[Review] RISE Armaments SA-140 Super Sporting Trigger

RA-140-SST-2-web-angled-651x282

RISE Armaments RA-140 SST

RISE Armaments was kind enough to send me out one of their RA-140 Super Sporting Triggers shortly after they launched (and when they were in super high demand). I had the opportunity to run the trigger for somewhere north of seven-hundred fifty rounds, and during training sessions for 3-Gun, and, as with their other trigger, am a huge fan.

Construction

Just like the RA-535, the RA-140 Super Sporting Trigger is a drop in one-piece unit. It is a single-stage trigger and is CNC machined from high-grade, heat-treated tool steel, The body is anodized aluminum.

Hammer.

Hammer.

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Just another shot of the trigger… 🙂

The trigger blade on the RA-140 is curved, unlike the RA-535 (which is straight). In fact the trigger blade looks a lot like the ALG QMS trigger that came with my Primary Weapons Systems Modern Musket.

Trigger blade is curved and nicely smoothed along the edges.

Trigger blade is curved and nicely smoothed along the edges.

Trigger blade is curved and nicely smoothed along the edges.

Trigger blade from the other side.

They do note that you should not adjust or “tamper with” the set screw, so you will definitely need to use some sort of pin kit with it. They recommend the KNS pin kit (the RA-535 comes with KNS pins; the RA-140 does not).

Trigger right after install. KNS Pin Kit (RISE recommended)

Trigger right after install. KNS Pin Kit (RISE recommended)

They have produced a short video (starring Chris) demonstrating the installation. It really is very fast and easy to install.

Technical Specifications (From RISE)

  • Single-stage trigger system
  • 3.5-lb. pull weight
  • Clean break with a short reset
  • Black 8625 hard coat anodized aluminum cassette
  • Comfortable rounded, trigger
  • Manufactured and assembled in our facility according to strict AS9100 aerospace requirements, which are more stringent than standard gun manufacturing requirements
  • CNC machined from high-grade, heat-treated tool steel and aluminum
  • Fits most .308 and .223 AR style platforms
  • Self-contained design makes it easy and quick to install with no fine-tuning needed
  • KNS pins recommended

Observations

I ran this trigger for a bit longer than I did with the RA-535 before writing this review (the RA-535 was the first after-market trigger I had ever installed). I am finally getting to the point that I can tell what I like about certain triggers and their behaviors. People throw around terms like “crisp” and “gritty/smooth” and “break”, and unless you can compare them side-by-side I think it is challenging to understand exactly what those terms mean, so I am going to take a shot here.

Crisp refers to the movement at which the trigger breaks, and “crisp” means that the trigger won’t move until the shooter has applied enough pressure to release the hammer. The “break” is the actual point of release. Triggers that are “gritty” have a rough feel, much like trying to pull the bolt back when it is dry and dirty. A “smooth” trigger on the other hand has, well, a smooth feel to it, much like a well oiled bolt–there is no feeling that it has friction binding it. “Over travel” is the amount of movement in the trigger after the “break” (and is generally not a good thing as it is wasted movement). “Reset” is the amount of travel required after the trigger “breaks” and starts moving forward again before the trigger is at state where it can again be depressed. If anyone wants to further clarify in the comments, please do… 🙂

As defined above, the RA-140 is both “smooth” and “crisp” which is exactly as expected on a single stage trigger. The “break” of the trigger is very clean, and there is no over travel. The “reset” is also very short.

All in all, the Super Sporting Trigger is very much like the RA-535, but perhaps a smidge heavier feeling on the pull. Overall it definitely feels beefier.

Again they recommend a KNS Pin kit for the installation. Personally I am not a fan of that specific kit. I think they are a bit too thick if you run something like an Odin Works extended magazine button. I’m more of a fan of one like the CMC Anti-Walk Pin Kit-Set. Ultimately whatever works for you and keeps the pins in place is the right option.

I ran the trigger in a number of 3-Gun courses and other shooting drills. Honestly the trigger was so smooth, I kept forgetting it was a different model. The only real difference I noted was that the blade was slightly curved, opposed to flat, and that slightly affected my finger placement for the first couple of magazines. After that, though, I adapted and it was a non-issue.

