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Rifle School: How Double-Stage Triggers Work

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March 01, 2012

Rifle School: How Double-Stage Triggers Work

By David E. Petzal

In my post of February 22 on the new Weatherby Vanguard Series 2, I mentioned that Weatherby had given it a double-stage trigger, and blogger Ripper III asked, what’s the advantage to such a thing? Good question.

People who design triggers have to come up with a mechanism that does two contradictory things. It has to have sufficient sear engagement (there has to be enough contact between the sear and the trigger) so that it won’t slam fire, fail to cock, or go off at a mere touch, because when these things happen product-liability lawyers and television news reporters come running.

But if you have enough sear engagement to prevent all of these things, you end up with a heavy, draggy, creepy trigger pull. For more than 20 years, American rifle makers were so frightened by accidental-discharge lawsuits, that the triggers they turned out were, nearly without exception, heavy, draggy, and creepy.

There did not seem to be a solution until 2002 when Savage came up with the AccuTrigger, which modernized an old type of trigger design--the double-stage pull. A double-stage trigger requires two separate “pulls,” or mechanical actions, before the sear can release the firing pin. To oversimplify things, it means that the sear is held at two points instead of one, and unless both are released, the rifle can’t go bang.

It also means that the second stage of the pull can be smooth, light, and crisp without the chance of an accidental discharge. The double-stage trigger was ignored by civilian designers for all those years because it was unfashionable. During the decades when Springfields, Mausers, and Enfields were sporterized by the pallet-load, the first thing a gunsmith would do was convert the double-stage trigger to single-stage. A great many fine trigger pulls were lost that way. I have a sporterized ’03 Springfield with the two-stage trigger left intact. Its owner was a very accomplished gunsmith who could easily have altered it, but he sensibly left it alone, and none of the many, many deer he took with it seemed to mind.

A double-stage pull is not a guarantee of a good trigger. I’ve shot plenty of military rifles with rotten double-stage triggers, and I’ve hauled on some truly mediocre specimens among the new crop of civilian double-stage triggers. If the design is not sound, or if the trigger is shoddily made, it will be a poor pull, regardless.

But the good ones are really good.

Comments (48)

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from Kris24 wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

So is the one in the Vanguard Series 2 a "good one", or does it vary from rifle to rifle?

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from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

Dave,
I am looking forward to lot of good comments on this subject. Despite the fact that many of my rifles have Jewel triggers, two of my favorites have two stage trigger, one an old 06 Enfield, and my most cherished rifle a 416 Rigby by Griffin & Howe. Have written before, I like my triggers to be the same type, and weight. However, using heavy calibers in exciting situations have found I hang on the trigger a bit. The two stage trigger seems to help me shot better, as long as it is crisp at the shot. Should add have no experience with much of todays technology.

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from MJC wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

Personally, I think the Swiss K-31 takes home first place in the 'old military rifle, double stage trigger' category. They are a joy to shoot.

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from Mark-1 wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

Sorry. I can't praise a double stage trigger. What can I say? Some people don't like pizza.

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from cliff68 wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

I own two Ruger Mark II Target rifles with the 2 stage trigger and they are very fine indeed. Have come to prefer them over a single stage over the years for varmiting purposes.

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from Bryan01 wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

But will we ever see a modern hunting rifle with a set trigger?

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from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

Bryano1,

I believe firms in Austria and Germany will still be happy to supply you with set triggers. Kindest Regards

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

I have a CZ .22 Hornet and a CZ .223 both with a single set trigger. They are great to shoot. I think that the CZ 550 which comes in larger calibers also comes with the single set trigger also.

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from MNHunter wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

I have a sporterized Mauser in 30.06 with a 2-stage trigger. It is not the prettiest gun in the woods, but it sure does shoot well and has never let me down.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BigBboy25 wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

Geissele makes an excellent two stage trigger AR's and Anschutz has very good two stage triggers from my experience. I'm not sure what style of trigger I like better though. I see more two stage triggers on palma rifles, NRA high power rifles and tactical long range rifles than single stage triggers; but more 2 oz. single stage triggers on F-class and bench rest rifles. I guess each trigger has its niche.

