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Posted: 8/18/2017 12:28:02 PM EST
So, I had a local gunsmith lighten the trigger on a DSA SA 58. I liked the rifle but it had a horrible trigger (10lbs). I got it back last week and he lightened it up to 5 lbs -- right where I wanted it. Seemed nice and crisp. I was very happy with how it turned out.

Fast forward to today, I took it to the range today and on the first trigger pull -- a double. Freaked me out!

I thought to myself -- maybe that really didn't happen. After looking over the rifle I decided to try it one more time. This time it tripled! I about needed to clean out my drawers after that.

I've never experienced a malfunction like this before with any weapon.

I put the rifle back in the bag and went to the gunsmith. Just my luck he is out today and tomorrow so it will be next week before I can drop it off.

I don't know what to think. Am I going to need a new trigger? Any thoughts?
Link Posted: 8/18/2017 12:37:03 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/18/2017 12:40:31 PM EST by garr]
Sure your not bump firing it by accident? Some times it happens on light triggers on high recoil rifles. Try holding the trigger down until after the recoil impulse passes before releasing it.
I have a Marlin Camp .45 carbine that I can dump the whole mag like this when shooting 230g +p, even when shooting from the bench.
Link Posted: 8/18/2017 12:39:52 PM EST
Yep to above post. I can make almost any M1A/M14 type [unless it has a really horrid trigger] double doing nothing more then feathering the trigger.
Link Posted: 8/18/2017 12:40:24 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/18/2017 12:41:06 PM EST by grinning_bob]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By garr:
Sure your not bump firing it by accident? Some times it happens on light triggers on high recoil rifles. Try holding the trigger down until after the recoil impulse passes before releasing it.
View Quote
After I got home, calmed down, and started to think about it -- I wonder if you are right.

I was shooting off a rest. Shot this rifle from a rest many times (with the heavier trigger pull) and never had an issue.
Link Posted: 8/18/2017 12:43:45 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By fxntime:
Yep to above post. I can make almost any M1A/M14 type [unless it has a really horrid trigger] double doing nothing more then feathering the trigger.
View Quote
I've never doubled anything before -- FALs, M1As, ARs, AKs etc. I'm not doubting this - just freaked me out because I've never experienced it.

Candidly, I was most concerned about potentially having an illegal firearm. I am really careful about firearm laws.
Link Posted: 8/18/2017 12:58:48 PM EST
get your gunsmith to go to a private range with you and shoot it with nobody else around. He needs to see what it is doing, you need to see if you were merely feathering it, and you both need to do it without anybody around who will turn you in to the BATFEces.

