The Best AR 15 Trigger – 5 AR 15 Drop-In Triggers You Definitely Should Consider for Your Upgrade
If you are frustrated by the vastly scattered groups at the range, you are not alone. As powerful and accurate as the AR 15 rifle is, it can still be improved. And one way of the best ways of upgrading it, especially where accuracy is concerned, is getting the best AR 15 trigger you can get your hands on. And you’ll be surprised at how tight your group will become.
Triggers are an integral part of your rifle, and not just because they release the bullet, but because they also enhance your accuracy. But not all triggers are the same, and different triggers serve different purposes depending on what you are using you AR 15 rifle for.
But which is the best trigger for your AR 15? Before we jump the trigger and get into the meat of which trigger brings in the bacon, let’s get a bit of trigger education first.
Understanding AR 15 Triggers
The best way to pick the best AR trigger for your rifle is to understand how triggers work and behave.
One thing you need to understand about AR triggers is that the best triggers “break” without warning. This reduces your chances of flinching and therefore increases accuracy. The science behind it is simple. If you anticipate the recoil of a shot, you flinch, and flinching moves you aim away from the target. Besides, if trigger break is not occupying your mind, you focus solely on the target and placing the perfect shot, and the result is more accuracy.
Another thing to look for in your search for the best AR trigger is trigger travel. Trigger travel is simply the distance the trigger travels before breaking. The shorter the trigger travel, the better the trigger. This is because long trigger travel requires more force, which can lead to an inaccurate shot. A shorter trigger travel means less force applied to the trigger, giving you more control of the rifle. Another advantage of a shorter trigger travel is that resetting for your next shot is quicker, leading to a tighter group.
Trigger Pull Weight
Trigger pull weight refers to the amount of force needed to pull a trigger before it breaks. Trigger pull weight is dependent on the purpose of your rifle. For example, for close-quarters combat, it’s best to use an all-round trigger with moderate pull weight, whereas if you are using it for competition, then the best AR 15 trigger for you would be a “match” trigger. This is because in competition you will need a trigger with a very low trigger pull weight because it results in more accuracy, whereas for a combat or home defense rifle, you will need a trigger with more trigger pull weight to avoid an accidental discharge.
Most AR 15 triggers have a trigger pull between 3 to 6 pounds. 4 pounds is the best pull weight for a multi-purpose rifle, if you do a lot of long-range shooting, a lighter trigger pull will be best for you.
When you are looking for the best AR 15 trigger for your rifle, you need to consider the ease of installation since you will be doing it yourself. This is where drop-in kits come in as they are super-easy to install as the name implies. In fact, it only takes a few minutes to install a drop-in trigger kit.
Traditional trigger kits require you to fiddle with so many small parts, especially tiny trigger springs that can easily get lost. They are not worth the trouble getting your undies in a knot over.
Single Stage Trigger vs Dual Stage Trigger
Triggers come in two main types – single stage and dual stage triggers. To better understand the differences, we will look at the dual stage trigger first.
Dual-stage triggers, as the name suggests, have 2 different stages when you pull the trigger. The first stage usually has a stronger trigger pull, followed by stage 2 which has an intermediate area of travel with slight resistance (stage 2), leading to the trigger break. Simply put, a dual stage trigger has 2 stages before the trigger breaks.
Single stage triggers, on the other hand, have no intermediate area – it’s a one way, non-stop travel until the trigger breaks.
Which of the two is the best AR 15 trigger? Well, that your choice, but experts advise that single stage is best suited for close-range firing since resetting is fast, while dual stage triggers are best suited for long range shooting to enhance accuracy.
That’s enough education concerning triggers for now, even though there’s more to a trigger than we’ve covered. But we need to continue our search for the best AR 15 trigger for your rifle upgrade. So let’s get to it.
Best AR 15 Trigger – The Top 5 for You to Choose From
When it comes to AR 15 rifles, you can never run out of upgrade parts. That’s the greatest feature of the AR 15, it is extremely customizable. And because of that, there are many companies that are in the parts business alone, so many that sometimes it can be difficult to sift through the sea of parts to find the best ones. That is why I have compiled this list of the Top 5 AR 15 triggers on the market. One of them is definitely the best AR 15 trigger for your rifle.