Happy,

Would you suggest a two stage trigger on a dangerous game rifle for a hunter new to this type of hunting? Or would you suggest sticking to a single stage trigger if that is what you were more familiar with?

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from BigBboy25 wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

*for AR's

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from RipperIII wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

@David Petzal: Thank you for the explanation!
I have only one big game rifle, a Tikka T3 in .270, I love the trigger if for no other reason than it is the only trigger that i have any real experience with.
There is no creep, and once locked onto my target the gun seems to shoot when my brain says so...no effort required on my part so to speak.
I like the look and the reputation of the Weatherby and will give it some serious consideration for my next pick-up.
I'm not sure if i like the concept of "setting the trigger"...I want to stay totally focused on my target, but you guys seem to like these things, so I'll have to give it a try.

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from davidpetzal wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

To Bryan01: I hope not. A set trigger (one in which a pull on the rear trigger "cocks" the front trigger, which then releases at a touch) has no place on a big-game rifle. It's an accident waiting to happen. I think that any big-game rifle whose trigger releases with a pull of less than 2 1/2 pounds (and I think that's treading along the edge) is flat-out dangerous.

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from Bryan01 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

DP, I appreciate your comments. I don't have any experience with set triggers but the concept struck me as one that would work well with a varmint gun used for groundhogs or prairie dogs.

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from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

BigBboy,
Stick wit what you are familiar with for a dangerous game rifle in other words a single stage trigger. My 416 came with a two stage trigger and after 40 years I am used to it.

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from muleyjim wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I have all theabove i have a sporterized 24/47 8mm that shoots realy sweet with double stage triger I have most of my hunting rifles set with a prety light triger 2lbs or so and I have an old santa Fe hawkens with the double set trigers that I can strik a match with a round ball with. just recently goot a 22-250 remington 700 with Xmark triger witch was set at about 5lb out of the box. had to turn that one down a little it is a very smooth zero creep triger and now is set at about 2lbs or less also. had to doi it I found myself at the bench thinking the saftey was on.. I do like tha double stage trigers though have taken a few muleys with my dads old A3 06 with doublestage trigger dident seam to bother me in the least. and it was funny they had no idea i used a double stage trigger to bust there colectiv asses.. :-)

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

A 3 pound trigger is about right for a big game rifle, particularly one usually fired while wearing gloves. I like a trigger without a lot of creep that breaks crisply for my shooting style, which is to say not missing the target.

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from muleyjim wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

davidpetza,, I am glad you brought this up. was wondering if i should put a new trigger on my mauser to be cool like all the other guys sporterizeing mousers. but I like the two stage on this gun and now that i know you have some guns with the 2 stage triggers on them,, well i feel cool agean.. thannk you!! ;-)

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from duckcreekdick wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

You stole my fire, MJC, on those fine Swiss K-31 triggers.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I've had a T/C Hawken for years and the double set triggers work great for me. As I recall, many European bolt actions did have double set triggers in the past and I don't understand why they would be a problem now. What am I missing?

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from muleyjim wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

DSMbirddog, I persenaly have not had any problems hunting with my old hawkens eather.. I dont evean set the trigger till I am lined up on my buck.
I could see a problem if soemone was walking around in the field with a cocked locked redy pop set trigger. I can see how that could be dangerous.

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from ITHACASXS wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Something Mr. Happy Myles caught my attention concerning the '06 Enfield. did you sir, mean the 1917 Enfield the kind that was made at the Eddystone arsenal? I have one that was purchased years ago in my teens and its fun to shoot but far too clumsy and heavy for hunting. Are these worth sporterizing as one would the '03 Springfield? Not for me, but for my growing big-boned teenage son, the southern tier of N.Y. allows rifles now. Thank you.

