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There’s nothing in this world worse than the stock AR-15 trigger you find on most guns. If you were specifically designing a trigger to be the most terrible thing ever created, you still couldn’t do as bad of a job as most stock triggers. That’s the reason the first upgrade I always suggest people make is swapping out the trigger for something better, but the cost of a five star trigger can often be prohibitive. That’s where ALG Defense comes in . . .

ALG Defense was founded by William Geissele’s wife — Will being the founder of Geiselle Automatics, one of the top commercial trigger manufacturers in the world. The idea behind ALG is to provide triggers that are tuned by Geissele’s technicians while still being affordable by the average shooter.

“Affordable” in this case means about $50. It’s priced perfectly for either new shooters who want to improve their rifle without investing too much or existing shooters who want to build a new rifle or improve an existing one without spending too much money. In short, cheap bastards looking to get a great trigger at a great price.

The result is a pretty nice single stage trigger. At least, I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be a single stage trigger. It doesn’t really say in the documentation, but it feels like a single stage trigger. There’s a touch of stacking during the pull, but much less than in a standard AR-15 trigger.

One thing that I didn’t like very much, though, was the pull weight. My ideal trigger pull is somewhere around 4 to 5 pounds, and the QMS clocks in at about 6.5. I couldn’t tell you the precise number (RF is stonewalling my attempts to get a somewhat spendy precision trigger testing rig) but 6.5 feels about right. It’s fine for close range shooting, but the more force is required to pull the trigger, the more sympathetic muscle movement in your hand will take place, potentially throwing off your shot.

There’s not a whole lot more to say about the QMS trigger. I could sit here and wax poetic about the history of triggers since 1490 but in this case I think a short summary statement is the best endorsement I can give. The ALG Defense QMS Trigger lives up to its claim of being better than the standard AR-15 trigger, putting a crisper and smoother tool in the hands of cheap bastards. It may not be as good as a Timney or a Geissele, but at around 1/4 the price, it’s a great entry level trigger.

Specifications: ALG Defense Quality Mil-Spec (QMS) Trigger

Pull Weight:   6.5 lbs

Ratings (out of five stars)

Ease of Use * * * * *
The trigger drops straight into the receiver, and once it’s in there you’re done. No worse than installing any other milspec trigger.

Feel & Function * * *
Not perfect, but a far better trigger than stock triggers.

Overall Rating * * *
It’s a good step up from the standard AR-15 trigger and for the money, it’s a good deal. It’s no Timney but it’s closer than most triggers. Perfect for new shooters or those on a budget.

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  1. Spend the extra $50 and get an Armalite 2-stage. You probably spent more than that on a grip or a stock that won’t make the gun any more accurate. Why cheap out on one of the few things that actually does affect performance?

  2. I enjoy your series on triggers. BUT….stock triggers are NOT the worse thing in the world. Trust me. But enough on that…

    I have heard that some of the top training sites will not let you bring an AR to a carbine class that has other than a stock trigger. They have seen too many fall apart, break etc. under the duress of thousands of rounds in a week. Stock triggers are meant to endure abuse and put up with the worst of conditions. Oh..and make the gun go bang every single time.

  3. While the stock trigger for most AR’s is admittedly pretty crappy, sometimes you get what you pay for. The stock trigger on an LMT or an LWRC is a much different/better experience than that of a Bushmaster or Olympic Arms. Plus, you retain the reliability of a stock trigger that has been designed to go bang no matter how much sand and crap has fallen into the well.

    Larry Vickers has stated (and I am parphrasing here) that he was an early proponent of match triggers until he began to see them fail during hard use. He suggested that we all wait until the market catches up and begins producing truly reliable match triggers. Perhaps it has, perhaps it hasn’t. Unfortunately few of us have the liquidity to gather the most modern triggers together and put them to the test.
    Perhaps this trigger is a step in that direction. A hybrid of reliability and smoother function. I am very interested in trying one.

  4. I’m endlessly amused with the irrational methodology employed by gun owners in allocating funds to various firearms purchases.

    Cool looking furniture? They’ll spend big bucks.

