The AccuTrigger Story

Rifle triggers have come a long way after Savage Arms developed the AccuTrigger in 2002.

In 2002 I was shooting rifles in a 100-yard accuracy test as part of an Outdoor Life gun test when now-retired shooting editor Jim Carmichel put down a rifle, muttered “lawyer triggers,” and had to walk around on the cold winter day to cool off.

Bad triggers plagued a lot of standard rifles then. Gun manufacturers were worried about lawsuits if a gun went off too easily, so most fitted their rifles with triggers so hard to pull they were nearly impossible to shoot accurately under real conditions. Any decent rifleman had to buy and install (or have installed) an after-market trigger from Timney Triggers or another company.

This changed in 2002 when engineers at Savage Arms found a way to make a trigger both lawyer-proof and light enough to pull without jerking a rifle off target. Savage called it the AccuTrigger. The AccuTrigger uses several components that make it safe, yet simple to maintain. Within the trigger there is the long AccuRelease lever mounted within the trigger body that shares the trigger’s pivot point in the housing. When at rest, the forward upper end of the AccuRelease is positioned directly behind the sear, so it will block the sear should the rifle be dropped. In normal operation, the trigger finger will first take up and depress the AccuRelease lever so that its forward tip drops out of the path of the sear, allowing the sear to move fully backward when released by the trigger at whatever weight it is adjusted for.

AccuTrigger assembly from a Savage Mark 2 .22 rifle. photo from

The AccuTrigger let shooters adjust the trigger pull from 1 pound, 8 ounces to 6 pounds without any help from a gunsmith. The innovation gave shooters a fabulous system in an economical package, and it gave Savage a remarkable competitive advantage. Since then, Thompson/Center, Marlin, Mossberg, Weatherby, and others incorporated user-adjustable triggers on a lot of rifles; and Remington (X-Mark Pro), Ruger (LC6), Winchester (MOA), and Browning (Feather) named new trigger designs in an attempt to win back some of the market share they’d lost to Savage.