When I became a regular shooter I became a trigger snob. Most of my trigger time was spent behind a Remington 700 in 17 fireball (the first and only wildcat I have owned), a well broken-in M14 and a Kimber Custom Grand Raptor. I’d shot plenty of other guns, but not regularly enough to have a keen trigger finger. I was for the most part ignorant to inferior triggers.
Jump ahead a year or so to my first AR15: a DPMS Panther 20” A2. Naturally I loved the rifle (it was my first AR after all). I named my AR Jean, after Eugene Stoner’s first wife. I know it’s super nerdy and I don’t care.
After the initial excitement wore off and I’d spent some time with the rifle I began to notice the horrible mil spec trigger. That standard trigger is definitely the weak link for most stock AR rifles. I can see the logic in a heavy trigger in a combat rifle — you don’t want accidental discharges in a high stress situation. However a heavy trigger doesn’t need to be mushy, gritty and break like a piece of soggy toast.
Soon after buying my first AR I decided to build my own. After a couple of low-budget builds I jumped into the high-end custom build world. My first concern was a quality trigger. I decided on a Geissele 2 stage (G2S). The trigger was a huge improvement over the mil spec triggers I’d installed in previous builds. Then, when LaRue Tactical announced they were making a trigger, I ordered two.
LaRue named their trigger the MBT or Meticulously Built Trigger. LaRue sums up their approach to building triggers thus: “We threw on the brakes, slowed to a walk, and built 2-stage triggers out of solid S7 tool steel plates. Meticulous triggers built by our staff toolmakers … without a stopwatch in sight.”
Slow to a walk they did. It took three months to receive the triggers. (Granted this was soon after the triggers were released.) The MBT triggers arrived individually packaged in a tin with a clear lid and custom cut foam insert, along with the usual LaRue swag: bumper stickers, a couple copies of the constitution and a nice hat.
Installing a component trigger normally means fumbling with the loose disconnector. Not the MBT; the disconnector is attached to the trigger. Otherwise, the trigger installation is identical to any mil spec trigger.
The trigger ships with two springs, one with a final pull weight of four-and-a-half pounds and another at six pounds. I have two rifles with LaRue triggers. One has the 4.5 pound spring installed, the other has the six pound trigger. According to the Dvorak TriggerScan my 4.5-pound trigger actually breaks at 3.7 pounds.
The trigger bow is a little wider than most. I like that in a trigger, but I can see how some shooters might not. The edges are a little sharp for my liking but it’s not bad enough to bother me.
The trigger pull is simply amazing. The first stage is lighter than advertised at only 1.75-pounds. Take-up is very short, 0.004 inches to be exact. It’s as smooth as a baby’s backside. The second stage wall is very well-defined. Once you hit it you can easily control when the trigger breaks. The second stage is so short you can’t perceive any movement at all. Over travel is only 0.029 inches, which a human can’t notice.
The reset on the Laure MBT is unusually pronounced: crisp, short and loud. You will definitely know when you’re ready for another round.
With my Geissele trigger I would occasionally have a failure to fire due to a light primer strike. This only happened with cheap steel cased ammo. I’ve shot thousands of rounds, many steel cased, with my two LaRue triggers without any light primer strikes. As advertised, the LaRue MBT trigger is reliable and rugged.
LaRue triggers come at two price points. The “I got plenty of time” trigger will set you back a very reasonable $124.99. If you need your trigger sooner and don’t mind paying a little extra ,the “I can’t wait, gotta have it now” option will set you back $199.99. I reckon it’s still a good deal.
SPECIFICATIONS: LaRue Tactical MBT Trigger
Trigger pull weight: According to Larue its 4.5 or 6 pounds mine measured in at 3.7 pounds.
Material: S7 Tool Steel
MSRP: $124.99 no rush, $199.99 rush order.
RATINGS (out of five stars)
Reliability: * * * * *
Both of my LaRue triggers have been 100% reliable over the course of thousands of rounds.
Value: * * * * *
At the $199 price it’s good value, at the $124 price it’s a great value. If you catch the $99 occasional sale price you have an amazing deal.
Overall: * * * * *
In a market crowded with high-quality triggers, the LaRue Tactical MBT trigger stands out. It’s less expensive, more reliable, has a better reset, and is easier to install than many other component triggers.