7 Best AK Triggers: Refining the Rough Edges of an AK

by Travis Pike

December 13, 2023



The Avtomat Kalashnikov Model of 1947 might be the most famous rifle on earth. Everyone has heard of the AK-47. Well, to be fair, it’s really the AKM, but the original name of Kalashnikov’s rifle stuck around. The AK series is quite popular, and as popularity tends to create, there is an aftermarket. One of the more popular upgrades is often the trigger. The AK series isn’t known for great triggers, so it’s a simple thing to swap the guts of a fire control group. Which triggers should you use?

If you find yourself asking that question, then you’ve come to the right place. 

Best AK Triggers

How We Chose the Best AK Triggers

I have been shooting and testing AR and AK style rifles for a long time. I have logged many hours and thousands of rounds behind the AK platform and had my hands on many of the variants either at the shooting range or trade shows.

The world of AKs has had an accessory surge in the past few years and triggers are part of that aftermarket. In those years, I have narrowed down the triggers that I think are best for the AK platform. This has included my personal experience as well as getting feedback from other AK shooters to see what has worked for them.

I know everybody has different preferences, and trigger feel can be subjective. That is why I have grouped my picks for various shooting needs and budgets. No matter what style of Kalashnikov shooter you are, there is a trigger here for you.


Gun University’s Choices of the Best AK Triggers

Best AK Triggers

Century Arms RAK-1
  • Double hook style
  • Eliminates trigger slap
  • 3, 922r compliant parts
Check Price
CMC Soviet Arms Trigger
  • 2.5 or 3.5lb trigger pull
  • Very easy install
  • Flat trigger
Check Price
ALG AK Trigger Enhanced With Lightning Bow
  • Very smooth
  • Manganese Phosphate finish
  • 3, 922r compliant parts
Check Price
ALG AK Trigger Ultimate With Lightning Bow
  • Shorter and crisper pull
  • 3, 922r compliant parts
Check Price
Red Star Arms Adjustable AK Trigger
  • Machined from solid steel bar stock
  • One or two stage
  • 3, 922r compliant parts
Check Price
Fime Group Enhanced Fire Control Group
  • Flat trigger
  • No trigger slap
  • 2.8 lb trigger pull
Check Price
Franklin Armory Binary Trigger
  • 3 positions, safe, semi, and binary
  • Changes safety
  • Limited compatibility
Check Price

Spec Comparison of the Best AK Triggers

Below is a table of the specifications for the best triggers for the AK rifle.

TriggerTrigger ShapeStagesMaterial
Century Arms RAK-1CurvedSingleHeat Treated Stainless Steel
CMC Soviet Arms TriggerFlatSingleSteel
ALG AK Trigger EnhancedCurvedSingleSteel
ALG AK Trigger UltimateCurvedSingleSteel
Red Star Arms Adjustable AK TriggerCurved1 or 2Steel
Fime Group Enhanced Fire Control GroupFlatSingleSteel
Franklin Armory Binary TriggerCurvedBinaryN/A

Best AK Triggers

Here is our list for the Best triggers for your AK:

  1. Best Basic AK Trigger Upgrade : Century Arms RAK-1
  2. Best Cassette Style AK Trigger for : CMC Soviet Arms Trigger
  3. Best Curved Duty AK Trigger : ALG AK Trigger Enhanced with Lightning Bow
  4. Best Precision AK Trigger : ALK AK Trigger Ultimate with Lightning Bow
  5. Best Adjustable AK Trigger : Red Star Arms Adjustable AK Trigger
  6. Best Flat Duty AK Trigger: FIME Group Enhanced Fire Control Group
  7. Best Binary AK Trigger : Franklin Armory Binary Trigger

Best AK Triggers – Reviews 

1 Century Arms RAK-1 Trigger : Best Basic Trigger Upgrade

Century Arms RAK-1 Featured Image

Century Arms RAK-1 Trigger

A basic trigger upgrade for an AK rifle.

