Mechanical vs Electronic Trigger Gauge

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When I first attempted to adjust the trigger on my CZ457, I wanted to know how light the trigger was so I could compare it after the trigger job. I went looking to buy a trigger gauge and my options were a modern digital trigger like the Lyman which was about $50-$60 or a Wheeler mechanical/analog trigger gauge was was about $20.

Since I wasn’t planning on adjusting or replacing the trigger on my CZ (or any of my guns) very often, it made sense to me to buy the cheaper Wheeler gauge. If I had more guns and more trigger jobs in my future, I might think otherwise. Recently when I got a chance to test a friend’s Lyman gauge, it got me wondering how accurate was my Wheeler?

The Wheeler black plastic tube with an approximately 8″ metal arm with an ‘L’ bend at the tip to grasp your trigger face. You pull on device as it pulls on your trigger. A metal spring housed inside of a plastic shell resists compression to a calibrated degree. When pulling on the gauge, the weight is displayed on the side with a yellow marker donating the maximum draw weight until you actively let off from pulling on the trigger.

My first test was to see if how accurately the Wheeler would measure a known weight. A full-sized can of Diet Coke contains 12oz of liquid and the empty aluminum can itself weighs about 0.5oz; so a full can should weigh about 12.5oz. The readings from the Wheeler displayed 1lb. That’s 3.5oz heavier than the actual weight.

I tested my 22LR Ruger Precision Rimfire rifle. It has a factory stock trigger, which can be adjusted from 5lbs down to 2lbs. I had adjusted it down to as low and I wanted to see if I had succeeded.

The Lyman gave me a reading average of 2lbs 1.4oz. The Wheeler gave me an average readout of about 2.25lbs. While slightly heavier than the Lyman’s reading, it is an acceptable margin of error for a simple-to-use tool that sells from 1/3 the cost of the Lyman. This may be an unacceptable for those who need a precision to a faction of an ounce for ELR shooting perhaps? But for the average shooter the Wheeler is close-enough and consistent enough to be a better value than the Lyman.

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