At a Glance: The 8 best dual stage triggers for your AR-15 rifle
Comparison of The 8 best dual stage triggers for your AR-15 rifle
Our Top Pick
|Triggertech AR-15 TT-AR-15 Triggers Adjustable||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|Triggertech AR-15 TT-AR-15 Trigger 3.5LBS||View Latest Price|
|Stern Defense LLC AR-15 H2S Hybrid Triggers Drop-In 2-Stage||View Latest Price|
The trigger is the most important upgrade that you can make on your AR-15. Here are the best dual-stage AR-15 triggers to improve your precision when shooting.
Upgrading your trigger is widely considered to be the most important upgrade that you can make on your AR-15 rifle. A dual-stage AR-15 trigger works in two stages. The first allows you to take out the initial slack of the trigger, then enjoy a crisp break with a featherlight pull when committing to the second stage, that fires the round.
Our list of the best dual-stage AR-15 triggers
Take a look through the available triggers for an AR-15 and you’ll be pretty taken aback by the sheer volume of products available. We’ve broken it down into eight of the best dual-stage triggers for your AR-15 rifle to help you optimize your black rifle to perfection.
Triggertech AR-15 TT-AR-15 Triggers Adjustable
The Triggertech AR-15 TT-AR-15 Adjustable Trigger is widely considered to be one of the easiest AR-15 triggers to install and use. It’s something of an all-purpose AR-15 trigger, a Jack-of-all-trades when it comes to shooting.
While other AR-15 triggers are designed to suit more specific shooting purposes, like hunting or target shooting, the Triggertech TT-AR-15 trigger will suit you well in most circumstances thanks to its adjustable pull weight that can be set anywhere between 2.5lbs to 5lbs. This means that you can always make the trigger pull lighter if you’re shooting targets at a longer range, or heavier if you’re just casually popping off some shots at the range.
This dual-stage AR-15 trigger is designed with Triggertech’s patented rolling friction, which offers even more precision when shooting. The materials used in construction are top-of-the-range corrosion-resistant stainless steel, ensuring that you’ll get a lifetime of use out of this trigger. You can also purchase one with a curved or straight trigger bow, allowing you to get the most comfortable shooting experience.
The drop-in design is built for lower receivers with .154″ pins and is very easy to install. Users of this trigger rarely ever report issues with installation. It’s also built to fit most AR-15 models, so you don’t have to worry about it not being compatible with your AR-15 rifle.
The sheer convenience and versatility of the Triggertech TT-AR-15 Adjustable Trigger make it ideal for hunters, competition shooters, or just casual shooters. The fact that you can change the pull weight gives this drop-in dual-stage AR-15 trigger a great advantage over other triggers on the market right now.
- Adjustable pull weight
- Stainless steel, corrosion-free design
- Curved or straight trigger bow
- Rolling friction component allows for greater accuracy when shooting
- Drop-in design allows for easy installation
- Compatible with most AR-15 models
- Versatile and can be used by most shooters
- Lifetime warranty
- On the expensive end
- Some shooters have reported a slight creep – although not many
Triggertech AR-15 TT-AR-15 Trigger 3.5LBS
If you’re not so concerned about being able to adjust the weight of the trigger pull, then the Triggertech TT-AR-15 Fixed 3.5LBS Trigger offers up all the same great features that you’d expect from the company’s product line, but at a more affordable price than the adjustable variant.
This trigger is best suited for hunters and casual shooters thanks to its light pull weight and patented Frictionless Release Technology that makes use of a roller to eliminate friction when breaking the trigger.
This dual-stage AR-15 trigger isn’t as light as some of the other models available, which might make it less desirable for competition shooters. That being said, the extra pounds allow for a safer experience when hunting, as you won’t risk negligent discharges as much. After all, you don’t want to pull a Dick Cheney…
The TT-AR-15 3.5LBS Trigger uses stainless steel for most components and the whole thing is corrosion-resistant, meaning you are guaranteed years of solid use without failure. The drop-in design is easy to install on lower receivers with .154″ pins and it’s compatible with most AR-15 rifle models, so you won’t have to worry about it not fitting your rifle.
You can purchase the trigger with either a curved or straight trigger bow. This allows for a more comfortable shooting experience overall.