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

The set trigger on my CZ's is a single set trigger. Push the trigger to the reare to set it. Like I said I have it on a .22 Hornet and a .223. I only use it at the range and when I am shooting something like pararie dogs. The trigger is good in regular mode anyway;. I hate to admit it but I owned the .22 Hornet for about 3 months before I knew it had a single set trigger that is how good the regular trigger is. I knew my .223 had one but I didn't know the Hornet came with one. WAM I have always said that a big game hunting rifle shouldn't have a trigger with a trigger pull with anything less than 3 pounds. Anything less and you are looking for trouble with gloves and cold fingers etc. A quality trigger set a 3 pounds is a good route to go. If you have a junky trigger you may experience problems.

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from murdock32 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I have a Vanguard first series, the trigger was bad, Now its a Timney and perfect @ 1.8 pounds.

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from MReeder wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

My first centerfire rifle, which I still own and use, is a 1908 Brazilian Oberndorf Mauser in 7X57. I purchased it in the cosmoline for the princely sum of 50 bucks, using Christmas money. I was about 12 at the time, so you can imagine how long ago that was. My dad, who was a fine amateur gunsmith and stock maker, helped me sporterize it, but we left the two stage trigger alone. The first step is a bit creepy but the second breaks like glass and I have never had a problem with it as long as I do sufficient dry firing to refamiliarize myself with its feel. Same applies to all my other rifles, which are all single stages.
My dad built a .243 varmint/bench/deer rifle on an identical Oberndorf Mauser action but replaced the original trigger with a double set job. The rifle itself weighed nearly 11 pounds and with the trigger set was marvelously accurate. You just had to be careful not to breathe in its direction once it was set. He shot far more crows, jackrabbits and targets with it than deer, but even in a stand seldom used the set trigger when deer hunting. As sensitive as that trigger was you needed to have it nailed to a bench and be rock solid on target before you disturbed the air around it. The back trigger was a little stout, but clean, and worked fine from a tree stand.
I think you can get used to almost anything as long as you practice with it enough. Once again, 100 dry fires for every round fired is a pretty good ratio.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Sarge01,

A good positive safety and a 3 pound trigger are essential items for a hunting rifle. An accidental discharge is usually more dire than not shooting small groups. Incidently, the CZ rifle triggers are pushed forward to "set" or fired in the normal manner.

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from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

ITHACASXS,
I am embarrassed to confess I cannot answer your question. Looked in my gun safes and it is not there, so must be in my Son's safe, and he is out of State on film location. My Father picked up three Enfields for himself and a couple hunting buddies from the Benicia Arsenal near San Francisco before WWII. They personally reworked the rifles even milling down the barrels to lighten them. None of these comrades were gunsmiths. However one was a machinist, one an engineer, and Dad a cowboy. He claimed he examined a pile rifles while making his selections. All three rifles shot very well. That heavy Enfield action puts a lot of weight between your hands. Have no idea how many animals of all shapes and sizes have gone down by this rifle.

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from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Addendum,
Regarding sporterizing Enfield actions. I could be wrong, but as I recall A-Square used Enfield actions for many of their dangerous game rifles

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from ishawooa wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I assumed that Happy was refering to the 1917 Enfield. We used as many or more of them in the Great War as 1903 Springfields. Some local gunsmiths prefer this action for some of the longer magnums as the cases fit quite well. Of course the action does require a substancial amount of work insofar as removing the "ears" and other alterations to make it esthetically pleasing and to provide reliable functioning.

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

WAM,
It has been a while since I fired my CZ's and I qualified my loss of memory in an earlier post on trying to stop chewing tobacco. It gets incovienient at times and I have to be careful about a lot of things that I used to take for granted. One of those things that I used to think that only happened to other people.

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from MReeder wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Re. the Enfield, that was a very popular action to sporterize. There were more Springfields in the woods; mainly because for a long time after WWI they were sold to civilians through the NRA for about $5. I think the sporterized version went for about $10. Makes you wish for a time machine.
Alot of people had Enfields though and it was probably the action most used for rechambering to the big boys. I remember O'Connor writing that anyone with a lust to own a true dangerous game rifle but with a shortage of cash should have an Enfield rechambered to .416 Ribgy. I believe his own .416 was just such a conversion.

