Tom Vehr designed and made triggers at Timney and Knight Rifles for a combined 27 years before striking out on his own and starting the parent company to Velocity Triggers. Basically, he knows triggers and how to manufacture them. Experience combined with wire EDM-cut tool steel and Robar’s NP3 treatment make for a pretty nice, drop-in unit. The MSRP is the real kicker, though, as . . .
a new Velocity Trigger carries an MSRP of only $150, and I’ve seen them at online retailers for quite a bit under that. In the drop-in AR-15 trigger world, this represents quite the bargain. Actually, in the 9 or more triggers I’m going to be testing as part of this drop-in AR trigger “roundup,” I believe it’s the least expensive by a $40 margin when comparing MSRPs.
Despite this low cost, Velocity Triggers is not sacrificing quality. The build of this unit breaks down as follows:
- trigger shoe, hammer, and disconnector are made from heat treated tool steel and are wire EDM-cut (more precise than most any CNC mill)
- hammer and disconnector are NP3 treated by Robar
- trigger shoe is black oxide treated then hand polished
- housing is machined from 6061 T6 billet aluminum, which is anodized black
Also included is what I think is an important feature that’s on most, but not all, of these triggers — set screws to tension the unit inside of the receiver, pushing it upwards against the trigger pins and locking it (and the pins) solidly in place.
Trigger pull weight is set at the factory, but you have the option of selecting between 3, 4, and 4.5 lbs at the time of purchase. My 3-lb unit measured exactly, dead-on 3 lbs every time I measured, both when new and after I put a bunch of rounds through it. You may notice (see two photos up) that there is a set screw for adjusting trigger pull weight but, much like Timney and many of the others, the end user is not supposed to touch it and it’s typically installed with thread locker. My understanding is that this allows the factory to adjust each one so it’s perfect, but then lock it down to squash the chances of that set screw backing out during use.
The geometry of the lock work is standard AR trigger format, the hammer spring feels like it’s a full-power spring or close to it, and the disconnector is a full 1/4″ width.
In addition to the curved trigger seen on this unit, Velocity Triggers also offers a straight blade. Although I appreciate the clean simplicity of it, in Velocity’s case I actually like the looks of the curved one better.
On The Range
To maintain continuity across all of these drop-in trigger reviews, including the Elftmann Tactical review already published, we’ll rate them on the same metrics. For definitions of the following trigger fundamentals, please see that Elftmann review.
- Take-up, which is also referred to as pre-travel or slack. Just like the ELF, there is no take-up on the Velocity trigger. When the hammer is cocked, the trigger doesn’t have so much as an inkling of wiggle in it. You’re already right up against the sear.
- Creep. Squeezing the trigger slowly, such as when attempting careful and precise target shooting, I can feel a tiny bit of creep in the Velocity trigger. Just a hair, and it’s too little to notice when shooting any more rapidly than the sort of slow pull done to achieve a surprise break. But it’s there.
- Break. Clean and crisp. Glass rod.
- Overtravel. Very little, but more than the astoundingly short ELF.
- Reset. Due to the little bit of creep and slightly longer overtravel, the trigger on the Velocity trigger must move forwards a bit farther than the ELF’s before resetting. Don’t be fooled, though, it’s still miles better than the average bear and I’d certainly say that it has a very short amount of travel overall. The reset is both audible and tactile, and I can see plenty of folks preferring its slightly gentler nature to the aggressive “clack” of the ELF.
- Pull Weight. The options of 3 lbs, 4 lbs, and 4.5 lbs are great. Covers the bases for an AR-15 or AR-10, really. Again, my 3-lb unit (snicker) measured precisely that every single time on my pull gauge.
I shot a handful of IMI 5.56 and a bunch of Silver Bear .223 with the Velocity Trigger installed, and it had no issues with either. Despite their fairly hard primers, they were dented with authority. The trigger was totally reliable throughout, both suppressed and unsuppressed as seen in the video.
The trigger blade feels good and looks good. It’s a great, single-stage trigger for precision shooting and it’s an extremely fast trigger for 3-gun style competition use or just for fun on the range.
Velocity Triggers claims a trigger pull quality that rivals a nice bolt action rifle, and in that they have succeeded. This is an excellent trigger. At the price, it’s an absolutely amazing trigger. It isn’t a coincidence that the first two to be reviewed were the most expensive and least expensive ones in this roundup. It’s my opinion that the ELF trigger is, speaking strictly on trigger pull fundamentals, better. But they’re both so good that it’s entirely possible only a trigger snob would really care about — or maybe even be able to feel — the difference, as we’re talking about perfect vs. exemplary; A+ vs. strong A. When it’s a choice between two excellent options, $150 MSRP vs. $259 MSRP will certainly be a deciding factor.
