At a Glance: Best AK-47 Triggers
Comparison of the Best AK-47 Triggers
Our Top Pick
|ALG Defense AK47 AKT enhanced trigger with lightning bow||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|CMC Triggers AK47 elite drop-in trigger||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|ALG Defense AK47 AKT ultimate trigger with lightning bow||View Latest Price|
There are many upgrades that you can make to increase the performance of your AK47. The downside to this is that with so many upgrade options, customization can become very costly very quickly.
To cut down on costs, many AK47 shooters opt for only the most vital upgrades. One of these is the trigger. Upgrading to a high-quality trigger will give you a shorter trigger pull than your stock part, and that will improve accuracy and reliability.
In this article, I’ll explain how upgrading your trigger will improve your shooting, how to find the best AK47 triggers, and how to install your new part.
Our guide to the top 4 AK-47 triggers on the market
I’ve taken the best AK47 triggers currently available and tested and reviewed each one. You will find the pros and cons of each model, to help you easily understand which trigger will benefit your rifle and your shooting the most.
ALG Defense AK47 AKT enhanced trigger with lightning bow
The ALG Defense AKT trigger is a drop-in, single-stage trigger explicitly designed for the AK47 and AK74 platforms. The AKT features a smoother and shorter trigger pull than most stock triggers.
It is ideal for both combat and home defense use. It is machined from triple alloy steel and has a corrosion-resistant Manganese Phosphated finish. This trigger features a unique trigger bow known as the lightning bow. That gives an extraordinarily comfortable feel during use while enhancing the trigger control too.
The AKT lightens the trigger pull a considerable amount, much more than a stock trigger does. That makes the firearm easier to discharge. Therefore, it’s essential to recognize this and consider if a light trigger pull is the most suitable and safe option for your shooting purposes.
I liked the trigger’s pull weight, which is just over 3 lbs, and I found it had a smooth and non-gritty feel. It gave an impressively tight sweep, a snappy reset, and a quick follow-up shot. What’s more, installing the trigger kit is super easy.
- Has a super smooth and comfortable feel
- Quick reset and follow-up shot
- A good option for combat and home defense use
- Easy to install and use
- Good value for money
- Trigger pull may be too light for some shooters’ needs.
CMC Triggers AK-47 elite drop-in trigger
The elite trigger from CMC is a single-stage drop-in trigger designed for the AK47. It gives an exceptionally clean and smooth operation and a crisp break. It also features a distinct reset point, as well as a shortened lock time.
The elite trigger is constructed with an 8620 carbon steel body, while the contact points inside the trigger are made from S-7 tool steel. All of the components are housed inside of an aluminum-alloy trigger unit.
The entire unit drops in without any modification necessary. This trigger also gives you the choice of a curved shoe or a flat target shoe, as well as a pull weight of 3.5 or 4.5 pounds to better suit your unique style.
The overall trigger pull of the CMC elite is hard to beat. It does come with a much heftier price tag and can be more challenging to install on some firearms, but if you’re looking for the highest quality on the market, you may find it to be a worthy investment.
- Clean and smooth operation
- Strong and durable construction
- Different pull weights and styles to choose from
- Very expensive
- Can be difficult to install depending on your gun
ALG Defense AK47 AKT ultimate trigger with lightning bow
The AKT ultimate trigger is the latest and most enhanced model from ALG Defense. It has a pull that is even lighter than the other models and has a much crisper break too.
This single-stage trigger is a perfect choice for those using their AK47 for precision and target shooting. The ultimate trigger is hard lubed, which creates a permanent self-lubricating surface. That enhances the smoothness of the trigger’s pull.
Like the enhanced version, the AKT ultimate is constructed with S7 tool steel. The hammer features a black nitride finish processed for maximum abrasion and corrosion resistance. It features a lightning bow for a more comfortable feel and enhanced trigger control.
Comparing the enhanced AKT with the ultimate, this trigger certainly has a lighter pull weight and quicker reset. I also like the added friction coating on this trigger. Again, because the pull weight is so light, consider if a light pull weight is safe and necessary for your shooting habits. Another thing to note is the AKT ultimate is more challenging to install than the enhanced model.
- Hard-lubed trigger
- Crisper break and lighter pull than others on the list
- Excellent finish and look
- Lightning bow feature for a comfy feel
- Friction coating
- Not the easiest to install
- Very lightweight so not suited to all shooting styles
Red Star Arms AK47 adjustable trigger set
The unique adjustable trigger set from Red Star Arms includes a competition-grade hammer, trigger, and disconnector. This kit gives a cleaner break, improved accuracy, and better performance.
The parts are fully adjustable for takeup, overtravel, pull weight, and disconnector engagement. The pull weight can be adjusted from 4 to 8 lbs, with a two-stage or single-stage pull.
The trigger set includes everything you need. As well as the main parts mentioned above, you’ll also find in the kit slave pins and springs, a wrench, and a set of instructions. The trigger is made in the USA. It qualifies as one of the necessary parts for compliance with the 922 law.
