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Best AR-10 Triggers

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A smooth and precise trigger is definitely worth an investment. When you upgrade your AR-10’s trigger to a top-tier trigger you’ll notice that your accuracy improves. You’ll also get a more enjoyable shooting experience.

Now, most factory AR-10s come with decent triggers already installed, but there are still lots of aftermarket triggers floating around on the market that are even better.

In this guide, we’ll talk about some of the merits of the AR-10 platform, how to install a new trigger in your AR-10 rifle or carbine, the top qualities to look for in a new AR-10, and then our top five best AR-10 triggers in 2021.

CMC Triggers Single Stage Drop-In Trigger
  • AR15/AR10
  • Flat/Curved
  • Single stage
  • PW: 2.5 lbs,3.5 lbs, 4.5 lbs
$159 Shop NowClick to read my review
Top Pick
Geissele Super Semi Automatic Trigger (SSA)
  • AR15/AR10
  • M4 Curved
  • Two stage
  • PW: 1st: 2.75-3 lbs; 2nd: 1.5-1.75 lbs
$240 Shop NowClick to read my review
Best Budget Buy
JP Enterprises AR Adjustable Trigger System
  • AR15/308 AR10 set up
  • Curved
  • Single stage
  • PW: 3-3.5 lbs
$116 Shop NowClick to read my review
Timney AR-10 Drop-In Trigger
  • AR/M4 rifle
  • Skeletonized/Flat/Curved
  • Single stage
  • PW: 4 lbs
$229 Shop NowClick to read my review
Triggertech AR-10 Diamond Trigger
  • AR10/Pump- action AR
  • Flat/Curved/ Pro Curved
  • Two stage
  • PW: 1st: 0.25 lbs; 2nd: 1.25-3.75 lbs
$299 Shop NowClick to read my review

Why Go with AR-10?

The AR-10 is all about firepower. It is a semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine. It fires big centerfire rifle cartridges such as the 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Winchester. These higher calibers have far more range and power than the AR-15’s midrange rounds.

AR-10 build
AR-10; Image by Michael B. of Flickr

Personally, I like the AR-10 for long shots or close-range hunting of dangerous species. Not only will you be able to hit targets at longer distances, but you will also be able to take down larger game animals. You’d be hard-pressed to find any large game in North America the AR-10 can’t deal with at a reasonable distance.

This versatility is one of the main selling points of the AR-10. Suitable both at close and long-range. For tactical and hunting as well as a fun day at the range. 

Like the other ARs, one of the most appealing features of the AR-10 is how configurable it is. In fact, the AR platform as a whole has more spare parts and accessories floating around on the market than practically any other firearms platform in the world.

This makes finding that perfect trigger a reasonably easy task. But, why upgrade the trigger at all?

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Why Upgrade Your AR-10 Trigger?

A better trigger is one of the most effective ways to make your weapon more accurate. When you use an improved trigger, you’ll notice a difference right away. It should have less grit and creep, as well as a quicker reset than the trigger that came with your mil-spec AR-10.

AR-10 Trigger
AR-10 Trigger; Image from Wikimedia

Superior AR-10 triggers have a lot faster and more precise reset. As such, it allows for faster and more accurate follow-up rounds. This is especially useful in a tactical situation. In other words, while the trigger on your mil-spec AR-10 should operate, you may improve it even more. You can install a better trigger with a cleaner break and a shorter reset. Your rifle should, at the absolute least, become considerably easier and more fun to shoot.

Are you looking for more components? Check out our article on AR-10 barrels and AR-10 stocks.

AR-10 Triggers vs. AR-15 Triggers

The biggest difference between an AR-10 and AR-15 trigger lies in the military primers. An AR-10 trigger will usually have a heavier hammer and hammer spring. Its primary use is to strike the primers of the larger .308 Winchester or 7.62x51mm rounds.

Moreover, triggers marked with “AR-10/AR-15” are normally compatible with both platforms. Yet, triggers sold solely as “AR-10 triggers” or “AR 308 triggers” are likely only going to work in the AR-10 platform. And likewise, some lighter triggers meant for the AR-15 will not work with the AR-10.

Buyer’s Guide For The Best AR-10 Triggers

If this is your first time upgrading your AR trigger then you are in for some fun. I understand how intimidating it might be as well, but read on and we’ll tackle the ins and outs of finding and replacing the AR-10 trigger. There are a few factors to keep in mind.

