Many people mistakenly think that a gun is as good as the person who shoots it. I don’t buy that. I believe a gun is as good as the components that make the gun, and then the shooter/gun combination determines the rest. No matter how good you are with guns, a poorly constructed gun will diminish your accuracy, especially the trigger system.
This is where the AR 15 outshines all other guns – it is super-easy to customize. In fact, you can virtually swop out every part of your AR rifle if you so wish. And it is very practical as there are a lot of aftermarket parts for AR 15 rifles, and many of them are very good and will definitely make your rifle more efficient and accurate. As for trigger systems, you will not even be able to count the variations available even if you tried.
And that is why, if you need to upgrade your AR 15 rifle, the best place to start is the trigger. And one of the best triggers you can do yourself a favor of getting is an ELF trigger. These exquisite triggers made by Elftmann Tactical. May be a bit pricey at $259.00, but boy is it worth it. This is something you can do for yourself, especially with trigger a trigger drop kit such as the ELF trigger, so there will be no need for you to fork out any more money for a gunsmith.
I guess this calls for an ELF trigger review. You just have to see how awesome this drop-in trigger is, and why I recommend it for your AR 15 rifle upgrade.
The Elf Trigger – Straight from Santa’s Workshop
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If I were, to sum up the ELF trigger in one phrase, it would be – Christmas, all year long. That’s just how sweet this trigger is, and I’m tempted to believe it’s a product from the North Pole – made by Santa’s best ELF.
But, sentiments aside, let’s take a look at the practical qualities that make the ELF trigger one of the best upgrades you can give your AR 15 rifle. But before we get to it, I must say, if you need to get your loved one a Christmas (or any time) present, this one from the North Pole will definitely trigger their happiness.
What Makes a Great Trigger? And Makes the ELF Trigger the Best
When looking at the ability of a trigger. There are certain factors or qualities that are important in how a trigger performs. Also, how you as the user will enjoy it. Those will be the focal points of the rest of this review. Not all triggers are made the same. The differences are usually seen in these 7 characteristics. So do let’s get to it, shall we?
The take-up of a trigger, which is also called pre-travel or slack, is rearwards movement of the trigger prior to it causing the sear to move. In 2-stage triggers, take-up is actually intentional.
Where the first stage is deliberately designed to be pre-travel until the moment the pressure is just enough to move the sear. In a single stage trigger system, though, take-up is undesirable as the aim of the system is to give you one smooth movement of the trigger before it breaks.
This is where the ELF trigger nails it on the head. When you cock the hammer, pulling the trigger is like trying to move a mountain – it is rock solid. You won’t experience the minutest of movements with this trigger.
2. Trigger Creep
Creep is a measure of the distance the trigger travels from the moment the sear begins to slide off the hammer/striker hook to when the hammer/striker fires. It is measured in mm or inches, and the ideal creep distance should be zero.
This is another factor that makes the ELF AR 15 drop-in trigger one of the best triggers you can ever find as it has 0 or absolutely no creep. The only movement you can feel when you pull the trigger is the desired movement of pulling on the trigger until the break weight is met. No creep at all. This adds to the smoothness and crisp feeling of the trigger, which also enhances accuracy.
3. Trigger Break
Whenever a trigger is the point of discussion, the word “break” will always come up. But what exactly does it mean? Break refers to the moment the sear “breaks” or releases the hammer or sear hook, resulting in your gun firing. In good triggers like the ELF trigger, the break feels like breaking a candy cane – crisp. This is because the break is an instantaneous release of all the tension in the springs and trigger blade.
In other triggers, the break is not so clean and crisp, resulting in creep and a gritty or spongy feeling. In other instances, the break can also be vague, or in a terrible trigger, it can happen at different points in the trigger pull. All these make for a bad trigger because they make follow up shots inaccurate.
Because of the perfect and consistent break, you will find in an ELF trigger, accuracy and gun control are increased. In all honesty, this is one point that makes ELF triggers some of the best triggers on the market, and well worth the price tag on them.
4. Trigger Overtravel
Overtravel is the distance a trigger travels from the breakpoint to when it stops as far rearwards as it can go. This is wasted motion, but unlike take-up, it can’t be eliminated as it is impractical as the trigger still needs a bit of overtravel to ensure that the sear is released.
Furthermore, overtravel is important as it determines how soon you can take a follow-up shot – the shorter the overtravel. The sooner the trigger resets, and sooner you can take your next shot. The beauty of the ELF trigger is that it has been designed to have a bare minimum of overtravel and a hard stop at the end. This makes it easy in situations where you need to shoot fast follow-up shots.
5. Trigger Reset
Trigger reset is the forward (away from you) movement of the trigger to the point that the trigger re-engages the sear. This is basically the motion required for the trigger to go back to its engagement position during the semi-auto cycling sequence. You can tell this movement as you will feel the pressure of the springs gently pushing the trigger forward until the sear re-engages.
Triggers reset can be snappy meaning fast, or sluggish. And obviously, snappy is best as it gets you back into the action quickly. And this exactly why you need the ELF trigger for your upgrade, it’s a snappy trigger that you’ll really enjoy.
6. Trigger Pull Weight
This is the force (usually rated in pounds) needed to pull the trigger until your rifle fires. When it comes to AR 15 triggers, they can be divided into light and heavy triggers.
Light, or match, triggers (usually 4 pounds and below) require very little force for the trigger to break (remember what that means?) and are usually used in competitions as they afford greater accuracy.
On the downside, light or match triggers are not suitable for other everyday purposes such as home defense or hunting as they are more prone to accidental discharge (also called ND, for negligent discharge) than their heavy counterparts.
Heavy triggers, on the other hand, are harder to pull in comparison to light triggers – they require more force (4-6 pounds for an all-purpose trigger).
Again, ELF triggers shine in this respect because they are easily adjustable. Match and 3-Gun triggers are adjustable from 2.5 pounds to approximately 4 pounds, while the Service trigger can be adjusted in a range of 4- 7 pounds. You can’t beat an ELF trigger in this respect of variable trigger pull weight, they have been engineered to perfection after all.
Now that we have looked at the internals of the ELF trigger let’s look at the last, but definitely not the least characteristic of the ELF trigger, build quality.
7. Design and Build Quality
When it comes to picking a trigger for your AR 15 upgrade, you need to consider how the trigger is built. This is important because you don’t want to waste money on a trigger that will fail you after firing a couple of hundred rounds. With the ELF trigger, you won’t have to worry about that as it is built from superior materials and with superb, precision engineering.
One unique design feature that sets the ELF trigger apart from other triggers is the fact that Elftmann employed a particularly lightweight. Also, skeletonized hammer, a full-power hammer spring in their trigger system. But that’s not all, in order to make the trigger smoother and faster, the ELF trigger uses roller bearings in the trigger and hammer pivots.
And the pièce de résistance, the ELF trigger is dropped safe. This is because of a simple ledge machined into the bottom of the hammer. This ledge catches on the front of the trigger bar if the trigger is not pulled when the hammer falls.
The ELF Trigger
Exactly What Your AR 15 Rifle Needs
Now you know why I said the ELF trigger is the best thing you can do to give your AR 15 the upgrade it really needs. This is one trigger that will give you real value for money. Besides the more important aspects like accuracy, reliability, and consistency.
If you are looking for a trigger, you have just found it.
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