The ability to adjust the pull weight to this degree makes this trigger set stand out from its competitors as one of the best AK47 triggers. For an adjustable model, the price is still pretty affordable, so it’s certainly fantastic value for money. There is only one small downside to this trigger. Although it offers drop-in installation, your AK47 will probably require some minor fitting.
- Offers unique adjustability
- Pull weight can be adjusted from 4 to 8 lbs
- Gives a clean break
- Great accuracy and performance
- Includes everything you need
- Great value for money
- Might require some fitting
Why the AK-47 is such a classic
The iconic AK47 is a popular rifle that many devoted users would refer to as ‘a classic.’ So why is this particular rifle so desirable?
- The AK47 was designed to be easy to use, easy to repair, and reliable.
- It’s a very rugged firearm that can take a beating and continue to work flawlessly even under harsh conditions. Depending on the conditions of use, an AK47 rifle will usually last anywhere from 20 to 40 years. AR-15s run smoother, but probably won’t last that long.
- A well maintained AK seldom fails. The rifle’s parts are hefty but loose enough to power through sand or grit.
- Its simple firing mechanism means that the gun very rarely jams.
- Cleaning and maintaining it is quick and easy.
- Other reasons for its popularity is that it’s relatively cheap to produce compared to other rifles and widely available all over the world.
Why a trigger upgrade is the best upgrade you can make
Do you own one of the AK family of rifles and think the trigger isn’t measuring up? I was in the same position and decided my current Tapco G2 trigger wasn’t cutting it. That’s when I began to look into an AK Trigger upgrade. Right from the start, I ran into issues like; who’s trigger is best? Do I want a drop-in trigger kit instead of individual parts? I also needed to make sure I complied with the requirement of the treaded 992(r) restrictions.
There are a few reasons AK47 users choose to upgrade their trigger.
- The factory AK trigger pull is long, heavy, and often gritty. One of the most common complaints about these triggers is they feel sloppy with no consistency.
- The main reason to upgrade is to improve the trigger pull. Upgrading to a high-quality trigger will give your AK47 an impressively tight sweep. This will allow for a snappier reset and quicker follow-up shot.
- Shooters who upgrade the trigger see immediate results in better accuracy.
- Upgrading the trigger can also eliminate any trigger slap. Trigger slap is the stinging sensation of the trigger springing back or “slapping” the shooter’s trigger finger during firing.
- Lastly, it’s a very cheap but effective upgrade to make. If you’re only making a few upgrades to your AK47 to keep costs low, the trigger should be one of them.
The Main Players
There are several big names and options I ran into in the AK 47 trigger game, and many of them are household names, some are not. Below I’ve posted a list of some and whether or not they made the initial cut for my selection.
- ALG Defense AKT (Geissele Automatics, Made the cut)
- CMC Triggers (Made the cut)
- Elftmann Tactical (Too Expensive)
- Red Star Arms (Made the cut)
- Arsenal Inc (Made the cut)
To be 100% transparent, CMC has not put their AK47 family of drop-in triggers out to market at the time of this writing. That being said, I had a chance to use one in a Saiga AK47 conversion at SHOT 2016 Industry Day, and it was amazing, that is one of the big reasons it was on the list.
When I was considering my selection, I honestly looked on the internet to see who had the best reputation and best install videos available. I have tried my hand at gunsmithing several times before, and it generally ends in chaos and broken parts. You can understand my caution as I approached this project. Out of all of the ones I looked at, ALG Defense and Geissele Automatics put out a video that made installing their trigger to be way too easy. They were the clear winner, partly because of the video.
WINNER: ALG DEFENSE AKT Trigger
How to choose the best AK trigger
By selecting the right trigger, you can ensure your gun performs how you want.
Evaluating the various types of triggers available helps you choose the one that is right for your AK47. For example, triggers will either be a single-stage or two-stage style. Some are also adjustable triggers, and many are drop-in triggers that are housed in pre-assembled, ready-to-install groups.
The trigger that’s best for you will depend on your shooting purposes. Here are a few things you should look for in a top-quality trigger for your AK47:
- A smooth pull and cycling – A smooth trigger will allow you to press without any stopping and starting. It gives uninterrupted pressure motion from start to finish, increasing accuracy.
- A crisp, clean break that you can count on time after time – In a good trigger, there’s no mechanical pause or hesitation between the press and the actual release.
- Good trigger reset – Resetting the trigger is the key to firing multiple shots accurately and efficiently. A good trigger reset is easy and is vital for combative/defensive purposes.
- A shorter length of pull – Most aftermarket triggers will have a shorter length of pull than your standard factory trigger, which means higher accuracy.
Another aspect to consider is the pull weight, meaning the amount of pressure required for the trigger to break. For competition or target shooting, a light trigger is recommended; however, for other styles of shooting, a light trigger may not be the best or safest choice. This is because it can break with just a couple of pounds of pressure.
How to install an AK47 trigger
Here are some general instructions for installing your new AK47 single-stage trigger. I’ve used the ALG Defense AKT Enhanced trigger as an example. Be sure to read and follow the included instructions with your trigger as the installation process for each trigger will differ.
- Firstly, unload your rifle then remove the safety selector.
- Remove the existing trigger and clean the receiver.