Also, shout-out and thanks to Strike Industries for sending me a trigger jig to make this back-to-back testing so much easier.
RATINGS (out of five stars, compared to other drop-in AR triggers):
Fundamentals * * * *
Without the back-to-back experience of the other triggers, I’d rate this five stars. But this ~9-trigger roundup will have one on top and one at bottom, and the Velocity is amazing but second fiddle to the ELF on fundamentals thanks to just a skosh of creep and a tad more overall travel.
Features * * * *
Set screws for receiver tension, two trigger shape options, three pull weight options, full width disconnector, NP3 finish. The only thing “missing” — and that’s in quotes because it’s “missing” on purpose — is [approved] end-user pull weight adjustment.
Price * * * * *
Lowest MSRP for a drop-in AR-15 trigger that I know of.
Overall * * * * 1/2
As much we try to avoid half-star ratings, I just can’t do it here. It isn’t a tie with the ELF in my mind, but it’s closer than a star down. If price meant more and minuscule creep less, that would change and it’d be a five-star tie. For this roundup, we’re weighing fundamentals first, then features, function, and build quality right up there with it, and the importance of price (and looks) is subjective so that one’s in your court.
Novice question but a serious one…. I am going to do an AR build starting with a stripped Aero Precision lower but will go with a complete upper from an as yet undetermined company. I’ll need a lower parts kit so my question is… Is some Timney, Geissele or whoever trigger the be all end all necessity for an AR build?
There are a handful of lower parts kits out there that do not come with the trigger parts. That way if you’re going with an upgraded unit you don’t have to waste money on the mil-spec one you’re just going to toss in a bin somewhere and never use.
Necessity? Nah. But the difference between a parts kit trigger and something like this Velocity trigger is freakin’ huge. If it’s a budget build I’d go parts kit and maybe upgrade things in the future as you desire. If it’s a decent build, I’d put a decent trigger in it. The Velocity is available for $135 here and might be less elsewhere, but I saw it in a flier from this retailer during a big President’s Day sale and it was $99.95 during that blowout. Which is nutso. There will be a Timney in this whole drop-in AR trigger roundup as well, but considering the quality of this Velocity I think basically all of the other triggers are going to be a hard sell when compared to the price of this thing.
When we compared the Timney 3# to the Velocity 3# we couldn’t feel any difference in the way they broke or reset. The Timney had a few light strikes with one of the guns where that never happened with the Velocity trigger in the same gun. In the end we decided the Velocity trigger was a hands down winner based on price alone.
You don’t need a drop in trigger on any AR style weapon but it sure is a night and day difference from the standard mil spec.
“…but it sure is a night and day difference from the standard mil spec”
I keep a few (lower) builds with standard mil-spec triggers for the express purpose of getting users familiar with the mil-spec trigger use, and, as a comparison point vs. various replacement units. Everything else I build with after-market FCGs.
I installed one of the Velocity Trigger units in my AR10…and absolutely love it. In the world of AR triggers, these are a great product at a great price.
If you wanted a slightly cheaper, but very nice option, you could also go with an ALG QMS or ACT trigger and a set of JP springs. I went with the ACT and up springs on one of my builds and am very pleased. All in I think it ran me $75. That’s if you want a single stage trigger.
I have the QMS which cost me about $45. I also bought a lower kit without a trigger just so that I could upgrade, a decision based on the constant criticism of the “mil-spec” trigger. I wanted a drop in but ended up over budget, so went with the ALS, knowing I could always upgrade. The ability to change out the trigger group is one of the benefits of the AR design.
Anyway, the good thing about the QMS is that it is a very crisp single stage with virtually no creep and a short reset. The price is right. The one downside is that it is heavy; I would guess, not having measured it, that it probably comes in around 8 lbs.
As an aside, especially for a first time builder, as I was, a drop in trigger is an absolute breeze to install. With the standard triggers, you have to fight against the springs to install them, which is kind of a fritzy pain.
Yeah sorry for failing to mention these (and other) low-cost alternatives, guys. My mind has been entirely on drop-in triggers recently. I have a JP in one of my rifles and have no bias against ‘traditional’ multi-piece ones or anything, but decided to concentrate on drop-ins for the purposes of a roundup or review ‘shootout’ for two main reasons: 1) there are like 10 of them on the market, rather than a bazillion and 2) yes, install is so freaking easy.
I’m with you on the QMS and ACT. They move the stock AR trigger from “suck” to “doesn’t suck” for a good price.
Velocity is an amazing trigger and I’m happy to see the review here agrees. We have started using them as our drop in option on our builds. Before we sold any of them we tested against several other brands on our personal rifles and couldn’t find any reason to choose anything else.
Got a bone-stock LPK (and thus, trigger) in my PSA lower receiver. This looks like it might be a very fine upgrade indeed!
