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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 10/12/2003 2:18:36 PM EDT
I own 2 types of aftermarket, single-stage triggers that work great. One is by Jard, the other is JP's trigger group. I'm not looking for a hair target trigger, just an improvement over stock. So, for fun I decided to see what I could do with the stock AR trigger group. I'd like any suggestions from those more familiar with this type of trigger. In my opinion, the long, gritty trigger pull is the most objectionable thing about the stock pull. Cutting down the hammer notch, (and a little change of angle on the sear) starts to give you a much better trigger pull. The tradeoff is that the hammer drops onto the sear during a reset and as far as I can see, cannot engage as completely as it does when manually cocking with the charge handle. This brings up the problem of what is safe. If I cut the hammer down to say .025", most of the gritty creep is gone from the first trigger pull. But after a reset, the sear might only catch .015" of the available .025" on the hammer hook. The second pull is even better, of course, because now the engagement is only .015". But, what is considered "safe" for tactical use? Should I just leave the stock parts alone and be happy that the gun goes off?
Link Posted: 10/13/2003 9:19:39 AM EDT
My Dad Uses a JP and he's happy with it. My Uncle uses a RRA 2-stage and he's happy with that. I use the Bushmaster 2 -stage and I'm happy with the performance. But here is what my observations are: I didn't want a competition trigger, I just wasn't pleased with the standard when it comes to popping prairie dogs and rabbits. So I installed a set of JP reduced power springs for my brother in his V-match using his standard hammer/trigger. This was after I had acquired my Bushie Competition trigger...For $10 the JP reduced power springs are a real improvement over the standard pull. The competition groups bother me cause I have this nagging in my mind as to whether the next round will discharge with that lightened hammer strike on the Firing Pin. For competition shooting, I'd go with a Bushie, JP, RRA , or Jewell competition set-up. The standard pull is just terrible. But it works every time and I can trust my life to it. For Defense, I'd stick with the stock set-up. For playing and "just something a little bit better" I would install the reduced power hammer and trigger springs. There is definitely more difference than the $10 spent. (I would assume some prudent honing on the engagement surfaces would also be helpful but then again, if you wanted to go back to pure-stock you would need new hammer and trigger) If I had it to do all over again, I would have just bought the Reduced Power springs. At the time, all I was looking for was something a bit better and at least when I went back to the standard for real work, I wouldn't have $135 sitting around doing nothing. In the end I have to ask myself why did I spend $135 on a competition FCG that I won't trust my life on? Especially when I could have had the results I was looking for without spending more than $10 and this set-up never needs adjustment. Don't get me wrong, I do have use for the competition triggers now, but at the time I certainly didn't. There will soon be a few spare sets of JP springs sitting in my ever growing odds and ends box... Now I'm planning on purchasing a replacement pistol grip screw with an adjustment for the trigger travel. That will be another $35 but should make things a little more interesting on my competition set-up....Which, once again, I really didn't need in the first place. On another note, I still haven't gotten adjusted to the competition triggers since I have used the standard trigger exclusively for the last 10 years. Practice, Practice, Practice... Sly
Link Posted: 10/13/2003 7:36:39 PM EDT
Thanks, Sly. I'm pretty much the same way when it comes to reliability. I'll give the reduced power springs a try also. BTW one option for the fancy pistol grip screw is to use a 1/4" X 28 set screw, about 3/8" or 1/2" long for your adjuster, and a short 1/4" X 28 standard screw for the pistol grip screw. Once the set screw is adjusted, just lock tite it in and you're done. This setup is part of the Jard single stage trigger assembly. -WF
Link Posted: 10/14/2003 2:53:31 AM EDT
You might want to try the 15 minute trigger job, along with the set-screw-above-the-grip-screw trick to eliminate overtravel. Sorry, don't have the link to that procedure at the moment, do a thread search and you will find it. These are tricks to perform on the stock trigger.
