Can You Go from 1 Trigger to 2?

May 3, 2011 | By | 7 Replies More


A few years back, Jay transferred a sweet Rizzini 16ga O/U from one Cabela’s gun room to another, and Brendan went along to take a look at it. When Jay got it in his hands, it became painfully apparent that he didn’t take a good enough look at the photos because the gun had two triggers.

And Jay can’t shoot a gun with two triggers.

Long story short, Brendan owns that gun, and Jay found another Rizzini 16ga O/U with one trigger.

Jay has tried shooting Brendan’s two-trigger guns, and every single time pulls twice on the first trigger. His finger never drifts back to trigger two.

Brendan, on the other hand, grew up using a 28ga SxS with two triggers and can handle it no problem.

Once in a while Jay asks himself whether this is the equivalent of driving a stick vs. an automatic transmission – meaning can’t he just teach himself to use the dang second trigger, and once he learns his muscles will remember it for good.

But in the limited time he has for such things, he’s not motivated. Plus he doesn’t own any two-trigger guns, and really can’t imagine introducing something between his brain and the shot that might screw him up….

Anyhow, we’re posting about this today because we recently saw a post about this dilemma (for some) in a Field & Stream Gun Nuts column by Phil Bourjaily. In it he talks about never owning a two-trigger gun, nut having no problem shooting one.

Judging from the comments to Phil’s post, looks like it’s a mix between “can’t do it” and “no problem doing it.” Okay, maybe it’s like some guys are lefties, some righties.

But we’re still not convinced about one thing, summed up in one guy’s comment to that post: “The double trigger is the only way to instantly change which barrel fires first, and with a little practice you can do it with no thought.”

Really? What kind of birds is he hunting? Either his mind is the equivalent of an F1 race car or the birds he’s hunting are morbidly obese…or maybe this really is possible with ultra-fast, accelerating gamebirds?

Even Brendan, when he uses two-trigger guns, will pop the first barrel with the more-open choke and then the second. Trigger 1 and then trigger 2, all the time.

It’s game on in the field – there’s no time to think, man!

As far as moving the safety to the O or U barrel – on say, a Browning Citori – to choose one choke or the other, if you try that you’re just asking to screw yourself up, in our opinion.

Let us know your thoughts.

Category: Shotguns

Comments (7)

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  1. Chris Nielsen says:

    My first couple of guns were a mix, single and double triggers. With the double triggered guns, I first started to notice that I would pull on the first trigger while at the range and not switch to the second, I figured it wasn’t going to cure itself with some kind of learned muscle memory. I chose to stick it out with the double triggers for one reason… reliability. Less to go wrong with a double triggered gun and if something does go wrong, simpler mechanism to fix saving time and money.

  2. jeff johnson says:

    What I like is coming around a curve in a logging road and the bird is feeding on clover and you see it first . Your at 40 yards,if your wearing gloves its easy to go to the left barrel . Had a wise ”old” bird flush off the ground to give my setter the slip one morning,he just forgot that rule about looking both ways up and down the logging road before you fly 15 feet straight up in a black gum. I was at 35 yards and this grouse never took its eyes off of Ace circling below it. I moved the safety over to the mod barrel fired , missed!!! — again. In the 3 short years I’ve been hunting grouse I’ve had 4 occasions to pick the choke for the shot,but one of these days! I hunt with both SxS S/S or SxS double trigger it or a Browning Citori

  3. Dan Salmon says:

    About the only type of bird hunting that I could see someone dithering around with switching barrel selectors for choke selection might be waterfowl hunting. Possibly even Pheasant hunting, but most of those birds are getting up and moving away from you.

    I think most people worry about choke too much anyway. I’ve not changed the chokes (Skeet & Improved Cylinder) in my 16 gauge Citori in years, other than to clean and re-lube so they don’t get stuck. I find I kill a higher percentage of birds with these chokes than with the often recommended Imp. Cyl. and Modified chokes for upland game.

  4. Scott Quasius says:

    I just acquired a 1904 16 gauge Ithaca with double triggers. After having a gunsmith check it out to make sure the damascus barrels were safe to shoot, and ordering the proper ammo, I took it out along with my Ruger Red Label to shoot a few box’s of shells at some clay’s. I did, on more than one occasion, pull the front trigger twice while attempting some doubles. I feel with some more work, and practice, this will become my standard field gun. Besides, it broke quiet a few more clay’s than my old stand by O/U. One good shot/grouse is worth much more than two quick miss’s.

  5. Scott Cronk says:

    I usually use three or four shotguns over the course of a grouse season. I definately shoot best with my o/u Beretta with single trigger and use it most often. However, I have a 16 ga. LC Smith Featherweight built in 1922 choked improved/modified. It has double triggers. I love to hunt with this gun just because it is a family heirloom and I can imagine my forefathers chasing grouse with it in long gone coverts. I have had no problem switching to the double triggers, on occasions when I use it. In fact, the second of extra time that it takes me to remember to switch triggers may help. I do not rush the second shot as often happens to me with a single trigger. Overall, I shoot the gun well and it’s fun and that is what is most important in this sport, anyway.

  6. Bill Green says:

    My first gun, a Fox 20 gauge, had two triggers. I hunted grouse & woodcock with it for years and still use it occasionally. It has had, and still has, a weak firing pin spring on the front trigger which causes a proverbial “click – sh*t” every once in a while…. I always seem to find that back trigger however. I think that’s a bit like riding a bike. It seems to produce about a 10% kill rate on grouse. The same average I seem to maintain with any other gun. It’s about being out there.

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