The 13+ Best AR-15 Triggers: Trigger Time Reviews [2022]

Last Updated on August 11, 2022.

AR-15 triggers: The simplest AR-15 performance upgrade

A good trigger is one of the most cost-efficient AR-15 upgrades. Few upgrades improve the shooting experience and maximize the effect of good shooting fundamentals as much as getting the best AR-15 trigger you can afford.

Fortunately, there are tons of options at every price point.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of jargon on AR-15 trigger product pages. Most of the jargon gives you no information about how the trigger will actually feel when you’re shooting.

Thankfully, I work at a range with a gunsmithing shop and a gun rental counter. I also have a good handful of my own AR-15 triggers.

These are the best AR triggers I’ve found in my years of installing, fixing, and shooting with different triggers as they come through the range.

Let’s start with a quick overview of my favorite AR-15 triggers, then we’ll dive in and clarify all those specs and jargon.

Best Choice

Geissele Super Semi-Automatic Enhanced

Specifications:

Trigger Pull Weight:

3.5 lbs

Trigger Shape:

Curved

Finish:

Black Nitride

Pros:

  • Two Stage Trigger – provides improved trigger control and accuracy
  • All Steel Construction – made from quality tool steel
  • Easy Assembly – easy to install with the safety on and disassemble for cleaning.

Comparison Table

Skip Straight to Product Reviews

4. Budget 2-stage Trigger

6. For long-range shooting

7. Tactical 2-stage Trigger

8. Best drop-in AR-15 trigger

11. Tactical drop-in Trigger

12. Defensive drop-in trigger

14. Adjustable Trigger

Table of Contents

Is it worth upgrading an AR-15 trigger?

The short answer is yes, it’s worth upgrading your AR-15 trigger.

Upgrading your AR-15 trigger is easy to do with a few hand tools. Then the upgraded AR-15 trigger can make it easier to get the precision you need to get the hits you want.

The long answer is that it depends.

Most manufacturers fit their AR-15 rifles with triggers that could stand to be upgraded. Though, it’s rare that an AR-15 will have a factory trigger that’s bad enough to make the rifle unusable.

Even so, why settle with a trigger that’s so-so or just okay? Installing a better AR-15 trigger is more than worth the time, effort, energy, and money.

But what AR-15 trigger is best?

Broadly, there are a couple of AR-15 trigger types: mil-spec and drop-in.

Both types of AR-15 triggers are viable for any type of shooting. You just want to understand the difference before you pull the trigger on a purchase. 

 Mil-spec triggers

“Mil-spec trigger” simply describes a trigger that’s based on the original trigger designed by Eugene Stoner for the original Armalite rifle.

A mil-spec trigger has three parts:

  1. Trigger
  2. Disconnector
  3. Hammer

These parts are separate. The entire mil-spec trigger assembly is held in by two pins.

This can make mil-spec triggers a bit tedious to install, but it’s easy enough that anyone can do it.

Mil-spec triggers are incredibly reliable. Reliability is the main purpose of the three-piece design.

However, the design makes it difficult to achieve a super smooth trigger press and clean reset (more on reset in a moment). Even so, there are plenty of mil-spec triggers that deliver an impressive trigger press

Drop-in AR-15 Triggers

Drop in triggers have similar components as a mil-spec trigger. However, all the pieces are encased by a trigger body that keeps everything together as a single unit.

Drop-in triggers are easier to install, since you don’t have to make sure all the pieces stay aligned while you install the trigger pins.

Many people also claim that drop-in triggers deliver a better trigger press than mil-spec triggers. Yes, it’s true that many drop-in triggers feature proprietary designs that deliver superb trigger movement.

However, drop-in triggers can present reliability issues, though this is uncommon in modern drop-in triggers.

Additionally, you need to use anti-walk trigger pins with a drop-in trigger. It’s not a big deal. But some drop-in triggers don’t come with anti-walk pins. Make sure you have what you need.

What AR-15 trigger is best: How to decipher AR-15 trigger specs

If you’ve done some AR-15 trigger shopping, you’ve probably encountered a few numbers and terms on product pages. Here’s what all that stuff means.

