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.
Comparison Chart of the Best Triggers Under $100
1. ALG Defense AR-15 Enhanced Military Style Trigger
2. CMMG AR-15 Lower Parts Kit
3. Rock River Arms National Match 2-Stage AR-15 Trigger
4. ALG Defense AR-15 ALG Trigger with DPMS Lower Parts Kit
5. Spike’s Tactical Battle Trigger
How Far Can $100 Get 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 that you’re aiming for something cheap and low-quality. But 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. But with increasing demand and competition in the market, there are quite a few good dual-stage triggers available within this budget range.
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 the AR-15) and don’t mind sparing some time for playing with tools, you can still find a decent trigger assembly.
You can consider this as 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.
What Are Your Needs?
Before you buy a replacement trigger for your AR-15, you must decide what use you’re going to put your rifle to. 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, the 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 in using the AR-15 is for hunting, self-defense or 3-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 dual-stage triggers. The reason behind this is the physics employed by them. 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 featherlight push to let the shoot 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 many 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
These are our recommendations for the best triggers for the AR-15 under $100:
Reviews of the Best Triggers under $100
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.
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 6 lbs. The trigger has a quality construction and is perfect for hunting and 3-gun competitions.
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 let you organize and assemble the parts 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 lbs 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 3-gun competitions.
If you want a two-stage match trigger, Rock River Arms offer 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 2-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.
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.
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.
How to Install an AR-15 trigger
Replacing your stock trigger will greatly improve performance. When you’re ready, follow these step, and be sure to refer to the video for assistance:
Ensure the gun is unloaded.
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.
Push the two pins holding the trigger in place using a straight punch.
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.
Clear the receiver of build-up with a degreasing spray
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.
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 to the threads adds extra security for these.
Check your trigger. Cock the gun, pull the trigger, and repeat several times.
Check the disconnect. Pull and hold the trigger. You’ll hear a click, and the hammer should move slightly forward.
Check the safety. Cock the hammer and place the safety in the “on” position, pulling the trigger several times.
Finish putting the rifle back together. Congratulations! You now have a new trigger on your AR-15!
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.