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#6522868 - 11/01/16 11:19 PM Two stage trigger - Pro's and Con's
Texas Dan Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 11271
I own my first rifle with a two stage trigger.

So what are the pro's and con's with the two stage trigger design, and why did someone come up with the design in the first place?
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Spring, Texas

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#6522882 - 11/02/16 12:19 AM Re: Two stage trigger - Pro's and Con's [Re: Texas Dan]
postoak Online   content
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Registered: 08/19/09
Posts: 2555
Loc: The Woodlands, Tx
What are you calling a two stage trigger?
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#6522912 - 11/02/16 04:38 AM Re: Two stage trigger - Pro's and Con's [Re: Texas Dan]
charlesb Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 1408
Loc: West Texas mountains
Two-stage triggers are most common on military rifles, but they are starting to become popular on sporting arms, too.

A two-stage trigger is generally regarded as being safer and offering more control, particularly if the trigger pull is light. You can get your finger positioned on the trigger with a greatly reduced chance of an accidental or unintended discharge.

The new triggers with a central blade that blocks the sear or firing pin are two-stage in nature. These allow a trigger that is really light to still be safe to use, even in the field. Savage pioneered on these with the "Accu-trigger", which brought us good trigger pulls again after years of crappy triggers manufactured to satisfy product liability issues.

When the Accu-trigger was being developed, Savage engineers demonstrated the safety inherent in the design by cocking a Savage rifle and then dropping it for fifteen feet or so - without the firing pin going forward upon the rifle's impact. If you push the Accu-trigger without first depressing the blade, then the gun is de-cocked instead of firing. It will only fire if the blade - and then the trigger in turn is pulled.

Military two-stage triggers do not have the blade, but still offer increased safety and trigger control. The first, take-up bit of the trigger pull is very light, followed by a second, somewhat stiffer pull that fires the weapon.

Howa/Weatherby offers a new trigger that is two-stage. I have not tried one yet. Reports on it though are very encouraging.

Many shooters prefer a single-stage trigger, but they are not as safe when wearing gloves, or when your fingers are cold as so often is the case during a hunt.

I seem to get by just fine with either type, but there are shooters who claim that they cannot shoot accurately with anything but a single-stage trigger. I have never heard a logical explanation as to why this might be so, it generally boils down to personal preference.

My best group ever was shot with a two-stage trigger, the second-best with a single stage trigger. The only significant difference that I see between the two is the safety issue, where the two-stage design is the clear winner.


Edited by charlesb (11/02/16 04:33 PM)
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#6522925 - 11/02/16 05:26 AM Re: Two stage trigger - Pro's and Con's [Re: Texas Dan]
Creedmoor Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 09/12/16
Posts: 694
Loc: Soon to be Hudson Oaks
Three of my AR-15s have the Rock River NM 2-stage triggers and I am extremely pleased. Wouldn't go back to a single stage at all.

I haven't changed any of the triggers on the bolt guns, but they're coming soon.
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#6522931 - 11/02/16 05:41 AM Re: Two stage trigger - Pro's and Con's [Re: Texas Dan]
Texas Dan Online   content
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Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 11271
Thanks for the replies.

I must admit that I found the two-stage trigger on my new Weatherby somewhat awkward at first, as it's positioned somewhat ahead of what you expect with a single stage trigger. It's after you pull through the initial stage, which is very light, that it feels the same as a single stage trigger. I suspect that is clearly by design. The fact that is safer by creating a gun that is far less likely to fire when dropped makes complete sense. And with the initial stage being so light (just 8 oz. on my Weatherby), it doesn't seem to make it feel any different that a single stage trigger when breaking the firing pin release of the second stage.

Again, thanks for the replies.
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Dan,

Spring, Texas

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#6523044 - 11/02/16 07:36 AM Re: Two stage trigger - Pro's and Con's [Re: Texas Dan]
jeffbird Online   content


Registered: 03/09/09
Posts: 1722
Good post Charles. up

I prefer the two stage trigger on my Accuracy International.



