Paul Austin takes a look at the latest incarnation of a real shooting innovation

Now in its third generation, the Primos trigger sticks have become a “don’t leave home without it” essential for many serious shooters. Though Primos offers monopod and bipod options, by far its most effective and popular variant is the tripod. The question is does the latest Gen 3 offering warrant the £139 asking price?

The USP for the Primos sticks is the trigger system. By simply pulling the trigger you can move from seated, to kneeling, 
to standing and back again effortlessly and in almost total silence. Deploying the sticks is simply a matter of splaying the legs, pulling the trigger and watching them glide to the ground.

Once in place, you simply release the trigger, drop your fore-end in the yoke and you’re good to go. The panning head allows for any lateral adjustment and if you need to fine-tune your shooting position pull the trigger, tweak your stance, release the trigger and the legs lock up rock solid and ready to shoot.

This basic methodology has been the key to the trigger sticks’ success. If you read reviews or check out YouTube, anyone shooting off a support other than a bipod most likely has a set of trigger sticks under the gun. Of all the shooting accessories I’ve bought over the years, the admittedly rather pricey Primos Trigger Sticks are at the top of my list.

shooting saddle

Adding a shooting saddle is easy courtesy of the quick release and the sticks are happy to take the weight

Upgrades for the Primos Trigger Sticks Gen 3

One of the biggest improvements is a new locking collar that controls how far the legs can spread. By default, they form the perfect tripod for a kneeling or standing shot. If you need to go lower you just twist the locking collar and the legs become free to splay out independently to whatever angle you need.

In the field, the new collar makes them even easier to deploy than the Gen 2 version and the hard stop makes them a little stiffer and more secure. Another bonus offered by the hard-stop collar is when shooting on a slippery surface such as concrete or stone the legs don’t slip, something that could be a concern with 
the previous model.

Primos Trigger Sticks Gen 3

Adding a spotter is another option but it could just as easily be a camera

The pistol-grip section has also been upgraded with a more ergonomic design, 
a nice touch but not exactly a revelation. The trigger itself is almost identical to the Gen 2 but the trigger lock has been replaced with a locking switch for the new quick-release system. This allows you to switch in seconds between the shooting yoke or a quick-release plate, which you can pre-attached to anything you like. Obvious choices are spotting scopes, cameras, ball/tripod heads and so on.

A button on the pistol grip releases the yoke and the new quick-release plate drops in and locks in position courtesy 
of the accompanying flip switch. If you 
only ever plan to use the sticks as a shooting platform, this feature probably won’t be a big deal but it does make them ideal for photography, videography and long-range spotting.

To be fair the Gen 2 also offers the option to remove the yoke and screw in a ball/tripod head or third-party quick-release plate, but it’s more convoluted procedure compared with the instant switch offered by the Gen 3 model.

In terms of weight, there’s really nothing to choose between the Gen 2 at 1.475kg and the Gen 3 at 1.510kg. The maximum extension also remains roughly the same. I’m 6ft 4in tall and they’re the perfect height for me when fully extended.

The all-new quick release; another innovation for those who want more than just a shooting support (left). The upgraded pistol grip is a nice touch but the collar and quick-release plate steal the show

Conclusion

So is it worth spending £139 on Gen 3 with the universally loved Gen 2 retailing at £99? If you use your sticks exclusively as a shooting support and have no intention of mounting spotters, cameras or anything else, the Gen 2 is a great solution.

In terms of specific shooting improvements, the Gen 3’s primary enhancement is the easier non-slip deployment offered by the locking collar. If you already own a set of Gen 2 is it worth upgrading? Probably not, unless the quick-release feature particularly appeals.

I’ve been carrying a set of Gen 2 for about three years. If they were lost or broken, I’d have a replacement on the way the next day. I don’t think either generation is exactly a bargain. The trouble is once you’ve used a set of trigger sticks, there’s no going back to traditional twist-lock or fixed-height sticks. For more information visit the Bisley website.

I wouldn’t hesitate in coughing up the extra £40 for the Gen. Sometimes you actually do get what you pay for.