Best AR-15 Trigger – A Top Five Review

AR-15 Trigger
AR-15 Trigger – Image AimSurplus

AmmoLand Gun News

USA –-( Shooters get touchy about their AR-15 trigger. And for good reason. The trigger is the key interface between the shooter and the gun. But what is the Best AR15 Trigger?

The trigger “tells” the gun when to fire the shot. The more control and confidence a shooter has in a trigger, the more likely the shooter is to get hits. And as one old saying goes, “only hits count.”

Gunsmiths have probably been doing trigger jobs for about as long as guns have had triggers.  And for most types of firearms, it’s probably best to leave trigger jobs to the professionals for all sorts of reasons. But the modularity of the AR-15 means that just about anyone can easily install a brand new, specialized trigger. Simply pushing out a couple of pins, removing the original trigger group, dropping in the new trigger group, and pushing the pins back in.

The ease with which AR-15 trigger can be changed is both wonderful and awful. Wonderful because it’s so easy to get whatever the trigger you want, and awful because there are so many triggers out there. Making it hard to know which trigger you actually need.

The type of shooting you intend to do the most with your Black Rifle matters a lot when it comes to choosing the best trigger. If you’re shooting High Power or other mid- or long-range targets, a two-stage match trigger might work great. If you’re shooting 3Gun, you probably want a sport-specific trigger with a short reset and a light, but not too-light single-stage pull. This pull will help you burn through the close targets quickly, keep your stage time down, but still give you enough control to connect with shots farther out. And if your type of shooting is mostly of the tactical or military variety, with lives at stake, a robust, proven and non-adjustable combat-style trigger might be the best.

And that’s just three kinds of shooting. There are many, many more. And just about as many triggers to consider. For example, if you look at the Brownells website, you’ll around 15 different models ( ) of Geiselle triggers alone.

So how do you make sense of it all? By reading and researching, and trying guns with different types of triggers. And finally getting some triggers, installing them, and shooting them a lot.

With all that to think about (whew!) I’ve made my own personal list of my five favorite AR-15 triggers. But remember, this is my list, and based around the type of shooting I prefer to do. Your list might be totally different for all sorts of good reasons. And there are lots of probably great triggers out there that I just don’t have any experience with. Thus cannot say anything about them, like the very popular AR Gold Modular Triggers ( ) . They get great reviews, and shooters seem to love them – I’ve just never had a chance to try one out in person.

So here are my personal Top 5 favorite AR-15 triggers, with a few reasons as to why I rank them in this particular order.

5. Original Mil-Spec Factory Trigger.

Even though lots of AR shooters can’t wait to drop in a new trigger, there’s a lot to be said for the plain-Jane, factory original. Yes, sometimes you get a creepy or gritty one, especially if you go with a manufacturer that’s not known for mil-spec parts. It works well enough, and there’s very little that can go wrong, as the design has been proven many times over. There’s not much chance it will be so light that you fire it before you intend to due to excitement or stress or adrenaline in a serious situation.

Plus, it’s non-adjustable. Many shooters fall prey to the siren call of the adjustable trigger and adjust themselves into unnecessary problems. There’s always the chance that a perfectly-adjusted trigger somehow slips out of adjustment, exactly when you need it most. Currently, I have three guns with factory original triggers and plans for some more of the same in the future.

These triggers are included with standard lower parts set ( ) , so when you’re building a rifle, they really save you some cash. And for many kinds of shooting, they work well enough.

Mil-Spec Factory Ar15 Triggers
Mil-Spec Factory Ar15 Trigger

4. ALG Defense Enhanced Triggers

None of my guns wear ALG Defense Enhanced Triggers ( ) ,,, yet.  But I’ve fired guns with these triggers and really like them. They are not match triggers, but are the perfected version of the standard, non-adjustable mil-spec original trigger. They have the same geometry, but are made to higher quality standards, and come with a specially hardened and smoothed-out sear contact surface to eliminate all grittiness. There’s also a nickle-boron coated version that adds a bit of built-in lubricity to further smooth everything out for a really nice predictable, repeatable trigger.

If you want the absolute best factory-original type trigger on your AR-15, this is a great choice. Of course it’s great, because ALG Defense is a spin-off from Geiselle.

If you dig around on the Internet, you’ll find plenty of positive comments from happy ALG Defense Enhanced Trigger users.

These triggers are a bit more pricey than standard factory original triggers, but can be had for less than $70.

ALG Defense Enhanced AR-15 Triggers
ALG Defense Enhanced AR-15 Triggers :

3. Timney Drop-In Module

I have one rifle with a Timney Drop-In Module ( ), and I really like it. This trigger has two things going for it that the factory original and ALG Enhanced triggers don’t offer. First, it’s a single-stage trigger. There’s no movement or take-up at all. I press against the trigger, and when I reach the amount of pressure required to trip the trigger, it breaks cleanly and crisply. Second, this trigger is modular, meaning that the trigger, sear, hammer and spring are all encased in a bright shiny yellow aluminum housing.

It’s stupid-easy to install. With a mil-spec type trigger, you have to fiddle a bit, and get all the pieces-parts aligned just so, and then push in the pins. With the Timney, all the pieces-parts are in one self-contained unit that just drops right into place. And the Timney uses your gun’s original hammer and trigger pins, whereas some other modular AR triggers require special pins.

