This AR trigger is approved by Special Operations

Trigger press can mean the difference between a hit and a miss. In combat, this can mean the difference between life and death.
Miguel Ortiz Avatar
(3rd Special Forces Group)

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.

Geissele started in civilian competition before adoption by Special Operations (CMP)

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.

The SSF offer both precision and reliability (Geissele Automatics)

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.”

Combat triggers have to be strong and durable to withstand abuse, but also crisp enough to provide accuracy (3rd Special Forces Group)

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.

The SSA and its variants offer the same quality as the SSF, minus the full-auto capability (U.S. Army)

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.