Trigger press can mean the difference between a hit and a miss. In combat, this can mean the difference between life and death. To that end, a good trigger can help to ensure a smooth trigger press with minimal disturbance before a round is fired. However, a military trigger must be strong and heavy enough to ignite the hard primers of MIL-SPEC ammunition in adverse conditions. Striking a balance between these two characteristics is difficult, but one company built a trigger so good that it received approval by Special Operations.
Founded by Bill Geissele in 2004, Geissele Automatics started as a manufacturer of trigger mechanisms for the AR-15-style rifle. The first trigger he designed, the Hi-Speed National Match, was a competition trigger for Civilian Marksmanship Program and NRA Hi-Power Rifle matches. Like other useful and well-designed civilian products, the Hi-Speed National Match trigger entered military service; it was used as an aftermarket trigger upgrade in semi-automatic sniper weapons systems.
In 2005, Geissele Automatics received a request from the Department of Defense to build a select-fire trigger as good as the Hi-Speed National Match. To meet this request, Bill Geissele came up with the Super Select-Fire trigger. In semi-automatic mode, the SSF is a two-stage trigger weighing 2.75-3 pounds in its first stage and 1.5-1.75 pounds in its second stage for a total trigger weight of 4.25-4.75 pounds. In automatic mode, the SSF is a single-stage, 6-pound trigger. Geiselle Automatics describes the automatic trigger press as "smooth" and "continuous" with an "abrupt hammer release."
After rigorous and extensive testing, the SSF was safety-certified by Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center and approved for use under the Special Operations Peculiar MODification kit. With a National Stock Number, the SSF has been purchased and fielded by different entities in the Special Operations community as the trigger of choice in AR-15-style weapons like the M4 and Mk18 carbines.
Although contract overruns of the SSF are available on the civilian market, the fact that most civilian rifles are restricted to semi-automatic fire (the SSF cannot convert a semi-automatic weapon to a full-automatic) makes the three-position trigger unnecessary. Moreover, the $405 MSRP means a big monetary pain for comparatively little gain. To that end, Geiselle Automatics introduced the Super Semi-Automatic trigger to offer the same two-stage semi-automatic trigger from the SSF in a civilian-friendly form at a more affordable price. An enhanced version of the SSA, the SSA-E, was also released with a 2.9-3.8-pound trigger (2-2.5-pound first stage and 0.9-1.3-pound second stage. Both the SSA and SSA-E triggers have flat bow versions in the SD-C and the SD-E triggers.