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13 Best AR-15 Triggers [Hands-On with Video]

What’s the best upgrade for your AR-15?

Besides a bunch of ammo and training courses…it’s swapping out the trigger.

Now…there’s A LOT of triggers out there.

Tested AR-15 Triggers
Tested AR-15 Triggers

I’ve shot just about every single one under the sun thanks for industry and media range days.  I’ve also bought my fair share of triggers for my amount of lowers.

Best AR-15 Buttstocks
Just a Few Lowers and Buttstocks

These are my favorites for both drop-in and more traditional models…plus single and double-stage too.

And don’t worry…I’ll include budget and duty-rated triggers for those that aren’t looking for 1.5 lb hair triggers.

Best AR-15 Trigger

1. Mil-Spec Trigger

Let’s establish a baseline since I’m going to be measuring average trigger pulls and shooting split times.

There’s a lot of variance between mil-spec triggers…but for the most part they have some creep in the beginning, which I’m going to define as when you think the trigger is going to “break” and shoot…but it hesitates and moves again.

Mil-Spec Trigger
Mil-Spec Trigger

I’ve had mil-spec triggers with a trigger pull in the range of 6 to 9 lbs.  This one I’m testing is a decent one at 6 lb 9 oz (all of these are measured on my Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge).

Watch the video (I’ll have one for each trigger) to see the creep in the front…with some “over-travel” (how much the trigger moves after it breaks) and then a very solid reset.

I’m shooting UTM Battlefield Blanks with the barrel pointed in a safe direction and everyone is wearing eye/ear protection.

Here we also see the “split time” of .22 sec which is the time between shots.

It’s not a perfect measure (since I’m not a robot) and sometimes you’re looking for precision instead of the fastest pull.

But it’s what I’ve got!

  • Trigger Pull Weight: 6 lb 9 oz
  • Split Time: .22 sec
  • Summary: Reliable with a solid reset, but heavy with lots of creep

Now let’s see what upgraded triggers can do…


The go-to for a “better” mil-spec trigger is the ALG ACT ($75) which is close to its military brethren but is coated in nickel boron and surfaces are polished.

ALG ACT Trigger
ALG ACT Trigger

The coating gives it the matte gray color and better surface properties.  And although sear surfaces are polished…the angle is kept the same for maximum reliability.

What I like to put into important “duty” guns where I want a better trigger but #1 is that the gun always goes bang.

You’ll see in the video that the trigger pull is more consistent with less creep and travel in the beginning…plus a cleaner break.  I measured my version at 6 lb 15 oz but it felt less than the tested mil-spec one.

It’s normally supposed to be around 6 lb.

The three split times averaged out to .20 sec which is better than the mil-spec but you’ll see the benefits in slower accurate fire.

  • Trigger Pull Weight: 6 lb 15 oz
  • Split Time: .20 sec
  • Summary: Polished and coated mil-spec trigger that gives a much better feeling with less creep and a cleaner break…but maintains reliability

3. Rise Armament Super Sporting Trigger

The first drop-in trigger in our series is Rise Armament’s Super Sporting Trigger ($120).

I love it since it’s around the $100 mark (and sometimes less) at a time when most drop-ins are over $150.

Rise Armament Super Sporting Trigger
Rise Armament Super Sporting Trigger

Comes with two receiver set screws that keep it tight with no wiggling.  A little annoying to install since it uses regular springs that get in the way of the screws.

But how is the trigger?

There’s a very small initial take-up and a decently clean break with not that much post-travel.  Pull weight was also very consistent 4 lb 2 oz for me while the listed weight is 3.5 lbs.

Reset is good and followup trigger pulls are very similar to the initial pull.

  • Trigger Pull Weight: 4 lb 2 oz
  • Split Time: .16 sec even with my stutter
  • Summary: Most affordable drop-in trigger with a lighter than mil-spec trigger pull, small take-up, clean break, and good reset

What I’d recommend for the best bang-for-the-buck entry into the drop-in trigger game.  Especially when it’s on sale.

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

4. CMC Single-Stage 2.5 lb

CMC triggers were one of the first drop-in triggers available…and now they have Single Stage 2.5 lb ($168) flavors in addition to the original 3.5 lb version.

Drop-In AR-15 Triggers
Drop-In AR-15 Triggers

It’s not a looker from the outside with its sheet-metal-esque enclosure…but the trigger had a consistent 2 lb 1 oz trigger pull and a clean break.

No perceptible creep on my flat-faced trigger (also available in curved) but there was no way to tighten down the module to prevent rattling.

I’ve heard of people putting something firm but compressible underneath to prevent movement.

Not a lot of post-travel and a good hearty reset.  Followup trigger pulls also had no discernible creep.

  • Trigger Pull Weight: 2 lb 1 oz
  • Split Time: .125 sec which is awesome
  • Summary: Lightest trigger pull yet with no initial movement, good reset, and clean break

5. Timney Competition

We love our Timney’s for reasons you’ll soon see.  So much that we started with them for our YouTube trigger series:

Timney is a stalwart in the AR-15 drop-in trigger world with several models…let’s take a look at their Competition Trigger ($215).  I chose the 3 lb version but they also have higher weights too.

Timney Competition
Timney Competition

Install was easy with their own tool to avoid the springs and tighten the set screws.

Timney Competition, Top
Timney Competition, Top

I recorded the trigger pull at 3 lb 5 oz…very close to the stated pull weight.

There was almost no pre-travel combined with a clean break.  Also very little post-travel.

Decent reset before getting back to the no creep single stage.  Ok speed at .205 seconds for me.

  • Trigger Pull Weight: 3 lb 5 oz
  • Split Time: .205 sec which is decent
  • Summary: Love the almost non-existent pre-travel combined with a clean break.

6. Timney Calvin Elite

The high-end of the Timney line is the Calvin Elite ($269)…named after their trigger designer.