The Triggertech AR-15 3.5LBS Trigger is ideal for long-range target shooters and hunters, as well as casual shooters who are looking to greatly improve their accuracy when shooting. The lack of ability to adjust the trigger weight is unfortunate, but the 3.5 lbs. pull is a sort of Goldilocks weight that will suit most casual shooters and hunters.
- Frictionless Release Technology allows for more accuracy when shooting
- Easy drop-in design allows for seamless installation
- Solid stainless steel construction ensures years of use
- Compatible with most AR-15 rifle models
- 3.5LBS weight is ideal for hunters and target shooters
- Curved or straight trigger bow options offer more comfort when shooting
- More affordable than other Triggertech products
- Lifetime warranty
- Still expensive
- Can’t adjust trigger pull weight
Stern Defense LLC AR-15 H2S Hybrid Triggers Drop-In 2-Stage
The Stern Defense LLC AR-15 H2S Hybrid Trigger is designed for pistol-caliber carbines. If you have a pistol-caliber AR platform, then this is a great trigger to improve your accuracy and comfort when shooting. It blends the best bits of dependable Mil-spec triggers with the flashy features of competition triggers to produce a well-rounded AR trigger that has something to offer most shooters.
The trigger is a dual-stage with a 2 lbs first stage followed by a 4 lbs second stage. This makes it great for ranged target shooting and hunting, although it might not lend itself to competition shooting so much. For precision rifle shooters, you can swap out the 3 lbs spring included with the trigger to get a lighter pull weight and improve your accuracy when shooting targets at a distance.
A drop-in design allows for quick and easy installation and is built to replace any OEM AR-15 trigger. The trigger also features a heavy duty spring that prevents reset failures and accidental bump fires. And make no mistake, you can rest assured that this trigger won’t fail on you. The manufacturer put it under a 250,000 round test fire without experiencing a single failure.
The H2S Hybrid trigger installs using Mil-spec pins and includes the trigger and disconnector, both of which have been machined using the highest-quality tools to ensure a clean and smooth finish that will stand the test of time.
The purpose-built design of this dual-stage trigger makes it an ideal fit for anyone using a pistol-caliber AR platform.
- Specifically designed for pistol-caliber AR platform
- Blends the top features of Mil-spec and competition triggers
- Can swap out the 3 lbs spring for a lighter pull weight
- Easy drop-in installation for any OEM AR-15 trigger
- Heavy duty spring to prevent dump fires and failed resets
- High-quality construction
- Lifetime warranty
- Not built for rifle-caliber AR-15
- Not ideal for competition shooters
- Limited adjustments to pull weight
Timney AR-15 Targa 2-Stage Trigger Short
Timney’s AR-15 Targa 2-Stage Trigger with a short first-stage take up is ideal for hunters and competition shooters alike. Both stages have a 2 lbs trigger weight, ensuring a smooth and accurate firing experience.
The short first-stage that removes the take-up means that the trigger can reset quicker, which allows the shooter to place quicker successive shots on their target. This is ideal for quick reflexive situations out in the field, as well as for hitting multiple targets in quick succession at the range. Having a short trigger also stops the shooter from anticipating the end of the first stage so much, which allows them to put more focus onto the target at hand.
This is a totally self-contained drop-in trigger with an incredibly easy installation process that you can go through yourself without the need to hire a gunsmith. It has a solid construction, using a military-grade alloy that will hold its own in hostile weather conditions and can take bumps without unintentionally discharging a round.
The Timney AR-15 Targa 2-Stage Trigger installs using your AR-15’s original pins and uses a clever design to prevent your pins from moving or rotating, even after years of use.
This trigger will be greatly appreciated by long-range target shooters, including competition shooters, thanks to its light 2lbs first and the second stage pull-back weight. This might be a little too far on the light side for beginner shooters, but it’s an ideal weight for the more experienced rifleman.
Each Timney AR-15 Targa 2-Stage Trigger is hand-assembled and tested to ensure that there are no imperfections or failures. This, plus the sturdy design and high-quality construction materials, makes it a reliable and precise trigger for the accuracy-driven AR-15 shooter.
