The goal of this study was to improve the ability of a motor unit model to predict experimentally measured force variability across a wide range of forces. Motor unit discharge characteristics were obtained from 38 motor units of the first dorsal interosseus muscle. Motor unit discharges were recorded in separate isometric contractions that ranged from 4 to 85% of the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) force above recruitment threshold. High-threshold motor units exhibited both greater minimal and peak discharge rates compared with low-threshold units (P < 0.01). Minimal discharge rate increased from 7 to 23 pps, and peak discharge rate increased from 14 to 38 pps with an increase in recruitment threshold. Relative discharge rate variability (CV) decreased exponentially for each motor unit from an average of 30 to 13% as index finger force increased above recruitment threshold. In separate experiments, force variability was assessed at eight force levels from 2 to 95% MVC. The CV for force decreased from 4.9 to 1.4% as force increased from 2 to 15% MVC (P < 0.01) and remained constant at higher forces (1.2-1.9%; P = 0.14). When the motor unit model was revised using these experimental findings, discharge rate variability was the critical factor that resulted in no significant difference between simulated and experimental force variability (P = 0.22) at all force levels. These results support the hypothesis that discharge rate variability is a major determinant of the trends in isometric force variability across the working range of a muscle.