Trigger Sequence

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by Ray B, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    As I understand it, the standard arrangement for double triggers on a side by side is for the front trigger to fire the right barrel and the rear trigger to fire the left barrel. Or if a single trigger, it selected the right barrel first, then the left barrel (based on the process that it is more natural for the shooter to press the front trigger, then continue the motion of his finger to the rear trigger). When John Olin was having his company build Model 21s for him, he had them reverse the process: front fired left, rear fired right, single triggers first fired the left, then the right. The reason was that for a right handed shooter, recoil from the right barrel pushed the gun "outward" away from the shooter, where as recoil from the left barrel pushed the gun "inward" into the grip of the shooter. So firing the left barrel kept the gun on target more so than the right barrel which tended to pull it away.

    So I have two questions for those familiar with double (side by side) rifles. Does the front trigger (or single trigger) fire the right barrel and the rear trigger fire the left barrel?

    If so, is there a noticeable difference in the rotational effect of the recoil, depending on which barrel was fired?

    I'm wondering if this was more a matter of theory than actual use.
     
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  2. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hello Ray B,

    Yes, the front trigger normally fires the right barrel and rear trigger the left, unless it is a truly left handed rifle, then the triggers are arranged "backwards" - LOL.
    With O/U rifles, the front trigger fires the lower barrel and the rear trigger fires the upper barrel - usually, unless built to some buyer's request to be arranged differently.

    Allow me to generate some hate mail toward myself at this stage, by saying that I do not know why there are single triggers on the odd double rifle sometimes (the single trigger mystery also applies to double shotguns, as well as a very few over / under style cape guns that I have seen).
    I simply cannot say why single triggers for use in ANY double barreled firearm were ever conceived or, how any maker could hope to sell even one double, after it has been ruined by the instillation of a single trigger - LOL.
    Nonetheless, some folks mysteriously dig on one trigger for two barrels.
    At least in the USA, over / under shotguns with single trigger, are all the rage while conversely, the most popular mechanism for over / under RIFLES here, is definitely the double trigger.
    Likewise in the USA, side by side rifles with double triggers seem to be quite popular while, comparatively speaking - single trigger side by side rifles are uncommon here.
    If anyone can explain the above described cultural quirks, please do tell, because these preferences when pondered altogether, make no sense to me whatsoever.

    Regarding double rifle recoil:
    Barrel to barrel, I have no idea if one side pushes the rifle away from the shooter and the other side pushes same into the shooter, never heard that before.
    I'm no double rifle expert but have owned 4 of them, all side by side (.275 Flanged, .375 H&H, .450 No2 NE and .458 Winchester).
    Plus I have hunted in Africa with the .375 as well as the .450 No2.
    Likewise I have fired a fair number of other various double rifles, belonging to my fellow eccentric Alaskans here.
    There is a decent group of double rifle nuts like me in and near the Anchorage area.

    After having fired literally hundreds of rounds through double rifles and multiply the numbers by 10 or more, regarding double barrel shotguns, including all normal gauges from .410 through 10 bore (hunted waterfowl with a Spanish made 10 gauge 3.5 inch that I owned, for several years).
    None of the above, individual rifle or shotgun felt any different, barrel to barrel during recoil.
    Perhaps it's only because I'm too dull to notice but, in other words when firing double rifles (and shotguns), recoil feels no different to me, left or right barrel, during their respective recoil is the same to me, (within each individual rifle or shotgun).

    Fact is, my current double rifle is a Heym 88B in .458 Winchester, at 9.9 pounds empty and I cannot tell any difference whatsoever in the recoil experience, no matter left or right barrel, when compared to a similar weight bolt action .458, firing comparable loads.
    For a million dollar reward, I would have to just guess which barrel is recoiling away from me and which is recoiling into me - it just kicks like an ox from either barrel - IMO.

