Skip to main content

TriggerTech Triggers

Here's how TriggerTech rewrote the book on precision triggers.

TriggerTech Triggers
Photos by Mark Fingar

What started out as a couple of young Canadian hunters bummed out about a poorly crafted crossbow trigger has spawned a company that in just seven short years has become a force not only in bowhunting but also in the firearms’ trigger market. So much so that when you talk precision triggers, you better include TriggerTech.

The company was started by Greg Daniac and Mats Lipowski who, not unlike entrepreneurs before them, wanted something better.

Pulling inspiration from their experience in the automotive industry, specifically door latches and releases, the two realized there was a better way than sliding friction to handle trigger/sear engagement in a trigger. They opted for rolling friction, a revolutionary idea that can now be seen in firearms ranging from M700s to the AR-15s.

All About Friction

What was true seven years ago, and is still today, just about every trigger on the market relies on sliding friction to function. This arrangement mandates a portion of the trigger overlap a portion of the sear. Pulling on the trigger slides the trigger off the sear, releasing the hammer to strike the firing pin.


The simple fact that the trigger and sear overlap and slide across each other means there will be creep. Minimizing creep is a game of experimenting with how little engagement there can be while still remaining safe.


Another trick with AR-15 triggers is to place a reduced-power hammer spring in the trigger assembly. This decreases the tension between the trigger and sear and allows the two parts to slide across each other more easily. However, a reduced-power hammer spring in an AR-15 causes an increase in vertical stringing because it doesn’t hit the primer hard enough to get the most positive ignition. TriggerTech has figured out solutions to each of these problems with their rolling-trigger design.

Bryden Richardson, TriggerTech’s chief operations officer, describes the trigger as an uncaptured, free-floating roller that sits between the trigger and sear. It sounds so simple, but it means so much in terms of performance.

Rolling friction is the key to consistent, light and creep-less trigger letoff. Instead of two surfaces sliding across each other, a roller sits motionless until it releases. Once released, there is a fraction of the resistance when a round object rolls versus two flat surfaces sliding.

New Tech

Another technology that exists in each AR trigger is the company’s TKR, an intermediary part that resets the sear without requiring excess trigger movement. Once the trigger and sear separate, they eventually have to come back together. Historically, this means the trigger moves before the two reconnect, but the TKR moves the sear with just a tiny amount of trigger movement. This unique component gives each TriggerTech trigger a short reset. If a shooter wants to burn a magazine quickly, the TKR helps make that happen.


TriggerTech Triggers
Adjusting a trigger is easy; just listen for and feel discernable clicks. Pull-weight range adjustments vary with the model selected.

Next up in the cool trigger innovation category is the CLKR that comes in each TriggerTech product. The CLKR is a screw and detent that clicks as the user adjusts pull weight. This makes it easy to keep track of how much the owner adjusts the trigger. One can simply count clicks to keep track of the pull weight. This is an efficient way to adjust a trigger instead of the usual “turn the screw a bit and check” method.

TriggerTech also makes the click adjustments variable. Each click at the low end of the pull weight makes a small change letoff, and each click at the heavy end of the pull weight makes a more pronounced change.

Take their Diamond trigger, for example. The low end is at 4 ounces, and the first eight clicks move the weight up to 5 ounces. At that rate, pull weight would max out at about 10 ounces. Instead, each click adds weight progressively so that the last eight clicks take the pull weight from 1 to 2 pounds. 


TriggerTech Triggers

Hammers & Springs

AR triggers are a tough animal to tame. Part of the problem is the mechanics of the rifle itself. The AR’s hammer, once released, makes a huge sweeping arc until it collides with the firing pin/bolt carrier. This is the moment where precision matters most, and it’s the same moment the rifle sends two large pieces of metal crashing into each other. Dry-fire an AR with a scope and watch how much that collision makes the scope’s reticle hop.

One of the best ways to minimize how much the reticle hops around in dry-fire (which means groups will get smaller when shooting for real) is to pay attention to the hammer shape of any trigger you select. Hammers that place most of the mass far away from the hammer pin (the ones that look like an actual claw hammer) have the most problems.

Placing most of the mass far away from the hammer pin gives these triggers lots of inertia, and that’s bad for reticle disturbance because objects in motion want to stay in motion. The best triggers for an accurate AR either pull some of the mass back to the hammer’s midpoint or make the entire hammer flat. This keeps the same amount of force applied to the firing pin but diminishes reticle disturbance.

