Stage 1 and 2 had an adjustment for creep. You could remove all creep with the adjustment. The only problem was that you had to locktite the adjustment screw because if you did not the screw would change during the course of it being used and this could screw things up. Many shooters messed with it but did not re-locktite it, actually not even knowing you had to, I think Winchester just decided to not put it there to begin with, rather than have people complaining about it. Also most stage 1 and 2 triggers were a pretty heavy pull, and you needed a trigger job to have a good trigger. Some stage three triggers had nice light pull from the factory, but not all of them.
What differentiates a Stage 1 from Stage 2? I've never heard of a Stage 2 until you mentioned it just now, and google doesn't provide any info or evidence of a Stage 2 trigger trying the search phrase a couple different ways.
I put the stage 1 triggers in all my X-1's, I actually prefer them. Once the creep is taken out, it's a great trigger. And I've never had the set screw come loose, but a drop of blue loctite sounds like a good idea.
I too, have never found any documentation about a Stage 2 trigger, even from Winchester. There was only one change to the original (Stage 1) trigger that I've read about. The original had a dual hammer spring system. If the dual system ever needed replacing, Winchester recommended replacing both springs with the newer, single spring. The single hammer spring system may have even showed up from the factory on some guns before they switched over to the later, improved trigger system (Stage 3).
If you use the Stage 1 trigger and decide to try adjusting the pre-travel clearance to a minimum, go easy on adjusting the allen head screw. The Service Notes in the Winchester Takedown and Assembly Instructions say "There should be a minimum of .055" pre-travel clearance between the disconnector and sear or sear screw." I learned this the hard way as I did not allow enough pre-travel clearance by adjusting the allen head screw too far out. Resulted in the trigger not resetting for any shots after the first one.
The failure of the Stage 1 trigger to reset can also be caused by the same thing; the allen head screw has turned on its own due to recoil.
The Stage 3 Trigger does away with the pre-travel clearance adjustment (allen head) screw.
As far as how to identify each one, the only way I can be sure what's in the gun is to remove the trigger guard group and look at the assembly out of the gun.
I don't prefer one over the other; to me, they are just both different designs. I have not found either one to be overly heavy to the point of needing lightening. The Stage 3 trigger has eliminated the pre-travel adjustment.
A last note of information is that if you have a Stage 1 trigger and want to convert it to a Stage 3 trigger, you can buy the conversion parts from Nu Line Guns and probably others with the instructions.
I'm a bit confused here. I just bought a Super-X1 action complete with trigger and it has a very low serial number 12,000 something. But it has a smooth gold plated trigger. Being smooth, from what I gather here, the trigger is a stage three. I haven't yet taken it out to see if there is a screw to take up slack. But weren't the gold triggers only in later higher serial numbered gun's. If so then I'm guessing this isn't the original trigger for the action it was in. Can someone enlighten me here?
michmoe, I'd guess that somebody installed the necessary parts in your original Stage 1 trigger to make it into a Stage 3 trigger (see my previous post about parts available to do this). Nothing wrong with doing this. And like gun1357 said, anything is possible.
Parts swapping on SX-1s is probably second only to Remington 870/1100/11-87s. When a gun is popular and has been around for decades, parts get switched out. I have multiple 1100s and SX-1s and I don't think any of them are as they came from the factory. Mark
I've taken the trigger out and it is a stage three (no allen screw for slack take up). So it must be a trigger from a later serial numbered gun. I've owned Super-X's in the past that came from the factory with gold triggers but they were later serial numbered guns. Thanks guy's and sorry for hi-jacking your post Alan, your money is on the way.