Review: Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge

By Dave Dolbee published on in Gun Gear

A trigger pull gauge is one of those accessories that is not used often, but is often used to great effect. After all, one of the best upgrades for accuracy is often the trigger. The pull on some triggers feels harder or softer than than they really are. Adjustable triggers may be tuned to be optimized for a specific use, but it takes more than guess work. I have also know savvy consumers who shopped for used firearms with a trigger gauge. It can tell you as much about a gun as a bore light.

Lyman Digital Trigger Pull Gauge with arm retracted

At about six inches, Lyman’s Digital Trigger Pull Gauge stores easily in any range kit or workshop.

All shooters need a cleaning kit as a minimum. From there, depending on your level of interest, type of shooting, and aptitude for tinkering, you’ll want to add a few tools. For example, if you are shooting with an optic, you’ll want a set of Allen and/or Star wrenches as required. A cleaning mat and gun vise are never bad ideas. For those willing to go the extra mile, I would also recommend a trigger pull gauge.

Trigger pull gauges are useful to the casual or precision shooter, hunter, and competition marksman. A trigger pull gauge gives the home gunsmith or professional the ability to adjust or tune the trigger for a perfect shot. Hobbyists would be well advised to check their firearm occasionally, especially after a through cleaning that goes beyond a simple fieldstrip to ensure proper function. As such, the more accurate the gauge, the better the data. Fortunately, digital trigger scales have made significant advancements over the past few years. They are definitely a game-changer.

Competition triggers may feature a trigger pull measuring scant ounces. Therefore, to be effective, the trigger gauge needs to be sensitive enough to measure a minimum of two ounces. On the high end, triggers may be set for an intentional double-action pull of 10 pounds or more. While this is still important to measure, the top end is less critical to most.

Lyman Digital Trigger Pull Gauge Lyman Digital Trigger Pull Gauge in open orange plastic case

A four-ounce benchrest trigger that measures six ounces would be a serious issue, whereas an eight-pound trigger that measures two ounces over, or under, would be less of a concern. After surveying the field of contenders and comparing capabilities, I settled on Lyman’s Electronic Digital Trigger Pull Gauge. Although it is not the cheapest trigger gauge on the market, it is perhaps the most accurate.

Lyman’s Digital Trigger Pull Gauge features state-of-the-art strain gauge technology that allows for accuracy of 1/10 ounce/2 grams. The gauge will read to a maximum 12 pounds/5.4kg, covering the majority of firearms on the market. It also features a large, easy-to-read LCD display—a nice feature for aging eyes.

To operate Lyman’s trigger gauge, start with a triple-checked, unloaded firearm. Next, press the ready button, hook the roller around the trigger of your firearm, and gently pull the gauge straight back until the trigger releases. The gauge will display and hold the exact trigger pull weight. For a new reading, press the ready button and repeat. The trigger gauge stores each measurement. Pressing the AVG button will display the average of up to the last 10 readings.

Other notable features include easily switching from ounces to grams with the push of a button, a fully adjustable rod that works on any firearm, and two AAA batteries.

Pros

  • Precision measurements accurate to .1 ounce.
  • Best accuracy versus cost
  • East to read scale, vast improvement over the small print with a slider common to less expensive models

Cons

  • Requires batteries
  • Moderately priced
Lyman Digital Trigger Pull Gauge with arm extended

Simply hook the roller on the end of the arm in front of the trigger and pull gently.

Specifications

Measuring Range: 1oz – 12lbs / 2.8g – 5.4kg

Resolution:

0 – 5lbs: ± .1oz

5 – 12lbs: ± .5oz

0 – 2.2kg: ± 2g

2.2 – 5.4kg: ± 10g

To test Lyman’s Electronic Digital Trigger Pull Gauge, I retrieved a Arex Rex Zero 1S pistol. After triple checking to ensure it was unloaded, I followed the procedure previously mentioned. In single action (hammer back) I measured the trigger pull 10 times. I then pressed the average button. The display read 3 lb. 3.4 oz. That is very good for a factory grade trigger! The Rex Zero 1S has a heavy double action trigger. That is why I selected it for this test.