If you want a trigger job on an FAL, go to the FAL Files and contact member Moses, see if he still does them. He did one for me, it was great without doubling/tripling.
Link Posted: 8/18/2017 1:52:39 PM EST
Sounds like the gunsmith might have taken too much material away. It's difficult to lighten a FAL trigger properly. Lot of guys had their FAL's doubling after trigger work. I left my FAL trigger stock and heavy just to be safe. The AR-10 is where it's at for a good trigger on a semi auto 308. FAL is more of a battle rifle than a sniper rifle. 
Link Posted: 8/18/2017 2:29:06 PM EST
If my guns did that I'd have your screenname too
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 11:38:39 AM EST
If the smith changed geometry of the trigger contact surfaces he may have just ruined the trigger. Really all you can do is polish the contact surfaces of the FAL FCG to smooth it out and get it somewhat nicer.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 11:46:14 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 6:47:41 PM EST
Take the lower off and watch the hammer as you are pulling the trigger. If it has "negative rake", meaning the hammer dips slightly before releasing then that is good. If it has positive rake, or moves upwards, then the angle needs to be changed.
Some say that neutral rake is ok but I like mine with just a little neg rake to be safe.
Another way to "lighten" an FAL trigger is to reduce the width of the step on the hammer where the sear engages. If he took too much off then that could also be the problem.
Third thing is too light of a trigger reset spring.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 8:36:37 PM EST
Did you or your gunsmith perform a function check before firing the FAL? You can do this at home to try to diagnose the problem.
With magazine removed:
Visually and physically verify the chamber is empty.
Cycle the action to cock the hammer.
Put selector in SAFE position.
Pull the trigger, the hammer should not fall.
Place selector in FIRE position.
Pull the trigger (but do not release it), the hammer should fall.
Cycle the action with the trigger held to the rear.
Release the trigger. The hammer should not fall but you should hear the disconnector release the hammer and the sear catch it.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 8:49:02 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 1811GNR:
Did you or your gunsmith perform a function check before firing the FAL? You can do this at home to try to diagnose the problem.
With magazine removed:
Visually and physically verify the chamber is empty.
Cycle the action to cock the hammer.
Put selector in SAFE position.
Pull the trigger, the hammer should not fall.
Place selector in FIRE position.
Pull the trigger (but do not release it), the hammer should fall.
Cycle the action with the trigger held to the rear.
Release the trigger. The hammer should not fall but you should hear the disconnector release the hammer and the sear catch it.
View Quote
Thank you. I will try this.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 8:49:32 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rokchukrslave:
Take the lower off and watch the hammer as you are pulling the trigger. If it has "negative rake", meaning the hammer dips slightly before releasing then that is good. If it has positive rake, or moves upwards, then the angle needs to be changed.
Some say that neutral rake is ok but I like mine with just a little neg rake to be safe.
Another way to "lighten" an FAL trigger is to reduce the width of the step on the hammer where the sear engages. If he took too much off then that could also be the problem.
Third thing is too light of a trigger reset spring.
View Quote
Interesting. I will take a look.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 8:53:20 PM EST
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Originally Posted By dogrobber13:
If my guns did that I'd have your screenname too
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LOL. I wasn't grinning though at the time. Later I did a little when I calmed down.

I have some remote property and was thinking about taking the rifle there to try it out again. Make sure I am not bump firing it. I shouldn't say on a public board that I might be grinning if it doubles or triples again so I won't.

In actuality though, I will likely just take it back to the gunsmith. I am worried he screwed up my trigger.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 8:37:24 PM EST
hate to discredit a guy, but the fal trigger should only be modified by a expert check out the gunplumber book
maybe try a new diconnector hammer and trigger spring. also check and see if the trigger and disconnecter springs were flipped
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 10:24:50 PM EST
The Gunplumber recommended polishing the sear on the contact points to reduce trigger pull. I have done this about 15 or 20 times and been very pleased with the results. Just don't change the angle of the sear in the way it engages the hammer.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 10:35:25 PM EST
Oh, I've seen that (not personally mr atf man) and it is due to your locking shoulder not being in spec. See, the bolt is bouncing right past it.
Link Posted: 9/7/2017 4:26:19 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 1811GNR:
Did you or your gunsmith perform a function check before firing the FAL? You can do this at home to try to diagnose the problem.
With magazine removed:
Visually and physically verify the chamber is empty.
Cycle the action to cock the hammer.
Put selector in SAFE position.
Pull the trigger, the hammer should not fall.
Place selector in FIRE position.
Pull the trigger (but do not release it), the hammer should fall.
Cycle the action with the trigger held to the rear.
Release the trigger. The hammer should not fall but you should hear the disconnector release the hammer and the sear catch it.
View Quote
^this

But when releasing the trigger, do so very slowly.
Any failures of this test mean the escapement has been altered to an unsafe condition.
Link Posted: 9/7/2017 6:29:07 PM EST
I recall Mark Graham saying that the lightest you can safely get a FAL trigger is 6 lbs., so if you have it down to 5 lbs....
Link Posted: 9/7/2017 7:58:22 PM EST
By way of update, I talked to the gunsmith. I plan to drop the rifle off with him in a week or so when I have some time. He is going to test fire at their private range and fix it. We will see.....

I will update the board when I get it back. It might be awhile. Thanks again for all the replies.
Link Posted: 9/7/2017 9:34:51 PM EST
Did you try the specified function test?

