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Old April 7, 2018, 03:28 PM   #1
kymasabe
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Trigger Groups: ALG ACT vs Toms Tactical Nickel Teflon vs PSA EPT

Finishing my AR build, tweeking a few last minute details, one of which was the mil-spec trigger that was in my Palmetto State Armory complete lower.
Basically, I hated the trigger that was in it, was too gritty for me. Didn't have a lot of $$ to spend a new fancy trigger so had to stay in a budget under $100.
Narrowed my choices down to the ALG ACT combat trigger ($65-$70), the Toms Tactical Nickel Teflon trigger group ($50), and the Palmetto State Armory Enhanced Polished Trigger ($29-$50 depending on whether or not on sale).

Long story short, I bought and tried them all. I had a PSA EPT laying around that I bought a year or so ago. The PSA EPT was an improvement but, in my opinion, not as good as the other two, still felt slightly gritty. Now, I've read reviews from users who LOVE that EPT trigger, maybe I got one that wasn't as well polished. Visibly, it looks like the others.

Next was the ALG ACT, great trigger, "tuned by Geissele". I paid $70 for mine, plus shipping, though AIM Surplus has them for less (and was out of stock at the time I ordered) and Joe Bob's Outfitters has them for less as well. (I've ordered from them before, fast shipping, excellent customer service). On the plus side, the ALG does come with a second, lighter spring, which I did NOT use.

Lastly was the Toms Tactical Nickel Teflon trigger group. Popped that in today and...I can't tell a difference at all between the Toms and the ALG. Side by side they even look the same and they certainly feel the same in my receiver. No creep, clean break. Plus, Toms was only $50 including free shipping and was shipped next day. So, the Toms is a keeper.

So, there you have it, my simple trigger review. I hope it helps.
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Old April 7, 2018, 04:39 PM   #2
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I've had great luck with the PSA EPT kit... Especially in combination with this spring kit from Wolff

https://www.brownells.com/rifle-part...prod44511.aspx

The whole deal comes in at under $40, and it is the most basic, reliable, and inexpensive trigger upgrade I've come across.

I can imagine the ALG and what not might be a bit better, but for what i was paying for the PSA EPT and wolff spring kit, i was unable to justify trying anything else.

If i were to pay more for a trigger kit i would just pay the $130 for the Hyperfire Hypertouch 24E from Joe Bob Outfitters. It's the best trigger kit I've ever experienced for the money. 100% Reliable, smooth, clean, and 3 pull weights by just swapping the included springs.
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Old April 7, 2018, 05:24 PM   #3
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You missed out on an excellent FCG with the RRA NM 2-stage. They offer it in two different pull weights (3.5#/4.5#) and usually you can find them on sale for around $90. I have several ALG ACT sets and while they are not a bad option in the $60-$70 range the RRA is hands down a much more precise FCG.
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Old April 7, 2018, 05:30 PM   #4
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Take a look at LaRue's MBT. Excellent two stage trigger for $99 currently. As good as a Geisselle IMO.

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Old April 7, 2018, 07:00 PM   #5
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I'm happy as a swine in swill with my Tom's Tactical. I've already sold my PSA and ALG, I'm happy with my $50 trigger. If anything, may install the Wolff springs but...I don't want to make the trigger pull too light, is pretty good where it is so...may leave it well enough alone.
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Old April 7, 2018, 07:05 PM   #6
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kymasabe,

By your numbers you spent between $149 and $170 to have a $50 trigger... if the rest of your build went in a similar manner, I understand why you didn't have much money left!

Trigger in my various ARs, I have: Bravo Company PNT, $59; Rock River Varmint, $79; and Patriot Ordnance Factory cartridge, $119. Each is a step above those prior.

