A trigger is like a power switch to a gun. You can set up an entire house with lights and appliances, but nothing will work until the power switch is turned on. The trigger has the same role in a gun. Like every other component of guns, triggers have also undergone some upgrades with growing technology.
Here we’ll be talking about the most basic types of triggers (single stage) used in your AR-15, as well as outline some of the best replacements and upgrades on the market for your stock trigger.
Quick Take: Best Single Stage Triggers for the AR-15
Here are the three best single-stage triggers for the AR-15 platform:
- CMC AR-15 Tactical Trigger Group
- Timney AR-15 Drop-in Trigger Module
- ALG Defense AR-15 Enhanced Military Style Trigger
What is a Single Stage Trigger?
A single-stage trigger is the most basic and primitive trigger used in guns. As the name suggests, a single stage trigger simply pulls off the lock when you push it and releases the spring of the charging handle. This causes the firing pin to hit the cartridge. The trigger bow is directly connected to the sear.
Single stage triggers have been used since the invention of guns. They are easier to adjust and crisper than their counterparts.
Single-stage triggers are very predictable because you know the amount of force you need to fire a shot. These triggers have a heavy pull weight, making them great for accurate shooting. The pull weight varies from a half-pound to seven pounds. Pull weight refers to the amount of pressure with which you need to pull a trigger to make it function.
Single-stage triggers are very common among AR-15 rifles. As a matter of fact, almost all military rifles are equipped with single-stage triggers. This makes it obvious that these type of triggers can be used in life-or-death situations.
What Are The Best Uses Of A Single Stage Trigger?
There are quite a few uses of your AR-15, such as home defense, hunting, shooting competitions and practice. Single stage triggers have their own effectiveness and importance in different situations. So let’s take a look at them one by one.
Single-stage triggers with light pull weights (less than 4 lbs) are good for hunting and 3-gun shooting competitions. That’s because light pull triggers have a minimal amount of travel before they break as well as minimum overtravel. This leads to faster follow-ups, which means quick and precise shooting. Single-stage triggers have a simple design with quick operation.
Single-stage triggers have been used by the military for decades. The reason is its simple and quick operation. These triggers offer a constant resistance. Pulling them once means a shot is fired.
Additionally, this type of triggers hasno overtravel. This allows for faster follow-up. That means you can shoot rounds quickly. Additionally, single-stage triggers won’t confuse you while you are in a stressful self-defense situation. Just pulling the trigger makes the break, letting the bullet fire off. You don’t have to worry about the change in resistance that comes with dual-stage versions.
The type of trigger you use for hunting totally depends upon individual preference. Some people like to have triggers with constant resistance while they aim and shoot. For short-range hunting, single-stage triggers are generally the best.
But you might want to think again if you are aiming for long-range targets. You don’t want to pull the trigger accidentally while you’re hiding in the bushes and stalking your target. That’s where a single stage trigger with moderate pull weight is helpful.
Single-stage triggers are the best for 3-gun shooting competitions. For others where more precision is required, you might want to have a different type (two-stage of course). You’ll have to engage different targets at different distances and shoot in various positions. For situations like this, you’ll need a trigger that is constant and shoots quickly. That’s where these single-stage triggers come into play.
The most important factor to note here is the range you are shooting at. For short range practice, single-stage triggers offer a constant resistance to help you take repetitive clear shots. For long-distance shooting, where a feather-light pull weight is required, you might want to customize your single-stage triggers or go with dual-stage triggers.
Quick Comparison Chart of the Best Single-Stage Triggers for the AR-15
CMC AR-15 Tactical Trigger Group
Timney AR-15 Drop-in Trigger Module
CMMG Mil-Spec AR-15 Lower Parts Kit
ALG Defense AR-15 Enhanced Military Style Trigger
Hiperfire AR-15 Hipertouch 24
Reviews of the Best Single Stage Triggers for the AR 15
Choosing a single-stage trigger for your AR-15 depends entirely upon your requirements, intended use of the rifle and your shooting skills. Single-stage triggers are quick and have short travel and zero overtravel. Let’s take a look at some of the best AR-15 single-stage triggers.
The CMC AR-15 tactical group is an all-American product, invented and produced in the US. Designed by the famous competition shooter Chip McCormick himself, the CMC single-stage trigger is aesthetically pleasing and easy to install.
The trigger has a light 3.5lbs pull weight, making it apt for competitive shooting. It is a very safe and positive trigger with zero takeup and overtravel. Slightly oversized hammer pins replace the OEM ones, helping to reduce friction and prevent wear and trigger wobbling.
It’s available with a traditional curved shoe as well as skeletonized flat-shoe variants.
Timney is a renowned brand when it comes to triggers. Their drop-in trigger breaks clear and crisp with zero creep.
As the name suggests, the trigger requires no gunsmithing or machining for installation. Simply drop-in the assembly into the receiver and you’re ready to go. The components of the assembly have been EDM machined from A2 stainless steel and packed in an aluminum housing.
The trigger is available in three different variants with 3, 3.5 and 4 lbs pull weight with a standard solid trigger straight shoe.
The AR-15 lower parts kit from CMMG is a complete package to let you change your trigger assembly and grip. The package includes trigger components and a molded polymer A2 pistol grip.
The trigger assembly components come marked properly (color coded) to let you assemble it with ease. The conventional mil-spec curved trigger offers a 6-6.5lbs pull weight to let you shoot accurately at short and medium distances. And the best part of getting this assembly is its inexpensive price.
The ALG defense triggers boast quality construction and offer the best value for the money. The rugged military-type components are reliable and precise.
This trigger assembly is available in two different variants, namely QMS (Quality Mil-spec) and ACT (ALG Combat Trigger). The ACT features nickel-boron coating on the trigger, and nickel-Teflon coating on the hammer, connector and pins to offer hardness and reducing friction.
The average pull weight of these curved triggers is around 6 lbs. The quality construction, easy installation and great value for money make these triggers more desirable.
The Hipertouch 24 single- stage trigger for the AR-15 platform features a curved trigger bow and at-the-wall break with zero creep. The trigger assembly offers versatility to users by providing three different types of springs. The assembly includes springs in light, medium-light and medium weights to offer variable pull weights for different uses.
This trigger assembly has a sturdy construction and offers an innovative concept at an apt price.
Single-stage triggers have been used with guns for a long time. They are tried and tested under every situation. But as always, individual needs and preferences may differ.
A single-stage trigger is perfect for self-defense, short-range hunting and 3-gun shooting competitions. It is also a good choice to teach amateurs the concepts of shooting. There are quite a few good trigger assemblies available in the market, where you’ll be able to find one to suit your specific needs.