Best AR-10 Triggers of 2020 – Complete Buyer’s Guide

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The ability to easily upgrade various parts of your AR-10 is one of the features that makes it popular for hunters, competitive shooters, and law enforcement alike. Having the right trigger allows you to improve your accuracy and results in a superior shooting experience.

Every shooter has a different preference for the pull weight required to squeeze the trigger, as well as for the way it ‘breaks’.

In this article, we will talk about the benefits of upgrading your trigger, how to go about selecting the trailer and recommend some top triggers for your AR-10.

Comparison Chart of the Best AR-10 Triggers

PRODUCT
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Geissele Automatic LLC - AR-15/M16/308 AR SSA & SSA-E Trigger

  • 2 Stage Combat Trigger With 4.5lbs Pull Weight
  • Trigger Pull Is Optimized for Quick and Deliberate Fire
  • Similar Triggers from the Company Used by U.S. Special Forces
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J P Enterprises - AR-15/ 308 AR Adjustable Trigger System

  • Fully-Adjustable for Engagement and Overtravel
  • Extremely Short Reset for Quick Follow Up Shots
  • Requires a Bit of Fitting for the Safety to Function
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Timney - 308 AR Drop-In Trigger Module Solid Shoe

  • Ready to Install Drop-in Trigger Module
  • Creep-Free Single Stage Trigger Pull
  • Hammer is Wire-EDM Machined From S7 Tool Steel
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Benefits of Upgrading Your AR-10 Trigger

Upgrading your AR-10 trigger can be a sound upgrade. Until you’ve tried a high-quality trigger and feel the difference, you’ll never really know.

The best triggers will ‘break’ without any warning, hence improving your accuracy because you cannot flinch to anticipate the recoil of the shot.

It also makes you a better shooter as you’re not thinking about the trigger break, but more focused on the task at hand.

Another proof a trigger is good is that it doesn't have to be pulled back a long way before it "breaks" and fires a shot. This short travel prevents the application of excessive force which can lead to inaccuracy.

The short travel has the additional benefit that resetting for a next shot is quicker, so you can put more accurate rounds downrange.

Our recommendation is to always use triggers made specifically for the AR-15 or the AR-10 in each gun respectively. This will ensure total reliability and the right pull on the trigger for your shooting comfort.

What Makes a Great AR-10 Trigger?

A good trigger will be both safe and fit the gun well. Let’s talk about these two factors to help you understand what to look for in your AR-10 trigger.

Safety

Obviously, safety is your first concern. Due to the heavy recoil, you need a trigger that doesn’t have a too light pull, as it can be dangerous to you as well as those around you. It is commonly recommended not to go lower than 4# and if possible to use a two-stage trigger.

Curved vs Flat Triggers

Most triggers have a curved area that fits your finger, but on some triggers it's flat. Whichever you choose, it's up to you.

Fit and Installation

The second factor to take into account is the fit. Some triggers require modification, resulting in interference with the bolt carrier. You should stick with triggers that are designed for the AR-10 and designated to do so from the trigger manufacturer.

If you are unsure, contact the trigger manufacturer or seek the help of a qualified gunsmith.

When you upgrade your trigger, look for a drop-in kit that can be installed in minutes. Having this luxury will save you from the frustration and agony of working with tiny trigger springs and other parts.

Review of the Best AR-10 Triggers

Now that you know more about triggers for an AR-10 and what factors must be considered when buying one, let’s look at our recommended triggers.

These triggers offer great value for money and are top-ranked for their quality, functionality, and ease of installation.

Pros

  • Excellent break
  • Reliable and safe
  • No grittiness or creep
  • Superior quality and construction
  • Easy to install, takes a few minutes
  • Light pull weight, doesn’t feel heavy at all
  • Easy to break-in, the time period is a bit quicker than most triggers

Cons

  • Non-adjustable
  • The inner workings may need to be adjusted before fitting
  • A few have complained about the second stage being a bit too light
  • Some say it might not be ideal for self-defense or competitive shooting

What Recent Buyers Report 

This trigger was a hit with many new users. They said that installation was a breeze and the adjustments for different pull weights were quick and easy. One user said that sometimes if the trigger seemed a bit too light, he would be able to make quick on the fly adjustments without any additional disassembly. Overall, the trigger had no creep and was in excellent quality.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

The trigger is a two-stage trigger, which is designed to make sure that accidental discharges are brought down to a zero. If you want an easy to pull trigger that will give you plenty of time to set up the shot without it going off prematurely, this trigger might just do you some good. You’ll feel the difference in operation compared to your factory default trigger that originally came with your AR-10. 

