Fix A Heavy Trigger On The Cheap With JP Reduced Power Springs

If you have a stock AR trigger that is a bit on the heavy side and don’t want to replace the trigger with an upgraded one, a reduced power spring kit from JP might just be the ticket. In this week’s Modification Minute we turn a gross 7 pound, 12-ounce trigger into a much more tolerable 4-pound trigger pull in no time.

Products in this video:

JP Enterprises AR-15 Reduced Power Spring Kit – $10.99

Timney Trigger Pull Gauge – $34.99

Magpul BEV Block – $47.45

Brownells Magna-Tip Master Set – $129.99

Geissele Trigger Fitting Pin – $15.00


  • winterhorse

    installed one in my blackout carbine. it does what it’s made to do. have only run 100 rds thru it and so far so good.

    • “Only 100 rounds” being the key to this statement. Let me guess, one brand of ammo too?

      • winterhorse

        yes, 1 brand. reloaded Winchester brass, Winchester primers, H335 powder. My gun, My parts.

      • winterhorse

        I’m willing to bet that most AR type firearms are not fired a 100 times in the owners life time.

  • 1DeplorablePepe

    A long time ago I used a JP reduced power spring kit. I was about to fire some Silver State Armory “Mk262” 77gr stuff – it was my first time shooting the new gun. I was very excited to get to use the damn thing!
    I pulled the trigger.

    Dimpled the primer, the round never went off. It didn’t have enough mustard to handle the tough primers of that ammo.
    It ran fine with PMC that day – other guns with stock triggers ran the “MK262” just fine too. Old timers pulled me a side and mentioned, “man this is why you always test your ammo in your gun before trusting it for bed side use.”

    I’ve ordered a bunch of JP enterprises products, great company, that said I don’t believe reduced power springs (by anyone), are a real replacement for a good quality “match” trigger. Not in a market flooded with good options like it is today.
    For me, one good “click” instead of bang was enough. (It did that with about 10 rounds before I figured it out). In my opinion, we can argue about how much to spend on optics and doodads for the rails, but a well made trigger is a good investment!

  • marine6680

    Light strikes are a common complaint about light power springs…

    The enhanced mil spec trigger from PSA was around $30 last I seen, and maybe less now.

    You would get as good or better results, but without the potential negatives of reduced power springs.

    Now for a range toy it doesn’t really matter too much if you get the odd light strike, but any defensive rifle should not use them.

    I don’t use a light hammer spring in any of my rifles…

    • I doubt Patrick was even aware of this, despite it being mentioned right on the packaging itself. Literally everyone who has installed these in a mil spec trigger has reported problems with light primer strikes…because they are not intended for duty/self defense rifles and do not work with NATO primers, or any other hard primers. Basically a worthless suggestion in my opinion, and will not “Fix It” for sure. Should rename the segment “Patrick Teaches You How to Break It”. Guy is just relentless and determined to post something every day without giving any thought as to why.

      • PK

        To be fair, a couple of decades ago you couldn’t find military 5.56x45mm ammo practically everywhere. I used to have to either load my own, order some from a distributor, or buy cheap FMJ from whatever brand I could find locally.

        Now, of course, who doesn’t use hard primers? It seems wiser to use them in any semi-auto rifle.

      • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

        I don’t write the titles and I am well aware of the light primer strike issue with the JP springs.

        I don’t pick all the products out, some of them like this spring kit are assigned to me.

    • SGT Fish

      I put the JP light trigger spring on the PSA Enhanced mil-spec trigger.
      success with no issues. I chose not to use the light hammer spring

      • marine6680

        I use the Wolff lower power trigger spring on some triggers… as long as you don’t mess with the hammer spring, you will not have light strike issues.

  • Madison J Coleman

    I put the JP Spring kit in two of my AR-15, both just plinkers. But they have been so reliable I am half inclined to try out a set in one of my AR’s reserved for more serious business (even though the package’s lawer-tag advises against it). JP makes good stuff.

    • marine6680

      Or you could spend a little more and get a PSA enhanced mil spec trigger… lighter and smoother than the average mil spec and it’s not expensive.

      Or the ALG ACT mil spec trigger, but more expensive than the PSA but better overall.

