Single Stage vs. Two Stage

The Problem With Single Stage Triggers

A single-stage trigger can be a good thing; think of a well executed trigger on a Remington bolt action rifle. Really the only thing lacking on that set up (unless it’s very heavy) is a way to know that your finger is on the trigger before the bang – this forces you to slow down a bit or risk an ND. However, with a conventional AR trigger the engagement surfaces have to be set to a bare minimum to even approach a minimal creep trigger. Because the hammer is dropped onto the sear every time the trigger is reset (that “clack” you hear) the parts soon beat them selves apart. Hence the well deserved reputation for poor reliability, durability and doubling of most “Match Grade” AR triggers.

The Problem with Two-Stage Triggers

With a two-stage trigger, you have a long first stage in which the sear is moving along the hammer; with typically around 2 to 3 pounds of force required. Then, just before the hammer is released, the amount of weight needed to move the trigger increases so that an additional 1 to 2 pounds of force is required to fire the rifle. The second stage increase in weight can be created changing the sear/hammer geometry as in the case of an ’03 Springfield, or running into a spring loaded bumper as is the case with the typical AR15 two stage trigger.

This was the old school solution to making a trigger with a long hammer/sear travel shootable.

While two-stage triggers do offer an advantage over a stock trigger for slow medium-precision shooting such a “High Power” competition, they create real problems for both high-speed (Assaulter) shooting and high-precision shooting (Sniping). In the case of high-speed shooting, the shooter will find himself having to slow down and “fish” for the second stage, often resulting in an Accidental Discharge if the misses the second stage and pulls trough. In a high precision slow fire scenario, the shooter will often find himself releasing and re-staging the trigger, to confirm that he really is up against the second stage. This is both fatiguing and creates an increase likelihood of a flinch if the shot suddenly has to be made and the trigger is drifting somewhere in the first stage.

This is why you just don’t see two-stage triggers used by choice, outside of the very specialized competition world of High-Power.

AR GOLD Solution

A hybrid Browning Single Stage with Take-up

AR GOLD is a single-stage with a slight bit of very light (8 oz.) of take up – exactly like a top quality 1911 trigger. By single stage we mean that the sear does not move during take up, thus the take-up is completely clean and the “wall” (when the sear starts to move) is near vertical. From a shooting standpoint, that bit of take-up allows you to confirm that your finger is on the trigger and at the wall. Adding weight from here will release the shot with no perceptible movement of the trigger. By getting away from the Stoner design we were able to eliminate the reliability and wear issues that plague Match Grade AR triggers, as well as delivering a super-short reset.