The Timney is non-adjustable, and comes with a preset pull weight of 4 or 4.5 pounds. That is significantly lighter than the standard original trigger pull weight, usually around 6.5 to 7 pounds. While pulls as high as 8.5 pounds being considered “within spec.” It also has a very short, fast reset, meaning you can quickly fire a lot of rounds without much movement in your trigger finger.  Timney Modular triggers cost around $220 up to almost $300, quite a bit more than ALG Enhanced triggers.

Timney - Ar-15 Drop-In Trigger Module
Timney – Ar-15 Drop-In Trigger Module :

2. Geiselle SSA and Variants

Bill Geiselle is one of the true wizards of the AR-15 trigger. (FYI, it’s pronounced “guys-lee,” not “juh-zell.) His SSA or “Super Semi Auto” is one of the most popular aftermarket triggers for the AR-15. This one is a two-stage trigger, unlike the Timney. With a two-stage trigger, there are two separate stages. There’s the first stage, in which the trigger comes back a bit and then you feel a distinct stopping point. Apply more pressue at this stopping point, and the trigger breaks, which is the second stage.

While I enjoy good single-stage triggers, my favorite type of shooting is usually on my belly with either a sling or a bipod. And I find that good two-stage triggers give me the most control over the exact moment the shot breaks. I can take up the first stage, make final checks on my breathing, position and wind. When everything is just right, I simply press a bit more and let that shot go at the precise moment of my choosing. If I’m in position too long, and conditions never get “just right,” I can let off that first stage, relax and breathe some more before repeating the process.

One of my scoped, bipod-equipped ARs has a Geiselle Super Dynamic Enhanced Trigger ( ) , which is pretty much a Geiselle SSA only with a funky-shaped flat-faced trigger blade. It looks like a tiny chopping implement sticking down from the receiver. The flat surface is very easy to press against. Both stages are light and very distinct. I really enjoy shooting at little bitty targets, far away with my scoped, bipod-ed AR with this trigger in it.

Of course, two-stage triggers can slow you down a bit if you’re trying to shoot a lot of rounds very quickly, such as on a 3Gun stage. But I enjoy precision shooting the most.

Geiselles will run you from just over $200 to over $300, depending on the model.

Geiselle Super Dynamic Enhanced AR15 Trigger
Geiselle Super Dynamic Enhanced AR15 Trigger

1. Rock River Arms National Match Two-Stage

The very first trigger upgrade that I personally performed on any AR-style rifle was to drop a Rock River Arms National Match Two-Stage trigger ( ) into my DPMS LR-308. All these years later, I still love that trigger. Again, I went with a two-stage because of the type of shooting I prefer to do with the LR-308. My shooting style is on my belly, with a bipod or sandbags, at little targets a long way off. The Rock River feels a little heavier than the Geiselle SDE in both stages. The Geiselle has a standard-shaped trigger blade. But for a match-style two-stage trigger, it works plenty good, and costs around half of what a Geiselle does.

The RRA Two-Stage AR15 trigger I installed was even less expensive. I bought it for under $100 from another shooter who tried it, didn’t like it that much, and opted for a more expensive trigger. If you’re a newbie when it comes to installing aftermarket triggers, and want a target-style trigger in your AR, this might be the way to go. It’s not the best match-style trigger out there, but it’s plenty good especially for the money. If you install it, and like it, you can keep shooting it. All the while you research and try out other types of triggers. And if you decide to sell it, you’ll always find somebody else happy to buy your second-hand Rock River two-stage trigger.

Rock River Arms - AR-15 National Match 2-Stage AR15 Trigger
Rock River Arms – AR-15 National Match 2-Stage Ar15 Trigger :

Making Informed Choices on a AR-15 Trigger

When upgrading your AR15 trigger, don’t just go out and drop a couple of hundred bucks on the trigger that everybody else seems to like. Carefully consider what kind of shooting you intend to do the most. Think about what type of trigger would best suit it. If possible, shoot your friends’ rifles that have different types of triggers, and get a feel for what works for you.

Then, go out and get that trigger, install it, and spend as much time as you can at the range and in field, enjoying every single shot.

Thomas Conroy is a firearms aficionado and writer who lives in the Midwest.

  • 102 thoughts on “Best AR-15 Trigger – A Top Five Review

    1. Until I started using CMC drop-ins in all my builds, I would use Rock River Arms NM2S as the default. Great, affordable trigger, if you can live with a 2S trigger. I prefer SS in my irons and RDS builds, and 2S in my optics builds myself, but if I have a choice between a stocker and a RRA, I’ll take the RRA any day.

      And you can sometimes grab them at $79 when on period sales are certain online vendors.

      Also, AIM Surplus sells the Geiselle G2S (similar to the SSA) for $109 on the rare (RARE!) occasion that they actually get them in stock. I’ve picked up a few, but they are almost never in stock.

      1. As a former M16 armorer/gunsmith & having worked for Bushmaster Firearms for many years (long before they became Windham Weaponry) I started using JARD’s single stage, non-adjustable trigger with a 3.5lb spring on all of my custom builds. I’d say it was about ’02 – ’03 when I started using Jard’s triggers… And I guess I really shouldn’t say I used them on ‘ALL of my builds’ because I’m talking about the builds that I don’t keep with using the standard Mil-Spec triggers; which I have always used as well & still do quite often.. Mainly due to the ‘facts’ stated above by the author which I’ll write/copy again here, just as a reminder because it is Truth 😉 –> “There’s a lot to be said for the plain-Jane, factory original triggers…. and there’s very little that can go wrong, as the design has been proven many times over.” So very true!