Link Posted: 10/14/2003 6:51:48 AM EDT
[url]http://www.sargenthome.com/15_Minute_AR_Trigger_Job.htm[/url] --Otter
Link Posted: 10/14/2003 7:06:29 AM EDT
Thanks for the link. I've seen this a number of times and I'll tell you why I'm not real enthusiastic about it. First, I believe it will take more than 15 minutes of firing the gun with toothpaste or polishing compound to do any good whatsoever in the hammer/sear area. Second, I absolutely dislike the notion of cutting springs, even if it is just a leg. having a balanced spring tension on hammer and trigger is a desireable thing. The proper way to go about this is to use the reduced power springs...and that goes for any firearm. Third, the stock triggers are all set up to be extremely positive (hammer cams backward a lot during trigger pull). This is the source of most of the unpleasantness and must be judiciously improved using the proper angles on the sear. The finished product, even if left at the full stock engagement, will be less positive, but still positive enough to qualify as a safe trigger. That's the way I see it. -WF
Link Posted: 10/14/2003 10:54:18 PM EDT
I did a home trigger job on my Bushmaster and it was super easy. And I didnt polish anything. All I needed was a pin punch and a nylon hammer. My trigger wasnt gritty feeling at all, just really heavy. I was more concerned with the 9 lb trigger(I'm totally guessing here, cause my TP guage only goes to 8 lbs).I knew I could live with a standard military type trigger with moderately long takeup and reset, just not THAT many pounds! So here's what I did. Synweap223's two to three minute trigger job. (LOL, I had to do it)[devil] Tools: non marring hammer, pin punch First, remove your upper. I used a punch to push out the hammer pin just to the side of the reciever so I could pull up and remove the hammer and its spring(I went right to left), then reinstalled it but this time, I just dropped one leg of the hammer spring(doesnt matter which side, I did the right) UNDER the trigger pin and down into the control cavity, and left the other side (left)on top of the trigger pin as per the TM.I then tapped the pin back in, put the upper back on and function tested the trigger. I did no trimming of the spring at all and my pull weight came down to about 4.5 lbs now. Reset is still the same as is the takeup. But its just a wonderful smooth breaking lighter trigger now.[wow] I have been chastised for doing it this way,([flame]you'll have light primer strikes,[flame] bad mojo,[flame] not TM assembly, etc.)I dont mind. It works, every time I pull the trigger.Anyone I let at the range shoot the rifle enjoys the trigger just as much as I do. I have had no FTF's since I did this either, and about 1.5 k on this trigger job all together(Win Q3131A and South African mixed, and even some Wolff too!). Hell, I wouldnt even call it a trigger job per-se, just some creative assembly of the standard parts. Try it out, you may like it. And no stoning, filing or buying ANY new parts to get it to feel quite a bit better than stock.
Link Posted: 10/14/2003 11:18:18 PM EDT
First, thanks ottergt for the link, and to the others for the comments regarding it. Whitefox, This procedure will not hurt you, it doesn't take hardly any effort to use the polishing compound, and it can only help, try it, you might be surprised. That method is suggested because it is beyond many people to properly adjust the sear angles and stone/polish surfaces. If you are worried about the springs, just get an extra pair, they are dirt cheap - but the cut and bent spring suggested works for those who try it, I have not heard of any negative reports. You asked what to do with the stock trigger, and this is what one can do easily, quickly, without much skill. It has worked for many people. If one wants more than that, they just by a quality match trigger. You got some suggestions but you seem to have already decided what to do before you asked - use reduced power springs and adjust sear angle and polish surface. Just go ahead and do it. There are no magic tricks, you already know what to do, and if you have the skill - by all means, do it and enjoy! [:D]
Link Posted: 10/15/2003 1:49:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/15/2003 4:48:42 PM EDT by I-M-A-WMD]
By WhiteFox: BTW one option for the fancy pistol grip screw is to use a 1/4" X 28 set screw, about 3/8" or 1/2" long for your adjuster, and a short 1/4" X 28 standard screw for the pistol grip screw. Once the set screw is adjusted, just lock tite it in and you're done. This setup is part of the Jard single stage trigger assembly.
View Quote
Thanks for the idea. I checked out JARD's web-page and got a good understanding of how to do it. POST TO FOLLOW: I don't want to hi-jack the thread so I'll post my own topic. Please see it. It's in the "TROUBLE SHOOTING" forum. By Synweap223, I'm going to go home and try that on my AR10. I swear it has a 22.5# trigger pull. Couldn't hurt to try. Sly (Edited to add my post will be in the "TS" Forum.
