Today we’re going to talk a bit about two stage trigger benefits. For those a little unfamiliar with the concept a two stage trigger has a stop built into it where a single stage trigger does not. If you begin to pull a one stage trigger to the rear it will move until it eventually fires in one stage of trigger movement. With a two stage trigger, when you begin to press rearward you encounter a stop, known as the break wall. Additional pressure is required to move the trigger rearward past the stop or breakwall to fire the weapon. The concept for this article is why it is advantageous to know exactly where you are in the trigger pull and precisely when the rifle will fire! Let’s get started talking about two stage trigger benefits!
Two Stage Trigger: Awesomesauce
Two stage triggers are great. They sound a little wonky but once you try one it’s hard to go back. Now don’t mistake what I’m saying, nothing in the precision shooting game is right for everyone. If a single stage is your preference and you’ve tried it both ways that’s fine. However, I’d like to offer a few reasons and some food for thought when considering a trigger purchase. There are a number of things that can throw off a shot for somebody trying to engage a target at distance. One of those things is the trigger!
Think of it like a common driving analogy. Better tires won’t make you a better driver, but better tires will allow you to drive better! The same principle applies here. While putting an adjustable two stage trigger on your rifle won’t make you a better shooter it will allow you to shoot better. The notion of pulling a trigger rearward and allowing it to “surprise you” is one you hear often. It’s not bad advice but a bit misguided. The idea of allowing the rifle to surprise you is designed to keep people from jerking the trigger in an anticipatory flinch. Your brain doesn’t like the loud noise and recoil and tries to control as much of it as possible.
With a less experienced shooter you will see them start to flinch and jerk the trigger so that it fires when they’re expecting it. It’s a subconscious way to prepare yourself for something unsettling. As a shooter’s skill progresses they learn not to fear the recoil and noise and just allow the rifle to do it’s thing. With a single stage trigger you have to be conscious of your trigger pull and ensure a smooth and even application of pressure until ignition. You’ll develop a feel for when it’s going to go off with experience but exactly when is a bit of a mystery. A two stage trigger eliminates the uncertainty! Think of it as knowing when the rifle will fire without having to flinch to predict the ignition. This is one of the primary two stage trigger benefits!
Two Stage Trigger Options
There are a host of trigger options out there these days in both single stage trigger and two stage trigger varieties. If you prefer a single stage trigger I highly recommend the TriggerTech trigger! It’s rolling friction design all but eliminates any takeup or creep you may be used to with other single stage trigger designs. Once you move into the realm of the two stage trigger there are many options to choose from. Timney Triggers is now manufacturing two stage versions of their adjustable trigger and the popular Calvin Elite trigger. I have been a fan of and continue to recommend the Huber Two Stage Trigger! Which one you get is up to you but try to give one a try on a buddy’s rifle before purchasing as they can be expensive!
Two Stage Trigger Benefits
Here’s what it comes down to: there is an inherent advantage to accuracy in precision shooting when you can stage and predict the moment of ignition. On a square range where you are only shooting for fun, two stage trigger benefits may be harder to see but they are still present. Being able to stage the trigger at the breakwall and add the few extra ounces of pressure required to fire the rifle will help you avoid flinching. If you step into the competition scene the advantages multiply. Moving targets are easier to engage when you can stage the trigger as you track or trap it. Positional shooting is becoming much more popular and widespread. Tricky shots in general appear easier to me and are one of the two stage trigger benefits.
The farther you get away from the ground the more movement you start to see in your scope as your position’s stability suffers. If you are trying to time your shots as your reticle floats across the target, which sounds easier? Pressing a single stage where the ignition point is uncertain or pressing rearward on a two stage trigger that’s already at the breakwall?
I’m not saying you can’t shoot well with a one stage trigger. You certainly can and people do every day. It’s like saying you can’t handle recoil without a muzzle brake. Of course you can! The difference is that with a two stage trigger certain things are easier! I resisted using a muzzle brake for a long time. Then I tried one and holy hell, what a difference!? It didn’t make me shoot better but it made spotting impacts easier especially in a compromised shooting position. Two stage triggers fall into the same upgrade category as a muzzle brake. It’s not that it’s going to boost accuracy but it will make taking inherently inaccurate shots from less than ideal situations easier. Two stage trigger benefits fall into the “makes life easier” category of upgrades.
I try to compete as often as I can because it’s great practice and great fun. I’m also after whatever whatever edge I can get. I’m pretty noise sensitive so I have good earpro and a suppressor because it helps me avoid flinching as a reaction to noise. Some of the competitions I’ve been to have had moving targets and many have had shots from odd positions that didn’t include laying prone on the ground. It’s easier to take those shots when I can put some pressure on the trigger, feel it stop at the breakwall, and know in my mind the next bit of pressure will make it fire. After that it’s all up to me as the shooter. I have to be on my game and focus on waiting for the crosshairs to float across my target. The point is, every little bit helps and this isn’t a super expensive bit of help to acquire! Disagree? Let me know in the comments!
Owner and Proprietor of AccuracyTech, LLC. Rich is a Firearms Enthusiast, Precision Rifle Competitor, and Writer. He is committed to bringing readers quality reviews and articles related to the Precision Shooting Sports. If you have any questions for him, please use the contact form on the site.