ALG Defense QMS and ACT AR-15 Triggers
Major Pandemic 12.26.13
The typical AR-15 stock triggers are gritty, have a long take up, and are not so clean breaking. Understandably the trigger is the number one simple and easy DIY upgrade to increase accuracy and trigger feel.
Often AR owners do not upgrade the trigger because of the price of target triggers, which typically start in the $150 range. The other problem is that, due to regulatory concerns or potential legality issues with defensive AR-15s, many civilians, law enforcement, military, and government agencies do not upgrade their triggers. In fact dropping in a super awesome enhanced 2lb – 3lb Geissele trigger is a no-go for most military, government, and law enforcement agencies because most enhanced triggers have trigger pulls under the 5.5lb minimum weight specification. As the controversial thought process goes, a 5.5lb-9.5lb trigger offers a margin of safety when the adrenaline is pumping and the gun is getting handled aggressively.
For those who just want a better trigger and want to be extra cautious to avoid being perceived as having an “enhanced target” trigger in their defensive gun, there is the ALG Defense line of AR-15 triggers. From my testing, the QMS and ACT trigger are the best “stock” triggers on the planet all for about the same price as your average standard stock trigger.
ALG Defense was created by none other than Amy Geissele of the same renowned namesake triggers we all love. The ALG Defense line diverges from the geometry tweaked, tuned, and redesigned high performance line of Geissele AR-15 triggers to focus on providing the best standard “Stock Spec” triggers available for shooters with regulatory issues or those just looking for a great value. The result are two trigger offering; the QMS (Quality Mil-Spec) trigger and crisper HardLubing coated ACT (ALG Combat Trigger).
Fit and Feel
If you have ever swapped out a trigger or an at least can work a hand punch, you can replace your stock trigger with one of ALG Defense’s QMS or ACT models. Slip out the trigger pins with a punch (sometimes an ink pen will work), remove the trigger components, and re-install the ALG components. In less than a couple minutes, you can have a sweet feeling trigger.
Although these two ALG Defense QMS and ACT triggers feel similar to standard mil-spec triggers, they are much smoother with a little less take up. If you imagine having a good basic trigger job on your stock trigger, that is pretty much how these triggers feel. The silver colored ACT trigger adds several features, including a crisper trigger feel and all components coated with ALG’s HardLubing process.
Will either of the ALG models deliver custom enhanced trigger feel? No, but for the average leisure or even professional Joe Shooter, I would say this is all the trigger you will ever need. It is a really good trigger feel. It’s actually surprisingly good considering the QMS is the same price on Brownells as a DPMS trigger.
The trigger feel is accomplished not by changing sear geometry but by polishing the sear surfaces smooth, and for the ACT then HardLubing the trigger components. By not getting aggressive with sear changes, the high reliability of the stock trigger is preserved.
ALG Defense targets a 6.5lb trigger pull for the QMS – Quality Mil-Spec Trigger and 6.0lbs for the ACT – ALG Combat Trigger, which is well within the U.S. Military minimum pull weight range of 5.5lbs to 9.5lbs.
For those want the best non-adjustable trigger feel, they will still want to look to a custom enhanced trigger such as the performance Geissele SSA and SSA-E triggers. As always, I never advise an adjustable trigger on a firearm which may be used for defensive purposes.
I have personal experience with triggers that are less than high quality, and they start to wear funny after a few thousand trigger pulls. ALG Defense takes a number of steps to assure durability and improve performance by making the trigger and hammer from true 8620 alloy steel per military specification castings, and assuring the triggers are correctly carburized, quenched, and tempered for high surface hardness. The disconnector is 1070 High Carbon steel, which is also properly tempered, and the springs are corrosion resistant and meet military specifications.
The triggers feature a full force hammer spring for positive ignition of even stubborn primed ammo. ALG also improves the trigger and hammer pins vs stock mild steel by using 4140 Chrome-Moly steel that has been quenched and tempered. The pins are centerless ground to a fine finish. The diameter is 0.001” larger than stock to reduce play in the trigger assembly while retaining a slip fit into the weapon lower receiver. On the ACT – Combat Trigger, both pins are also Nickel-Teflon coated.