I'm glad you found one you like!
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Old April 7, 2018, 08:30 PM   #7
stagpanther
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Quote:
I've had great luck with the PSA EPT kit... Especially in combination with this spring kit from Wolff
I've done the same with equally good results. I added the KAW adjustable grip screw for another $15 which improves it even more--but still kept the price at $50.
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Old April 7, 2018, 11:50 PM   #8
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Kymasabe wrote:
Lastly was the Toms Tactical Nickel Teflon trigger group.
I don't know what part of the trigger group uses Poly-Tri-Fluoro-Ethylene (PTFE), formerly known as Teflon, but in exactly the same way Teflon cookware cautions users to not use metal cooking tools (because it scrapes the Teflon off the surface), I fail to see how using PTFE in metal to metal contact applications like an AR-15 trigger group is going to hold up.

Did Tom's Tactical address this in their literature?
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Old April 8, 2018, 12:04 AM   #9
kymasabe
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Originally Posted by hdwhit View Post
I don't know what part of the trigger group uses Poly-Tri-Fluoro-Ethylene (PTFE), formerly known as Teflon, but in exactly the same way Teflon cookware cautions users to not use metal cooking tools (because it scrapes the Teflon off the surface), I fail to see how using PTFE in metal to metal contact applications like an AR-15 trigger group is going to hold up.

Did Tom's Tactical address this in their literature?
Nope, they didn't address that in the lit. But, it does have a lifetime warranty so if the coating wears off, I guess they'll send me another one.
http://www.tomstactical.com/Toms-Tac...oup_p_169.html
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Old April 8, 2018, 12:05 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by 9x19 View Post
kymasabe,

By your numbers you spent between $149 and $170 to have a $50 trigger... if the rest of your build went in a similar manner, I understand why you didn't have much money left!

I'm glad you found one you like!
...yes, I spent a few $$ to get a few triggers to try, but knew I had buyers for them when I was done, needed that money back to pay bills, had to stick to my budget.
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Old April 8, 2018, 04:39 AM   #11
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Kymasabe.

That Wolff spring kit only reduces the trigger pull weight by about a pound maybe, that's how I've seen it advertised and probably what I've experienced.

Trigger pull weight can be reduced more dramatically by installing a lighter hammer spring, but doing so reduces the energy of the hammer fall and opens up the possibility for light primer strikes.

But if instead you replace the trigger and disconnector springs with lighter ones but not the hammer spring, you will maintain reliability but still have a lighter trigger pull, although not as light as it would be with a lighter hammer spring.

So by combining those two reduced power springs, with a basic milspec trigger that has been improved by being polished and nickel plated, you end up with a 100% reliable milspec fire control group that has a slicker, cleaner, and lighter trigger pull for less than $40!

At that price I would never imagine keeping a basic milspec setup in any AR, unless you just enjoy the heavier feel.

Anyway, a bit of rambling there, but the point is, i would recommend that wolf reduced power trigger function pak to anyone who wanted just a bit nicer trigger pull without spending hardly any money. Probably $10 with shipping depending on where you buy them?
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Old April 8, 2018, 08:29 AM   #12
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I have 2 EPTs which came with PSA lowers for an additional 10.00 each. One is so/so and the other is better but I don't believe I'd purchase them individually. Possibly would purchase one if I knew it would be equal to or better than the "good" one but of course there's no knowing that.
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Old April 8, 2018, 12:06 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mellow_c View Post
Kymasabe.

... the point is, i would recommend that wolf reduced power trigger function pack to anyone who wanted just a bit nicer trigger pull without spending hardly any money. Probably $10 with shipping depending on where you buy them?
Well, decided to give the Wolff springs a try. They have mixed reviews, some say they work, others say they don't, but for $10, I'll take a gamble.
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Old April 8, 2018, 12:14 PM   #14
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Rock River Arms makes a chrome plated two stage match that was very good.



https://www.righttobear.com/Rock-Riv.../ar0093nmk.htm
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Old April 8, 2018, 02:53 PM   #15
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Imashooter,

I feel like I've had similar experiences from the EPT. Each one is not exactly the same, but then again, every lower and the location of the pin holes is not EXACTLY the same either. So ultimately, different lowers with different fire control groups even if they are all the same products can end up feeling a bit different. I wonder if ones from other companies are more consistent? Either way, I'm not complaining about what I've used, especially considering the results for the price.