This is an excellent 2-stage combat trigger with a fixed 4½ lb total pull weight, non-adjustable sear engagement, and additional safety features.

A “safety sear” ensures that the rifle can fire only when the shooter actually pulls the trigger. The trigger pull is optimized for both deliberate, aimed fire, and quick shooting.

The first stage builds gradually to 2½ lbs. With a 2 lb., the second stage breaks clean, so the shooter can stay on target throughout the pull.

A lightweight hammer driven by a full-power hammer spring delivers positive ignition of all ammo types.

Moreover, it can be installed without removing the safety. The SSA-E’s reduced first and second stage pull weights result in a trigger with a smooth, light first stage take-up and a crisp, candy cane-like second stage break.

The SSA-E trigger is ideal for use in precision rifles where weapon accuracy and reliability are critical.

Who Will Use This Most 

This would be an excellent trigger for those who are in search of an upgrade from their disappointing triggers that would often be creepy or heavy in pull. This is the trigger you need when the timing is definitely a factor. So, if you need to get a quick shot off when a whitetail deer or any hunting target for that matter is just moments away from leaving the area, this puppy will come in handy.

Bottom Line

The Geissele Automatics LLC AR-15/M16 SSA Trigger is probably one of the best on the market and for a good reason. It’s lightweight, easy to pull, and can take a few minutes to install. Don’t be surprised if this ends up being much more superior compared to other triggers that you’ve used in the past. 

This is an ideal drop-in trigger for target shooting, snipers, and hunters. Due to its crisp, candy cane-like break, and smooth pull, this is a top option for many.

Pros

  • Crisp break
  • Short reset for fast follow-up shots
  • Easy to install
  • Light trigger pull at each level
  • Adjustable for various weights
  • Super durable and well-constructed
  • Adjustability allows for uses in many scenarios

Cons

  • Adjustments may be a bit stiff at first
  • Tune-ups might be a little difficult at first
  • Some Loctite may be needed for fitting purposes

What Recent Buyers Report 

Most of the new users were pretty stoked about the trigger’s ability to adjust to different pull weights. They were using their AR-10 for across many purposes (i.e.--hunting, target shooting, and competitive shooting to name a few). One user said that he was able to make quick adjustments before his upcoming trip to the range. He was testing out the trigger to see whether or not the lightest setting was better for him rather than the heaviest or in between.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This trigger is another example of an easily adjustable trigger that will make shooting a lot better than compared to factory default triggers that are disappointed in performance and quality. You can make adjustments if you feel that the trigger weight is a bit too light. And best of all, it’s a drop-in design that is light in weight and won’t add on any necessary weight to the rifle itself. 

This is an easy-to-fit, fully adjustable trigger and is available with pull weight as light as 3.5 lbs.

It‘s designed and machined to deliver a consistent let-off and to prevent the kind of wear that causes doubling and other problems.

It has an extremely short reset for fast follow-up shots. You can install it in minutes while keeping your current hammer and pins.

The disconnector spring, engagement screw, and overtravel screw are already installed; and the trigger kit also includes a disconnector, trigger return spring, hammer spring, and .050" hex key.

The standard weight hammer spring gives a trigger pull of between 3 and 3.5 lbs. that is suitable for competition and recreational shooting, while the “tactical” spring gives a 3.5 to 4 lb. pull for high levels of ignition reliability.

Who Will Use This Most 

This would be a great trigger for all your AR-10 applications. All you need to do is adjust it to your preferred weight and you’ll be able to get quick shots off without wasting any time whatsoever. What’s the point in missing your moving targets while hunting with a factory default trigger when you can reduce that in half with something like this? If timing is important, this trigger will certainly make sure you have all kinds of it in any given situation.

Bottom Line

The JP Enterprises AR-15/308 AR Adjustable Trigger is probably a great choice for hunters and target shooters alike. It’s the kind of trigger that will make any factory default look like a complete dud. If quick shooting and follow-up shots are what you want, you’ll get it with this trigger. 

The fast reset means quicker follow-up shots, giving you a critical advantage on tactical and competition rifles.

This model comes with two kinds of springs so you can adjust the trigger according to your requirements.