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#6523057 - 11/02/16 07:44 AM Re: Two stage trigger - Pro's and Con's [Re: Texas Dan]
TexasVine Offline
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Registered: 10/20/08
Posts: 2033
Loc: Lakeway/Fredericksburg
Great explination Charles.
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#6523130 - 11/02/16 08:14 AM Re: Two stage trigger - Pro's and Con's [Re: jeffbird]
colt45 Online   content
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Registered: 08/19/06
Posts: 5390
Loc: bastrop county
Originally Posted By: jeffbird
Good post Charles. up

I prefer the two stage trigger on my Accuracy International.


its possible to take the blade out of the accu trigger and it works fine, some don't care for the blade
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#6523161 - 11/02/16 08:29 AM Re: Two stage trigger - Pro's and Con's [Re: TexasVine]
Texas Dan Online   content
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Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 11271
Originally Posted By: TexasVine
Great explination Charles.


Yes!
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Dan,

Spring, Texas

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#6523170 - 11/02/16 08:36 AM Re: Two stage trigger - Pro's and Con's [Re: Texas Dan]
Texas Dan Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 11271
I could see where those are only familiar with traditional, single stage triggers, including myself, may totally overlook the two stage trigger as being a design flaw. I mean, how many shooters expect the trigger on a high-powered rifle to move so freely at first with no impact on the release.

Again, thanks Charles for taking the time to share such a detailed explanation.
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Dan,

Spring, Texas

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#6523187 - 11/02/16 08:43 AM Re: Two stage trigger - Pro's and Con's [Re: Texas Dan]
68A Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 09/29/12
Posts: 2297
Loc: North Texas
While it may be from lack of extensive experience, I prefer my Jewell and CMC. Not a fan of the accutrigger.

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#6523193 - 11/02/16 08:48 AM Re: Two stage trigger - Pro's and Con's [Re: Texas Dan]
HWY_MAN Online   content
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Registered: 05/25/06
Posts: 25103
Loc: Howard County
I have one rifle with a 2 stage and it's the Steyr Pro Hunter SBS 243, it took a little getting used to.
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#6523194 - 11/02/16 08:48 AM Re: Two stage trigger - Pro's and Con's [Re: colt45]
booradley Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 01/20/11
Posts: 1692
Loc: Justin, TX
Originally Posted By: colt45
Originally Posted By: jeffbird
Good post Charles. up

I prefer the two stage trigger on my Accuracy International.


its possible to take the blade out of the accu trigger and it works fine, some don't care for the blade


It's purely personal, I don't like the blade.
I don't think single stage is better than two stage or vice versa, again I feel it's nothing but personal preference. The two stage trigger on my Vanguards feels more like a single stage trigger than the two stage triggers on the milsurps I grew up shooting(1903 and Lee Enfield). If I have a choice my preference is
1) Single Set
2) Single Stage
3) Two Stage

I'm happy with the two stage triggers on my Vanguards though.

And yes, that was an excellent post Charles.
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#6523203 - 11/02/16 08:51 AM Re: Two stage trigger - Pro's and Con's [Re: Texas Dan]
postoak Online   content
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Registered: 08/19/09
Posts: 2555
Loc: The Woodlands, Tx
Yeah, I know what a two stage trigger is but I wanted Dan to describe what he had. I thought maybe he was talking about a double set trigger, which is much rarer.
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#6523214 - 11/02/16 08:56 AM Re: Two stage trigger - Pro's and Con's [Re: Texas Dan]
DStroud Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/02/11
Posts: 1158
Loc: Waco
Charles explained it well I believe and I would only add that I am now about 2/3 switched to 2 Stage triggers in all my rifles.
With me it started with using AR's with good 2 Stage triggers then I had one in a Ruger VT 6.5 liked it and started using them in all my bolt guns. I have used 3 brands of nice after market 2 Stage triggers all with solid results and I do have to vintage military rifles that utilize 2 Stage and they are decent and I can shoot them well.
I find for me they allow more control of my shot with light trigger pulls as they allow me to pull to that point that I know any more pressure will release the shot.
Now the draw back I have encountered as well as some buddies is switching from rifles with 2 Stage back to single Stage invariably you will have shots get away from you as you take up slack that is not there.
Any rifle I want to shoot fast repeated shots like in 3 gun I stay with single Stage or at least a very short first Stage


Edited by DStroud (11/02/16 08:57 AM)

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