Mechanical Trigger

Dear Bruce (AKA Technoid)

Frequently when my shooting companions and I are having discussions about over and under shotguns the topic of the conversation turns to the reliability of triggers.

Most of us shoot either Beretta or Browning over and unders. Some of us also shoot SKB’s and an occasional shooter will use a Krieghoff. Do you find that any of the trigger mechanisms on these above mentioned over and under shotguns are more or less reliable?

Also, is there any realistic way to convert an inertia trigger on a Browning or a Beretta over and under shotgun to a mechanical trigger? Is this conversion practical and, if so, do you recommend anyone who can do this type of work?



Dear John,

I haven’t found that the triggers in the guns you name are particularly more or less reliable than others. The Krieghoff trigger is very complicated and is full of springs the size of maggots. Still, it is well made and works in spite of its complication. It is also extremely crisp. I had a lot of doubling problems with my pair of Krieghoff M-32s years ago, but I haven’t heard of any complaints about the new ones. One caveat about the Krieghoff triggers though. If you need work on them, send the guns to someone familiar with that mechanism.

The Beretta (686/682), Browning and SKB triggers are standard inertia stuff, only the SKB had leaf springs instead of coils last time I looked. Perhaps they have changed. In my experience the Beretta and Browning inertia triggers are quite reliable and I have had few problems with them. I have little experience with the SKB myself.

A little time with a stone in the right hands can help the Beretta and Browning trigger quite a bit, but it will never be as crisp as the Krieghoff or Perazzi triggers. But it is just as reliable- or more so. There is a price to be paid for ultra crisp trigger pulls and I know a lot of Perazzi and Krieghoff owners who have paid it.

I have some FN Brownings with the Mark 5 Browning mechanical trigger and this works just fine. Frankly, I can’t really tell the difference between the Browning inertia system and their mechanical when actually shooting the guns. The Mark 5 is supposed to have better trigger geometry, but you couldn’t prove it by me. I don’t know if the Japanese made Miroku/Brownings have exactly the same inertia trigger as some of the Belgian Brownings, but they sure look about the same. If they aren’t identical, they are close.

In my experience, either Browning trigger is pretty much indestructible, but you still have to restone it every 15 to 20,000 rounds or so to keep it crisp. That is just the nature of the beast. Any trigger on any gun should be checked out after it has been shot a lot. Triggers degrade with each pull. It’s the nature of metal. Sometimes we get so used to a gun that we don’t notice the gradual deterioration.

If you have an inertia trigger and you want to convert to mechanical to use skeet tubes, just about any of the skeet tube makers can do it for you. I have always had good luck with Briley in this conversion from inertia to mechanical, but I am sure that Kolar does a fine job too. Some of the shops convert from heavy inertia to light inertia, but I prefer going to straight mechanical when possible. That’s what I’d do on the Brownings. The conversion from inertia to mechanic isn’t too expensive and seems to work just fine. I am sure that Briley or Kolar will give you a quote over the phone. Briley Manufacturing, 1230 Lumpkin, Houston, TX 77043, tel: 800-331-5718, <>. Kolar Arms, tel: 414-554-0800.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck

The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC

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