Recently I was afforded the opportunity to test and evaluate some AR15 fire control groups from a small Minnesota company called HIPERFIRE®. They have a new and radical approach to the AR fire control group. They are like nothing you have ever seen before. But with the new design that they have created, they have a real winner. Trigger pull is smooth and the break on the trigger is crisp. What is really impressive is the lock times they are achieving with these trigger groups.
I was able to test the entire family of fire control groups that HIPERFIRE® offers which is the 24, 24E and 24C trigger groups. All of the triggers have their own design tweaks to cater to a certain group of shooters. The 24 is their flagship trigger, and where the company started. It offers their standard design with over-center toggle springs, and a short smooth pre-travel. The 24E is the elite version of the 24, and offers far less pre-travel in the trigger, and faster reset. The 24C is their competition model and features futher reduced pre-travel and reset, but also features a straight trigger bow, that can feature HIPERSHOE®, an adjustable finger pad which helps with finger placement consistency.
Installation: Short of the minor variations in the trigger groups, they all install the same way. With the exception of the 24C, but I will talk separately to that at the end of the installation section. I found installation to be just the same as a stock AR trigger group, with a few small details that cannot be over looked. These are indeed able to be installed without the removal of the safety selector, but removal of the old trigger group may require removal. The first thing I can say about these triggers is to read the directions. HIPERFIRE® has included very detailed instructions, written by a very talented engineer. If you are at all like me, you don’t tend to read directions, but failing to do so can (and will) result in the trigger group being installed wrong, and may result in a non-functioning trigger. The trigger shoe, semi-auto disconnector and trigger spring are in the package as one unit. They install easily and without any problems. The hammer comes in the package with the hammer spring removed. It is very easy, just by looking at the hammer and hammer spring to install the hammer spring backwards. This happened in the case of me not reading the instructions. What this causes is a weak spring that does not have enough force to overcome the toggle springs, and the illusion of the frozen trigger group. The trigger group will release when there is no upper installed, but when an upper is installed onto the lower, the hammer will not release. Simply turning the spring around will solve this problem. Had I looked at the instructions carefully, you will notice how the spring is to be placed on the hammer. The way I now remember it is that the spring feet should be pointing forward slightly when you hold the hammer vertically. One other thing to note is that while the hammer spring looks like a stock hammer spring, they are actually quite different. You will find that a stock hammer spring is too wide at the top of the spring where it touches the hammer. Installation of a stock hammer spring in error can also result in a non-functioning trigger group.
Installing the hammer into the lower can be tricky because there is a toggle spindle that needs to be placed into the hammer before inserting it into the lower. Once the toggle spindle is installed, you can place the hammer into the lower, making sure that the toggle spindle is still in place. Inserting the pivot pin is just as tricky with the HIPERFIRE® trigger as it is with a stock trigger because of the hammer spring tension. But once installed, it will drive through with a few light taps from a gunsmith hammer.
The next portion of the install is the toggle springs. Installing the toggle springs without reading the directions will result in at least an hour of frustration, if not longer. Make sure that you wear safety glasses when installing the toggle springs. When you look at the toggle shafts, the end that goes on the toggle spindle has a cutout. That cutout needs to go to the outboard side of the trigger group, placing them to the inside, like I did at first will result in them becoming unstable when you try to compress the springs with the toggle pivot. Placing them in the proper orientation will make installing the toggle pivot much easier because the toggle spindles will be lined up and much less likely to come off the toggle spindle.
All in all, once you read the directions installation is very easy. HIPERFIRE® has also provided a video online on how to install the trigger group. With the written instructions and video, there is no reason that installing these trigger groups cannot be a very simple procedure. But if there is anything that I as a reviewer can stress, it is read the directions. You will save yourself a lot of time, frustration and possible injury by doing it right the first time. They did not have an engineer write the directions for nothing, and again, they are very well written and very clear as to how things are installed into the lower.
There is one difference that I mentioned about the 24C that will be different when installing that particular trigger group. The trigger bow is straight on that trigger and the HIPERSHOE® is too wide to go through a standard trigger slot, so it will need to be removed, and then put back on once the trigger is installed by dropping the trigger guard away. On something like a LR308, where the trigger guard is milled as part of the lower, you will need to take off the finger pad, put the trigger through the trigger opening, slide the pad on and then pin the trigger into place. I installed the 24C on a LR308, and it was not a hard process to do, but was a lot more tedious than being able to drop the trigger guard away and just slide it on. All in all, not something that I would say is discouraging in the least about installing the 24C into a lower with an integral trigger guard, just something to be aware of.