Single vs Two-Stage Trigger

AR-10 triggers can be single-stage or two-stage. Single-stage triggers are the most common and simplest of the two. You operate it by giving one consistent smooth pull and at the end, it pops and the bullet goes off.

Double or two-stage triggers start off with the same smooth pull, but halfway through it gives you firm resistance before you pull through the second stage before you strike the bullet. This type of trigger is tactile, giving the shooter more control over the trigger pull.

You can take up the slack, then improve your aim before firing with the second stage’s lighter trigger pull. The second stage produces less motion since it requires less force. You’ll know exactly when to fire if you use a high-quality double trigger. 

As I said, the single-stage is the most common and likely the one you already have on your AR-15. Their simplicity makes them long-lasting and easy to use. 

Many prefer these, but if you want that split second to readjust and get a little bit extra control, then a two-stage trigger is the one for you.

Trigger Pull

Pulling weight, how much force you got to apply to the trigger, is a delicate balance. For most uses, a trigger should have a pull weight of between 2 to 5 pounds. However, this is an area where personal preference makes a big difference. The good news is that many triggers come with the adjustable draw weight. This is a feature it is worth paying extra for.

Trigger Shape 

The shape of your trigger will also impact the accuracy and your enjoyment. Flat and curved triggers are the two most frequent trigger shapes. Flat triggers allow you to extend your pull reach. Curved triggers, on the other hand, have a smaller surface area and a shorter pull reach. There is no right or wrong choice, and it is entirely up to you to decide which one you like.

Installation

If you want to keep the installation simple, a drop-in trigger is ideal. There is no need for the help of a gunsmith or any specialist tools to install a drop-in trigger. The disconnector, hammer, and trigger are all kept together in one case. All you have to do is swap out the trigger and you’ll be good to go.

How to Install an AR-10 Trigger

Below are the 10 steps to installing an AR-10 trigger:

  1. Begin by gathering the following materials: Belt Sander, Military Push Pins, Firing Pin, Allen Screws, Plastic Mallet, Solvent, Padded Clamp, Compressed Air, Loctite.
  2. Push out the takedown pins from your AR and remove the upper assembly of the AR-10 from the lower assembly.
  3. Set the lower assembly in a padded clamp. Set the upper assembly aside.
  4. Degrease the lower assembly using compressed air and the solvent.
  5. Remove the old trigger group and Insert the new trigger well into the lower receiver.
  6. Insert the trigger pins and gently tap them in using the rubber mallet.
  7. Install an Allen screw in each side of the trigger cartridge, so the trigger cartridge is pushed up.
  8. Install one Allen screw over each of the Allen screws from the last step. This prevents the first screws from falling out.
  9. Place the lower receiver and the upper receiver back together.
  10. Test the trigger to make sure it works.

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The Best AR-10 Triggers

1. CMC Single Stage Drop-In Trigger

CMC Trigger
CMC Trigger; Image by Triple Bravo

For drop-in triggers, you can trust CMC Triggers. They are a trusted brand that produces high-quality triggers for AR platforms, both AR-10 and AR-15 at a decent price. The trigger’s pull weight lies about 2.5 lbs which make for easy shooting. Many like the lightness of the trigger and there’s hardly any creep.

The trigger comes in two shapes: the classic tactical flat and curve-shaped.

They are simple and durable. Built of S7 steel, it provides a good mix of wear and corrosion resistance. CMC triggers also include their own sets of pins. Thus making it a practical option as it already has everything you need. Its sear engagement (the movement before it “breaks” and shoots) isn’t adjustable. Its surfaces are highly polished, as a result, the trigger is quite smooth to operate.

Overall

The CMC AR-10 Single Stage Trigger is an ideal choice and a practical option. It has pins included and is made of high-quality materials.

Pros
  • Comes in flat or curved shapes
  • Made of durable S7 steel
  • Sets of pins included
Cons
  • Not adjustable

2. Geissele Super Semi-Automatic Trigger (SSA)

Giessele SSA-E Two-Stage Trigger
Giessele SSA-E Two-Stage Trigger; Image by Black_Rifle

The Geissele SSA Trigger is compatible with most AR platforms, including the AR-10. This trigger is one of the best in the market. You’ll get a two-stage trigger that is easy to pull, lightweight, and overall a quality trigger. 