What is a good trigger pull weight for an AR-15?

A pull weight between 4.5 and 6.5 pounds is a good trigger pull weight for an AR-15 in most shooting contexts. This is light enough to press without disturbing your point of aim. Though, it doesn’t present safety issues in defensive or tactical contexts.

Going a little deeper, trigger pull weight is the amount of force required to move the trigger enough to fire the rifle.

In context, a trigger with a pull weight of 5.5 pounds requires about 5.5 pounds of pressure on the trigger to get the gun to fire.

Trigger pull weight specs aren’t exact. In reality, the trigger pull weight is determined by the strength of the trigger springs and friction between the trigger shoe and hammer.

The actual trigger pull weight will almost always be slightly higher or lower than the specified pull weight. It’s rarely more than a pound off of the trigger weight spec, though.

AR-15 typically have trigger pull weights around 6.5 pounds right out of the box.

High quality AR-15 rifles often have trigger pull weights closer to 4.5 pounds. More budget-friendly AR-15 rifles sometimes have trigger pull weights greater than 6.5 pounds.

However, most manufacturers target the 4.5 to 6.5 trigger pull weight range because this covers the broadest range of AR-15 shooting contexts, from defensive to competition shooting.

Usually, serious tactical competitors and long-range precision shooters prefer lighter trigger pull weights. Competition rifles often have trigger pull weights between 2.5 and 3.5 pounds.

This is a very intentional choice by competitive shooters, with the understanding that the trigger pull weight may not be ideal for other shooting contexts. They’re still careful to ensure that the trigger pull weight is heavy enough that they can touch the trigger, without unintentionally firing the gun.

If you don’t have any special shooting needs, a trigger pull weight between 4.5 and 6.5 pounds will do you just fine.

What is trigger reset?

Trigger reset is how much movement it takes for the trigger to return to its original position, ready to fire the rifle if you press the trigger again.

They mention this on product pages because it’s best if it doesn’t take a ridiculous amount of movement to reset the trigger.

What’s the difference between single-stage and two-stage triggers?

Single-stage triggers require that you push through the entire pull weight in one press. You’ll feel one point of resistance before the gun fires.

Two-stage triggers break the total pull weight into two lighter stages. It can feel like two light single-stage trigger presses in a row, which can produce a smoother overall trigger press.

Generally, the purpose of two stage triggers is to make it easier to press the trigger without disturbing your point of aim in long-range shooting. Single stage triggers prioritize simplicity and reliability over quality of trigger movement.

Precision shooters often prefer 2-stage triggers because they feel a 2-stage trigger makes it easier to control muzzle movement and keep their sights steady throughout the trigger press.

However, it’s totally possible to get excellent long-range precision with a single-stage trigger.

The fastest trigger for AR-15: Are flat triggers faster?

Flat triggers are not always faster than curved triggers.

Many flat triggers simply reduce the length of pull slightly, which enables some shooters to get better trigger finger position. If that’s the case, you may be able to get faster split times with a flat trigger.

However, it’s unlikely that you’ll notice much difference between a flat trigger and a curved trigger if the flat trigger doesn’t help you get proper trigger finger placement. At that point, it’s just a matter of comfort and personal preference.

There is some validity to the idea that a flat trigger gives you more leverage for pressing the trigger, which can be true at the mathematical physics level.

The difference in applied force to move the trigger is so small that it’s difficult to feel the difference without measuring it.

On the other end of the spectrum, some flat trigger designs actually increase the length of pull on your rifle.

If this makes it more difficult to get proper trigger finger placement, a flat trigger could make your trigger press slower.

The bottom line is that you’ll achieve the best performance with a rifle that fits you well.

If a flat trigger makes your rifle fit better, it’s probably the fastest AR-15 trigger for you. If the opposite is true, your trigger press may be slower with a flat trigger.

My position is that split times are overrated, anyway.Get a trigger that’s comfortable and easy for you to use properly. You’ll be happier with your rifle. Then you’ll be more likely to train with it, which is the important thing.

Non-adjustable vs adjustable AR-15 trigger

This is pretty straightforward:

Non-adjustable triggers have a fixed pull weight.

