Pulling The Trigger On The Right Trigger For Your AR-15

Posted on 15 Dec 2017
Pulling The Trigger On The Right Trigger For Your AR-15

How To Find The Right Trigger To Use With Your AR15 

It is well known that the most popular rifle in the U.S. is the AR-15, and for a number of different reasons.  One of the main benefits that the AR offers is that it is very easy to customize and upgrade the rifle, which allows the users to build a system that is customized to their preferences and needs.

Manufacturers thoroughly understanding the AR platform's seemingly unlimited potential that it provides to users, and keeps creating performance accessories and precision components that transform a regular carbine into a unique creation.  Some of the upgrades that are available for AR15 for sale include keymod free float rails, ultra-light stocks, precision-weighted buffers, improved sights, coated bolt carrier groups, and a lot more. 

However, the fire control group is one of the most easy-to-perform and best AR upgrades, which is more commonly known as the trigger assembly or trigger.  The trigger on the gun is the mechanism that is used for releasing the hammer that strikes the firing pin, that results in the firearm being discharged.  In addition to the user's shooting skill and fundamentals, yields significant accuracy improvements.  Whether you are buying an AR15 for sale or building your own, having an improved fire group is something that can significantly improve your shooting experience.  

A majority of ARs come with a single-stage trigger.  Typically a military-specification trigger offers a five to eight-pound break.  Although the military-specification triggers do work, they frequently have a gritty pull making it hard to determine when a trigger is going to break.

AR 15 Triggers

Mediocre triggers may exacerbate or lead to poor shooting mechanics, that can compromise accuracy.  A gunsmith might be able to remove and smooth or polish the fire control on the contact surfaces of the group, but the work can shorten the trigger's life by taking the surface hardening treatments off, and only a competent professional should perform it.

There are two separate movements on the two-stage triggers.  A spring-loaded, light pressure is offered by the first stag that works against the pull of the shooter and stops at the second stage. This is referred to as "take-up."  When there isn't any spring pressure, that is referred to as "slack."  If the shooter keeps pulling the trigger after they get to the second stage, then the mechanism operates the way a single-stage trigger does after that until the sear is engaged and the gun is fired.   The shooter needs to keep the pressure on the gun's trigger to have good trigger reset, even during reset, so that the muzzle movement is minimized. 

"Travel" or "creep" is the distance that the trigger travels between the ending of take-up and whenever the trigger breaks into fire.  Accuracy can be affected by too much creep, but no creep may be unsafe since the shooter might not be ready to fire.  "Stacking" happens whenever the weight of the trigger increases during travel - which is something that shouldn't occur.  Finally, "over travel" is the distance that the trigger keeps moving back once the gun has fired.     

Single-stage triggers have no slack or take-up, as they start engaging the sear right when the shooter starts to pull the trigger.   There are some competitive shooters that prefer a two-stage trigger due to the feedback it offers during the first stage, but other shooters, including ones who use their rifles in a tactical situation, might want the surety that a single-stage trigger provides, and that are ready to engage as well as fire after their finger is inside of the trigger guard.  No matter what a user's preference is, a good trigger has minimal creep and must provide an even, smooth break without any grittiness.

After you decide between a two or single-stage trigger, you also can select between a drop-in or standard trigger group.  All the fire control groups are separated on standard trigger groups and must be pieced together and then installed similar to a mil-spec trigger.  A drop-in trigger, on the other hand, is pre-assembled and is contained inside a casing that drops into the receiver and receives the pin. 

Drop-in triggers are preferred by some shooters due to them being easy to install, while other people prefer standard groups to be able to individually access the components for replacement or cleaning adjustment.  If a piece fails on a drop-in trigger, you will have to either send into the manufacturer for them to repair or replace the whole un, whereas on a standard trigger you might be able to just replace the component that is broken, without having to get an entire new trigger set.   

Another important thing to notice is that even the trigger's bow comes in various types and shapes.  Some shooters have a preference for the traditionally curved bow trigger that may be found on the stock on a majority of AR-15s.  Other users upgrade to a trigger featuring a flat bow.  The trigger's shape offers different ergonomics and then choosing the one that is best for you is mainly based on what your preferences are.

There are many users, which include tactical users such as law enforcement officers or individuals who are planning on using their AR for self and home defense.  These users need to make sure they really want to discharge their firearm whenever they engage the trigger and most likely will choose a trigger that has a heavier pull weight.  That means it takes more pressure for the sear to be engaged, and decreases the chances of any unintentional discharges.   

For shooters who wear gloves, they might want a heavier trigger weight, since the glove reduces the trigger's sensation against their trigger, and that can result in unintentional discharges. 

On the other hand, precision and competitive shooters are more likely to choose a lighter trigger weight, since less pressure is required for engaging the sear.  The less that the shooter needs to pull the gun's trigger, the lower the chances are for the firearm to pull off target.  In today's world of long-range and precision shooting, even the smallest movements may result in enormous misses downrange, and those shooters really value a light pull that is needed for making the shot. 

Just like any upgrade or accessory for your AR, your situation and needs will determine what the best solution is for you.  Try testing different triggers, if possible, so that you can see what will work the best for you, instead of putting out the cash up front, and just wishing you will get a good result (usually good triggers are not all that cheap).  In addition, don't expect that when you upgrade your trigger it will miraculously cure all of your poor shooting woes.  If you have solid shooting fundamentals, especially trigger mechanics and breathing, an improved trigger may help you with tightening groups and being even more on target.

Contact us now or call Atlantic Firearms today to learn more about your AR-15 modifications!

Atlantic Firearms,llc
10337 Bunting Road
Bishopville, MD 21813
Office: (410) 352-5183
Voice: (410) 352-5183
Fax: (410) 352-3374