A couple words about triggers..

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by Bigcat, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. Bigcat

    Bigcat Well-Known Member

    In the seperate AR configuration thread, triggers have been brought up.

    Milspec triggers are often, no scratch that, usually, a bit stiff and rough.

    Any experienced shooter can tell you a nice smooth trigger can make all the difference in both speed and accuracy..

    There are some very nice hi end trigger out there.. like the Fostech binary probably the one I would want the most:

    But I like to go more affordable and more simple..for one I cant afford to hand a binary trigger (2 rounds per trigger pull) to one of my nephews in SHTF and he will go crazy with our limited ammo supplies.

    Even troops in combat will use a full auto feature only by exception... and they have nearly unlimited ammo in theater.. and are often followed around by a Humvee full of ammo.. (I exaggerate, but u get my drift)

    Fast and accurate semi-automatic fire is where its at for Tactical Rifles.
    Especially if you have to do ammo management as every citizen must do.

    So a good smooth and light trigger is important... but for me I wish it not be too expensive... I am a big believer in bang-for-the-buck.. (also I am equipping a small fleet of rifles for my nephews as well, so every solution I accept, has to be affordable to be put on more than 1 rifle)

    The trigger below is conceptionally what I like... still has the mechanics of a milspec trigger BUT slightly softer spring ( not too soft or you may get light primer strikes!) and polished and covered with a hard lubricant.

    The ALG strigger is the best known one... the company is owned by the wife of the Geissele guy I think


    Here is one thats conceptually the same from a small manufacturer and costs less.

    It functions very well i own several of these.. IMO its just as good as the ALG for approx 25-30 dollars less and I put a great many of these into buddies' rifles, who are also quite happy with them.

    Also they were Nickel-boron coated before the ALG ones got coated.


    I like righttobear.com they make a lot of their stuff in house and their machining is good..
    Actually I still have 2 spare RTB trigger packs in storage just in case the supply dries up and a buddy needs a trigger on his Carbine replaced.
    They make them in batches and are sold out about a third of the time.

    My DMR configured Rifle has Rock River rifle 2 stage triggle, which is affordable and very effective... but its in the DMR rifle only for a reason... 2 stage triggers are often not as robust/durable as single stage milspec triggers.

    One exception is Geissele 2 stage which is said to be quite durable despite being a 2 stage.. Geisselle also has many other very good trigger options.... but they all come at significant cost.

    So I am forced to make hard nosed cost-benefit decisions all the time..

    Ammo, rifles, optics, magazines, NVGs(!), combat clothing, combat boots and enhancements such as triggers all compete with each other for the same defense dollars.

    So I like ammo that reliably goes bang and gear thats good... but it doesnt have to be crazy good.. because that often implies higher cost.
    The last 10% of "goodness" often doubles or triples the cost of a certain item.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
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  2. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter


    You are correct!
    A good trigger can make a gun! As you stated smoother pull, lighter and increases accuracy!
    I have the Rock River Arms 2 Stage National Match Triggers in most all of my ARs.
    And at a decent retail price of $95.00 vs. others who are much more expensive and with little difference with the RRA Trigger. On occasion I have seen them on sale for $75.00. If one ever gets one of them and drops it in to replace their standard Mil-Spec Trigger. They will be HOOKED! Most Rifles take the standard RRA 2 Stage Trigger for the .155 Trigger and Hammer Pins. They also have them for the Commercial production 1994-2004 Post Ban Guns that uses the .170 Pins. *But the 2 Stage NM Trigger Groups must be ordered for those particular rifles.
    Also I prefer the Black Trigger over the Chrome Trigger. Total pull of 4.5 Lbs. Total
    and around 3.5 Lbs. on the Break!
    But if one wants to improve their good triggers even more. Put in a set of KNS Anti Rotate Trigger and Hammer Pins. Even makes the RRA 2 Stage NM Trigger as great as it is better!;)


  3. G66enigma

    G66enigma Well-Known Member Supporter

    Ditto on the "great trigger" sentiments. It absolutely can "make" the gun.

    Had a trigger job done, once, on a CZ P-01 where the factory trigger had gotten a bit sloppy. Specifically asked to set it to a higher overall DA and SA pull-weight ... but clean and crisp. Was night and day. Not that the factory trigger was horrible, but it had gotten used sufficiently so that it wasn't a reliable clean break any longer. Great improvement, by a great gunsmith.

    Once had a shop install a Jewell trigger into a Remington 700 .243 rifle. Complete transformation. Lighter pull, adjustable weight, very crisp and clean break. I'd never quite understood first-hand what the "It breaks like 'glass'" feeling was until I'd experienced that one. A revelation. Erased 90% of the "yips" from my trigger pulls, at the time, just from that. Made getting nearly half-inch groups at 300yds a regular thing. Instantly, from the moment the trigger was installed. Initially toyed with it at 2-3lbs pull; gradually moved it to a different spring, to about 2oz. (Too low, there, but an amazing feel.)