      And both without the increased chance of light strikes…

      • Marcus D.

        I should have bought the ATC instead of the QMS. There is nothing wrong with the QMS except its trigger weight, somewhere up around 7 lbs. I was thinking of replacing the hammer trigger with a lighter on from Taylor Tactical Supply, but have never gotten around to it. Since I only want the one spring and not the kit since take-up is not an issue, its five bucks for a whirl.

        • marine6680

          Use a good light grease, that will make the trigger smoother and lighter.

          I have seen it drop about a pound off of pull weight… On my MBT it went from 4lb 3oz to 3lb 5oz just by adding grease to the sear.

          I use a lighter viscosity grease, good for pretty much any temps a person could manage to survive in… Some greases can get too thick in the cold.

          • Marcus D.

            Hmm, worth a shot. Thanks for the tip. As it is though, the QMS has no take up, minimal over-travel, and a very crisp break. There is no grittiness at all. Not bad for a $45 trigger. The pull weight is the only issue.

          • marine6680

            I have an ACT in my dedicated 22lr build… it is a very nice mil spec trigger.

            I am wondering if putting a lighter trigger return spring would do anything, I got a couple extra.

        • Risky

          JP springs dropped my QMS trigger down from 6 lbs to 3.5 lbs!

  • YS

    In addition to light strikes, according to Bill Geissele, light power springs result in reduced accuracy. For a blaster, I guess this is OK, but for anything more serious, I would invest in a proper trigger upgrade.

    • PK

      Geissele is correct, as lighter hammer/striker springs tend to increase lock time.

    • Risky

      I simply bobbed the hammer when I put in my JP springs. Should effectively make up for the weaker spring with the reduced weight to be close to equal to the same hammer velocity. I’ve also not had any light primer strikes as of yet.

  • Gun Fu Guru

    And be guaranteed light primer strikes, particularly on berdan primers.

    • mig1nc

      Yes. This happened to me. I ended up keeping the JP trigger spring, but put back in a standard hammer spring. That worked.

      • Gun Fu Guru

        If you don’t mind my asking, what type of shooting (and ammo) were you hoping to use it for: general, competition, accuracy?

        • mig1nc

          It was a general purpose do-all carbine. BCM mid-length 16″ upper. It had an ALG ACT trigger and I wanted to lighten it up a hair. Tried the JP yellow spring set. Got lots of light strikes with various ammo. Replaced the hammer spring with the standard ALG spring, problem fixed. So, I was still able to benefit from a lighter pull due to the JP trigger spring, while getting reliable ignition with the stronger hammer spring.

          • Gun Fu Guru

            Nice fix.

    • Bradley

      Where have you ever seen berdan primers on 5.56/.223? Not that I disagree with the main point of your comment.

      • SPQR9

        The Russian steel cased stuff mostly.

        • Bradley

          If you’re talking about stuff like Tulammo, Wolf, etc. they all have boxer primers to my knowledge.

      • Gun Fu Guru

        Wolf, Tula, Brown Bear: the really cheap range ammo. That being said, most people who buy reduced power springs generally speaking don’t buy bottom barrel ammo. It isn’t match-grade but, it is far from competition-reliable.

  • J D

    Don’t ask me why but I tend to subscribe to #Team-Wolff for spring solutions.

    Maybe ‘cuz the word ‘spring’ is in their name?

  • Matt

    I love jobs like this. I get to buy $230 worth of tools to install a piece that costs $11.

    • Klaus Von Schmitto

      It’s an investment. That’s what I tell myself anyway.

  • Mark Horning

    Still a crappy single stage trigger. Bleah.

  • Taylor Hardin

    Fixing a trigger by lighting the springs in the incorrect way of doing things. Take the mil spec trigger and stone where the trigger engages with the hammer. Want to make it no so negative. Also put a set screw in the pistol grip screw so it buts up against the rear of the trigger taking up the slack. Boom. You just saved $100+ by doing it yourself. Gravy train.