Timney Calvin Elite
Timney Calvin Elite

It also looks like no other trigger out there with its fully adjustable position in both horizontal and vertical directions.  I liked mine as rear and high as possible.

Oh…and the stated weight…a truly hair trigger pull of 1 lb 8 oz.  And mine was super close to the stated weight with 1 lb 9 oz.

There’s no creep and a super loud reset before going back to the lightest trigger in this roundup.

Splits were also blazing fast with me getting one at .09 sec and averaging out to .115 seconds!

  • Trigger Pull Weight: 1 lb 9 oz (lightest)
  • Split Time: .115 sec (fastest)
  • Summary: The lightest and fastest shooting for me…plus the most adjustable.  I would make sure to Loctite all the adjustment screws since there’s a lot of potential for things to become loose.
Lightest & Fastest
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

What do you think of the Calvin Elite?

Readers' Ratings

4.98/5 (1151)

Your Rating?

7. Triggertech

Let’s dive into a high-tech 2-stage trigger with Triggertech’s Adaptable AR Primary ($239).

Triggertech Adaptable
Triggertech Adaptable

What exactly is a 2-stage trigger?

It’s what it sounds like…the first stage is a light pull with no creep…in this case I measured it to be a consistent 10 oz.

You take up that slack and then the second stage becomes lighter because you already helped it out.  Triggertech’s adjustable model got me between 3 lb 3 oz to 7 lb 2 oz in total pull.

So for my specific trigger it was 1st stage 10 oz and 2nd stage 2 lb 8 oz.

It was also the easiest to adjust both trigger pull weight and receiver set screws.

Triggertech Adaptable, Adjustment
Triggertech Adaptable, Adjustment

Audible clicks for the trigger pull…and no springs blocking the set screws.

Check out the nice 1911-esque first stage and clean break with minimal post-travel.

I messed up the split times a little since it’s a two-stage trigger and not really meant for super rapid fire.  But I think the .24 sec time is representative.

If you’re going with a 2-stage…you’re most likely going more precision.  You can still shoot quickly but it excels in a super light second stage.

  • Trigger Pull Weight: 3 lb 3 oz to 7 lb 2 oz (listed is 2.5 to 5.o lb)
  • Split Time: .24 sec but 2-stage triggers are mostly for precision work
  • Summary: Very nice first stage that’s reminiscent of 1911s that leads to a clean light break and minimal over-travel.  Good reset to end of first stage if you’re shooting slowly.

Highly recommended if you want an adjustable trigger that can work for 1000 yards and also more duty-like jobs if you up the pull weight.

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Also available in non-adjustable flavors.

8. PSA 2-Stage

The affordable version of Geiselle’s venerable SSA series ($240) of 2-stage triggers but comes in at $99 for the PSA 2-Stage.

PSA 2-Stage Trigger
PSA 2-Stage Trigger

Not quite as smooth feeling as Geiselle’s…but at 68% off…I can deal with it if I need a decent precision rifle trigger.

I got a pull weight of 2 lb 8 oz for the first stage and 1 lb 15 oz for the 2nd stage for a total of 4 lb 7 oz.  Listed is 1.75 lb for both stages.

There’s some creep after the initial first stage but the break is pretty clean.  Reset is also a tad long but very tactile so you know it happened.

You can see that it shoots pretty quickly in rapid fire because both stages were close in weight and I treated it like a regular trigger.  However my shot timer didn’t pick it up and I was running out of blanks.

  • Trigger Pull Weight: 4 lb 7 oz (listed is 3 lb 8 oz total)
  • Split Time: NA but was seemed respectable
  • Summary: Great deal in the realm of 2-stage triggers if you don’t want to spring for the Triggertech or a Geiselle.  I pair this up with my PSA AR-10 precision builds.
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing


ELF is short for Elftmann who make some of my favorite drop-in single-stage triggers that are silky smooth due to sealed ball bearings.

ELF SE Trigger
ELF SE Trigger

The ELF SE ($162) is their most affordable line which isn’t adjustable but is rated at 3.5 lbs.  However when I measured I got 4 lb 3 oz.

I opted for the curved trigger but you can get a flat one too.

It comes with a shim to protect your lower because there’s two set screws you tighten to make sure the drop-in unit is not going anywhere.

ELF SE Receiver Screws and Protector Shim
ELF SE Receiver Screws and Protector Shim

I highly recommend putting some Blue Loctite on the screws when you’re sure you’re going with the trigger.  Especially if you’re shooting higher recoiling rounds.

How does it perform?

There’s the slightly bit of creep in the beginning before a crisp break.  I had to refilm to get it on camera by pressing super slowly.

Very little over-travel and reset is strong and clean.  This is going to be one fast trigger as we can see with its .14 sec average split.

  • Trigger Pull Weight: 4 lb 3 oz
  • Split Time: .14 sec
  • Summary: Awesome performance at the price point with very little creep, light trigger, nice break, and very little over-travel

10. ELF 3-Gun

The ELF 3-Gun ($270) is the top-of-the-line trigger in the series with its adjustable pull weight and super crisp trigger.

ELF 3-Gun, Straight Trigger
ELF 3-Gun, Straight Trigger

It also comes with the shim and two set screws to lock it securely in place.  Plus another screw at the rear to adjust pull weight.

ELF Receiver and Adjustment Screws
ELF Receiver and Adjustment Screws

It’s rated as 2 lbs 12 oz to 4 lbs…and I got close with 3 lb 3 oz to 4 lbs.

You can get it in flat or curved flavors…I opted for the flat one to spice things up and I like the look.

I was amazed at the zero creep in the beginning and an even glassier glass rod break.  Very little over-travel and strong reset like the SE version.

Just about the same split time average as the SE with .145 seconds.  Probably well within the error range of my setup.

