View Full Version : SxS Triggers: Single, Double?

Matt VDW
November 3, 1999, 11:27 AM
What are the pros and cons of having a single trigger versus double triggers on a side by side shotgun?

My guess is that a double trigger is supposed to give the option of firing either barrel, and might also be more reliable since no switching mechanism is required. But isn't there a danger of accidentally triggering both barrels at once?

Also, I'd like to know how "drop safe" most double shotguns are. I try not to drop my guns but I've read many accounts of hunters being killed or wounded by shotguns that discharged from an impact.

November 3, 1999, 02:05 PM
Double triggers are a little safer. You ask about the 'dropability' of doubles. With an internal hammer, fairly safe, BUT anytime you drop a firearm, you are at some risk. Even external hammers can drop on a loaded chamber, causing, at the least embaressment or the most a fatality. From a single trigger standpoint, the drop test is one I employ as a gunsmith to get the trigger to become active for the other chamber. So from a drop test standpoint, I guess that the best way to carry your piece in the field is either empty or loaded with action open and with the muzzle ALWAYS pointed in a safe direction. Jim

[This message has been edited by Wallew (edited November 03, 1999).]

Matt VDW
November 3, 1999, 03:48 PM
Do SxS shotguns typically use some sort of passive internal safety like a transfer bar or a firing pin block?

And what sort of trigger arrangement is most common on the top end, $7500+ doubles? A single trigger or double triggers?

November 3, 1999, 09:05 PM
Matt VDW. I doubt that very many doubles have passive safties of the type you described. The best safety is an empty gun broken open. If you hang around clays ranges you learn this very quickly.

Most high end doubles give you a choice of the trigger arrangement, but the double trigger seems to be more popular. Single trigger guns usualy have a switch that allows you to select which barrel fires first, although I have seen a few that do not have this feature. (Eg the Hatfield doubles that were made a few years ago by the Hatfield folks fired the right barrel first, some old guns also have "non selective" triggers). I have even seen a set of double triggers that fired both barrels in sequence depending upon which trigger you chose. Front trigger fired L then R, rear trigger fired R then L.

The proper answer to your questions is that there is so much variety among double guns that it is hard to generalize. You might want to check out a quarterly publication called Double Gun Journal. The last issue had an article on multi barrel guns( 3 and 4 barrels).

Geoff Ross

Matt VDW
November 4, 1999, 08:06 AM
Thanks for the information. As you can tell, I'm not much of a shotgunner; I've found my attempts at breaking clay birds to be very humbling. :)

Your point about the best safety being an empty, open gun is a good one.

November 5, 1999, 11:09 PM
I prefer the double trigger.

Dave McC
November 6, 1999, 10:09 AM
I prefer double triggers. Some of the early single triggers designs were kinda delicate, tho that's not the case on a new gun. I like the instant choice of chokes and loads.

On top quality weapons, the front trigger is oft hinged and spring loaded. This is called an articulated trigger and eliminates the trigger finger getting banged in recoil. Most American doubles lack this, but trigger guards tend to be larger than on Euro guns.