Triggers are an absolute necessity in your rifle build since they are responsible for making it fire when in use. If you’re new to AR-15s or customizing them, it’s important to know that a trigger group can either make or break your build.
Most enthusiasts are already familiar with the importance of having a good trigger group in their rifles, to the extent that they’re usually one of the first upgrades made on new rifle builds. Though there are many options, one of the most revered aftermarket parts manufacturers is easily recognizable for their legendary triggers.
Geissele Automatics produces some of the finest aftermarket triggers for the AR. Their lineup boasts an incredible array of AR-15 and AR-10 triggers, each being a substantial upgrade from the standard mil-spec trigger that comes standard in most ARs.
Each Geissele trigger is unique and designed for a specific purpose, making their lineup incredibly versatile. Out of the current offerings, you can have many different types of triggers, ranging from curved and flat faced ones, and single-stage or two-stage.
Each design offers benefits tailored to specific types of enthusiasts, and their high quality makes them a perfect choice for maximizing accuracy and control of the rifle they’re installed in. The last thing you want to build is a perfectly optimized rifle, just to have a subpar trigger. Below, we’ll go over the company Geissele, their offerings, and how they stack up against each other.
Geissele Triggers: Brief Overview
Geissele Automatics was founded in 2004 and got their start by making trigger mechanisms for the AR-15. Though they initially focused on target shooting, their Hi-Speed trigger was often utilized by the U.S. Military in their semi-automatic sniper and marksman weapon platforms. Eventually, they were requested to develop triggers for other Military rifle systems, cementing their status as one of the greatest trigger manufacturers available. It’s also worth noting that their successful SSF (Super Select-Fire) trigger was modified for the civilian market, becoming the SSA (Super Semi-Automatic).
Though they’ve since branched out and now make multiple different parts and their own AR-15 rifles, Geissele still produces the triggers that put them in the spotlight. Each of the triggers they manufacture are fine-tuned at the factory, so there’s no guesswork when installing them into your rifle. Though most of their options are non-adjustable, their tuning and precision engineering makes them ready to install from the factory.
Out of their lineup, they have a variety of different style triggers, some with flat and curved facings/trigger bows, and others that are single-stage or two-stage. You won’t see any difference in trigger pull weight from a flat or curved trigger facing, but they can alter the perceived pull weight. Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference as to which is better, but we’ll highlight their differences later in the trigger breakdown. There is fundamental difference in single-stage and two-stage triggers however, as they have very different trigger pulls.
Single-stage triggers, when cocked, have no take-up and are already at the wall, or break point, of the trigger. Once the trigger resets after firing, there’s no further travel for the trigger. Instead, it’s immediately back to the breakpoint. This makes single stage triggers great for applications like CQB and competition since they are better suited for scenarios where you would need to make rapid shots in quick succession.
Two-stage triggers are more useful when making precise shots at varying distances. Instead of being right at the break point when cocked, two-stage triggers have some take-up before reaching the break point/wall. Once reached, you can then pull through the break point, firing the rifle. For precision builds like SPRs, DMRs, and RECCE rifles, two-stage triggers provide better control for precision; while still useful in close quarters engagements, they really shine at distance though Geissele does have tuned two stage trigger options that are great in both applications. If you’d like more information, our guide on two-stage triggers goes even further on the topic.
Breakdown and Comparison
There are a variety of Geissele triggers available, most of which are variations on a specific series like their SSA (Super Semi-Automatic) trigger line for example. Below, you’ll find a breakdown of some of their most popular AR-15 and AR-10 triggers.
Super 3 Gun (S3G) – The S3G is designed to be a hybrid trigger, blending single and two-stage triggers into one. It has a light 3.0-pound pull weight (4.5-5.5-pounds when using the heavier spring) and a quick reset. While not recommended for duty use, it’s best for its intended purpose of fast-paced competitive use; just like its namesake, it’s perfect for 3-Gun competitions.
Super Dynamic 3 Gun (SD-3G) – Nearly identical to the S3G, the SD-3G’s main difference is its trigger facing. Whereas the S3G has a curved trigger, the SD-3G has a flat facing trigger bow. This has a few benefits. The flat trigger facing helps to reduce your perceived pull weight and can provide better tactile feedback compared to a curved one. Just like the S3G, it isn’t suited for duty, but excels in 3-Gun competitions.
Single-Stage Precision (SSP) – Geissele’s first single-stage trigger, the SSP has little to no take-up and a clean break followed by a fast reset. It has a light pull weight of 3 to 3.75-pounds, and like other Geissele triggers, the SSP is constructed from durable materials and coated in their corrosion resistant black oxide finish. The SSP line of triggers is great for duty use, close quarter engagements, and even precision shots at varying distances.
Currently, there are three variations of the SSP: one with a curved bow, one with a flat bow, and one designed for a larger trigger pin. There is no difference other than the trigger bow in the first two variants, however, the large pin model is slightly different.
Like its namesake says, it’s built for and uses larger trigger pins as opposed to standard ones. Unlike the previously mentioned models, it can have a heavier pull weight, so long as you use the included heavy spring. Its pull weight is 3.0 to 4.0-pounds, or 4.5 to 5.5-pounds when using the heavier spring. Another quick note, there isn’t currently a large pin model that has a flat trigger bow.