I have two of the 3# Velocity triggers.
The first one I had an issue with right at first, but it was quickly corrected. On a trigger pull scale it averaged 2.8# (AVG of 5) out of the box. On the first range trip it was double firing almost every pull, sometimes running strings of 4 and 6 shots. RSO came over as (to him) it appeared I was running full auto.
Essentially, it would fire on both the pull and release, as the sear was not engaging on the trigger release. Shot off an email to Velocity and Mr. Vehr quickly responded on tightening the screw in the center of the FCG. After a bit of fiddling, 1/4 turn clockwise solved the issue and now the sear was engaging properly. Also raised the trigger pull weight up to about 3.5# as a result. Has run just peachy since.
I typically use CMC drop-in Single Stage triggers on my various builds (4.5# variety in both curved and straight) and some Geissele two stage triggers on builds with magnified optics (SSA-E, and G2S). This trigger compares vary favorably to the single CMC that I have with a 3.5# pull weight. Zero creep that I can feel, very short rest, and a break that will surprise you with how sharp it is.
Picked up a 2nd one for an AR10 build since it was on sale again.
That said, I picked up both of my Velos for under $130 (shipped). If you are paitient you can find CMCs for under $140 on some sales (Primary Arms had a few under $140 some time back, DSG Arms well). I’ll usually grab a few when I see them drop below that $140 price point. The Velo might be an attractive alternative vs. a CMC’s average street price of around $160’ish (at least that is what I normally see them running at various discounters when not on sale). As far as long-term reliability and robustness, I’ve not a clue yet and I’ve nowhere near a decent round count on the Velos vs years of use on the various CMCs I have.
Since the pull weight adjustment set screws are almost always responsible for much of the tension that pushes the trigger up against the sear, what Velocity had you do makes sense and I could reproduce that on every one of the triggers here for testing that use that adjustment method. Definitely should NOT have left the factory like that, though. I’ve also seen drop-in triggers miss the sear like that if the set screws for tensioning it in the receiver aren’t snug (which means it’s on the ragged edge w/ the pull weight adjustment screw). The Velocity I have will not reproduce this behavior, though.
The CMC I have has an excellent pull, but without those tensioning screws it wiggles in the receiver just a tad unless your trigger pins happen to fill up the CMC’s bushings perfectly, which isn’t the case w/ standard pins. If I ran the CMC in my rifle I’d probably put a couple layers of masking tape or something under it to create tension on the trigger pins and eliminate that bit of wiggle.
I think all of the newer CMCs are coming with their own anti-walk pins (all of my more recently purchased ones did). They seem to fit very nicely into the pin holes in the drop-in unit. I have one (much) older sample that did not come with pins, but I used some Knights anti-roll pins on that one (which were really, really tight!), so that probably addressed the possible issue without me even noticing it.
The C-Clip pins or the ones w/ bolts that go into the ends KNS style? This CMC trigger did come with its own pins, which use a C-Clip on one side and a flared end on the other to prevent them from walking out, but the trigger unit still has play on the pins so it moves inside of the receiver just a hair.
All of the ones except for the first one that I picked up have come with the pins with the little bolts, similar to a Knights without the anti-walk bar.
My first one I picked up at a random B&M place and didn’t have any pins at all. And now you’ve got me thinking that someone swiped the pins. Heh. Regular FCG pins felt like they were going to slide out, which I think is normal for drop-in units that don’t use set screws, since there is no spring tension from the parts holding them in place. So I used a set of Knight’s that I had laying about (I’m like a AR-parts crow or weasel, a horde of shiny objects that I collect for my ‘nest’. heh).
I have seen the C-clips version on a few web vendor’s sites (pictures), but never used them myself.
And I think I need one of those trigger jigs that you’ve got in the picture. I’ve got a random lower that I use for playing about with new triggers, but that looks like it would be a lot easier to play with.
It is. It’s pretty cool. There are a few of them on the market and I’ve only tried this one, but it works great. It can be purchased with a pistol grip or just by itself like the one I linked to. The rubber hammer stop is key, of course, and the trigger pins with big knobs on the end are super handy. It’s cool to be able to see through it and watch the workings of the trigger as it’s resetting, etc.
Like..WOW! I am very impressed, and especially at this price point. I will put it on the list for acquisition–once I stop pouring money into my son’s 1983 V65 Magna. I had originally been looking at the CMC (because it was so much less than the Timney and Gisele), but went over on my upper and settled for the ALS, which is a good trigger, but it is not one of these. This trigger leads me to conclude, as I had long suspected, that there is a large profit margin built into the drop in triggers sold by others. I don’t care about having the ability to adjust trigger weight–I am more concerned with a clean sharp break and a consistent pull with little over travel–all of which this has.