        Anyway, for me; JARD triggers will always hold a special place within the now very large, “conglomerate of parts” that I use, as there are just so many choices these days… And not that this is a bad thing either… But based on my personal preference & most of my customers, the list gets shortened pretty quickly when it comes to triggers. For many years I’ve wanted to buy and or try for myself a Geissele trigger in one of my builds; such as an SSA or an SSA-E but I’ve just never gotten around to it. However, I was recently gifted a Geissele SSA-E trigger, and it was a bombshell when I put my hands on it. lol.

        I knew right away the quality I was holding in my hand… Then after installing it, I put my index finger on the trigger, felt the tiny bit of take up and then the glass like second stage crisp break with an amazing reset; Wow I immediately thought… what an amazingly awesome trigger! There is nothing more to say about Geissele Automatics; Period End- IMHO 😉

        After reading, researching, listening to & watching other’s buy and use Geissele triggers in their AR15/M4 style rifles; and now that I finally have one to play with; I can honestly say “IMHO” Geissele Automatics are top end, tier one triggers in my book. But the Jard triggers still keep up with them though after all these years and for half the cost at that… I think they are worth checking out and or adding to the list 😉 As for the ALG Mil-spec triggers & the many of the original manufacturer’s mil-spec triggers… they are also quality trigger & reliable just as the author writes. But if you have never tried a JARD trigger; I would strongly suggest you give one a try! You won’t regret it… And no I don’t work for them or represent them in any way shape or form. I am just a long time customer 🙂

        I’d like to put out a BIG thank you to Thomas Conroy- on a well written article and for including his last paragraph; “Making Informed Choices on a AR15 Trigger” All of which is Truth & Facts! Great article Thomas- Thank you.

        Best to all~ IAN

        1. I was under the understanding Windham Weaponry was formed after non-competes
          expired and is comprised of the old engineering talent of Bushmaster,
          not Bushmaster becoming Windham Weaponry.

          1. As a retired Marine Corps Ordnance Officer, I would like to say thank you for the informative and well written reply/comments on the original article. I can tell by your experience that you put some thought into your reply, backed up by your experience. Thanks for sharing the knowledge.

    2. I am a total rookie on black guns but bought a Windham Src .308 from a rag article. I measured trigger at 8.5# .
      Didn’t like that at all so went cruising on a parts site and looked at recommendations from replies. I was torn about choices. Ended up picking up a Wilson Combat tr- ttu single stage ,got a crisp 3#8 Avg. Very easy to install comes with its own pins and a complete module.
      Remember first and only msr.

    3. I have the AR Gold and, while very pricey, I consider it worth every penny. Breaks like the proverbial glass rod at 3 pounds.

    4. When William Geiselle walked me through my trigger install on my High Power Service Rifle 10 years ago, he pronounced his name Jessil-lay. I had several personal phone calls with him, he answered his phone that way.

      1. Not sure what your talking about his name is pronounced just like the author said … Guys-lee …. All you have to do is look up his YouTube videos he says his name a hundred times …. Just saying

        1. During an interview some years ago, Bill Geiselle said his family has lived in America for the past 190 years, which leaves a long history of American style in the pronunciation. That said, Bill stated that his family pronounces it “GUYS-lee”, with the emphasis on the first syllable, shown in caps. However…even Bill admitted that the German pronunciation is different, in which they pronounce it “GUYS-ah-la” with the emphasis on first syllable, caps. For those who speak German, as I do, it is the typical way of pronouncing the soft “e” sound in such names. One pronounces the sports car named Porsche in TWO syllables, as “PORSCH-ah”, to make the point further.

          1. The Pronunciation Porcha is a womans first name, The pronunciation of Porche in the High german dialect has such soft emphasis on the E is is almost silent after the schwa pronunciation of the CH in german. Sadly it was the Television that destroyed the proper pronunciation of Porche in German. Knowing The VW ‘Designers family personally, having gone to highschool with one of his granddaughters who was state side as an exchange student, All I can do is sit and laugh at all of you who try to claim personal knowledge of Proper pronunciations.

    5. The ELF 3-Gun trigger is in my opinion the best AR trigger on the market. The AR Gold has a great feel too but I don’t like the trigger shoe. I prefer a trigger for my AR that breaks similar to a high quality 1911/2011 handgun at 2.5 Lbs and the ELF does just that.

      1. I also believe the Elf triggers are superb! Extremely crisp break, and a crazy fast reset you have to feel to believe!

      1. Hiperfire 24C with trigger boot. Unbelievably light (2.5#), nearly negligible travel and reset. Took three minutes to remove Mil spec and install the Hiperfire. Gives you several spring choices for trigger pull from 3.5 to 2.5# and increased hammer strike to fire off even the hardcore cheap ammo. Rate of fire is as fast as you can flick the trigger. Absolutely awesome.

      2. I have installed three HiperTouch ELC triggers and can’t believe the quality of the product design! Smooth as a hot knife through butter! You have to try it to believe it.

