Legality Of Trigger Modification For A Concealed Carry Weapon


Legality of trigger modification for a concealed carry weapon

I would like to improve the very long trigger pull on my pocket Ruger LC9 that I carry. Locals are suggesting I do not attempt based solely on the legal issues that could arise in court using that against me if I ever had to use the weapon. Living in the gun hating state of Connecticut, should I avoid making a good gun a great one just out of fear that some prosecutor may try to use that against me?

New Remington R1

I just wanted to pass along a report on a new Remington R1-S. I love it! The trigger is too short for me and the left grip panel works loose, but that is easily corrected. However, the thing works and I recommend it!

Concealed Carry Qualifying Test Question

Does anyone know why it’s required to shoot a revolver and a semi-automatic when obtaining a gun permit in Missouri My weapon of choice is a XD-40, not a revolver.

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29 Comments (Add Yours)

  1. I, too, have a long trigger LC9 that I have accepted due to the fact that I live in California. I have chosen not to modify any of my ccw handguns for exactly that reason. I do not wish to be painted by an overzealous prosecutor as a vigilante or wannabe man-killer. It will be hard enough to get through court without any extra ammunition for the prosecutor.
    Speaking of ammo, I use only carry ammo with friendly names like Safety Slugs, or Personal Defense, or Critical Defense, to name a few. Again, defense is the key, not desire to kill someone.

  2. Soldier4hire

    Modified trigger, I would check with your local Lawyers about the trigger job. Yes some prosecutors will use it against you if you have a bad shot, a Negligent discharge or something like that. I teach CCW courses in NC. All my carry guns are factory triggers. I just practice with them as is. Could I shoot better with a good trigger job? Yes, however I don’t want to give any more “ammo” to the prosecutor then can. So I practice with what I have. In some of my other work I get what I’m issued and if I’ve trained with a light trigger I may have a problem shooting the issued weapon. Safe travels and watch your six,

  3. plumber bill

    When are you going to answer the question about the legality of trigger modification on a ccw gun

  4. I too just had my Ruger LC9 trigger modified because the pull was so long it kept me pulling left and down on my targets. This is being done as I write so am really looking forward to getting it back.

  5. A trigger job usually means polishing parts of the trigger group they are just thrown together at the factory this is on revolvers Glocks and Sigs can have lighter triggers installed my Xd compacts and sub compact have easy factory trigger pulls my women students shoot them on a regular basis

  6. Is a jury going to mind if I use a plugged baseball bat, an aluminum bat, or a 2X4 to protect myself? Same goes for the weapon I use at the time. Unless the bad guy gives me advanced notice that I will need to protect myself and when, the choice depends upon what is convenient at the time. I cannot assure that the shovel, ax, or crowbar I grab is clean or sterile.

  7. I don’t think it means a heck of a lot what you choose. It sounds to me like the anti-gun politicians are trying to make it harder for the people to protect themselves by making things more difficult to obtain a permit. It should be your choice as what to use.

  8. There is nothing wrong with customizing your carry piece, as any firearms expert will tell you… one size just does not fit all.

    Of course, the new Remington R1 works, It’s NEW ! If the grip works loose and the trigger is too short, why would you recommend it ? Sounds pretty silly to me.

    Missouri is the “SHOW ME” state ! They want to know that you can operate either type of hand gun, in a safe manner, prior to issuing a permit, that entitles you to carry either, or both. My primary is a Glock 26, my back-up is a S&W .38 snub nose, carried for off-hand access.

  9. Regarding trigger modifications… Supposedly there are DAs that will say you modified your weapon to make it “easier to kill someone” and that you are looking to do just that, Keep it stock, use factory ammo (ideally something used by police somewhere in your state), and keep records of your practice time – don’t give them any reason that you are out “to get” someone or that you aren’t well versed in the use of in the manual of arms of your weapon.

  10. Any gunsmith or trained comp shooter will tell you to not modify the trigger on a concealed carry gun. Big safety issue. It is a DEFENSIVE WEAPON. Triggers are modified for target and competition shooting and hunting when trigger control is of importance. Nonessential in a defensive purpose which in all cases will be up close and personal. A prosecutor in a gun hating state as yours will rip the self defense argument apart. You will be guilty until you prove otherwise. Not worth it. Leave it like it is. A good carry gun!

    1. Boy, is this the perfect answer or what! Thanks.
      Great perspective on what a carry gun is in the first place. If you need to place a tight group on a target at the range, buy a competition or target gun and have fun.
      After reading your comment, I have decided to leave the 7 # trigger pull on my XDS alone !

