13 Best AR15 Trigger Upgrades

The guide outlines some of the best AR15 trigger upgrades at different price ranges. This include two stage and single stage triggers.

While many individuals prefer building AR15s based on Mil-spec standards, the stock triggers designed to meet these specifications often have heavy-pull weights as much as 9 pounds for safety reasons. This is a no go for most experienced shooters.

Most experienced users want crisp trigger break, short reset, short trigger bow pre travel and faster split time. So let's check out what we have here:

Disclosure: When you purchase products through the affiliate links, you support the website and help us earn a commission.

Understanding AR15 Trigger Terminology 

Definitions include terms such as break, creep, disconnector, hammer, lock time, over-travel, reset, sear, stacking, take-up, trigger bow, and two-stage triggers.

Within each trigger system, they can both feature flat face trigger or curved trigger bow.

For the most part, experienced shooters want:

  • Clean break, no mushy trigger pull
  • Minimum to almost no over travel or take up for single stage triggers
  • Minimum reset without take up 
  • Flat trigger bow for faster shooting for single stage

Best AR15 Triggers

Geissele Automatics Super Semi-Automatic (SSA) Trigger

geissele SSA trigger
  • Type: Two-stage
  • Pull Weight: 3.5 - 4 pounds
  • Bow Width: 0.29 inches
  • MSRP: $230

The Geissele Automatics Super Semi-Automatic (SSA) trigger is a renowned option among AR-15 enthusiasts. This two-stage trigger offers a pull weight of 4lb, providing a consistent and reliable shooting experience. With a narrow bow width of 0.29", it offers excellent control and precision.

The SSA trigger delivers a smooth first stage followed by a clean, crisp break in the second stage, accompanied by minimal over-travel. Though the reset is slightly longer, it remains positive and distinct.

The SSA trigger has been certified for safety by the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane and is trusted by Special Operations troops. Constructed from high-quality tool steel, the trigger is non-adjustable and features sear surfaces cut by a wire EDM machine for precise performance.

Its full-power hammer spring ensures reliable ignition with various types of ammunition. For those seeking a lighter measured pull weight, the Super Semi-Automatic Enhanced model is available with a pull weight of 3.4 pounds

Hiperfire Competition Trigger

Hiperfire Competition Trigger
  • Type: Single-stage
  • Pull Weight: 2.4 - 3.4 pounds
  • Bow Width: 0.30 inches

The Hiperfire Competition trigger stands out for its innovative design and performance. This single-stage trigger offers multiple options for pull weight, with choices of 2.4, 3.1, or 3.4lb. The wider bow width of 0.3" (or 0.5" with the trigger shoe) provides enhanced control and comfort. The Hiperfire trigger doesn't rely on adjustable screws for customization. Instead, it includes three sets of springs, allowing users to achieve their desired trigger pull weight easily.

The Hiperfire Competition trigger delivers a crisp and light break without any over-travel, ensuring precise and consistent shots. Its short trigger stroke and reset contribute to rapid follow-up shots.

Additionally, the straight trigger design offers an optional red finger pad that can be attached in various positions to optimize trigger finger indexing and provide extra leverage. The trigger remains secure and tight when on safe. The package includes three sets of springs, replacement pins, and a trigger shoe.

Brigader Manufacturing Single Stage Trigger

Hiperfire Eliate Trigger
  • Type: Single-stage
  • Pull Weight: 3.5 pounds fixed

The Brigader MFG single stage trigger features internal anti walk set pins to fully secure the drop in trigger group inside the AR15 lower receiver, and it features a nice crisp 3.5 pound single stage trigger (Non adjustable). The performance is as good as the Geissele Dynamic 3 Gun trigger at half of the price.

They offer flat and curved trigger bow.

Hiperfire Elite Trigger

Hiperfire Competition Trigger
  • Type: Single-stage
  • Pull Weight: 2.7 - 4 pounds
  • Bow Width: 0.30 inches

The Hiperfire Elite trigger is another single-stage option that offers exceptional performance and versatility. With pull weight options of 2.75, 3.56, or 4lb, users can easily adjust the trigger pull weight by swapping out sets of springs without the need for adjustable screws.

Featuring a crisp break and no over-travel, the Hiperfire Elite trigger ensures precise and consistent shooting. Its short trigger stroke and reset contribute to quick follow-up shots. The trigger remains snug and secure when on safe. The Hiperfire Elite trigger package includes three sets of springs and replacement pins.

Rise Armament ICONIC

Rise Armament ICONIC
  • Type: Independent Two-Stage
  • Pull Weight: 1 pound (first stage), 2 pounds (second stage)

The ICONIC trigger from Rise Armament is a two-stage trigger that offers a 1-pound pull weight for the first stage and a 2-pound pull weight for the second stage. This trigger design features two separate trigger bows to make the first stage trigger wall feel more distinct and consistent.

While most shooters favored single-stage triggers in the past, the performance and feel of the ICONIC trigger may persuade them to switch back to a two-stage trigger. The trigger provides a crisp break and a short reset, making it ideal for precision shooting applications.

