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5 AR Triggers

Note: I thought I published this some time back, now I found it today in the drafts folder, so here it is.

I have this opportunity to compare 5 different AR triggers, so I would be a fool not to write about it.

The Triggers:

  • Standard AR15 Trigger
  • Geissele SSA
  • Larue Tactical MBT
  • LMT 2 Stage
  • KAC 2 Stage

Before I try them all side by side, I’d guess that the standard trigger will be the heaviest, the MBT the lightest, and the SSA my favorite of them.  Of the two stage triggers I have the most time behind the SSA.  In the past I used to highly recommend the SSA, but Geissele has raised the price on them at least twice and the MBT can be had for under $100.

First up is a notched standard Colt fire control group.  The notched hammers will not work with some of the .22 conversions and most all of the pistol caliber uppers.  You can find non-notched hammers in various brands of lower parts kits.

These standard triggers can vary drastically.  Some have a smooth trigger pull and others are terrible and inconsistent.  Most of them will become significantly better as you use it.  But few people these days seem to want to spend the time to dry fire their firearm a few thousand times.

Using my trigger pull tester, I had the following results.
7.5 lbs, 6.75 lbs, 7 lbs.

On this trigger there is a noticeable amount of creep.  The trigger can be pulled very slightly and will move before the shot breaks.  But this distance is short, only noticeable if you are pulling the trigger very slowly.

The trigger reset is crisp, and the trigger will do what we really need. But there are nicer options.

Geissele triggers have a G marking visible on them.

The trigger pull tested measured in at 4.5 lbs, 4.25 lbs, and 4.5 lbs.

This two stage trigger requires about 2.75 pounds of weight to pull the first stage.

I never noticed before, but when I was just releasing the trigger until it resets, it feels like most of the weight is in the second stage.

The LMT 2 stage trigger has a straighter trigger bar than the others.

Trigger pull weights measured 4.75 lbs, 5.5 lbs, and 5.5lbs.  The first stage was measuring about 4.5 pounds.

To me the transition from the first stage to the trigger breaking was crisper on this trigger than the SSA.

I didn’t test it, but this felt like a heavier hammer spring than the others.

The Larue MBT trigger can be identified by the recesses on each side of the trigger bar.  This felt very light compared to the previous triggers.

All three trigger pulls clocked in at 3 pounds.  If it were any lighter I wouldn’t want it on a fighting rifle.  The whole weight of the trigger pull seemed like it was in the first stage. The MBT comes with a heavier spring to use as an option. I prefer to use this heavier spring as it makes the trigger feel more like a Geissele SSA. Also, on one of these triggers I found the reset was sluggish with the lighter spring. I have heard of other people having this issue, and using the heavier spring was the suggested solution. I have not tested the weight with the heavier spring.

Trigger pulls measured 4 lbs, 4 lbs, 5 lbs.  Getting 5 on that third pull surprised me so I measured several more after that and for 4.5 lbs on each of those.

I’m not sure how to describe it, but it is a little clicker than the others. If you are riding the trigger(or rolling the link, what ever you wanna call it), the reset is very noticeable and firm.

Compared to the SSA, I would say this feel heavier, even though it isn’t.

I like this trigger, but running at about $320 dollars, I could have three MBTs with cash left over. I wouldn’t buy this trigger simply due to that high price. The trigger and hammer are coated with something, probably chrome.


For dollar value, the Larue MBT can not be beat. I am partial to the Geissele SSA, but that is because I have been using them longest and own several. I certainly wouldn’t replace any of the above if I was using them.

As of January 2020, the LMT 2 stage is $140, which is a good price. Larue MBT trigger line is $80. If I was going to upgrade the trigger in an AR15, I just don’t see how to justify the price of anything other than the MBT.

End of the year musings on prepping and survival

As we come to the end of another year, I was remembering the Y2K discussions. Now I see people talking about preparing for civil unrest, and some the the discussions are similar.

Being a gun nut, it is easy to focus on weapons. Nice to have a stack of guns and a larger stack ammunition. People like me would joke about building a fort of of your ammo cans to fight from.

Back when Mosin Nagant rifles were dirt cheap, I would read about people buying a crate of them with the intent to arm their friends, neighbors, and harem of liberated soccer moms after the end of civilization.