Adjustable triggers have a pull weight that can be adjusted within a certain range, either by adjusting a screw or changing the springs.

Enough said.

Phosphate vs nitride vs nickel boron finishes

The most common trigger finishes are phosphate and nickel boron finishes. Though you’ll occasionally see triggers with a black nitride finish.

Phosphate is the original mil-spec finish.

It’s durable, but not tremendously smooth. Triggers with a phosphate finish sometimes have a gritty feel in the trigger movement.

Nickel boron is much smoother than a phosphate finish. Many manufacturers use it to give their mil-spec triggers a smoother trigger press.

Nickel boron is also silver. So it looks cool.

Nitride is the least common trigger finish, which is a little surprising because it’s a good finish.

Black nitride is smoother than a phosphate finish and delivers smooth trigger movement. It’s also black, which might be a better match for your rifle’s aesthetic.

 AR-15 trigger reviews (13+ best mil-spec and drop-in triggers)

With that, these are the best AR-15 triggers, based on my trigger finger’s experience.

Mil-spec triggers

If you’re into proven designs and maximum reliability, these triggers will give you the best mil-spec performance.

Overall Best

1. Geissele Super Semi-Automatic Enhanced

Might be one of the best triggers ever made. The performance is strong enough for any type of shooting.

Key Specs:

  • Trigger Pull Weight:

3.5 lbs

  • Fabric/Material:

Tool Steel

  • Trigger Shape:

Curved

Pros:

  • Amazing trigger press and break.
  • Smooth transition between stages.
  • Excellent pull weight for precision shooting.

Cons:

  • Expensive
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The Geissele Super Semi-Automatic Enhanced trigger probably comes in second place for popularity among Geissele triggers.

It could be the most popular Geissele trigger, if not for the price, because everybody who uses it loves it.

The overall pull weight is lower than the standard Geissele 2-stage trigger, at about 3.5lbs total. The hammer pin is also retained differently than a standard 2-stage trigger.

Additionally, the hammer geometry is also slightly different, which seems to smooth out the transition between the two stages. Then there’s the razor sharp break that Geissele is known for.

This trigger is hugely popular with the competition crowd who are discerning about their trigger press. A lot of people also swear by this trigger for precision shooting.

Budget Trigger

2. ALG Defense Quality Mil-Spec Trigger (QMS)

Delivers mil-spec reliability with a better-than-mil-spec trigger press. An excellent option if price and reliability are a priority.

Key Specs:

  • Trigger Pull Weight:

6.5 lbs

  • Fabric/Material:

8620 Steel

  • Finish:

Hard Coat Anodize

Pros:

  • Excellent trigger press for a mil-spec trigger.
  • Well-priced.
  • Super precise lower receiver fit.

Cons:

  • Pull weight is a bit on the heavy side.
  • Phosphate finish doesn’t give the smoothest movement.
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This is one of my favorite triggers. The ALG Defense QMS is affordable, and it’s a good trigger.

It’s not an amazing trigger. However, at just under $60, it’s hard to beat for the price.

ALG honed the key friction surfaces to make the trigger press smoother and more consistent than a standard mil-spec trigger. The trigger and hammer pins are a tiny bit oversized (0.001 inch larger) to remove any slop between the components.

On average, the ALG QMS produces a 6lb trigger press. Though some QMS triggers come in closer to 6.5lbs.

Either way, it’s totally suitable for defensive and tactical shooting. With a little practice, you can get excellent precision with a QMS in your rifle.

Either way, it’s totally suitable for defensive and tactical shooting. With a little practice, you can get excellent precision with a QMS in your rifle.

The reset can be a little gritty because of the phosphate finish. You can see in this video how a new QMS trigger creeps a bit when it resets.

However, the reset gets smoother the more you shoot, because the disconnector naturally polishes the hammer finish.Even with a short break-in period, the ALG Defense QMS is one of the best triggers you can get.

Defensive Trigger

3. ALG Defense Advanced Combat Trigger (ACT)

Probably the best option if you want the reliability of a mil-spec trigger with a better-than-mil-spec trigger press.