Kymasabe,

I think having a polished and coated hammer and trigger help take advantage of the wolff spring kit. When using a standard hammer and trigger there is more resistance so it is probably more difficult to feel any difference. And like i said, it is only said to reduce pull weight by about a pound. But just like you said, for only $10 it's worth it. Even if you don't really consciously notice a difference, there will be a difference, a little anyway. I would like to measure the pull weight before and after the springs, but i don't have a gauge and have never felt like it was worth the effort to find out the exact difference. I did have an EPT installed once without the reduced power springs, and then later put them in, and i was able to feel a bit of a difference. Enough that i felt they were worth the price.

When you look at the reduced power disconnector spring side by side with a full power one, you can see that the reduced power is shorter. And when you squeeze the reduced power trigger spring between your fingers, you can feel the difference between it and a full power.
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Old April 8, 2018, 05:01 PM   #16
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Well goodness, even if Kymasabe can't sell the triggers for what he paid for them now he's got some real life experience with them.

That means he doesn't have to listen to people like me that can tell him they heard this and that about such and thus.

The only problem is, as Kymasabe stated, is that maybe the individual one he got might not be representative of most of that model...that is he might have got a 'cherry' example or a 'lemon' example. Still, IMhO his real life experience beats my opinion every day of the week.
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Old April 8, 2018, 07:18 PM   #17
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IMHO
The ACT ALG is far better than the EPT and somewhat better than the ALG QMS.
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Old April 8, 2018, 11:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Rock River Arms makes a chrome plated two stage match that was very good.
I've installed a couple these--at it's price point I agree it's a great trigger.
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Old April 17, 2018, 01:58 PM   #19
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@kymasabe, If you'd like to try an experiment with smoothing your OEM trigger you took out... try doing this.

It really , truly works.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yeasg5HNbnw
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Old April 17, 2018, 03:54 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by bfoosh006 View Post
@kymasabe, If you'd like to try an experiment with smoothing your OEM trigger you took out... try doing this.

It really , truly works.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yeasg5HNbnw
"Boosting" a hammer has been around since the days when S&W wheel-guns filled LEOs holsters. It can accelerate the wearing-in process between hammer notch and sear face, but it won't do a thing for creep or over-travel. Two things most OEM AR15 trigger pulls have in abundance.
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Old April 22, 2018, 08:03 AM   #21
kymasabe
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Originally Posted by mellow_c View Post
I've had great luck with the PSA EPT kit... Especially in combination with this spring kit from Wolff

https://www.brownells.com/rifle-part...prod44511.aspx
Update: I was intrigued by the Wolff spring kit that Mellow_C mentioned, ordered it, installed yesterday, but I don't feel much of a difference, might be slighly lighter trigger pull but is hard to tell.
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Old April 22, 2018, 12:06 PM   #22
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9x19... I completely agree with your comments.

I was just suggesting a way to help get rid of the gritty aspect.
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Old April 22, 2018, 09:52 PM   #23
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Quote:
I have 2 EPTs which came with PSA lowers for an additional 10.00 each. One is so/so and the other is better but I don't believe I'd purchase them individually. Possibly would purchase one if I knew it would be equal to or better than the "good" one but of course there's no knowing that
This has been my experience with the ept trigger. One had no obvious difference from a stock trigger, the other offered a somewhat noticeable improvement. They both came with a lower build kit and was like a $10 upgrade. The better one was worth the money all day every day,the other one... Ehh it was 10 bucks. I would not recommend buying one outright as an upgrade though.
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Old April 22, 2018, 10:10 PM   #24
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Nice write up....I do the same testing sometimes.

I agree. The ALG ACT is a great trigger for its price. For my hard money, it is worth comparing to the RA140 that runs $85-$90 on sale regularly. I would say no comparison. The RA140 has a crisper, lighter and shorter pull with a solid reset. All my basic AR's get this now.

Might be worth trying sometime.
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