    6. I ordered a Milazzo-Krieger trigger from Charlie in 98 just before a trip to Perry. Beautiful. In 2001 Some 50 or so were available from a vendor on commercial row so I bought 10. The service teams were running the triggers also in their rifles and always had high praise for them. Quite frankly the Geissele is only a refinement of the Milazzo-Krieger and is outstanding. Look no further if you want the best available.

    7. Just installed a timney.. It did not drop in. Had to take .004 off of each side to fit in lower. Then the bolt jammed against the hammer. Had to relieve metal from the hammer to allow it to cycle. It now works, but there is a lot of travel before the trigger breaks. It does break cleanly.. Not at all satisfied. I own other timney triggers and they all work great.

      1. Timney’s are WAY over-rated. I’ve had two: both were mushy and inconstant. (I returned one and got the second; I assumed that they are all like that.) I still have a 3.5# single stage Timney sitting on my workbench that I took out to replace with a good trigger (Geissele SSA-E.)

      2. Agree just bought a Timney for my ar and I’m not impressed at all, pulling it out and sending back if I can. It travels too far doesn’t break clean and is not a 3lb trigger!

    8. Can’t speak about any trigger except the Geissele, but I will say this. If I could only do one thing to my AR to improve it, it would be to add the Geissele SSA trigger. Stocks, optics, slings, grips, don’t do it. Get the Geissele, it makes that much of a difference!

    9. RRNM are good triggers, but they can be inconsistent and durability is iffy.

      Geissele’s are great (SSA-E and 3G triggers are tough to beat), but the one missing from the list in Wilson Combat. I like their 3 gun triggers better than Geissele’s (even shorter reset, if you can believe it.)

    10. I agree the first choice with one caveat……..have it tuned by John Holliger of White Oak Precision. I’ve tried mil spec, Jewell, and Geiselle. Geiselle would be my second choice, but I have 3 RRNM (all tuned by John). I even use one in a lower that I put a custom built .22 RF upper. As you probably realize, a quality trigger is crucial to accuracy with a rimfire.

    11. $.02: JP. Crisp and Clean, love that trigger and had quite a few others highly compliment that when they tried it. Also found in many of the top builders rifles. Then I tried a Hyperfire trigger… Innovative approach, light trigger crisp and gives a harder hammer strike. Both are pricy, but IMHO, well worth the $$.

    12. if geissele isn’t number one i can’t take this post’s input seriously. There is nothing more precise or quality. It’s a fact not personal preference.

      1. Completely 100% agree. A reason USASOC and the Army Marksmanship Team use Geissele. Nothing beats a Geissele. Nothing.

    13. I bought a timmney trigger it fell right in with no problems at all and immediately I was putting all my .223 rounds inside of a nickel

    14. I have a CMC 3.5 lbs. in my Noveske 16″. I have to say it is an awesome trigger. Smooth without any creep that I could notice. The customer service is just as awesome. I ordered a CMC through EBay and got the version with the old pins that didn’t fit. I called CMC and they shipped me the new anti rotating pin kit for free, which is usually about $20.00 + shipping. They thanked me for buying from them. They are made in the great state of Texas. My next purchase will be a Velocity curved 3lb.

      1. I have installed two CMC SS Straight triggers in my last two AR’s and continue to be both impressed and satisfied. As good as anything I’ve shot before. I recommend highly. CMC has some of the best customer service available! When you find a winner, stick with it…

    15. Thank you for your time to list all this information. It really helped me to decide the best trigger pull and manufacturer. I was aiming at going with the lightest pull possible. I don’t shoot competition and after reading your comments, I don’t have a need for a 2# trigger pull which could accidentally fired if dropped. I hunt hogs, and sometime at night in a two person blind, I sure don’t want a weapon to with a hair trigger. Due to your article, I will be going with the Timmy or Hiper Fire trigger with 3# to 4# pull.

      Good Job!
      BJ Brown

    16. Well I am not a big fan of RRA. I do not like the 2 stage trigger. A crisp single stage trigger for shooting is what I consider a good trigger. If you take 15 mins between each shot then I understand your position. A single stage guy will never be on the same page as 2 stage guy. Really? No mention of ELF Triggers. They have bearings in the action….. My good friend has a Timney and it would not shoot military ammo which made him nervous weather his gun would go off on which primer. He hunted in WI coming all the way from TX and when he went to shoot he could not fire his gun. Primers were to hard for the Timney spring… 🙁

      1. Roger that ! it is hands down the best trigger on the market ! I have an elf match adjustable in my ar 10 and I love it !

      2. Hands down the ELF Trigger is the best superb quality. Needle bearings, flat shoe, etc. I have a eclipse, and a JP. The ELF is crisper and faster!! Try one you will see folks.

    17. Sold on eBay by the seller “bunkerrec”, the 15 minute DIY trigger kit for $16.90 is the absolute best buy in triggers.

    18. Jewell by far the best. been using one
      for 20 yrs. in space gun for H.P. set on
      2 1st, 1 2nd
      10 yrs. service rifle. set on 2 1st, 2.5 2nd.
      if service fails wt. test in leg match its
      easy to add 1/2 lb.

      1. I’m glad to see someone else has had the pleasure of using the Jewell trigger. I use them on my long range rifles. A DPMS .308 LR with a 24″ bull barrel and an Alexander Arms 19.5″ 6.5 Grendel. 1st stage at 3#, 2nd stage at 1.25#. No creep, very crisp.
        I do like the Rock River Match trigger on my hunting ARs.