Key Specs:

  • Trigger Pull Weight:

5.5 lbs

  • Gun Model:

AR-10, AR-15

  • Finish:

Matte

Pros:

  • Cleaner break than most mil-spec triggers.
  • Smooth trigger movement.
  • Excellent all-purpose pull weight.

Cons:

  • A little pricey for a mil-spec trigger.
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If you’d like an even better trigger press without giving up your mil-spec reliability, the ALG Defense ACT is the way to go.

This trigger is similar to the ALG QMS. The ACT just has nickel boron and ALG HardLube surface coatings to ensure a consistently lower pull weight and smoother movement.

The ACT trigger press usually comes in between 5.5lbs and 6lbs, which makes it a tad better for precision shooting than a standard mil-spec trigger or the QMS.

The nice thing about this trigger is that the mechanics are the same as a standard mil-spec trigger. Everything is just smoother.

It’s an excellent trigger if you’re accustomed to the mil-spec trigger press, but want something a little more refined.

Budget 2-stage Trigger

4. PSA 2-Stage Nickel Boron Trigger

Incredible value. This trigger delivers a remarkably smooth and consistent trigger press for the price.

Key Specs:

  • Trigger Pull Weight:

4.5 lbs

  • Trigger Type:

M4 Curved

  • Finish:

Nickel Boron

Pros:

  • Impressively clean trigger press for the price.
  • Well-tuned pull weight.
  • One of the most affordable 2-stage triggers.

Cons:

  • Not quite as smooth as a Geissele 2-stage trigger
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Other Option

Some people call the PSA 2-Stage Nickel Boron Trigger the “Poor man’s Geissele” because it is indeed more affordable than a Geissele. Additionally, the 2-stage trigger design is similar to a Geissele.

However, PSA uses a nickel boron coating to smooth out the trigger movement, where Geissele uses more precise machining and polishing to get that signature Geissele trigger press.

The PSA 2-stage trigger is still a solid trigger, even if it’s not quite as plush as a Geissele.

The first stage is 2 pounds and the second stage is 2.5 pounds. This trigger pretty consistently pulls at 4.5 pounds, with impressively little variation from trigger to trigger and shot to shot.

If you want a 2-stage trigger without paying typical 2-stage trigger prices, this one is the way to go.

Value AR-15 trigger

5. HIPERFIRE Hipertouch EDT2 Heavy Gunner

Easily one of the best triggers for the money. The modified mil-spec design delivers outstanding performance.

Key Specs:

  • Trigger Pull Weight:

4.5 – 5.5 lbs

  • Fabric/Material:

Heat Treated Alloy Steel

  • Trigger Pin Size:

0.154 in

Pros:

  • One of the smoothest mil-spec trigger presses on the market.
  • Remarkably short reset.
  • Two hammer springs for tunable pull weight.

Cons:

  • Can be too strong for pistol caliber carbines.
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The HIPERFIRE Hipertouch EDT2 Heavy Gunner is probably the trigger that I shoot most, because I have two rifles with the EDT2. I think it’s the best AR trigger for the money.

It’s technically a mil-spec trigger. It uses the three-piece design and doesn’t require anti-walk pins.

However, all the parts in the EDT2 have been modified from the original mil-spec design to shorten the takeup and reset.

There are also two hammer springs: one for a 4.5lbs trigger press and one for a 5.5lbs trigger press. I found that the pull weights tend to come in closer to 5lbs and 6lbs on a new trigger. The pull weight eases up as the trigger breaks in, though.

I know a few competition shooters who swear by these triggers, which makes sense to me. The shorter trigger movement and medium pull weight are the best all-around combination if you want one trigger that will work for almost any context.

One thing to note: the Heavy Gunner model works great for rifle rounds.

However, the standard HIPERFIRE EDT Trigger is best for pistol caliber carbines. The Heavy Gunner hammer strike can be too strong for some pistol primers.

For long-range shooting

6. HIPERFIRE Hipertouch Genesis

Probably the best option for shooters who want a single-stage trigger that’s smooth and crisp enough for high-precision shooting.

