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Posted: 4/8/2002 8:34:09 PM EDT
I have searched and looked and searched and read and searched some more and I can not find one, not ONE, step-by-step tutorial on how to tune the stock trigger on your AR. I just want to polish the contact surfaces to lighten it up a little. I know that I can screw it up and make the rifle malfunction/not fire/full auto/etc., but I'm confident in my ability to discern what is too much. I have found a couple videos for $30 on how to do it, but I am after a step-by-step or just general guidelines, for that matter, for free on the net. If someone could simply instruct me in removing the trigger group, that would be a nice start.

Thanks
Link Posted: 4/8/2002 8:59:26 PM EDT
First, let me ask why you want to "improve" the stock trigger. There are a couple of nice single stage and two-stage triggers out there that are adjustable and maintainable at the new pull weight. As far as the stock trigger goes, most of them are around 6 lbs. which isn't a tough pull.
The most I've done to a stock trigger is to use an applied dry lubricant to the contact surfaces. This does not reduce pull weight, but it does tend to smooth out the feeling when squeezing the trigger.
The "fire control" system is held in place with only two pins. They're quite easily pushed out.
Link Posted: 4/8/2002 9:20:04 PM EDT
I want to improve the stock trigger because it is stock and can be improved. 6-8lbs is not my idea of a trigger pull that delivers optimum accuracy. I'd love to have an aftermarket trigger, but that = $$$. I can polish my existing trigger with materials I already have. Plus, it is my hobby and I like to work on my guns. I take great pride in improvements I make to them. Thanks for the info on removing the trigger group. I assume that the operation of the trigger group will be fairly obvious once I remove and examine it. Is it similar to an SKS? I did a trigger job on an SKS of mine that I was well pleased with. Any tips are very appreciated.

Why does this subject almost seem taboo to everyone?

Thanks
Link Posted: 4/8/2002 9:33:31 PM EDT
It "seems" tabboo for a few reasons. First and foremost... the stock AR is a service trigger.

It is heavier than a match trigger for a reason, because the gun is designed to be used by the common infantryman, possibly wearing gloves, and (especially originally) not designed as a sniper weapon. Granted, a lot has changed.

However, the majority of people who want a quality trigger opt to change it out with a true match grade trigger. There is only so much you can do with your stock one. But it can be improved.

The other reason, is that the contact surfaces of the trigger are surface hardened only. This means, if you grind through this material, you will see enhanced trigger wear at the mating surfaces, leading to failure. You have to be judicios in what you remove. I have yet to see a step by step guide, probably since it is not recommended that the general public work on these.

The being said, I have smoothed out several of mine, by honing the grind marks out on a flat sharpening stone, on the trigger bar mating surface. A little at a time, on both surfaces, and removing any burrs on the sharp edge. I was happy with the results. I have also read that NECCO moly slide lubricant is the best for smoothing out the stock AR trigger as well. Have not tried it yet.

People with more balls than I also use a sharp edged diamond file/hone on the hammer sear engagement surface. I decided to leave that to the professionals.

After trying a RRA 2 stage trigger (~$100)... I wont be doing any more trigger work. For $100, you can get a real one.
Link Posted: 4/8/2002 9:53:47 PM EDT
FALARAK, you explained a lot, thanks. As can be expected, use of an AR for anything but its original role as a service rifle would make a lighter trigger nice to have. Thanks again.
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 6:11:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/9/2002 7:14:47 AM EDT by Waldo]

Originally Posted By midnight:
I have searched and looked and searched and read and searched some more and I can not find one, not ONE, step-by-step tutorial on how to tune the stock trigger on your AR. I just want to polish the contact surfaces to lighten it up a little.



Well, many folks (myself included) have done what you want to do and found the results to be not as we had hoped for. We're only trying to keep you from re-inventing the wheel.
Polishing won't help much as the real problem with the stock hammer/trigger is called "hammer camming". As you pull the trigger it actually cams the hammer back , cocking it MORE against it's spring. You have to change the angles to get rid of it and get a decent trigger. To do that you break through the heat treated surface and things will go to hell right quick once you start using it.

There are many excellent, well thought out, safe, aftermarket trigger designs out there. I'm sure you can find one to your liking.
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 7:08:45 AM EDT
You must have searched all of what .02 seconds? I know there is a step by step procedure over at the Maryland AR-15 Shooters Site and I know its been discussed here and the link posted.
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 7:22:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/9/2002 3:17:58 PM EDT by midnight]
Forest, the how-to on the Maryland shooter's site only says to push out the trigger pin and polish it with steel wool. Unfortunately, it doesn't identify which pin is the trigger pin or give a schematic. Then it says to polish the engagement surfaces with a stone...well BFD. I knew that, I just don't know the finer points that may exist.