TriggerTech’s AR triggers all use a flat hammer shape, and that alone makes them a better choice than most triggers if accuracy is a consideration. The flat hammer does a much better job of disturbing the reticle less when dry-fired, and that makes a noticeable impact on group sizes.

Another feature TriggerTech uses on their AR triggers is a stouter hammer spring that delivers a stronger blow to the primer than a standard hammer spring. Since TriggerTech’s product uses rolling friction instead of sliding friction, the extra-power hammer spring doesn’t impact trigger pull weight in an AR.

The necessity of a full-power hammer spring cannot be understated, and it’s not just to make sure the cartridge in the chamber fires when struck. The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) has known for a couple decades that an AR needs a full-power hammer spring to get the best groups possible out of the rifle. Positive ignition yields smaller vertical dispersion at 300 yards and beyond. Mark Gordon of Short Action Customs has done copious amounts of testing to document this principle.

TriggerTech has managed to combine the ideal hammer shape with a more-than-full-power hammer spring and still keep trigger pull weights down to 1.5 pounds in an AR. That makes two engineering feats to improve accuracy of the AR-15 while simultaneously offering the lightest trigger pull of which I’m aware.

Durability

Putting all this accuracy-enhancing performance into a trigger that has such a crisp and low pull weight may sound like a bad idea from a durability perspective, but nothing could be further from the truth.

TriggerTech designed their trigger for durability from the beginning and has done extensive and abusive testing to make sure their product holds up. One of the best features is the noncaptured roller that sits between the trigger and sear. Since it is only subject to rolling friction, it experiences much less wear than any sliding-friction components.

Sliding-friction triggers and components wear over time. How quickly they wear is a function of materials chosen for the trigger and how those materials were handled during the heat-treat process. A good quality sliding-friction trigger should last for 30,000 rounds.

TriggerTech’s rolling-friction design wears at a much slower rate. They’ve done extensive testing in-house and even took one trigger to 500,000 cycles with no detectable change in trigger pull characteristics. Not only does the roller design ensure the trigger has zero creep, it also lasts much longer than its competitors.

TriggerTech’s hammer spring also experienced increased durability through better design. They use a flat-wire spring that allows them to get more coils into the spring, which gives it increased striking power. Spreading the load across so many coils also means the spring doesn’t have to work as hard to do it.

Most AR hammer springs weaken over time and can use replacement every 15,000 rounds. Those same standard springs, if never replaced, will develop problems at about the 30,000-round mark.

TriggerTech cycled one of their flat-wire springs over 700,000 times before it broke. Even if replaced at the spring’s half-life, that’s still more rounds than almost all of us will shoot in a lifetime.

Case for Cassettes

All of TriggerTech’s triggers are of cassette-type (or single-unit) design and drop into any AR lower. The trigger pin and hammer pin then hold the unit in place. They use the cassette trigger because of the irregularities in AR lower receivers. Since there is some variation in trigger- and hammer-pin hole location on almost every AR lower receiver, constructing a one-piece, drop-in trigger unit fixes that. 

TriggerTech Triggers
TriggerTech chose to make drop-in cassettes to avoid issues with irregularities in AR lowers.

All of their AR triggers are also two-stage triggers. Since they use a roller to release the trigger, there is no way to “slide” through the first stage like traditional sliding-friction triggers. Thus, the first stage in these triggers moves an internal safety out of the way that allows the trigger to release during the second stage.

TriggerTech also uses all stainless steel construction on their trigger internals. This gives each trigger maximum corrosion resistance

There are four AR trigger models that boast zero creep. Two models, the Combat AR and Competitive AR have fixed pull weights at 5.5 and 3.5 pounds, respectively. The Adaptable AR Primary trigger has an adjustable pull weight between 2.5 and 5 pounds. The AR Diamond has an adjustable pull weight of 1.5 to 4 pounds.

TriggerTech Triggers
AR Diamond triggers feature a pull-weight range from 1.5 to 4 pounds with zero creep. They retail for $250.

If you really want to change how your AR handles, drop in one of TriggerTech’s AR safety selectors. Instead of a spring-loaded detent dragging along the safety’s cylinder, TriggerTech put a tiny silicone nitride ball on the nose so that it could roll instead of drag. Next, they coated the safety cylinder in Diamond Like Carbon coating (DLC), letting the ball tip roll across it like wet ice on ice. I don’t know of anyone who has gone to this extreme to make a safety rotate so precisely.

TriggerTech Triggers
TriggerTech designers didn’t stop at just making better triggers. They redesigned the safety selector to rotate more precisely.