    Moving right along:
    The "one barrel, one trigger - two barrels, two triggers" makes total sense to me, conversely two barrels, one trigger makes no sense at all and in fact, would be too tedious and confusing, (for me at least) to try to remember which barrel is up next or, trying to find the tiny selector switch first and after wasting precious time with that, then go for the trigger.
    It would be my nightmare to suddenly find myself with sweaty hands, struggling to manipulate a tiny selector switch on some single trigger double rifle, (when I should instead be simply pressing the appropriate trigger) while hunting dangerous game - no thanks.

    What I have read about buffalo hunting with double rifles, seems to favor - soft nose bullet in the right barrel and "solid" bullet in the left.
    This usually means (usually) that for your first shot into a buffalo, you will press the forward trigger (on a right hander's designed double) in order to launch that soft.
    Then quite often, a buffalo will run a bit after being hit (even when mortally hit by your large caliber soft) and so, you let drive with your solid, by of course pressing the rear trigger.
    This plan includes quite often having to shoot lengthwise through a fleeing, very determined 1400+ pound animal or, on rare occasions, lengthwise through a CHARGING, very determined 1400+ pound animal (who, as Dr. Kevin Robertson put it, "will be an enthusiastic expert at festooning the bushes with your innards" or words to that effect, Dr. Robertson's actual version being much more eloquent than mine here.)

    After messing around with double rifles a bit, I concluded that, I should always load my left barrel with my soft and right barrel with my solid.
    This evidently is not traditional but, for me I prefer not to take a chance on "strumming" the triggers during heavy recoil.
    I have seen this happen on the rifle range here and it is not pretty.
    Receiving double recoil from a proverbial "elephant gun" is nothing I wish to try.
    So, unless I decide to fire my solid first (very unusual circumstances might call for this I suppose - maybe), I am set to launch my soft by pressing the rear trigger first.

    I have only taken one dangerous animal this way but a fair pile of non-dangerous animals by means of my left barrel first and who can count the number of training-for-safari shots I have fired from my doubles.
    There have been no double discharges for my wimpy shoulder, I am delighted to report.

    Well anyway, I have rambled-on too much here and my limp wrists are getting tired so, I will quit at this point.

    Cheers,
    Velo Dog.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016
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  3. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    @Ray B Your post is the first I've ever heard that John Olin reversed the triggers on the Model 21. I saw an odd Model 21 single trigger 5 years ago that went left barrel bang, then right barrel bang. The left barrel had IMod choke, the right Skeet.

    The purpose? It was a driven pheasant gun and the birds were flying inbound, hence a tighter choke on first long shot, looser choke for the directly overhead second shot. Weird.

    But again, never heard Olin did the double trigger reversal before. Any chance you have a reference to this so I can read/see more?

    P.S. - @Velo Dog is right. Single trigger Shotguns and Rifles do stink for purposes of resiliency and rapid choke selection respectively! :)
     
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  4. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    Rookhawk, I forget where I read it, but it is probably in one of my books, so I start skimming through them to see if I can locate it. As I recall the reason was something well beyond my ability to perceive recoil- which was a shell fired in a side by side exerts a slight amount of torque since it is not pushing back in a direct line with the center of the breech. Because John Olin was right handed, the shot fired from the left barrel would push the gun into the shooter and thus aided the shooter in controlling it for a second shot, while if the right barrel was fired, the gun was pulled away from the shooter, thus increasing the effort by the shooter to get the alignment back for a second shot. Finding the reference may take a bit.
     

  5. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    @Ray B I believe you, its just weird. But so was Olin, and that's why I believe you. :)
     
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  6. boldo 42

    boldo 42 AH Veteran

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    Thanks Velodog , i don't feel as different anymore . I have a 450/400 3.25 chas osborne underlever , and i fire LH barrel rear trigger first just to take away the chance of accidentally discharging the second barrel. I too have not noticed any difference between which barrel pushes where.
     
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  7. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    BOLDO, you will not feel the difference between the way the different barrels recoil. It is not important in a shotgun, but is very important in a double rifle.