- SAFETY FITTING: Pre-install the trigger without the disconnector. Align the trigger pinhole with the receiver pinhole.
- Insert the trigger pin into the receiver through the trigger and continue to push out through the other side of the receiver.
- Check that the trigger rotates freely on the trigger pin.
- Due to the different models and platforms of AKs, the travel of the trigger to the safety stop varies greatly. No more than .010″ clearance should be measured between the trigger and safety with the safety selector in the safe position.
- Trigger installation: Place a drop of lubricant in the trigger bores. Install the disconnector spring into the disconnector. Then install the disconnector into the trigger, aligning the spring with the recessed pocket.
- Reinstall the trigger and disconnector into the rifle. Align the trigger pinhole with the receiver pinhole. Insert the trigger pin into the receiver through the trigger and disconnector and continue to push out through the other side of the receiver.
- Check trigger reset: Set the safety selector to FIRE. Dry fire the weapon and keep the trigger held back. Pull the charging handle and release, letting the bolt carrier snap forward. The hammer should not fall. Release the trigger. The trigger should catch the hammer.
Removal of Trigger
There are thousands of videos on disassembling the AK47 trigger, one of the best ones is done by Nate Schultz, and the link is included at the bottom of the article for reference. Word of caution that I don’t think anyone really stresses enough, the AK47 trigger spring is coiled, and it is a BITCH when it snaps your hand. Imagine a very small mousetrap, it got me twice, and I was shocked at how much power that little spring has. After complete removal of the safety and the entire fire control group, you are ready to go, and your gun should look something like this.
Once I had the old trigger removed and set aside, I brought up the ALG/Geissele install videos that are very long but extremely detailed and helpful. Today, there is a fairly good chance that whatever you want to do, someone else has done and made a video about it. That is what Geissele did. Even if you don’t choose a Gissele trigger, the video does an outstanding job of laying out how the AK family of rifles trigger and safety interact. Since the AKT came out, many top manufacturers such as Rifle Dynamics of Las Vegas, Nevada have been using them on custom builds. That speaks volumes.
Summary – Which is the best AK47 trigger?
There is no definite best AK47 trigger, as it will depend on what you use your AK47 for. I loved the Red Star Arms AK47 adjustable trigger set for its unique ability to adjust the pull weight to your liking. For the price, it offers much more value than you expect too.
I am also a big fan of the ALG Defense AK47 AKT enhanced trigger. It’s cheap but high in quality and performance. It gives a smooth use and impressive reset, plus it’s easy to install. If you’re looking for a trigger with a light pull-weight, you won’t be disappointed with this model.
I hope this guide has helped you find the best trigger upgrade for your AK47 and given you a deeper understanding of this rifle part. As you now know, an AK47 trigger is one of the most beneficial upgrades you can make to your Kalashnikov.
I will say that the AKM (AK47) I was using is my old faithful Atlantic Arms built from a 1979 Polish parts kit with Krebs safety, and I needed to install the supplied roll pin that was mentioned in the video. That came as a shock to me, but I considered the tolerance variable allowed in any AK rifle and went forward slowly. I must have disassembled and checked the spacing on the roll pin eight times while sanding it down slightly with a small micro file. I went slow and just told myself only to take off a little at a time and make sure the safety locked up rock solid. The process took some time, but I now feel 100% comfortable with taking apart my AK trigger.
Once I was sure the safety would lock up and clear the hammer and trigger while being disengaged, I lubed and reassembled the rifle and tried it on some snap caps first, then some live rounds. I can proudly say that I’ve successfully installed my first AK trigger, and if I can do it, then anyone can. Once I was sure it was good to go, I grabbed my Lyman digital trigger pull gauge so that I could semi scientifically say what the trigger pull was. The average was between 2.22 lbs and 2.6 lbs. That seemed very odd to me, so I rechecked it several more times. That weight seems really low, but it feels much better than the Tapco G2 for several reasons.
The Tapco G2 that was in my rifle was very odd to me, and I wanted it replaced for several reasons. The first reason was that it lacked an audible click and positive feel on the reset after firing it. I wasn’t the only person who thought this either. James Foley, my friend and owner of Arctic Arms in Chugiak, Alaska, shot it and made the same comments. The second reason I chose to change it out was that it was nearly impossible to feel the trigger break while firing it, which is, in reality, the other side of the primary problem of not feeling or hearing a reset of the trigger. The Tapco was an unmodified trigger from Atlantic Arms and new when I received the rifle.
My overall experience with the ALG Defense AKT trigger has been amazing. The frustration of having to fit the roll pin and file it down was short-lived and left me with a rifle with a fantastic trigger. This trigger is excellent for people who are building an AK rifle that need US-made components (counts as three), or anyone who is tired of a squishy trigger than sometimes come on AK family of rifles. The cost of the ALG trigger is reasonable at $49.00, and available threw our friend RobSki at the AK Operators Union Local 47-74 Store. The link is provided below.
We will be running a few thousand round tests of the ALG Defense AKT trigger in the next few weeks, be sure to check back for video and comments from the range day portion of this install. We will have several different shooters try this out and get their impressions as well. Until then, here is one final picture of the trigger installed. If you look closely, you can see the roll pin installed.