  11. Sorry, too late at night… the last couple of lines of my prior post should read ” well versed in the manual of arms of your weapon”.

  12. To Missouri, Do u have to have a permit for each different gun you will carry? Like in NYC if u could ever get a permit there! It’s a state requirement to get the permit. They want to know U know what you’re doing with a handgun in your hand, no matter what type of handgun it be.

  13. Trigger Modification Issue

    The fear of using anything but a “factory” weapon loaded with “factory” ammunition is justified.

    Even if yours is a completely justified shooting incident, we have all seen how those with their own agendas instantly politicize the event for their own purposes.

    Even if the local police and prosecutors view your actions as completely just and legal, there will be tremendous political pressure to remove them from the case, and replace them with someone who will arrest and prosecute you. Even members of congress may weigh in against you without ever seeing an official investigation report of the incident. In fact, they may do so before the investigation is even concluded. If you don’t believe it, ask George Zimmerman.

    Even the media will contribute to their efforts, by broadcasting pictures from the thug/victims high school yearbook beside your police mug shot taken in your attractive orange jump suit.

    And even if you are cleared of any criminal activity, there is always the possibility of civil actions against you by the family of the thug/victim.

    Remember that the attorneys for these people are out to take everything you have, and they are not required to make truthful claims in their lawsuits. They can claim that you altered the trigger to make the gun “more deadly” or used hand loaded ammunition that you concocted to make the weapon “more deadly” than it needed to be to remove the threat.

    Since the jury will no doubt be made up of people who have been accustomed to seeing the good guys “shoot only to wound” in the movies and on television, if may not be difficult to convince them that you should have done that too. If you are a regular shooter or a gun club member, their lawyer might even be able to convince the jury that your “high degree of experience and marksmanship” should have allowed you to only wound the thug/victim. Therefore, you obviously made a conscious decision to kill him when you didn’t really have to.

    Add to this the near certainty that no member of your jury will have even been placed in the terrible situation of having to defend his or her life, of the life of a loved one, and you have to realize that your problems do not end with the shooting, but are just beginning.

    You will need every scrap of evidence you can get your hands on. Giving any possible advantage at all to the other side is just not a wise course of action.

    My Kahr CW9 carry weapon is kept spotlessly cleaned and well lubricated, and loaded with Hornady 124 Grain XTP ammunition. It is totally “factory” but I have no doubt that it will do the job if I need it.

    I also doubt that, should I be in that terrible situation, I would even notice a couple of more millimeters in the length of the trigger pull. At the range, yes. In a combat situation, no.

  14. In New Mexico, shoot either semi or revolver or both. I started out and shot both, but I as well decided to carry a XD-40 subcompact and when I re qualified, only shot the semi. Didn’t know there were states that made you shoot both.

  15. I have a ccw in Missouri & I did not have to use a revolver.
    I did not have to use my own weapon.
    All in my class used a 22cal. auto pistol

    1. Surely you meant a 22cal. semi-auto. But, besides that, the fact that you were able to “qualify” with a very low recoil .22 cal. pistol shows me that none of you could duplicate your qualifying scores if you had to use a more powerful weapon such as is mandatory in Texas. In Texas, you cannot use any gun less than a .38 cal. as a concealed carry weapon and you must qualify with a .38 or larger also. I think it’s been proven many times that a .22 cal. weapon will only piss off a doped up thug on drugs or a 300+ lb. attacker. It’s ridiculous to train with a .22 since it will be nothing like a real weapon and they are banned from concealed carry in Texas. I’m glad to hear you got your license but, please, get a real gun that can stop a deadly threat.

      1. Actually Johnny, In Texas, you cannot shoot the required course of fire with a revolver caliber smaller than .38spl. If you use a semiautomatic it has to be .380 (9mm short) or larger. AFTER you pass you can carry any caliber you want to.
        Also,in Texas if you use a revolver in the course, you are liscensed ONLY to carry a revolver. If you pass the course with a semiauto, you can carry either.


  16. In Texas they have (or had) two kinds of CHL’s: if you qualified with a revolver, you were only allowed to carry a revolver. If you qualified with a semi-auto, you were allowed to carry either. I’m not going to tell them someone used to a DA/SA is going to have trouble with a long revolver trigger pull.

  17. William botts: A good reply on whether to modify or not. keep it factory…no home loads, trigger jobs, trick holsters, scopes etc etc. If using a revolver, fire from “hammer down” if (say) looking for an intruder at home…cocking a revolver suggests intent in the eyes of hostile attorneys / prosecution / media..Check out Massad Ayoob and Chuck Taylor for probably everything on legalities of CCW etc. OH, and if you ARE well trained – do not show off.

