The AR-15/M16 rifle was designed with a single-stage trigger and the vast majority of both commercial and Mil-Spec ARs will come standard this way. While the stock trigger is certainly effective and suited for its intended purpose, it can be lacking in the extra touches that can significantly improve one’s accuracy. A mediocre trigger can lead to poor trigger mechanics, bad habits and missed shots. This is annoying enough for recreational target shooters, competitors and hunters, but it can be significantly more serious in a police patrol rifle.
The entire point of equipping patrol officers with rifles like the AR is to allow for more accurate fire at distances beyond what a pistol or shotgun can reasonably manage. A poor trigger can work directly against this goal, but it doesn’t need to. Thanks to several quality manufacturers who now produce excellent drop-in trigger kits in a variety of styles, bad triggers can be easily replaced in a few minutes by practically anyone.
Jorge Amselle photo
Setting The Stage
Every shooter has had to deal with a bad trigger—sometimes without even realizing it. In a standard two-stage trigger, which was common in U.S. military rifles before the M16, the shooter will first encounter take-up, which is the distance the trigger travels with very light pressure before it starts to engage the sear and more pressure is needed. At this point, the trigger is only under light spring pressure. When there is no spring pressure at all, you have what is referred to as “slack.”
The AR-15/M16 rifle was designed with a single-stage trigger and the vast majority of…
by Charlie Cutshaw / Oct 1, 2011