In 1985, the Jewell trigger was patented, and it was considered the benchmark of triggers for decades being the top choice for high-end precision rifles. And in recent years, a survey showed that out of the top 100 Precision Rifle Series shooters, 40% were still using a Jewell trigger.
In its day, the design of the Jewell trigger was revolutionary as it allowed a minimum load at the sear engagement point yet still provided maximum adjustability in pull force, sear engagement, and overtravel without having to remove the action from the stock or the trigger from the action.
A common but highly debatable issue with shooters and the Jewell trigger is that it’s not as reliable as other trigger designs. Some say they used a Jewell for years without a single problem, others claim they had multiple Jewells fail.
With failures, the Jewell trigger company happily does repairs. In one instance, an internal part in a trigger was a bit bent from a blown primer, which would normally destroy most triggers, and in another case, the Jewell trigger failure was simply due to being dirty after extensive use out in the field. The Jewell trigger company repaired them by replacing parts, sharpening the edges on relevant surfaces, gave them a clean and the triggers were back in use without problems.
According to Jewell, the average life expectancy on their triggers is about a few thousand rounds. Shooters have said their Jewell triggers have endured over 5 000 rounds. Over the past 20 years, there’s been substantial advancements with precision rifles yet it’s impressive to note that a trigger designed in 1985 is still used in great numbers. This proves their durability and ongoing popularity.
But what really makes the Jewell Trigger so popular?
Notable features include all internal components being CNC machined from stainless steel and the modular design lets you fully disassemble and clean the trigger whenever needed. The forward mounted spacer has a pin in the firing pin stop that operates in a hole on the left side plate allowing the trigger to remain as a single assembly when not installed. The light load at the sear gives it a short, creep-free, and repeatable operation and the trigger can be fitted to nearly all actions that use the Remington 700 trigger. The Jewell also has a bottom mounted lever on either the left or right side and an optional bolt release lever.
Jewell triggers come in two models, for the Benchrest shooters, you get the Jewell BR (Benchrest) model and in tactical competition and high-end hunting rifles, it offers a sought after HVR (Hunting/Varmint) models. And both come with their own unique configuration.
The BR Trigger has a firing pin block, which is kept in the cocked position by a vertical alignment of the upper lever and lower lever captured in the locked position by the sear. The trigger show rotation releases the sear from the upper lever and allows the upper lever and the lower lever to collapse to a folded position. This allows the block to fall which then releases the firing pin. The levers remain in the collapsed position until the bolt is open, at which time the spring forces the levers back into the cocked position. The sear is then reset by the spring’s compression.
The HVR Trigger’s firing pin block is held in the cocked position by the vertical alignment of the upper and lower lever captured in the locked position by the sear. The rotation of the trigger shoe releases the sear from the upper lever sear, which allows the upper and lower levers to collapse into a folded position. This allows the block to fall and releases the firing pin. The levers stay in the collapsed position until the bolt opens, and the spring forces both levers to the cocked position. To reset of the sear is done by the upper lever sear rotation on the pivot pin and it’s maintained in a down, loaded position by the end of spring.
Jewell Benchrest (BR) Trigger has an adjustment range of 1.5 ounces to 3.0 ounces. The adjustment range of the Jewell Hunting/Varmint Rifle (HVR) Trigger is determined using one of three springs. Be default, the trigger has Spring A installed with an adjustment range of (8.0 ounces to 48.0 ounces) with Springs B (2.0 ounces to 16.0 ounces) and C (1.5 ounces to 3.0 ounces) that are supplied separately. Each spring can be adjusted with a hex wrench that is also supplied with the trigger.
Overall, the popularity of Jewell triggers is due to its easy adjustment. You don’t have to remove the action from the chassis, or the stock and the trigger can be externally adjusted with screws, which are fitted into a nylon insert. And this maintains settings without needing thread locking compounds.
The Jewell HVR trigger has an optional safety, giving you the choice of a top safety left or right, or no safety if required. The HVR also has an optional bolt release similar to that of the standard Remington 700 lever except it’s made out of Aircraft grade steel.
The only thing is that with aftermarket Jewell triggers, the weight adjustment isn’t so easy, but factory triggers have a wider range of pull weight and they are realistically priced in terms of a custom gun make.
Generally, Jewell Triggers need to be adjusted in most cases according to personal preference. Note that the rifle must always be unloaded when adjusting the trigger.
When buying directly from Jewell, the triggers are usually set before they leave the shop, even though the Jewell trigger is fully adjustable for pull weight, over travel and sear engagement. Because Jewell has been in the business for over 30 years, they’ve achieved a great design configuration for hunting and competitive shooting.
The building and customization of a rifle gives that flexibility and freedom, but the most important part is the one that is used to fire the rifle. Without this, you wouldn’t be able to control the rifle, and because of its impact on accuracy, you should be able to adjust it whenever it’s needed.