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from MReeder wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Make that "Rigby" in the previous post, not Ribgy. I've already added farsightedness to existing nearsightedness; I guess dyslexic must be the next step. Every day past 50 really is an adventure...

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from fordman155 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I agree with everything written about the long, hard pull of some military triggers being a big drawback---and the reason to get a better trigger when the rifle is/was sporterized. A Enfield action I had was rebarreled to a 25-06 turned into a VERY accurate rifle when I put a Timney trigger on it.
Weatherby got the trigger right, in my humble opinion, when they went with the 2-stage trigger on their S2 Vanguards.

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from kahrdcarrier wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I had the same experience Murdock32 did. My Vanguard I series had a very creepy heavy-then-light trigger. But I am a cheap scoundrel. I sent it back to them on warranty. They said if THEY thought it should be fixed they would. They paid for shipping both ways and oh my, that trigger is sweet now. Just a touch over three pounds with NO creep.

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

My Vanguard Deluxe has an excellent trigger. My gunsmith has it set at 3 pounds without any creep or drag and I couldn't be happier with it. I guess I must have been lucky with the factory trigger.

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from Del in KS wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I have one of the first Vanguard 2's in 300 Wby. The trigger is very good but I like the accu-trigger on my ER Shaw MK VII even better.

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from davidpetzal wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

To DSM Bird Dog: The problem lies not so much with the set trigger, but with the proficiency--or lack thereof--of many hunters. From what I've seen, much European hunting takes place under conditions that are far more controlled than they are here, and the people who hunt there are a lot more skilled than they are here. A Kentucky rifleman would have no trouble with a set trigger because he would never have used anything else, and because he would have been a highly proficient shooter.

You have the same situation with release triggers in trap guns. The original owners, who know what a release trigger is and how it works, don't have a problem. The accidental discharge comes with someone who is unfamiliar with a release trigger picks up the gun.

About P-17 Enfields: Amen to all of you who have pointed out what a great heavy rifle they make. Converting them is a lot of work, but when you're done, you've really got something. One of the best dangerous game rifles I've ever handled was a Griffin & Howe .416 Rigby on a P-17 action. Just a plain working gun, but they did everything right.

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from ITHACASXS wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Thank you for replying Mr. Happy Myles, please forgive my late response, got stuck working a double shift. Our 1917 Enfield is quite a handful and we love it. I will look into the possiblity of sporterizing this. I read many years ago that soldiers that were issued the 1917 had to have a penny inserted in the mag during inspection so the bolt could be worked open and closed unloaded. When holding this rifle one can't help think of the infantry men who carried this rifle through the mud for miles.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Sarge01,
I get the occasional brain cramp myself and it is not from chewing tobacco! LOL!

I actually tightened up the trigger on my 7mm Wby Mk V. The previous owner had it set somewhere around 2 pounds. It is about 3 pounds now. My other 2 have not been touched, just fine the way they are. My Remington 700 .35w has a 4+ pound trigger, but it breaks very crisply and I like it just fine. It shoots sub-MOA groups even with this nut tightened behind the bolt.

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from MReeder wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

My brain must be turning to mush. Reference to double set trigger in previous post should have said that front trigger, unset, was stout but clean -- not the back trigger. The back trigger on a double set is used strictly to set the first one. When you want to shoot it unset, you just use it like any other trigger. Single set triggers of course are set by pushing them forward.

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from Mark-1 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Somewhat surprised on praising for Enfield actions. My experience was a military Enfield action was a bear to civilize milling the wings off. Enfields have a long action for those H & H type magnums and good magazine, but more experienced hunters told me to go more with Mauser and Springfield military actions. Reason: Enfields have a weak ejector prone to breakage.

Is this a fantasy statement or is there something to it?

