumb. Using a thumb break adds an additional layer of safety. Alternatively, one might use a kydex holster with a release button on the holster. This locks the gun in place until you push the button, usually with your thumb. These mechanisms go a long ways toward making it very difficult for anyone but you to draw the pistol.

The 1911 platform usually does not have a de-cocker option and is designed to be carried cocked and locked using the thumb safety which then must be thumbed off during the draw. 1911 also has a grip safety which won’t allow the gun to fire until your hand is grasping the grip.

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The 1911 clones also come in sub-compact sizes in 9mm and .380 acp, they come in polymer frame + metal slide models, and lightweight alloy lowers. They can be a LOT lighter and smaller than the full size GI model 1911A1. Most have a single action trigger pull in the 3-4 lbs range. A good gunsmith can polish a steel trigger up to a 2 lbs trigger pull. But 2 lbs is precision rifle trigger territory. So I’d suggest you make sure you want something that will go off when you touch the trigger before you go there. If you do, you can’t beat the backstrap safety + thumb safety + light SA trigger of a 1911 style hand gun. Practice, practice, practice!

With all that said, a good trigger job on a S&W 442 Airweight is hard to beat for close in self-defense work. 2 of them is even better!

Ruger SR series

Staccato C / P / R comes with factory 4LB trigger pull… but it is always less when you actually shoot it. Mostly it’s close to 3.5LB.

M&P 2.0 can be upgraded with APEX Trigger Kit which can lower trigger pull to 4LB.

Edited (how could I forget about my favorite handgun :grimacing:)
SIG P229 Legion SAO comes with 4LB trigger.

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Hey @Patrick45 th Browning 1911/22 has a very light trigger press and is very easy to rack the slide.
Yes, it is only a .22 but if you can use it without pain and enjoy the shooting sport give it a try.

As far as it being your EDC, yes it will work as that as well. If you can use it without pain or inhibition or anticipation of pain, it would be a good choice.

PS, I’m not going to get into the .22 not having enough stopping power, that has been talked about in length in other threads. This is about your specific circumstance.

Let me know how it goes. :slight_smile:

Shop makes like the Generation 5 Glocks, Walther, and Heckler and Koch - chances are you’ll have to go a DAO model to solve your arthritis problem - these typically have triggers in the 4# - 5# range.

Hi @KURT17 … Are you sure about DAO being so low weight?

From my experience I found H&K P30 LEM (which is DAO) to be 6LB trigger pull. Walther P99 DAO is even worst, but also close to 6LB.
SIG P229 DAK is also DAO but trigger pull is almost 7LB.

I don’t see DAO to be cure for arthritis…

Look at the specs on the three makes I listed.

Ok. Perhaps I’m searching wrongly…but Glock Gen 5 shows 26N which is close to 6LB.

Which Walther and H&K models have you had in mind?

@KURT17 , there’s nothing against your post, I’m just curious and / or maybe wrong… but I’d like to help @Patrick45 solve his problem.

Then check out the Gen 4 Clocks still available. along with the Walther Q4, PPQ, and CCP - H&K “P” models - you really have to zero in on the specs.

OK. Sorry… It doesn’t go anywhere… I’d be surprised to see DA or DAO trigger pull lower than 5lb… and so far all the models provided here and checked in specs or during shooting never went lower than 5.5LB.

So talking about light trigger pull…definitely I’d suggest to stay with Single Action Only handguns.

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Agreed. Most striker fired weapons are in this range.