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Why does a quality trigger improve shooting accuracy?
It’s actually quite simple. A consistent, clean, predictable break allows you to time the movement of the crosshairs on the center of the target to coincide as closely as possible. Next, involuntary muscle movements can be better controlled throughout the duration of a short trigger pull and a fast lock time.
Is adding a quality after-market trigger worth the expense?
I look at it this way: If I’ve spent $1,500 on an AR and $400 to $1,000 on an optic, is spending another $150 to $300 worth cutting group size by 15 to 50 percent? Every time. Here are 12 aftermarket AR-15 triggers that are certain to help you tighten up your groups.
This trigger is basically a single-stage unit with a bushing-mounted disconnector, which is adjustable for engagement and over travel. The pull weight and disconnector engagement are fixed to ensure durability during hard use and inclement environments. The pull weight allows manipulation of the trigger with gloves while minimizing the possibility of discharging a round unexpectedly in the manner of a target trigger. ($160; alexanderarms.com)
American Trigger AR-15 Gold
The AR-15 Gold fire control group is a two-stage unit that has two important features: First, when the safety selector is put in the “safe” position, it retracts the hammer to the disconnect. Second, a very light, short first stage followed by an approximate 3-pound second stage. The trigger cassette comes assembled and ready to install in any mil-spec AR receiver with .154-inch holes and no Colt sear block. ($280; americantrigger.com)
Jard AR Adjustable Single-Stage
The Jard two-stage AR fire control unit offers a wide range of trigger pull weights. The lightest, at 1.5 pounds, may be a tad lighter than most want for their rifles. Other weight spring kits allow the pull weight to be set at 2, 3, 4, 4.5 or 5 pounds. This unit differs from other manufacturers’ by the sear engagement adjustment screw. It uses the AR lower receiver’s grip screw hole to thread an Allen screw in place to adjust sear engagement. ($165; jardinc.com)
Jard AR Trigger Module System
The trigger I installed was preset from the factory at 2.5 pounds, and installed in less than five minutes. A neat feature of this unit is rubberized tension balls that are located in the bottom of the trigger assembly. They help reduce play between the upper and lower receiver when installed. ($230; jardinc.com)
Geissele Hi-Speed National Match Rifle Trigger
This fire control unit features a Hi-Speed hammer with 50 percent lock time reduction over standard hammers, and the two-stage trigger is adjustable for overtravel and sear engagement. First stage pull weights range from 1.3-3 pounds, and second stage pull weights range from .5-1.5 pounds ($279; geissele.com)
Geissele Super Semi-Automatic (SSA) Trigger
The Geissele SSA trigger assembly exhibits highly precise craftsmanship, precision and finish. Two examples of this fire control unit with different spring tensions were tested. The installation instructions are concise and clear. Lubrication is vital to keeping a trigger functioning properly and this one is no different. ($170; geissele.com)
The Timney fire control group that was tested was factory preset at 3 pounds. This is a single-stage trigger with almost no creep. Contrary to my previous statement on adequate lubrication, I had heard that this trigger was sensitive to lubrication, so I installed it dry and tested the feel. It was crisp with about 1/8-inch overtravel. Then I lubricated the sear surfaces with Mobil 28 grease and replaced it for a quick trial. The difference was minimal with a slightly better feel dry ($195; timneytriggers.com)