Super Semi-Automatic (SSA) – Safety certified by the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center, the SSA trigger is the semi-auto civilian variant of Geissele’s Super Select Fire trigger group, which was designed for the U.S. Military. Though non-adjustable, this two-stage trigger has a light pull weight of 2.75 to 3-pounds in the first stage and 1.5-1.75-pounds in the second stage. This makes it a great option for both longer range engagements when precision is critical to mission success, and closer engagements when quick target acquisition and rapid shots are necessary.
The Super Semi-Automatic series of triggers also has Enhanced, X, and Enhanced X versions available. SSA-E triggers are enhanced from the factory and have a much lighter pull weight of 2.0 to 2.5-pounds in the first stage, and 0.9 to 1.3-pounds in the second stage. SSA X triggers have the same pull weight as the standard SSA trigger, but they’re nanocoated in a special chrome nitride that keeps them operating smoothly when in heavy use. Lastly, the SSA-E X keeps the reduced pull weight of the SSA-E and pairs it with the X variant’s chrome nitride coating to maximize its reliability.
Super Dynamic Combat (SD-C) – The SD-C trigger is nearly identical to the SSA trigger mentioned above. It has the same pull weight as the standard SSA trigger, but it differs in that it has a flat facing trigger bow. Other than the trigger bow, these two triggers are functionally identical. Like the SSA lineup, the SD line also has an enhanced variant, the SD-E, which is identical to the SSA-E, minus the trigger facing of course.
Super Tricon Trigger – Another variant of the popular SSA trigger line, the Super Tricon keeps the same pull weight as the standard SSA trigger, but it’s unique in that it has a specialized trigger bow. The Super Tricon’s trigger bow is a hybrid of their curved and flat-facing trigger. While still curved, it doesn’t have the steep curve of their standard triggers. Instead, its curve starts towards the top of the trigger and gradually becomes flat as it gets closer to the bottom. Additionally, the trigger facing is ribbed for more positive grip contact.
Hi-Speed National Match – One of the few adjustable triggers offered by Geissele, this trigger line is specifically designed to work well for hunting, duty, and competition. It’s tunable for different purposes and comes with each purposes corresponding spring set to give it a proper pull weight for each. Included is their service spring set, which is designed for competitions such as National Trophy and NTIT matches; the DMR spring set, which is for tactical shooting or other competitions where the trigger pull weight isn’t regulated; and lastly, the match spring set, which is designed for NRA High Power Rifle competitions. Below is a breakdown of the specs for each spring set:
Service Rifle – 3.2 to 5-pounds in the first stage, 0.5 to 1.5-pounds in the second.
DMR – 2.5 to 3.6-pounds in the first stage, 0.5 to 1.5-pounds in the second.
Match Rifle – 1.5 to 2.5-pounds in the first stage, 6.0 to 14-ounces in the second.
This trigger is great for enthusiasts who want to have one lower for multiple uppers. Each of the spring sets are easy to switch out and transform the feel of the rifle into something entirely different.
Geissele 2 Stage (G2S) – A budget friendly variant of the SSA trigger, the G2S is a solid trigger option that provides positive trigger control and similar benefits you would find from their other triggers. It’s built from the same materials as the standard SSA trigger, but there aren’t any laser markings, and it has a slightly different design for holding the trigger pins in place. Unlike their other triggers, the G2S is only spot-checked during MP (Magnetic Particle) inspections. Regardless, it’s a great trigger that has the same specs as the SSA trigger, making it a solid option for upgrading your rifle on a budget.
Which is Best?
To be blunt, there is no ‘best’ Geissele trigger. There are, however, better triggers to opt for, depending on your rifle’s purpose. For duty purposes, you would want to opt for something like the SSA series and the Hi-Speed trigger since they’re better suited for that role.
In contrast, if you’re looking for something that’s more geared towards competition and precision, the S3G series and SSP trigger are definitely some of the best options for you. Keep in mind that it takes more than a good trigger to make precise shots. Check out our top upgrade recommendations for your AR-15.
Just like with any other rifle upgrade, your needs and your rifle’s purpose are going to be what dictates which trigger model you go with. Taking this into consideration beforehand will only set you up for success, as well as aid you in narrowing down the best possible options for your build.
A trigger group can either make or break your shooting experience; it can either hinder your precision and accuracy or make it easy to pull off shots in rapid succession. While it isn’t impossible to get good results with standard/mil-spec triggers, opting for an upgraded trigger group never hurts. And fortunately for you, Geissele has options for every possible AR build.
Whether for precision, competition, or duty, Geissele triggers will take your shooting experience to the next level, maximizing your rifle’s versatility. Remember to take your needs into consideration before pulling the trigger on purchasing a Geissele trigger; keep researching your options until you find the right trigger for you, whether it’s a budget option or a top-tier trigger group.
Once you’ve found the right one, your rifle will have the right trigger group necessary to be best suited for its purpose. When upgrading your rifle, ensure the rest of your rifle meets the same standard, and be sure to check out our guide on other rifle upgrades to round out your build.