So we have discussed the whole, “The Huber two stage trigger isn’t a real two stage trigger,” thing before. I discussed how silly this is in a prior post where I talked about my impressions of the Huber trigger after a demo day at the Sniper’s Hide Cup in 2015. If you aren’t familiar with the differences between a single stage and a two stage trigger, we’ve got a post for that, too! So if we’ve talked about it before, why are we discussing it again? Well, because the myth that the Huber two stage trigger is somehow dangerous, and less desirable, than other two stage triggers is still prevalent on the Internet today. Having had the experience of a demo, and then purchasing a Huber of my own, I’ve got some experience with the item now after about a year with it on my match rifle. Frankly, the misconception annoys me and I still see people saying, “The Huber two stage trigger isn’t a real two stage trigger, so that’s not good!”
Huber Two Stage Trigger Myth
All this lore, legend, and superstition has lead to what I call the Huber Two Stage Trigger Myth. The myth being, that the trigger is somehow less desirable, or less safe, than other “true two stage triggers.” This got me to thinking about some other articles I have in the works, and potentially a new series or category of articles here on AccuracyTech! I thought it might be fun to explore some popular shooting myths and show why they’re either true or false, not unlike the series on the Discovery Channel. The difference being we’d just do an article here and there, rather than devote the entire purpose of the website to dispelling misguided beliefs of the precision shooting community.
So to further explain the myth, it goes something like this! If you are going to have a two stage trigger, only a true two stage trigger is desirable. The reason being because if you were to pull through the first stage, hit the break wall, and let off the trigger for whatever reason…a true two stage trigger will reset. Thus if you were to start the trigger pull again you have to pull through the entire sum total of pull weight. So on a two pound trigger for example, you pull through the first stage, hit the break wall, there’s one more pound required to fire the rifle. If you let off, you start over again needing a full two pounds of pressure to fire.
The myth that surrounds the Huber two stage trigger has to do with it being a “staged break” trigger. As a result if you pull through the first stage, hit the break wall, and let off, you don’t need the full two pounds of pressure again. While that is technically, true, the lore that surrounds it is not. The myth and superstition would have you believe that if you pull through the first stage of a Huber two stage trigger, and let off, the trigger is flopping around loosely, with a mere one pound required to fire the rifle. You can make the pull weights whatever you want, one pound total, half pound remaining after hitting the break wall and letting off.
Reality Trumps Fantasy
In the real world the perceived danger in this trigger’s design doesn’t really hold up. My Huber two stage trigger is set for two pounds of total weight, with an even split between the two stages. One pound first stage, break wall, one additional pound to fire. The illusion that the trigger is somehow less safe than a “true two stage trigger,” in my opinion, is completely false. I’ve added a video below that shows the difference between a true, starting at zero, trigger pull and another after letting off at the break wall without resetting. I’ve done this test a few times, and the difference in the first stage pull weight ranges between two and four ounces.
Why the range? Well, depending on how gently I get through the first stage, and how consistently I stop at the first hint of the break wall, the pull gauge will read a little higher or lower. To put it another way, the gauge and trigger are far more consistent than I am. So the difference in the pull weights measured is likely a measure of how inconsistently I’m able to execute the trigger pulls with the gauge. What if you don’t want to watch the video or can’t get to it until late?
Huber Two Stage Trigger Results
To put it simply, with my Huber trigger, the difference in the pull weight of the first stage between taking the safety off, and pulling to the break wall and letting off…is between two and four ounces. Meaning the first pull is right about a pound, and subsequent pulls without resetting the trigger, come in around 12-14 ounces. That’s not a huge difference. Is it different, yep! Does it render a rifle on subsequent pulls of the first stage more dangerous than a rifle on it’s first pull? Definitely not! Remember, we’re all big boys, and we’re playing with firearms. High powered rifles with a lot of muzzle energy and velocity. You can’t be careless at any time, regardless of the rifle, the total trigger pull weight, or whatever. It’s a big boy toy, and we need to be grownups about it.
Just because the first stage of the trigger pull drops a couple ounces does not make it any more unsafe than if the first stage had it’s full weight ahead of it. We’re only talking about maybe a quarter of a pound difference in pull weight, of the first stage only! The second stage retains its entire weight. To really beat this to death, we’re talking about the difference between a one pound first stage + a one pound second stage and a twelve ounce first stage + a one pound second stage. Not much difference. Not enough to say one rifle is any safer than the other if one existed in both conditions in the same place at the same time.
If you abort a trigger pull, for any reason at all, at a bare minimum you should be putting the rifle back on safe. Most rifle matches require the bolt up and back when moving from one position to another. Some will leave it up to the shooter. The point is, if we’re playing with guns we need to be smart about it. Put the rifle back on safe and you won’t have to rely on a couple pounds of trigger pressure to keep the rifle from hurting somebody. I’ve seen guys crank rounds off by mistake, at work, on the range, and in competition…it’s not an experience that I would describe as enjoyable. It’s unsafe. Let’s keep it from happening by putting the responsibility for safety where it belongs, on the shooter and not the trigger!