    What happens when the RIGHT barrel is fired on a S/S double rifle, the barrels move BACK, UP, and AWAY form the other barrel ( to the right) . When the LEFT barrel is fired it moves BACK, UP, and AWAY from the other barrel (to the left).

    This is necessary in a double rifle so the rifle regulates properly. If you will take the barrels off your S/S double rifle and place them in a padded vice with the sights pointing to the aiming point on a target at the distance engraved on the back standing sight, then place two empty brass cases without primers in the chambers. then look through the primer holes like you would a peep-sight you will see that the RIGHT barrel will be pointing at a place on the target that is LOW, and LEFT of the aiming point over the sights. The LEFT barrel will be looking at a point that is LOW and RIGHT of the aiming point of the sights. This is the way the recoil regulates the rifle to shoot to a common composite group on the target.

    This is not noticeable to the shooter because that movement is very fast and doesn't move that much, just ENOUGH to regulate the centers of each barrels individual group on it's own side of the aiming point. with the aiming point half way between the centers of both barrels individual groups. to form a working composite group of both barrels.

    Hope any of this is at least is as clear as Mississippi mud. ...............................................................................................................................(y)
     
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  8. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Very interesting tutorial sir. I never knew a double regulated like this.
     
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  9. boldo 42

    boldo 42 AH Veteran

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    No worries , next time i dig it out of the cupboard i will try that.
     
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  10. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    All this comes from a thing called "BARREL TIME" which is the time the bullet stays in the barrel from ignition to exit at the muzzle. This is why the erroneous opinion most novices have that if the barrels were fitted exactly parallel with lazars pointing exactly to point of aim, the rifle would automatically be regulated, and the tedious process of regulating the barrels could be eliminated.

    In that situation, the rifle would shoot wide, and high and would get wider and higher as it travels down range.

    If regulated properly for the load the rifle depends on the muzzle flip to make the barrel being fired to be pointed at where the sites were when the trigger was pulled. With a properly regulated double rifle, if your hand load is shooting CROSSING and LOW then the load is too fast, and if the load is shooting WIDE, and HIGH the load is too slow. So when working up a load one needs to adjust the load up or down till a working composite group is found !

    When a person is a long time loader of single barreled rifle, and is very well up on getting perfect loads for that rifle , he needs to forget everything he has learned when dealing with hand loading for a double rifle. I have found over the many years I have been shooting and hand loading the people who have the most trouble with making a double rifle shoot properly are long time shooters and loaders for single barreled rifles. Double rifles and single barreled rifles are simply two zebras of a different stripe, and what works for one will not for the other!
    ..................................................................................................................................:)
     
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  11. 8 x 60

    8 x 60 AH Veteran

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    I have not fired a "Big Bore" double. Ever . Yet. I am intrigued about this "strumming" of the triggers.
    I have ,however been shooting double trigger double barrelled guns for over 40 years. None in the N E class but double trigger guns whether rifle or shotgun
    The triggers are off-set . ie for a right hander with a standard gun the back trigger is not only behind the front one but also to the left and needs a proper finger placement to pull it.

    I need educating. How does this actually happen? I have read many different forums where this question is posed and time and time again the "strumming" thing comes up. I am totally open minded but begin to wonder if this is a myth promulgated by internet "experts"

    Are people equipped with fingers that are too big? Maybe faulty guns? (which I doubt) Please could someone who has actually "strummed" the triggers step up and tell us about it?

    Help please! :)
     

  12. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    The basis of the barrel time theory is that the barrel is moving as part of the gun recoiling and that the recoil is directed by resistance in the form of the buttplate. the force on the barrel is actually pushing straight back, however it is meeting resistance on one side so the barrel is going with the flow and is twisting toward the area with less resistance. Since the buttplate is below the plane of the barrel, the recoil pushes the barrel up. In the case of a barrel also being to the side of the buttplate the barrel pushes toward the unsupported side as well as up.
     