Link Posted: 10/15/2003 2:35:51 PM EDT
Synweap223, I didn't want to cut my spring either so I did the same thing you did, just dropped one leg off. During some downtime I also polished the surfaces that the trigger and hammer meet. IT IS ONE SMOOOOOTH and LIGHT trigger now, and haven't experience any malfuntions of any kind. I shoot with some of the hardest primers too.
Link Posted: 10/15/2003 3:06:31 PM EDT
So am I correct that there have been complaints about FTF with competition triggers? (I just put a RRA NM in my lower, and thought I'd ask)
Link Posted: 10/15/2003 5:00:13 PM EDT
Just my .02
By Wolffie: So am I correct that there have been complaints about FTF with competition triggers? (I just put a RRA NM in my lower, and thought I'd ask
View Quote
Yes and No...Well, not necessarily. The main point is that the Mil-Spec is designed to foremost ensure that every round is detonated. Competition triggers are designed to give you a better feeling (ie. smoother, shorter, lighter) trigger pull. One does not necessarily go hand-in-hand with eachother. When I went to competition triggers, I ensured that they would perform on all the ammo that I had. Basically: Approach them with skepticism, but if all is well, go ahead and trust them for competition/small game hunting. I refuse to trust them with my life. BUT IF I HAD TO... I'm fairly certain they will work, if for some reason, I grabbed my competition/varmint gun for a self defense situation. If you are looking for 100% reliability and a PRIMARILY self defense weapon. Stick to the factory/Mil-spec to save yourself being judged by 12 or carried by 6... Sly
Link Posted: 10/15/2003 8:51:31 PM EDT
thanks guys! that was one of my many indecisions that has been cleared up. I was torn between trigger feel and reliability and I think the question has been answered. at least this saves me $200 on a jewell trigger!
Link Posted: 10/15/2003 11:38:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/18/2003 2:26:13 AM EDT by AK_Mike]
Yes, there are certainly reports of FTF with competition/aftermarket triggers, one of two primary causes of failures from one school of tactical training, quoting from another who posted. IIRC, he had a RRA fail and go single stage. Mind you this meant to me that it still went 'bang', it's just that he lost the two stage effect. Just polishing the stock trigger sear surfaces should do wonders, while maintaining reliability. Whitefox, thanks for explaining the set screw trick, I didn't catch on that it was already mentioned, and I forgot the procedure. I haven't done it yet, but I want to try it.
Link Posted: 10/16/2003 9:37:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/16/2003 9:39:08 AM EDT by Fenian]
I got one set of the lower tension springs...they work fine. I also did the 15 minute trigger job (minus the polishing), and it worked great. If nothing else, it lowers the amount of trigger pull, and I've never had a problem with functionality. At this point, 3 out of my 4 ARs have the clipped/bent springs, and the other has the reduced tension. One of the stock triggers had to have had a 15# pull, it was painful to fire it more than 10 or 15 times...I could feel some real tension in my carpal tunnel, and in the tendons in my wrist. I've never heard of anyone who did the trigger job right complain about any function problems, even after thousands of rounds. And to me, it seams much safer to mess with the springs than start taking stuff off either the hammer, sear, or both...you do something wrong there, and you will have an unsafe situation. Plus replacing those parts is gonna be more expensive than the springs, should you not be happy with the results.
Link Posted: 10/16/2003 3:23:27 PM EDT
Thanks, I guess I'll just have to wait until I can buy my upper and run a few thousand rounds through it. Just to be sure. :) Interesting, I've got a Target Model Kimber .45, with a comp trigger, in my nightstand for the boogie man. And I've never even given thought to a FTF? I've put a lot of rounds through it and never had a problem. Of course there's that 870 too...