Do you own a trigger pull gauge that you have had good luck with? Which one? What is your favorite aftermarket trigger? Share your answers in the comment section.

SLRule

Growing up in Pennsylvania’s game-rich Allegany region, Dave Dolbee was introduced to whitetail hunting at a young age. At age 19 he bought his first bow while serving in the U.S. Navy, and began bowhunting after returning from Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Dave was a sponsored Pro Staff Shooter for several top archery companies during the 1990s and an Olympic hopeful holding up to 16 archery records at one point. During Dave’s writing career, he has written for several smaller publications as well as many major content providers such as Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Outdoor Life, Petersen’s Hunting, Rifle Shooter, Petersen’s Bowhunting, Bowhunter, Game & Fish magazines, Handguns, F.O.P Fraternal Order of Police, Archery Business, SHOT Business, OutdoorRoadmap.com, TheGearExpert.com and others. Dave is currently a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!

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Comments (8)

  • Spencer

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    Sometimes it’s confusing to me when they do re-runs.

    Reply

  • Randall Finn

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    In the article, under “Measuring Range”, it says 1 oz to 12 lbs or 2.8 g to 5.4 kg. One ounce is 28 g, not 2.8 g.

    Reply

  • Chameleon

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    How does one recommend a topic for the blog?? I’ve combed the site and can’t find any way…

    There was an incident in Tumwater, WA on June 17 this year. It disputes the anti-gunners’ idea that more armed citizens equals “wild west shootouts” on the streets in the near future.

    A criminal car-jacked and beat a 16 year old girl and went to the Tumwater Walmart. In the store, he fired shots at a display case to steal more ammunition, and was waving the gun at customers on the way out of the store. He then tried another carjacking, shooting and injuring the driver of the car.

    By reports, three separate citizens with CPLs drew on the assailant in the parking lot, and one shot and killed him. The citizen was not arrested and rapidly cleared of any wrongdoing in the incident, and the only persons harmed were the criminal and his victims.

    Reply

    • Dave Dolbee

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      I’ll tae a look and see what I can put together for next week’s newsletter – Thank you! ~ Dave Dolbee

      Reply

  • Spencer

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    I never trust anything digital in .1 increments. The reason is because it can be off .09 either way before it changes the number either way for a possible total error of .18.
    I always prefer analog.

    Reply

    • John

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      I agree most of the time I also use mechanical or analog measuring devices. However I also have digital ones as well particularly when it comes to measuring powder I use both to calibrate my dispenser. I have found that my beam scale my look right on but it can be as much as .2gr difference and in a small pistol case that is not expectable. I adjust and calibrate until they all match. I also use a set of scale check weights to keep all in calibration. When it comes to my caliper, dial indicators, etc. I only use mechanical ones, you can read in between the lines so there isn’t the error of the digitals instruments.

      Reply

    • Rick B.

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      Your belief is somewhat correct, although quite far off regarding .1 calibrated devices. Most digital electronic devices round up to the next higher number after reaching .05. Therefore, from a reading of .045 to .054, you could get the same reading of .05. That’s a maximum difference of .009.

      I have yet to see a readable analog gauge that is scaled to read in partial ounces. They are set in whole pounds and ounces..one has to guesstimate partial ounces. I hope this opens up your thought process regarding digital devices. If analog devices were so reliable, they’d use them on all modern devices. You need to get out of the Stone Age.

      Reply

    • Dale

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      You’re both wrong. I agree that the device would round up at 0.05 (or half of the 0.10 unit on device). But that means that 0.45 would round up to 0.50 and 0.54 would round down to 0.50 for maximum error of 0.09. So, a trigger pull of 3 lbs, 8.0 oz could really be 3 lbs, 7.95 oz or 3 lbs, 8.04 oz. As a statistician, you never see the maximum error in trials (especially assuming you make more than one measurement). And, you all must be better shooters than me because I know wouldn’t be able to sense a 0.09 oz trigger pull difference.

      Reply

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