Key Specs:

  • Trigger Pull Weight:

2.5 – 3.5 lbs

  • Style:

Curved Trigger with Backbone

  • Finish:

Black nitride

Pros:

  • Very light pull weight for a mil-spec trigger.
  • Extra smooth trigger movement.
  • Two hammer springs for tunable pull weight.

Cons:

  • Pull weight might be too light for tactical rifles.
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Some of the competition guys who like HIPERFIRE triggers use the HIPERFIRE Hipertouch Genesis in their competition guns, because it offers a lighter trigger press than the EDT series.

The spring options on the Genesis offer a 2.5lbs and 3.5lbs pull weights.

Personally, I like this trigger a lot (even though all of my guns are setup in more of a duty gun fashion). The trigger press is excellent, especially considering this is just a redesigned mil-spec trigger.My only beef with this trigger is that it’s a bit expensive. However, it’s a great trigger if you want a lighter trigger press for competition or precision shooting, without sacrificing the reliability of a mil-spec trigger.

Tactical 2-stage Trigger

7. Geissele 2-Stage Trigger

This trigger is incredible. Enough said.

Key Specs:

  • Trigger Pull Weight:

4.5 lbs

  • Trigger Bow Type:

M4 Curved

  • Finish:

Black nitride

Pros:

  • Incredibly crisp break.
  • Precisely tuned pull weight.
  • Excellent for all types of shooting.

Cons:

  • Expensive.
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If you want an excellent trigger and you’re not partial to the single-stage trigger press, the Geissele 2-Stage Trigger is easily the best value. Geissele might make THE BEST 2-stage AR-15 triggers you can get.

This is probably Geissele’s most popular trigger simply because it’s the most affordable. Oh, it’s also a great trigger.

The trigger press comes in at about 4.5 pounds. The transition between the two stages is almost unnoticeable. The break is super crisp.

I’ve seen a lot of people use this trigger in all their AR-15 rifles—precision, competition, or otherwise—and get great results.

It’s certainly not a budget trigger. However, the Geissele 2-Stage delivers incredible performance that’s more than worth the price.

Drop-in triggers

If performance and ease of installation is your game, these drop-in triggers will (literally) drop right into your rifle.

Best drop-in Trigger

8. RISE Armament RAVE 140

The trigger press is excellent. It’s even more impressive considering how affordable this trigger is.

Key Specs:

  • Trigger Pull Weight:

3.5 lbs

  • Material:

6061 aluminum

  • Finish:

Black nitride

Pros:

  • Impressively clean single-stage break.
  • Includes anti-walk pins.
  • Pull weight is excellent for precision shooting.

Cons:

  • Semi-curved trigger isn’t for everyone.
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Personally, this isn’t my favorite RISE Armament trigger (the one I like is further down).

However, the RISE Armament RAVE 140 is a beloved drop-in trigger. I understand why so many people like it.

It’s available with either a curved or a flat trigger. The trigger press is reasonably light (3.5lbs). It’s not all that expensive, as drop-in triggers go. Also, it comes with anti-walk pins.

Overall, it’s a complete package that delivers solid performance.

My beef with it is that the semi-curved trigger feels a tad too flat for my taste. I prefer more traditionally curved triggers. So the flat-ish trigger doesn’t do a whole lot for me.

The trigger press is top notch, though. Many people also find the semi-curved trigger to be better than a curved or flat trigger.

If you like the trigger shapes, this trigger delivers more performance per dollar than most other drop-in triggers.

Maybe I’ll give this one another try.

Competition Trigger

9. Timney Triggers AR-15 Competition Trigger

One of the more versatile triggers out there. This trigger is great for both tactical and long-range competition.

Key Specs:

  • Trigger Pull Weight:

3.5 lbs

  • Material:

Steel

  • Finish:

Nickel boron and black nitride

Pros:

  • Incredibly smooth movement.
  • Insanely positive reset.
  • Ideal pull weight for competition and precision rifles.
  • Requires no anti-walk pins.

Cons:

  • Expensive.
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Timney is a bit of a household among competition shooters and hunters. It’s impressive how many competitors use the Timney Triggers AR-15 Competition Trigger.

This isn’t a cheap trigger. People aren’t buying it for the price. They’re buying it for the trigger press. Actually, I think people might be buying it for the reset.

