AR15.Com Archives
 What, EXACTLY, is a 2 stage trigger?
nimms  [Member]
10/14/2008 11:29:50 PM
I'm looking at another rifle and I'm thinking of going for a RRA 2 stage trigger, but I need some clarification. If I didn't live in such a small town I'd find someone that had one and ask.


So, I understand generally speaking with a 2 stage trigger the ~4.0-4.5lb pull is split between two stages... The take-up and the final pull.


Does that mean each shot REQUIRES 2 distinct pulls? Eg: Pull, then release, then pull again =bang?

or is this an OPTION? Can I pull the full 4.5lbs in one motion and the rifle fires?
Paid Advertisement
--
nakoomba  [Member]
10/15/2008 12:03:55 AM
I can explain how my 2 stage trigger feels. I pull till i feel a distinct stopping point at stage one. I then take aim without releasing or anything just keeping it at that first stage point. When I'm ready to actually fire I continue pulling without a release or anything. The second pull always goes off as a surprise pretty much because its so smooth. I really like it on the ar-15.
ORinTX  [Team Member]
10/15/2008 12:26:51 AM

Originally Posted By nimms:

Does that mean each shot REQUIRES 2 distinct pulls? Eg: Pull, then release, then pull again =bang?



No, it means that there are two stages to the pull -- a takeup stage, and a release stage. The release stage feels like a crisp single stage trigger. You will feel a 'notch' as you find the second stage. Keep pulling, and it goes bang. They are nice on precision guns.



Can I pull the full 4.5lbs in one motion and the rifle fires?


You sure can.
stphnman20  [Member]
10/15/2008 12:27:47 AM
So if you want to just fire your weapon with a stag 2 trigger, you will feel to clicks?

Im not familiar with these triggers.
LonghornAR  [Member]
10/15/2008 12:36:25 AM
Yes.
ORinTX  [Team Member]
10/15/2008 12:36:33 AM

Originally Posted By stphnman20:
So if you want to just fire your weapon with a stag 2 trigger, you will feel to clicks?

Im not familiar with these triggers.



Think of it this way -- there's a definite plateau after the takeup.
pogo  [Member]
10/15/2008 4:07:36 AM
I don't know specifically about Stag two stage triggers, but you generally don't feel a distinct "click."

With that 4 1/2 lb pull, you pull the slack out of the trigger at, say 3lbs. You will feel a little resistance with no motion until you add an additional 1 1/2 lbs and the trigger suddenly breaks. Of course one smooth pull will fire the rifle. If you are carefully lining up your sights as in target work, the two stage trigger can help.

The effect is you combine a light pull hair trigger with a safe high poundage to prevent accidental firing with a long lived and repeatable sear engagement.

Look at a Springfield trigger some time. You have only one spring, but two humps on the trigger. The hump closest to the pivot pin is your first stage, with a lot of takeup travel and slow vertical motion against the cocking piece, while the hump furthest away is your second stage with a lot more leverage with "fast" vertical motion against the cocking piece with little takeup travel. Semiauto triggers acomplish the same thing.
cornhusk  [Member]
10/15/2008 11:24:47 AM
Are two stage triggers made mainly for precision shooting? Are they needed as much on a plinking/varmint gun?
Powder_Burns  [Member]
10/15/2008 4:50:59 PM
I have a single stage and a 2 stage trigger on 2 different lowers. They are both nice. I like the 2-stage because once you take up the slack (1st stage) you know exactly when the trigger will break for your shot (2nd stage). This removes any uncertainty or 'surprises' of when the trigger will break.

My single stage trigger, when you start to pull it it has resistance immediately, no take up...then suddenly it clicks once you put on about 4# or so.

Whether you are shooting for precision or not, the upgraded triggers are very pleasant in comparison to a stock trigger which can break anywhere from 6#-8# and in some cases, feel gritty or sticky.
3crowns  [Member]
10/18/2008 2:10:56 AM
Here is a very good definition I just found:

from rec.guns... Most civilian rifle triggers are single stage. When you place your finger on it and apply pressure, the trigger shouldn't move at all, until it "breaks" and the gun fires. If it does move, it's called "take-up", and usually considered a Bad Thing.

Actually, what you lable as "take-up" in the above para, is called creep, and trigger "creep" is what is considered a "bad thing." Take-up is all together another phenom.

So let's understand the differences between "take-up" and "creep." Take-up is a wonderfully replicated feeling/action, found in 2 stage triggers, in preparation of firing, and creep is when you think you are trying to fire, but you just seem to keep pulling the trigger & it does not break cleanly. Creep is found in both single & double stage triggers.

Now, why do those who have experienced a good 2 stage trigger want a 2 stage trigger?

First, gas guns require a far greater pull weight than bolt guns, to be safe/legal for competition. So, when you must have a 4.5 lbs trigger, it's nice to split the weight between 2 stages, instead of one!

Second, many want a relatively heavy trigger for defense/law enforcement applications.

Third, there is a certain confidence in a 2 stage trigger. You pull through the first stage, and when you get to the "stop", you know you are on the ragged edge, and any movement of the trigger will fire the rifle. This is so in a match 2 stage trigger.

--Clint McKee

jdllizard  [Member]
10/18/2008 6:52:18 AM

Originally Posted By 3crowns:
Here is a very good definition I just found:

from rec.guns... Most civilian rifle triggers are single stage. When you place your finger on it and apply pressure, the trigger shouldn't move at all, until it "breaks" and the gun fires. If it does move, it's called "take-up", and usually considered a Bad Thing.

Actually, what you lable as "take-up" in the above para, is called creep, and trigger "creep" is what is considered a "bad thing." Take-up is all together another phenom.

So let's understand the differences between "take-up" and "creep." Take-up is a wonderfully replicated feeling/action, found in 2 stage triggers, in preparation of firing, and creep is when you think you are trying to fire, but you just seem to keep pulling the trigger & it does not break cleanly. Creep is found in both single & double stage triggers.

Now, why do those who have experienced a good 2 stage trigger want a 2 stage trigger?

First, gas guns require a far greater pull weight than bolt guns, to be safe/legal for competition. So, when you must have a 4.5 lbs trigger, it's nice to split the weight between 2 stages, instead of one!

Second, many want a relatively heavy trigger for defense/law enforcement applications.

Third, there is a certain confidence in a 2 stage trigger. You pull through the first stage, and when you get to the "stop", you know you are on the ragged edge, and any movement of the trigger will fire the rifle. This is so in a match 2 stage trigger.

--Clint McKee




Great info, thanks for posting!
Contraband  [Member]
10/18/2008 4:16:16 PM
A 2 stage trigger is a lot like a double action pistol trigger, except way way lighter and smoother, and the mechanics are totally different. The "2 Stage" term really applies to the mechanics of the trigger itself.

The advantage a 2 stage has over a single stage is that you can put a really light trigger pull on a gun without sacrificing safety.

The other advantage is that as you breath to control your muscle twitch, you can take up the trigger just before the break (you can feel this), then when you're ready for the shot, you only apply a small push to break the trigger. This results in a much more precise trigger pull, with less twitch in the end.
NVGdude  [Member]
10/19/2008 4:32:55 AM

Originally Posted By cornhusk:
Are two stage triggers made mainly for precision shooting? Are they needed as much on a plinking/varmint gun?


No a 2-stage trigger is the way a trigger is supposed to feel. The M1 Garand, M14, 1903 , 1903A3 all had 2-stage triggers. I suppose you could go with a light single stage trigger for a varmint gun, but I've never liked them.

A two stage trigger feels like a 1911 trigger, you take up the slack, then pull through.
Paid Advertisement
--