- Light 2 lbs trigger pull
- Short first-stage allows for quicker resets and successive shots
- Solid construction
- The drop-in design ensures easy installation
- Uses your original AR-15 pins
- Designed to withstand harsh environments and corrosion
- Available in curved and straight trigger bow variants
- Hand-assembled and quality tested
- Lifetime warranty
- On the expensive side
- The 2 lbs trigger pull is a little light for beginner shooters
- The short trigger might not be preferred by some shooters
- Can’t adjust the pull weight
Timney AR-15 Targa 2-Stage Triggers Long
If you’re not a fan of having a short trigger, then the Timney AR-15 Targa 2-Stage Long Trigger is an ideal alternative to the company’s short trigger variant. With a 2 lbs long first stage followed by a 2 lbs second stage, this is an ideal trigger for hunters and long-range competition shooters.
The Timney AR-15 Targa 2-Stage Long Trigger is built using military-grade 6061 T6 Alloy and is anodized to ensure the highest quality finish. If you’re looking for something that you can depend on for years to come, alongside the standard regular rifle servicing, then this is it.
The trigger’s long pull breaks up the first stage and makes accidental discharges far less likely, which makes it ideal for novice shooters who are looking for a guarantee of safety but still want the improved accuracy that comes with a light second stage trigger pull.
This is a self-contained drop-in trigger that is very easy to install and uses your rifle’s original pins. You won’t need to seek the services of a professional gunsmith, as you can install this trigger by yourself without any hassle.
The 2 lbs first and second stages, plus the long trigger pull on the first stage, will make this trigger ideal for hunters and competition shooters who are banking on that one shot hitting the target with surgical precision.
After construction, each Timney AR-15 Targa dual-stage trigger is hand-assembled and quality-checked for any imperfections before being shipped.
- 2lbs first and second stage pull weight ensures surgical precision when shooting
- The long trigger will be preferred by those looking to place a single, accurate shot on target
- Top-quality construction and materials will guarantee years of heavy service
- Easy installation thanks to the drop-in design
- Uses your AR-15’s original pins
- Hand-assembled and quality controlled
- Available in curved or straight trigger bow variants
- Lifetime warranty
- On the expensive side
- Long first stage means slower resets and successive shots
- Can’t adjust the pull weight
Timney AR PCC Two-Stage Triggers
The Timney AR PCC Two-Stage Trigger is the perfect upgrade to make your PCC AR platform more accurate. Pistol caliber carbines have many benefits and are becoming increasingly popular as a result. This has led companies like Timney to invest a lot of time and money into producing cutting-edge trigger upgrades that can withstand the elements and up your shooting game to a whole new level.
The Timney AR PCC Two-Stage Trigger has a 2 lbs first stage and a 2lbs second stage, allowing you to get incredible accuracy when shooting at a distance. While pistol-caliber ammo isn’t going to perform as well at long range as standard 5.56 rifle rounds, having a dual-stage trigger will still go a long way towards improving your long-range precision.
The light trigger pull makes the Timney PCC Two-Stage Trigger ideal for competition shooters who want to perform at longer distances, as well as hunters and recreational shooters.
Timney is renowned for using military-grade alloy in their triggers, as well as hand assembling the components and exhaustively testing them to ensure there aren’t any failures. You can also opt for a curved or straight trigger bow to suit your preferences, so you can have the most comfortable shooting experience possible.
The Timney AR PCC Two-Stage Trigger uses a self-contained drop-in design to ensure easy installation, plus it uses your weapon’s original trigger and hammer pins, so you don’t need to purchase any spare parts to install it.
For the PCC shooter who prefers a dual-stage trigger, this lightweight upgrade to your AR platform will ensure more accuracy and a better, more comfortable shooting experience.
- Designed specifically for PCC AR platforms
- 2 lbs first and second stage offers incredible accuracy when shooting
- High-quality alloy used in construction
- Easy installation thanks to the drop-in design
- Uses your weapon’s original pins
- No need to purchase any spare parts
- Straight and curved trigger bow variants available
- Lifetime warranty
- Can’t adjust trigger pull weight
- Only for PCC AR platforms
CMC Triggers AR-15 Two-Stage Triggers
For the shooter who wants to be able to operate in a variety of disparate situations, the choice offered by CMC triggers is just the right thing. CMC has several trigger pull weights available, including 2lbs first stage plus 2bls second stage triggers, as well as other variants with a 4lbs or 5bls release stage. This means that you can shop for your specific needs.