Indeed this is a lot of attention to detail on every component for a trigger group that strives to essentially be still considered “stock.” Many enhanced target triggers do not go to this level of detail. Achieving that goal provides a trigger performance level that can rival some enhanced triggers on the market and, in almost all cases, exceed the reliability of enhanced triggers.
The ACT – Advanced combat trigger is “HardLubing” treated, which is ALG’s term for electroless Nickel plating with an integral modifier to the base nickel plate. This treatment allows the trigger to run “dry/un-lubed” in mission critical situations. ALG uses either Boron or Teflon to enhance surface hardness, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance, and it also creates a favorable trigger crispness. The surface hardened Nickel-Boron treatment provides excellent wear resistance, less friction, and delivers a very cool matt stainless/grey look. For those looking for subdued coloring, the trigger can be painted on non-functional surfaces such as the finger pad.
One of the big advantages of the ALG triggers are that they look, feel, and are maintained exactly like a standard stock trigger. ALG Defense assures there is complete interchangeability between triggers, so if a part is damaged these non-matched trigger sets can have parts swapped out.
For my upgrades, I swapped out the very stock feeling trigger in my Del-Ton DTI-15 with the QMS trigger and a quite good DoubleStar trigger in my GTVC Billet Lower Receiver to the ACT trigger. Both upgrades were quick swaps, and the final result was dramatic.
Obviously the Del-Ton’s trigger swap feel was enormous to the point where I wondered whether a higher end trigger is really required. The DoubleStar trigger group swap to the ACT with HardLubing was still surprising, with much crisper and smoother trigger feel while adding a subdued custom touch to my GTVC Billet Lower. There is still a little take up on both, but the gritty feeling is gone and the break is clean on both triggers/ The ACT is just a bit crisper with a lighter trigger pull.
The ALG QMS Trigger installed on my Del-Ton DT-15 looks perfectly stock but performs significantly better.
Personally I have never had a functional issue with any of my non-adjustable high performance triggers. The adjustable models can be a little problematic though. The ALG triggers are as bulletproof as stock triggers, which I believe is a smart option in a gun you bet your life on. Once out on the range, both these triggers functioned exactly as any stock trigger would and ignited a high volume of surplus steel cased ammo without failure with an excellent smooth trigger feel.
No simple upgrade will drop your groups and improve shooter confidence more than an improved trigger. In my case, I was able to knock about 15% off my 100 yard group sizes previously shot with the GTVC lower, and my Del-ton saw nearly a 20% improvement in group sizes. A better trigger will also allow an operator to shoot faster for precision shots because extra moments are not spent compensating for a poor trigger feel.
Either of these triggers are an exceptional deal. For the individual that wants an inexpensive trigger upgrade or the best trigger within stock AR-15/M4/M16 specifications, the ALG Defense QMS and ACT are perfect upgrades priced very affordably at $45 and $65 respectively.
The ALG Defense models are far better than the industry standard DPMS triggers used by the majority of AR manufacturers. It would be a simple decision for me to choose the ALG models for only a couple bucks extra, and the HardLubed ACT trigger adds a custom touch to even custom builds. I have heard more than a few police and military folks note how they hate the stock triggers but cannot put a enhanced trigger in. The ALG line is the answer to that problem.
- Complies with Mil-Spec and Most LEO/GOV department trigger standards
- 8620 Alloy Steel
- Military specification castings
- Correctly carburized, quenched, and tempered for high surface hardness
- Disconnector is 1070 High Carbon steel properly tempered & hardened
- Springs are corrosion resistant and meet military specifications.
- A full force hammer spring is used for positive ignition
- Trigger and hammer pins are improved over stock mild steel by using 4140 Chrome-Moly steel that has been quenched and tempered
- Pins are centerless ground to a fine finish and a diameter 0.001” larger than stock to reduce play in the trigger assembly while retaining a slip fit into the weapon lower receiver
QMS – Quality Mil-Spec Trigger Specs
- Smoother than stock triggers
- 6.5lb trigger pull
- MSRP $45
ACT – ALG Combat Trigger Specs
- Smoother & Crisper than stock triggers
- 6.0lb trigger pull
- HardLube Coated
- MSRP $65