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Old August 6, 2008, 07:23 AM   #1
G. Sams
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Single or Two Stage Trigger?

I recently purchased a DPMS AR10 in .260 cal.. I'm not impressed with the heavy and rough factory trigger. This is suppose to be a "long range" rifle but the trigger is any thing but a "long range" trigger. I want to replace it with an adjustable smooth, crisp trigger with no creep. The factory recommended the JP single stage LR-39 or the two stage TR-TS.
My question is, What's the difference between a single stage and a two stage trigger? Which would better suit my needs?
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Old August 6, 2008, 01:58 PM   #2
Scorch
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A single stage trigger will feel like the trigger on any rifle: as you pull the trigger there will be no slack or creep, and when you squeeze the trigger a fraction of an inch the gun will fire. Some single-stage triggers are set at a higher pull weight to prevent accidental discharges, some as high as 6 lbs.

A two-stage trigger has a take-up or slack portion against mild spring resistance before you feel contact with the trigger mechanism. Once you feel contact, the pull weight is only 3-1/2 lbs and a small additional squeeze will fire the gun.

Which one is better? I'm not sure. I shoot a Rock River Arms National Match A4 configuration AR15 (NM-A4) with a two-stage target trigger (supposedly RRA makes one of the best), and I like it a lot. I shoot with one guy who has a Jard single-stage trigger in his AR, and he says he likes it but always seems to be complaining about it. I fired his AR and it would take some getting used to after shooting a two-stage trigger as long as I have.

You could talk to DPMS about having the trigger adjusted, or see a gunsmith. An aftermarket two-stage trigger will usually drop in, if you decide to go that route. Aftermarket triggers are available from Midway and brownells.
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Old August 6, 2008, 02:09 PM   #3
Casimer
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The stages refer to ranges of the pull length of the trigger stroke. The resistance of a two stage varies w/ each stage. For instance it might be 4lbs for 3/4 of the length of the trigger pull and then 2lbs for the remainder. There should to be a distinct point where the pull weight transitions between the two.

Shooters will typically settle, take-up the first stage, and then apply gradually increasing pressure to the second until it breaks.

But you'll encounter different definitions. Some people regard any take-up as a first stage, but to me that's just take-up. For a trigger to be two-stage, there needs to be some resistance in the first stage.

Also, you can often adjust a two-stage to be come a one stage. The resistance should be constant throughout a one stage trigger pull, or at least not change abruptly.

I've shot longer ranges with both a one and two stage and prefer the two stage, though I suspect that the benefit is largely psychological.
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Old August 6, 2008, 04:32 PM   #4
Harry Bonar
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trigger

Sir;
I, too, like two stage. On all of my personal DGRs (Mausers) I like two stage - so do combat soldiers!
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Old August 7, 2008, 06:39 PM   #5
FMHANS
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I have three AR's, two with DCM two stage trigger lowers, and one with the standard single stage. the two stage trigger makes a big difference to me on the bench, but offhand shooting seems to be about the same.
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Old August 7, 2008, 08:06 PM   #6
G. Sams
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Thanks for the help.

Great information. Looks like a two stage may be the way I should go.
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Old August 8, 2008, 12:16 AM   #7
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Once you go two-stage you'll never go back!
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Old August 8, 2008, 09:16 AM   #8
James K
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Two-stage triggers were originally used in bolt action military rifles to allow a short, light second stage pull for accuracy while retaining the long pull considered necessary for safety and fire control in a military environment.

Since most high-power target shooting was promoted by the military, match rifles retained the two-stage "military" trigger, as did the first civilian sporting bolt actions. Later, sporting rifle manufacturers developed single stage triggers, although they often kept the two-stage for their match rifles.

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Old August 8, 2008, 09:31 AM   #9
Sarge
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I much prefer two-stage triggers on any firearm that will accomodate them.
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Old August 8, 2008, 08:19 PM   #10
oldracer
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I would guess to say that an AR type of 2 stage trigger would be like the one on my Hawken black powder rifle in that you use the rear trigger to "get ready" to shoot and then just a touch on the front trigger actually shoots. Of course there is just a single trigger doing both? I have found it makes that dammed thing really accurate at leasst to 100 yds.
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Old August 8, 2008, 11:02 PM   #11
Hawg
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I guess I'm the odd ball because I like single stage triggers especially on a target rifle. My Jewell is set in ounces, not pounds. No creep, no free play, no over travel.
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Old August 11, 2008, 09:21 AM   #12
Alleykat
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Add me to the list of those preferring a single-stage trigger. I use the JP trigger/hammer combo on my Bushy Shorty. Trigger pulls very much like the Timney triggers on my 700s. I don't like "takeup" in a trigger pull on a rifle. Trigger breaks @ around 3#, with no discernable creep or overtravel.

