Double rifle, Single or Double trigger in these modern times ?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by roughshooter, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. roughshooter

    roughshooter New Member

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    Dear Gentlemen,

    I am considering certain factors prior to ordering my first double rifle.

    I note that the general concensus is that a double trigger is better because if the mechanism fails you are not left with a 10lb club. I fully understand this reasoning but given that surely most hunting these days for dangerous game is done in company with at least one other person, i.e a Professional Hunter who is naturally armed, is the double trigger still a requirement ?

    I further note that John 'Pondoro' Taylor failed to see the need for double triggers on a quality gun (notably the Westley Richards) and suggested that a single trigger is better as it allows an even quicker second shot without the need to move ones hand. Taylor cited James Sutherland as using nothing but a single trigger Westley Richards and having shot over 1000 elephants with it.

    Is the double trigger still as valid as it was or is it still used extensively owing to tradition ?

    Your thourghts please.

    Regards Craig.
  2. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Veteran

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    I cannot accept the theory that the modern hunter has a professional hunter to back him up and therefore had a different set of requirements than hunters of years ago. I understand that it is, in fact, true that the modern hunter has a professional hunter to back him up. However, I do not, as a point of honor, believe that reduces my responsibility to take care of what I start. I wear a seat belt at all times, but that does not give me the right to drive on bald tires in the snow in the city at 65 mph. Nor does the presence of a professional hunter give me the right to be inadequately prepared for the hunt.

    That said, I do not think a double trigger is necessary, but if you are not going to have a double trigger, then why have a double rifle?

    If you want a double rifle because it is two rifles in one, then a single trigger kind of defeats the purpose.

    If you want a double rifle because of tradition, then a single trigger is less desirable.

    If you want a single trigger, may as well get a bolt gun. Either a bolt or a double are perfectly reasonable choices, but at least to me, a single trigger on a double rifle is kind of like having a really fancy ball point pen.
  3. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Bert, not meaning to argue with you here, just trying to understand your point. I've never owned a DR but think maybe someday I might, so this is for my education.

    I've owned a o/u shotgun in the past and it was single trigger. Some double barrel shotguns have two triggers and some single. I never really thought much about it except that it came down to just personal preference. I was kind of thinking the same here except that if one trigger went down on a DR, at least you'd have the other as roughshooter points out. Are you emphasizing that point, or is there more to it?
  4. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Veteran

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    No argument perceived.

    I am emphasizing the point of the second trigger being a complete, independent duplication of the mechanism. A double shotgun (mine has a double trigger) bears an aesthetic similarity to a double rifle, but (unless you are using it with buckshot following up wounded leopard, a highly unlikely scenario) isn't functionally comparable to a double rifle: it is used on nondangerous small game, birds, and clay targets.

    Remember, in the old days people often spent far longer afield than we do now. Modern steels, especially springs, may be more reliable than they were then. Taken together, the odds of something mechanical screwing up were higher. They hunted larger numbers of dangerous game than we do, with more primitive powders, less reliable bullet construction, etc. They were playing against worse odds than we are and were often rolling the dice a lot more frequently. So complete duplication was prudent.

    A new rifle made with modern materials, cared for under modern conditions, etc, is probably just as reliable with a single trigger as the old ones were with two triggers. But probably not more reliable than it would be with two triggers.

    In the current world, you are highly unlikely to be up against dangerous animals as frequently as back in the days when double rifles made their name. The odds are unlikely to catch up to you, and the slight reliability advantage of a double trigger is unlikely to ever be an issue.

    So, I suppose I agree with there being no need for a double trigger. But, there was a good historic reason for them. And to me, the history and romance of a double rifle is a big part of why many people choose them. If it were purely a functional decision, surely someone would be making a kevlar-stocked, stainless steel double. But nobody (as far as I know) is making such a beast. So, the market evidence tells me that a double rifle is as much an aesthetic choice as a functional choice, even though there are legitimate functional reasons to choose a double rifle.

    So, to me, the historic raison d'etre of the double rifle is the complete duplication of the mechanism. In the modern age, I believe that romance and history figure into the choice of a double rifle. To honor the history, I think a double trigger is needed. But, if your heart is set on a single trigger, it is unlikely in the extreme that it will cause you any trouble. In fact, if you regularly shoot your single trigger double shotgun, I would advise you to go with a single trigger on your double rifle. The "muscle memory" you have for a single trigger is almost surely more valuable to you in making a second shot than any increase in mechanical reliabilility you would gain from a double trigger.
  5. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Synthetic stocked stainless double..... yeah, that wouldn't be good. Your point is taken. I really had no opinion one way or the other concerning the triggers.

    BTW, I don't own the Citori anymore. I have a Benelli auto that I had before the Citori. The Benelli is like a natural extension to my arm and at least back then I shot it quite well. I could never shoot the Citori very well and went back to the auto.

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