While the trigger press is super smooth and consistently breaks at about 3.5 pounds, the reset is kind of a standout feature for competition shooters.

The reset is short. It’s also incredibly positive. It gives a nice tactile snap when the trigger resets. Competitive shooters like it because it’s easy to feel the reset even when you’re shooting fast.

The thing that people complain about most is that this trigger doesn’t come with anti-walk pins. But that doesn’t seem to stop anyone from buying it.

If you want a drop-in trigger for competitive shooting, this trigger should be at the top of your list.

Budget Match Trigger

10. PSA Custom AR Match Grade Drop-In Trigger

This is the most budget-friendly drop-in trigger out there. The performance-per-dollar is amazing.

Key Specs:

  • Trigger Pull Weight:

3.5 lbs

  • Material:

Steel

  • Finish:

Nickel boron and black nitride

Pros:

  • Well-priced drop-in trigger.
  • Almost no take up movement.
  • Impressively clean break.

Cons:

  • Finishes are a little rough.
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Other Option

The PSA Custom AR Match Grade Drop-In Trigger is another one that shows up at the range a lot. I suspect that’s because the price is really good.

However, it’s a solid trigger.

The overall movement is surprisingly short. The take up is nearly non-existent. Lastly, the reset is short, but relatively noticeable, for those who are into that.

The break is also surprisingly clean, and hits 3.5lbs pretty consistently. All in all, this trigger delivers a better trigger press than you might expect for the price.

There are a couple areas where the price point shows, though. The most noticeable area is the finish on the trigger bow. The finish is a bit gritty, kind of like cast iron.

It’s not painful or anything. It just might bother you if you prefer a smooth finish.

The finish on the internal components is sometimes a little bit rough, too. It doesn’t seem to affect the function, though. So it’s not a huge issue.

Finishes aside, this is an excellent drop-in trigger unit, regardless of the price.

Tactical drop-in Trigger

11. RISE Armament LE145 Tactical Trigger

The pull weight is just right for duty or defensive rifles. I’ve never seen any reliability issues with this trigger.

Key Specs:

  • Trigger Pull Weight:

4.5 lbs

  • Material:

Heat-Treated Tool Steel and Aluminum

  • Finish:

Black nitride

Pros:

  • Excellent curved trigger with rounded edges.
  • Designed for bombproof reliability.
  • Includes anti-walk pins.

Cons:

  • Requires some break-in.
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As promised, this is my favorite RISE Armament trigger: the RISE Armament LE145 Tactical Trigger.

As I mentioned earlier, most of my rifles are set up like duty guns. So I tend to stick with more traditional triggers. That’s why I prefer this trigger over the RAVE 140.

The LE145 has a more traditional trigger shape, with nicely rounded edges. The trigger press breaks at about 4.5lbs, which is where I want it.

Though, after seeing a few of these, it seems that the break usually happens between 4.5lbs and 5.5lbs. RISE Armament probably errs on the side of heavier when they select their springs, since this is a tactical trigger.

The pull weight seems to settle closer to 4.5lbs as the trigger breaks in, though.

There’s less movement in the trigger press than a mil-spec trigger. I will admit that Timney triggers have less overall travel.The LE145 costs a little more than half of what you’d pay for a Timney drop-in trigger, though. So this trigger is an outstanding AR-15 trigger for the money, and might even be a better value than a Timney trigger.

Defensive drop-in trigger

12. CMC Triggers Duty Patrol Single-Stage Trigger

This trigger is bomb proof. Additionally, the trigger press is outstanding, without being too light for tactical applications.

Key Specs:

  • Trigger Pull Weight:

2.5 lbs

  • Fabric/Material:

Steel/Aluminum

  • Finish:

Matte Black

Pros:

  • All-steel construction.
  • Trigger press feels lighter than it actually is.
  • Excellent option for defensive and tactical rifles.

Cons:

  • Flat trigger model is not that well designed.
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The CMC Triggers Tactical Flat Trigger is more popular than this trigger, according to the internet.