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from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Mark,
The real weak part of this action is the ejector. However, replacements are readily available, replacing the old, with a more easily broken flat spring, with one with a small coil spring. You still may have a lot of milling to do to trim up the action. Kindest Regards

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Why would one spend money fiddling with an old Enfield action when there are much better to tinker with? By the time you are done tinkering with it, you could go buy a good rifle. JMO

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from Oryx wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

For some people, the tinkering is the objective, rather than the product of the tinkering.

Sort of sounds like my dealings with the fairer sex in High School, come to think of it.

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from M1jhartman wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Good post, Dave.
I have noticed that many of the surplus rifles I feel have nice, double stage triggers, and now I know why.

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from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Wam,
During the depression, five bucks for an 06 was a pretty good deal if you were a serious hunter. A lot of hunters with machinist skills had more time than money. The Enfield was less expensive than Mauser or Springfield. As far as I know , no one has ever quarreled with Enfield accuracy, as a military rifle.

Am not endorsing Enfield, just recounting my history with this rifle. All The Best

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from Brian Robinson wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I personally like the orginal two stage triggers on the springfields and mausers,, I dont like the modern crap

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Post a Comment

from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

Dave,
I am looking forward to lot of good comments on this subject. Despite the fact that many of my rifles have Jewel triggers, two of my favorites have two stage trigger, one an old 06 Enfield, and my most cherished rifle a 416 Rigby by Griffin & Howe. Have written before, I like my triggers to be the same type, and weight. However, using heavy calibers in exciting situations have found I hang on the trigger a bit. The two stage trigger seems to help me shot better, as long as it is crisp at the shot. Should add have no experience with much of todays technology.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

To Bryan01: I hope not. A set trigger (one in which a pull on the rear trigger "cocks" the front trigger, which then releases at a touch) has no place on a big-game rifle. It's an accident waiting to happen. I think that any big-game rifle whose trigger releases with a pull of less than 2 1/2 pounds (and I think that's treading along the edge) is flat-out dangerous.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MReeder wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

My first centerfire rifle, which I still own and use, is a 1908 Brazilian Oberndorf Mauser in 7X57. I purchased it in the cosmoline for the princely sum of 50 bucks, using Christmas money. I was about 12 at the time, so you can imagine how long ago that was. My dad, who was a fine amateur gunsmith and stock maker, helped me sporterize it, but we left the two stage trigger alone. The first step is a bit creepy but the second breaks like glass and I have never had a problem with it as long as I do sufficient dry firing to refamiliarize myself with its feel. Same applies to all my other rifles, which are all single stages.
My dad built a .243 varmint/bench/deer rifle on an identical Oberndorf Mauser action but replaced the original trigger with a double set job. The rifle itself weighed nearly 11 pounds and with the trigger set was marvelously accurate. You just had to be careful not to breathe in its direction once it was set. He shot far more crows, jackrabbits and targets with it than deer, but even in a stand seldom used the set trigger when deer hunting. As sensitive as that trigger was you needed to have it nailed to a bench and be rock solid on target before you disturbed the air around it. The back trigger was a little stout, but clean, and worked fine from a tree stand.
I think you can get used to almost anything as long as you practice with it enough. Once again, 100 dry fires for every round fired is a pretty good ratio.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Mark,
The real weak part of this action is the ejector. However, replacements are readily available, replacing the old, with a more easily broken flat spring, with one with a small coil spring. You still may have a lot of milling to do to trim up the action. Kindest Regards

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

Bryano1,

I believe firms in Austria and Germany will still be happy to supply you with set triggers. Kindest Regards

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

I have a CZ .22 Hornet and a CZ .223 both with a single set trigger. They are great to shoot. I think that the CZ 550 which comes in larger calibers also comes with the single set trigger also.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MNHunter wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

I have a sporterized Mauser in 30.06 with a 2-stage trigger. It is not the prettiest gun in the woods, but it sure does shoot well and has never let me down.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