Best AR-10 Trigger for the Money:
 Timney - 308 AR DROP-IN Trigger Module Solid Shoe

Pros

  • Smooth pull
  • Easy drop-in installation
  • Hand tested and calibrated
  • Affordable for most budgets
  • Well-built and solid construction
  • Crisp pulling with no take-up or creep
  • Pull weight is pretty light, making it easier for quicker shooting

Cons

  • Not adjustable
  • Some fitting may be required
  • May need to be adjusted a few times to get it right

What Recent Buyers Report 

This was a trigger that worked really well with a lot of hunters and target shooters. Other than that, they said that installation was easy as pie and the trigger pull itself was smooth and light. One user said that he felt no creep or overtravel with every shot he took. Overall, they were quite happy with the overall material and were fairly confident that they were investing in a trigger that was built for the long term.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This is a drop-in trigger that will certainly be one of the best triggers you’ve ever used compared to factory defaults. And it’s even got adjustability so you can choose the type of trigger weight that would be ideal for you. If you’re up for a day at the range or hunting for deer out in the fields, you’ll have a good weight to work with that can be adjusted in a snap. 

The drop-in trigger module is designed for an exceptionally smooth, crisp, creep-free single-stage trigger pull.

It requires no gunsmithing, fitting, or adjusting, and all components are inside the lightweight, aluminum alloy housing. With this, it’s installed using your rifle’s original hammer/trigger pins.

The hammer is machined from S7 tool steel, while other components are cut from A2 tool steel, and heat treated for long service life.

This trigger has a factory-set 4 lb. pull weight, a solid shoe, and more hammer mass to ensure ignition of harder primers.

Who Will Use This Most 

This trigger will absolutely work hard for the purpose of target shooting or hunting. And for the most part, it won’t cause any grief regardless of which weight you have it set to. Once you install this, you’ll be able to make your shooting a lot quicker compared to other triggers that are heavy in weight. 

Bottom Line

The Timney 309 Drop-In Trigger Module just might be one of the best solutions for quicker shooting without having to break the bank. And since it’s high in quality and built to be really durable, you’ll know that you’ve made the right decision with this trigger for your AR-10 rifle. Why settle for anything less than what this trigger has? 

Thanks to the great quality control for which Timney is known, you can rest assured knowing your trigger will work perfectly as soon as it is installed.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Adjustable weight of pull
  • Short reset for quick refiring
  • Solid construction
  • Drop-in design makes installation a breeze
  • Makes shooting a lot quicker and smoother
  • Excellent trigger pull with no creep or overtravel
  • Accuracy and grouping improvements have been reported

Cons

  • The trigger may feel wiry to some
  • A few complained about it being too narrow
  • Some say the trigger may be a bit too heavy (despite being 4 pounds)

What Recent Buyers Report 

As expected, most of the users were quite happy with the trigger overall. Most of them were hunters looking for a trigger that worked best for the purpose of hunting and competitive shooting. They said the trigger itself was well-built and the assembly made it easy to install. One user said that it took him a mere five minutes to install it. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This trigger has a slim design that may not take up too much room. And that’s a positive for a good number of users. If you hate the idea of a trigger feeling too big on your fingers, then this trigger will give you the perfect opportunity to try out a new feel. Other than that, the trigger is well-built and certainly gives you a better chance at shooting your shots quickly and with a good amount of accuracy.

The two-stage gold trigger is adjustable from 3 to 4-½lbs, features an ultra-short reset and was designed with the precision shooter in mind.

It installs in minutes and delivers a light, smooth, match-grade trigger pull. It’s a drop-in module and uses the factory selector and pins.

The design is adjustable for sear engagement, with a first-stage take up of approximately 6 ounces, followed by actual sear movement taking up the rest of the weight.

In addition, the Gold system uses the rifle’s factory safety to positively capture the hammer and roll it back below the primary sear for extra safety.

The housing is lightweight aluminum and the hammer and sear are cut from S7 steel. The assembly is cut with a precision CNC machine and is hard anodized.

Who Will Use This Most 

This will be a great starter trigger. In other words, it’s a beginner-friendly trigger that is way better than factory defaults. Once installed, you’ll want to give this puppy a whirl at the range just to get the feel of it. If you want a high-quality trigger that is light on the pull and easy to use in any given application, then you’ll waste little to no time making the decision to put this trigger to the test on your AR-10. 

Bottom Line

The Pact AR 308 SR Gold Trigger is one of the best options you can find for newbie users. Yes, it’s adjustable and easy to use making it the perfect starter trigger for many newbies and an absolute upgrade compared to those triggers that are heavy in pull and in all kinds of bad shape. 

