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View Full Version : What's the point of an aftermarket AR trigger?


Fear58
06-01-2011, 11:58 PM
So probably a dumb question. But I find aftermarket triggers for the AR platform SUCH a common investment people make in their black rifles (by aftermarket, I guess I mean the ones that don't come with the more common AR parts kit). I realize trigger ergonomics can mean a bit, as I've found some pistols trigger more desirable than others. I can just never really put my thumb on exactly what makes it more desirable, other than maybe "smoothness".

Also, isn't it somewhat more so irrelevant when we speak of rifles? With handguns, a worse trigger pull could mean major accuracy issues due to the short barrel... but with an AR, we're working with a long barrel platform and another hand on the handguard!

I raise this question because I have a little bit of cash burning in my wallet, and in the mood to treat my AR. Just not sure if the $150+ justifies a new trigger.

Droppin Deuces
06-02-2011, 12:11 AM
Well, with a 2 stage the advantage is that you know PRECISELY when the trigger is going to break every single time.
I like my standard triggers, too, but when it comes to shooting something small and far, the 2 stage has a noticeable advantage. And mine isn't even adjustable.

HK Dave
06-02-2011, 12:13 AM
Well, with a 2 stage the advantage is that you know PRECISELY when the trigger is going to break every single time.
I like my standard triggers, too, but when it comes to shooting something small and far, the 2 stage has a noticeable advantage. And mine isn't even adjustable.

What he said.

You don't know when the AR trigger will break so it makes it more difficult to do precision or long range work.

Drop a 2 stage into your AR and see if you don't notice an immediate difference in the way the trigger feels and the size of your groups.

santacruzstefan
06-02-2011, 12:14 AM
I've only owned 2 ARs, and I've fired 2 more for a total of 4 different triggers. The Geissele SSA that was on the LWRC had a much better feel than the single stage LMT I have now, or my buddies 2 stage LMT. Basically, I didn't understand what it meant to have a "gritty" trigger until I pulled the SSA and realized how much smoother it was. The way that it broke, the take up getting to that point... it was nice. I'd really like to try the 3 gun one folks have been talking about, since it sounds pretty good too. But in my opinion, its a noticeable difference. I guess it depends what you're using it for, and if its worth it to you. The LMT I have now is perfectly fine, it just doesn't feel as good as the Geissele.

HK Dave
06-02-2011, 12:15 AM
Oh... and it isn't so much about "smoothness"... with a good two stage... the first half of the pull is light... then as soon as it gets heavier, you know exactly where the trigger will break... and depending on the quality, that break will differ from say... a carrot snapping in half or as good as an icicle snaping in half.

Be smart... don't upgrade the trigger... if you do... a standard trigger will never be good enough anymore... on ANY gun you own. :P

Bigbird19
06-02-2011, 12:29 AM
I have a geiselle 2 stage in my larue and compared to the other few AR's that I have shot I am not sure if I could ever go back.

There is a 2lb "creep" and a 2lb "break" just the 2lb break is worth the money. When you reset your finger you can still be in the "creep" and can allow for a faster follow up shot. The biggest thing as mentioned is that it is a lot less guess work.

(this is all in my own experience)

17+1
06-02-2011, 9:46 AM
AR factory trigger is OK for plinking.

For precision/target/hunting/match shooting, dump it: pull is too long, too heavy, creepy, gritty, etc...

Timney makes a really nice unit. I have them in 2 AR's and a Mauser.

21SF
06-02-2011, 9:58 AM
I have a spikes battle trigger, it doesnt move at all until it breaks and is super smooth just heavy. I wish i could get that in a lighter pull.

Heavy_Grinder
06-02-2011, 10:45 AM
Try shooting an AR with a SD3G trigger. You'll never go back again.

bohoki
06-02-2011, 10:51 AM
ive assembled 2 ar15s and the standard trigger feels fine to me

vmwerks
06-02-2011, 12:14 PM
I've got RRA 2 stage units on all my regular AR's except for the A2 retro version. My SPR has a Wilson. Follow up shots are better with the 2 stage triggers too.

thrillhouse700
06-02-2011, 12:17 PM
Got the RRA on my 308 and standard on my ar15. Huge difference.

Federalist
06-02-2011, 4:51 PM
I have a spikes battle trigger, it doesnt move at all until it breaks and is super smooth just heavy. I wish i could get that in a lighter pull.

