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GUNS Magazine November 2010 - Page 24
AR-15 TRiGGERS Don’t trip here. F irst, there is little that can be done to improve a stock trigger. Any real help comes from the aftermarket. The last stock trigger I measured was a little more than 11 pounds. If trigger break-weight is greater than rifle weight, well, it’s a little hard to shoot with. Competitive position target shooters, like NRA High Power competitors, almost always prefer a 2-stage trigger. That one has free movement to the rear (the first stage), comes to a stop (at the second stage) and then breaks cleanly from that point as pressure is applied. A singlestage has no free movement toward the rear before the break, or isn’t supposed to. Competitive shooters prefer a 2-stage because it’s more controllable and predictable. We use the first stage as the start to a shot, and also as a safety valve, of sorts, if we have to back out. Second, it’s a way to get a light break-weight (the second stage) while maintaining a higher overall weight (the first and second stage added together). thePACtAmericanGoldisoneofthe newesttakesona2-stagematchtrigger. AftermarketAR-15triggersarestillevolving, andlet’shopethatcontinues. Unlessit’sspecifiedintheinstructions thatcomewithanaftermarkettrigger,pins installfromrighttoleft,ungroovedendfirst (thereareexceptions).thereasonishow thegroovesengagethe“J”springinthe hammer.thisisapowerfulspringthepinhas tocompressasit’sinserted.Useacapture punchtokeeptheassemblyinplacewhile youthenpushoutthepunchwiththepin. Getting the finger onto, and then into the trigger, simply makes for a more competent standing position shooter. First stage, plus second stage, equals total trigger-pull weight. That matters much to NRA and CMP Service Rifle shooters who can’t use a trigger less than 4-1/2 pounds. The triggers on my Service Rifles are 2-stage, and the second stage is about 8 ounces at, as said, an overall weight of 4-1/2 pounds. The light second stage, therefore, means that trigger is not a handicap compared to an NRA Match Rifle, which has no minimum pull weight requirement. It does, however, require a little getting used to…. The original 2-stage was the MKII as done up by Charlie Milazzo. Its workmanship and quality, not to mention, of course, its 2-stage engineering, was a major milestone in fleshing out the AR-15 as a competition arm. Charlie owns the patent and that’s been a legal embroilment for over a decade now. Right. Most 2-stage triggers are Milazzo clones. Others, however, took steps beyond Charlie’s original take, or at least took them in different directions. What’s the best 2-stage? Right now, it’s the Geissele (say “gih-sell-ee”). It’s one of the newer of the bunch and they’ve looked at their competition longer. In terms of adjustability and design, it be “da bomb dot-com.” Jewell makes a good 2-stage. It has a unique and easy adjustment system and spring arrangement (most others use essentially standard form springs) and installs easily. Lock-time is the main difference between these two, in performance. takealookatthehammer;it’sradically lighterthanstandard.Here’saGeissele. Whatmakesitbetteriswhatmakesitbest. It’sverywellmade,adjustable,andway onfastertoimpactthanitscompetition. Geisselehasdifferent“tunes”(whichare essentiallycomponentsets)availabletosuit differentneeds.Geisselepins,bytheway, don’tneedreplacement. Lock-Time Here’satriggerassembledintoaBrownells trigger-fittingjig.thisletsyouinstallthe triggerontheoutsideofyourreceiversoyou canseeeverylittlenookandcranny,andhow themetal-to-metalfitsareworking.that’sa helpandahalf. This is defined, so I say, as the time between hammer release by the trigger and firing pin strike on the primer. The quicker the better. Everyone’s rifle is moving when it’s fired. Even the best prone position will exhibit some discernible movement, and no one’s standing position hold keeps the sights still for long. The sooner 24 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • NOVEMBER 2010