What You Need to Know About After Market Triggers
There are one hundred different AR triggers out there. This post will give you some insights to some of the aftermarket stuff out there for the same reason. There will likely be some who disagree, but that’s okay, as variety makes the world go round.
MILSPEC triggers are pretty tame and a known quantity. When you leave them and look at other options, Holy Cow. There are single and double stage, hybrids, adjustable and non adjustable types, cassette types, improved triggers in original configuration, and binary assemblies.
There are likely 6 more kinds that aren’t here. This can quickly overwhelm the senses while simultaneously emptying the wallet.Maybe one of the types mentioned here is one you’re thinking about, and maybe there will be something here to help you make up your mind on a purchase.
One obvious thing to point out is that all of these triggers are lighter than stock triggers, and we all know that when we’re not shooting, our fingers are on the frame of the firearm. You need to make sound decisions on trigger weight, especially if considering something for home defense scenarios. Most aftermarket triggers are not designed with hard use conditions in mind.
This type of information sharing pretty much forces me to name names, and while I don’t like doing this, there is little choice in this circumstance. There will be several brands mentioned, and I like all of them to varying degrees.
There’s one that doesn’t really excite me much, because of brand loyalty, and price. This doesn’t mean it’s a bad trigger, because it’s not,it was just a little underwhelming considering the cost. None of the brands mentioned will go out of business because someone doesn’t like them, if that’s any consolation.
Something to seriously mull over might be the addition of another firearm to your collection, as your canvas for experimentation. This will leave at least 1 other specimen available for your next range session. When you first start changing stuff around, your speed and abilities likely won’t be that great.
If you can’t do that, at least consider getting a stripped lower to practice on. This will help you gain confidence as you experiment, and will likely become a completed firearm down the road.
This platform isn’t heavy on required tools, despite what some would have you believe. This type of person either has a secret tool fetish, or they don’t know what the hell they’re doing. You need at minimum a set of punches, and a ball peen hammer no heavier than 6 ounces.
Another wise investment is a rawhide mallet to minimize the chances of marring finishes, as some people get really bent about stuff like that.If the bug bites you into going full out on tools, you can learn about those through research. The most important virtue is patience, because lowers are made of aluminum, and that’s where the serial number is.
When it comes to aftermarket triggers, a lot of the vendors have posted videos on how to install their products. Be mature enough to accept that when you start out, you might not install stuff as fluidly as the people on the videos. This is perfectly fine, because we all had to start somewhere.
Remember, install what makes YOU happy, and let others do as they will. The sad part is that most of us outgrew a lot of the cattiness that exists when we were in about 5th grade. Unfortunately, alot of people didn’t get the memo.
These triggers have been a hobby for me for only about 5 years, after some coworkers (legit shooters) got me going on them. Be advised that they’re lots of fun, and will most likely ruin conventional triggers for you going forward.
I started with a Geissele Super Dynamic 3 Gun, and the die was cast. Why not just jump into the deep end of the pool? These are expensive, but worth it. I use the 4 pound spring, as that’s more than good enough for me. There is also a 3 pound spring, but I’m taking a pass on that.
The shooting experience was bittersweet because while I loved the trigger I instantly regretted not having one in my life for many years. Sidenote- empirical data suggests that these triggers don’t play nice with anti walk pins, so don’t do it.
Personally I only use triggers set up in the standard or cassette configuration. A cassette type is self contained (think Zippo lighter). I use non adjustable models, and this is why. Most of the adjustable types have tiny little screws, and with my luck they’ll fall out into the lower and really gum things up, so I avoid them.
As far as Binary triggers go, I view them like a person that has a swimming pool. Swimming pools are fun to use, but I wouldn’t own one. Based on what I’ve seen, they’re pretty much range toys that you don’t want to trust your life to. I also suspect they were designed by an ammunition maker, because you will go through rounds fast.
Geissele makes triggers that can do anything, but they’re pricy. His daughter, Amy Lynn Geissele, owns ALG, and their products are incredibly good, and can be had for less than $100. I’ve also got specimens from Rise, Rock River, J.M.T., Hiper Fire, Palmetto State Armory, and C.M.C. Following will be a brief description of each.
Pitfalls- First and foremost, be certain you get triggers with the right pin size. Most firearms are going to take .154 pins, but be advised that there is at least 1 brand that might have a pony on it that’s different.
You’ll also find that most gunstores won’t have these types of triggers in actual firearms, and might not even sell them at all. It’s usually while you’re at the gunstore that “this guy” shows up. He’ll ask you what you’re looking for, and being polite, you’ll likely tell him. He’ll then proceed to trash every trigger ever invented, and throw out buzz words like ” creep, stack, overtravel, grit, wall, and break”. He’ll likely be sucking on a toothpick while doing this, and he’ll follow you around like a lost puppy, because when he eventually leaves the gun store he goes home to an empty house. Avoid that guy.
Rise RA140- Cassette type, Single Stage, the curved model looks like a sickle, and they also offer a straight model. I have both, and they’re amazing. You can catch them on sale sometimes as low as $80. These will require anti walk pins.
Rock River National Match- This is a conventional type, double stage, no anti walks needed. They usually clock in around $100, and they’re very nice. They’re based on the Garand trigger if that makes you smile, and are considered delicate.
James Madison Tactical (J.M.T.)- Saber, Black Ops- Cassette style, you will need anti walks, straight face, single stage. These are also about 100$- mine was cheaper due to a “cosmetic blemish”. These are also really crisp
Hiper Fire EDT Designated Marksman- That’s a lot of words. This one has a kind of curved straight face, and the shape interested me, so I got one. Once again, they cost around 100$, and have 2 springs to choose from. like Geissele. It’s a single stage, and you won’t need anti walks.
Palmetto State Armory- Nickel Boron Trigger- 2 stage, conventional design, no anti walks required. PSA just cranks stuff out, and a lot of people mock them. PSA is still getting paid though. This trigger was picked up on a whim, and it’s pretty darn good. It’s like the ALG, or a smoothed up stock trigger, if you will. You can get one for about $80.
C.M.C. Single Stage- Cassette style, anti walks required.This one is mentioned last because it’s pretty underwqhelming, despite costing right at $200. This company hal a stellar reputation, but this trigger just isn’t that great. Bear in mind this is only my opinion. You might have one and feel completely different.
So there you have it. Hopefully the information will help someone out there. Until next time,
Stay Safe, Train Often