391 Stuck Triggers

Dear Technoid:

I just took apart my new AL391 Sporter for it’s first cleaning. I had some real trouble removing the trigger group. The retaining pin was removed, but that bugger was in sooooo tight, I could hardly budge it. I’m afraid of breaking something with too much force. Any ideas?



Dear Vincent,

The sticky trigger has been a real problem with the 391s both in 12 and 20. Beretta made the polymer trigger housing just a touch oversized so that it wouldn’t work loose. Yeah, well. They got that right. They went a bit too far. There have been many reports of people damaging the trigger group when trying to force it out.

When I did the Clay Pigeon gun review of the 391 20 gauge, I had a dickens of a time pulling the trigger group out. I ended up having to enlist the aid of my faithful shop assistant Forza Bruta. I tied a rope around through the trigger guard and the other end around a column on my porch. Then I just leaned into it and pulled hard. Fortunately, the house didn’t come down and the trigger did come out. When I did this I made sure to keep the bolt release depressed and also pulled the trigger group out at a very slightly forward angle so that the lip at the rear of the housing would clear the receiver, but at the same time making sure that the shell lifter didn’t prong into the magazine. Oh, yes. I also removed the cross pin that holds everything in place first. You wouldn’t get far without doing that.

I had previously tried pulling the trigger group out by hand, but I simply wasn’t strong enough to hold the bolt release button down and pull really hard at the same time. I tried having my wife hold the gun while I pulled, but I just yanked her around the cellar. The rope trick was better.

Since then one of Shotgun Report’s readers has written so say that he had success by squirting BreakFreeCLP all around the trigger group and letting it soak in a while to reduce friction before he pulled it out. Sounds like a good idea. I’d certainly try that first before resorting to ropes and such.

Once my 391 20 gauge trigger group came out, I was able to reinsert and remove it from then on without a problem. It never got loose and never stuck. It was just that first time.

I don’t pretend that my way is the only way or even the best way. It worked for me, but if you don’t hold the bolt release down and don’t pull it out at exactly the right angle you are going to break something for sure. Rich Cole at Cole Gunsmithing, http://www.colegun.com, has fixed more than one 391 when an owner has been a little rough with the trigger group.

The bottom line is that if it is really stuck, take it to a local gunsmith so that you can blame him when something breaks. Don’t blame me. I don’t have any idea how I got away with yanking mine out without killing something. My technique may be right or I might just have been lucky. I’m a gun writer. By definition that means two things: 1) like all gunwriters, I can’t shoot worth a darn, and 2) like all gunwriters, I’m a disaster as a gunsmith. I simply write about the efforts of my betters.

If anyone reading this has a better approach to removing the trigger group on a 391, I’d love to hear about it.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)

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