Patriot Ordnance Factory Drop-In Trigger System

pof drop in trigger
  • Type: Single-stage
  • Pull Weight: 4.0 pounds
  • Bow Width: 0.29 inches

The Patriot Ordnance Factory (POF) Drop-In Trigger System is a straightforward and simple-to-install option. This single-stage trigger offers a pull weight of 4lb. The trigger break is clean and free of pre- or over-travel. However, the return stroke during the reset might feel a bit scratchy.

The trigger bow of the POF system is less rounded compared to others, featuring noticeable corners. The trigger itself is nitride heat-treated and comes with KNS Precision anti-walk pins for enhanced stability and reliability.

Rock River Arms Two-Stage Match Trigger

rock river arms ar15 trigger
  • Type: Two-stage
  • Pull Weight: 5.5 pounds
  • Bow Width: 0.29 inches

The Rock River Arms Two-Stage Match Trigger is an economical option suitable for match shooting. This trigger features a two-stage design with a heavier first stage but a clean and crisp break in the second stage. The reset is on the longer side but remains distinct. The pull weight is measured at 5.5 lbs, which may be heavier than desired for some users.

The trigger bow is wider compared to most triggers, providing a different feel. The disconnector is captured, simplifying the installation process. The package includes replacement pins.

Timney Triggers AR-15 Competition Trigger

timney ar15 competition drop in trigger
  • Type: Single-stage
  • Pull Weight: 4.2 pounds

The Timney Triggers AR-15 Competition trigger is a drop-in, single-stage trigger that offers a pull weight of 4.125lb. Installing this trigger is hassle-free, with set screws securing the trigger and hammer pins against the lower floor.

The trigger provides a crisp break with no take-up or over-travel. It may exhibit a hint of travel during the single-stage pull, particularly if the shooter applies deliberate pressure. The reset is positive and relatively short. The trigger bow is very flat, and the corners may feel slightly sharp.

rock river arms ar15 trigger

Wilson Combat Tactical Trigger Unit

Wilson Combat Ar15 trigger
  • Type: Single-stage
  • Pull Weight: 4.0 pounds
  • Bow Width: 0.29 inches

The Wilson Combat Tactical Trigger Unit is a drop-in trigger system that offers a great single-stage feel. It eliminates any take-up, providing a crisp break with no over-travel. The reset is relatively short and distinct.

While the trigger is rated at 4 pounds, individual triggers may have a lighter pull weight. Springs on the bottom of the cassette maintain trigger tightness. The trigger is made of solid bar stock and features steel bushings for the hammer and trigger pins.

Additionally, the hammer includes a half-cock mechanism reminiscent of Wilson's renowned 1911 pistols, adding an extra measure of safety. The package includes replacement pins.

LaRue Tactical MBT-2S

LaRue Tactical MBT-2S trigger
  • Type: Single-stage
  • Pull Weight: 2.5 pounds first stage - 2 pounds second stage
  • Bow Width: 0.29 inches

The LaRue Tactical MBT-2S is widely regarded as an exceptional trigger available at an affordable price point. This two-stage trigger offers a remarkable shooting experience with a sharp and precise break, coupled with minimal overtravel. Installing the MBT-2S is a breeze, and it serves as a significant upgrade over standard triggers, making it an excellent value proposition in the AR-15 trigger market.

Each MBT-2S trigger package includes a set of "heavy" springs, which can be used to increase the pull weight to 6 pounds. This feature caters to shooters who prefer a more robust and duty-style trigger pull. The LaRue Tactical MBT-2S trigger exemplifies the commitment to quality and performance that has come to be associated with the Daniel Defense brand.

ALG Defense Quality Mil-Spec Trigger

  • Type: Single-stage
  • Pull Weight: 6.2 pounds
  • Bow Width: 0.29 inches

Similar to the ACT trigger but without the slick coatings, the Quality Mil-Spec (QMS) trigger offers a marked improvement over stock triggers. It provides a cleaner break with minimal over-travel, although some creep is noticeable. The trigger is rated around 6.5 pounds, making it an affordable upgrade.

KE Arms Rekluse RTS-2

  • Type: Single-stage
  • Pull Weight: 4.5 pounds

The Rekluse RTS-2 trigger from KE Arms offers a consistent 4.5-pound pull with zero pre-travel and over-travel. It features a short reset and provides a tactical feel and audible noise upon reset.

The closed-shell design enhances reliability and prevents debris or primer from disabling the trigger. Additionally, the Rekluse allows the safety to be engaged even with the hammer forward.

Rise Armament RA-535 Advanced Performance Trigger

  • Type: Single-stage
  • Pull Weight: 3.5 pounds

Despite initial reservations, the RA-535 APT trigger from Rise Armament impressed the author. It offers a consistent 3.5-pound pull with minimal take-up, overtravel, and a short reset. The trigger provides a distinct and audible "click" during operation.

Rise Armament includes anti-walk pins and additional tools, adding value to the package. However, the lighter pull weight may require adaptation and careful handling to prevent unintentional double-fires.

Scroll to Top