While an AR trigger can certainly be made serviceable, and even match grade with the very precise installation of tightly made parts – it is still a Garand type trigger and as such cannot really be made great with out hanging on the edge of reliability and safety.
"The AR Gold trigger is extremely elegant, innovative and affective design incorporating the modular, drop-in trigger concept. A serious upgrade for any AR15 type rifle and certain to be one of the most important and desirable new accessories in 2009. I'm looking forward to using an AR Gold trigger this hunting season in one of my long range, high precision AR rifles."
- Chip McCormick
We set out to see if we could build a better trigger with added safety features around the hole locations and dimensional constraints of an AR receiver. To do this we designed and built our trigger into a self contained trigger cassette, so that we control the relationship and tolerance between the working parts. The only thing the two assembly pins do is locate the trigger cassette in the AR receiver, we do not function off of those pins and they do not effect trigger feel in any way.
Our primary sear is actuated by a disconnector, conceptually not unlike the trigger of a 1911. The sear captures the hammer at the very back rather then close to the pivot point. The results is both a lighter pull and much less stress on the sear and hammer bent because we are operating farther out on the lever (hammer). After the gun fires, the bolt drives the hammer back pressing the disconnector down, which disconnects the sear from the trigger (the same way the slide on a 1911 presses the disconnector down) and and releasing the sear to capture the hammer. The trigger has a short reset to re-engage the disconnector for the next shot.
"For those that demand the best in a precision trigger for the AR-15 rifle, American Trigger has cracked the code with the AR Gold trigger, It simply is the final word in 'crisp sear release' for target or competition shooting."
- Ken Hackathorn
It's rarely mentioned but well know fact that dropping a gun with a light trigger will cause it to fire. AR’s are no exception (neither is your favorite bolt gun). This is why military guns are required to pass Drop Tests. We wanted to provide a trigger which in addition to having a great trigger feel, also had added safety features.
"From the moment I first saw the AR Gold trigger, I could see that it was a completely new concept in trigger design. It was clearly well thought out and engineered to address the problems that have hounded conventional AR triggers for years. I had complete confidence in it from the start.”
- Jerry Miculek
To achieve added safety we made two fundamental changes to the AR trigger design. First we added a second independent sear or as we call an Intercepting Sear to the system, not unlike the Holland & Holland system of the 1800’s (having the second barrel of your 600 Nitro Express fire from the vibration of the first would really hurt). With the trigger forward (which means you are keeping your finger OFF the trigger) the Intercepting sear is poised to block the hammer if it is jarred off of the primary sear. If the hammer is captured by the intercepting sear the gun can still be fired, but it will have a much higher weight trigger pull.
We also make use of the action of the thumb safety to positively capture the hammer, as is the case with a Garand, and actually roll it back below the primary sear making the gun as inert as we can make it with the safety on.
Can these safety systems be defeated? Yes, absolutely. This system is not fool proof. If something pressed the trigger back, be it your finger, a stick or the shock of being tossed from a moving vehicle, the gun WILL fire. Ultimately safety comes down to the operator’s strict adherence to the Four Rules of firearm safety.