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Cory Beaver's Golden Journey (part 1 of 7)

Replacement AR Triggers

The immense market for AR-15 upgrades has driven manufacturers to extract the last ounce of performance from the half century old platform. Modern CNC machinery means that it is now economic to make precision mechanisms to very high standards in relatively small batches. The result is a plethora of AR trigger groups of which we will look at a few that use different approaches.

Timney opted for the drop-in route to give their customers the easiest possible upgrade path. The Timney AR trigger comes in a gold anodized drop in housing and the trigger itself is gold. In the AR-15 version this can be had in standard or skeletonized formats. As you would expect with a Timney unit, top quality metallurgy is employed. The hammer is wire-EDM cut from S7 tool steel and teflon coated and other components use A2 tool steel heat treated to Rc 56-60 and black oxide coated. The AR-15 and AR-308 units have 3lb and 4lb pulls respectively - the latter driven by the need to have a heavier hammer to give the strike needed by the tougher .308 primers. These are true drop-in units. These units are only compatible with small pin receivers. They will not fit recent production Colts for example. The unit approach does make the unit harder to keep clean than a component or factor trigger. This makes it a questionable choice for use on a service weapon.

Rock River Arms' decided to take a component approach to improving the AR trigger. The Rock River AR National Match trigger economises on machining and makes for a lighter unit. As a result it takes a bit more time and effort to fit. A hammer, trigger, disconnect and hammer and trigger pins are included. Rock River use improved geometry to deliver a lighter, smoother, more consistent two-stage pull than the factory unit. Specifically the sear engagement point has been moved behind the hammer. Only small pin receivers are catered for. 3.5lb., 4.5lb. to 5lb. and 5.5lb. to 6lb. versions are manufactured. Every RRA trigger is tested on a special test rig and hand honed until it is considered ready for packaging and dispatch.

The Accuracy Speaks AR trigger is an expensive trigger, particularly for a component unit, but one that gives excellent performance. This trigger looks a lot like the factory unit, but the performance difference is like night and day. An improved sea engagement angle provides a smoother, crisper more consistent pull and let off. Accuracy Speaks went for stainless steel, EDM machined, heat treated and hand polished.  This unit differs from the other two in being adjustable from. This unit does require some gunsmithing to achieve a correct fit. There are specific versions for small and large pin receivers. The Accuracy Speaks AR trigger and the gunsmithing needed to install it are an investment in a quality product intended for serious competitive shooting.

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