If it fails that even once out of 20 tries there is nothing to talk about other than who pays for the replacement parts.
Link Posted: 9/8/2017 8:04:40 AM EST
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Originally Posted By HeavyMetal:
The only thing I do to a FAL is put in a lighter return spring.
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This^.
A lighter trigger spring is really all that needs done besides polishing. The FAL trigger is already nice other than weight and the spring can drop pull weight.
Link Posted: 9/8/2017 7:47:49 PM EST
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Originally Posted By bigjunk1:

This^.
A lighter trigger spring is really all that needs done besides polishing. The FAL trigger is already nice other than weight and the spring can drop pull weight.
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The trigger pull was a bit over 10 lbs. I'm hardly a trigger snob, in fact I still have factory triggers on my Colt AR's, but I didn't enjoy shooting the FAL that much because of the heavy pull.

I'm far from a marksman but jeez, 10 lbs is too much for me to enjoy. I was hoping to get it to 6 lbs or so. The gunsmith told me it was at 5 when I picked it up.
Link Posted: 9/8/2017 7:48:21 PM EST
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Originally Posted By stimpsonjcat:

Did you try the specified function test?

If it fails that even once out of 20 tries there is nothing to talk about other than who pays for the replacement parts.
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Off to google I go. I have never heard of this.
Link Posted: 9/8/2017 7:55:31 PM EST
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Originally Posted By grinning_bob:


Off to google I go. I have never heard of this.
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It's the test 1811GNR posted above!!!
Link Posted: 9/8/2017 11:15:41 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/8/2017 11:17:11 PM EST by KitBuilder]
I'm a gunsmith. That test is legit. I agree with the advice you were given here. Stock FAL triggers do suck. They are highly positive on their sear engagement from the factory and, unfortunately, they largely need to remain that way. One may shorten the shelf (pull distance) if they know what they're doing. 

When you cycle the action during the test, do so as violently as possible. 
Link Posted: 9/9/2017 10:04:37 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By grinning_bob:


The trigger pull was a bit over 10 lbs. I'm hardly a trigger snob, in fact I still have factory triggers on my Colt AR's, but I didn't enjoy shooting the FAL that much because of the heavy pull.

I'm far from a marksman but jeez, 10 lbs is too much for me to enjoy. I was hoping to get it to 6 lbs or so. The gunsmith told me it was at 5 when I picked it up.
View Quote
It is wise not to be a 'trigger snob' IMHO.

As an RO, virtually every competitor I have ever been forced to DQ for malfunctions turned out to have a fancy or modified trigger.

Funny story about heavy triggers.

I was shooting a local 'Tactical rifle match' here in GA over in Taylorsville. The MD had added a bonus stage with a twist, you had to pick a partner in your class, and you got his score and he got yours. Not shooting the bonus stage would almost certainly take you out of the prizes.

I doubted very much anyone would even be shooting 308, but it turned out someone was, and the MDs daughter convinced this person to partner up with me.

The match went on, 5 stages IIRC and I was shooting OK with a few better than expected stages.

End of the day comes and the sun is going down so the MD has the steel painted one last time and decides to let those of us shooting irons go first. The targets are steel, a 12" plate, a 10" plate, an 8" plate, a 6" diamond, and a thing they called 'the ruler' a 2" wide by 12" tall plate. All at 200 yards in the failing light.

On my turn I plonked down and promptly missed the first 4 shots, then went 4 for 4 and took 2 to hit the ruler.

When I walked back over to where my partner, Jansen Jones of the Noveske team, was, he was unloading his magazines and Rob Latham was laughing, so I was like "what's the joke?" and Rob says "You've shamed him into shooting his 'good' ammo!"

The FAL I was shooting that day has a 10+lb trigger. Century parts. Rob asked to see it and when he tested the trigger he laughed all over again.

I thoroughly enjoyed that.

You don't need a light trigger to shoot well, you need a predictable trigger.
Link Posted: 9/10/2017 8:44:07 PM EST
I'm reading and re-reading all these replies and am beginning to think that I screwed the pooch by having my trigger worked on.

Sometime this week I will do "the test" and report back.

Nice story Stimpsonjcat!