If you are prepping for the SHTF, or the zombie apocalypse, civil war II, etc, it seems to me that there are so very many items other than a stack of guns that would be useful.

I think in this sort of case the person wanted to buy something, and had to rationalize a reason for it.

Hey, if you want something, and can afford, why not get it? If you can’t afford it, wait.

If you are really trying to prepare for bad times, look at the areas you are weak in. Think about stuff you would not be able to get if supply lines or power were cut.

A simple example would be that many people could make a silencer in their garage with a hand drill. But not very many people could build night vision from scratch. If not night vision, how many people can make a good flash light from the stuff around their house? Similar for body armor or gas masks.

It is like that comical joke of the body builder that always skips leg day. Seeing a tremendous amount of upper body muscle mass atop tiny spindly legs.

It is no fun to acknowledge our weaknesses. I’ve been working on my personal fitness for example, always been a weaker area for me. I have a little food and water stashed away. I keep a pile of ammo. But for me, a realistic bad SHTF event would be an extended period of unemployment. Fortunately I have various job skills that I would like to believe would keep me employed even in a bad recession.

For prepping, we gotta be honest with out selves and ask if we are buying what we want, or what we would need to cover a realistic problem. Are we buying the stuff that gives us a big improvement in our capabilities, or stuff that is just cool to have?

ebay and “gun giveback”

My ebay account got suspended today for selling gun stuff.

Previously they had warned me for selling a “barrel shroud”. I had sold a quad rail for an AK. I got suspended for listing up a threaded barrel. See, you can sell barrels on ebay, but not threaded barrels.
What ever, I’m fine with taking my business elsewhere.

Instead of “Gun Buyback” the new buzzword is “Giveback”. Give back your guns to the police.

Yea. . . Sure. . . When did the police ever give me to guns to begin with?

I hear that in VA there is a law that police gun buybacks have to offer to sell the firearms to a dealer. By doing a “giveback” the police could then just destroy any firearms turned in.

Battery changing time.

Each year, at the end of the year, I change all the batteries in my optics.

Yea yea, I know someone is going to point out how my beloved Aimpoint optics have a crazy long battery life. But, in the big picture, batteries are cheap enough that I can make sure there won’t be any unexpected surprises by changing them out at the end of each year.

I want to make sure all these optics will work when I need them too. I also want to make sure that a battery wont get too old and leak nasty chemicals all over the place. I’ve had that happen before, I don’t need it happening again.

More rambling

Slept in this morning, then went to the range. I really like this 6940. That Scalarworks magnifier mount was pricey, but worth it.

Here in the humidity, I have issues with things rusting. It seems like no matter what oil, grease, or cosmoline I have used, I still find rust everywhere. I suspect this is directly to blame why I have grown less fond of blued steel guns and prefer stuff like Glocks, ARs, and the like.

I found the little pin in the CTR stock on my rifle was rusting. I guess I’ll have to oil that too.

I’ve been playing around with the Magpul 40 round P-Mags. I was getting really fond of them. At the range, while I was doing a little rapid fire, I had a passing thought. I figured that these mags had proven trust worthy and I might use a few at my go-to mags.

Per the norm, the mags then told me to go fuck my self. Not so much in words but performance. Moments after I decided to makes these my primary, I pulled the trigger and heard a click when I expected a bang. I figured I had a bad round, so I waited. Turns out I had an empty chamber. The bolt didn’t lock back to the rear when I fired the last round of the mag. The Magpul follower canted so that the rear of it was too low to lock the bolt to the rear.

All three 40 round mags I bought today did this. In this picture, you can see the left most mag has the follower in the completely up position, while the right two followers tilted and failed to lock the bolt to the rear.

Looks like I am going to be trading a favorite optic for a Benelli M1014. This version of the M4 Super 90 had been on a “would like to have, but wouldn’t spend money on” list for a really long time. Now I have the chance to trade something I can purchase a replacement of and got a really good deal on for something else I’ll rarely use, but have gotten a good deal on.

I’ve always seen mixed messages about the M1014 and less lethal ammo. I’ve read people say how the USMC adopted the M1014 because it was the only semi auto that could reliably feel the bean bag rounds. I’d reply, no it doesn’t. Turns out the truth is a little more complex. After the USMC bought the M1014 shotguns, they had a third party modify them to be able to run less lethal ammunition. I’ll go into more details when I talk about the gun.