However, I prefer the CMC Triggers Duty Patrol Single-Stage Trigger. The tactical flat trigger has a spike on the trigger bow that stabs my finger.

The Duty Patrol trigger has a standard curved trigger bow, which works better for me. If you’re into the spiky trigger, have at it.

Moving on, the Duty Patrol trigger has a beautiful trigger press. I’m not really a trigger snob, but even I appreciate the minimal and smooth movement.

Also, the break comes in pretty close to 5.5lbs every time. To me, the break feels lighter than my mil-spec triggers with a 5.5lbs pull. This trigger is well-designed.

Lastly, the housing is steel. This makes the trigger unit a little bit heavier. But it’s durable as heck. This is a tough trigger to beat, period.

Do-it-all AR-15 Trigger

13. CMC Triggers AR-15 Tactical Single-Stage Trigger

Excellent option for competition guns, especially if you use the CMC Duty Patrol trigger on your other rifles.

Key Specs:

  • Trigger Pull Weight:

3.5 lbs

  • Fabric/Material:

8620 Alloy steel and S7 Tool Steel

  • Finish:

Matte Black

Pros:

  • Incredible durability.
  • Exceptionally smooth trigger movement.
  • Light enough pull weight for competition and precision shooting.

Cons:

  • Flat trigger model is uncomfortable.
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If you like the CMC Duty Patrol trigger, but want a lighter trigger press, get the CMC Triggers AR-15 Tactical Single-Stage Trigger. As far as I can tell, the only differences between the two are the springs and the trigger bow.

The springs make the trigger press lighter. The bow is less skeletonized than the bow on the Duty Patrol trigger.

I suspect that they may have changed the internal geometry of the trigger piece to help reduce the pull weight to 3.5lbs.

I couldn’t tell with a simple visual inspection, though. It may just be a spring change.

Regardless of the differences, the CMC Triggers Tactical trigger feels just as nice as the Duty Patrol trigger. It just takes a tad less effort to make your gun shoot.

Adjustable Trigger

14. Triggertech AR-15 Combat Trigger

Insanely short trigger movement and ridiculously crisp break. Probably the only AR-15 trigger that feels similar to a 1911 trigger.

Key Specs:

  • Trigger Pull Weight:

5.5 lbs

  • Fabric/Material:

7075-T6 Aluminum, 440C Stainless Steel

  • Finish:

Nickel Boron

Pros:

  • Unbelievably short movement and crisp break.
  • Serrated trigger keeps your finger in place.
  • Precise 5.5lbs pull weight.

Cons:

  • Expensive.
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The Triggertech AR-15 Combat Trigger is designed to feel like a 1911 trigger, and it does a pretty good job. Plenty of triggers attempt to recreate the 1911 trigger press, but it’s a tough thing to do.

I would say that this trigger feels a whole lot more like a 1911 trigger than most other triggers. Though I’m sure 1911 enthusiasts would say this feels nothing like a 1911 trigger.

Regardless, this trigger is really good. It moves just fractions of an inch, total. The break is just about the snappiest you can get. The trigger bow also has vertical serrations, just like a 1911 trigger.

This trigger is probably best for competition or hunting. To me, it seems a bit too short and crisp for a duty setup.

Although, the trigger breaks at 5.5lbs, which is just about right for a tactical trigger.

If you like super short trigger movement and a break that snaps clean, this trigger will probably be worth the price for you.

The Final Shot

Geissele Super Semi-Automatic Enhanced

Key Specs:

  • Trigger Pull Weight:

3.5 lbs

  • Fabric/Material:

Tool Steel

  • Trigger Shape:

Curved

Pros:

  • Amazing trigger press and break.
  • Smooth transition between stages.
  • Excellent pull weight for precision shooting.

Cons:

  • Expensive
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Can you get things done with a standard mil-spec trigger? Absolutely.

Is it easier to get things done with a better trigger? Also yes.

Additionally, upgrading your AR-15 trigger can be quite affordable (or not, if you want something really good). And there’s a trigger for every budget.

All in all, upgrading your trigger is one of the most cost efficient ways to fine tune your AR-15 to suit your rifle’s primary purpose. Find what you need and get to shooting.

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AR-15 Triggers