    Thanks for the two references for other decent triggers for the AR. Don't have an AR myself, at the moment. But if I ever do pick one up, I'll consider these.
    Ghost1958, Sniper03 and Bigcat like this.
  4. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter


    Of course my 40X Sniper Rifle I had on the Team and I still have today has an adjustable Trigger set at 3 Lbs.
    So when I got my Remington CDL 700 in 7mm Remington Magnum for hunting and use in Texas. I took it to a Remington Service Center in Louisville, KY and had them do the trigger work. Also had it set at 3 Lbs. since I am use to that and have been for years. On a rare occasion when everything is right I am getting Sub 1/2 MOA groups at 100 yards. Point being THE TRIGGER!:) But as previously mentioned most all of my ARs have the RRA 2 Stage NM Triggers. A good Trigger is a must!:)

  5. G66enigma

    G66enigma Well-Known Member Supporter

    On the Stag AR, some years back, I don't exactly recall the trigger that was on it. Might have been a Geissele single-stage. Was pretty good, if a tad heavy for my tastes. Crisp and clean, for repeatable trigger control.
    Bigcat and Sniper03 like this.
  6. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

    I'll spend a few extra bucks for the 2 stage Giesselle.:)
    Bigcat likes this.
  7. Shopfox

    Shopfox Well-Known Member Supporter

    I have RRA 2-stage varmints, a Giessele SSA-E, Right to Bear Arms (RTBA) nickel boron, and PSA enhanced polished triggers. I've also had some trigger pulls of the ALG trigger.

    The RTBA, ALG, and PSA EPT triggers are pretty much indistinguishable for me. I put together a lower last week with the PSA EPT. Feels smooth, pulls at 6 lbs. When I want to hunt with this class of triggers (and want to upgrade), I'll use a reduced power hammer spring (ALG purple). That takes it down to 4.5 lb, smooth, and with my "soft" primers used in reloading, have had zero problems with the gun going bang. If it was a defensive gun, I'd leave the original spring alone and call it good.

    For varminting and hunting, the RRA is about 1/3 the price of the Giessele. When I was putting together an upper and needed to borrow a lower, the Giessele was the first choice on the shelf. When I went hunting last week, I was fine grabbing a RRA 2-stage varmint. It's "good enough". I don't put enough rounds through any single gun to worry about trigger longevity. I won't be wearing out 3 RRA's on a single gun. I'd feel differently about only buying Giessele if my life realistically depended on the rifle.

    "The last 10% of "goodness" often doubles or triples the cost of a certain item" 100% agree with @bluez

    Fwiw, I've pretty much stopped buying 2-stage triggers. The PSA EPT triggers are maybe a $20 upgrade when buying a kit. I found they were "good enough" that I didn't feel complelled to upgrade them.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
    OLD Ron and Bigcat like this.
  8. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

    I am a single stage guy. I have several AR's and I have put the 3 to 3.5 lb triggers from several different manufactures in them and they ALL perform the same. I hate the 'mil-spec' triggers. All of my hunting rifles and the snipers rifles I have used and trained with had/have 2.5 lb single stage triggers, so that is what I try to use in all my rifles.:)
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
    Bigcat likes this.
  9. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

    I have to comment!
    Geissele make good products, but I would not buy one if it was the last trigger on Earth. Why because IMO He is a pompous, aragent, rude ARSSSSED person!
    So I will explain: Bear with Me!
    I was at Camp Perry managing the AR Company's Store during the National Matches one year.
    A guy named Jim came into the Store and bought a new Match Rife. Even though Jim bought a lot of rifles each year for his youth marksmanship program, He was presently for some reason on a Hold at that time from the ATF Check. He was waiting for the clearance but had to be at work that day in about two hours and was worried about not getting cleared in time. But he advised even though his new gun had a fine 2 Stage Trigger in it he wanted to try a Geissele Trigger in it and planned on going down to the Geissele Store and having one put in. But was running out of time. I advised Jim, tell you what! I can not let you have the gun but I will walk with you down to Geissele's Store and let him put the Trigger in. And by the time we get back you should be cleared. So we took Jim's Rifle to Geissele's Store on Vendor's Row and Geissele began working on it. Jim bought some Hats and Shirts there in the meantime from the very kind lady. Jim later paid for the Trigger and the work and we got the rifle and walked out the door. As we were walking out Jim stated wait a minute, I left my new 2 Stage Trigger with him at the Work Bench! So we went back in and Jim asked Oh Sir I forgot my new __________ Trigger that was in my new Rifle!
    Geissele stated what do you want it for A BOAT ANCHOR? Stated very aragent and rudely!
    As we left Jim stated I could not believe that. And I can not believe you kept your cool that was uncalled for.
    I advised him having my Company's Shirt and other identifying things. I told Jim I wanted to jump over the Counter and knock him on his Arssss! But then no one would know who the AH was.
    So this is the reason I would never buy anything from unprofessional people like him. There are too many people who make great products and are professional about it.
    Sorry for the long story but that is what happened!