  18. I have an LC9. I like everything about the firearm except the trigger pull. I purchased it for my wife; however she can’t shoot it because of the long trigger travel. Since it also has a thumb safety, the extended trigger pull is very unnecessary. My opinion is that the trigger pull is so long that it is dangerous. If I am not sure when the gun is going to fire, I may hit something (or someone) that I am not intending to.

    I recently returned from a 12 state trip. I carried a Beretta PX Fire. It is rather large, but accurate and I feel I can hit what I need to.

    I think I will replace the Ruger LC9 with a .38 S & W snub.

  19. I personally would sell the LC9 and buy a Glock 39 or other subcompact 40 or 45 cal, keep it stock, and call it a day.

  20. I carry low gr. ammo in my three handguns .40, 115gr in 9mm, and 90gr. in 380. all in jhp. they are all low recoil. These are all man stoppers. The idea is to stop an attack and not to kill. Have to have this frame of mind to avoid legal problems. If the attacker happens to died so be it. In New Mexico you can carry both semiauto or revolver depanding in the category you got your concealed handgun Licence. One but not both. Practice…..practice…. practice.

  21. To my knowledge, the ONLY modification that will affect you legally is reducing the trigger pull poundage. DO NOT reduce the trigger pull to less than factory. That will be viewed as a “hair trigger” and while useful for competition, in the defensive world you will be, at the very least, accused of “maybe pulling the trigger when you really didn’t mean to.” My 1911 has all internals polished, the sear and release matched and the slack removed. The trigger pull is set at 12.5 pounds… well above factory. It has been this way since 1982.

  22. If you can explain what you had done to the trigger AND why, you might be alright (Smooth the pull, your honor? Yes,I did. I am responsible for each round I fire. The smoother the trigger, the more accurate my shot will be, and the LESS likely I am to miss my target, and endanger any innocent lives.
    (Per an article by Mas Ayoob in Combat Handguns)

  23. “You modified the trigger in order to be more accurate with the firearm to increase the safety of using it”, if a judge/lawyer tells you that you modified the gun in order to kill people, rip apart their logic, fight back! If your intent wasnt to be able to kill people why do people buy more expensive guns? Why don’t you just buy a taser? Why not just buy a flyswatter, buying and carrying a gun automatically (according to their logic) means you want to kill people, so argue back, your trigger job was to help you DEFEND yourself better. While I would go and get a racing hair trigger for self defense though, make your trigger comfortable and easy for you. Just bought a S&W M&P 9 and immediately got an apex trigger and sere set. I grew up on 1911s so I knew the triggers on Stryker fired weapons were going to annoy me haha.

    1. I would be careful in stating that you WANT to kill someone. No one WANTS to kill someone and it isn’t the reason for self defense. If at all possible you want to avoid the situation all together and avoid the loss of human life. If it comes down to it however, your aim is to STOP the aggressor as soon as possible, you do this by accurate shots to your target and to your target alone. This is the reason for smoothing out the trigger. But your argument should never include the words want or kill. In fact, write a letter to yourself stating your experience with your carry gun, when you carry, and the situations that you have talked about to your significant other that you will use lethal force and why. Send it to yourself and have it stored in a safe deposit box. The seal should be broken by the judge upon trial for use of excessive force. This will raise your credibility and responsibility in the eyes of the jury.

  24. Post an article where someone was prosecuted for modding a trigger? If you have an ad yes you will. If you have a bad shot sure. A good defensive shooting No I would lit to see one. U can put an Apex trigger with the same pull weight but it will break sooner and crisper. Which mean you have more trigger control to pull or not. Yeah maybe some 2# pull and have a bad shoot. But good shot.

  25. All the people telling you not to modify your carry guns are idiots. I get my legal advise from lawyers not gunsmiths. The only case where a weapon modification of amyloid was used as evidence by a prosecutor in the last 30 years was a trigger modification to the pull weight, and it was only an issue because the defendant claimed the gun “just went off” and the prosecution argued that after being expertly examined the gun went off because the defendant had lowered the pull weight too low and caused the negligent discharge. No weapon mod has ever been used against a defendant in court for a deliberate shooting. If you did it intentionally it doesn’t matter what you used the case be aimed whether or not you were justified in using deadly force, not what you used to exact that force. But don’t let that get in the way of you hearsay and Internet lawyer rumors.

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