All Springer/NP/PCP Air Gun Discussion General > Air Gun Gate

Everone should read this… Revised..UNDERSTANDING BALK FIRING

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NOTE: This has been revised since the original post.

It was suggested that this be pinned temporarily and I think that’s a good idea, maybe for a couple of weeks so most of the members can read it because it is an important safety factor and then Dez and Rocker1 or Gene can edit this part out and place it somewhere else. Probably in the Library.

What I’m going to say here should apply to all springer’s and gas rams and would apply to all Co2 and pumper guns as well as PCP’s I should think. It also applies to both single stage as well as two stage triggers. Many of us are aware of the following but I also know that most of people out there that are not and should be. It is an important and critical safety factor.

First the question… “What is balk firing?”   ??? ???

Balk firing is when you start to pull the trigger, change your mind and release the trigger. We all do that on occasion (especially hunters) but there is something that should be realized. You might now unknowingly have created a dangerous condition. What happens is that although the trigger may return to battery, the sear itself does not reset.  :o  :o

There is no springer or gas ram gun that returns the sear to the position where it was prior to pulling of the trigger and the sear starts to move and you need to keep that in mind. If you balk fire and release that trigger, the sear cannot and will not return to its original set position. And you now do not have the slightest idea just how close it is to the edge of release. You might just touch the trigger or bump the gun and it will discharge.  And be aware of this.  The guns can accidently discharge at any time whether the safety is on or not.  :o


Now then .... a little thought. Do you have any idea of how much pressure there is against surface of the sear that is holding that piston and spring pressure being applied to it?  ??? Depending on the gun, a couple of hundred pounds or more, much more with a magnum gun.   :o :o

And… all of this stored up energy is being held in check by a little metal platform (sear surface contact area) that is in the area of roughly about .060 of an inch high (the moving contact surface retaining or latching on to the piston) and maybe .090 inch thick. This will vary from gun to gun but regardless, the point here is that there is not very much surface area holding that piston and all of its stored energy back. The height factor (or piston release area) does not leave much room for error and it’s this area that is compromised or shortened by balk firing. It might be being held at this point by just a couple of thousandths…. or right on the edge... and it just might let go. :-[ :-[ :'(

 Now the question….. “But why does the sear not reset”?

Do you realize how much return spring pressure that would be required against the opposite side of the sear to "push" the sear back up into place or reset to its original set position when the trigger has been released if bulk fired? Maybe as much as 30-40- lbs. and possibly much more. or possibly more with perfect surfaces and depending on the trigger. And that spring pressure would have to be added to the overall trigger pull weight. Can you imagine the trigger pull weight needed to overcome that??? Maybe close to a 40 lbs. trigger pull.... and again, possibly much more.    :o :o 

Sooo…The pressure of the piston and spring must be relieved before the sear can reset itself and is why you must recock the gun to reset the sear. At that point, when the pressure of the spring is removed, it requires only an ounce or two of spring pressure to reset the sear. ;) ;)


Triggers can be very dangerous. For those of you that do not have a thorough understanding of triggers and how they function, you need to be very careful when you work on them.  Changing any angle or geometry of any trigger can lead you to have a dangerous and/or unsafe trigger and can make balk firing even far more dangerous. The trigger release state may be even far more critical and you really need to keep the safety factor in mind and do a lot of testing to be sure that it is safe after working on your trigger. :D

Have fun and safe shooting.  ;)

Thanks all



robert w:
great point charlie we all make booboos but you cant call a shot bullet back from any gun of any type even a cheep red ryder

great post;i never thought of that.and your absolutely right,

that's good info, charlie.   i have a cometa that the 1st stage is so light that i do this "balk" thing.  it's one of those 'gently squeeze and ease into the shot' triggers.   for the most-part, most springer triggers aren't good enough for me to do that.   i just more-or-less "gun" them lightly.  

Ahhhh, There have been a few times when with my Gamo-CFX, after aiming at a target for about a minute, my non sighting eye starts to weep like *(&^ . Occasionally it`s done this just a nano second before letting the shot go, and part way through the let-off.I generally look away at something dark and close to where I am, and then line up to take the shot again. I`ve noticed that on these occasions the next time I touch the trigger , whammo, she`s gone, just the way it should be , no creep, no delay, no fatigue. . Now I know why. Maybe the GRT 111  from Bob , which I`ve already ordered , is going to fix the hold,hold,hold,hold, creep ,creep, creep, problem I have with the existing trigger eh . Yesssiree , there`s another problem gonna be gone when it arrives . Cant wait . Supaflee


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