Is it worth the upgrade from the SE?

Yes if you want the uttermost least amount of creep possible…and the ability to adjust your trigger pull weight.

Lots of fellow competitors run the ELF 3-Gun and I’ve tried ones with much lighter weights…mine might have been a little heavy from the factory or it will lighten up with more use.

  • Trigger Pull Weight: 3 lb 3 oz
  • Split Time: .145 sec
  • Summary: No creep, very light trigger, super crisp break…all with little over-travel and a strong reset.

11. Hiperfire Sharp Shooter

No we’re entering Hiperfire…who first came out with very different triggers that brought down pull weight but increased hammer power.

The Sharp Shooter ($94) is one of their newer designs which builds upon mil-spec reliability.

Hiperfire Sharp Shooter
Hiperfire Sharp Shooter

It installs just like a mil-spec trigger and comes in at a slightly lower than average mil-spec 5 lb 9 oz.  There’s two different springs and I went with the lower pull weight should have come in at 4.5 lbs.

But in shooting there’s a slight pretravel before a strong break.

Then a long-ish reset distance before the strong actual reset.  I did have a little trouble shooting it rapid fire since I was used to drop-in triggers before this upgraded mil-spec.

I’d estimate the actual splits along the lines of the mil-spec of low .20’s.

  • Trigger Pull Weight:5 lb 9 oz
  • Split Time: ~.22 sec
  • Summary: No creep, slightly lighter than average mil-spec, strong break, and reset.

Great upgraded trigger for mil-spec to keep everything in the correct range of pull weight and reliability.  But for the price you can get the ALG ACT which is just as good.

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

12. Hiperfire Reflex (243G)

Now we’re talking…this is one of Hiperfire’s most popular triggers…the Reflex ($214).  It used to be known as the 243G before Hiperfire cleaned up all their names.

Hiperfire Reflex
Hiperfire Reflex

You can see that it isn’t a drop-in…and it’s pretty different from a standard mil-spec trigger with its toggle and extra springs.

Install is relatively easy when you follow the instructions.  Only a step or two more than mil-spec.

But all that combined makes a low trigger pull trigger that will set off even the hardest of primers.

It also comes with 3 springs for different pull weights…I went with the lightest that measured a very consistent 3 lb 3 oz.

You can see there’s very slight pre-travel before a strong hammer strike.  It’s weird that the heaviest spring (and heaviest hammer fall) gives the lightest trigger pull.

There’s almost no post-travel and a decent reset.

Speed is pretty fast for me at .16 sec average.

  • Trigger Pull Weight:3 lb 3 oz (lightest spring combo)
  • Split Time: ~.16 sec
  • Summary: Slight pre-travel and post-travel with a strong hammer strike.  Great for when you need extra ignition reliability.

13. Hiperfire ECLipse

The trigger I’ve been rocking for a long time…and the one that lives in my AR-15 group testing lower…the Hiperfire ECLipse($270).

PSA Valkyrie Testing
PSA Valkyrie Testing

It’s their top of the line version with Nickel Boron coating and an adjustable shoe that can go on the straight trigger.

Hiper ECLipse
Hiper ECLipse

I thought it was gimmicky at first but I’ve learned to really like it…it brings your trigger finger exactly to where it needs to be.

The upgrade takes away that initial travel in the Reflex and makes everything slightly smoother with the coating.

My version has more parts which made it a little annoying to install…but newer versions like in the Reflex have a single piece toggle.

Old vs New Hiperfire Toggles
(Top to Bottom): Old vs New Hiperfire Toggles

I measured my pull with the heaviest spring/lightest pull at 2 lb 3 oz.

You can see there’s no uptake before the strong hammer drop…and almost no wasted post-movement.

This is all followed by a short reset.

Now for speed I was a little bummed…I thought it would be a lot faster at .21 sec.

  • Trigger Pull Weight:2 lb 3 oz (lightest spring combo)
  • Split Time: ~.21 sec
  • Summary: Almost non-existent pre-travel followed by strong hammer strike and short reset.  Perfect for precision and extra reliability


I know…there’s a lot more triggers out there.  But these are some of my favorites and I’ll be updating in the future.

13 Test AR-15 Triggers
13 Test AR-15 Triggers

I tried to add in some quantitative numbers but a lot is also subjective…so make sure you know what you’re looking for in a trigger which might be different from me.

For upgraded mil-spec triggers you might use for a home-defense or duty weapon…

Upgraded Mil-Spec AR-15 Triggers
Upgraded Mil-Spec AR-15 Triggers

I like the ALG ACT which has proven reliability and smoother action.  At a price that’s reasonable.

For Drop-In triggers…it was really tough.

Drop-In AR-15 Triggers
Drop-In AR-15 Triggers

My most worth-it is the Rise Armament since you can get it for around $100 around sales times.  You get so much for that price.

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The fastest, lightest, and most adjustable was the Timney Calvin Elite…but it’s also the most expensive.  If you want the best performing (at least for me) get it!

Lightest & Fastest
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Another favorite is the ELF 3-Gun since it looks so cool and had a super crisp trigger.  If you don’t want a featherweight trigger but still want speed…get the ELF!

I know…the Timney and 3-Gun are $270…for something middle of the road if you don’t mind not having receiver set screws…I really like the 2 lb 1 oz trigger of CMC.

Now what about 2-stage triggers

Even though we only had two…I like the PSA 2-stage as a worth-it pick especially if you have a starter AR-10 and don’t want to spend the same amount on your trigger as your upper.

at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

But my favorite is the Triggertech Drop-In…it truly did feel like a super nice 1911 trigger.  If precision is the game and you like the feel of 2-stage triggers…you can’t go wrong.

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

And for the “other” category…aka Hiperfire.

I’m meh about the Sharp Shooter because of its price.  But I really like the Reflex…but would recommend spending a little more to get the top of the line ECLipse.