Mark, if you stalk AIM’s G2S page you can get one for $109, but they are rarely in stock (slightly more likely to win the lottery I think, heh). If you are considering a 2-stage at all.
If you catch them at the right time Primary and DSG sometimes drop the prices on their Single Stage CMCs to the $135-$140 range on occasion (that’s where I’ve picked up all of mine except for the first one).
That said, you can get a Velo for under $130 shipped if you look around. My comments are above regarding the Velo vs. the CMCs, but the short is: The Velo really holds its own vs my CMCs, so much so that I picked up a 2nd one for another build.
If I saw the Velos on sale for $99 (as referenced in the article text), I’d pick up a 6-pack. 😀
I’ve seen $119 a few times since writing this. Haven’t come across less than that again though. The standard price that I see all the time seems to be $135 shipped.
Jeremy S – which device are you using to test trigger pull weight?
A Timney trigger pull gauge. …something a lot fancier will be showing up in the near future, and I’ll be re-testing for the roundup of all triggers at the end…
No need to check the trigger and the muzzle break, im sure they wont fall off while youre talking.
Did anyone have any trouble with the safety selector switch being very hard to move after installation? Other than that it was easy to install.
I just installed mine today (4lb on Daniel Defense V7), the safety is a bit stiffer, but no overly hard to move. I picked mine up at WC Armory and it shipped with a set of anti-walk trigger pins. During install, I think couldn’t get the safety back in the lower at all, so I removed the trigger and attempted again. I think I missed the hole on the trigger itself when putting the pins in, so the trigger was shifted out of position (I refuse to admit I need reading glasses, I’m not old damnit). Second attempt worked fine. Again, stiffer than the milspec set up, but not overly hard.
Can U make one doe a Mini 14 Ranch rifle. That I’m decking out with a bad ass stock
Can U make one doe a Mini 14 Ranch rifle. That I’m decking out with a bad ass stock made by ATI
They have a rotten costomer service.
I bought and installed one of there triggers in my AR15.
After wards the safety switch was real hard to move, I even took it back out and out it in a different rifle and had the same problem.
I called their phone number and wrote an email to their web page,but they never called or wrote back.
I’m seeing sellers discontinuing this brand for safety concerns. What’s up with that? Also someone said it is heavy. Is weight a factor in this review/roundup?
Are there drop safety features in this trigger Jeremy? I bought one today and am really excited about it, but do want safety features and dont see info on that. Are you going to review an AR Gold Trigger? Thanks! – Jake
I can’t help but think the most recent comments are people trying to tarnish the velocity name for the sake of another brand, whether paid to or not. I have a lot of experience with the velocity triggers and have used them on countless builds. Never have I ever had a safety become too tight or a trigger rust or any drop problems. I do my own drop testing and I have never had a velocity go off. My extensive experience with the parts in question leads me to doubt the issues mentioned here. If anyone cares to prove me wrong, feel free. I welcome it. You might save me trouble or even my life. Until I see evidence of a problem I will continue to buy, install, and use velocity triggers in bulk. They’ve always been perfect in my experience. I don’t get paid to test the products I receive and I’m not sponsored or anything either. I have yet to see one miniscule shred of real evidence of any problem from velocity.
I installed the 4.5# Velo trigger with anti-walk pins on my AR15. Only issue I have is with hammer pin, no matter how much I tighten the 2 set screws the hammer pin walks out after few hundred shots. Otherwise, I love the trigger, barely any creep and very short reset.
I put one of these in my rifle and it releases the hammer on reset and fires another round, buy a trigger get a felony.
How does this trigger assembly compare with the Hiperfire 24C? I haven’t seen the Velo triggers at the gun shows, but have played with the Hiperfire 24C.
I saw and felt the Velocity trigger at the only local dealer we have in our town. It to was in a Strike Industry trigger jig. It was as smooth as the Timney that I had tried in another gun store 30 miles away and less than half the price of the Timney. I bought my lower kit minus trigger group just so I could install the Velocity. After I finished the build and took it out and shot it, I loved it. There is no feelable creep in it and the reset is perfect. I got the 4 pound trigger. Going to get one now for my S&W M&P 15-22.
This article was the deciding factor in my purchase of the Velocity 3# trigger for my S&W M&P. The differences described between the Velocity trigger & the other ones were minor and would make no difference to a shooter of my caliber – pun intended. The original mil-spec trigger was awful IMHO and needed to be upgraded for any kind of consistency, but I never intended to it to be a tack driver. I am very glad I purchased the Velocity trigger and it has made a huge difference in accuracy for me. Thank you very much for your insightful article and the specific information regarding the differences between triggers.
Nice and educative write up.Also got some good glock device from: https://ammofield.com