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Why are AR trigger assemblies so expensive?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by epijunkie67, Jan 11, 2011.

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  1. epijunkie67

    epijunkie67 Member

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    So I'm shopping around for parts to finish a stripped AR lower I have and I'm looking at trigger assemblies and wondering "What are they making these things out of? Gold?"

    Sure, I get that it's an important part of the weapon. But it's also basically a couple of pieces of hardened steel with a few springs. Depending on the design you're looking at 4 or 5 small pieces of steel. How much money does it really cost a company to mass produce that?

    $200? 250? 300? For a trigger assembly? Really?
     
  2. Davek1977

    Davek1977 Member

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    The price of production is only a small factor in determining something price point. Consider DVD's.....pennies to make, yet retail for 20 bucks.......if a company CAN sell their triggers for $250, and people buy them, does it really make sense from their view to offer the same thing at half the cost? If sales are brisk, why alter the price point? People are willing to pay top dollar for top of the line componenets, just like some people want to drive a dodge viper when a dodge neon would get them the samle place at a more cost effective point.....but again, a neon ain't a Viper, and a Timney or whatever isn't your basic trigger
     
  3. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    You do realize that a "parts kit trigger" is about $80 with everything else

    Good triggers cost $$$ as they must be held to incredibly close tolerances in order to be a "good trigger" as well as a safe trigger.

    Besides bolt action aftermarket triggers aren't exactly cheap either.
     
  4. Rubber_Duck

    Rubber_Duck Member

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    This. I paid $180 for my Geisselle SSA and it is the best thing I ever bought for my AR other then my ACOG, and together they made a dramatic difference in my shooting ability. Good triggers really are worth the money. And unlike some accessories, you will get a return on your investment each and every time you fire your rifle. So it pays to buy a decent trigger.
     
  5. oerllikon

    oerllikon Member

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    I think Dave K hit the nail on the head. I know nice mauser triggers are around 90 dollars, but im guessing the demand for ARs is much higher
     
  6. dogmush

    dogmush Member

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    My Jard AR trigger was only about $150. and worth every penny. If you're shopping for $300 triggers you're looking in the wrong place.
     
  7. Higgy

    Higgy Member

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    Because people buy them.

    Why are Harley Davidson motorcycles so expensive?

    Because people buy them. They are cool to own, and a status symbol, just like ARs.

    Why is gas so expensive? Because we buy it. Stop buying so much and the price will go down.
     
  8. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    A magazine interviewer once asked Arnold Jewell what he said to people who wanted to know why his triggers cost so much.

    "They cost what they cost."

    Of course, his triggers are built like fine Swiss watches, too.
     
  9. kwelz

    kwelz Member

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    I am always amazed at questions like this. Whether it be triggers or full guns it seems like the question comes up all the time.

    A trigger isn't just a couple pieces of hardened steel. It is a carefully developed machine. Here are some of the steps that went into building that trigger that costs a couple hundred dollars.

    1: Research and development. is there one already made like this? it is patented? Nope. Good, how can I improve the stock design? How many failed prototypes did they do through. How many hundreds of man hours were spent getting those two pieces of steel to where they are now?

    2: Materials. These are not made out of pot metal. Quality parts use quality materials.

    3: Equipment costs. These are precision made machines. It requires expensive equipment to make. Even if you Sub it out you still have a lot of money tied up here.

    4: Payroll. Good machinist and QC people cost money.

    5: Other Overhead. Keeping the lights on, water running, etc, etc.

    6: Marketing. You want people to know about your product. That means advertising and marketing.

    7: You want to make a profit. So there has to be some markup built in there.


    Now the more you produce the less it cost per unit. But a lot of these companies are not producing items by the 10s of thousands.
     
  10. kymarkh

    kymarkh Member

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    2 words: Liability insurance
     
  11. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    What he said. And if you think these guys are getting rich off this stuff, because "people buy them", think again.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011
  12. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    One major unrecognized component is the adjustable set screw to limit travel. All high end trigger kits include it.

