The Best AR-15 Triggers Under $100 – Complete Buyers Guide

A lot of people want to upgrade their triggers but are skeptical about the price and quality of available ones.

We decided to outline some of the best AR-15 budget triggers in the market so you can find a nice one without burning a hole in your pocket.

So, if you are wanting to upgrade your trigger without breaking the bank, check out the information below. 

Comparison Chart of the Best AR-15 Triggers Under $100

PRODUCT DETAILS
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ALG Defense AR-15 Enhanced Military Style Trigger

  • Drop-in model.
  • Single-stage trigger.
  • Made from high-quality materials.
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CMMG AR-15 Lower Parts Kit

  • Single-stage trigger.
  • Made from high-quality components.
  • Trigger pull weight of 6 to 6.5 pounds.
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Rock River Arms National Match 2-Stage AR-15 Trigger

  • Two-stage trigger.
  • Pull weight of up to 4.5 pounds.
  • Made from heat-treated cast steel.
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ALG Defense AR-15 ALG Trigger with DPMS Lower Parts Kit

  • Drop-in design.
  • Lower parts kit included.
  • Trigger made from high-quality nickel Teflon.
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Spike’s Tactical Battle Trigger

  • Single-stage non-adjustable trigger.
  • Finished with black oxide for added durability.
  • Trigger pull weight ranges up to 5 to 6 pounds.
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How Far Can $100 Take You?

Substantially, when you get a lower-priced trigger, you’re going to get all the major components. Searching for an AR-15 trigger under $100 doesn’t mean you’re aiming for something cheap and low-quality, though. Of course, $100 isn’t going to fetch you the gold standard either.

The good news is, you can still find decent single and double-stage triggers for under $100. Dual-stage triggers have the reputation of being more complex and expensive. However, with increasing demand and competition in the market, there are quite a few good dual-stage triggers available within this budget range.

rifle target shooting

One of the most basic drawbacks of triggers within this range is the ease of installation. You’re not going to find a simple “drop-in” trigger for your AR-15 at this price. But, if you’re well-acquainted with guns (especially AR-15s) and don’t mind sparing some time playing with tools, you can still find a decent trigger assembly.

You can consider this the price you have to pay for the low cost, but it obviously saves you a decent amount of money. You still get high-quality components and a nice user manual, and often, even color-coded parts to assemble or install your trigger.

How to Choose an AR-15 Trigger Under $100

Before you buy a replacement trigger for your AR-15, you must decide what use you’re going to use your rifle for. With time and technology, triggers have become a complex matter. Modern triggers are more than just pull and bang mechanisms.

Manufacturers have classified triggers into two different types, single-stage and dual-stage models. A single-stage trigger fires as soon as you pull the trigger and overcome the initial pull weight. Whereas, in a dual-stage trigger, you overcome the initial pull weight in the first stage and “break” the trigger with feather-light pull in the second stage. To put it more plainly, with a dual-stage trigger, you can more easily feel when you’re passing into the moment of firing.

If your primary purpose is using your AR-15 for hunting, self-defense, or three-gun competitions, you might want to choose the single-stage trigger. A single-stage provides a consistent pull weight and ensures that you fire uniformly under stressful situations. The AR-15 originally featured a single-stage trigger because it was used by the military.

If you’re into competitive and precision shooting, you might want to go with a dual-stage trigger. The reason behind this is the physics employed by this type of device. In a dual-stage trigger, you overcome the initial pull weight after you pull the shoe through the first stage. You can now adjust your target picture and hold on until you get a clear and precise shot. The second stage of a dual-stage trigger needs only a feather light push to let the shot go. Two-stage triggers are fairly useful for precision shooting competitions, long-range hunting, and sniping activities.  

Still, it’s largely a matter of personal preference. You’re not stuck with one type or the other. We’re just pointing out how most people prefer to use each.

You should also be aware of some issues you might face with low-priced triggers, but really they are few in number and low in severity. Initially, you might struggle a bit with assembling and installing the trigger in your AR-15. It’s not very common but has been reported sometimes.

Always make sure to check the size of the hammer pin (.154 or .170 as in a Colt), so the trigger is compatible with your rifle.

Quick Take - The Best AR-15 Triggers Under $100

Review of the Best AR-15 Triggers Under $100

The following is a list of the five best AR-15 triggers under $100. As you go through each one, you should note the characteristics and features. This way, you’ll be able to find a trigger that will best match your ideal usage. Remember, close enough is much better than nothing at all.