    19. There are so many great AR Triggers out there, it would be hard to put a top 5 List together. That being said, I’ve found the Hiperfire Hipertouch EDT trigger @ $85 to be a great trigger I choose the 4 1/2 pound trigger spring and love it, a hint of creep then breaks clean and smooth. But I may even try one of the Velocity Triggers in one of my other AR’s…too too many choices.

    20. I put a Jewell Trigger in my AR varminter over 10 years ago and haven’t looked back – it’s a little finicky to set up, but once done it’s set; thousands of rounds later there’s never been a hint of a malfunction. It’s still light, crisp, with no backlash . . . perfect.

      I put an RRA NM trigger in my next AR . . . after a little SIMPLE tuning, it’s really quite good . . . but it’s no Jewell.

    21. I only know the milspec trigger from my years in the Army. Do not know any better, and am used to it. I now have a civ M4 Colt and it basically is the same. Does that make me an idiot because of that?

      1. No, not at all but you should really look into a better trigger. My Colt le6920 was over 7 lbs. JP springs and a Polish job and it’s 4.5 ish. Still horrible. I want a geissle or Armageddon through JP.

      2. I bought a Colt LT6720R a couple months ago. Paid about $1100. The trigger is horrible. It feels gritty. My $570 S&W Sport out shoots the Colt. The trigger is better. I dropped PSA fire group triggers in both yesterday. I haven’t shot them yet. But it’s definitely an improvement for the Colt. I cannot tell any difference in the smith. As soon as I get my polishing stones back I am going to polish the Colt Mil Spec trigger and see how that goes.

    22. I agree with your picks except there was a glaring omission leaving out the great Wilson Combat modular trigger replacements – no one makes better stuff than Wilson especially as to longevity – I would place them right up there with the Geissele triggers – ALG triggers are just more basic Geissele’s marketed by his wife and more like a high end standard trigger – haven’t heard much good about Timney’s.

    23. I own one custom trigger which is very nice, but also modified relatively cheap two stage “Cedar” on my Delton Bandit. The slightly changed geometry and polished radii made for a very reliable consistent release and very short reset – perfect for tactical use.

      Also – any discussion of AR triggers with no mention of the Hiperfire Triggers is invalid.

    24. I think AmmoLand needs to take the advice of Trump and drop the political correctness. This is a liberal tactic to silence people of their rights and opinion!

    25. I’ve had quite a few triggers in my ARs. What always bugged me was the high cost of the better ones. I could buy a used glock (I.e. A whole gun) for the price of some of these triggers. I had ordered a lpk from Brownells and had the option of upgrading it with an ALG trigger, so I did.

      I’ve never looked back.

      I’m not someone who believes in buying cheap, and I don’t own any guns that could be considered so. I shoot factory ammo almost exclusively. I decided to pick the ALG triggers because I wanted to be able to afford upgrading all my ar pattern rifles with the same trigger, so using one would be as close to using the next as possible. I’ve shot the expensive ones and could tell the slight difference, but it was very slight.

      Second place for my purposes would be RRA, but ALG quality, consistency and price beat them out.

    26. I sold aircraft parts for a while and met a guy there who summed up the deal on triggers. Aircraft parts are priced for senators and congressmen…. This guy used to say “…well do you want to play airplanes or not? ” So I say do you want to play triggers or not. I have not seen anybody talking about Elftmann triggers. Lots of interesting details there. My first one is on the way….

    27. Trigger doesn’t matter at all its all about the principles I am a distinguished usmc shooter and mill spec is all you need unless you want a gucci gun. Just remember any firearm is a tool not a show piece

        1. I never met a Marine that did not capitalize USMC, and never met a good shot that said, “Trigger doesn’t matter at all…” Trigger control is one of the principles. Some really good shots say the most important principle.

    28. +1 for the JP, the oversized pins, speed hammer, adjustable safety and spring kit in mine made for a ultra crisp trigger with a super short reset. Trigger breaks at 3lb and I never get light primer strikes. Zero lateral movement of the trigger and other fire control components.

    29. I have a Timney in my AR and a Geiselle (should be pronounced GUY-sell-uh, in German, anyway) in my 450 Bushmaster. I have had no problems with the Timney, which I like for its light pull (3 lb in mine) and single stage for tactical applications, and I have a two stage Geiselle for hunting, since I will be taking enough time to set up the shot and shooting at longer distances. I am now building a second tactical AR and have just ordered another Timney drop in for it.

    30. The discussion of the best trigger parallels the discussion of the best caliber handgun for self defense. There is no answer and the discussion will never end. The best trigger is the one that performs best with your finger. I have several AR’s with different triggers. A RRA single stage match, a RRA double stage match on an AR 10 and mil spec triggers on a Spikes pistol and Core carbine. For precision shooting I prefer the RRA simgle stage but prefer the heavier pull in personal defense weapons. Perceived trigger pull weight is significantly reduced in an emergency situation when the goal is to effectively eliminate the threat, not group under a moa at 100 yds. That is my take, but the great advantage of the AR platform is that everyone can customise it to suit their needs. What fits me may not fit you. Find what fits your needs and enjoy the journey !

    31. I own several RRA 2 stage match triggers. I get them for $70 a piece shipped! At that price, I need nothing else. I’ve tried trigger that I like as well for twice the price and have tried trigger that I like better for 3X the price. Velocity sells a really nice 3lb or 4lb and you can score those for about $135 online. Really good for the price!

