Trigger Troubles

Discussion in 'Tips and Tricks for gunsmithing your own Sako' started by icebear, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Recently I pulled my .300 H&H Finnbear out of the safe to take it to the range and discovered that the trigger mechanism wasn't working properly. The sear didn't always rise all the way to catch the cocking piece, the trigger sometimes wouldn't release, and the trigger action just felt wrong. The gun was quite unsafe. My first guess turned out to be correct - there was hardened grease inside the trigger housing that was interfering with the motion of trigger and sear. I took the trigger mechanism completely apart, cleaned everything up, rubbed a coat of moly on the sear (don't know if that will do any good but it can't hurt), lubed it with Break Free and put it all back together.

    Taking apart the Sako trigger is not a task for the faint of heart, or for those with more than the normal number of thumbs. Of the several problems involved, two stand out. First is that the two pins that hold the sear in the trigger housing are 1.5mm. This is slightly smaller than 1/16", which is the smallest punch most of us have in our tool box. I solved this by taking a cheap 1/16 punch and shaving it down a bit with sandpaper. It didn't take much to get the punch to where it would fit in the 1.5mm hole. A non-plated punch should be selected for this treatment. The other issue is that the trigger mechanism must be reassembled in exactly the correct order. Unfortunately, I did not have any instructions, I just figured it out on my own, and it took me a couple of tries to get the thing back together correctly. There are probably instructions on line somewhere; if you aren't inclined to take things apart without a road map, Google might prove useful.


    The good news is, now my Finnbear has a nice crisp 3-pound trigger like it should. If you find that your trigger isn't working right, or just doesn't feel right, give it a good cleaning before screwing around with the adjustments. Chances are that it's gunked up and needs a good cleaning. You can try spray cleaner, but the stuff in my trigger was pretty well hardened and taking it apart was the right decision. Some of that old petroleum-based lubricant hardens up and doesn't want to move. Modern synthetic lubricants are a lot better.
     

  2. RC20

    RC20 Well-Known Member

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    As I am just target shooting with my 1963 30- 06 Finnbear and adjusted the trigger.

    I have it down under 2 lbs (purely range, no hunting) and its really nice.

    I appreciate the easy adjustment (other than having the metric 7mm tool most do not have! - I also have the metric slot screwdriver (grin) for it!~)

    Rather than take the trigger apart and the issues, Kroil, Hoppes or a solvent might break up the old grease though not get it all out. Let it soak or several applications.
     
  3. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    For a trigger that was as gummed up as mine was, flooding the trigger with solvent or Kroil instead of taking it apart and cleaning it properly would be an excellent way to guarantee more trouble down the road, and maybe an accidental discharge to boot. The hardened crud in that trigger would not have come out completely with solvent, Kroil, etc. The more likely scenario is that it might have gotten the trigger back to where it seemed to be fixed, but it really wasn't. An impaired trigger is an unsafe trigger. The way the trigger on a bolt action rifle works, if the upward motion of the sear is impaired, it can rise just enough to partially engage the cocking piece, and then the force of closing the bolt will release it, causing the gun to fire when you close the bolt. If you don't feel confident working on a trigger (I've done many, and never had an AD), take it to a gunsmith.

    Do it once, do it right.
     
    dgeesaman likes this.
  4. RC20

    RC20 Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough - certainly not intimidated by triggers but as noted, its always a lot of fun with needing 3 hands.
     
  5. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    I don't recall any three-hands issues with the Sako trigger, though Heaven knows I've had enough such situations working on guns. The problem I had with the trigger was figuring out in what order the parts had to go back into the housing, and aligning everything with tweezers when I couldn't see inside the housing. I did have a parts diagram, but no directions as to the order of assembly - and if you didn't get them in the right order, you had to dump everything out on the bench and start over. There's probably a video or a set of instructions somewhere on the net, but I haven't found it. But, on the other hand, fiddling with it until I got it right saved me a $100 gunsmith bill and a couple of weeks of down time, so it was worth it. And now, having fixed one Sako trigger, I can pose as an expert! (I'm not a gunsmith, I just play one on TV.)
     

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