We have dug up some of the best AR-15 replacement triggers priced below $100. These triggers are of good quality and will get the job done perfectly. Some of them are single-stage, while others are dual-stage triggers. Now, let’s take a look at the first trigger on our list:

Pros

  • Pull Weight is Pretty Good
  • Super Durable Construction 
  • Easy to Install, Takes a Few Minutes
  • Ergonomically-Friendly for Most Users
  • Smooth Trigger Pull, No Creep or Overtravel to Report

Cons

  • Some Fitting May Be Required
  • May Not Fit Every AR-15 Rifle
  • May Be a Challenge to Install for Some Users

What Recent Buyers Report

As expected, a lot of recent buyers were satisfied with the trigger. They were able to install it in a matter of a few minutes. Once installed, they were able to pull it easily and get off some quick shots. One user said it was a lot better than his factory default trigger that would always frustrate him.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This trigger is the closest you can get to a military-style trigger. Odds are you’ll be using this for some applications where heavy-duty application is possible. It’s sturdy in construction and also easy to install. You’ll instantly see an improvement once you switch out your old trigger with this one.

ALG offers this super inexpensive kit for a military-style trigger. The trigger is available in QMS (Quality Mil-Spec) and ACT (ALG Combat Trigger) variants. This single-stage trigger is easy to install without the need of any tools, as long as you’re well-acquainted with guns.

It has a crisp break and a relatively light pull weight of around six pounds. The trigger has a quality construction and is perfect for hunting and three-gun competitions.

Who Will Use This Most 

This will be used by those who are in tactical situations all the time (i.e.--law enforcement and military personnel). It’s heavy-duty, but light enough to give you quick shooting ability. In these kinds of applications, timing is everything. Also, you can expect this trigger to have its uses among hunters.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Some of the inner workings and pins could use some adjustments. This way, it will make fitting it on most rifles easier than ever. There shouldn’t be any time wasted when trying to install it because you have to sand or grind down some pins with a Dremel so they fit. 

Bottom Line

The ALG Defense AR-15 Enhanced Military Style Trigger has definitely proved itself to be the best in the business. It’s tough, easy to use, and will get the job done in almost any application. You’d be hard-pressed to find a trigger like this anywhere else.

Pros

  • Easy to Install
  • Pull Weight is Decent
  • Super Durable Construction
  • Excellent Across Many Applications
  • Includes a Pistol Grip That Provides Decent, Stable Gripping Ability

Cons

  • Some Find the Installation Challenging
  • Some Are Not Satisfied With the Pull Weight
  • Some Have Had Issues With the Detent Spring

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of the recent buyers were able to install this trigger within a few minutes. Once complete, they could shoot off their rounds with no creep or overtravel to report. One user was satisfied with the pull weight because he wanted one that didn’t easily allow accidental firing.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This trigger is solid and has a pull weight that is on-par with many tactical triggers. Put it all together and you have a tough unit that will work to make every shot count, no matter how many times you use your AR-15 rifle. Since it’s a single-stage trigger, it’s not too light of a trigger pull. That makes it even better.

This lower parts kit from CMMG features all the components to build the lower receiver of an AR-15. The package includes color-coded bags with individual components to help you organize and assemble the parts by following the instructions in the manual. It also includes a molded polymer A2 pistol grip. It is a single-stage trigger with a 6-6.5 pound pull weight.

All the parts fit with high tolerances and the entire assembly works perfectly. The trigger offers good value for money and is best-suited for self-defense, target practice, and three-gun competitions.

Who Will Use This Most 

Expect this to be used by a lot of hunters and those who intend to use their AR-15 rifles for tactical purposes. No matter which category you fall under, this is the trigger that will definitely work to your advantage in any given situation. 

What Could Be Improved and Why

This trigger could be a little lighter in terms of pull weight. Just reduce it by a pound or two and it should be fine for most users. That will still give you more of a decent weight to work with, without allowing for accidental discharges. 

Bottom Line

The CMMG AR-15 Lower Parts Kit includes a trigger that performs well and will definitely work in many applications once you put it together with the rest of the lower receiver. This is perfect for when you want to upgrade to something better or if you’re building a rifle from scratch.

