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What’s the point of a two-stage trigger on a rifle?

A rifle-shooting friend has recommended I have it fitted with a two-stage trigger, so what’s the difference between a single-stage trigger and a two stage?

A single-stage trigger will fire the moment its release pressure is reached, without any discernable free movement.

It’s like the trigger on a shotgun.

A two-stage trigger first has to be compressed against a soft spring until free movement is taken up and further resistance is felt.

The rifle will then fire when its release pressure is reached.

My main experience with rifles is on the competition scene, and with match rifles I always preferred the two-stage, because I believed it allowed me to take more considered, relaxed shots.

Two-stagers are also usually fitted to military rifles, in the belief that they are safer.

Most sporting rifles, as supplied, have single-stage triggers, but two-stagers are available for many through specialist suppliers as add-ons at extra expense.

Working on the assumption that your pal’s rifle has a two-stager, why not ask if you can have a few shots with it before you make up your mind?