Shooting sticks are a familiar item in the field for SCI Members and there is a wide variety of them ranging from single staff monopods to elaborate contraptions that are essentially wireframe portable shooting benches. Most common are homemade ones with two or three wooden poles simply lashed together a few inches down from the top using something flexible such as a piece of rubber inner tube. To deploy them, you merely open the legs and set your rifle in them, and then open the legs more or less to adjust for height for three-legged sticks, or lean forward or back for a double stick.
These simple sticks work great, but they do have some drawbacks. If the sticks are a hard material such as wood, you’ll want to wrap or put something soft in the fork to rest your rifle forend in or you can get severe jarring under recoil, which can throw a shot. And if you’ve ever used shooting sticks in the field, you know that the field is not always nice and level and shooting sticks can end up askew and you in some sort of catawampus position when trying to take aim. Lastly, you have to open or close or lean the sticks to get the height right and if you have only moments, you end up squatting a little or on your tiptoes to make a shot—neither of which are conducive to accurate shooting.
Primos has come along and solved all of those problems with its Trigger Stick. This lightweight tripod has telescoping legs activated by simply pulling a trigger and letting gravity adjust them for you. The result is a quick, fairly steady shooting platform that is instantly adjustable for height, and because the legs operate independently, they automatically compensate for uneven terrain. If things are still uneven, simply pull the trigger and lean the stick straight and the “short” legs automatically adjust. Because it telescopes, a Trigger Stick also fits conveniently in most gun cases without adding much in the way of weight.
SCI recently had the opportunity to field test the Primos Trigger Stick while on a plains game safari with Jamy Traut Hunting Safaris in Namibia. Terrain varied from flat pans to rolling hills and rocky mountains with shooting opportunities ranging from using the Trigger Stick while sitting for an almost 300-yard shot on red hartebeest to standing for a less than100-yard shot on springbok. Regardless of the terrain or target, the Trigger Stick quickly delivered that extra bit of steadiness needed for good hits and quick kills. Traut also showed us a clever trick by using the Trigger Stick to rest his binoculars on when glassing to eliminate the “shake” that’s more pronounced when using powerful binos.
Traut also wasn’t shy when it came to singing the praises of the Trigger Stick, calling it “just wonderful” and “one of the best things ever in hunting.” Likewise with hunters in camp as Amanda Covington explained that the Trigger Stick “gave [her] just a little more ability to settle [her] shot when she dropped a kudu bull in its tracks at more than 200 yards.
The Trigger Stick comes standard with a removable, 360-degree rotating V-yoke head that’s already rubberized so you don’t have to worry about recoil jarring your shot. That said, you will be steadier and shoot better if you grasp both the stick and forend together at the same time. With the yoke removed, the Trigger Stick takes all sorts of accessories and can even double as a tripod for a camera or spotting scope.
An interesting accessory head we were introduced to while on safari is the 2 Point Gun Rest. Just like the Trigger Stick telescopes down for compactness and adjustability, the 2 Point Gun Rest collapses for compactness and has a full range of adjustment to securely fit nearly any gun. It won’t replace a firmly set shooting bench for the most accurate shooting, but it’s unobtrusive afield and certainly can help less experienced shooters make better shots. Another hunter in camp, J.J. Reich, mentioned how he uses the 2 Point Gun Rest when hunting from a ground blind as it keeps his gun generally positioned, reducing movement when a turkey comes in to a call.
While the Trigger Stick with optional 2 Point Gun Rest won’t replace a rock solid shooting bench and sandbag rests for making your best shots, it’s infinitely more easy and practical to take afield than those, so I rank it high functionally. It has sturdy, cleated rubber feet that grip the ground and won’t easily wear through, and a quick-release strap that keeps the legs together in a tidy bundle while trekking.
After a week-long safari and subjecting several sets of sticks to the fine, red Kalahari sand and dust, we had no malfunctions with the sticks, so I also give them high marks for reliability. They’re well made, though the aluminum legs can be dented (Traut was still using a set of Trigger Sticks he ran over with his truck last year) and that can cause problems; but as Traut proved with his older set of sticks, they can stand up even over time to the rigors of a PH in Africa.
Primos “Jim Shockey” Tall Tri Pod Trigger Stick
- 360° rotating V yoke
- Removable V yoke
- Trigger lock
- Improved fluid handle movement
- Extreme leg angle adjustments
- Whisper quiet telescoping legs
- Stronger, lighter 7075 aluminum legs for easy carry
- Adjust from 24″ to 62″
- MSRP $196
2 Point Gun Rest
- Attaches to Trigger Stick or any tripod with 1/4-20 thread mounts
- Fully adjustable height and tilt
- MSRP $48