    I'd like to see a review of all the kits when the travel is out all the way. Then you get an idea of exactly how good that precision machining really is. Adjusted to the minimum safe travel, it's 80% less, so you get 80% less grit, too.

    Add salt to that wound, a .40 cent screw does most of the work in a $150 trigger. If it's a duty or hunting rifle, don't go low spring pressure, just install the screw. I can assure you it will improve almost ANY trigger. My AGP lower came with one, unadjusted, the Stage LPK was gritty and long at best. Adjusted, it has one small bump and lets off crisply, because it simply doesn't go over all the machine marks left in the engagement.

    If it's a range only competitive rifle, pony up, otherwise, don't bother. It can only help a shooter achieve the inherent precision of the barrel, and milspec is 2MOA. If your's is guaranteed better than that, fine, because the trigger maker can't - it's all about the barrel.
     
  13. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Harbor freight doest sell any of them. As above the Jard is a good trigger for the money. With a little work, a few springs and a set screw you can get a decent trigger <$10.
     
  14. MrCleanOK

    MrCleanOK Member

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    People will buy them at that price as fast as the manufacturers can make them. Wow, economics 101.
     
  15. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    Tirod and jmorris are right, with a little work and a cheap screw you can improve your AR trigger a lot. I now have a crisp, mostly creepless 3.5 lb trigger without touching sear surfaces and their surface hardening.

    but to answer your original question, R&D, legal CYA, production and distribution costs, warranty, profit, etc all play into it.
     
  16. MrOldLude

    MrOldLude Member

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    If you just need a trigger, a DPMS lpk will include everything needed to assemble a lower for ~$60. The trigger works, but it's not great.

    If you're looking for a better trigger, an RRA 2-stage trigger can be had for ~$100 if you look around. On gunbroker for example I've recently seen a couple for $98 or so shipped.
     
  17. atblis

    atblis Member

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    Well

    I think you'll see prices start creeping down. Too many good triggers out there.
     
  18. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    I suppose the cost can be attributed to many (or all) of the reasons already posted.

    I put a Geisselle SSA in mine, and consider it to be money well spent.
     
  19. wnycollector

    wnycollector Member

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    +1 on that. I have two RRA 2 stage triggers and paid ~$115 for an entire LPK with the 2 stage trigger via a seller on gunbroker.
     
  20. biggameballs

    biggameballs Member

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    Just a couple pieces of hardened steel? Try a couple pieces of hardened steel, millions of dollars of machining equiptment, leasing a building, monthly bills like electricity, paper, phones, paying employees, packaging, marketing.
     
  21. Red0ak

    Red0ak Member

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    How good is the trigger on a Bravo Company lower? Thinking about getting one.
     
  22. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    It's probably a Stag/CMT trigger and therefore is probably like most USGI type triggers. Don't expect anything great. If you want something great, consider the Geissele SSA (or any other Geissele), which I expect BCM would be happy to install for you before they ship the lower. For less money, the $60 Spike's "battle trigger" is somewhat better than stock USGI trigger.
     
  23. Dionysusigma

    Dionysusigma Member

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    I have the Geissele SSA and the Spike's Battle. They are two different animals, and I like them both equally. The SSA is on my 20" with ACOG, and the Spike's is on my 16" with irons.
     
  24. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    I have a couple of Geissele SSA triggers but ordered a Geissele DMR trigger at the SHOT show for my POF P308 (shipped today). That trigger typically sells for $279 at places like Midway. The price at the SHOT show was $215 which included shipping via UPS. I doubt that Geissele is making a loss on this special pricing. If that assumption is correct, then someone is making some money off these triggers!!
     
  25. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    The only negative thing I've heard consistently about DPMS is that their triggers are absolute garbage.
    I have a RRA 2-stage on my 308 and like it. It's not an amazing match trigger but it is very good compared to the other ARs I've tried. I haven't tried any of the great aftermarket triggers but it's just hard to spend more than a complete lower costs on a trigger.
     
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