It’s served me so well in rifle competitions and now precision shooting.  It might not be the fastest but it has the least take-up and most powerful hammer strike.

Lastly…looking for an upgraded trigger for your pistol caliber carbine (PCC)?  Check out our Best PCC Triggers that factor in the different shot impulses of blowback guns.

What’s your experience with my favorite AR-15 triggers…do you see one on this list you want to try?  Check out more of our favorite gun & gear in Editor’s Picks. For a more precise tune-up, grab a trigger pull gauge. We have a list of our favorites here!

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119 Leave a Reply

  • Meeester Paul

    Missing = higher performance Rise Armament (RA 535 and 434 even 240 and their new Blitz

    September 9, 2021 1:33 pm
  • Dennis e Batterman

    I see a lot of AR stuff but nothing from POF. ????

    June 15, 2021 5:21 pm
  • flux21

    The Hiperfires I've added to 2 of my ARs have no pre-travel and super clean break at the 3.5# springs. The PSA single stage NiBr is miles away from this even for the cheaper price. It is gritty and not as consistent. The Geiselle SSA-E in another is very nice in my 3rd unit. To each there own but the Hiperfire is hands down one of the best out there IMO. Next build will get the Giselle 3 gun unit for a .300 blk build.

    May 3, 2021 3:53 am
  • Peter

    I have the Dirty Bird Nickle Single Stage Trigger used in conjunction with the Kaw Valley Reduced Spring Kit to replace my Mil-Spec set-up. Now I have a clean, crisp break with zero take-up and pull reduction from 6.5# to 4#. It's every bit as good as the ALG but cost less.

    April 13, 2021 6:27 pm
  • Dillon Mir

    In all your example videos it looked like you were firing the gun inside a house. Was what some special kind of ammo or something because it didn't sounds very loud either?

    April 10, 2021 10:06 pm
  • Adam

    Appreciate effort and impressions. One thing that didn’t work here is practical splits measure. You can clearly see that numbers were often quite random or completely out of place. 0.2x next to 0.1x. Timney and TriggerTech with little post travel and good reset similar to or worse numbers than milspec trigger 7lbs with all that creep, post travel and long reset... really? It more shows that numbers are related to your random performance/ trigger finger condition / unnatural grip position than actual trigger performance.

    March 28, 2021 3:39 pm
  • Frederick Strawson

    It's hard to take this article seriously when you totally ignore the best trigger out there, Geissele.

    March 16, 2021 5:54 am
  • LtCol Alex Plechash, USMC (ret.)

    I am curious - Why was Geissele left off this list?

    February 28, 2021 4:12 pm
  • samuel e golden


    February 19, 2021 2:09 pm
    • David, PPT Editor

      Not sure if it is the same in the video but I have the LaRue one that I really like!

      February 19, 2021 4:38 pm
  • Rick

    My first trigger was a single stage and I didnt like it because didn't no when it would break.
    I went with a LaRue Tactical MBT-2S Trigger for about $85.00 and I love it.

    February 2, 2021 4:21 pm
  • Karl

    I have a KE Arms SLT -1 trigger that I really like. It isn’t inexpensive at approximately $230 but it has very little take up and a very crisp release. You should check it out for the next update.

    January 28, 2021 4:53 am
  • Brad Hillhouse

    For drop in triggers you need to try forma tactical trigger it’s Drop in and adjustable and it’s only $70 or $60 depending on straight or curved For the price awesome awesome trigger You can’t beat it

    October 15, 2020 7:16 pm
    • Mick

      Hadn't heard of them before. Was gonna order a CMC...this is less than 1/2 the price for a 2.5# trigger. Just ordered one, so we will see how it works out.

      November 18, 2020 9:34 am
  • Voltaire E30

    I have loved my Rise Armament RA-140 for the money. But since then I have come to the knowledge of LaRue triggers. They are my now standard go to for all my current rifles and future builds. Its surprising as it easily gets overlooked by the prestige of other trigger manufacturers.

    September 13, 2020 11:23 am
  • Icorps1970

    Geissele High Speed National Match

    September 11, 2020 9:20 pm
  • Fares Al Abdo Al Hal

    how about LaRue ?

    July 11, 2020 1:21 pm
    • David, PPT Editor

      Huge fan of LaRue MBT 2S!

      July 11, 2020 7:33 pm
  • Alex

    I am not a fan of CMC because of their slow response and even slower repair. I have their 2 stage trigger and it malfunctioned the day it was installed. It allows the safety to be placed on while the hammer is forward (fired). When you pull the bolt carrier back the trigger half cocks but will not open the breach. When you move from safe to fire the gun goes off uncommanded. Sent a video to CMC and they made me pay to return it and say it will be two weeks before they will repair it. I asked for a loaner, but no go. Screw them.

    June 10, 2020 10:35 am
  • Nate

    The cmc’s come with set screws at least mine did and I got it for 130. But if you haven’t tried triggertech diamond then you haven’t lived. Search my buddies YouTube channel x-ring triggertech diamond

    June 4, 2020 5:51 pm
  • Grey Wolf

    You really need to check out and test tactical edges triggers..there located in clarksville,tn..these are by far the best mil spec triggers I have ever used and take down and cleaning is fast and easy never have had one issue from them and I have put 4k rounds down the range in one day testing for a fail..

    June 1, 2020 11:27 pm
  • Aaron

    Love that you can put a measuring stick so to speak.. it helped my decision go much easier. I Went with the Hyperfire Reflex and I'm very happy with my 2.5 lbs Trigger pull.. much thanks!! Good looking out.

