Savage Center Fire Rifle Factory 3-Screw Trigger Adjustment Procedures (Pre-AccuTrigger)

I've never been able to find a single thread with good photos and detailed explanations of how to adjust a factory trigger on my new-to-me 10FP, so I decided today to snap some pictures and write this thread. Hopefully it will be useful to anyone looking for this information in the future. If anyone notices any errors or omissions, please let me know and I'll update this post.

Tools needed: Small slotted screwdriver, 5/32" and 5/64" Allen wrenches.

Step One - Remove stock from action: After verifying the weapon is safely unloaded, remove the stock from the action by securing the action in a barrel vise (or some other suitable method of holding it upside down to work on - the flat rear on this model is well-suited to resting on a raised block with the barrel lifted at the other end) and removing the two action screws. These are both 5/32-inch Allen screws. The third screw at the rear of the trigger guard does not need to be removed to get the stock off of the action.

You'll end up with this:

Here's the parts that can be adjusted:

Step Two - Adjust trigger pull weight: Turning the trigger return spring adjustment screw (small slotted screw with a hole through the center, labeled in the photo as trigger pull weight adjustment screw) counter-clockwise will lighten the trigger pull. The opposite end of the screw is notched every 90 degrees to prevent rotation after adjustment. Care must be taken to not loosen this adjustment too much or there is a chance the trigger could release by jarring the rifle. The spring tension on this screw is what keeps the sear from inadvertently disengaging (sear adjustment is next).

Step Three - Adjust sear: This screw adjusts the trigger "creep," or how for the trigger pulls before the sear releases and the weapon fires. Cock the firing pin by rotating the bolt handle toward the floor and back. Make sure the safety is OFF (forward) and turn the sear adjustment screw (5/64" Allen screw) clockwise until the firing pin releases. Now turn the screw counter-clockwise a half-turn. This should give adequate engagement to prevent accidental firing while still allowing minimal creep. If the lip on the sear notch is worn it may be necessary to back off a bit more to prevent accidental firing. (The tension on the trigger pull weight spring is what keeps the sear in the notch before you pull the trigger. This is why you don't want the trigger pull weight too light.) NOTE: The trigger is made of sintered metal. Filing or otherwise removing some of the surface of the sear notch will expose softer metal under the hard surface and make the notch more prone to premature wear, eventually leading to more creep and/or a sloppy trigger pull. If the notch is worn or damaged, buy a new trigger. Or upgrade to a better aftermarket trigger!

After firing:

Step Four - Adjust safety: After adjusting the sear, the safety will almost always need to be adjusted. Cock the firing pin and slide the safety to ON (rearward). (Depending on the amount of sear adjustment, you may need to turn the safety adjustment screw counter-clockwise to do this.) Once the safety is ON, turn the safety adjustment screw (5/64" Allen screw) clockwise until the opposite end contacts the safety block. Don't turn it so tightly that you can't disengage the safety easily (you should be able to slide the safety ON and OFF with the firing pin cocked). With the safety ON, try to pull the trigger. It should be IMPOSSIBLE to pull the trigger with the safety ON. It should be IMPOSSIBLE to accidentally fire the weapon with the safety ON.

Step Five - Adjust trigger overtravel: Overtravel is how far the trigger will move after the sear releases and the weapon fires. Turning the overtravel adjustment screw (5/64" Allen screw) clockwise will decrease the amount of pull past the sear release. With the safety OFF (forward) turn this screw until it contacts the safety block. At this point there should be no overtravel and it will likely be impossible to pull the trigger at all, so turn the screw counter-clockwise until the overtravel is set to your personal preference.

That's it! Your Savage factory trigger is now fully adjusted. Reassemble the action and stock and test the safety by cocking the weapon and banging the butt of the weapon on a hard floor. Do whatever it takes to feel secure in the knowledge that your gun will NEVER accidentally discharge. This cannot be stressed enough. SAFETY FIRST!

Happy shooting!


Additional Notes: 
1. After making adjustments be sure to use some Blue Loc-Tite or suitable alternative to prevent the the screws from self-adjusting under recoil. Failing to do so could result in an accidental discharge.

2. The pull weight spring wire can be replaced with common piano wire measuring 0.040 to 0.045" in diameter rather than or in addition to backing off the adjustment screw to achieve a lighter weight. 

3. Very light stoning of the sear mating surface of the trigger can be performed to lessen a notchy or gritty feel to the trigger pull. Extreme care must be taken here as this is a surface hardened piece, so the less stoning you do the better. If you wear through the surface hardening the part will need to be rehardened or it will wear. Also, you do not want to alter the mating angle, the goal here is to simply smooth out the mating surface which the sear contacts.


Information and photos submitted by PDBreske

Remember, any adjustments to this style trigger assembly are done at the risk of the owner and person doing the work. Do NOT attempt to do any trigger work if you are not confident in your ability.