AR-15 Trigger Job... What/How


Badger Arms
March 5, 2003, 08:55 PM
I am looking to do a trigger job on My DCM gun and would like advice on how to do it, what tools and fixtures I might need, and what you have had success with. Thanks in advance.

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March 6, 2003, 05:32 AM
I had great success with my Dremel tool and a polishing wheel attachment for it. Using a little jeweler's polish, I gave all contact points on the trigger, hammer, sear, and pins a high polish (until I could see my reflection in them).

Most all the contact points are obvious, especially to a person with your experience, but make sure to also polish the hammer face. That'll ensure no friction is going on down there, thus no microscopic metal shavings being produced.

I topped off the polish job with a good soaking in white lithium grease (synthetic moly grease would also be a good candidate), and ended up with a light, crisp trigger. Going into the project I wanted to end up with a crisp trigger without changing the weight too much (I prefer stock trigger weights, and realize that "lightening" a trigger is only the process of pre-wearing the internals - read: "dangerous"), and I was very pleased with the results.

The same could be accomplished with a buffing wheel on a bench grinder, or a man who is extremely adept with stone types and their usage.

Oh, editted to add - If you use stones, be very careful. I once stoned my trigger group in one of my FALs, and I must've broken through the hardened metal on the surface of the hammer notches. The result was a full-auto FAL after only about 40 rounds, so I replaced the entire trigger group to safe. I thought I knew how to stone, but knowing how to really sharpen a knife and knowing how to stone polish are two different beasts.

March 6, 2003, 06:06 PM
I get the impression that you know what your doing so you probably know the obvious buff and fluff. I hear horror stories on a regular basis about people beign too agressive on the stoning and getting to soft metal on the AR, don't know if its different on the AR or what. I went to aftermarket triggers on all of my ars after i couldn't get what i wanted from simple polishing.

Badger Arms
March 7, 2003, 12:05 AM
I've already tried the polishing but I didn't get too aggressive because of what's already been said. I can do the AK-47 but all the parts on that are big and out in the open. I feel that I am in over my head here. Worse thing that could happen is that I have to get a new hammer and/or trigger.

March 7, 2003, 06:25 AM
Am in the process of making a fixture to hold trigger and hammer outside of the reciever so they can be worked on. Will let you know if it works out OK

March 7, 2003, 06:40 AM
If aggressive polishing doesn't work, it's stonin time. For an even crisper almost 2-stage trigger, lightly stone a 1/32" 45 degree angle on the disengagement side of the hammer notch. Cut a miniscule 30 degree angle on the sear face. Make sure to put a high polish on all your work before you reassemble. Start there, and try'r out.

If you're having trouble seeing the small notches and what-not, perhaps ordering a jeweler's magnifying mask (not sure hwat they're really called) is in order. It will certainly come in handy in future projects.

Like you say - if you don't like the results, or if you botch it, you can always order another trigger group. They're pretty cheap, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to have one around anyway as a control group, or replacement parts.

Sleeping Dog
March 7, 2003, 10:10 PM
The easy way: order a match trigger group from Rock River Arms, then install it. Instant nice 2-stage trigger.


March 7, 2003, 11:24 PM
Yes, that'd certainly be the easy way out. However, for some of us, there is no satisfaction in a purchase that could have been accomplished by ourselves with our own hands, wits, and know-how.

Some people cut their own trees down from their own property, painstakingly debark each log, hand-fit each log to each other, and carve their children's names over the front door of their new log home. Some people buy a house in a subdivision.

Nero Steptoe
March 8, 2003, 12:02 AM
"that could have been accomplished by ourselves with our own hands, wits, and know-how."

Yeah, it's the "know-how" that doesn't know that the stoning/cutting that you describe would go right through the thin hardening of the trigger/hammer that concerns me.

Figure out whether you want a single or two-stage trigger. If it's a two-stage, get either Rock River Arms, Jewell, or Compass Lake. If it's a single-stage, get the JP trigger/hammer combo.

Polish all you like, but don't do any stoning/cutting/changing angles on AR trigger parts, regardless of your self-perceived "hands, wits, and know-how. "

March 11, 2003, 12:33 AM
A stoned AR trigger will be nice for awhile but will quickly start doubling on you. Had a gunsmith stone mine down just enough to smooth it out and after about 1500 rounds it would start firing bursts. The surface hardness on the triggers is very thin, if you don't like your stock trigger either buy a bunch of parts and do swap and play till you get a good set or buy an aftermarket trigger that is the only safe way to work an AR trigger.

If you want a chalenge get a Jewel, great triggers but a pain to install.

Badger Arms
March 11, 2003, 12:45 AM
All this talk is great, but I don't want to spend $100 or more to get a smoother trigger pull.

March 11, 2003, 08:00 AM
All this talk is great, but I don't want to spend $100 or more to get a smoother trigger pull.

Gee Badger Arms in your original post you were asking about tools and fixtures, $100 seems cheap for a clean, reliable, proven trigger.

I believe there are adapters for the power custom HTS fixture. Don't know of anyone that has used them on the AR.

Badger Arms
March 11, 2003, 12:26 PM
I should have added that I would also like to do other guns eventually. I'd hate to pay somebody else to do something. Give them fish and they'll eat for a day; teach them to fish...

The Plainsman
March 11, 2003, 12:38 PM
The American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) has a video which deals specifically with tweaking the AR-15 trigger. It's about $25 and personally, I thought it was pretty good. It may not tell you anything you didn't already know, but it was helpful to me by letting me walk through the process with the instructor, as I worked on my gun. It gives you some "words of wisdom" on things to do and things to avoid. :cool:

November 9, 2007, 12:13 PM

I installed this spring kit into my Colt M-4 6400c. It reduced my pull weight from 8.5 lbs to 4.5 lbs. $30 and 30 minutes of work. Works great with no gunsmithing.

BTW it comes with small .154 pins that do not fit my rifle, so I had to put the factory pins back into the trigger assembly. No big deal, but I am going to put in the anti-walk pins from KNS precision anyway (approx $30).

November 11, 2007, 04:07 PM
Improving the trigger on an AR15 is hampered by the geometry of the original parts, regardless of how you touch them up they never get close to the ideal geometry short of a weld up and regrind.
Spring kits can help with the stock parts to lower poundage, but to get a really high quality pull you are going to have to go with aftermarket parts. With these you can get very sweet, safe and durable results. Single stage or two stage, your choice.

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