close up of AR 15 trigger and guard

One of the most appealing parts of the AR-15 is its customizability: you’re able to swap out parts to your unique style and preferences. One of the main components you can change out is the trigger. The right trigger can greatly enhance your shooting experience, whether you’re into competitive shooting, hunting, or recreational target practice. Keep reading to learn more about your options for an AR 15 trigger, features, and considerations for choosing the right one for your AR-15 building needs.

AR 15 Trigger Vocabulary: A Brief Review

Understanding the vocabulary and various types of AR-15 triggers is important for both new and experienced gun owners. Here are some key terms related to AR-15 triggers:

Tips for Choosing the Best AR 15 Trigger

Choosing the best AR 15 trigger depends on your shooting style and preferences. Factors to consider include:

Single Stage vs. Two Stage Trigger for an AR-15

The stage of a trigger describes its journey during the pull. There are two types to choose from: single-stage, and two-stage. Each has its own considerations and applications. 

Design of Each Type of Trigger

A single-stage trigger is a single continuous pull from the trigger to fire the rifle. It offers a shorter and more predictable trigger pull. This type of trigger is ideal where a quick and consistent shot is critical, such as tactical shooting and speed competitions.

single stage AR 15 trigger in silver finish
A single stage trigger by CMC Triggers is a good choice when you need faster fire for competition

As the name suggests, a two-stage trigger has two distinct stages in the trigger pull: the initial take-up (first stage) and a clean break (second stage). This provides a lighter feeling of trigger pull due to the two stages. This trigger type is best for precision shooting, allowing shooters to take up the slack before a final precise shot.

two stage AR 15 trigger with metallic finish
This two stage trigger by CMC triggers is better suited to precision shooting

Which AR-15 Trigger Is Best For A Beginner?

Choosing between a single-stage and a double-stage trigger for a beginning shooter depends on several factors, including the type of shooting, the shooter’s preference, and the intended use of the firearm. Here are some key points to consider:

Single-Stage Trigger Advantages

Simplicity: Easier to understand and use, which can be beneficial for beginners.

Consistency: The pull is uniform, providing predictability.

Speed: Can be quicker to fire, making it suitable for rapid shooting scenarios.

Single-Stage Trigger Potential Disadvantages

Less Control: These types of triggers may be less forgiving of errors, as there is no distinct point to stop before firing.

Double-Stage Trigger Advantages

Control: The two stages provide a clear sense of when the trigger will break, allowing for more controlled and deliberate shooting.

Enhanced Safety: The initial take-up can act as a warning, reducing the likelihood of accidental discharge.

Precision: Often preferred for precision shooting as it allows the shooter to prepare and stabilize before firing.

Double-Stage Trigger Disadvantages

Complexity: These trigger styles can be more challenging for beginners to master due to the additional step.

Slower: The two stages can make rapid firing less efficient.

Ultimately, the best choice depends on the individual’s goals, preferences, and comfort level with the firearm. It may also be helpful for a beginner to try both types of triggers under the guidance of an experienced shooter or instructor to determine which feels more comfortable and suitable for their needs.

What About Binary Triggers For An AR-15?

Binary triggers are another option for your AR-15.  A binary trigger allows for a shot to be fired on both the pull and release of the trigger. This can significantly increase the rate of fire in semi-automatic rifles, which is why competition shooters love them. The binary aspect of these triggers allows you to flip a small switch to revert it to classic, one-bullet-per-pull shooting for better control during target practice. 

Are AR-15 Binary Triggers Legal?

In Nebraska, AR-15 binary triggers are legal. However, they are not permitted in many other states, as certain jurisdictions consider the constant pressure on the trigger tantamount to a fully automatic weapon. Always check with local laws to ensure safety and compliance.

Learn How to Build an AR-15 in Omaha

If you’re in Omaha and interested in hands-on learning about AR-15 assembly and operation, The Marksman Indoor Shooting Range offers comprehensive courses to build and maintain your AR-15 rifle. It’s a great opportunity to understand your firearm’s mechanics and customization options. Sign up for one of our classes today.

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Heather Kleinman

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