    A high quality barrel, properly installed? Maybe. After the cool furniture has been purchased and festooned on the rifle.

    A proven, high quality trigger? Oh, that’s where they’ll scrimp.


    • Totally agree on the trigger. It hurts even more because you can get yourself a pretty damned good trigger pull for $100 or less of parts (NiB FCG, JP springs, and one of those screw adjusters).

  5. If the picture above the fold is the trigger bring reviewed, there is nothing mil-spec about it.

    In fact, the only AR pattern trigger Geissele makes that is at all close to mil-spec is the SSF.

  6. Nick, do you suppose that with a little stoning and spring work you could get that 6.5 lbs down to around 4 or 4.5? I’m not terribly familiar with the AR’s mechanism, but it seems like just about any trigger would benefit from smoothing out the surfaces that bear on eachother. Thoughts?

    • My first thought was that the springs were responsible. Maybe some of the light JP springs? I’m kinda wondering whether this is better than a Spike’s Battle Trigger… they’re about the same price.

  7. I firmly believe you get what you pay for. The flip side is you have to pay for what you get. If this trigger did nothing else but get rid of the creep and broke clean, it would be a good investment. While I do not abuse my AR15, it does see some rough treatment. I drag it all over hells half acre hunting trip after hunting trip. I’ve slid down hills, tripped over rocks, and every thing else while chasing various 4 legged critters. I DON’T WANT A MATCH TRIGGER IN MY GUN! A tough as nails trigger that goes bang every time and doesn’t feel like 10 miles of bad road d0esn’t seem like to much to ask. It seems like this trigger delivers just that. when mine gets here I will see. If not, the learning experience won’t be a costly one.

  8. The ALG trigger is designed to stay within the military’s specified pull weight, which (IIRC) is 5.5-9.5lbs, so it would not be fair to expect this trigger to be in the 4-5lb range. 6lbs is just about right, given that design specification – at the low end, but not too low. I have used the ALG trigger. It is nowhere near as nice as the higher-end Geissele triggers, but it’s not supposed to be.

  9. The ALG QMS turns into a 4.5 lb trigger with a set of J.P yellow springs ($9) . I know that this is review of the ALG trigger as it is made but i thought it would be a good tip to prospective buyers. Toss in a trigger adjustment screw and you have a very short travel 4.5 lb single stage trigger for under $75

    • If I were to replace my stock springs that come with the ALG QMS Trigger group with the JP Yellow springs to lighten my trigger pull to the 4.5 lb range, will it still be dependable for military ammo primers?

      • No. If it causes the firing pin to strike the primer with less force than the stock configuration it will be less reliable, and possibly less safe. If you just want it for long range target shooting then I guess it would be OK, but I would not do it on a self defense weapon. One thing that Geissele will not do on his triggers is make it where the pin strikes the primer with less force for the sake of having a lighter trigger pull. And that is usually what you get on the cheaper brand two stage triggers.

        ALG does make a second combat trigger that is coated with nickle boron and nickle Teflon on the friction points. The nickle boron parts contact the nickle Teflon parts for a smoother action. That one costs 65 dollars. It’s called the ACT and it’s the one I plan to get. There may be a way to get the pull down to 5.5 LBS without sacrificing reliability but I would carefully research how to go about that without compromising reliability.

        Also bear in mind that having too light of a pull on a single stage trigger can be a safety issue. From what I’ve heard, if you go to an ALG- ACT trigger from a factory stock trigger it is going to feel a lot better. After you shoot about a thousand rounds it will probably feel even better. Geissele does make a trigger that runs around 165 dollars, which sounds a lot more affordable than 250+ bucks that many of their triggers run. If you have to pay a smith to do work and or or buy more parts to make the ALG trigger light enough for you, then you might as well just get the 165 dollar Geissele trigger and call it a day.

  10. ALG QMS firing group in my first AR build on recommendation of my FFL. Coupled with a LPK without firing group it’s a VERY minor cost increase for a much improved trigger action. Win win win.
    IMO it’s a no-brainer.


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