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Centerfire Rifles - Semiautomatic or Gas Operated Centerfire rifles, carbines and other gas operated rifles.

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  #1  
Old 03-03-2014, 3:48 PM
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Default Benefits of Single-Stage and 2-Stage Triggers

Hi AR fans, please indulge me as I have an honest question.

As much as I read forum discussions, I also make it a point to try out some of the products I come across from reading to make a determination for myself. I have tried different brands that I read about - JP (single-stage), Geissele SSA-E (2-stage with the second stage being lighter than the first) and AR Gold (2-stage with the second stage being heavier than the first) - and cannot really determine the advantages of one type over the other. To me, both types shoot fine although I do have my preference.

So, is it really just a matter of preference between the two types? Or is there a distinct/proven/scientific advantage of one over the other?

I am determining if I should try one or two more brands of single-stage triggers to see for myself but maybe I should stop at this point?

Care to share your personal experience(s) (and maybe preference, as well)?

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 03-05-2014, 3:51 PM
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Not really an AR fan. Still, I try to take advantage of the platform's inherent accuracy potential.

All I know is you need to use the right tool for the right job. e.g. Match-grade single stage trigger is useful for quick triple taps, even for targets beyond 100 yards. Two stage match triggers make precision shots much more consistent than single stage. AR Gold is probably the best compromise between the two types.
I sold my Geissele SSA-Es because I need quicker follow-up shots rather than extra precision for the first shot.
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Old 03-05-2014, 4:09 PM
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Not sure why 2 stages are associated with precision rifles. Really up until the AKs and ARs came around military rifles were mostly using two stage triggers. The 2 stage is great because of predictability and consistency. A single stage IMO is really only practical at a super light weight for benchrest, which is what most benchrest shooters do.

If one shoots off the reset the two stage is generally faster than a regular, stock AR trigger. Go on youtube and check them out. For farther shots the consistency and predictability will pay off better than a stock AR trigger. Geissele has made himself some real nice military contracts.

Go Geiselle 2 stage and you won't be dissapointed.
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Old 03-05-2014, 5:37 PM
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I prefer two stage. It's nice being able to know exactly when the trigger is going to break. Get your reticle on target, ease first stage, hold, adjust, pull second stage.
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Old 03-05-2014, 6:01 PM
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Thanks guys.

I think I am getting conflicting thoughts here. Or maybe I don't understand. Are 2-stage triggers more for precision shooting or is that for single stage? JP rifles utilize single stage so I was under the impression that single stage was more for precision. Maybe I am totally off. Feel free to correct me please.

I feel that based solely on my experience, I can do quicker follow up shots with 2-stage.

Thanks for your thoughts and patience
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Old 03-05-2014, 8:54 PM
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Either style can be used for any shooting discipline however some generalizations can be made. The two stage trigger is often matched to semi-autos because they are safe to use with light pull weights in an automatic action. Single stage triggers are often used on bolt action target rifles. I would recommend a two stage trigger for a target AR15.
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Old 03-05-2014, 8:57 PM
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In the context of a fighting rifle; most military rifles up until the introduction of the AR15 and STG/AKM rifles utilized a two stage trigger. Many old bolt actions from around the world to the early semi-autos such as the Garands, M14s, SKS, G3, and more. Today USSOCOM buys Geiselle two stage triggers; the advantages alone for the two stages are strong. But Geiselles are also popular because they are durable, easy to install and remove, and they actually have a secondary safety sear.

For the purposes of competition benchrest shooting, for instance something like a 1,000 yard shooting competition. I sincerily doubt you will see much, if any, 2 stage trigger representation. Generally these guys like super lightweight triggers that are measured in ounces that can be pulled quickly with no take up, no grittiness, and fast lock time.

In something like 3 gun JP and their trigger are popular. They are quite a bit more simple, much lighter than a two stage, and these types of trigger pulls are so light and short I think you have more trigger "slapping" than actually shooting off the reset.

Two stage triggers in general have a short and positive reset and the take up can be immediately pulled through and you know right when the trigger breaks. It is very predictable. So for a far away shot, you could "set" the trigger by pushing through the first stage and you know exactly when the second stage breaks. While you are acquiring a new target you could "set" the trigger while you are still attempting to acquire it. For fast shooting, shoot off the reset and you can get fast.

People say 2 stages are for DMRs and they work well for it. But you can defiantly shoot fast:



Bill Geiselle has some great vids on Youtube to help you find the right one for. For most people it is either the G2S ($130) or the SSA ($190).
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  #8  
Old 03-05-2014, 9:45 PM
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Thanks guys! I really appreciate the enlightenment.
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Old 03-06-2014, 3:00 PM
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Whether it's a single stage or two-stage, once you get used to it, you'll shoot it well. I personally like to swap out all the Mil-spec triggers for match grade two-stage units that have a very tactile first stage so that I know exactly when the trigger is going to break. Even so, once I get used to how a gun fires, it becomes a moot point - you know when it's going to go bang.

If the trigger feels gritty, sloppy, or breaks at inconsistent points, I'll toss it unless it's a gun that I just use to make noise with or if it's on a lower that has some sort of collectible safe-queen qualities.
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Old 03-06-2014, 5:18 PM
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I think the Geissele duty two stage (SSA or SSA-E) is a really good all around trigger. You can do decent precision shooting with it and it is fast enough for pretty quick follow up shots.

The ALG ACT (single stage), which is my favorite budget single stage, has a pretty good feel for fast follow up shots, and it is usable for 100-200 yard shots, but it is definitely not a match trigger.
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  #11  
Old 03-06-2014, 6:30 PM
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Two things influence my choice of a two-stage trigger. First, I hate it when I squeeze the trigger and nothing happens because I have the safety on. With a two -stage there is no mistake, with the safety on there is no movement at all. Second, I shoot a 1911 with a slight take-up on the trigger. My AR with a Geissell feels the same. It works for me. Go with what works for you.
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Old 03-07-2014, 5:21 AM
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For the $65 cost, the ALG ACT single stage is hard to beat IMO>
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  #13  
Old 03-07-2014, 5:57 AM
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This is worth the watch.
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Old 03-07-2014, 6:50 AM
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trigger945, get up to the X3 3 gun match at Piru, and ask the competitive shooters what they think. Especially ask this guy

http://www.x3multigun.com/

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  #15  
Old 03-07-2014, 7:07 AM
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CenCanHobbist - Thank you! Definitely worth the watch.

HighLander51 - In due time, I will do a 3-gun. I need to convince my buddies to go with me to watch.

Last edited by trigger945; 03-07-2014 at 7:11 AM..
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