As a precision rifle shooter, I am a bit of a trigger snob. I was forced to qualify in the Marine Corps with a rack grade M16A2 with a horribly gritty trigger with loads of creep. Whenever I hear the term “USGI Trigger”, I always think back to those ugly triggers. This reaction caused me to put off looking at the ALG Defense Advanced Combat Trigger. The ALG ACT is essentially a USGI type trigger with a couple of added features. After using the ACT, I may have to re-evaluate my prejudice against USGI type triggers.
ALG Defense is a sister company of Geissele Automatics. Geissele produces one of the finest triggers available for the AR platform as well as several other semi-automatic rifles. Geissele triggers are first rate and their price reflects that. ALG on the other hand, seems to have positioned themselves to offer an excellent balance of quality and price.
The ALG Defense offers three different levels of AR type triggers. Of the three the Advanced Combat Trigger is the flagship. The shape is a standard “mil-spec” design without the full-auto features. Visually, the ACT stands out with its bright silver color. This is due to the Nickel-Boron coating of the trigger and the Nickel-Teflon coating of the hammer. The coatings serve to reduce wear and decrease the coefficient of friction. The trigger can be painted to give a more subdued look, however the factory finish is a matte sliver and rather attractive.
Our ALG ACT came with two hammer springs. The hammer had the purple colored spring pre-installed. This spring gave us a four and a half pound trigger pull. ALG cautions that the purple hammer spring is intended for recreational use and may cause light strikes with harder primers. We did not experience any light strikes in our testing. The silver hammer spring should result in an approximate 5.5-6 lb. trigger pull. The purple spring worked so well for us, that we did not see any reason to install the heavier hammer spring.
The ALG ACT also includes a replacement hammer and trigger pin as well as a short slave pin. The pins have been centerless ground to 0.001″ larger than mil-spec resulting in less play while still allowing for a slip-fit. Finally, they are nickel-teflon coated for reduced wear. The inclusion of a slave pin was a nice thought. Experienced AR builders will probably not need it. However, being able to pin the disconnector in place while setting the trigger in the lower receiver can speed the process for new builders.
We installed our ALG ACT in our new AR Pistol build. I was immediately impressed with the quality of the trigger pull. When applying pressure to the trigger there was an almost imperceptible amount of creep. At 4.5 lbs we were rewarded with a clean carrot-like break. The over-travel was similar to other GI triggers. The reset was crisp and quick, with just a little grit. I expect that to clean up as the disconnector wears in on the hammer. During the pull, there was no grittiness at all. This is surprising for a brand new trigger of this type. ALG really did their homework on the coatings. The lack of creep was really surprising to me for a trigger in this price range. While there is some, it takes a lot of trigger finger discipline to find it. On a CQB carbine or a intermediate range target rifle, it would not be an issue at all. I hesitate to say that it would be an issue in a long range rifle if a 4.5 lb. trigger is what you are after.
Overall, the ALG Defense Advanced Combat Trigger is an exceptional value. At the $69.00 retain price, you are absolutely getting your money’s worth. If you don’t have $69 to spend on a trigger, consider the “Quality Mil-Spec” (QMS) trigger. You won’t get the advanced coatings or the lighter spring, but it will still be miles above the trigger included in most lower parts kits. (The ACT and QMS are also available in a complete lower parts kit from ALG Defense)