How to install an ar-15 drop in trigger

A step by step guide on how to install a drop in trigger

Upgrading your trigger is a great way to potentially increase accuracy while shooting. The best part is, this is a simple and easy swap. To help give you some guidance, we have created this in-depth tutorial on how to install a new drop-in trigger for your AR-15. If you still need a trigger, you can shop our Drop in triggers HERE.

Before you begin, be sure your firearm is unloaded and clear.

Remove the Upper

Once you have made sure your AR-15 is unloaded and clear, you can remove the upper receiver. Do this by pushing the takedown pin through and then tilt the upper forward. Push the pivot pin through. Both the takedown pin and the pivot pin are held by a detent so you don’t have to worry about the pins falling out.

Remove the Grip and Safety Selector

  • Using an Allen wrench, begin loosening the bolt on the inside bottom of the grip. When removing the bolt, be sure not to lose the washer. As a side note, grip screws are traditionally a flat head. We use Allen screws, but a lot of manufacturers still use slotted screws for grips. So be sure to check what screw your grip has.

  • Once you have taken the bolt and washer out and set aside, pull the grip off. 

  • While doing this, be sure not to lose the safety spring and detent.  Save the spring and detent for later. You will need them to reinstall the grip. If the spring and detent do get lost, you can get a replacement HERE

  • Once you have removed the spring and detent, you can pull the safety selector out.

For more detailed instructions on this step, read How To Install A New Grip blog HERE.

Remove Existing Trigger

  • Remove the hammer pin to remove the hammer.

  • Remove the trigger pins by pushing them out. These may be a little stiff. You can use a punch or screwdriver to gently push them out.  As you are pushing the pins through, put your thumb over the trigger assembly to keep it from coming apart, as there will be nothing holding it together.

  • You can now remove the trigger assembly.

Anti Walk Pins

Anti-walk pins are recommended with drop-in triggers. With a mil-spec trigger, the grooves in the trigger pins have springs that sit in them. This creates tension and helps keep the pins from falling out. With a drop-in trigger there aren’t any springs pushing against these pins to keep them in place. This causes the trigger to not sit tight inside the gun. Anti-walk pins have screws on the ends that keep the pins in place. If your trigger doesn't come with anti-walk pins, you can get some HERE.

Install New Drop in Trigger

  • Place the trigger assembly into the trigger pocket.  Be sure to clean out any debris or dirt if needed.

  • Line up the trigger pin holes on the drop-in trigger assembly with the holes on your lower receiver.

Install Anti Walk Pins

  • Install the anti walk pins by inserting the pins and screwing on the caps. Be sure not to over tighten the screws.

Reinstall the Safety

  • Put the switch in place. Be sure to have it lined up to safety or fire so that it will line up with the detent.

  • Drop the safety detent in the receiver and press it down flush. Some triggers may require the safety to be installed before the trigger pins. 

Reinstall the Grip

This is a great time to install a new pistol grip if you have one. If you need a new pistol grip, you can get one here.

  • Put the selector spring and selector detent back into the grip.

  • Line the grip up with the detent hole and press it in. Make sure that the spring is compressing properly.

  • On the bottom of the grip, take your Allen wrench and tighten the bolt and washer. Make sure you don’t strip the bolt.

Function Check

  • To make sure that everything is installed properly, perform a function check

  • If everything is functioning correctly, you’re all set to head to the range!
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