FYI, I have searched for at least 5 related keywords to AR-15 trigger job on AR15.com, GlockTalk, TheFiringLine, Assaultweb.net, and Battlerifles.com, plus Yahoo and Google.

[edited to remove profanity]
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 11:15:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/9/2002 11:15:41 AM EDT by FALARAK]
Uhh.. mignight.... there are only two pins in an AR group. One goes through the trigger, one goes through the hammer. You guess which is the "trigger pin"

Forest is a well respected member of this site, and operates the best one stop shop for information on the AR on the net. You are the one who really looks like the a-hole right now.... to be honest.
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 12:40:51 PM EDT
Midnight: Save yourself the time and trouble - get a new trigger. I struggled with the same dilema, and had to prove it to myself. I did the polish the pins and mating surfaces thing and granted I got a smoother trigger pull, but it wasn't what I was looking for. If you have to prove it to yourself, I'll outline my procedure:

Lightly polish the trigger AND hammer pin with bore paste using a dremel with a felt polish wheel (this may take some time depending on the smoothness of your FCG contact surfaces - when you're done, the surface should shine like a mirror, clean with solvent, dry, and apply the lube of your choice (mine is Militec) and heat and friction makes it do its magic - so apply it with the dremel also using a clean felt wheel.

Lightly polish (dremel method again) the mating surfaces (where the parts make contact) of the trigger group with bore paste, clean with solvent, dry, and apply the lube of your choice.

This should smoothen up your trigger to a noticeable degree, but you'll never overcome the geomety limitations of the stock trigger to get the result I'd bet that you're looking for. I know I didn't, so I ended up with a Accuracy Speaks in my rifle which I felt needed a polish job anyway. Mine's a great trigger and I'd recommend one if you're looking for a smooth, lighter, single-stage pull. Good Luck - and remember that frustration is part of becoming familiar with your rifle.
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 12:57:58 PM EDT
Hardwood, thats some good info. I will at least disassemble it to look at the geometry limitations everyone speaks of. I might go ahead and try to do what I can, but I am beginning to see it is an issue of the design, not friction.

And about my previous post: I don't care if forest is God's own personal AR-15 consultant and bridge partner, he said I didn't search, and I searched my ass off. If someone can post a link to where it has been discussed before, and the search function turns it up using normal keywords, then I'll apologize. Until then, I still think his post was indicative of an asshole...respected member or not.

As far as which is the trigger pin: This is my first AR. I am in the process of becoming familiar with it. I wanted a step-by-step to guide me through the process for the first until I became familiar with the trigger removal and installation. It appears now that it is as easy as upper removal and installation. I didn't know that; now I do. I wanted to learn from someone who had done it before before I possibly damaged something.

Thanks to those who gave genuine insight into what I asked.
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 2:42:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By midnight:
FYI, I have searched for at least 5 related keywords to AR-15 trigger job on AR15.com,


Wow 5 whole words - must have taken awhile (I at least hope you remembered to set the time span to maximum)...

Now forgive me if I assumed you were an Adult and capable of critical thought and have the initiative to go looking for some related materials.

I know over in the Maintenence Section they have a link to the -23&P (Maintanenc Manual), I also know its up at the Maryland AR15 Shooters Site and over at Kuipers Dutch AR-15 Site. Hmm this manual has fully exploded diagrams (which will show what the trigger pin is). Both Bushmaster and Fulton-Armory have diagrams of the AR15 fully exploded.

Looking at the parts, it doesn't take a genuis to figure out which are the mating surfaces.

This isn't rocket science - its an AR-15.


Why don't you get your facts straight before you go mouthing off and make yourself look like a a**hole.


Well in 30 seconds - on this site - with 1 key word (Trigger) I found this topic:
Tools for Maryland AR15 Shooters trigger job
at this location:
www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?id=78266

So junior who has his facts straight and who doesn't? BTW personal attacks (i.e. the A$$hole) is forbidden on this site - besides reading the -23&P you might want to read the terms of use for AR15.com.
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 3:16:06 PM EDT
Look, when I did the searching the site was so slow that a search of all forums would never load. So I confined my searches to the Accurate AR forum, general firearm forum, etc. The link you posted was in the "rifles, uppers, barrels, etc" froum. BTW, how many related keywords to trigger job can you think up? I just used 5 as a general guide, but I doubt there are many more that would yield relevant results. And I've read through the downloadable manual you mentioned. It reads like a dictionary. There are exploded diagrams, but I can give an exploded diagram of a Makarov to someone, and they're not going to be able to disassemble it (at least with confidence they won't damage anything). What I was looking for was a how-to.

And about assuming I am an adult capable of looking up related material. I am. If you think I'm not then you're just feeding your ego. All you had to do in the first place was post a link instead of critizing me. Thanks alot, junior.