If you’re a long-range target shooter, then the 2/2lbs dual-stage trigger will allow you to get surgical precision at distanced targets. If you’re more of an all-purpose shooter, then the 4lbs or 5lbs second stage release variants will be more up your alley.
All of the triggers by CMC come in both curved or straight trigger bow variants, allowing you to further customize your purchase to suit your specific preferences. The short pull on all CMC triggers results in quicker resets which allows you to place consecutive shots faster.
The construction of CMC triggers is exactly what you’d expect from a premium company like this. All triggers are made using high-quality anti-corrosion materials to ensure that they can withstand harsh environments and a lifetime of service.
The drop-in design of CMC AR-15 two-stage triggers allows for quick and easy installation without needing to purchase any extra parts. The triggers include two slightly oversized center pins which are meant to replace the standard hammer and trigger pins. The point here is to reduce friction, trigger wobble, and wear over time.
With the variety of trigger pull weights available, CMC triggers are ideal for pretty much any type of rifleman, from casual weekend shooters to serious hunters.
- Variety of trigger pull weights available
- Comes in both straight and curved trigger bow variants
- Solid construction that is built to last
- Slightly oversized center pins prevent trigger wobble and friction
- Short trigger allows for quicker resets
- Drop-in design allows for easy installation
- Lifetime warranty
- Can’t adjust the trigger pull weight once you’ve chosen one
Arsenal Line Products AR-15 2-Stage Semi-Auto Trigger
This more affordable dual-stage semi-auto trigger from Arsenal Line Products features a 4/4 lbs trigger pull weight and has a solid steel construction that will last for years to come. The balanced trigger pull back weight makes this a good option for the all-round shooter who isn’t looking to compete and just wants something that will suit a variety of different situations.
The design is simple and effective, although given that this isn’t a drop-in trigger, you will probably need the services of a gunsmith to fit it to your AR-15 rifle unless you’re equipped and familiar with taking rifles apart and putting them back together.
With a consistently smooth pull, this dual-stage trigger will suit anyone looking to upgrade their AR-15’s accuracy without having to spend too much of their hard-earned cash. This makes it ideal for those who are just starting out with their shooting career, but it’s also ideal for the more seasoned shooter.
- Solid steel construction
- Balanced trigger pull weight makes it ideal for a variety of scenarios
- Can easily be installed on other rifles as well as AR-15s
- Simple design
- Smooth pull
- Lifetime warranty
- Cannot adjust trigger pull weight
- May need a gunsmith to install it
- No option for a straight trigger bow
Why the trigger is the most important upgrade you can make on your AR-15
You want to be a better marksman. So, the question is: what can you upgrade to help you shoot better? The trigger is the most important upgrade that you can make to improve the precision of your AR-15 rifle.
Once you’ve got your target lined up, all you need to do is pull the trigger. The problem is that factory-produced AR-15 triggers tend to be heavy and get more rigid to use over time. If you’re aiming at a target at long-range, then the weight of your finger pulling the trigger can jolt your aim and ultimately reduce the accuracy of your shot.
Upgrading to a dual-stage trigger for your AR-15 can get around this issue and allow you to take out some of the initial weight out of the trigger before firing, thus making for a smoother and lighter trigger pull. This is great for long-range shooting competitions, hunting, or just more precise shots at the range. The longer pull time also makes a dual-stage trigger a safer bet for home defense as it takes out the possibility of nervously squeezing the trigger when you shouldn’t be.
There are various different types of triggers to upgrade to and some perform better than others in particular situations. It’s important that you consider what trigger will be best for your specific needs, rather than just look at which one appears to be most premium. Everyone has their own preference and having a trigger that feels just right with your finger on it will go a long way towards improving your accuracy.
Aside from single-stage and dual-stage triggers, you can also shop for curved or straight triggers, and you can buy a trigger individually or as part of a kit that includes the spring, the disconnector, and spring, and the hammer with a J-Hook spring.
After you’ve upgraded your trigger, the next places to look at are the grip, the sights, and the handguard.
- The trigger is the main connection between you and hitting your target
- A heavy or clunky trigger will negatively affect your aim
- Light trigger weights are better for target shooting
- Factory triggers tend to be sub-par
What is a dual-stage AR-15 trigger?