    May 25, 2020 12:35 pm
  • Nicholas

    What tool are you using to test the triggers in your photos? Just wanted to know for research purposes is all. Thanks

    May 16, 2020 10:18 pm
  • mike

    I suggest you consider reviewing the MBT trigger by Larue Tactical. Great 2 stage trigger for under $100. I put Giessele SSA-E 2 stage triggers on most of my rifles and love 'em, even at the $220-240 price tag. Then I saw what Mark's come out with and outfitted my last two builds with MBTs. At almost 1/3 the price I'm very happy.

    May 15, 2020 10:04 am
    • Voltaire E30

      The price is significantly overlooked. As my boss guided me towards Larue triggers. It's the only trigger he will purchase. It once upon a time was priced at $240. And has continually been priced dropped. Itll be the only trigger I buy from now on.

      September 13, 2020 11:27 am
  • Chris

    I've had 3 bad (2 defects and 1 out of spec that allowed it to fit on safe) triggers from RISE. I've also heard others from local gin shops gabbing trouble with theirs. Rise has been trying to keep up with demand so there might be a quality control issue. If you go that route, definitely buyer beware. As to their customer service, they will throw triggers at you all day, doesn't mean you can trust them not to fail when it matters most.

    May 6, 2020 6:11 pm
  • Nolan

    We have two of the HiperFire Hipertouch Competion model triggers installed (straight trigger set at 2.5 pounds). I've tried several from the above list -- Geissele, Rock River Two-Stage, Mil-Spec, ALG, CMC, but really like the Hiperfire....

    April 23, 2020 9:01 am
  • Josh

    How did you make the function action like that?

    April 22, 2020 10:21 am
  • Troy

    Why did you not include the Rise Armament RA 535?? I've seen it called the fastest trigger available with 0.10 second resets. I saw a guy on YouTube beat out another guy with a Binary trigger with this one... I just installed mine today. It blew me away. It's going in all of my "serious" rifles. Its incredible

    April 3, 2020 7:50 pm
  • Ron

    Hi Eric, thanks for a concise run down of the triggers. Good data and subjective input. It helped me a lot.

    March 31, 2020 6:24 pm
  • Max

    All of these prices have nearly doubled since the last time I read this article. :(

    March 14, 2020 8:50 am
    • John.Anti

      Doubled? Where are you seeing pricing that has doubled for triggers? I am not seeing any changes where I shop online..

      March 14, 2020 6:21 pm
  • Anthony

    do you ship AR15 trigger out of US ( France ) ?

    March 10, 2020 11:08 am
    • David, PPT Editor

      Hello! We don't sell or ship anything, sorry. Brownells is a very popular and huge retailer though and I believe they have a French site that sells and ships there. https://www.brownells.fr/

      March 10, 2020 12:58 pm
  • Adam

    Id love to see this with a SSA and MBT-2S. Also love my Rise-434

    February 14, 2020 6:08 pm
    • mitch barnhart

      I have two LaRues MBT and love the for the price you can not go wrong I wish the would compare them also.

      February 26, 2020 3:28 pm
    • Regolith247

      I would also love to see them do a review of the MBT-2S trigger- it's exactly in my price range, and I'm planning on using one on my next build.

      March 2, 2020 8:12 am
  • Joe

    Please invest in a Dvorak Triggerscan. A machine does not have any predisposition toward particular triggers that may (even subconsciously) influence the description of results. This also allows readers to compare between various published test results. Don't get me wrong, the subjective description of trigger feel is nice too, but as a supplement to the numbers.

    November 28, 2019 9:10 pm
    • Connor Haughton

      Well said, those graphs are objective and give a very clear picture of the trigger pull.

      February 5, 2020 7:42 am
  • Joseph J Guccione

    Excellent demonstration/performance. I'm a Timney Guy myself. I do have a Geissele two-stage in a PWS 6.5 CR.

    I've never had a problem with a Timney trigger but I've shot a few questions to the Reps. Their customer service is quite awesome; rapid responses and incredibly knowledgeable.

    October 26, 2019 11:39 pm
  • Jeremy

    I really enjoyed,the article but it is hard to take any list seriously when you don't include Geissele triggers in any of the testing?

    October 21, 2019 7:23 pm
    • Parke

      I wondered the SAME THING. How can you wrote such a comprehensive article without including the alleged king? I also really enjoyed the article, but I’ve wondered if the Geissele is “all that”.

      October 23, 2019 7:02 am
  • Eric

    Is there a section that covers triggers for AR10?

    October 7, 2019 8:36 am
    • David, PPT Editor

      The AR-15 and AR-10 share triggers! So far, I've never encountered an AR-15 trigger that didn't also work in the AR-10.

      October 7, 2019 9:25 am
  • Mike

    Any suggestions for 2 triggers to put in my ar's. Maybe one for home defense and one for range

    September 27, 2019 9:35 am
    • David, PPT Editor

      The Calvin Elite is awesome for the range, I have the ALG ACT in my HD rifle and it is great! If you scroll up on this article you can read full reviews of both.

      September 27, 2019 9:40 am
  • Daniel

    Thanks for the info Eric! I'm doing so much better with my AR journey thanks to forums like yours. I've developed a taste for Geissele triggers. Yes, their expensive, but worth it in "my" world. Keep the reviews coming, thank you!

    September 10, 2019 5:15 pm
    • Eric Hung

      You're so welcome, Daniel!

      September 10, 2019 7:43 pm
  • Connor Haughton

    Have yall evaluated the Larue Tactical MBT trigger? I absolutely love it, crisp 2 stage with a super noticeable reset. Plus if you look out for sales, you can get them for 1/2-2/3 the cost of comparable triggers.

    Also, I think it would be helpful for many people if you delved deeper into pros/cons and best uses of single stage vs. 2 stage triggers. E.g. 2 stage for long range precision builds.

    July 25, 2019 7:29 am
    • David, PPT Editor

      MBT is going to be in the next update! I use it some of my builds and have been very happy with it so far.