Everyone isn't born with complete knowledge of AR-15s, thats why this forum is here. And I guess thats why we have A-holes like you to offer no real assistance. Congratulations.
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 6:16:40 PM EDT
MIDNIGHT - If you would care to send me a private e-mail I will try to help you with what you want to do, but, only on an 'off-AR15 forum' basis. JarheadGunner.
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 8:07:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By midnight:
Look, when I did the searching the site was so slow that a search of all forums would never load. So I confined my searches to the Accurate AR forum, general firearm forum, etc. The link you posted was in the "rifles, uppers, barrels, etc" froum.


Hmm so I posted a link from the appropriate forum - and I didn't bother to post the one up from the Build-It yourself forum.

Don't come whining you can't find something when you really didn't look all that hard.



BTW, how many related keywords to trigger job can you think up?


I only needed one - Trigger



And I've read through the downloadable manual you mentioned. It reads like a dictionary. There are exploded diagrams, but I can give an exploded diagram of a Makarov to someone, and they're not going to be able to disassemble it


The -23&P has COMPLETE Step-by-Step directions with pictures showing how to take apart the fire control parts and put them back together. It doesn't get ANY easier than that.

If you can't follow those directions you have no hope of doing ANY kind of trigger job or installing a new trigger.




(at least with confidence they won't damage anything). What I was looking for was a how-to.


That is EXACTLY what the -23&P is. Try reading through chapters 2 & 3 BEFORE you stop.


And about assuming I am an adult capable of looking up related material. I am.


You've just shown me 2 examples where you were too lazy to do the *work*. I don't know if you are capable or not - I'll give you the benefit of the doubt since this is simple stuff.

But you were too much 'in a hurry' or too lazy to set it to search ALL forums (the easiest) and check what looked like relavant topics.

Then you don't seem to have READ into the -23&P which has EXACTLY what you say you want.



Everyone isn't born with complete knowledge of AR-15s, thats why this forum is here. And I guess thats why we have A-holes like you to offer no real assistance. Congratulations.


Best assistance I EVER got on this forum (and I've had some good help) was to READ THE FREAKING MANUAL. It also solves much of the lack of AR-15 knowledge. Between the -10 and the -23&P there are very few operation issues or maintenance problems you can't solve.

Of course you HAVE to read the manual first - obviosly you still haven't read the terms of use on this board.
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 8:11:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/9/2002 8:14:44 PM EDT by midnight]
Forest, this pissing contest is over as far as I'm concerned. I spent about 30-40 minutes with the search function one night just on this board. Thats the truth, like it or lump it. I'll admit the search function is making a liar out of me, but its similar to how your car won't replicate a problem when you're trying to demonstrate it. You rubbed me the wrong way and I have done the same, lets just get over it. Thats all I have to say.
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 8:38:31 PM EDT
First, LIGHTLY polish the sear surfaces of the hammer and trigger, as per Hardwood.

Next, clip one leg of the hammer spring to a length of 1/4". Now it will bear against the front wall of the receiver.

Then, bend the two legs of the trigger spring up about 25 degrees.

Polish the hammer/trigger pins lightly with 0000 steel wool.

Clean all parts, reassemble. Note that if you clipped the right leg of the hammer spring, you will need to put in the hammer spring such that the groove is to the left. On the hammer pin there is a center groove that engages J spring of the hammer, and another groove on one end. That outter groove catches on one leg of the hammer spring to retain the pin. So, the long leg of the spring and the groove have to be on the same side.

Oil well as you reassemble.

Now your tigger pull should be reduced to about 4# - 4.5# or thereabouts.

Now I will stand back and let all the criticism fly (yeah, I have heard it all). But I have not had any misfires, doubling, or any other problems with this.

Nothing has really been harmed but the hammer and trigger spring. If you don't like your results, you can always put new springs back in.
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 8:41:49 PM EDT
BTW, the hammer pin and trigger pin are identical.

To disassemble, you remove the hammer pin first. Remove the hammer.

Next the trigger pin, remove the trigger. You will have to slip the trigger forward slightly to get the tail from under the selector.
Link Posted: 4/9/2002 8:49:58 PM EDT
And I agree with Waldo, in that I really think the best solution is to install one of the JP Trigger/Speed Hammer kits, setting the sear engagement somewhat greater than would be used for a match trigger, for a little more safety.

There are several other aftermarket lockwork kits available, and all will work well. I just mention the JP by name as that is what I have.
Link Posted: 4/10/2002 6:02:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
BTW, the hammer pin and trigger pin are identical.

To disassemble, you remove the hammer pin first. Remove the hammer.

Next the trigger pin, remove the trigger. You will have to slip the trigger forward slightly to get the tail from under the selector.