  13. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hello 8x60,

    I've seen it twice with my own eyes.
    Both times were with a very well made side by side English built .450 No2 NE (owned by our fellow member here, Cal Pappas) that, a visiting PH was firing at a paper target, here in Alaska.

    After the first "unpleasant surprise", the man reloaded and declared that he would "be more careful this time".
    Same thing happened.
    After that he switched to using the rear trigger / left barrel first, with no further surprises.

    He was a large man well over 6 feet tall and took both of these double-recoil surprises better than I suspect I would have.

    I have fired that same rifle a few times with no issue but, I'm one of those nuts who practices for hunting by always firing the rear trigger first (exactly for the above described reasons).
    So far, I've only brought a double rifle to Africa during 2 of my 4 safaris to date.
    And, carrying my soft in the left barrel / solid in the right, I've not yet been "unpleasantly surprised", neither have I been disappointed in any way from this method.

    That being said, I am definitely no more than, at the "double rifle beginner" stage, in my fast disappearing life.

    Cheers,
    Velo Dog.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
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  14. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    ……………………………………………..Strumming! Why it happens


    I find that the strumming is usually done by someone who is not used to shooting double rifles, especially big bore double rifles, and a person who has done a lot of shooting with low recoil of single barreled rifles. The worse offenders are those guys who are crack shots at very long distance with high powered scopes and very light trigger pull, on small targets, like P-Dog shooters.

    That type of shooting requires a very precise trigger work usually with just the tip of the trigger finger is all that is needed on very light trigger pull!

    Those people tend to think of some thing like a bolt rifle chambered for something like a 300 Win Mag a MASSAVE recoil and are not ready for a 11 pound 470NE or 500NE double and the recoil makes their trigger finger slip off the front trigger a strum the back trigger giving them a double dose of recoil.

    The double rifle, on the other hand, requires a solid purchase on the front trigger not just the tip of the finger, and the trigger hand needs a solid grip on the wrist with the second finger against the back of the trigger guard. This allows the hand and trigger finger to travel with a solid hold during recoil. This avoids the trigger finger slipping off the front trigger, and strumming the back trigger during the heavy recoil.

    The next guy is the guy that has been shooting a double barreled 12 ga shotguns very mild recoil with double triggers and thinks his experience with double triggers will automatically translate to proper trigger control with a big bore double rifle, and the double discharge will almost always happen on his first trigger pull on the first big bore double rifle he fires.



    One hedge some use is to pull the back trigger first, our friend Cal Pappas is a proponent of back trigger first, and for him it works as he says he has never had double discharge with that idea. With the rifles Cal shoots, that is probably a very good idea. Cals double rifles are not little old shotguns but bore cannons that need to be on wheels with a trailer hitch to pull them behind a 4X4 truck. 8 BORE, 10 BORE, and 4 BORE doubles are not toys.



    I have never even thought of pulling the back trigger first, to avoid a double discharge and have only had one double discharge in the 59 years I have been shooting and hunting with S/S double rifles. That double discharge was the result of “strumming”! The reason was the double rifle was brand new and because of the small chambering of 9.3X74R in an eight pound double I simply underestimated the recoil and did not get a proper hold on the rifle. The result was my finger slipped off the front trigger and strummed the back trigger. Because I was used to shooting a 470NE of the same make I simply misjudged the little 9.3 and paid the price.



    I have had other folks new to doubles even get a double discharge when pulling the back trigger on my 470NE double. I don’t know why, but I often pull the back trigger first, because I wanted to fire a solid rather than the soft in the right barrel and regardless of which trigger I pull first I simply don’t get double dicharges. That is because I always have a tight hand hold on my rifle, and a full purchase on my trigger finger.



    It seems most want to blame the rifle for their strumming of the back trigger because they simply do not realize that is what happened. I always warn those who are new to doubles about the good grip and trigger control when they want to shoot one of my doubles!

    ..........................................(y)(y)
     
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