      July 25, 2019 10:15 am
    • Chris G

      I agree. You can pick up an MBT for around $85 on sale.... which happen pretty frequently. And it is surprisingly similar to the geissele 2 stage. I run the geissele at work and the MBT on all my personal guns cant really tell the difference.

      December 11, 2019 8:54 pm
  • Matt Nixon

    I just bought a Colt Match Target hbar. 20" barrel. Fixed carry candle. Beautiful rifle! My question is, it has an aftermarket match trigger . I cand identify. Has a large internal wheel with notches, and various set screws. Any know manufacturer? Thanks

    June 1, 2019 1:50 pm
    • D

      Find spec sheet from manufacturer for the rifle, might tell you, - where you bought it.

      June 12, 2019 4:19 am
    • David S

      UMMMM......sounds like you have a 3-round burst fire control group!?!?!? :o Does your safety flip around to point rearward?? Amazing gun, by-the-way.....that was my first AR purchase as well...keep it as original as possible (look up its value!)....build another one to hang every gadget you want onto!! ;)

      July 2, 2019 7:11 pm
    • John Herrington

      Jewell 2 stage Trigger. It's been discontinued for years.

      August 6, 2019 4:12 pm
  • Huy Tran

    I have the Hiperfire 24c (like ECL but without NiB coating), and it is my favorite by far and it sits in my go-to AR15.

    I just ordered the 2 stage RPS trigger from shootingsight.com and give it a whirl in my B&T P26. It is supposed tos be a one of a kind 2 stage trigger that breaks like Glass.

    February 20, 2019 1:30 am
  • Heretic

    Ive a stock AR10 with HVY mil-spec trigger coming. My first AR15 now has greatly improved with a 3.5# Fail Zero trigger installed. While this FZ trigger is absolutely great Im open to the option of upgrading the 308 with a Rise Armament Super Sporting Trigger. Thanks for the comparison review.

    January 29, 2019 4:05 am
  • rldel149

    1) James Madison Tactical SABER single stage
    2) Aim Surplus SSTAT single stage,
    3) Delton LP1060 2 stage,
    4) LaRue MBT 2 stage

    January 22, 2019 9:41 pm
    • rldel149

      All run $100 ish

      January 22, 2019 9:43 pm
    • Charles

      I know this is old, but I LOVE the Larue MBT 2S. For $89, it just can't be beat. It is at least as good as the Geissele G2S, and may be as good as the SSA. I have read that the James Madison has a problem with light strikes, especially on the harder primers.

      May 6, 2019 8:15 am
  • Jordan

    No Rock River NM 2 stage!? Hard to beat for $80 mine came in at 3.9lb pull

    November 28, 2018 2:49 pm
  • Adam

    Got a little chuckle out of the S&B scope with his favorite ECLipse trigger...and the Anderson receiver. Maybe that's to balance all of the haters calling him a brand snob. It's like being called a racist by some liberal and then saying, "I had a black friend in college!" to prove you're not a racist. Maybe the AR diversity-inclusion police made him do it. Or maybe there are some things where brand just doesn't matter. $3500 scope on the $35 receiver. But if it works, hey. Who cares.

    November 24, 2018 6:50 pm
    • Chales

      If the receiver is mil spec, then what does it matter? I want to get an Aero and have Noveske engraved beside the AERO stamp on the lower. Just for the bragging rights. If we want a perfect finish on the rifle, then cerakote goes a long way. I never understood why the identical $200 piece of aluminum was better than the $45 one on sale at PSA. A good rifle will have two parts where high quality really pays off. The trigger and the barrel. The rest is just preference.

      May 6, 2019 8:24 am
  • Richard

    Where is Velocity Triggers? I have two of them in my AR's and think they are great!

    October 5, 2018 4:05 am
    • Eric Hung

      We've got a bunch for an update next year!

      November 6, 2018 4:11 pm
  • Eric H. Austin, TX

    This was a great video comparison between all of these different types of triggers. By showing how all the triggers functioned and the details of each one was really helpful. I'm new at building my own receivers and videos and information like yours helped me tremendously. Thanks a lot for the video.

    September 27, 2018 9:48 pm
    • Eric Hung

      Aww man I missed this comment from before...but you're so welcome!

      November 6, 2018 4:10 pm
  • hayden siebens

    what kind of ammo are you using to test inside

    September 27, 2018 2:10 pm
    • Eric Hung

      Hayden, it's UTM Battlefield Blanks that I link to in the first mil-spec trigger.

      September 27, 2018 2:17 pm
  • Roy

    No mention of Geissele triggers? Can't have an AR trigger conversation without mentioning Geissele.

    September 24, 2018 6:57 pm
    • Eric Hung

      Hey Roy, it's mentioned slightly in the 2-stage section. But I'll add a link to them.

      September 24, 2018 7:25 pm
  • Jerry Johnson

    What about Velocity Triggers? Guy that makes them worked for a couple trigger companies including Timney.

    September 24, 2018 6:05 pm
    • Eric Hung

      Next time!