Any AR enthusiast will be well-served by a TriggerTech trigger. They bring a lot of new technology to an otherwise traditional segment of the AR market and have gained a reputation as top performers.


AR-15

To read more articles like this, click here to purchase a print or digital copy of AR-15.

Current Magazine Cover

Enjoy articles like this?

Subscribe to the magazine.

Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Trijicon

Trijicon's New Specialized Reflex Optics (SRO)

The Trijicon SRO is specifically designed for pistol use. The wide field of view and clean, crisp dot makes it easy for users to find and track the dot in both target and competitive shooting applications.

Savage Arms Impulse Rifle with Straight-Pull Action

Savage Arms Impulse Rifle with Straight-Pull Action

Savage introduces a must-shoot straight-pull rifle, the Impulse, with three hunting configurations.

Guns & Ammo TV: Cameras Don

Guns & Ammo TV: Cameras Don't Lie: 9mm vs .45 ACP

The age-old question, 9mm vs .45 ACP. For some, this has been asked and answered already. For others, the debate goes on. In this segment of “Cameras Don't Lie,” competitive shooters Patrick Sweeney and Jim Tarr head to the range to put the vaunted loads on record, and then consider the footage.

Benelli Lupo Bolt-Action Rifle Review

Benelli Lupo Bolt-Action Rifle Review

It is unlike any other rifle on the market because it offers features no one else does; those looking for a rifle that fits like a custom-made firearm should look no further than the Benelli Lupo.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The United States Army has adopted the SIG Sauer Tango6T 1-6x24mm as its new dedicated optic for squad designated marksmen.SIG Sauer Tango6T 1-6x24mm Review Optics

SIG Sauer Tango6T 1-6x24mm Review

Tom Beckstrand - December 31, 2020

The United States Army has adopted the SIG Sauer Tango6T 1-6x24mm as its new dedicated optic...

In this segment of “At The Range,” Handgunning Editor Jeremy Stafford and contributor Patrick Sweeney compare the visibility of red and green lasers in outdoor, sunny conditions. Red vs. Green Lasers: Visibility in Bright Light Accessories

Red vs. Green Lasers: Visibility in Bright Light

Guns & Ammo Staff - August 24, 2020

In this segment of “At The Range,” Handgunning Editor Jeremy Stafford and contributor Patrick...

Leupold launches its new DeltaPoint Micro Red Dot sight, a low-profile red dot sight designed specifically for concealed carry and personal defense firearms.Leupold DeltaPoint Micro Red Dot Sight — First Look Optics

Leupold DeltaPoint Micro Red Dot Sight — First Look

Guns & Ammo Staff - December 31, 2020

Leupold launches its new DeltaPoint Micro Red Dot sight, a low-profile red dot sight designed...

Small, lightweight and purpose-built for sub-compact carry guns, Surefire's XSC pistol light takes on EDC illumination segment.Surefire XSC Micro-Compact Pistol Light: First Look Tactical

Surefire XSC Micro-Compact Pistol Light: First Look

Jeremy Stafford - September 10, 2020

Small, lightweight and purpose-built for sub-compact carry guns, Surefire's XSC pistol light...

See More Trending Articles

More Accessories

Garmin has upgraded two of its popular watches with solar augmentation to last longer between charges.Notable Upgrade: Garmin Solar Smart Watches Tactical

Notable Upgrade: Garmin Solar Smart Watches

Jeremy Stafford - November 12, 2020

Garmin has upgraded two of its popular watches with solar augmentation to last longer between...

The Lockdown Puck is a compact monitoring and security device that can be used to safeguard valuables, regardless of where they are stored. Beyond gun safes, the Puck is ideal for monitoring wine cellars, liquor cabinets, humidors and just about anything else with a door.Lockdown Puck Security Device Review Accessories

Lockdown Puck Security Device Review

Richard Nance - July 30, 2020

The Lockdown Puck is a compact monitoring and security device that can be used to safeguard...

The Trophy Ear Flexx Pro's custom-fit full-shell design conforms to your ears for optimal comfort and hearing protection.Trophy Ear Flexx Pro Hearing Protection Accessories

Trophy Ear Flexx Pro Hearing Protection

Richard Nance - December 17, 2020

The Trophy Ear Flexx Pro's custom-fit full-shell design conforms to your ears for optimal...

XS Sights' tactical rifle sights are angled to win.XS Sights XTI2 DXS Ember Sight Set Accessories

XS Sights XTI2 DXS Ember Sight Set

Jim Angell - October 19, 2020

XS Sights' tactical rifle sights are angled to win.

See More Accessories

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Guns & Ammo App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now