While the trigger’s first-stage take up is different from the standard military AR trigger setup, it gives a crisp and clean break, making it a very good choice for AR-10 owners of all types.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Breaks cleanly
  • Pull weight is adjustable
  • No creep or overtravel
  • Solid and durable build
  • Improves a considerable amount of accuracy
  • Installs like a charm, takes a few minutes and the right kind of tools

Cons

  • Fitting may be required
  • Adjustments can be a bit stiff at times
  • Some users were saying they used a liberal amount of Loctite to keep it fit

What Recent Buyers Report 

Many new users say that this trigger is really solid in construction and delivers a quick and excellent performance like nothing else. Even one user said that he instantly got a good amount of quick-firing and follow-up shots after installing this trigger on his AR-10. Some other users were speechless about the ability to get off shots quick compared to their previous triggers.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This trigger once again stands out as one of the handfuls of adjustable triggers that is easier for users. No more will you have to settle for just one pull weight. Why have one when you can adjust it between either 2 to 3 pounds? Either way, you’ll get quick follow up shots in any given situation. So if you hunt or are in the middle of a shooting competition, this is the kind of trigger that will rise above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that wherever your shot goes, it will go quicker than any other trigger on the market.

The single-stage design of the Jard trigger improves trigger feel and function.  The sear and disconnector engagement, overtravel, and safety movement adjustments allow fine-tuning for ultimate crispness.

Along with a clean-breaking, 2 or 3 lb. pull weight. The engagement surfaces are hardened to prevent wear and for greater durability.

Jard also offers AR replacement springs that allow you to customize the trigger pull of your rifle according to your taste.

Who Will Use This Most 

This would be an excellent trigger for competition shooters that utilize their AR-10 rifles. It allows for quick shooting and quick adjustments whenever you need them. And since it’s built solid, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to use it for the long haul. If you want a trigger that will prove itself useful years or decades down the line, look no further than this one.

Bottom Line

The Jard Adjustable Trigger for AR-10 is the real deal for competition shooters or anyone looking for a trigger that allows for the quickest follow-up shots possible. If you want something that is built to last, has no creep or over travel, and gives you all kinds of quick shooting this is the trigger that will be a no-brainer option for you. 

While the single-stage design is not as tunable as a two-stage trigger, it does allow fine-tuning for a clean break that you can enjoy every time.

AR-10 vs AR-15 Triggers

One of the most asked questions about the AR-10 is whether the trigger for this rifle and the AR-15 are interchangeable. The fact is, most AR-15 triggers will physically fit and function in a current AR-10 rifle. But that’s not the whole story.

The difference in AR-10-specific triggers is the military primers. The primers in military ammo often require more energy to ignite the primer than .223/5.56 ammunition, so these triggers typically have a heavier hammer and a more powerful hammer spring.

So, while you could use your AR-15 trigger in the AR-10 and vice versa, it would affect the reliability of the trigger, as well as the feel of it.

How to Install an AR-10 Trigger

What you’ll need:

Loctite, padded clamp, strong solvent, compressed air, plastic mallet, old firing pin or military push pins, belt sander.

For a drop-in trigger, installation can be very easy and involves just a few basic steps. Always practice basic safety and ensure the gun is fully unloaded when working on it.

1.     Remove the takedown pins and remove the upper assembly from the lower assembly.

2.     Place the lower assembly in a padded clamp and degrease all the parts. You can use the solvent and pressurized air for this purpose.

3.     Remove the old trigger group.

4.     Insert the new trigger cartridge in the trigger well of the lower receiver.

5.     Carefully insert the trigger pins using the plastic mallet without letting them fall out.

6.     Install one allen screw in each side of the trigger cartridge so that they extend through the bottom of the cartridge and push the trigger cartridge up, putting light binding pressure on the pins (this is what holds the pins in).

7.     Install one allen screw on top of each of the allen screws from the previous step. The second screws are the lock screws to keep the first set of screws from backing out.

8.     Finally, test the trigger installation for proper function.

Conclusion

Upgrading your trigger does not require much prior experience in gunsmithing or technical know-how. You can't go wrong with any of the top triggers that we have recommended in the list above.

Remember to take into account the various factors like safety, pull weight, and fit when selecting the trigger that you want to purchase for the AR-10.

Your new trigger should make shooting your AR-10 more natural and comfortable while upping the accuracy as well.

We hope this review has been helpful and contributed toward your next AR-10 trigger.

If you choose a model from our list above, be sure to visit us again soon and fill us in regarding your experience. 

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