      September 24, 2018 7:26 pm
  • Pandaz3

    I did my first build with a CMC straight shoe 4.5 # rated (I did not test it personally, but the course I entered had a not less than 4 # limit, and they measured mine) It is still in that gun and I really like and appreciate it. I bought another more recently that was a collaboration with LanTac and CMC. (The Collaboration did not last long and LanTac partners with Rise now) Anyways that LanTac/CMC has a skeletonized curved shoe 3.5 # advertised, it seems light to me I just shot it a few hundred round and I like it for certain, but it is pricier than justified I think.
    That said I bought the new LanTac/Rise collaboration too, but have not installed it. It is advertised at 3.5#.
    I have several TacCon triggers the 3MR and the 741 along with a couple of MSR style. The MSR's were on sale and the are close to a ALG, but $15 higher. They work well seemed about 5 # or less and had the same curved shoe as all the TacCon's. the 3MR has three positions, 1. Safe, 2. reset, 3. single stage, setting 2 is a auto reset feature that is not appealing to most high volume shooters, but it does help the casual shooter who has not developed that particular muscle memory. It is different just like a manual and automatic transmission in a car, they both achieve a reset. I like mine, and the 741 is also a three position 1. Safe, 2. Two Stage, 3. Reset The two-stage is barely noticeable as a two-stage, but is there and does work.
    I have a Rock River two-stage and it is a good trigger at a good price.
    I bought a Daniels Defense DDM4 for the wife without knowing the would put a Geissele in it, so ours was a gritty GI style. I bought a RUGER 452 (I think) two-stage. It comes with a plastic chassis like Eric's Elftmman except gray and had a hard polymer Ruger grip on it, I changed both with the DDM4. Very nice two stage. I like using the chassis to demonstrate resets and bought a second one to show difference between two-stage and single stage.

    September 24, 2018 2:15 pm
  • Drew

    Have you ever tried the Larue MBT? It’s priced at like $85 on their site and I’ve seen decent reviews. Looking for an experts opinion. Thanks

    September 24, 2018 12:33 pm
    • David L

      I've used it extensively, it's my hunting AR trigger in fact! I really like it - it's a two stage that is crisp, light, repeatable. I would absolutely recommend it.

      September 24, 2018 1:54 pm
      • John C

        Any sense of reliability on this one? I've been eyeing it and wondering if folks would use it in a rifle tasked with self defense in addition to plinking/target/fun shooting. Some say two stage is a bad choice for self defense. Wondering since the MBT is robust looking and also not drop in (more solid mounting to the receiver not being a drop in?)

        September 24, 2018 4:30 pm
        • Big Mike

          I have a couple of MBT's. LaRue is only about an hour away. Great trigger. Number of my friends have and they all like them also.

          September 25, 2018 12:57 am
  • John Johnson

    I haven't tried too many triggers, but the ALG goes in all of my ARs.

    September 24, 2018 10:20 am
    • Eric Hung

      If it ain't broke!

      September 24, 2018 11:46 am
  • Duke Aquaro

    I have a Rise installed in a PSA AR. It is fine and much better then the original. I also have a Timney installed in a S&W AR15 22. I bought the single stage 3 pound version of it and had light strikes, Called Timney and their outstanding CS guy said that the gun required a 4 pound pull. I sent it back, they paid, and within a few days I had a 4 pound trigger and the gun is great. I think they are both good products.

    September 24, 2018 8:20 am
    • Eric Hung

      Nice to hear good customer service stories!

      September 24, 2018 11:46 am
  • Tom

    I love the Calvin Elite, but buyers be warned: it is so light that it will fire if dropped. Best feeling trigger ever but it is not safe except for the range, and even then, it's a risk you should be aware of because accidents happen. No other trigger I've seen will fire if you drop the gun on the butt, and I mean without the safety on, but the Calvin will. Just be aware of that. Their official response (I asked) was that manufacturers drop test with the safety ON, but that's mechanically stupid, safety OFF is the real test. The Calvin is sexy as hell, and feels great, but be aware of it's one inherent trade-off.

    September 24, 2018 7:37 am
    • Eric Hung

      Thanks Tom...I'll have to try it out on my end (unloaded of course).

      September 24, 2018 11:48 am
  • Jaye

    Definitely review the Rise Armament RA-434. It's one of my favorites, and can be had for 140 or so if you catch a sale. Another I would love to see you review is the Larue MBT.

    September 24, 2018 4:46 am
    • Eric Hung

      Thanks for the two suggestions!

      September 24, 2018 11:48 am
  • Paul

    Great trigger roundup, thank you.
    For the newbs which will be the bigger audience for this article, there are a lot of terms used in the trigger comparisons that may seem like a foreign language an no idea how it applies to the shooting experience such as creep, over-travel, reset, etc. Don't despair that info is covered elsewhere, at that, be sure you fully understand and appreciate what those terms bring to the shooting experience as you read this comparison so you can choose the best trigger for your application the first go round without guessing. There are a lot of aspects to consider such as intended role the gun will be utilized, how the weapon is most effectively activated in its intended role, the demeanor of its shot cycle, etc. A trigger that makes for an effective and safe Home Defense gun or CQB, (typically a heavy single stage and reliable activation), is going to be about as opposite as the ideal trigger for a 1000 yard competition gun, (typically low creep and low over-travel hyper-light break). Home Defense criteria typically require being reliable in making the gun go BOOM and a trigger heavy enough it requires effort to activate during high adrenaline situations without accidental bump discharge where as the 1000 yard competition trigger will typically be feather light, crisp, repeatable, etc, not for CQB or home defense.

    Any how having shot a few of these listed triggers in target shooting and varmint roles there is a budget trigger not listed that I feel is worthy of this list, is a wonderful light crisp budget target/plinking/varmint trigger, the 2 stage Varmint trigger from Rock River at under $90. I've used it on a few of my builds and quite happy with it for paper punching, varmint hunting, informal target competitions, etc, worth the price of entry.

    Thank you again,

    September 23, 2018 9:26 pm
    • Eric Hung

      Thanks so much for this, Paul! I'll also sprinkle in more definitions of the terms I use...and how it affects different goals of shooting.

      September 23, 2018 11:49 pm
  • Jeremi Roberts

    Larue mbt 2

    September 23, 2018 6:52 pm
  • Lee

    Try the factory trigger on a Springfield Saint EDGE. Competition trigger right out of the box.

    September 23, 2018 6:03 pm
    • Dave Lee

      I concur

      November 17, 2019 10:59 am
  • Scott

    Another LaRue MBT trigger fan. For the price they are offering them at now. Around 80 bucks you’re nuts if you don’t buy one. Two stage not much different than the Guiesslle SSA-E @ 240. Have 8 or 10 different trigger upgrades in and none any better than the LaRue

    September 23, 2018 5:03 pm
    • Eric Hung

      Thanks, will have to try that out for the update!