You might want to consider installing a JP Reduced Power Spring Kit. For $9.95 (or less depending on where you buy it), you can reduce the pull on the Spikes battle trigger down to 4-4.5# (from what I believe is 6#). If you don't like it, you can re-install the Spikes springs and you are out less than $10.

Sniper3142
06-02-2011, 5:21 PM
So probably a dumb question. But I find aftermarket triggers for the AR platform SUCH a common investment people make in their black rifles (by aftermarket, I guess I mean the ones that don't come with the more common AR parts kit). I realize trigger ergonomics can mean a bit, as I've found some pistols trigger more desirable than others. I can just never really put my thumb on exactly what makes it more desirable, other than maybe "smoothness".

Also, isn't it somewhat more so irrelevant when we speak of rifles? With handguns, a worse trigger pull could mean major accuracy issues due to the short barrel... but with an AR, we're working with a long barrel platform and another hand on the handguard!

I raise this question because I have a little bit of cash burning in my wallet, and in the mood to treat my AR. Just not sure if the $150+ justifies a new trigger.


It sounds like you are very new to shooting in general.

The quality and function of a trigger makes a HUGE difference to ALL firearms. How crisp it is, how light, how short the over-travel, how smooth, how quick the reset...

A well tuned and operating trigger is the single biggest item other than the barrel when it comes to shooting accurately. It is the interface between the shooter and the firearm.

I suggest you find someone with a good trigger and try it. You might learn quite a bit.

IPSICK
06-02-2011, 11:33 PM
Optics/sights --> Trigger --> Barrel.

Not always in this order of importance for people but the trigger is important. A good trigger enhances good trigger technique.

Trapper
06-02-2011, 11:39 PM
Replacing the trigger is the least expensive upgrade you can make to make a major improvement on accuracy. I have a RRA match on my 16" and a Chip McCormic on my 20" AR. On my bolt guns I use Jewel or Timney

pyro3k2
06-02-2011, 11:54 PM
Single stage vs 2 stage comes down to personal preference. I know no one has brought that argument up but with the overwhelming amount of RRA 2 stage responses; a single stage option should still be looked at. I've assembled 6 AR's (not bragging there are people who put me to shame) but what i've learned is upgrading the trigger before anything else will usually give the greatest improvement in accuracy at ranges of 100yrds+. The triggers in lower parts kits are hit or miss, most of the time they are misses. Every so often when the planets line up just right you get an absolute gem of trigger out of LPK. But odds are this wont happen so factor in an aftermarket trigger. Going from an upgraded trigger back to a standard one is like going from HD back to standard def.

Find out what kind of trigger you prefer either a single or 2 stage and start saving. The real question here is why you haven't gotten one yet? LOL

RONIN.
06-03-2011, 12:02 AM
I have a spikes battle trigger, it doesnt move at all until it breaks and is super smooth just heavy. I wish i could get that in a lighter pull.

http://www.jprifles.com/1.4.8.3_spring.php

i run the jp3.5t in all my carbines with standard milspec triggers.. the pull is much lighter 4.5-5lbs as opposed to 7.5-9lbs for a standard lpk trigger pull..

lighter and smoother, yet not so light that it is unsafe..

now if you are going for a precision rifle, then absolutely go with a geiselle, timney, jp trigger..

ronin.

tacticalcity
06-03-2011, 3:10 AM
For precision long range shooting a national match type trigger with a lighter pull is a must. For a battle rifle or CQB rifle they are a liability. The lighter pull leads to NDs when running and gunning all out. Since most people only bench rest and plink with their rifles, it doesn't do them any harm. I just find it ironic that so many put them on rifles that have every single other feature geared towards CQB. They don't get it. They think that because it cost upwards of $200 then it must be "better". As if there is a one size fits all magic solution for every need. There isn't. So it all comes down to how you actually use your rifle as to whether or not a national match trigger is a valid option.

BBJones
06-03-2011, 4:19 PM
Try shooting an AR with a SD3G trigger. You'll never go back again.

+1. Never would have believed how fast and controllable this trigger is until I tried it.

Can't wait to get a SD-E in my quasi-reece/spr build.

popeye4
06-03-2011, 4:46 PM
The Giesselle trigger also has a faster lock time than the standard trigger. The time between "click" and "bang" is about half of the stock trigger (if I remember what Zediker wrote correctly). Since the lock time on an AR is quite long to start out with, this can be a big improvement (the gun goes off much closer to where the sights were when you pulled the trigger).

And really, a stock AR trigger is pretty poor as far as triggers go.....