    Caveman Jim, OLD Ron, primer1 and 4 others like this.
  10. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    I had a milspec trigger go binary. Got a new JMT drop in to replace it. I like it. I have another one for the other AR if I get a round tuit. Shook me when it happened as I was not expecting it and I was afraid it might go full auto. I will stick with 1 shot triggers.
    JimRau likes this.
  11. Hookeye

    Hookeye Well-Known Member

    JP springs and a set screw above the grip screw I find tolerable.

    No probs either
  12. Hookeye

    Hookeye Well-Known Member

    Im just shooting yotes n chucks w mine though. Not trying for .5 moa or better
  13. windjammer69

    windjammer69 Well-Known Member

    I have installed HyperFire EDT triggers in all three of my builds. They come with two spring sets for 5.5 and 4.5 pull, and an added item, a small pin has been installed to keep the trigger and reset assembled togather. When placed in the lower the trigger pin moves this small out, and it makes for a very easy install.
    The hammer is a lower mass to reduce lock time, and when installed it is very smooth and crisp.
    I most I have paid for one is $98.99.
    Bigcat likes this.
  14. Triumphman

    Triumphman Well-Known Member

    I have some PSA "classic", CMMG and DPMS mil-spec triggers and they all seem the same to me. They all have that long creep, with some grittiness and I can't keep track as to how far that trigger goes back before it goes bang. You have to be on target then pull that trigger without thinking where it might go BANG.

    The one different trigger I have is an RRA "national match" 2-stage. I got it about 3yrs ago when I happened to check out RRA's sight and found a 1-day trigger sale going on and picked one up for, around $59. I seem to remember that there was only a limit of one at this sale price. It was a hunting/varmint trigger with a 3-4# break.

    When one uses a mil-spec poundage type trigger, then go to a 2-stage, it's night and day with a light easy pull to a stop wall, then finger pressure of light-glass breakage. So crisp.

    If I happen to build more AR's, I'll be using RRA NM 2-stage triggers from now on if their prices don't go through the roof.
  15. G_Whitcomb

    G_Whitcomb Active Member

    I just ordered a rtb trigger. Sounds like it’s just what I was looking for. Nothing fancy but a whole lot better than the mil spec brick I’ve got. On sale for $44.95 + shipping (in stock too)
    Thanks for the tip
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  16. AgedWarrior

    AgedWarrior Well-Known Member

    I have two JARD triggers for my AR builds. They are not the cheapest, but they perform extremely well for me.
    7.62 Man likes this.

    PANDEMIC Well-Known Member

    My AR had a Larue Trigger in it which made the trigger pull really smooth and accuracy was easy to achieve. But then it was swapped out with a mil-spec stock trigger. Which is not bad, just the trigger pull is a little longer and its just a tad bit tricky to achieve accuracy. But after putting close to 200 rounds though it, I beat the tricky part and can achieve good accuracy very easily.
  18. 7.62 Man

    7.62 Man Well-Known Member

    I have a few fully adjustable Jard triggers in my ARs too. What do you think of their new set triggers? To me it would be like two triggers in one. Thinking about buying one just to get the feel of it.
    AgedWarrior likes this.
  19. Bigcat

    Bigcat Well-Known Member

    You are very welcome.
    I take great pleasure in researching affordable but effective solutions and seeing others adopt them as well.

    On my (well-above avg competency) mutual assistance team we are at about 60-70 % adoption rate of this trigger on our weapons.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
    Gatoragn likes this.
  20. Bigcat

    Bigcat Well-Known Member

    Keep in mind the purpose you use your rifle for too.
    If you stash some ammo and it turns out to have a harder than normal primers and you use your rifle for self defence you may have failures to fire on occasion.
    This is a trvial problem on hunting trip but in an SD situation can be lethal.

    My recommendation to folks that run softer-than-stock triggers yet must rely on various different makes of ammo for self defense to purchase an upgraded firing pin.

    These cost about 10-12 dollars and ensure reliable ignition by having a longer tip in the front than milspec.
    In theory this would increase your chance of pierced primers but I never had an issue among many many rounds fired.

    These are the same firing pins people use for 5.45mm and 7.2x39 (Combloc) ammo that are infamous for hard primers.

    This is the one that deviates from spec the most with a longer tip:

    So if i had a trigger with a softer hammer spring (and I do have a couple) I would run this FP, if I ever expect to fire anything but premium ammo in a defensive situation.
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