Performance: The HIPERFIRE® triggers are nothing short of amazing in terms for their lock time, pull weight and feel. While the feel varies slightly between the different triggers, they are all a very light crisp pull. The lock times obtained with all of these triggers is nothing short of amazing. HIPERFIRE® claims a reduction in lock time of 25-50%, while I shot a lot of standard AR trigger groups, I cannot give a number without some precise tools to measure the lock time, but I will say that the lock time being achieved is truly amazing. A stock AR hammer has an average lock time of right around 8.5 milliseconds, while fast, in a precision platform that is 8.5 milliseconds in which your rifle can move, shifting your point of aim. The faster lock time these triggers have means that there is less time for your rifle to move between the hammer release to the primer ignition, which increases accuracy.
The HIPERTOUCH®24 is their flagship trigger which has a slight take-up before break, and has a slightly different feel. The trigger release feels more like overcoming a spring than a distinct break. This pull threw me at first, having never felt that in a trigger before. But after some dry fire, it actually became quite comfortable to shoot. During shooting, that spring feeling that you get actually makes your shooting feel very smooth and controlled. Reset is very short and distinct, allowing for very fast follow up shots. The 24 was installed into a general purpose AR15 used mostly for close engagement of targets, but also able to put rounds onto man sized targets out to 300yds. The 24 not only enhanced the ability of the rifle, it made the rifle perform at a much higher level. The 24 replaced a stock trigger assembly and a huge improvement, increasing accuracy as well as shot speed.
The HIPERTOUCH®24E is a more refined version of the standard 24. The 24E has a shorter take up, which is shorter to the point of almost non-existence. While there is a very slight take up in the trigger, it is very short and light and has no effect on the trigger pull. The reset in the trigger was even shorter in the 24E, which was impressive because the 24 was a great reset, so finding that the reset was indeed shorter was astounding. I happened to install the 24E into an AR that I use for coyote hunting. My rifle is built for hunting and I routinely take coyotes out to around 300yds with it. Even with match grade ammo the rifle has only ever produced groups of 1MOA. Installing the 24E into the rifle cut the group sizes in half, and made shooting at longer ranges much more accurate and gave me the ability to reach out further and still make the shot I needed to. I attribute the marked improvement in accuracy to the elimination of take up, decreased pull weight and the faster lock time with the trigger system.
The HIPERTOUCH ® 24C is a total redesign of the sear geometry, so the take up is imperceptible, the reset is very short. It was installed on a DPMS LR308 that I built as a precision rifle used for long range target engagement. I primarily use the rifle for practical rifle competitions and engage targets out to 800yds. What is different is the trigger bow is straight, and may or may not be used with the adjustable finger pad, called a HIPERSHOE®. The HIPERSHOE® allows for not only precise placement of the finger on the trigger each time, it also allows the user to further fine tune the weight of the trigger beyond just using the toggle springs. Using the HIPERSHOE® on a precision rifle allows me to get the same position on the trigger each and every time, which increases consistency. Whether I am shooting relaxed from the prone position, or under stress from running or moving, I am still able to place the same part of my finger on the trigger each and every time without having to think about it, so my pull is consistent no matter what position I am shooting from. While the rifle was built for precision, and maintains about 0.5MOA, I was able to bring my groups down an average of 0.35MOA over several five shot groups. The trigger system replaced in the rifle was a Timney Skeletonized AR15 3lb trigger, which is a top of the line trigger to begin with and impressive in its own right, but wasn't able to stand up to the 24C in terms of pull weight, trigger feel, lock time and reset.
Conclusion: The HIPERTOUCH® family of triggers is nothing short of impressive, and coming from someone who has shot a lot of high end triggers. I have shot Timney, Geissele, JP Competition and Wilson Combat triggers and while all of them are impressive, none of them have impressed me nearly as much as the HIPERFIRE® family of triggers in terms of overall feel, accuracy increase and user adjustable pull weights. They are very well made, are excellent in terms of fit and finish, and the overall feel of the entire trigger is simply amazing. If you are in the market for an aftermarket trigger, you cannot go wrong with a HIPERFIRE® trigger. As my gunsmith told me when I took one to him for a demo, “That has to be the best trigger I have ever felt.” Which told me right there that the HIPERTOUCH® family of triggers was really onto something.
Company: HIPERFIRE® is a small limited liability company out of Minneapolis, MN. HIPERFIRE® was founded in January 2011 by Terry Bender, a mechanical engineering consultant who had an idea on how to make a better AR FCG. R&D began in 2011 resulting in a working prototype in 2012, and full production and testing in early 2013, with bulk shipment to distributors beginning in May of 2013. As of November 2013, the company has sold several thousand units. Currently HIPERFIRE® triggers can be found at several large online retailers. Plans to roll out the products and build the company further are in the works, and several announcements and reviews will be released in conjunction with the 2014 SHOT Show. Don’t count HIPERFIRE® out in the AR world. These triggers are revolutionizing the way that we think about AR fire control groups, and I am eager to see what else HIPERFIRE® will be coming out with in the future.