Flat Trigger vs Curved Trigger

As more of them are getting into factory guns, and aftermarket units have been around for awhile, is there really a better go pedal when it comes to a flat trigger vs curved trigger?

The flat blade is often touted as a benefit on new pistols that have them, such as the Sig P320 XCompact

Well...this is one of those things where there's something to it on-paper but it's mostly down to personal preference. Largely, it comes down to whichever is better for you on your gun and which one you run better.

So let's get into it.

Benefits Of A Flat Trigger

The reason why many people favor a flat trigger is two-fold.

First, the trigger finger makes uniform contact with trigger that's flat and vertical. This matters, since you won't get your finger on the exact same spot on the trigger every single time you shoot the pistol, especially if you're drawing from the holster.

The size and shape of your hand also has an impact in this regard. A person with large hands, shooting a small gun, will often find their hand is pushed a little lower on the grip compared to a larger gun, meaning their trigger finger is sitting lower down the trigger blade, leading to longer overall travel.

A flat trigger, therefore, ensures the trigger pull length is uniform no matter where the trigger finger makes contact.

As a result, so is the resistance. Therefore, a flat trigger breaks and travels the same distance no matter if your finger contacts the trigger a little high or a little low.

Flat triggers have been popular upgrades for a lot longer than today's tactical goons might think. Flat blade triggers have been a popular 1911 upgrade for competition shooters for a long time. They're still very widely available.

Glock didn't invent the handgun, guys; learn a thing or two for crying out loud.

Is There Any Benefit To A Curved Trigger?

Basically, the inherent advantage to a curved trigger is that the trigger reach - the distance from the back of the grip to the trigger face - is shorter in the middle of the trigger blade than at the top or the bottom. Therefore, you don't have to reach as far if your finger naturally finds the center of the trigger blade.

Now, the bigger the gun, generally the bigger the trigger is. Therefore, compact to full-size frame semi-autos and medium-frame or larger revolvers will be easier for more people to shoot as the taller trigger will accommodate a greater range of hand sizes for optimum comfort.

That's really about it.

Does Flat Trigger vs Curved Matter In The Real World?

A flat trigger vs curved doesn't matter much in the real world. Yes, the above pros/cons are true in the sense that they exist, but just because something's true on paper doesn't mean the practical effect - meaning how much it matters when you go out and do stuff - adds up to more than a hill of beans.

And there is A LOT of little things like that when it comes to guns, and people talk it up as if it's REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT!!!! when it actually doesn't amount to much.

Here's an idea of what I mean:

Rifle shooters have been going on about "short action vs long action" for years. For those unaware, bolt-action rifle cartridges break down into several size classes based on the overall cartridge length. Short-action cartridges (like .243, 6.5mm Creedmoor and .308 Winchester) are 2.3 to 2.8 inches long and cartridges that are 2.8 inches to 3.3 inches long (.270 Winchester, .30-06, .338 Win Mag) are "long action" or "standard action."

Now, one of the only measurable differences between the two is short action rifles have a slightly shorter bolt throw, meaning the distance the rifle bolt has to travel to eject the spent cartridge before inserting the next one into the chamber. How much shorter?

0.5 inches. That's it. Half. An. Inch.

How much does that matter in the real world? An unpracticed shooter might short-stroke a standard-length action on occasion, but outside of that...it's practically meaningless in the real world.

Really, what matters is how well YOU run the individual trigger on YOUR individual gun. If it's flat, awesome. If it's not, awesome. You might find flat triggers a little more comfortable, you might not. That's really all it comes down to.


About The Author

Writer sam hoober