Tale of Two AR Triggers
Gunsmithing the AR with replacment triggers, namely the JP Enterprises EZ Trigger Kit With Armageddon Gear Roller Trigger and also the Timney Drop In Trigger
by Joe W Gorman
Pity the aging perfectionist, the once formerly happy tasks of his youthmounting scopes, changing triggers, bedding actions, upgrading barrels have now become stress inducing chores. Have you ever awoken from a sound sleep, terrified that the $800 scope you just mounted is not perfectly level with respect to the receiver?!? This kind of worry keeps an aging perfectionists awake nights. Imagine swapping out AR triggers, adjustable AR triggers. The horror. The disconnector has to be timed and the over travel has to be set. The proper weight springs must also be selected.
Or, in the alternative, I could install a true drop in group and be done with it. But than what about my obsessive compulsive behavior? The therapist's couch is calling. For this story I tried two options.
JP Enterprises EZ Trigger Kit With Armageddon Gear Roller Trigger
The original JP Fire Control Kit was the benchmark for single-stage AR triggers, measured in terms of precision, reliability, durability, safety and longevity in the market. They had the metallurgical know-how to make triggers/hammers that had a crisp break that withstood thousands of rounds without losing their edge. The new JP EZ Trigger trigger can in theory be installed in about five minutes without any gunsmith fitting or modification of parts, although it took my son PJ and me about 45 minutes start to finish as we wanted to be really, really sure we had it right. We successfully timed the disconnector and set the over travel. The included instruction sheet and DVD were easy to follow and I have to say I learned a lot about what happens inside the lower receiver when the weapon fires. I'm sure I could do another trigger in under half the time now.
I ended up installing the Duty weight hammer spring as I really need the M4 I to go BANG each time the trigger it pulled. It's my ranch rifle. I also opted for the Armageddon Gear Roller Trigger as I was very curious about it. I spoke with JP (The JP in JP Enterprises) about this radical trigger. He mentioned that this trigger was developed with Tom Fuller (The Armageddon Gear part of this partnership) to help roll-off non-linear trigger travel. An interesting note, according to JP, when Tom tried to patent this roller trigger, he discovered that it had already been patented 100 years previous!
Now, I'm a fairly traditional guy and my AR triggers are all curved. I was skeptical to put it mildly of a straight stainless post with a carbon roller masquerading as a trigger. But when JP mentioned that the roller diminishes the human vectoring we apply as we squeeze the trigger, the light bulbs started to go off in my brain. He also suggested a high firm grip on the pistol grip and to engage the trigger at the first knuckle rather than the pad of the finger!
But I like it. I've run a couple magazines out of the M4 standing and I must say I am warming up to this. JP knows what he's talking about! :) It's a leap of faith for those of us raised on the orthodoxy of treating ARs like bolt rifles with respect to how much grip pressure to apply and how to address the trigger. So as a point of reference, I sent a Colt Match AR into JP 22 years ago to fit a trigger/speed hammer and that rifle is still running splendidly, just like the day I got it back from him.
Timney Drop In Trigger
At the other end of the spectrum from the JP Enterprises trigger kit is the Timney drop in AR group. It quite literally drops into place and is retained by adjusting two set screws. That's it. Simply order whatever weight you want your trigger to break at and remove your factory trigger (like the 7 pounder we took out of the SIG516) and all the timing, over travel adjusting et cetera, is done for you, no muss, no fuss!
Timney's been making super high quality replacement triggers since 1946 for all makes of rifles. Its take on the AR trigger is the simplest I've seen. And installation is very quick, once you realize that the two set screws that need to be tightened after installing the group are already in the trigger group housing and the two extra screws in the kit are for polymer framed ARs.
I ordered the 4 pound break weight for the SIG516 as ignition reliability is important to me. And the Timney delivered. Crisp and light, the Timney trigger helped shrink group sizes with the SIG.
This is literally a 5 minute deal, if you read the part about the screws already being in the housing. If not, it would take 20 minutes. DOH.
So what personality type are you? Do you like to tinker with things so that the job not only gets done right but you educate yourself about the operation of the gizmo you're repairing or updating? Or would you rather go for the quick, easy, perfection in a box answer? The good news is, in this case, whether you opt for the JP Enterprises EZ Trigger, or the Timney Drop In Trigger, you win!