One quick and economical upgrade to your AR-15 platform that you definitely will feel is a trigger system upgrade. It’s an easy way to get rid of the long gritty trigger pull that’s found in many factory rifles.
I’ve got my hammer drop block in place to show you what I mean. As you watch the take up, you can actually see the hammer drawing back and that’s adding spring tension to the trigger pull. That’s what we’re going to fix today.
Now, there are two distinct families when it comes to replacing the trigger system in your AR. There’s the newer, box style, complete unit, drop-in systems from companies like AR Gold, CMC, Timney, and Wilson Combat. These are self-contained systems that are very simple to install. In fact, all you do is remove the factory parts, drop in the whole system, replace your pins, and you’re done.
Then there are the more traditional two-piece replacement systems from companies like DPMS, Rock River, Geissele, and JP Enterprises. In some cases, these systems will be reusing some of your factory parts. And the installation is a little more involved, but it’s easy if you have the right tools, and we’ll show you how.
The first step in the disassembly is loosening the pistol grip. And you notice I didn’t say take it off. You just want to loosen it, because it’s going to take the tension off of the safety selector detent spring. You start to see that there. As you continue to loosen the pistol grip, you’ll see the grip start to wiggle and you know you’ve got it far enough.
Now, we just wiggle the safety back and forth and it comes right out. Using the bench block and the pin push, remove the hammer pin. The hammer, spring, and trigger pin come right out. Recover those two pins and set them aside.
During reassembly our push punch is worth its weight in gold. Grab the trigger assembly and with the spring oriented forward, drop the trigger into the receiver. Next, use the push punch to align the hole. The push punch is acting as a slave pin for the moment. Using your trigger pin, push out the push punch out. The trigger is in.
Now, installing the hammer is a similar process, but you will be dealing with a little more spring tension. You’re going to want to drag the legs of the spring across the trigger pin.
Next, force the hammer into position and start bending the spring. This is where your push punch comes into play again. It’s acting as a slave pin for the hammer pin.
Now, use the hammer pin to back out the push punch like you did previously with the trigger pin. There’s a lot more spring tension so you’re going to have to finagle it a bit. And that’s it.
Well, now it’s just a simple matter of reinstalling our safety selector, and because we’ve captured the spring in detent, the safety selector just slips into place. Retighten the pistol grip.
Now, we can see the benefit of the project, no reverse creep in the hammer, the take up is deliberate, and the break is crisp. I would call that a major improvement.