A dual-stage trigger, as the name suggests, has two components. The first stage allows the shooter to overcome the initial pull weight of the trigger, while the second stage requires a light pull that fires the round.
Splitting the trigger process into two stages like this allows for the shooter to line up their shot, then pull the trigger to get rid of the ‘take-up’ or pull weight, and then get another look through their sights before placing the shot. The featherweight second-stage of the dual-stage trigger allows the shooter to pull the trigger without letting the take-up distort their aim. This makes dual-stage triggers ideal for shooting at long-range.
It’s worth noting that a dual-stage trigger doesn’t require two pulls to fire a shot. Rather, you’ll feel some resistance in the first stage of the trigger pull, the point where the trigger passes the first stage to the second, which gives you time to adjust your final sight picture before placing your shot.
- Trigger action is separated into two stages
- The first stage removes the slack
- The second stage fires the round
How to choose an AR-15 dual-stage trigger
The market for AR-15 triggers is saturated, to say the least. Choosing the right dual-stage trigger is a personal process and everyone has their preference based on what they’re using their rifle for. In short, there is no perfect dual-stage trigger and you can’t just assume that because one is more expensive than another that it’ll be better for you.
Here are some factors to take into consideration when choosing the right dual-stage AR-15 trigger for you.
The pull weight of dual-stage triggers differs a lot. Some are much lighter than others and depending on how you like to shoot, this could be a good or a bad thing for you. If you are someone who needs to be able to shoot quickly, then having a light trigger will be of use to you, whereas if you’re shooting over long-range, then a heavier pull weight will be preferable.
Ultimately, the best way to know what you’re comfortable with is to try it out in action, so try to get some range time in with a light and a heavier dual-stage trigger if you can.
The materials that your trigger is built out of will determine how long it lasts and how comfortable it is to use. Steel is generally considered to be the best material when it comes to components like this, so make sure to check what your trigger is made out of before committing to a purchase. It’s worth spending a little more on a trigger that’ll last a lifetime.
You don’t want to install a trigger on your AR-15 rifle that only works well at long-range. It’s important that you have a trigger that will do right by you in a variety of different situations so that you can have more flexibility when shooting. It’s not like you can just change your trigger out in the field, so having one that performs well in a variety of scenarios is always a good idea.
Ease of installation
As you can probably imagine, changing the trigger on your AR-15 rifle is one of the more complex tasks you can perform. This is why the ease of installation is an important factor to consider. If you’re just planning on doing this once, or even getting your gunsmith to do it for you, then this won’t be much of an issue. If you’re going to install your dual-stage trigger yourself, then you should consider opting for a drop-in one to make the process easier.
Choosing a dual-stage trigger is only one upgrade for your AR-15 rifle, and you’ve no doubt made or are planning to make several other upgrades as well. That’s not to mention reloading equipment, outdoor gear, tactical clothing, and all the rest of it. In short, you’re probably on a budget. Just make sure that your budget doesn’t constrict you to buying a low-quality dual-stage trigger. You don’t need the best, just make sure you’re avoiding the worst.
Single-stage vs dual-stage AR-15 triggers
Single-stage triggers are most often found in budget factory guns and service weapons. In short, single-stage triggers are the default, while dual-stage triggers tend to be an aftermarket investment. That doesn’t mean that single-stage triggers aren’t good. A good single-stage trigger will pull smoothly without much take-up and will do this consistently thousands of times over. That being said, many AR-15 rifles come with sub-par mil-spec triggers that gather more slack and weight over time.
Single-stage triggers are usually preferred by people shooting at close range or in 3-gun competitions. They allow for quicker successive shots, while dual-stage triggers are longer and less suited to rapid close-range fire. Single-stage triggers are also simpler, you pull and the gun goes bang, and there really isn’t much more to it than that.
Dual-stage triggers, on the other hand, require that you go through more pull-range before firing. The first stage breaks the slack and lines up the second stage to fire. It means that you’re more prepared for your shot and that you’re not about to make a mistake. When shooting at long-range, a dual-stage trigger can improve accuracy regardless of your stance by allowing you to terminate the initial trigger slack, then make final adjustments to your sight picture before firing.