    • arfixer

      No, taking a stone to the milspec trigger group in the incorrect way to do it. you cut through the surface hardening and into soft metal underneath and accelerate wear. Now, your technique is right on for most other triggers.

      but back to the original thrust of the article, you can do it even cheaper by cutting one of the legs off the hammer spring, and putting a 30 degree bend in the legs of the trigger return spring and have an equal or lighter pull. And as long as you are mucking about in the fire control group, run a set screw up the grip screw hole and push the back up the trigger bar up to contact the safety. Takes out a lot of the creep. You can really go nuts and take some of the back of the trigger bar off and take even more creep out, but if you do this you might have to take a little off the nose of the disconnector to allow the hammer to release.

      For those of you with concerns about lighter springs and light strikes, you can cut the hook off the hammer to lighten it and resolve those issues.

      • 22winmag

        Accelerated wear of triggers (and other parts) is sensible technique for “3-trips-a-year to the gun range” individuals. Plus how many people dry-fire as much as they should?

      • Taylor Hardin

        I can not tell you how many triggers I have done in ARs like this and not one has come back to me from a customer over the years that have had issues with it. Not one. I hear word vomit like this all the time and yet no one seems to be able to back up the claims triggers are case hardened. If this was such a huge issue then no one would sell a stainless steel trigger set as that is extremely soft compared to a carbon steel. Please provide evidence to your claims that triggers are like this. I would love to see it. If you can not then please stop repeating what everyone else says on the internet and stop falling for the $200 trigger trap.

        You don’t want to cut one of the legs on the hammer, but you can certainly give a slight bend, but you don’t want to do much as it can hurt reliability. I said to put a set screw up the pistol grip screw and have it take the slack up on the trigger. It is a 1/4×28 if anyone one is interested. Every once in awhile you will run into one that is a 1/4×20. Not sure why. No need to take any off the trigger bar.

        If you do those two things you can have a standard mil spec trigger that breaks in the 3-5lbs area depending on how you set the trigger engagement. Don’t want to go much lower then 3 on a single stage trigger.

        • “HardLubing is ALG’s term for electroless Nickel plating with an integral modifier to the base nickel plate. Either Boron or Teflon is used to enhance surface hardness, wear resistance and corrosion resistance” – I just did a quick check on the triggers I have used, they are all hardened and/or plated.

          • Taylor Hardin

            So that is one example of what one company does. I’m talking about a run of the mill surplus style trigger. If you want a high speed trigger from a high speed company then you are not doing your own trigger job.

          • Except that is literally a $49 MIL SPEC trigger. Not to mention, 4 other brands also surface harden their milspec triggers as well! None of which are fancy parts.

        • PK

          The socket screw inside the pistol grip hole is one of my favorite little tricks to adjust pre-travel on an AR trigger, but for anyone trying it: don’t overdo it! You can very easily make the trigger too light, so that a bump of the stock will release the hammer.

      • SkidMarkyMark

        True mil-spec triggers (and any trigger worth a damn) are not surface hardened, they’re fully heat-treated. If you ever encounter a surface-hardened trigger group (in any rifle), don’t walk, run from that company and their products.

    • Zack mars

      Terrible advice.

      Great way to get hammer follow at best, or full auto at worst

  • keazzy

    My last trigger is a right to bear arms and it is the bees knees. They polish nickel then polish again and use springs tuned to it. I went that route because of the positive reviews and they are cheaper than PSA. Not too much more than the JP springs by themselves.

  • Well that’s just great. Lighten the spring so it feels good for your finger. Or you could just learn to use the weapon.

    • Mark Walker

      Agree; I was wondering when someone was going to hit the “primer” on the head. Especially for a SD/HD weapon, one wants to ensure that hammer release is intentional. But each their own. As for me, I’ll stick with my original Colt FC setup. Cheers!

  • 22winmag

    You can get away with just about anything (like light springs and kitchen table trigger stoning) when you have a titanium firing pin.

    • 100% Fake News! Although the Ti alloy pins supposedly travel faster, they impact with wayyy less energy exacerbating the problem, not improving it! I have only tried 2 different brands of Ti pins and both were lighter that stock. Are there some out there for the AR15 that add mass?

      • PK

        Titanium allow firing pins are fine for range use, and range use alone. They’re not something I would like to have in any competition or hunting firearm, never mind a SD/HD gun! Between the lighter strikes, galling, peening, and lower mass causing grime/lint/grease/dirt to easily stop them in their tracks, too much can go wrong.