Pros

  • Easy to Install
  • Super Durable Construction
  • It Allows for Faster Follow-Up Shots
  • Easy to Pull and Pull Weight is Quite Light
  • Great Across All Kinds of Applications

Cons

  • May Be Gritty at Times
  • It May Be a Bit of a Challenge to Install
  • Pull Weight May Be a Little Too Heavy for Some Users

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers were able to install this trigger fairly quickly and put it to good use. As expected, they were satisfied with the trigger pull weight and the sturdiness of the trigger itself. One user said this has become his favorite trigger and was able to use it to win his latest shooting competition.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This trigger has a pull weight that isn’t too heavy or too light. It’s right in the middle. The quality of the trigger has that built-to-last feel to it, so it has the potential to be consistently reliable over the course of a few years. Aside from that, it’s a trigger that will have no trouble fitting most AR-15 rifles.

If you want a two-stage match trigger, Rock River Arms offers this inexpensive model featuring a curved bow and .154” small trigger pin. The dual-stage trigger features a 0.5 lb. first stage and 4-4.5 lb. second stage pull weight. It features a curved bow.

The trigger operates smoothly and is easy to install. It is very unlikely that you find a two-stage trigger that’s as easy to install within this price range. The package includes trigger and hammer pins but doesn’t have any takedown pins or detents.

This model from RRA is an amazing two-stage trigger manufactured from high-grade steel and is a great product for the money.

Who Will Use This Most 

This will probably be used as a multi-purpose trigger. So, the users will be split between the hunters, target shooters, and even tactical shooters. It’s got enough of a pull weight where you can still make quick follow-up shots without having to worry about it being too light to easily get your rifle to get a shot off. 

What Could Be Improved and Why

The one improvement we can think of is to investigate why there is some creep and overtravel, as some users have claimed. Once the manufacturer is able to determine what’s causing it, they can go from there to make the trigger better for its users.

Bottom Line

If you want a trigger that is affordable, easy to use, and great for any application you can think of, the Rock River Arms National Match trigger might just be your cup of tea. All you have to do is install this puppy and you’ll have something that is a step above a factory default trigger.

Pros

  • Easy to Install
  • Super Durable Design
  • Trigger Pull Weight is Decent
  • Excellent for Most Applications
  • It Doesn’t Add Any Additional Weight

Cons

  • Installation Might Be a Bit Challenging
  • Trigger Guard Might Be a Little Wiggly, at Times
  • Pull Weight Might Be a Little Too Heavy for Some Users

What Recent Buyers Report

As expected, a lot of users were satisfied with this trigger. They were able to pull it without having to deal with any creep or overtravel. Overall, they were happy with the usability and durability. Hunters were the majority of the new users, while casual target shooters were another group that liked this trigger. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This trigger is, by far, one of the closest triggers you can get to a factory-grade trigger. Granted, the trigger pull weight is a little heavier than some others but it’s miles ahead of the factory defaults that prove to be disappointing. It’s a great trigger that can prevent any kind of accidental firing that might occur with triggers of very light pull weight. 

Returning to ALG, this kit is an extension to the above-mentioned set of ALG triggers. The variants include QMS (Quality Mil-Spec) and ACT (ALG Combat Trigger).

Both these types come with a DPMS lower parts kit which includes all the internal parts you need to install a complete fire-control system - in other words, a lower receiver.

The detailed instruction manual makes it easy to install the components. This is not a ‘drop-in’ design but is fairly easy to install. However, you might need the help of an experienced person in some cases. The best uses for this trigger include target practice and hunting.

Who Will Use This Most 

Expect this to be a trigger that will be used across many applications. It’s hard to say what application the trigger will excel at. But it will definitely give you a more reliable operation compared to some other factory triggers on the market. Also, this is a lower parts kit that will definitely work to the advantage of many AR-15 enthusiasts who like to build a rifle from the ground up.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Once again, we revisit the idea of making the pull weight a little lighter than it is. Ideally, this trigger should at least have a pull weight of four to five pounds, at best. That will enable you to get a good shot off (albeit a quick one). That kind of pull weight would be a happy medium, in our opinion.

Bottom Line

The ALG Defense AR-15 Trigger With Lower Parts Kit will definitely be a favorite among many AR-15 users, especially those looking to build a rifle from scratch. You’ll have all the lower parts you need, plus a reliable trigger that will work for many applications.