BigBboy,
Stick wit what you are familiar with for a dangerous game rifle in other words a single stage trigger. My 416 came with a two stage trigger and after 40 years I am used to it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from muleyjim wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I have all theabove i have a sporterized 24/47 8mm that shoots realy sweet with double stage triger I have most of my hunting rifles set with a prety light triger 2lbs or so and I have an old santa Fe hawkens with the double set trigers that I can strik a match with a round ball with. just recently goot a 22-250 remington 700 with Xmark triger witch was set at about 5lb out of the box. had to turn that one down a little it is a very smooth zero creep triger and now is set at about 2lbs or less also. had to doi it I found myself at the bench thinking the saftey was on.. I do like tha double stage trigers though have taken a few muleys with my dads old A3 06 with doublestage trigger dident seam to bother me in the least. and it was funny they had no idea i used a double stage trigger to bust there colectiv asses.. :-)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

A 3 pound trigger is about right for a big game rifle, particularly one usually fired while wearing gloves. I like a trigger without a lot of creep that breaks crisply for my shooting style, which is to say not missing the target.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from duckcreekdick wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

You stole my fire, MJC, on those fine Swiss K-31 triggers.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Sarge01,

A good positive safety and a 3 pound trigger are essential items for a hunting rifle. An accidental discharge is usually more dire than not shooting small groups. Incidently, the CZ rifle triggers are pushed forward to "set" or fired in the normal manner.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

ITHACASXS,
I am embarrassed to confess I cannot answer your question. Looked in my gun safes and it is not there, so must be in my Son's safe, and he is out of State on film location. My Father picked up three Enfields for himself and a couple hunting buddies from the Benicia Arsenal near San Francisco before WWII. They personally reworked the rifles even milling down the barrels to lighten them. None of these comrades were gunsmiths. However one was a machinist, one an engineer, and Dad a cowboy. He claimed he examined a pile rifles while making his selections. All three rifles shot very well. That heavy Enfield action puts a lot of weight between your hands. Have no idea how many animals of all shapes and sizes have gone down by this rifle.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Addendum,
Regarding sporterizing Enfield actions. I could be wrong, but as I recall A-Square used Enfield actions for many of their dangerous game rifles

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Sarge01,
I get the occasional brain cramp myself and it is not from chewing tobacco! LOL!

I actually tightened up the trigger on my 7mm Wby Mk V. The previous owner had it set somewhere around 2 pounds. It is about 3 pounds now. My other 2 have not been touched, just fine the way they are. My Remington 700 .35w has a 4+ pound trigger, but it breaks very crisply and I like it just fine. It shoots sub-MOA groups even with this nut tightened behind the bolt.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MReeder wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

My brain must be turning to mush. Reference to double set trigger in previous post should have said that front trigger, unset, was stout but clean -- not the back trigger. The back trigger on a double set is used strictly to set the first one. When you want to shoot it unset, you just use it like any other trigger. Single set triggers of course are set by pushing them forward.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Why would one spend money fiddling with an old Enfield action when there are much better to tinker with? By the time you are done tinkering with it, you could go buy a good rifle. JMO

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Wam,
During the depression, five bucks for an 06 was a pretty good deal if you were a serious hunter. A lot of hunters with machinist skills had more time than money. The Enfield was less expensive than Mauser or Springfield. As far as I know , no one has ever quarreled with Enfield accuracy, as a military rifle.

Am not endorsing Enfield, just recounting my history with this rifle. All The Best

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kris24 wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

So is the one in the Vanguard Series 2 a "good one", or does it vary from rifle to rifle?

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from MJC wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

Personally, I think the Swiss K-31 takes home first place in the 'old military rifle, double stage trigger' category. They are a joy to shoot.

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from Mark-1 wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

Sorry. I can't praise a double stage trigger. What can I say? Some people don't like pizza.

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from cliff68 wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

I own two Ruger Mark II Target rifles with the 2 stage trigger and they are very fine indeed. Have come to prefer them over a single stage over the years for varmiting purposes.