Link Posted: 10/18/2003 4:13:53 PM EDT
I took my stock unit apart, ground and polished it quite a bit, about a couple hours worth of patience, and I am very pleased with the result, probably reduced the pull by half
Link Posted: 11/1/2003 7:00:48 AM EDT
Thanks to all for your comments and experiences with trying to improve the stock trigger. What is missing here is some hard info on how strong a hammer strike is deemed necessary for reliable ignition. I know that depends to some extent upon ammo, but it should be possible to extract this info from the tech departments at BushM, or Armalite. That might help people relax a little about "reliability of ignition". My guess is that the stock setup provides a fudge factor of about 5 times - just a guess. More interesting to me personally is the actual geometry of the trigger mech. If you look at all the afermarket parts, the primary sear surface is placed in a more advantageous place, out toward the end of the hammer and not right near the axis of rotation. In terms of safe and reliable operation, the aftermarket trigger design is superior. I'm going to guess that one reason for using the stock design had to do with operating the weapon in full auto mode - to make room for the auto sear and to make the switch from full auto and semi-auto easier to do. Thus, it boils down to what is the best semi-auto configuration, and I think the aftermarket wins hands down. This is not a recommendation for using a 2 ounce trigger pull, BTW. -WhiteFox
Link Posted: 11/1/2003 4:10:56 PM EDT
This is a very good thread. I, too, would like to know if there is any information available as to what angles need to be ground in order to acheive a lighter, safe and reliable trigger in (specifically) an AR-15. There is much info about 1911 triggers, written by some well-respected gunsmiths on the internet. Is there such a resourse for AR's? FWIW, I have done the "15 minnute trigger job" to my CMT-stamped lower and RRA lower parts kit. I polished the contact surfaces with 1500 grit paper, cut & bent the springs, and polished the bosses on both the trigger & hammer. The pull went from a rough & gritty 9.4# to a smooth (but still long) 5.5# pull. I will try the set-screw in the handle hole to perhaps shorten the creep... The trigger tested safe & reliable with SA surplus, PMP and Q3131A ammo (240 rounds total)
Link Posted: 11/1/2003 5:25:33 PM EDT
I followed the 15 min trigger job and used the 1/4" set screw. I'm over 1500 rounds without a hitch. I love cutting springs and polishing the contact surfaces of my sear and trigger. The key words are polishing!!! If the surface hardening of the sear or trigger are removed, your trigger job won't last 300 rounds. At least mine didn't. I have a VERY nice 3.5 pound trigger with parts picked up at random at a gun show. I have to caution guys that use my AR about the trigger.
Link Posted: 11/1/2003 6:23:30 PM EDT
My old Bushy had a JP trigger that got sloppy after 2000 rounds or so, and it's replacement did the same. My smith informed me that new JP triggers are more robust but I haven't tried one yet. The stock Colt trigger in my M4 carbine had a lot of creep so I cleaned it up with a polishing wheel on my Dremel. I was extra careful for fear of removing material or changing the geometry-so all I did was polish the engagment surfaces. Just yesterday I installed a set of reduced power JP springs and the trigger is absolutely beautiful now. Once my carbine is properly set up however it will be used in a home defensive role, so the stock Colt springs will be reinstalled. Even with standard springs the trigger is nice and crisp since being cleaned up. Maybe I'm just being overly paranoid, but for the sake of reliability I'd rather stick to stock parts in a defensive carbine.
Link Posted: 11/2/2003 6:43:10 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/2/2003 7:47:13 AM EDT
Thanks, again. Denny, I know you are trying to sell pins. They are great, and may keep things from changing over a period of time, and keep your lower pin holes from becoming enlarged. I am specifically trying to address the mentality that says the stock setup is absolutely hands down the cats pajamas where reliability is concerned. Now, everyone is entitled to an opinion, but I'm not interested in daydreaming. After examining the stock trigger geometry and comparing it to other designs, I'm stating that aftermarket designs such as the JP single stage are inerently more reliable than the stock design, when it comes to semi-auto operation. And, furthermore, a smooth and predictable trigger is a safer trigger. Part of "safe" operation is having your firearms actually work without requiring a death grip trigger pull. That's my take on it. -WhiteFox
Link Posted: 11/5/2003 10:20:50 AM EDT
There are two "types" of reliability for triggers: will it drop the hammer every time you pull it, and will it hit the primer hard enough to set off the hardest primer. While I never had a light hit with the light JP springs and any of the .223 ammo I used, I got light hits 90+% of the time on my .22 kit so I went back to the stock hammer spring. Many of the aftermarket triggers have set screws or other adjustments. Ol' Murphy will make sure that they come out of adjustment at the worst possible time. Thousands of soldiers have proven that the stock trigger can be relied upon to go bang every time. Would you risk your life on a light hammer spring not firing the primer or a set screw backing out to where you can't pull the trigger far enough to drop the hammer?
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