Pros

  • Easy to Install
  • Fits Most AR-15 Rifles
  • Super-Durable Construction
  • Trigger Pull Weight is Decent
  • Excellent for Many Applications

Cons

  • It May Be Difficult to Install for Some Users
  • Some Users Were Not Fans of the Trigger Pull Weight
  • Some Have Complained About This Feeling Like a Stock Trigger

What Recent Buyers Report

New buyers found this trigger to be better than stock triggers (despite some complaints otherwise). The trigger pull is fine according to one user. He said he uses it for regular target shooting and sometimes hunting. The durability, according to another user, is second to none. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This trigger is built to handle all kinds of tactical and hunting applications. In fact, we dare say that it was built for situations like that. One thing that stuck out was how durable this trigger was. You can throw it on the ground or try to scuff it up. It will be very difficult to do.

The single-stage battle trigger from Spike’s Tactical is almost identical to an OEM replacement for AR-15 triggers. The trigger has a rounded hammer to make it work with all calibers, plus a disconnector pin plated with nickel boron.  The trigger has a smooth, crisp 5lbs break.

The package also includes stainless steel hammer and trigger pins, in case you just want to replace these. It has the feel of an expensive drop-in trigger without an exorbitant price tag.

Who Will Use This Most 

This trigger will likely be used across many applications. So basically, it’s going to be a general-purpose trigger. If you want a trigger that has a decent pull weight and has the potential to last you years or even decades then this is the trigger that can do just that.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Once more, we think a tactical trigger like this can be lighter in pull weight. You never know when you need to take a follow-up shot. In some applications, timing is everything. You don’t want to miss a target and have a hard time trying to make up for it.

Bottom Line

If you want a trigger that will blow any stock trigger out of the water, Spike’s Tactical Battle Trigger will definitely stand out the best. Easy to install, easy to operate, and built to take on the heavy-duty tasks are what this trigger does best. 

How to Install an AR-15 trigger 

Replacing your stock trigger will greatly improve performance. When you’re ready, follow these steps and be sure to refer to the video for assistance:

  1. Ensure the gun is unloaded.
  2. Separate the lower and upper receivers. Remove the lower receiver’s grip by going through the bottom with a wrench or screwdriver. Be careful not to lose the safety detent and spring.
  3. Push the two pins holding the trigger in place using a straight punch.
  4. Remove all of the trigger parts and safety lever, or fire control selector. Holding the gun in place with a vise will make this process easier.
  5. Clear the receiver of build-up with a degreasing spray
  6. Insert your new trigger, placing the rear pin in the holes. Use a slave pin to hold everything in place if you’re having difficulty. Insert the safety and front pin. Replace the grip next, along with detent and spring into the receiver’s hole. You may want to flip the receiver for this step.
  7. Follow the specific instructions provided by your trigger. Most use set screws. Tighten the screws against the receiver’s bottom. Alternate to ensure they are tight. Some use a second locking screw. A little blue Loctite on the threads adds extra security for these.
  8. Check your trigger. Cock the gun, pull the trigger, and repeat several times.
  9. Check the disconnect. Pull and hold the trigger. You’ll hear a click, and the hammer should move slightly forward.
  10. Check the safety. Cock the hammer and place the safety in the “on” position, pulling the trigger several times.
  11. Finish putting the rifle back together. Congratulations! You now have a new trigger on your AR-15!

Perks of Getting a New Trigger

Investing in a new trigger will work to your advantage. If you ever decide to forego getting one for your AR-15, you’ll be missing out on a lot. Here are some of the perks you’ll get out of these new triggers:

Faster Follow-Up Shots

Most triggers with a lighter pull weight will provide you with quicker follow-up shots. Especially when you’re using your AR-15 rifle for some applications that require fast firing (like hunting or competitive shooting). No matter which one works best for you, this is one of the main perks you can get out of a new trigger.

Better Than Most Factory Default Models

One of the main reasons you’re replacing your trigger is due to the disappointing and underperforming factory default models. These five triggers will be a complete upgrade over the one you currently have now.

Not as Heavy in Terms of Pull Weight

Most default factory triggers have heavy pull weights. All of these five triggers are much lighter. A heavy pull weight will mean it will take longer than it should to get a shot off. That will equal not being able to hit your target in time.

Conclusion

Choosing a trigger for your AR-15 depends upon your needs and intended use. There are quite a few budget triggers available in the market which can get the job done at a fairly low price. Such triggers are, however, not drop-in versions and take some time and effort to install, but they are sure worth their price.

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