There are some gold standard upgrades applicable to everything we buy. That shiny new iPhone? We immediately buy a case. We get that nice, shiny new muscle car and immediately slap a cold air intake on it, ‘cause it totally looks cool and adds 100 horsepower (uh, right?). We buy a new house and the wife fills the kitchen cabinets with china while you go buy a grill and a mower.
When it comes to AR 15s, your first immediate upgrade should be a drop-in trigger. Sure, the factory single-stage trigger gets the job done, but it can often feel gritty, creepy, over-traveled and underwhelming. The guy who wrote this once said that the greatest opportunity for shooter error, above all else, rests in the distance your trigger travels. Making that distance shorter, and making the round trip smoother, is hands down the easiest way to improve your shot groups and performance as a shooter overall.
80-Lower Got some Cool Drop-in Triggers
Wouldn’t you know it, with you just now learning of this revelation of black rifle building, we’ve already got you covered! Rise Armament has produced some of the highest-performing drop-in triggers on the market, and we’re happy to offer them at pretty good prices (shameless plug).
How a Drop-in Trigger Works
Aptly named, drop-in triggers simply replace all the existing bits of your lower receiver’s trigger group with a self-contained, preassembled trigger assembly. All you need to do is pull out the old stuff – your trigger, hammer, and springs – and literally drop in your new trigger unit. Secure it with the provided pins (or your existing pins, which are .154” by normal standards) and you’re set. All of our 80% lowers are compatible with any of the drop-in triggers you'll find on our site!
Why a Drop-in Trigger Rocks
Factory trigger components are built on separate assembly lines, sometimes by different manufacturers. That means tolerances for a subject part might be on par, but that doesn’t guarantee that X hammer will play nicely with Y disconnector and Z trigger.
Drop-in triggers are manufactured to extreme tolerances relative to each other, ensuring they function seamlessly as one unit. The result is a trigger that is more accurate, more reliable, and more enjoyable.
Rise Armament’s RA-140 trigger is their entry-level unit, but it is not an entry-level trigger by any standards. Built using AS9100 quality control standards, all the parts in this trigger are machined down to one-millionth of an inch. The trigger is single stage with a 3.5-lb. pull, just right for most shooters – not too heavy, not a hairpin.
The RA-140 also features a redesigned hammer with a drop safety catch. That means that although your trigger will feel like butter with little resistance or movement, it’ll never fire on its own when dropped or banged around. The RA-140’s blacked anodized housing is beautiful and complements any AR 15 lower.
The RA LE145 features a bit of a heavier trigger pull than the RA-140 at 4.5 pounds, but it also offers even less take-up, creep, and overtravel, affording you a short pull and quick reset that’s smooth and consistent. The trigger breaks clean as glass and features heat-treated, high-grade steel components inside an aluminum housing – all built to AS9100 specifications, too. We consider this the middle-of-the-road option from RA, and it is certainly one of their most popular triggers.
We know, the best of the best is always enticing – and now you can have it when it comes to a tier 1 trigger assembly. The RA-535 is perhaps one of the greatest drop-in triggers ever built for the AR 15 platform. This sucker has literally no creep, take-up, or overtravel. Apply the perfectly tuned 3.5-pound trigger pull that’s needed, and your rifle will fire like you’re pressing a magic button.