    32. I have several Rock River National Match 2-Stage Triggers and really like them, until I bought a Hyperfire 24 3G, with easily replaceable springs that ANY person can change. It breaks extremely clean with no over travel or creep. It it cheaper than the Geissells. Videos are online for these. I will be replacing the Rock Rivers with these. Can’t say enough good about them.

    33. Positive reports of the popular “G” triggers led to buying one for my Daniel Defense V11. Customer service was good but on-range use proved to serve no better than DD’s stock, mil-spec trigger which was embarrassing. Yeah, thank contingency lawyers for at least that. More investigation led to the Velocity 3 Pound Drop In Trigger. Ladies and gentlemen, it was night and day! This shooter works at it, yes, and the Rifle is well accessorized with a quality brake. I’m getting .56″ groups (greatest measurement of 5 shot groups, measured outside of opposing holes), thanks to that excellent (curved)trigger. It’s very well engineered, very smart. It installs obviously far easier than “G” triggers or other non-drop-in’s. It breaks as if a glass rod snaps and travel is minimal. On the downside, customer service STINKS as in, not at all. That’s fine, I wanted results and sure enough achieved most of my goal. This Velocity is a 3 lb.

      I’d buy another in a heartbeat.

      Velocity 3 Pound Drop In Trigger

    34. I had no problems with my stock colt trigger until I replaced it with a Hyperfire 24c 3G trigger. Wow! No creep, crisp, quick reset, and really beefy for a competition trigger. Can change springs to have a 2-4 pound pull. Feel good putting a competition style trigger in my ar that is this well built.

    35. Rise armament RA535. Single stage, 3.5 lb. love it, put one in my last build. If you are looking for a good single stage, consider this one

    36. I use to polish my own standard AR-15 triggers until I found Rise Armament’s RA-140 SST with a very crisp 3.5lb pull and fast reset that allows for reaquiring the target very very easy.
      I payed $99 before the holidays.
      Thy recommend using anti-roll pins which I did and their well worth it.

      1. i have arise armant ra-140sst trigger on my PWS 308 ar have to many light primer strikes with nato spec primers. would not recomend for a 308 rifle going to try something else.

    37. Disappointed CMC is not on the list, straight up the best triggers on my Firearms, Ive had some of the ones listed above, but none of those compare to the quality, customer service of CMC PERIOD!

      I have 5 copies of CMC and will never use another brand ever

      Snappy, No creep, light, and reliable plus great customer service, and no I do not work for them or have reviewed any triggers for them online, I purchased them with my own dollars

    38. I put a Rise Armament trigger RA-140 SST with a 3.5 lb trigger pull, and it was easy install all at $99.00 free shipping from AIM SURPLUS.

      1. Rudy, I now have two of Rise Armament’s RA-140’s, and I think they are outstanding. I would have had a third, but the vendor at the gun show only had one this time around. I replaced an ALG with my first RA-140. Wow, night and day difference. I liked the ALG for what it was. However, there is only so much you can do to a Mil Spec trigger. The pull on the ALG was around 6.5 lbs and still had tons of creep. The only thing better about it was that the grittiness of the Mil Spec trigger was gone. Even after replacing the trigger spring with a lighter spring, the pull was still over five pounds. I probably could have reduced it more with a reduced power hammer spring, but that’s not how I really like to do it.

    39. Just finished building my first AR-15. Starting with an 80% lower and added the rest of the bits+pieces as I could afford them. Took me 8 months or so (with a little wasted time+money from noobie mistakes) but finally got to shoot it a couple of weeks ago with no problems at all.
      But this is the first gun I’ve ever owned. I’ve shot a few guns as a kid and am a decent shot. I was motivated to become a gun owner finally, after hearing all the anti 2A crap from Obama+HilLarry (+wide open borders) am excited to get to the range and get rid of the noob sorta awkwardness I feel with my new hobby!
      Finally to my point, all this custom trigger talk is really interesting stuff. I can tell, I really have No idea what you’re talking about! But it’s interesting none the less…
      And after reading about different brands, models and types of high-end/custom triggers posted here, I already want a trigger that “breaks as if a glass rod snaps” in my AR someday. Sounds accurate, sharp and interesting to me! That’s just the ‘marketing’ in the descriptions getting to me, I’m sure.
      But $100+ for a trigger?! That sounds nuts to my inexperienced mind! The $*0 basic kit from CmmG shot just fine for this rookie gun owner! For now anyways….
      I’m gonna build at least one more AR-15 for sure. After putting enough rounds through this one to get some experience under my belt, and learn what I might like to do differently with build #2. But a (somewhat) upgraded trigger will be a sure thing. 🙂
      Time for me to shut-up. I meant to just say a quick “Interesting trigger postings fellas..” ah well. -Mike

    40. i have 2 ar’s one standard with aim’s 100 dollar trigger it works better than previous mil-spec style triggers, the other custom built varmint rifle has Velocity curved 3lb which has been the best crisp break fast reset compare to other drop in’s i have no trouble with either on mil-spec primers or surpluses ammo just a note voracity triggers are made by the brother of timney triggers also use a fitted pins

    41. Palmetto State Armory offers an improved, polished and hard coated trigger group for $39.99. It is about as good as most other high dollar triggers and with the addition of a set of JP springs, is outstanding.