I personally don’t have refined enough touch to tell the difference between a three or five pound trigger (though I “think” I can tell between a three and seven-ish). But I can definitely tell when something feels gritty or sloppy, and the RA-140 was neither gritty nor sloppy. I feel like the reset is a tad bit longer, but short of comparing side-by-side I can’t point to anything objective. And even “longer” is still short.

RISE Armaments again did a great job with the aesthetics of the housing and components–not that you are going to see anything but the blade. I stand by my original opinion (during the RA-535 review) that focusing on details you won’t see demonstrates a level of commitment to the product.

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Drop in housing, fully contained.  Starting to get a little bit of wear on the hammer after nearly eight hundred rounds.

My biggest regret was not being able to truly run them side-by-side (on the exact same rifle build in all other factors).

Conclusions

Once again, I think RISE Armaments has done a stellar job with producing a trigger. While not quite as distinctive and sexy as the RA-535 (I still have a favored spot in my heart for the red body), I think this is a fine upgrade to add to your weapon.

I have no problem running the RA-535 in competition, or for speed shooting, but that is probably where I would limit it as well. I would, however, take the RA-140 Super Sporting Trigger to war…

At a price point of just under $130, I would heartily recommend it as useful and functional upgrade if you are running a Mil-Spec trigger. If you can afford the RA-535, I think it still has a slight edge over the RA-140. Other shooters may swear by Timney and Geissele triggers; I swear by RISE Armaments.



Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he has embraced his inner “Warrior Hippie” and assaults 14er in his sandals and beard, or engages in rucking adventure challenges while consuming craft beer. To fund these adventures, he writes medical software and builds websites and mobile apps. His latest venture is as one of the founders of IronSights.com; a search engine for all things gun related. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.


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  • thedonn007

    Is the hammer spring strong enough to work with .22lr uppers?

    • Doc Rader

      That I do not know, and did not test that. I’ll reach out to RISE and get an update.

    • Doc Rader

      From RISE: “For the majority, they work fine. There have been a couple of instances that light strikes have happened. We’re in the process of developing a spring as an upgrade that will help ensure that light strikes on .22lr don’t happen at all.”

      • thedonn007

        Thanks for the update. When I was using 3lb Timney tiggers of a similar “magic box” design I would aso have light strikes with my.22 lr upper. I purchased and installed a new firing pin with a small face that was supposed to help with the light strike issue. I have since sold the Timney AR triggers in favor of the SD-3G trigger.

  • dlud

    Been shooting mine for a few weeks now. Picked one up when they first came out for about 90 bucks. Machining is very nice and I would concur that the break is crisp. Moving up to this from a mil-spec trigger made a huge improvement in shooting experience. Love it so far, but no experience with others like timney to compare with. 3.5lb break seems like a good compromise between target trigger and working trigger.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    I don’t like light single stage triggers for ARs, and I REALLY don’t like whole drop-in units, there is nothing at all wrong with the AR trigger pins that a drop in unit solves, quite the opposite.

    However… Great post Tom. It’s refreshing to see articles written where someone has actually used the product, has an understanding of it from experience with, and not just a bunch of hollow words pulled from a PR release like so many online “reviews” are.

  • AK™

    I swapped out the trigger in my Windham and my Ruger AR556 for ALG ACTs with the purple spring on the hammer. They work great. At $60 a pop,it’s not a bad upgrade.
    For my AR-308 build,I’ll use the heavier spring they include because I’ll be running cheap tula through it. I think it bumps it up to 5-6Lb pull.

    • Cymond

      The ACT is an even better deal if you get a LPK that includes the ACT. It only adds like $30 to the overall cost.
      Honestly, I love mine and it’s all I would want in a defensive carbine.

  • Cymond

    I can definitely tell the difference between a 5.5 and 3.5 pound trigger.
    I have an ALG ACT with with about a 5.5 pound break according to my (cheap) trigger gauge. I bought a RRA Varmint 2-stage trigger rated at 3.5 pounds. I installed it, tried a few informal drills and said NOPE.
    The light pull is nice at the range, but a crisp 5.5 pound pull is just fine for my defensive carbine. I don’t get to the range enough to trust myself with a super light trigger when my adrenaline is pumping.