Diving In

Setting up the trigger was the most time-consuming aspect of this build. The first step is to check trigger clearance in the frame and around the safety. The Retro lower had no issues with the trigger hole, inletting or safety. The next step is to install the trigger and spring without the hammer and adjust your first stage pull weight. It requires a trigger pull gauge. I use a Timney that I got from Brownells for $32 but any that measures down to half a pound will do the job. The trigger spring is adjusted by gently bending it with pliers just before the coil — toward the coil to increase and away to reduce first stage pull. It’s a matter of experimenting and unless you like the initial pull weight when your first install it, you are going to have to take it out and tinker with the spring at least once. I used the mil-spec pins from my lower parts kit and saved the nice tight Geiselle ones until I had that first stage adjusted.

Once you have the first stage pull weight set, the rest is painless. The hammer is installed and the three socket head screws in the trigger itself are adjusted with the Allen keys provided for proper sear engagement, final trigger pull and overtravel. If you are patient and follow the instructions in the illustrated manual, you’ll have a fine trigger as well as a better understanding of its function. By the way, these triggers have a lifetime transferrable warranty on them.

Had Brownells not been backordered on some of the small parts I needed, I probably could have done this rifle with one-stop shopping. Fortunately, LUTH-AR made an early A1 style two position flip rear sight for Brownells and they had stock on hand. They also make the classic “T” charging handle, ejection port cover, gas tube, trigger guard, and a special AR Builders Lower Parts Kit that omits the pistol grip, hammer and trigger and is priced accordingly at $36.99. It was perfect for this project because I already had a specific pistol grip and trigger in mind, as many do when they build their own gun. All the small parts totaled $124.73 and what LUTH-AR didn’t have, I got from Sherluk Defense, who specializes in vintage and current American military firearms parts and accessories.