      1. Agree with the PSA enhanced polished trigger. That nickel coating is great. I’ve put one in each of the two lower builds I’ve done and have been very happy so far.

    42. If you want a SWEET, adjustable, SMOOTH, 100% DROP proof, one piece drop in trigger, you need to try the ELF !! By Elftmann Triggers !! Only one running on aerospace needle bearings that make it so smooth you feel the pull is lighter than it really is !! MSRP is $259. and worth every penny !! 1/4″ wide sear, that you’ll never ware out, and so versatile, you can change the hammer or trigger in seconds !! You can also adjust the trigger weight without removing it from the weapon !! Comes set at 31/2 lbs. but can be adjusted from 21/2- 41/2 lbs. !! This trigger is UNBELIEVABLE !!!

    43. i purchased a Geissele SD-C with the flat trigger. breaks great at 4 1/2 pounds every time.
      its in my Colt M4 LE6920. i did not think i would ever spend that much on a trigger.

      until i got to shoot a friends AR15 with one. superb trigger. accuracy increased significantly.

      glad i did this.

    44. Have a pair of Rugers, A SR556 & SR762. The SR556 had a decent trigger(4#-5oz.) but the SR762 Mil-Spec was just too much for my liking(7#-11oz.). I purchased a Geissele SSA-E, dropped it into the SR556 and then put the factory SR556’s trigger into the SR762. It certainly changed the characteristics of both guns. The SR762 became shoot-able and the SR556 became a trigger snob’s dream.
      Later came a pair of Sig Sauers, a MCX Patrol(5.56) and a 716 Patrol(.308WIN). Nice guns but for the life of me I cannot understand why such fine pieces would ship with the worst triggers I have ever felt. The MCX(9#-10oz.) was not only extreme, it felt just like gravel. The 716(8#-9oz.) was slightly better. I would not even shoot the guns without first replacing them both with SSA-Es. Now the MCX is my favorite with the 716 scoped-out becoming my long range AR. Sure the Geissele triggers are pricey but in the long run worth every penny, making these into heirloom pieces. You cannot go wrong with these Geissele triggers. The man is a genius.
      On a side note… To swap out the MCX trigger one must remove the pistol grip and rotate the safety 180 degrees from “Safe”. Be safe. Have fun. Support our 2nd Amendment. Join the NRA, and vote Pro-2nd!.

    45. Stock trigger on my Bushmaster was terrible. I didn’t buy this as a hunting rifle or a target rifle, and certainly not a sniper rifle, so I went to ALG Defense and purchased their ACT trigger (Advanced Combat Trigger) — it is far less expensive than what most other after-market triggers cost. And it is a really nice trigger. It was simple to install; literally took only a few minutes. It has a short, smooth, clean break. I would call it just about perfect for this rifle and what I want it for, both now and “then”.

    46. The best cost effective trigger that was left out of this article is the Tac-Con MSA Mil-Spec Advanced Trigger Group AR-15, (LR-308 Small Pin .154″ Single Stage NP3 treated). I have this in my AR’s and I bought them one at a time, during which time I paid just over $100.00 down to $88.00 on sale at a large retail concern in Columbia, MO. I found it to be the best designed and manufactured mil-spec fire control group I have ever installed, and I started my gunsmithing career as a unit armorer in 1973, US Army. I have since then worked on and built hundreds of AR and M16 rifles, from the M16A1 and the Colt SP1series to modern 3-gun and other competition specific rifles. Likewise, I have done many trigger jobs on all types of firearms, and now I’ve found what I think is the best trigger job on the market – the Tac-Con MSA trigger. I can match the trigger pull and eliminate creep in my shop, but not for the cost of this system, and the best part is anyone with skill and tools can do this job, and in twenty to thirty minutes you can get what used to take hours of hand honing and fitting did before Tac-Con produced this product.

      This unit is EDM cut and flat ground polished from plate steel, and then the contact surfaces are precision honed to eliminate creep. The trigger, disconnector and hammer are all made in this manner – not one casting. The hammer and trigger have sleeves for the pins, and the trigger has polymer spacers to maintain alignment in the center of the lower receiver’s fire control group well The parts, including the bearing sleeves are heat treated and all are NP3 coated (Nickel/teflon). and they provide the pins which are made specifically for this trigger group, as well as the hammer, disconnector and trigger springs – which are made specific to this fire control group. Even the appearance of this product is far superior to the standard issue mil-spec trigger group. The results of this are a trigger that has very little if any takeup and a clean break with a reduced pull weight compared to the standard mil-spec trigger.

      This trigger group is a bargain and rivals the quality of the cassette type high priced ones on the market. This company also makes their versions of that type as well, in their 241 and 3MR models. They are of course priced in line with the popular cassette type triggers.

      I have the MSA in my AR rifles and it is the best money I’ve ever spent on function enhancement parts, and it is what I recommend for builds. I demonstrate the difference by letting the customer try a regular mil-spec trigger and then I hand them one of my rifles with the Tac-Con MSA – no one ever wants the GI trigger in their rifle afterward. When I can deliver this kind of result, at this price level, it makes both the customer and me happy. For me, it isn’t about making huge profits, but this trigger group allows me to make the customer happy and for a reasonable cost, and that is what makes me content. I don’t expect to change the minds of the devotees of CMC/Jard/Geissle/JP, but if you are looking for that level of performance on a budget, you can’t do better than the Tac-Con in my humble opinion and career experience.