What combat soldiers prefer is largely irrelevant to the type of shooting that I do.
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Old August 11, 2008, 09:48 AM   #13
Creature
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Here is the Rock River Arms two-stage trigger for $88 shipped.

http://ar15sa.fatcow.com/store/miscparts.html

Get it. You will never want to go back to a single stage trigger.
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Old August 12, 2008, 11:33 AM   #14
Alleykat
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Creature: Maybe I'm missing the obvious, but I don't see the Rock River brand name mentioned on that two-stage trigger.
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Old August 12, 2008, 01:28 PM   #15
Creature
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Interesting...that link no longer shows it as a Rock River Arms two-stage trigger.

So I called.

It is, in fact, a genuine Rock River Arms 2-stage trigger. And the example that I purchased is a joy to shoot with.
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Old August 12, 2008, 01:43 PM   #16
Alleykat
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Thanks for the info. I'm contemplating a build, starting with a Stag lower. Really like my JP trigger/hammer combo, but, @ $88, that RRA sounds pretty good. I've bookmarked the vendor.
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Old August 12, 2008, 04:30 PM   #17
Casimer
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The RRA two-stage that came w/ my NM A2 wasn't what I regard as a true two-stage. It had a long take-up to a single stage. Now RRA does specify that these are 'pre-adjusted', but I didn't see any convenient means of re-adjusting it.

Does the aftermarket unit have an adjustable first stage?

The Geisselle, for instance, is a true two-stage. Both stages are adjustable, and can alternate weights.
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Old August 12, 2008, 05:45 PM   #18
Creature
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The RRA two-stage is definitely a two stage. A two-stage trigger doesn't need to be adjustable to be considered a two-stage trigger. It simply makes it an adjustable two-stage trigger!
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Old August 12, 2008, 08:36 PM   #19
Casimer
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I agree that the adjustment isn't what defines the trigger, but mine has almost no resistance in the first 'stage' - e.g. it's difficult to get a reading when using a pull weight scale.

If that's a stage then long take-up could be considered a stage as well.
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Old August 12, 2008, 09:04 PM   #20
Edward429451
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I think a single stage trigger would be out of place on an AR. I have the Rock River 2 stage on my AR, it's not terribly light, but is super clean & crisp. I like that.
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Old August 13, 2008, 07:50 AM   #21
Creature
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Quote:
If that's a stage then long take-up could be considered a stage as well.
"Take up" and the first stage of a two stage trigger should be very different. The first stage on a two stage trigger has definite resistance, whereas take up is simply that...with very little to no resistance.
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Old August 13, 2008, 06:16 PM   #22
Alleykat
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Quote:
think a single stage trigger would be out of place on an AR.
Why would you think that, Edward? Seems to not be "out of place" in my AR. Why would you think that an AR trigger should pull differently than a Remmy 700 trigger?
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Old August 14, 2008, 08:07 AM   #23
Edward429451
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I've been shooting military style rifles most of my life and that's what I'm used to. AR's, M1A's, MN, 91/93's, M1's, all have 2 stage. It's just ingrained in me to expect a 2 stage type pull when I pick one up.
Geez if I put a single stage on my AR I'd prolly ND it when trying to take up the slack!

Single stage triggers prolly work fine in AR's. Truth is I've never shot a mil arm with a single stage trigger. I could prolly get used to it but my subconscious wouldnt be expecting it if it happened to be a stressful situation. If I tried one and liked it, I'd prolly have to change all my 2 stage's for singles. Now bolts and ss rifles are a different story, I expect them to be single stage.
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Old August 16, 2008, 09:27 AM   #24
Alleykat
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Thanks for the clarification, Edward. FWIW, my AR's not a "military rifle."
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