Two stage triggers

Jeff in TX

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Sep 5, 2004
315
53
McKinney, TX
I just purchased the Armalite SASS Canadian sniper contract AR-10 and it comes with a match two stage trigger. I shot my buddies AR-15 with a two stage trigger and I have a couple of questions.

Why on earth does anyone shoot a two stage trigger????? Granted this was my first time shooting a two stage and I hated it. Sorry but I can see no practical reason for one but with some of you they seem to be all the rage. This gun will be used as my new hog gun once the silencer is done.

Help me understand the benefits of a two stage trigger.

As always thanks
 

ORD

Montani Semper Liberi
Full Member
Minuteman
Nov 12, 2005
6,147
25
Morgantown, WV, USA
Re: Two stage triggers

I have had two of the Armalite 2-stage "Tactical" triggers and they weren't all that great. Heavy first stage of 4lbs then an almost 3lb pull on the second stage. Way to heavy on both IMO! Don't judge all 2-stage triggers by the Armalite standard! Some of their triggers are excellent out of the box while others leave a lot to be desired.

In terms of the operation of a 2-stage trigger...obviously, it has two portions that can be felt during trigger pull.

The first stage has a much longer, generally heavier travel than the second stage. The first stage is normally called take-up (and some other synonyms) but should not be confused with creep or other slop in the trigger. At the end of the first stage, you'll experience a definite stop. This is the beginning of the second stage. At this point, you have "staged" the trigger and are ready to engage the second stage and fire. The trigger essentially works like a single stage trigger at this point. You should have a crisp, clean break with around 2.0lbs (give or take) of pressure.

The advantages are primarily one of safety and then one of accuracy. An AR running a single-stage trigger will get you into a trigger like that found commonly on bolt action rifles. No creep, no slop, minimal reset, just apply pressure to the trigger and then break like a glass rod with around a 3-3.5lb pull or so. The 2-stage on the other hand offers safety and accuracy. You get a long, first stage with around 2.5lbs pull then a second stage with a crisp, clean pull similar to a single stage trigger, but with only a 2lb pull (give or take). You can't safely get an AR single-stage trigger much below the 3-3.5lb pull mark because of the risk of AD's, bump fires, etc., etc. The 2-stage triggers (some) are infinietly more adjustable to get a truly "tuned" trigger setup to the individual shooter's preferences. Take the Giessele for example...you can get a "Match" 2-stage trigger with a 2lb first stage with a 12oz second stage (infinitely lighter than anything you can get close to with a single-stage trigger). I run Geissele DMR triggers where I get a 2lb first stage and a 1.5lbs second stage...it is the cat's meow for AR triggers.

If you are used to a quality, tuned bolt action rifle trigger (single stage), then getting used to a 2-stage trigger can be a real stuggle and can take a while to get used to.
 

telcolineman

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Apr 11, 2010
117
0
54
Pine Grove, Norcal
Re: Two stage triggers

My single stage in my AR10 was horrible, It had an 8# pull. I swapped it out for the Geissele SSA 2 stage unit and love it, As previously stated from a safety factor it's great. You have the first stage takeup and then about .020" and the release, Much better IMHO than the single stage unit. This is a bench gun of course not a hunting weapon
 

LoneWolfUSMC

Lt. Colonel
Full Member
Minuteman
Re: Two stage triggers

As ORD stated, you can get a lighter, cleaner pull with a quality two stage than with a single stage.

I have seen lots of guys try to go too light with a single stage on an autoloader. This frequently results in doubles.

I have a Rock River Two Stage in my .223 HBAR and an Armalite Tactical in my AR10. The RRA was just fine without any work. It dropped in and was more than sufficient for a tactical rifle.

My Armalite trigger had a nice second stage break, but the first stage was way too heavy even on the lightest setting. After reading the tech notes and bending the spring as described I knocked a couple pounds off of the first stage. This made the trigger much more enjoyable to shoot. The trigger was installed at the factory so I did not have to do any filing/stoning.

You don't need a 2oz. trigger to have an accurate rifle. Most of the time shooters need to spend time working on the trigger finger rather than the trigger.

In the competition rifle I am planning I will be installing a Geissele DMR unless POF implements the changes I spoke with Scott about.
 

sobrbiker883

Lt. Colonel
Full Member
Minuteman
Sep 18, 2003
7,140
208
Gilbert AZ
Re: Two stage triggers

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: LoneWolfUSMC</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
You don't need a 2oz. trigger to have an accurate rifle. Most of the time shooters need to spend time working on the trigger finger rather than the trigger.
</div></div>

-heh heh heh. That is so true (and hits close to home-I could be so much better with some training discipline).
I'm curious to talk to Scott when he gets back about changes to the POF trigger you guys discussed.

I have a POF single stage in my carbine, and while its very nice, my preference runs 2stage in semi's and my smallbore silhouette rifle and single stage in my boltguns.
 

frog5215

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Sep 17, 2009
981
0
69
Fort Worth, Texas
Re: Two stage triggers

In more rapid fire, a two stage trigger is used just like a single stage. The trigger is trapped on firing, then allowed to reset, but not released to the rest position. You're not really using the first stage in this instance. My 10/22, for instance, has a 20 oz trigger, about half & half, so the perception is of a 10oz trigger.
Yes it's a match gun. For something higher power or more "practical" use I would prefer 3- 3 1/2# with 2# of that on the first stage.