Jerry Mickulek wins 3 Gun Nationals with AR GOLD Trigger, the number one AR15 trigger in the world

View full-size image of the Ar-Gold trigger system

What makes a trigger great?

A great trigger is all about the lack of distraction. Think about forcing your self to man up and make a really good shot with a sorry assed staple gun feeling trigger, you know the type. What do you have to do to shoot that trigger well? You shift a large part of your attention, your mental focus onto trigger control. Willing your eye onto your sight and keeping it on target while you slowly struggle through distractions caused by the crummy trigger action – GRIT PING CRUnnnnCH Bang. It’s not that you can’t do it, it’s that it slows you down and forces you to take your attention away from the sight and the target.

Quality of trigger pull is everything to a shooter. The AR Gold trigger is the best there is. Not only is it lightning fast, the reset is so short I don't even have to think about it , I just shoot and the trigger takes care of itself. The AR Gold trigger is a must-have for both high speed and precision shooting."

- Jerry Miculek

How does a great trigger help your practical marksmanship?

In contrast a great trigger is great because of what it’s not – distracting. It is noticed after the fact, after the shot – because during the shot there was nothing to notice. You knew you had your finger on the trigger and were at the engagement point (which is why you want a light, 1911 type, take up). Once there your attention is focused on your sight placement as your finger adds weight to the trigger. A great trigger reports nothing of its internal doings to your trigger finger. You add weight, it stays mute, the guns fires with a surprise break. Only then, after the fact do you say to your self, “wow, that is a great trigger.”

"The AR Gold trigger is an incredible advancement in AR trigger design. The design allows for a wide range of trigger weight without compromising the reliability at all. The short reset movement allows shots to be fires at a high rate of speed when necessary, the beautiful action allows for precision fire that was only obtainable in a two stage design in the past. When I first heard about the trigger I was skeptical, but after installing it in a rifle... I will be installing these triggers in all my rifles!"

- Michael Voigt

Why is it so hard to put a good and reliable trigger on an AR?

While all serious shooters understand the importance of a good trigger, when it comes to the AR, there is a consensus view among most of the top trainers to stick with a stock setup. Why? Because the track record for reliability and durability of highly tuned AR triggers is not good. The Garand type trigger in the AR was never designed to be light and crisp, quite the opposite. The AR trigger is designed to provide a mass producible, heavy (safe), military single stage trigger. To take that trigger and reduce the engagement surfaces to the bare minimum, requires building and maintaining extremely tight tolerances in a system that really doesn’t have all that tight tolerances.

This is not to say that it can’t be done. A real deal AR guru can fit up top grade aftermarket trigger parts into an AR and produce a pretty decent trigger that will last. Of course it will still be an AR trigger, which is to say most of the weight in the first stage or take up with a smaller percent of the total weight in the second stage– not the best thing for precision work or high speed hitting.

Why not “just” remove the first stage from an AR trigger? In a word safety. Unless you have lots of travel and weight, removing the first stage from an AR trigger can create a safety issue because of the manufacturing tolerances in the receiver and the safety leaver. You can get around this with a custom adjustable safety, but are again dependent on the quality of installation – AR Guru required.


We started with a clean piece of paper.

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.

How does it work.

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

Toward a safer trigger system.

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.


Copyright 2008, 2009. American Trigger Corporation. Carson City, NV
Web Design by Pierce Colman


*The color GOLD for the trigger component of the AR Gold trigger assembly is a trademark of American Trigger Corporation, and is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.