AR-15 triggers have been one of Jard Inc.’s specialties, but they’ve claimed a first in the firearms industry by creating a Set Trigger for AR-15 rifles and pistols. For those not familiar with the concept or the term, a set trigger can be fired in two ways; using a more standard weight of trigger pull; or by “setting” the trigger forward, which takes considerably less weight off the trigger pull. Jard was kind enough to send an AR-15 Set Trigger to TFB to review. Let’s dig in.
JARD INC.’S SET TRIGGER FOR AR-15’S
The Set Trigger from Jard is a drop-in replacement, so setting it up was pretty simple. It comes in one, pre-assembled unit, similar to other drop-in replacement triggers. It looked well made and felt solidly built. Accompanying the Set Trigger were a set of printed instructions. I recommend reading the whole thing, there are even pictures.
JARD’S AR-15 SET TRIGGER INITIAL IMPRESSIONS
Once I’d installed the Set Trigger, it was hard to put the rifle down and I kept trying the trigger in the traditional and set functions because I couldn’t believe what I was feeling. Jard Inc. states that the traditional pull is around 3.5 to 4.5 pounds, which is already a markedly pleasant deviation from the mil-spec trigger pull that I’m used to. Then add the Set function of the trigger to the mix, which is marketed as being 13 ounces! I don’t have an official trigger weight scale, but my unscientific, makeshift trigger scale (luggage scale) was barely touching one pound when the Set trigger broke each time. The standard trigger weight was consistently reading around 3 pounds.
The rear of the trigger is contoured on both sides with a fingertip-shaped bevel to aid in pushing the trigger forward in the Set position. The trigger face is wide and smooth, and only has a slight curve to it, which feels solid, despite the lack of weight exerted on it while firing.
A CAUTION FROM THE MANUAL
The Jard instruction manual mentions a safety feature that if the shooter has set the trigger in the forward position, but decides he doesn’t want to shoot it, the safety can be engaged and then pull the trigger and it will return to the standard position safely. This feature worked as advertised. The manual also mentions an aspect to be careful of:
*Note: With the JARD Set Trigger, the safety will be able to be engaged with the trigger decocked (hammer up). If the safety is engaged, with the trigger decocked, the firearm will not be able to be charged. Never attempt to charge thefirearm with the trigger decocked and on the safe position.
I spent numerous range sessions using the Jard Set Trigger, which was really enjoyable, but there were a couple things to note. One common issue I had was with my XM193 supply, in which the hammer wasn’t giving the harder, Eastern European primers a good enough smack, but a second go on the same round would usually do the trick. I found this issue was the same when using either trigger function. When I switched to my higher-end Hornady supply, the problem went away completely. I also tried some of Hornady’s Frontier line and had six out of 50 rounds display the light primer strikes. Context is always helpful though, and I’d like to point out that the Set Trigger from Jard was designed with hunting, or long-range shooting, not necessarily defensive use. To use this during a hunt or a competition, quality commercial or hand loaded ammunition would be employed anyway, and should negate the issue of using a mix and match cartridges. To keep this on a go-to, home defense rifle, I’d recommend thoroughly testing it on your desired defensive round, and leave the Set function alone during an encounter.
NOTE: I spoke with Dean at Jard about this issue. He said they would be willing to install a heavier hammer spring upon request, but the advertised trigger weights in both functions would increase, but it would also allow consistent use of harder primers.
The Jard Set Trigger surprised me in that it wasn’t overly sensitive to impacts while the hammer was cocked. One would think that with so light a trigger pull it would be prone to unintended firings if bumped or dropped. However, (with an empty chamber) I was unable to get the hammer to drop by bumping the rifle on the buttstock, or by dropping it on my couch from about three feet above. I wasn’t trying to be abusive, but I wasn’t being nice either and the hammer stayed put until I pulled the trigger.
One minor issue I had was that my original trigger pins wanted to back out of my receiver, so it’s possible I hadn’t gotten the set screws tight enough. Anti-walk AR-15 receiver pins are very affordable though, so I ordered a set and secured my standard pins with electrical tape in the meantime. Jard makes their own anti-walk pins, which are listed at $11.95, so if you order the Set Trigger, you can also add the pins to your cart if you’re not sure your original pins will stay put.
Using Jard’s Set Trigger in the conventional function without setting the trigger forward was quite pleasant. It breaks cleanly and consistently, and as I mentioned before, it’s a noticeable upgrade over a mil-spec trigger. The Set function did take a bit of getting used to and was difficult to quantify my results before switching to a sub-MOA guaranteed barrel. After my barrel swap, I was pleased with my results, even though I can still shrink my groups with some more trigger time. The photos below show my results with the standard trigger pull on the left, and the Set Trigger pull on the right.
Overall, the Jard Set Trigger is a quality upgrade, given that the primers you drop its hammer on aren’t too hard, but a bit of testing can sort out what works best for your needs. The Set function is a unique addition to the AR-15 that was previously only available on some bolt action rifles, and the AR platform has seen increased usage across all aspects of shooting, including hunting.