      September 23, 2018 5:36 pm
  • Blake

    Check out the LaRue Tactical MBT 2 stage trigger. Smooth, with a crisp break, and at $89 you can't beat the price. You won't be disappointed.

    September 1, 2018 9:44 pm
    • David L

      I have one installed in my coyote rifle, sadly it isn't a drop-in so we didn't include it here.

      September 2, 2018 1:31 am
    • Eric Hung

      Dang, didn't get to it this newest update in September, but hopefully next one!

      September 4, 2018 10:52 am
  • Connor H

    The CMC is “reported by some users to be wobbly” because it has no tensioning system. Every other drop in trigger that I know of either has set screws, rubber pads, or springs to clench onto the pins that hold the cassette in. These systems exist to eliminate slop and play, and there’s honestly no good reason for NOT including a tensioning system.

    June 15, 2018 11:38 pm
    • Tig

      I’ve had the CMC single stage straight trigger in two of my AR15’s for three and four years. Both have been flawless in performance and reliability. I’m not sure what this wobble is you spoke of. It has never been a problem of mine. I’m ready to build a third and won’t hesitate to purchase another.

      June 29, 2018 6:58 pm
  • Dan

    If you are making a list of the best triggers for AR-15’s you’ve got to include Geissele. I have them on all my AR’s. I prefer the SSA.. Simply the best trigger that I’ve ever shot for targets, competition, and home defense. Price is $240, though if you can buy on a national military holiday (Memorial Day, 4th of July, etc.) you can get it for 20% off ($192).

    May 26, 2018 7:40 pm
    • David

      Geissele doesn't make a drop-in trigger. Thus why they aren't in the Best Drop-in AR-15 Triggers article.

      May 26, 2018 7:50 pm
      • Steven

        What is the definition of a drop-in trigger?

        September 6, 2018 8:11 pm
        • David L

          A drop in trigger comes in a small case, you literally drop it into the trigger well, aline the pins, and you're done! Normal triggers require some bending of springs and setting two or three parts on top of each other and getting it all alined before placing the pins.

          September 6, 2018 11:29 pm
          • David

            As you tested at least 3 military-type triggers that are not drop-in, I have to agree with Dan that a Geissele trigger should have been included.

            September 23, 2018 6:40 pm
  • ToolsforLiberty

    Amerigold AR-Gold is another outstanding high end trigger one should consider.

    May 23, 2018 9:11 am
    • Cutter

      I agree highly !!!! Put into my comp ar; crisp and zero creep. Wish I had the cash to change out on some of my other fav ar builds.

      September 23, 2018 5:19 pm
  • Cat

    Timney Calvin Elite 1.5lbs trigger is pricey; however, the different shoe positioning will guarantee consistent accurate trigger pulls.

    Not huge on the 1.5 lbs trigger pull but you get used to it. I’m looking for my next drop in and the pricing varies immensely. Comes down to personal preference but price plays a factor the RA-535 looks bad ass but Elftmann is on sale for $120 which is half the cost of the RA-535. Not sure I can justify spending twice the price! After anti roll pins your into the trigger for over $300; the cost of a used low end AR.

    Anyone use both triggers? Also, I’m looking at the SSA trigger for my MCX; any one use one of those? Good, bad, ugly?

    May 9, 2018 4:39 am
  • Tim Lassiter

    CMC in conjunction with Mossberg filed a lawsuit that destroyed many better trigger manufacturers-driving then out of business before their baseless lawsuit was chucked out the door. They claim to be a "Christian company" when called on their anticompetitive behavior. You shouldn't buy their product before googling the lawsuit.

    March 31, 2018 1:55 am
  • Jared

    There was no reference to personal experience with any of these triggers. This was just a regurgitation of the marketing and advertising descriptions for these triggers. Did the author even use any of these triggers. Hell, I could of wrote this article just by visiting the manufacturers websites.

    March 11, 2018 3:53 pm
  • Jared

    The Wilson Combat TTU is an incredible trigger. Great reset and overall feel. I would highly recommend it.

    September 9, 2017 8:13 pm
    • Bingo

      $270 it really ought to pick the kids up from the library and mow the lawn!

      March 24, 2018 2:20 pm
  • Rogue

    In your TriggerTech review, I think you meant it is designed to not increase wear and tear. I also see no mention of the Rise Armament RA-140 and the RA-535 which I think along with Velocity are some of the best in the industry, especially for the price. Until you've tried the RA-535 you really can't make an honest comparison.

    August 24, 2017 11:14 pm
    • Eric Hung


      August 28, 2017 3:41 pm
    • Reginald Willis 2

      I run the ra 535 love it an even looks better than any in this review.

      February 16, 2018 2:16 am
  • AR15_fan

    I wish you would have mentioned that the Velocity trigger is NP3 coated from Robar.

    August 24, 2017 8:44 pm
  • Wzrd

    I agree with David. I don't see the value in $200+ triggers. POF drop-in is nice for $115 if you shop around. I was able to get one for $100 new off eBay recently. As far as non drop-ins the Larue MBT & Hiperfire EDT are pretty good for around $100 too.

    August 24, 2017 8:22 pm
  • David

    Anyone paying $200+ for a drop in trigger should just tattoo stupid on their forehead. There's simply not 200+ in materials and design there....

    August 24, 2017 4:21 pm
  • Nobody

    "...it’s also designed to increase wear-and-tear over time."

    I think you mean "decrease."

    August 24, 2017 4:06 pm
    • Eric Hung

      Thanks for catching that!

      August 28, 2017 3:40 pm

    No mention of the AR Gold?

    July 31, 2017 4:13 am