Wilson Combat recently released a new Beretta hammer with big claims and I couldn’t help but order one to test out.
Per their website, viewable here:
Those are a lot of claims for just a single part drop-in part. It’ll be interesting to see if they hold up.
Under The Microscope
Claim #1 – “Reduced trigger pre-travel” aka take-up.
This is easily calculated with some simple measurements. I’ll be recording the distance between the backstrap and the trigger in double-action, single-action and ‘the Wall’. When shooting in single-action you have some slack in the trigger pull that is very light, this is referred to as pre-travel or take-up. That pre-travel leads to the ‘Wall’, which is the difference between the SA and Wall numbers.
I wrote the above paragraph before measuring, I was planning to post up all these nice measurements but both hammers produced identical numbers. I measured each several times, using both the Beretta and Wilson trigger bar, to make sure I was correct. I’m not seeing how pre-travel has been reduced at all.
Claim #2 – “Improves the overall single and double action trigger pull.”
There was no change in the trigger weight, though with the Wilson hammer the trigger pull wasn’t as smooth. My Beretta hammer is polished whereas the Wilson isn’t. Once I polish it up it should be just as smooth. Beyond the difference in smoothness I could feel no variation between the hammers. Each was just as crisp and broke the same.
I’m a bit of a trigger snob/enthusiast and can usually detect even minor changes. Not so here. I even tried it again the next day with the same outcome. And again the following day just to make sure.
Claim #3 – “Hammer is a drop in fit.”
It dropped in, though a bit of a snug fit.
Claim #4 – “Enhances primer ignition.”
This is hard for me to physically test. I don’t buy crap ammo and with the standard Beretta trigger bar and a 12# hammer spring I would rarely encounter a light strike. After switching to Wilson’s trigger bar I haven’t encountered any. Thankfully it can be tested in theory easily enough. There are two ways to change the impact force of the hammer, either by increasing the distance it travels or by changing the mass.
I broke out the scale, made sure it was calibrated and weighed each.
Beretta Elite II Hammer: 22.5 grams
Wilson Deluxe Hammer: 24.8 grams
A difference of +2.3 grams. Someone out there could give us a formula explaining how much additional force is generated by those 2.3 grams but I’m not that guy. The heavier hammer should lay down a bigger smack on the primer though. As far as how significant I can’t say. The hammer travel distance was the same for both so that’s not a factor.
These things are hard to photograph together. One is black, one is shiny and I’m afraid that’s too much for my meager photography ability to overcome. Instead I took a bunch of pictures so if you’re looking for a specific view I’ve hopefully captured it. Click the picture to enlarge.
By my testing it only held up to half its claims. It dropped in and it weighs slightly more. If it’s doing anything else I can’t seem to find it. If you know something I missed please comment below or contact me.