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1911 Trigger Pretravel & Overtravel

Learn how to adjust the pretravel and overtravel on your 1911 trigger to lower the slack before the break and reduce reset distance. 

We’ll go over how to adjust the pretravel and overtravel on your 1911 trigger to lower the slack before the break and reduce reset distance.

Please see our disclaimer since this can potentially damage your gun and/or cause injury.

1911 Trigger Pretravel

The pretravel is how much you have to press the trigger before you meet resistance and the break.

First you need to make sure you have an adjustable trigger.  If not, first check out 1911 Trigger Installation & Fitting.  Our favorite aftermarket trigger is the Wilson Ultralight Match Trigger.  I like the length of the long.

You’ll need to fully disassemble the lower part of your 1911.

All you need to do is bend out the ears on your trigger bow using a small screwdriver or pliers.  The ears push against the frame and set your trigger back so you have to move it less.  Make sure you get the ears as matched up as possible.

Reassemble to test and just go a little bit at a time.  If you bend it too much, the trigger is likely not going to fire during testing.  Just bend it back a little until you get it like you want it.  It doesn’t take much!

1911 Pretravel Adjustment
1911 Pretravel Adjustment

Here you can watch Nic Taylor go over how to adjust pretravel:

1911 Trigger Overtravel

Overtravel is how much the trigger continues to move after the break.

This will dictate how much you have to let the trigger reset until you can shoot again.

This one is easy to change without taking the gun apart.  All you need is the appropriate Allen wrench to fit in the trigger hole and reach the overtravel screw.

1911 Overtravel Screw Hole
1911 Overtravel Screw Hole

Screw inwards and test the trigger reset.  For the 1911, cock it and fire.  Keep your finger on the trigger and rack the slide.  Then see how much distance you need to let the trigger move before you hear the click.

Test a little at a time and do some basic function checks to make sure it is working.  If you go too far in, the trigger will not press.  One way to do it is to screw in until you cannot fire, and then back it out 1 full turn.

1911 Overtravel Adjustment Screw
1911 Overtravel Adjustment Screw

After you like it and it passes all the function checks.  I like to put a little bit of blue non-permanent threadlocker since I’ve had the screw loosen from vibration.

Watch Nic adjust his overtravel:

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