A crisp, responsive trigger can transform your AR-15 from a clunky plinker into a precision instrument. The trigger is the fulcrum of accuracy and confidence, and upgrading it from the mil-spec mush is a surefire way to elevate your shooting game. But let’s face it: top-shelf triggers often come with top-shelf price tags. That’s where these five affordable AR-15 trigger upgrades shine, offering exceptional performance without breaking the bank.
CMC AR15/10 Single Stage Trigger – Flat
The one that started the drop-in trigger craze, CMC triggers are synonymous with smooth, crisp single-stage pulls. Their AR-15 models boast a range of take-up weight (2.5 to 6.5 pounds) and a clean, predictable break. The flat trigger bow is comfortable and stable, ideal for precise shot placement. Available in configurations for small pin, large pin, and M&P15/22. Offered in nickel-boron and black finishes, CMC triggers are a reliable and popular choice for shooters on a budget. MSRP: $189.
Rise Armament Rave 140 Trigger
If you’re craving a lightning-fast and delightfully affordable trigger, the Rise Armament Rave 140 is your huckleberry. This single-stage wonder boasts a ridiculously short pull weight (just 1.4 pounds) and a lightning-fast reset, perfect for rapid-fire sequences. The curved trigger bow fits naturally in most hands, and the included anti-walk pins prevent unwanted movement. While the light pull might not be for everyone, the Rave 140 is a steal for shooters prioritizing speed and value. MSRP: $149.
Timney Impact AR Trigger
Timney is renowned for its match-grade triggers, and the Impact AR Trigger carries that legacy proudly. The Timney Impact AR Trigger is a budget-friendly trigger for AR-15s made from high-quality materials and hand-tested by Timney technicians. It has a crisp, clean break and a factory-set pull weight of 3 to 4 pounds. It is easy to install and comes with all the necessary hardware. The Impact AR Trigger is made in the USA and has a lifetime warranty. MSRP: $163.
Geissele SSA-E Trigger
Geissele is a legend in the trigger world, and their SSA-E is a testament to their expertise. This two-stage trigger strikes the perfect balance between smooth trigger pull and positive reset. The initial stage has minimal take-up weight, followed by a distinct second stage that breaks cleanly and decisively. The curved trigger bow is comfortable and familiar, making the SSA-E a great choice for both beginners and seasoned shooters. While not the cheapest on the list, the Geissele SSA-E is a proven performer that will enhance your shooting experience for years. MSRP: $245.
Velocity Classic AR Trigger
Velocity Triggers offers the Classic AR Trigger, a high-quality, curved trigger designed for AR-15 rifles. This precision-engineered trigger enhances shooting performance with a smooth, crisp break and a short reset. Crafted from premium materials, the Classic AR Trigger ensures durability and reliability. Its curved design promotes ergonomic comfort, contributing to accurate and controlled shooting. This trigger provides a responsive and consistent experience, whether for recreational shooting or professional use. MSRP: $149.
The “best” AR-15 trigger upgrade is subjective and depends on your shooting style and preferences. Consider these factors when making your choice:
- Single-stage vs. two-stage: Single-stage triggers are ideal for precise shot placement and rapid-fire, while two-stage triggers offer a more positive reset for controlled shooting.
- Trigger pull weight: Lighter triggers are faster but require more control, while heavier triggers are more forgiving but might slow down your follow-up shots.
- Trigger bow shape: Flat trigger bows offer better control for precision shooting, while curved bows feel more familiar and are comfortable for rapid fire.
- Adjustability: Some triggers allow you to adjust pull weight, overtravel, and reset, giving you a more customized shooting experience.
Upgrading your AR-15 trigger doesn’t have to cost a fortune. These five affordable options deliver outstanding performance without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a competitive shooter seeking razor-sharp accuracy or a weekend warrior yearning for a smoother trigger pull, there’s an option here to fit your needs and budget. So go forth, upgrade your trigger, and enjoy the satisfying precision of a well-tuned AR-15.
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