You don't have to remove the hammer pin to remove the trigger pin - best way to do this is to have a spare pin (less than $1 IIRC) that you've already polished. Just push it in, the old one will pop out. Now you are good to go, and have a spare pin (always good to have a spare).

However as this person is a new to ARs, and admittedly doesn't yet know the parts, I don't think he should be jumping into a 'trigger job'. First order of business should be learn the system and how it works before you go mucking with it. If you do it wrong you can cause problems.

If you really want a better trigger there are plenty of good drop in models on the market (Accuracy Speaks for a single stage and Rock River Arms & Armalite for a two stage), or for the ultimate in competition type triggers the Jewel trigger.

These 'trigger jobs' are not meant for precision or target rifles - they are just meant to help clean up poor triggers and make them decent. Something you would do for a duty rifle or a plinker w/o spending the $100 for a decent trigger.
Link Posted: 4/10/2002 6:13:02 AM EDT
Forest, thanks for the info. I took the trigger mechanism out last night, and I now understand how it works. I cleaned it up a little with a dremel, and it definitely helped things. Then I reinstalled, looked at the operation, and removed and polished again. Actually, I believe the resulting trigger IS what I am after. Well, I'm sure the aftermarkets are much nicer, but the trigger I've obtained is very livable and I can keep my $100.

Is there any chance of light strikes by trimming the hammer spring as described above?
Link Posted: 4/10/2002 6:25:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By midnight:
Is there any chance of light strikes by trimming the hammer spring as described above?



There is that possibility - mostly if you use the *really* hard primers like Wolf does. The military surplus primers are also harder than comercial ones - but I don't think they will give you a problem.

Watch it very closely when using a dremel to do trigger jobs - its easy to break through the surface hardening to the softer steel underneath. The trigger works great for a few hundred rounds then starts gradually getting worse and worse. The idea is really just to polish the surfaces to get them to 'slip' easier.

I also find a touch of moly grease on the engagement surface helps too (even on the competition triggers). This is the only time when I'll call for grease on a moving part in an AR-15.
Link Posted: 4/10/2002 8:32:14 AM EDT
How do you know when you've broken through the surface hardening? Is it when the black is gone and you have a shiny surface?
Link Posted: 4/10/2002 10:12:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By midnight:
How do you know when you've broken through the surface hardening? Is it when the black is gone and you have a shiny surface?


No the black is just parkerization. The only way I know is when the trigger starts feeling bad after a few hundred rounds - you know you went through it. That's why its recommended you only use a few passes with hand tools. Hand tools should clean up the surface enough w/o going through.

Don't worry - what's done is done. If you did go through the surface hardening you will find out eventually - then all you have to do is spend a couple of dollars and get a new trigger and possibly disconnector (just the replacement parts - $20 for a trigger & disconnector). You now have the manual needed for their installation, and you can retry on the new parts going easier this time.
Link Posted: 4/10/2002 2:45:30 PM EDT
After 5 years, and many, many rounds of all sorts of ammo, not one failure to fire due to the modified hammer spring.
Link Posted: 4/10/2002 2:49:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
"BTW, the hammer pin and trigger pin are identical. To disassemble, you remove the hammer pin first. Remove the hammer. Next the trigger pin, remove the trigger. You will have to slip the trigger forward slightly to get the tail from under the selector."

Then Forest replied:
"You don't have to remove the hammer pin to remove the trigger pin..."

What I was describing was how to remove the hammer and trigger, to allow access to lighty clean up the sear surfaces.
Link Posted: 4/10/2002 6:45:39 PM EDT
Have any of you ever tried to re-harden the polished/honed surface? It seems to me that it would be a fairly easy thing to do. All you would have to do is increase the carbon content. I've not tried this (though I might) but I think it could be done with a backyard charcoal grill.

Polish or hone your trigger and hammer mating surfaces to your desired pull. Take care to get it perfectly aligned and smooth as glass.

Fire up that Weber and get the coal really blazing hot. If you've got a blower, use it. Basically you would try to reproduce the environment found in a blacksmith forge.

Put your trigger in the hottest part of the coals taking care to get the newly polished mating surface the hottest (use tongs). Let that surface get a nice even dull red. You might want to do this in low light for accuracy. Take that puppy out and immediately immerse it in room temperature water. Swirl it around until it cools. Clean any charcoal off and oil. My guess is that you'll end up with some discoloration but it probably won't show. Hopefully you will have increased the carbon content of the steel, essentially heat treating (tempering it) like a knife blade. You could even get really fancy and insulate all but the surface you're tying to heat treat. Japanese swords get their nice hard edge and temper lines this way. The edge gets very hard but the spine of the blade (and most of the body) remain springy and resiliant.

Do the same things with the hammer.

Again, I don't know if this will work but I think the theory is sound. If any of you can punch holes in this idea, or improve on it somehow, sound off.
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