Triggers…that one small piece that can make or break your accuracy and comfort when firing your AR. It’s the piece of the gun that you keep your finger off of until you’re ready to fire.
At first look, a trigger is a trigger, but they are not all the same! There’s a huge difference between a stock trigger and a competition trigger. While they may look similar, the difference is in the feel and performance.
What To Look For
If you’re looking to upgrade your AR trigger, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind. Do you like the feel of a curved trigger? A flat trigger? Both are great, and your choice depends on your personal preference. Luckily, both styles are readily available, so the choice is yours.
Another consideration if you’re looking to upgrade is whether you’ll be swapping it out for a single-stage or a two-stage trigger. What’s the difference, you might be asking yourself? Simply put, a single-stage generally has one consistent pull weight throughout the trigger pull. They are the most common type of AR trigger in standard production ARs due to less engineering therefore lower costs associated with their manufacturing process. Many shooters also just prefer a single pull weight.
Mil-spec AR triggers are also single-stage. A two-stage trigger will have a smooth, consistent pull in the first stage, then in the 2nd stage the weight of the trigger increases. They can be preferred over single-stage by shooters proficient enough to feel the difference. Being able to feel the click when you pass from the first stage into the second stage will eliminate the surprise aspect of the rifle firing, but it’s such a subtle “click” only very well-trained rifle shooters will prefer the feel of the two-stage over a single-stage.
Regardless of the type of trigger you’re looking at for your upgrade, you’ll want to be sure to purchase one from a company that makes high-quality triggers.
We’ve broken down the best AR trigger manufacturers for you to shop.
Since 1946, Timney Triggers has been manufacturing superior triggers, and its AR triggers do not disappoint. The oldest and largest trigger manufacturer in the world, Timney is a family-owned company based in Phoenix, Arizona. The machining processes is fully modernized, producing triggers that will last a lifetime. Timney triggers are designed to be easy to install.
Choices range from superior competition triggers to basic upgrades manufactured with a lightweight aluminum-alloy housing. Timney triggers are individually tested and hand-calibrated to ensure they're what you expect, right out of the package.
CMC is considered the original drop-in trigger group. CMC has been manufacturing triggers for the AR-15 and AR-10 platforms since 2003. Using a proprietary machining process, CMC’s critical sear engagement surfaces have a superior surface finish and dimensional control.
All CMC drop-in triggers are designed to be easy to install whether you’re upgrading an existing AR or building a new one. They’re available in several styles and finishes ranging from basic single-stage triggers to two-stage triggers that can be flat, curved, gold, etc.
And best of all, all CMC drop-in triggers are made in Texas.
Geissele’s tag line is, “We Manufacture Confidence,” because they know your shots will improve and therefore your confidence when you’re shooting a Geissele trigger.
Established in 2004, Geissele has been a top manufacturer of AR triggers for nearly two decades. Designed for the military, but available to civilians, you’ll enjoy the same mil-spec features.
Because of its unique designs, Geissele has been issued multiple patents on its triggers. Known for its superior customer support, and easy installation regardless of your experience, Geissele touts the fastest triggers on the market.
Whether you’re a plinker, a competition shooter, or active-duty military, you’ll get your shots off faster because of the easy, smooth and reliable pull. When seconds count, count on Geissele triggers.
HIPERFIRE claims its triggers are the result of the tireless pursuit of perfection. Not only are HIPERFIRE’s triggers manufactured in the United States but it is also veteran operated. Established in 2011 in Minnesota, great care was taken designing the HIPERFIRE name, which is actually an acronym for HI(gh) PER(formance) FIRE(arms). The machining processes make its triggers some of the best, most robust triggers on the market today.
Options available for these AR triggers include user-adjusted pull weights, flat-faced triggers, curved triggers, etc. Everything you’d expect from a quality trigger manufacturer.
Since its inception in 1977, Wilson Combat has been a name synonymous with superior firearms and accessories. Wilson Combat triggers live up to their name and are some of the best in the industry.
Whether you’re in the market for a tactical trigger, a single-stage trigger, or a two-stage trigger, you’ll find a high-quality option from Wilson using precision machining and materials designed to last.
Wilson Combat claims most of its AR triggers can be installed in under 1 minute and without tools. Now that’s a true drop-in trigger.