View Full Version : Trigger comparisons...

06-20-2012, 8:33 AM
This thread got me thinking about triggers again... (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?p=8784651#post8784651)

I feel like I may be unusual in that my very first AR trigger was an AR Gold. So all the AR triggers I have tried after that are compared against that standard. The triggers I have compared it to are an S3G, JP, SSA, RRA 2-Stage NM (hand tuned), and various mil-specs.

Obviously, the mil-specs rank at the bottom of my list (very heavy and not smooth).

Next up from the bottom would be the SSA. Possibly surprising to some but I did not like the long pull compared to the AR Gold and the wall separating the first and second stage was barely perceptible. Reset was longish also.

Up from the SSA was the RRA 2-stage NM hand tuned by Irvington Arms of Fremont. Not too different from the SSA but it seemed slightly smoother. This could be attributed to the hand tuning and I'm not sure about the long term reliability of this trigger as the rifle it was installed in was not mine.

Above the RRA is the S3G which I bought based on all the glowing reviews on this site, arfcom, and Enos forums. Very smooth trigger, possibly the smoothest of the bunch. But when compared to the Gold standard, the trigger pull felt long and so did the reset (though the reset was very positive). This kind of disappointed me because I invested into this trigger by purchasing it. Additionally, the trigger does not play well with my Nordic Components NC22 upper. After watching the Geissele videos, I can see how his hammer design is very particular to AR centerfire bolt rifles. The Nordic bolt has a different firing pin sweet spot so the Geissele hammer may not be hitting it effectively.

The Nordic problem forced me to move on to a JP trigger which Nordic assured me would work. I was willing to try it because the Nordic is pretty much a dedicated 22lr rifle (I got tired of upper swapping) and I had hoped that the S3G could at least work in this setup. I am very glad I did switch to the JP because it comes in a very close 2nd to the AR Gold. The JP has a very short pull and a very short reset. Both almost as good as the Gold while having a more positive reset than the Gold (though not as positive as the S3G). Additionally, the JP has almost no overtravel which the S3G has a moderate amount of in comparison.

Last but not least is the AR Gold. The AR Gold is a uniquely configured 2-stage in that the 1st stage is very light (less than a 1lb) and the 2nd stage breaks at about 2lbs. The best comparison is a custom tuned 1911 trigger. The 1st stage is like taking up the slack in a 1911 and the second stage has a light and short break with minimal overtravel. The reset is very short however it is not as positive as the JP or the S3G. Eventually you get used to the light reset and in some ways I feel the light reset helps to prevent unintentional doubles as you do not subconsciously pull against it like you might in the S3G.

As a summary breakdown of my top 3 triggers, this is a quick description of each. The S3G reminds me of a very smooth Glock trigger with no take up. The JP feels like a bolt gun trigger with no take up and no overtravel. The AR Gold feels like a custom 1911 with a slight take up, short pull, and no overtravel.

I realize the above seems a little long winded but I did want to share my experiences so far which differs from the "Geissele is the king of all crowd". I will say that Geissele is near the top in customer service and responsiveness and I have yet to try the Geissele Hi-Speed trigger which seems like it more closely matches what I would look for in a trigger. However, I remain skeptical because his own trigger graphs show a relatively long trigger pull as compared to the JP trigger and AR Gold.

Also, I still have not tried any of Wilson Combat's offerings, Chip McCormick's, Timney's, Jewell's, or Jard's. So if anyone with experiences with more than one trigger and can offer comparisons, please feel free to add them.

07-10-2012, 7:58 PM
Great write up. I agree with what you said about the RRA, S3G, and the JP trigger. For the other you stated I can't comment as I have ZERO experience. One thing I did with my RRA trigger was adding theJP spring kit to give it that light trigger feel. Worth the $10 IMHO. My go to trigger is JP, but your comment on the AR gold has me thinking about it. How close is JP to the AR Gold? If the Gold trigger is a 10 is JP like 9-9.5?

07-10-2012, 9:53 PM
I'd say the JP is very close to the AR Gold (keep in mind, 1-stage vs. 2-stage respectively). AR Gold is slightly lighter (I have enhanced reliability JP), slightly smoother, and slightly shorter reset. JP does have a perceptibly more positive reset. In short, I would agree with your guess that the AR Gold is a 10 and the JP is no lower than 9 but could be higher depending on use and preference.