Dual-stage triggers are arguably better for home defense as well, as they stop amateurs from nervously squeezing the trigger when they shouldn’t. Single-stage triggers were generally used for service weapons, although it’s now increasingly common to see dual-stage triggers on military-issue rifles.
If you release the first stage of a dual-action trigger then it will reset, meaning you have to go through the process again. This allows for more safety and gives you better precision when shooting.
|Single-stage trigger||Dual-stage trigger|
|One clean pull||First remove slack, then make a featherlight pull to fire|
|Better for rapid-fire||Better for single shots|
|Great for short-range||Excellent for long-range|
|Better for 3-gun competitions||Better for ranged/stance/off-hand competitions|
|Equipped on most factory guns||Generally sold aftermarket|
Do you need an adjustable dual-stage AR-15 trigger?
An adjustable dual-stage trigger allows you to change the pull weight on the fly, which is a useful feature to have as it allows you to fine-tune your rifle for specific circumstances. For example, if you’re out hunting small game then you’ll want to adjust the trigger pull weight to minimize creep and land a more accurate shot. Contrary to this, if you’re taking your nephew who’s never fired a gun in his life to the range for the first time, then you’ll probably want to opt for a heavier trigger pull, just to make sure the experience is accident-free.
In short, having an adjustable dual-stage trigger just makes sense. It’s one more way in which you can customize the shooting experience of your AR-15 rifle to fit your preferences.
- Allows for more customization
- Better for a variety of situations
- Adjust using Allen wrench
What about drop-in double-stage AR-15 triggers?
Installing a new drop-in trigger on your AR-15 rifle is like changing the magazine. It’s a complex process that requires a lot of tinkering with a fair few different parts. Even once you’ve put everything together, there is a very high chance that the alignment won’t be perfect and thus won’t give the exact trigger feel that the manufacturer intended.
This isn’t just down to your lack of experience assembling IKEA furniture, either. Since all the pieces of a traditional AR-style fire control group come separately, putting them all together can end with results that vary in terms of quality.
A drop-in AR-15 trigger takes all of the parts of the traditional AR-style fire control system and puts them together in a self-contained housing. This makes installation much easier and it also means that the manufacturer can produce the exact trigger feel that they were gunning for.
Then comes maintenance. Every now and then, something will go wrong with your trigger and you’ll have to take it apart to either clean it out or replace a pin. This is generally much easier to do with a drop-in trigger thanks to the contained setup. That being said, there are those more mechanically minded individuals out there who may prefer to do the manual setup and installation of the whole fire control system themselves.
In short, if you want something that isn’t a pain in the backside and that will guarantee a smoother function, then we recommend that you go for a drop-in dual-stage AR-15 trigger kit. Beginners will likely prefer the drop-in style, and many pros do too thanks to the ease of installation and maintenance.
- Easier to install
- Easier to maintain
- Allows for more precise trigger feel as the manufacturer intended
What is the ideal AR-15 trigger pull weight?
The M4A1, which is essentially a military variant of the AR-15 rifle, is required to have a trigger pull weight of between 5.5 and 8.5 pounds. It also happens to be around about the average trigger pull weight of an AR-15 fresh off the production line. This isn’t a bad trigger weight if you’re lugging a rifle around in and out of sandstorms in the Middle East, but frankly, it’s less than desirable for a civilian shooter who is looking for comfort and precision.
Custom triggers allow for much lighter trigger weights which in turn allow for much more precise shooting. A heavy trigger weight will force you to exert much more energy to pull the trigger and this will mess up your aim, especially over a long distance. Your trigger pull weight should never be more than half of the weight of your rifle.
If you want the ideal trigger weight, then anything below 5 pounds will give you a noticeable improvement in comfort and accuracy. In theory, the lighter you go, the more accurate you’ll be, although it goes without saying that personal preference will also enter the mix. Not everyone is going to want a trigger that is so light that a bumblebee could fire it, for rather obvious reasons.
- Lower the trigger weight, the easier it is to pull the trigger
- Lower trigger weight makes for more accurate shots
- Better to go high for self-defense
If you’ve got an AR-15 primary for self-defense reasons, then you should be careful about having too light a trigger weight. You don’t want to accidentally shoot the postman because you thought he was a home invader.
