Author Archive

Here’s the original, the MKII by Charlie Milazzo. A long-time competition M1A builder, Charlie figured out how to do the two-stage for the AR-platform. Look closely at the illustrations and see how sear engagement changes from first stage to second stage. There’s a whopping lot of sear engagement prior to initiating the pull though the first stage, and a very “crisp” break from minimum engagement waiting after the bump when the first stage has ended. In a single-stage, such minimal engagement is necessary to get a crispy break, but it’s not as safe because it’s minimal from the get-go. In a true two-stage, releasing back through the first stage take-up also returns sear engagement to where it was. Another minor point, with major influence, is that since sear engagement returns to its formerly generous self after a shot, there’s not going to be any “tripping” of the sear as there can be with a single-stage that’s adjusted to a light weight. This can happen from the shock of bolt carrier assembly inertia. For this reason, it’s possible to attain a lower actual break weight with a two-stage. Photo by Glen Zediker © 2015.

Throwback Thursday: AR-15 Two-Stage Triggers

In my estimation, a two-stage trigger in any rifle offers the most secure, precise, and safest function. Two-stage triggers appeared in U.S.-issue service rifles, such as the 1903, M1, M14. But for the AR-15/M16, it took the civilian-side aftermarket to create the two-stage trigger. The main reason other military-use rifles carried two-stage triggers is, primarily, because they are safer. There are other attributes to discuss, but safety is the main point in favor of a two-stage.

roll pins should be just below the surface

AR-15 Maintenance: Roll Pins

AR-15s are pretty much pinned together. While a staple for many AR-15s, roll pins are not hard to work with, but a misstep could be catastrophic enough to permanently damage your AR-15. Here’s how to perform the essential construction operations associated with roll pins—the professional way.

Gas rings on an AR-15 rifle

Six Troubleshooting Solutions for AR-15 Function

When something goes wrong and the rifle won’t fire, the first question should always be, “What changed?” Before answering that, we have to determine—or at least I determine—whether we’re talking about a “fresh” rifle going through its shakedown period, or a (previously) trusted gun that’s suddenly decided to stop running. If it’s the first scenario, there’s a longer list of possibilities that include original parts, conditions, and installation quality. This article will focus on the previously-functioning rifle that’s taken a vacation from operation.

AR-15 with SOCOM Boom Tube stock

AR-15 Carbine Configuration

Don’t short-change a short gun! When you spec a carbine, think about shooting it! Simple? Yes. But don’t adapt to the carbine; make it adapt to you. Here are a few thoughts on how to get the most utility from your carbine.

Brass rifle cartridge cases

Reloading 101: The Cartridge Case

Bear with me! We’ll get started on the process of handloading next time when I talk about setting up a sizing die. But before that, it’s good to keep in mind what we’re dealing with, and that is a cartridge case, and also what happens to it during firing, which is what we’re setting out to remedy when we reuse it.

Black bolt carrier assembly on a light gray background

Bolt-Carrier Assembly: The Heart of an AR-15

The following is a specially adapted excerpt from “The Competitive AR15: Builders Guide” and “The Competitive AR15: Ultimate Technical Guide,” books by Glen Zediker and Zediker Publishing. For more information, visit www.ZedikerPublishing.com or call (662) 473-6107.

The AR-15’s bolt and carrier are the heart of the rifle, so knowing the ins and outs of the bolt carrier — weight, platings and coatings, firing-pin hole size and bolt choices — can make your AR run more smoothly and reliably.