I am not a sharpshooter. On this weapon I really want absolute reliability and hope I didn't get greedy in terms of what I was expecting from the rifle.
Link Posted: 9/10/2017 8:44:54 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By KitBuilder:
I'm a gunsmith. That test is legit. I agree with the advice you were given here. Stock FAL triggers do suck. They are highly positive on their sear engagement from the factory and, unfortunately, they largely need to remain that way. One may shorten the shelf (pull distance) if they know what they're doing. 

When you cycle the action during the test, do so as violently as possible. 
View Quote
Thank you. As I said in my earlier post, I will report back after testing.
Link Posted: 9/16/2017 11:43:04 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2017 12:51:06 PM EST by grinning_bob]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By stimpsonjcat:


^this

But when releasing the trigger, do so very slowly.
Any failures of this test mean the escapement has been altered to an unsafe condition.
View Quote
I finally had time time get the FAL out today as I am taking it to the smith.

I believe the firearm failed the test that 1811GNR posted. About 20% of the time I could hear the something "click" (disconnector?) when I slowly released the trigger.

The other 80% I heard nothing when I released the trigger. I assume that's a fail. Like I said, I know very little about FAL's.

ETA: Just got back from the smith. It was definitely failing the safety test. I'm not sure how to react as he said it might be a spring issue.

I guess we will see how this plays out when I get it back in a few weeks.

If you guys are interested I will update this post. Given my work schedule it might be a couple of months before I have anything to report.
Link Posted: 9/16/2017 4:52:07 PM EST
We must not have explained the test well enough.

It is not about noises.

IMO, you should perform this test with the lower separated from the upper.

Hold the lower like normal, safety off but NOT in the full auto position.
Put your off hand thumb in front of the hammer barely pressing on it.
Pull the trigger, hammer should fall (and your thumb can catch it to prevent damage to the lower)
Keep the trigger pulled and push the hammer back all the way and let go slowly. It should NOT fall and should catch on the sear.
Now, this is the real test, SLOWLY release the trigger, if the hammer falls during this release you have an issue, if not, you don't.

If the hammer falls on trigger release it means the sear is letting go of the hammer before the trigger can intercept the hammer falling.

That mechanism is called an escapement.

Here is a YT video showing how this works on the AR, the FAL is different, but the intent is the same.
Link Posted: 9/16/2017 4:52:47 PM EST
Found this from Mark Graham on the FAL Files:


triggers on a FAL have always been a problem for those used to competition triggers.

The sliding sear mechanism is subject to jarring on impact, and therefore the FAL is unsafe at low trigger weights.

4 pounds is the elusive goal. 6 pounds can be obtained safely. The facotry pull on an Austrian
is around 6#, and 12#on a brazilian.

The problem with reduced power trigger springs is they often will not reliably reset the trigger, without
manually pushing it back forward.

keys to a good trigger:

0 rake. That is, the tip of the sear is not angled forward (positive rake) which can be
identified by the hammer moving rearward before it releases. Nor negative rake,
which is unsafe due to insufficient engagement.

reduced engagement. Keep the hammer notch at .020-.022" minimum depth. the thickness of a box-cutter
blade. But reduce engagement 25% by breaking the two corners at 45 degrees. this
reduces the width of the engagement while retaining the depth.

springs - a lighter hammer spring, such as from the falcon TPR kit, will reduce the pull,
but can cause light primer strikes.
sear - reduced power can result in the sear not completely climbing the step on the back of the trigger and resulting
in "bump" firing or doubling.
trigger - desribed above.

Polishing - back underside of sear. Front underside of sear. Sides of sear where rubbing
inside trigger. R side of hammer where it rubs on fixing plate. Hammer strut and
cover. round knob on hammer strut where it contacts hammer. Trigger return
plunger where it rubs on spring. Straighten, align, and polish the plate on the
lower that engages the trigger return plunger. Back of trigger and ball of
plunger.

overtravel stop. weld and recut or a set screw in the selector to limit trigger travel.
View Quote
Link Posted: 9/16/2017 7:20:17 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By stimpsonjcat:

We must not have explained the test well enough.

It is not about noises.
View Quote
Nah, you guys just have a poor student.

What I do know, is that when I did the test as described above, I did not get a consistent response from the rifle. That cannot be good. Either way, I hope the smith get this right.

I really appreciate all the replies.
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