If you’ve got an AR-15 for hunting or long-range competition shooting, then a super lightweight trigger is preferable as it’ll allow you to get the best possible precision, especially with a dual-stage trigger.
What situations call for a dual-stage AR-15 trigger over a single-stage one?
You’ve probably also got some understanding of which situations would require a dual-stage AR-15 trigger over a single-stage one from the information above. But let’s take a closer look at where you might want to opt for each type.
Dual-stage AR-15 triggers are better for:
- Medium/long-range target shooting
When hunting, you’re most likely shooting at medium-range, and this is where a dual-stage AR-15 trigger really starts to shine. It’s very important that your sight picture is perfectly set up before taking a shot at a live animal. A dual-stage AR-15 trigger setup will allow you to take the initial pull up weight out of the trigger, then make the final adjustments to your sight picture, and then pull the trigger to the end for the shot.
Hunters will also benefit from the increased focus on the target that operating a dual-stage trigger allows for. By pulling the trigger halfway already, you’re very much invested in the shot before it’s even been fired.
Imagine, something wakes you up in the middle of the night. You sit up in bed, alert, and suddenly you hear something crash downstairs. You spring up to grab your AR-15 rifle and quietly make your way out of your bedroom and towards the stairs. Your heart is pounding in your ears and your hands are slightly shaking. You see a silhouette crawling up the stairs towards you, and whoever it is is about to see you. Your hands are stiff and your finger is shaking on the trigger. Then you see your floppy-eared dog come out of the shadows towards you. That was close. Damn dog.
You do not want to be light on the trigger when it comes to home defense.
While you’d be better off with a single-stage trigger in 3-gun competitions, a dual-stage trigger is better for many other shooting competitions. When shooting prone, off-hand while standing, or at medium/long-range, having a dual-action trigger is going to help you to place more accurate shots. This actually comes into hunting as well, as you’ll eventually have to make quick off-hand shots to takedown fast prey.
Just because dual-stage triggers offer better precision at a distance, doesn’t mean that single-stage triggers are resigned to the dustbin of history. A good match-grade precision single-stage trigger is still light enough to allow for very accurate shooting and they’re generally preferred for timed competitions.
- Better for quick shooting
- Better for timed competitions
- Predictable mechanics
How to install a dual-stage AR-15 trigger
The specifics on how to install your dual-stage AR-15 trigger will depend on whether you get a drop-in one or a traditional kit. It’ll also vary depending on the manufacturer, so make sure that you check the instructions for your specific trigger kit. The general setup process is similar for most triggers, however.
- Make sure your AR-15 isn’t loaded.
- Separate the upper and lower receivers and remove the grip by unscrewing the bolt at the bottom.
- Push out the two pins that hold the trigger’s parts in place.
- Remove all the parts, including the safety lever.
- Get rid of any dirt with a degreasing spray.
- Put your new trigger in the receiver and lock it in with the rear pin. Then put the safety and front pins back in.
- Put the grip back on and make sure that the spring and detent are in the hole in the receiver.
- Screw the assembly into place referring to the instructions that your manufacturer provided with your specific trigger setup.
- Cock your rifle and pull the trigger several times to test that it’s working. You should also check that the disconnector is working by pulling and holding the trigger, then cocking the hammer and slowly releasing the trigger. If the disconnect releases, then it’s working properly. Also, make sure to check the safety.
- Reassemble the remaining parts of your rifle, unloaded, with the safety off and the hammer cocked. Now hit the stock on a hard surface several times to check that it stays cocked.
Assuming your tests work without incident, your trigger is now installed and ready to go. Simple… sort of.
Conclusion – The best dual-stage trigger on the market today
After considering a variety of products, we conclude that the Triggertech AR-15 Adjustable Trigger is the best dual-stage AR-15 trigger on the market today. The reason for this is primarily thanks to the adjustable trigger pull weight that can move between 2.5lbs to 5.5lbs. Having the ability to adjust the trigger pull weight allows you much more versatility when shooting.
What’s more, the solid construction and ease of installation make this a trigger that will last for years to come. With the right care and maintenance, this trigger will last a lifetime. Yes, it is one of the more expensive products out there, but for the accuracy that it will give you when shooting, we would say that this is one upgrade worth investing the extra money in.