If there is one name you can trust when it comes to furnishing your rifle with a reliable trigger, it is CMC. After all, it was designed by someone who truly understands the AR 15 rifle and the value of a great trigger. That someone is non-other than legendary competition shooter, Chip McCormick.
Two of the most notable features about CMC’s AR 15 drop-in trigger systems are the nearly non-existent over-travel and the short and quick trigger reset of roughly 2mm. With a trigger pull weight of 3.5 pounds and the clean, crisp trigger break, this is one amazing trigger that truly deserves the title of “best AR 15 trigger”. With its superb engineering, the CMC AR 15 trigger module is definitely an upgrade compared to your mil-spec trigger.
But, in all fairness, I need to mention one design flaw that comes with the CMC trigger module is that it doesn’t fit the AR 15 receiver snugly, resulting in the trigger wiggling slightly.
Besides this little flaw, this is one of the best AR 15 triggers on the market, especially in its price range of $168.00. If you are looking for an all-round AR 15 Rifle trigger that delivers a consistent level of accuracy whether you are shooting slow or fast.
If CMC triggers can be considered some of the best AR 15 rifle triggers, then Velocity triggers AR 15 trigger module is fast catching up. Velocity Trigger provides excellent curved and flat drop-in AR-15 triggers at affordable prices that are a tiny fraction of some high-end triggers on the market.
Designed by master trigger designer Tom Vehr, who has designed triggers for big-name companies like Knight Rifles and Timney, Velocity triggers are certainly a force to reckon with in the AR 15 trigger world. Especially with a versatile line up of triggers that have trigger pull weights of 3, 4, and 4.5 pounds.
Velocity Trigger’s AR 15 trigger model is a smooth and precise drop-in trigger module that will definitely help you tighten those clusters or bag a few deer as it will definitely improve your accuracy due to the precision engineering that has been put into creating this amazing trigger.
For the $150.00 that you will fork out for this AR 15 trigger, you will be hard-pressed to find a trigger as good – anywhere. Despite it having slightly more creep and over-travel than the CMC AR 15 trigger, this is definitely a great option.
When it comes to quality triggers, no one puts in as much work as Geissele, and their super semi-automatic (SSA) 2 stage AR 15 triggers with a trigger pull weight of 4.5 pounds are definitely top the list of the best AR 15 triggers. The Geissele SSA AR 15 trigger module is the civilian version of the renowned Geissele SSF trigger favored by special operations forces.
This all-round trigger is designed to be in the Goldilocks zone when it comes to trigger pull weight, making it light enough for enhanced accuracy, yet heavy enough to prevent any accidental discharge of your rifle.
As the name suggests, this trigger is a cut above the rest, and definitely a pricier one too. American Trigger deviated from the norm when it comes to design and quality with this AR 15 trigger, making it robust despite being lighter and thinner. With a trigger pull weight of 3 pounds, this is definitely a match grade trigger, and a winner for that matter too. Being a 2 stage trigger, it will afford you the precision to place accurate long-range shots – easily.
And because its engagement is set internally, variations in receiver hole location and size will not affect the trigger pull nor the reliability of this trigger.
If you are building an AR 15 rifle for competition, this is probably the best AR 15 trigger you can get to upgrade your rifle. But, a trigger this good comes at a price – a $300.00 price tag to be precise.
Timney. The makers of the world’s finest triggers. At least that’s what they call themselves. And I’m tempted to believe them. And for good reason too.
For one, the Timney trigger provides very little resistance. Every trigger pull is crisp and gives you a clean break – no need to jerk the trigger. This is truly one amazing trigger, and Timney attributes its superb performance to the slightly more curved design of the trigger – it makes the trigger pull feel very natural.
I better warn you though, when it comes to ergonomics, this AR 15 drop-in trigger feels so good you might never want to trade it for anything else. For such precision and performance, a Timney trigger will blow a tiny hole of $190.00. Well worth it any day.
The Best AR 15 Trigger Upgrades – Your Choice
In all honesty, choosing the best AR 15 trigger from this list is a daunting task. These are all pretty amazing triggers, and each has its own superpower that gives it a slight edge over the others. But if I were to choose one, and only one, I‘d say it would be the American Trigger AR Gold. But that’s just me. Which one would you choose?