        In fact, I don’t like much of anything small and traveling in channels to be titanium or aluminum on a gun. A Ti/Al frame is fine, given proper rail clearance and design consideration for galling, but firing pins and so on ought to be much harder and heavier than Ti can achieve.

        • Gary Kirk

          I’ve been thinking about milling one outta tungsten.. Just don’t know if it’s worth the time..

          ETA: think I’d have to coat it in something, and not sure if it’d be hard enough.. Maybe just put an insert in a standard stainless..

          • PK

            It would be hard enough. That’s the problem, it would be more than dense enough but it would be the hardest part in the gun… if not made from tungsten carbide, it would also be fairly prone to shattering.

            As neat of an idea as it is, I’d say not to bother. You may experience pierced primers, longer lock time, a broken firing pin, galling/wear of anything it touches, and so on.

          • Gary Kirk

            What about a tungsten insert in the standard stainless firing pin?

            I mean, I’m more than happy with all my AR builds.. But if I can make the next “MUST HAVE” accessory.. Let me make my money Dammit..

  • MadMonkey

    Next article: How to Recoup Some Money from the JP Springs You Installed Because You Suddenly Discovered 10 Rounds Later That They Really Don’t Like XM193 Ammo.

    I might have some personal experience.

    Buy a Geissele, ALG or LaRue and don’t try to “fix” a milspec trigger in this way.

  • This posts are getting dumber by the hour!

    • Gary Kirk


  • Robert Kruckman

    Whoo!! Patrick U need to go to your corner and have Ur mgr. bust U in the face with a bucket of cold h2o cause Ur friends just punched U in the face!!!!!!

    • Kyle


  • Broz

    I’ve had a JP trigger installed in my M4gery for close to ten years…haven’t experienced any problems, so far…

  • Spencerhut

    Don’t F’ around. Just get a Geissele and be done with it.

  • mazkact

    Rock River two stage match trigger,about a hundred bucks and the best hundred bucks you will ever spend.

    • Jared Vynn

      I doubt many will be buying Rock River anything with recent events.

  • Palmier

    Uh, no. My ARs have wolff extra power springs in them. It doesn’t matter if you have light trigger if the primers don’t detonate.

  • John Daniels

    This might fix a trigger by making the pull lighter, but it’s going to negatively impact reliability of ignition. That’s not a good tradeoff for dealing with the issue of a heavy trigger. The problem this will cause is more serious than the one it might fix.

    Given that JP focuses it’s products mostly around high precision raceguns, I doubt it was their intention that these springs should be used to produce the cheapest trigger job in the industry. JP doesn’t do the “cheapest” of anything. But they do make very high quality, and I think that using the product in this way is likely not consistent with what the manufacturer had in mind.

  • TC

    JP makes a complete trigger for about $125 that comes with two different spring strengths, the instructions advise using the heavier spring for normal use. It’s a great trigger, I installed two of them and haven’t had any problems at all.

  • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

    If you install these you will almost certainly have light strikes and failures to fire. You can “fix” the issue by lightening up the hammer by sawing the hook off it, or buying a lower-mass hammer.

    But just installing these springs by themselves will cause more problems than they solve.

    I mean, hell, you can get a lighter trigger pull by installing the hammer spring backwards too, but you SHOULDN’T do that.

  • SGT Fish

    I actually haven’t had any issues with this spring. I did pair it with a PSA polished trigger though. Its been in my girlfriends gun for a while and probably seen 1500 rounds in the last 2 years, but I shoot brass cased 55gr ammo 99% of the time. so maybe people are having trouble with steel cased Russian stuff. My wolf gold is from Taiwan and all my other stuff is American, swiss, german, and maybe some italian

    • SGT Fish

      oh, I forgot to add, I am still running a standard hammer spring, only changed the trigger spring

  • winterhorse

    have used that unit in my last 4 builds. Rouge polish it with some good grease and it’s a sharp break at about 4 to 5 #

  • Thomas Rakip

    ALG Defense ACT with the Purple Hammer Spring has taken care of all my needs…