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Primos Trigger Stick field tested

Mat Manning explains why the Primos Trigger Stick is one of his must-have accessories and how he uses it to stay on target in the field

Primos Trigger Stick field tested

I test a lot of gear over the course of a year. Most of it is good and every so often I am so impressed with a new piece of kit that I decide to incorporate it into my own shooting gear line-up. That doesn’t happen very often though, as I like to keep a fairly small core itinerary of gear so it feels familiar despite the constant coming and going of review equipment.

One of the few items to earn a long-term place in my arsenal of shooting kit is the Primos Trigger Stick Tall Tripod. I first used it about six years ago, took an instant liking to it and have kept one in the boot of the car since then. It is always ready for action, and is used for the majority of my hunting trips.

My first Trigger Stick was one of the earlier models, but it’s still in regular use, which is testament to the longevity of this product. Updated versions have followed over the years, and the most recent update is the Gen 3. UK distributor John Rothery Wholesale states the recommended retail price at £169.95 for the latest version or just £109.95 for the Gen 2, remarkably good value for a well-made product which brings such an evident improvement to your shooting.

Primos Trigger Stick

The Primos Trigger Stick Tall Tripod Gen 2 (left) and Gen 3

The Trigger Stick is a shooting stick that takes the form of a tripod. A yoke at the top serves as a secure gun rest, and the three legs create a very stable shooting platform, reducing wobbles and tightening up groups quite significantly as a consequence.

It works best with recoilless air rifles but I have had good results using it with gas-rams and springers, as long as I place my hand between the yoke and the stock. This replicates my usual hold and prevents the recoil from causing any unusual or inconsistent bounce off the rest.

Creating a steady shooting platform is one of the Trigger Stick’s greatest attributes, but its most impressive feature is the trigger from which it takes its name. Give that trigger a squeeze and the legs telescope in and out to adjust the height – release the trigger and they lock in at whatever height you choose. They are silent and offer a height range from between around 60cm at the lowest setting to 160cm at full extension.

Primos Trigger Stick

Heavy night vision setups are no burden at all when the Trigger Stick is taking the weight

That adjustable variation in height means you can use the Trigger Stick to stabilise shots from the sitting, kneeling and standing positions, which is a great asset in the field. The handle and yoke also rotate through 360 degrees, so you can cover more or less any angle.

The V-shaped yoke is lined with soft, grooved rubber, which is kind to your gun and also helps to create a grippy contact point. There is also a quick-release button that enables the yoke to pop off and be swapped out for an adapter to connect a camera or spotting scope.

Although it serves as a rock-steady shooting rest, the Trigger Stick is also very light. It weighs just over 1.3 kilos and is no great burden to carry.


Rat shooting

Modern infrared and thermal optics can make for a heavy combo that can be hard to hold on aim. Muscle fatigue soon results in a rocking or trembling sight picture, but the problem disappears when the Trigger Stick is taking the weight for you.

Most of my rat shooting is done from a fixed position, targeting one area at a time before moving on to another. My usual setup includes a stool that folds out of a backpack to create a seat and my Trigger Stick for gun support.

The combination of the stool and the Trigger Stick results in a very stable shooting position from which I will usually target bait spots or existing areas of attraction such as feed troughs. The movement afforded by the Trigger Stick enables me to scan left and right as I search out rats in the darkness, and the stability it brings to my shooting makes it hard to miss over typical ratting ranges – all I have to worry about is getting holdover and holdunder right.

Winter ratting serves as a serious test for kit as it takes place in the dark and usually in very cold weather. Any shortfalls in your gear soon become very apparent in these testing conditions, and the Primos Trigger Stick has never let me down.


In the hide

The Trigger Stick lends itself extremely well to hide shooting. My usual set-up in this scenario is to either sit on a beanbag or bucket seat with the tripod in front of my lap to support the stock of the gun.

Whether targeting birds on the ground as they peck at drilled seeds or picking them off from sitty trees, the Trigger Stick can be quickly and quietly deployed to get a steady aim. It is a deadly accessory when targeting grey squirrels at feeding stations. With the distance to the target already determined, all you have to do is apply correct aim-off and squeeze through the trigger.


At the roost

I often take my Trigger Stick with me when targeting pigeons or corvids at the roost. This tends to take place in winter woodland, and my usual approach is to wear full camouflage and set up against a thick tree trunk that serves as a natural backdrop, and to have the sticks close by me ready for use.

Because I am quite tall, the Trigger Stick tends to be a little short for taking standing shots up into the treetops. Nonetheless, it is no great compromise to have to take shots from kneeling or sitting stances to exploit the extra stability it provides.

A lot of my roost shooting is done in freezing cold conditions on January and February evenings when icy winds are cutting through the woods. Gloves are a must in such weather, and the Trigger Stick is still easy to operate with gloved hands.


Roving the rabbits

Being light and easy to carry, the Trigger Stick is no burden to take along on a mobile foray. I often have it to hand when stalking rabbits, keeping the sticks folded together as I creep along the hedgerows and then opening them up to create a tripod when shots present themselves.

My usual preference when stalking is to use the Trigger Stick to support kneeling shots. However, there are times when obstacles such as patches of docks and nettles demand more elevation to keep the pellet clear, and that’s when having the height to take supported standing shots comes in really handy. And of course, because the Trigger Stick is silent in operation, wary rabbits don’t hear a thing as you slide the tripod up and down.

If I come across a promising area and decide to set up an ambush, I adopt a similar sitting position as I would when shooting from a hide and position the Trigger Stick in front of me and over my legs. This is a great way to target rabbits in areas where low cover makes it impossible to get clear shots by going prone and shooting from a bipod.

Primos Trigger Stick

Whether testing pellets or toppling targets, your range and backyard shooting can be greatly enhanced by the support of an adjustable tripod like the Trigger Stick


Garden and range

Although I like to use the support of a bench for pellet testing and zeroing, I do occasionally take advantage of the support provided by my Trigger Stick if
I need to quickly check zero in the garden or field and don’t have access to a bench.

In my opinion, however, the greatest use of the Trigger Stick as a training tool is to give youngsters and newcomers the confidence to be able to shoot from positions away from the bench, putting them in a new environment.

Primos Trigger Stick

A secure gun rest works wonders when it comes to holding a steady aim

Suddenly moving away from such a stable position can really hit shooters’ confidence, and this is where a little extra support can really pay off.

When my daughter first started shooting airguns, she was very reluctant to shoot without the support of a bench. Using my Primos Trigger Stick was a huge help, as she knew the weight of the gun would be supported even if her little arms became weary. The boost it gave to her confidence soon had her shooting from standing, kneeling and sitting positions – and it was a positive experience as she was still hitting the targets.

The Primos Trigger Stick is an excellent piece of equipment and after many years using it I have no hesitation in recommending it to others. It isn’t a cheap accessory, but it works brilliantly and should justify its cost by delivering years of dependable service.