Double Barrel Triggers

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Aug 28, 2008
Ive always been a pump or auto guy so I have no experience with O/U or SxS shotguns

I have seen several models with two triggers others with single triggers and even more with single triggers and a selector involved on the safety.

Now with a double trigger I understand each trigger activated a single hammer co-ordinated to the individual barrel.

With the single triggers tho does it fire like a darringer where you pull the trigger it fires a barrel pull it again it fires the other?

or am I missing the selector on some guns and you always have to select the bbl you wish to fire?

Ive seen trap and skeet shooters fire with blinding speed and wondered if it wasnt just pull the trigger twice no selector

also I have heard it multiple times that its a myth that you can fire both bbls on a double but how is that true if you have a model with two triggers?

I personaly (and possably nievly) would prefer no selector so I could get that second shot off as quick as I could without manipulating the safety... how do I know what models have what when I look online (generaly when Im not holding the gun in my hands)
All the models I am familiar with will fire the second barrel upon pulling the trigger again without any other control manipulation. The ones with the selector allow you to choose which barrel fires first, but you don't need to manually switch it between shots. The selector is nice if you have different chokes in each barrel and want to change which one fires first.
There are two types of single-trigger mechanisms, mechanical reset and inertial reset.
A mechanical reset will fire the second shot regardless of whether the first fired or not. An inertial reset will not fire if the inertial energy produced by the first shot failed (misfire) to reset the trigger for the second shot.

In a single-trigger gun, you pull the trigger once, it fires whichever barrel it's set up to fire first, you allow the trigger to reset, and you pull it again for the second shot.
You don't have to touch the selector at all, or after setting it on whichever barrel you want to fire first.

It is, assuming the mechanism is working correctly, not possible to fire both barrels at the same time with a single trigger shotgun of either type, while it's quite possible to fire both barrels at the same time on a dual-trigger type by simply pulling both triggers at the same time, using two fingers (one on each trigger).

As Jorg mentioned, the selector merely lets you choose which barrel fires first on a single-trigger type. That's because the two barrels will normally have different chokes, for shots at different distances, and for many shooters & flushes that's important in hunting situations.

In looking online, it may or may not say what the gun has, but it should usually tell you if it has a barrel selector, along with whether it has extractors or ejectors.
It may or may not tell you whether the mechanism is inertial or mechanical.
If you have questions, you should be able to get them answered by a local dealer, by calling the manufacturer, or asking on a gun forum.

The versions with double triggers are often promoted on the theory that if a part in one firing mechanism breaks, the other will still be functional; I have heard for decades that double triggers are often preferred on African big game doubles for that reason.

BTW I have pulled both triggers simultaneously with a Baikal double 12ga. Both barrels fired near simultaneously. Glad I was shooting skeet loads.
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Thanks Jorg thats pretty much exactly what I wanted to know

DPris am I right assuming an extractor only pulls the shells part way out for reloading

I guess all the models I have fired (usualy single shot break actions) had ejectors as the shells flew out on there own

and carl... OUCH lol
Right- the extractor just pulls the shells out far enough on opening the action to grab them by hand.
That's mostly for two reasons: Many serious shotgun shooters don't like to have to pick them up off the ground, and extractors can be cheaper to manufacture.

An ejector tosses empties out.

I've seen the H&R singleshots with ejectors, as examples of "economy-grade" shotguns. My older Stevens 311R & both Baikals are generally considered economy grade (price-wise, anyway) with extractors only.
All of the $300-$600 double-barreled coachguns from various makers I've worked with had extractors.

DPris got it right. FWIW, I prefer a double trigger for redundancy (though that may not be necessary for your planned use).

I'm a hunter, so I prefer ejectors rather than extractors on break-open guns. Whenever I'm in total hunting mode I carry an extra shell or two in the palm of my left hand. If a bird flies and I fire both barrels, I can just open the gun and reload very quickly without having to go through the extra motion of pulling out the spent shells.

I can certainly see extractors for shooting clays, though, since they eliminate having to pick up empties.
On the subject of extractors/ejectors: IMO extractors are classier, and ejectors more practical.

As another hunter, unless I am hunting dove in a fast and furious scenario (like Argentina), I prefer extractors - easier to open, empties go in the pocket and not on the ground.....

Some of the cheapest and best SxS guns both employ the double trigger method - although the triggers on something like an AyA or Merkel will completely outclass the Baikal or Huglu guns - the best advantage they have is in the uplands when birds might flush close or far without prior warning - those triggers give you the choice immediately without trying to work a selector.

On target guns, however, the single trigger is the better situation because the LOP remains unchanged and you know which target you're taking first
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