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from Bryan01 wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

But will we ever see a modern hunting rifle with a set trigger?

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from BigBboy25 wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

Geissele makes an excellent two stage trigger AR's and Anschutz has very good two stage triggers from my experience. I'm not sure what style of trigger I like better though. I see more two stage triggers on palma rifles, NRA high power rifles and tactical long range rifles than single stage triggers; but more 2 oz. single stage triggers on F-class and bench rest rifles. I guess each trigger has its niche.

Happy,

Would you suggest a two stage trigger on a dangerous game rifle for a hunter new to this type of hunting? Or would you suggest sticking to a single stage trigger if that is what you were more familiar with?

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from BigBboy25 wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

*for AR's

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from RipperIII wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

@David Petzal: Thank you for the explanation!
I have only one big game rifle, a Tikka T3 in .270, I love the trigger if for no other reason than it is the only trigger that i have any real experience with.
There is no creep, and once locked onto my target the gun seems to shoot when my brain says so...no effort required on my part so to speak.
I like the look and the reputation of the Weatherby and will give it some serious consideration for my next pick-up.
I'm not sure if i like the concept of "setting the trigger"...I want to stay totally focused on my target, but you guys seem to like these things, so I'll have to give it a try.

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from Bryan01 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

DP, I appreciate your comments. I don't have any experience with set triggers but the concept struck me as one that would work well with a varmint gun used for groundhogs or prairie dogs.

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from muleyjim wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

davidpetza,, I am glad you brought this up. was wondering if i should put a new trigger on my mauser to be cool like all the other guys sporterizeing mousers. but I like the two stage on this gun and now that i know you have some guns with the 2 stage triggers on them,, well i feel cool agean.. thannk you!! ;-)

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from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I've had a T/C Hawken for years and the double set triggers work great for me. As I recall, many European bolt actions did have double set triggers in the past and I don't understand why they would be a problem now. What am I missing?

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from muleyjim wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

DSMbirddog, I persenaly have not had any problems hunting with my old hawkens eather.. I dont evean set the trigger till I am lined up on my buck.
I could see a problem if soemone was walking around in the field with a cocked locked redy pop set trigger. I can see how that could be dangerous.

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from ITHACASXS wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Something Mr. Happy Myles caught my attention concerning the '06 Enfield. did you sir, mean the 1917 Enfield the kind that was made at the Eddystone arsenal? I have one that was purchased years ago in my teens and its fun to shoot but far too clumsy and heavy for hunting. Are these worth sporterizing as one would the '03 Springfield? Not for me, but for my growing big-boned teenage son, the southern tier of N.Y. allows rifles now. Thank you.

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

The set trigger on my CZ's is a single set trigger. Push the trigger to the reare to set it. Like I said I have it on a .22 Hornet and a .223. I only use it at the range and when I am shooting something like pararie dogs. The trigger is good in regular mode anyway;. I hate to admit it but I owned the .22 Hornet for about 3 months before I knew it had a single set trigger that is how good the regular trigger is. I knew my .223 had one but I didn't know the Hornet came with one. WAM I have always said that a big game hunting rifle shouldn't have a trigger with a trigger pull with anything less than 3 pounds. Anything less and you are looking for trouble with gloves and cold fingers etc. A quality trigger set a 3 pounds is a good route to go. If you have a junky trigger you may experience problems.

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from murdock32 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I have a Vanguard first series, the trigger was bad, Now its a Timney and perfect @ 1.8 pounds.

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from ishawooa wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I assumed that Happy was refering to the 1917 Enfield. We used as many or more of them in the Great War as 1903 Springfields. Some local gunsmiths prefer this action for some of the longer magnums as the cases fit quite well. Of course the action does require a substancial amount of work insofar as removing the "ears" and other alterations to make it esthetically pleasing and to provide reliable functioning.

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

WAM,
It has been a while since I fired my CZ's and I qualified my loss of memory in an earlier post on trying to stop chewing tobacco. It gets incovienient at times and I have to be careful about a lot of things that I used to take for granted. One of those things that I used to think that only happened to other people.

