Chapter 4 The Magical World of Overtravel

We started to have a look at overtravel in chapter 3, and that’s the starting point for chapter 4.

 Wisconsin Trigger adjustable overtravel selector.

M-K IIA3 Bronze with The Wisconsin Trigger adjustable overtravel selector.

Some shooters want as much overtravel as they can get and some want as little as possible. Many 3 gun, speed gun and the short barreled tactical rifle style shooters tend to go with more. While accuracy based shooters look for less. Remember this information is for semi auto AR-15 rifles not a full auto M-16. That’s a whole different story.

First let’s look at an AR-15 set up, using a full length heavy barrel, and built for pure accuracy or any AR-15 built looking for as much accuracy as possible, the type of rifle that will be used for target shooting and maybe a few double taps. The overtravel will be kept short. By keeping the overtravel short the trigger stops just after the hammer is released. The short overtravel will give a crisp feel to the end of the pull. This helps the shooter set up for a smooth reset of the hammer. The smoother the pull, the greater the accuracy.

M-K X trigger

M-K X with a low cut tail and extended floor. Made for pure accuracy with it’s adjustable overtravel

In the speed shooting crowd, most of the shooters look for a little extra overtravel. They need the play to help them stay on target when pulling a trigger as fast as they can. If you don’t let the trigger move after the hammer is released, the rifle will tend to jerk off target a little when the stop is hit. By adding some overtravel the shooter can use the extra pull distance as a cushion, allowing the trigger finger to stop itself rather then the trigger stopping it. This will help keep the rifle on target.

What it comes down to is this: If you’re looking to stay on target with a speed gun you need more overtravel. If you’re looking for accuracy and the most crisp trigger pull you can get, you need less overtravel.

Non-adjustable adjustable selector

Non-adjustable selector and The Wisconsin Trigger Company adjustable selector

Sales pitch time! What does The Wisconsin Trigger Company do for overtravel? On the M-K IIA1 model
trigger, the shooter cuts down the tail of the trigger to give the overtravel he wants. On the M-K IIA2 models we pre-cut the tail to give a good feel and a medium amount of overtravel. With its short reset disconnector, it gives the shooter good speed with the national match release M-K trigger are known for. The overtravel stop is the safety selector, the same as most other non adjustable overtravel triggers.

M-K IIA3 and M-K X triggers have adjustable overtravel. The M-K IIA3 and M-K X use a proprietary safety selector. Their selector has an adjusting screw that contacts the floor of the trigger. By turning the screw up or down you can select the overtravel you want.

M-K adjustable overtravel selector.

M-K adjustable overtravel

There are other adjustable overtravel triggers on the market. All the ones I know have an adjuster that hits the floor of the receiver, so you have a screw hitting aluminum. The aluminum has some give to it and the screw can bite in. This gives the stop a bland feel. By using the trigger floor as the stopping point you have a screw pushing on hardened steel. This gives a very positive solid feel to the end of pull.

That’s it for chapter 4. Chapter 5 will cover the rest of the features and options to look for in a competition trigger.