    47. Addendum to my previous comment on the Tac-Con MSA trigger – I didn’t mean to leave out Timney, Elftmann, or anyone else out there making quality trigger systems for the AR today, sorry for the oversight in not mentioning them. All of these manufacture wonderful products, but I wanted to bring attention to a product I believe in that gets a similar level of results, and does it for a bargain price.

    48. I have the Tac-Con MSA trigger. I bought 1, put it in my Rock River Elite 15, It was so sweet I bought 2 more, 1 in my
      S&W MP15 (my wife surprised me for Christmas last year), the other is to just have.

      I’m on in-active duty right now(’64-’94)

    49. Just installed and shot for the first time the Franklin Armory BFS3 trigger. In Debi single shot mode, it’s a sweet trigger but in binary mode, it’s just plain fun!

    50. I enjoyed this artical on triggers. My question is, I’m a combat disabled vet & I shake so to hit the bullseye I have to have a trigger that is very light & no or very little creep. If there is too much creep, I start to shake & have to stop & reset myself with a deep breath. I target shoot for accuracy & deer hunt for only one shot per deer. If I can’t do it in one shot, I don’t pull the trigger. My T/C Pro Hunter has a great trigger that fires before I know it, which is why I’m so accurate with it. Maybe I’m not suppose to ask a question or talk too much, but that is me.

        1. they didn’t post the whole reply, this guy even mentioning and ranking the Original Mil-Spec Factory Trigger tells you he doesn’t know what he’s talking about concerning triggers.

      1. Tom, if anyone has a right to talk and ask question, it’s you. Your sacrifice and service are more than many have to overcome every day, and you deserve to be held in the highest esteem for having to give so much for the freedoms that all Americans share. Thank you for your service, and keep on getting out there and enjoying the outdoors and the shooting sports. No one deserves to more than you do.

        If you have a modern sporting rifle or are contemplating getting one, there are a large number of parts manufacturers out there making very good triggers, and as you can see they all have people who call them the best on the market. There are few that don’t have an over $100.00 price tag, and I am not criticizing any of them, but the one I use most of the time is the one I wrote about. What ever your choice is, if you belong to a club with a range or have a store with range facilities you should get to know them and if you are in the market for an AR type rifle most shooters are happy to let you try theirs to see if you like what they have regarding the manufacturer or trigger they have. Most are proud to extoll the virtues of what they are using, and you may in this way find what works best for you.

        Depending on where you live, there are lots of options for you to get range access, and many of them have a lot of great members who live to share their sport.

        Thanks for your service and sacrifice.

      2. Tom, here is a link to a site that offers set triggers for modern sporting arms.

        The set trigger was used back in the 1800’s on buffalo hunter’s rifles to enhance log range accuracy by reducing pull weight and adjusting the engagement surface contact to a very minimum. You can find examples of these on original and reproduction arms from that period, and they are very easy to trip once you set them. Typically there are two triggers in the trigger guard, and you set the first one after the hammer is cocked, and use the second one to fire. This sounds just like what you are describing, and Williams Triggers may be exactly what you need.

        Take a look at them and see if that would help you.


    51. I currently have two AR’s, one is a stock Daniel Defense DDMV4 and the other is a home built unit. I built a so-called “Gucci” rifle with a Geiselle SSA that I picked up for a good deal from a gun show. I had tried a RRA NM, but it was worse than the DD stock rifle trigger. The Geiselle is better than the Daniel Defense, but honestly, it is only slightly better. I have to say that I am very impressed with the Daniel Defense stock trigger. I am building a new lower and will go with the ALG because it is high quality and inexpensive. If I am not happy with it, I can replace it without taking out a second mortgage and either pick up another Geiselle or maybe a stock DD setup.

    52. Rock River Arms National Match Two-Stage #1& Original Mil-Spec Factory Trigger is #5 what a joke! Just mentioning the Original Mil-Spec Factory Trigger tells you this guy has his head up his ass!

      1. Tape – I think that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and articles like this are a means of expression of personal opinion. To say what you said is to put your opinion above everyone else’s and that isn’t good behavior in a public forum. If we all had the same likes and dislikes we’d all be chasing some other man’s wife and there would not be anything but vanilla ice cream. I would have let one comment pass without a response, but when you do it multiple times with slight variation in the wording, that is when you are being obnoxious. Nowhere in your posts did you state what you think is the best trigger for an AR pattern rifle, so what is the purpose of your comments here? We have your opinion already, so making a one man dog-pile out of it is over the top. Perhaps you should consider counseling.

        After all, there are dozens of options for triggers on the market, and if everyone liked a different one we’d see as many opinions. We get it, you base your judgement on the man’s preference as being less important than yours and you feel entitled to pronounce it over and over. This makes me wonder why the entire comment you made didn’t make it without edit here, but I can guess that someone thought something you wrote was not in line with the terms of use for all commenters on the site.

        Fortunately for the rest of the human race you have not been appointed the final word arbiter of the internet.

        1. Eatshit&die [email protected], you come out with “I think that everyone is entitled to their own opinion” then you come out saying all that crap! Get a life and just someone does not agree with your boyfriend you come out defending him, he’s grown, he can speak for himself. Quit your brown-nosing! CLOWN

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