GAT Trigger Enhancement System 

By: Kevin John "JohnBoy"

If you're like me, you're skeptical when claims are made about turning your semi-automatic AR-15 into a BATF legal full-auto M-16 for only $39.95. A poor man's dream? Sound too good to be true? We have all seen ads for these trigger devices that simulate full auto fire, Hellfire, Tac Trigger and Tri-Burst, to name a few. All these devices make big claims, but I have rarely heard an actual user who is satisfied with these trigger devices performance. I myself bought one of these trigger systems several years ago and after hearing poor user reviews on the AR-15 digest and reading the operating instructions with the device, decided it was more hassle than it was worth to even attempt to use that trigger system. Most of these systems rely on a spring lever mounted behind the trigger to get the rifle rocking back and forth to achieve the full auto affect from the operator's side, which is a tough balancing act to perform. Any attempt at any form of aimed fire from the shoulder is out of the question.

After all this, I was intrigued a short time ago when a fellow AR-15 lister posted favorable results with a new system I had never heard of before, the GAT Trigger System. I did a quick Web search and came up with the following two web sites selling this new GAT Trigger:

I decided to order from Flashdistributor, 970-249-0302 $39.95 + $3 shipping, as it is located closer to my home and I figured the shipping time would be shorter. Three days later the unit arrived at my house and I eagerly opened the package to get this installed on my Ar-15. The GAT seems to be well designed and thought out and has Germany stamped on its side. The GAT Trigger System attaches in front of the rifle trigger and has a lever with a thimble shaped cup on its end. As you rotate this lever a activator bar pushes against the trigger to fire the weapon. One full rotation of the lever will cause the trigger to fire 4 times and it can be fired from the shoulder in a normal shooting position.

For installation, all safety rules apply, check to see the rifle is safe and UNLOADED. Double check this again, then pull back the charging handle to cock the trigger. A side cover needs to be removed to attach the GAT to the rifle. Both a long and short activator are provided to fit to different rifles such as SKS, AK, and 10/22. The instructions say the short activator is used on most rifles, so that is the one I used. This activator slides in the unit and some care must be taken not to lose or drop it as you attach the system to your rifle as it can fall out. Two screws under the unit are tightened to the trigger guard when you determine (trial and error) the correct operating distance to the rifle's trigger. I wasn't reading the instructions too closely and over tightened these screws and the unit cracked and fell off my Pre-ban Colt. "Dang!" (Not the actual word uttered) I re read the instructions and it states to only hand tighten these bottom screws then reinstall the side plate for its added strength and support. In my defense, the screws are real tight and can't be hand tightened, only tightened with the enclosed allen wrench.

I called Flashdistributor and said I cracked the GAT unit. The guy on the phone told me he needs to make the instructions clearer on putting the side plate on first before final tightening of the bottom screws and said he'd get another GAT trigger in the mail to me that day. It was more my fault for the break than the instructions so it was nice of him to send me a replacement at no cost. Three days later the new unit arrived. This time I reinstalled the side plate before final tightening of the bottom screws as instructed, with no problems this time with installation.

My Son was home from College for Christmas break so we headed for the hills to try out this new GAT trigger. For the trip to the range, with the unit on my AR, it was hard to close my hard plastic protective case where the GAT lever sticks out. I worried about bending the lever from the pressure of the case, but the lever did not bend. I didn't want to assembly the GAT in the field on my truck's tailgate or cut out some of the foam padding on my case so I left the one slide latch closest to the GAT lever unlocked, and that worked fine.

To operate the trigger you can either use two fingers to rotate the lever or one finger in the thimble end of the lever and keep the rest of your hand on the pistol grip. To my surprise, the unit functioned flawlessly. It takes some practice to rotate the lever smoothly but it really fires off the rounds quickly. I hadn't tightened the GAT enough and it slid back some after about 30 rounds fired and couldn't activate the AR trigger. I unloaded the rifle, slid the GAT forward and re tightened and it again fired great. I was probably worried about over tightening or breaking the unit again and hadn't tightened it enough to stay in place during firing. We shot about another 3 or 4 magazines and had a blast! With the GAT installed, you can also get your finger on the AR trigger and shoot normally if so desired.

As with all these trigger devices they takes a few minutes to install and are a slight hassle to set up correctly. With some practice you can probably fire your AR at the 600 to 1200 rounds per minute rate mentioned in the instructions. The instructions also emphasize "to watch out where you shoot as the sound of machine gun fire can cause problems". To that end, they include a "Certificate of Legality" from the BATF which should be carried with your gun when using the GAT trigger. I wonder if indeed these units are truly 100% legal to use as stated on these small enclosed cards? Buyer beware?

The GAT Trigger worked well in my AR-15 and I am happy with it. Next trip out I want to try the GAT trigger with the .22 conversion in my AR, should be fun and a lot cheaper to shoot. Shooting fast is great, but you really eat up the ammo, not to mention heating up your barrel. Is the GAT trigger really needed? Probably not. Can you hit anything while firing that rapidly? Maybe with some practice. Will I keep it permanently attached to my AR? I doubt it. Is it fun to shoot? You bet! The big grin on my son's face was well worth its price.