For the first stage, the weight is 2.75 to 3 pounds, and the second stage weight is 1.5 to 1.75 pounds with an overall of 4.25 to 4.75. This makes it a precise, but light trigger. 

It’s worth noting, as well, that the sear engagement isn’t adjustable. Full strength hammer spring is used to drive the hammer. The safety sear also ensures it will not fire unless you pull the trigger.

Although the Geissele Automatics is a pricey trigger, you get what you pay for. It’s not only simple to install and unlikely to require any custom fitting, but it’s also smooth and light, with no creep.

Overall

The Geissele SSA Trigger is our top pick out of our today’s list. Thanks to its extremely sharp and lightweight two-stage trigger. It has virtually no creep or grit and is also easy to install. 

Pros
  • Easy to install
  • Has safety sear
  • Lightweight two-stage trigger
Cons
  • Not adjustable

3. JP Enterprises AR Adjustable Trigger System

Original JP Trigger and Disconnector
Original JP Trigger and Disconnector; Image by JP Enterprises

Another great trigger alternative for an AR-10 is the JP Adjustable Trigger System. As the name implies, you can easily change the weight of the trigger pull. The adjustments are straightforward to make. It may be set to as low as 3.5 pounds. The reset is quite quick, allowing you to make fast and accurate follow-up shots. 

Another useful feature of the JP Enterprises trigger is its drop-in design. It eliminates the need for complicated installation. Note that this is also a trigger kit. The engagement screw, over travel screw, and disconnector spring is already attached. So you won’t have to do anything else with the trigger.

Overall

The JP Enterprises AR Adjustable Trigger is an excellent AR-10 trigger. The JP Enterprises is simple to install and features a quick reset for quick follow-up shots. Lastly, it is adjustable to as low as a three-and-a-half-pound trigger pull weight.

Pros
  • Break is very crisp
  • Very easy to install
  • Has a very short reset for faster follow up shots
Cons
  • Adjustments can be stiff

4. Timney AR Drop-In Trigger

Timney Triggers
Timney Triggers; Image by SHWAT

The Timney AR Drop-In Trigger is a trigger made for the AR-10. Built from high-quality materials, the trigger is ultra-durable. It uses S7 steel while the rest of the trigger kit’s components are A2 steel.

With a trigger pull weight of 4 pounds, the trigger has little to no creep or overtravel. This is also a single-stage trigger, which makes it as light as possible to shoot. 

Because of its drop-in design, this trigger is simple to install. Just take note that it may need a small number of minor adjustments to fit perfectly.

Overall

The Timney AR Drop-in Trigger is one of the best drop-in triggers on the market. It is a solid trigger that is simple to install and works smoothly with your AR-10.

Pros
  • Installation is simple
  • The trigger pull is quite smooth
  • Durable S7 steel tool construction
Cons
  • Not adjustable
  • May need some fitting

5. TriggerTech AR-10 Diamond Trigger

AR-10 Diamond Trigger
AR-10 Diamond Trigger; Image by Triggertech

All TriggerTech AR-10 Triggers feature an advanced Friction Release Technology.  Made for long-range and competition shooting, the trigger is reliable and enhances accuracy. The Diamond trigger offers a fine pull weight adjustment, which is critical for any sniper. Its pull weight lies between 1.5-4 lbs. This trigger is also a two-stage trigger where the first stage pull is .25 lbs and the second stage will be 1.25 up to 3.75 lbs. 

Another smart move is placing the roller between the sear and trigger surfaces. It resulted in a clean break with no creep, short pull, and short reset. The trigger isn’t cheap, but it is made for competitions after all. Expect to pay around $300. 

Overall

If you want a trigger that will give you lighter short pulls, a crisp and short reset, then get the TriggerTech AR-10 Diamond Trigger.

Pros
  • Uses advance Friction Release Technology
  • Enhance accuracy
  • Clean brake
Cons
  • Pins not included
  • Pricey

Conclusion

Regardless of whether you plan on building your rifle new from the ground up or simply customizing your existing one, any of the AR-10 triggers on our list is likely to make your AR-10 easier to shoot, and you a better shooter. 

Our Top Pick is the Geissele SSA Trigger, which is a two-stage trigger that is extremely lightweight, has virtually no creep, and is easy to install. The best budget buy is the JP Enterprises AR Adjustable Trigger System. Drop in design and adjustable. Maybe not the smoothest, but you get a lot for your money.

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