Finding the Right Trigger For Your AR15
by Jason J. Brown – NRA BLOG
It’s well established that the AR-15 is the most popular rifle in the United States, and for a variety of reasons. One of the primary benefits of the AR is how easy it is to upgrade and customize the rifle, building a system tailored to an owner’s needs and preferences.
Manufacturers understand the seemingly unlimited potential the AR platform brings to users, and continue to create precision components and performance accessories to transform an ordinary carbine into a one-of-a-kind creation. Upgrades include coated bolt carrier groups, improved sights, precision-weighted buffers, ultra-light stocks, free float keymod rails, and much, much more.
However, one of the best and easy-to-perform AR upgrades is the fire control group, more commonly known as the trigger or trigger assembly. The trigger is the mechanism used to release the hammer to strike the firing pin, which discharges the firearm. Beside the user’s shooting fundamentals and skill, yields significant impacts on accuracy. Whether you build your AR or buy it, an improved fire control group can make a huge difference in your shooting experience.
Eugene Stoner designed the AR-15 with a single-stage trigger, a simple lever offering (mostly) uniform resistance from the time the user engages the trigger bow and begins to pull to the time the trigger “breaks,” or engages the sear to actuate the hammer, firing the gun. Most ARs are equipped with single-stage triggers, with “military-specification” triggers typically offering a five to eight-pound break. While the mil-spec triggers work, they often have a gritty pull that makes it difficult to determine when the trigger will break.
These mediocre triggers can lead to or exacerbate poor shooting mechanics, which will compromise accuracy. Gunsmiths may be able to remove and polish or smooth the fire control group’s contact surfaces, but this work could shorten the life of the trigger by removing surface hardening treatments, and should only be performed by competent professionals.
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Photos courtesy of OutdoorHub