I've been slowly making my way through Gargantuan Gunsite Gossip 2, the collection of Col. Jeff Cooper's monthly newsletters from 1990 through 2000. It's a testament to the Colonel that his writing is still engaging and thought-provoking more than a decade later. Just today, while reading the second newsletter from 1999, I ran across the answer to a question I'd been unable to find the answer to previously. But first, some background.
About six months ago I decided to upgrade the trigger on my Smith & Wesson M&P 45. While an otherwise excellent example of a modern polymer service pistol, the trigger as it comes from the factory is certainly sub-par. I can live with a two-stage trigger, although I greatly prefer the crisp single-stage trigger of a good 1911, but I couldn't stand the gritty, creepy stock trigger with its excessive over-travel.
To remedy this I sent my pistol to the good folks at Apex Tactical to have them install one of their Forward Set Sear and Trigger Kits. By default the kit produces a trigger pull somewhere between four and five pounds, but I wanted a trigger pull closer to my favorite 1911's four-pounds. In fact, I thought it might even be better at 3.5#, but I began to wonder what Col. Cooper's preferred trigger weights were. He shares as much blame as anyone for turning me into a trigger snob, so I figured it'd be wise to research his thoughts on the matter.
Alas my Google-fu must have been weak, as I wasn't able to find a first-hand statement from the Colonel online. I went ahead and requested a 3.5# pull and it turned out to be spot-on for me—enough so that I was able to graduate with distinction from Front Sight's pistol class back in December. So it was with some delight that I ran into the following passage earlier today:
In my opinion, a service pistol should break at four lbs or a little under. Three-and-a-half is better. On a heavy rifle (45-caliber and up), 3½ lbs is about right. With a light rifle you can go quite a bit lighter, though this tends to shake up the liability lilies. The trigger on my factory-tuned SS [Steyr Scout] breaks at 26 ounces, and it is the same on my Blaser 93.