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from MReeder wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Re. the Enfield, that was a very popular action to sporterize. There were more Springfields in the woods; mainly because for a long time after WWI they were sold to civilians through the NRA for about $5. I think the sporterized version went for about $10. Makes you wish for a time machine.
Alot of people had Enfields though and it was probably the action most used for rechambering to the big boys. I remember O'Connor writing that anyone with a lust to own a true dangerous game rifle but with a shortage of cash should have an Enfield rechambered to .416 Ribgy. I believe his own .416 was just such a conversion.

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from MReeder wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Make that "Rigby" in the previous post, not Ribgy. I've already added farsightedness to existing nearsightedness; I guess dyslexic must be the next step. Every day past 50 really is an adventure...

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from fordman155 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I agree with everything written about the long, hard pull of some military triggers being a big drawback---and the reason to get a better trigger when the rifle is/was sporterized. A Enfield action I had was rebarreled to a 25-06 turned into a VERY accurate rifle when I put a Timney trigger on it.
Weatherby got the trigger right, in my humble opinion, when they went with the 2-stage trigger on their S2 Vanguards.

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from kahrdcarrier wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I had the same experience Murdock32 did. My Vanguard I series had a very creepy heavy-then-light trigger. But I am a cheap scoundrel. I sent it back to them on warranty. They said if THEY thought it should be fixed they would. They paid for shipping both ways and oh my, that trigger is sweet now. Just a touch over three pounds with NO creep.

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

My Vanguard Deluxe has an excellent trigger. My gunsmith has it set at 3 pounds without any creep or drag and I couldn't be happier with it. I guess I must have been lucky with the factory trigger.

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from Del in KS wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I have one of the first Vanguard 2's in 300 Wby. The trigger is very good but I like the accu-trigger on my ER Shaw MK VII even better.

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from davidpetzal wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

To DSM Bird Dog: The problem lies not so much with the set trigger, but with the proficiency--or lack thereof--of many hunters. From what I've seen, much European hunting takes place under conditions that are far more controlled than they are here, and the people who hunt there are a lot more skilled than they are here. A Kentucky rifleman would have no trouble with a set trigger because he would never have used anything else, and because he would have been a highly proficient shooter.

You have the same situation with release triggers in trap guns. The original owners, who know what a release trigger is and how it works, don't have a problem. The accidental discharge comes with someone who is unfamiliar with a release trigger picks up the gun.

About P-17 Enfields: Amen to all of you who have pointed out what a great heavy rifle they make. Converting them is a lot of work, but when you're done, you've really got something. One of the best dangerous game rifles I've ever handled was a Griffin & Howe .416 Rigby on a P-17 action. Just a plain working gun, but they did everything right.

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from ITHACASXS wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Thank you for replying Mr. Happy Myles, please forgive my late response, got stuck working a double shift. Our 1917 Enfield is quite a handful and we love it. I will look into the possiblity of sporterizing this. I read many years ago that soldiers that were issued the 1917 had to have a penny inserted in the mag during inspection so the bolt could be worked open and closed unloaded. When holding this rifle one can't help think of the infantry men who carried this rifle through the mud for miles.

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from Mark-1 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Somewhat surprised on praising for Enfield actions. My experience was a military Enfield action was a bear to civilize milling the wings off. Enfields have a long action for those H & H type magnums and good magazine, but more experienced hunters told me to go more with Mauser and Springfield military actions. Reason: Enfields have a weak ejector prone to breakage.

Is this a fantasy statement or is there something to it?

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from Oryx wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

For some people, the tinkering is the objective, rather than the product of the tinkering.

Sort of sounds like my dealings with the fairer sex in High School, come to think of it.

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from M1jhartman wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Good post, Dave.
I have noticed that many of the surplus rifles I feel have nice, double stage triggers, and now I know why.

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from Brian Robinson wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I personally like the orginal two stage triggers on the springfields and mausers,, I dont like the modern crap

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