Century Arms RAK-1 Specs

  • Stages 1
  • Trigger Shape Curved
  • Material Heat Treated Stainless Steel

Century Arms RAK-1 Review

If Tapco was still around, I’d include the classic G2 trigger, but since the death of Freedom Group, Tapco has faded away. In the place of the old-school G2, we’ve seen an affordable rival rise up from Century Arms. The RAK-1 AK trigger is standard in most Century AKs and is also available on the aftermarket at a pretty solid price point. It’s one of the most affordable trigger upgrades out there. 

The RAK-1 delivers a single-stage trigger that’s somewhat traditional with AKs. The RAK-1 features a much more refined trigger pull. Sure, it’s not a whole heck uva lot different in pull than most MIL-SPEC triggers like some on this list, but it’s a clean trigger. The parts are polished and well made, which delivers a consistently smooth trigger.

The trigger is lighter than your standard design, and the single-stage nature is often a welcome improvement. The first stage is where I found most of the weight and take up. There is some takeup and a little free movement before the wall, which is then defeated by a slight increase in pressure and ends with a bang. It’s perfectly suitable for a defensive rifle design. 

The RAK-1 has an MSRP of 50 dollars, but it’s easy to find for below that price point. It’s often closer to 35 dollars, making it a great long-term investment for those seeking a more refined rifle trigger but not wanting to break out of those duty or defensive rifle roles. The RAK-1 eliminates little annoyances like trigger slaps and ensures total and complete reliability with all the hard primers AK ammo on the market due to its adherence to a MIL-SPEC design. 

Century Arms RAK-1 Pros and Cons

  • Smoother, lighter trigger pull
  • Single stage trigger
  • Refined and polished, but still MIL-SPEC
  • Doesn’t deliver the same refinement as other triggers

2 CMC Soviet Arms Trigger : Best Cassette Style AK Trigger

CMC Soviet Arms Trigger Featured Image

CMC Soviet Arms Trigger

A cassette style trigger upgrade for an AK rifle available in either 2-2.5lb or 3-3.5lb pull weights.

CMC Soviet Arms Trigger Specs

  • Stages 1
  • Trigger Shape Flat
  • Material Steel

CMC Soviet Arms Trigger Review

CMC is famous for its drop-in cassette-style triggers. It’s no surprise they brought that same technology to the AK with the CMC Soviet Arms trigger. Soviet Arms is a separate company that’s all about AKs, and they collaborated with CMC to make a very modern AK trigger design that’s a bit simpler to install than most AK triggers. Soviet Arms has a few different CMC-style triggers. They are roughly the same technology, but there is a 3.5-pound duty-style trigger and a light 2 to 2.5-pound trigger option. 

Obviously, the big advantage of a cassette-style drop-in trigger is the ease of installation. It’s much easier than the typical AK trigger and its parts and pieces. CMC has proven this works with most AKs, and they often are easy to install. Beyond that, we get a super smooth single-stage trigger that offers a very short pull with varying weight options. 

The trigger shoe or bow or whatever else you want to call it is completely flat. I love flat triggers. For me, they offer more control over the trigger and an overall shorter reach to the trigger. A flat-faced trigger really allows me to ride that trigger rearward with total control, allowing it to fire exactly when I want it to fire. After the bang, the CMC Soviet Arms triggers also feature a very aggressive trigger reset. 

The CMC Soviet Arms Collaboration isn’t the most affordable trigger. In fact, it might be one of the more expensive options out there. Still, it’s easy to install and provides a bit of a novel design when it comes to AK triggers. 

CMC Soviet Arms Trigger Pros and Cons

  • Easy to install
  • Excellent flat-faced trigger
  • Multiple weight options
  • Expensive

3 ALG AK Trigger Enhanced With Lightning Bow : Best Curved Duty AK Trigger

ALG AK Trigger Enhanced With Lightning Bow Featured Image

ALG AK Trigger Enhanced With Lightning Bow

A great AK trigger upgrade for duty grade AK rifles

ALG AK Trigger Enhanced Specs

  • Stages 1
  • Trigger Shape Curved
  • Material Steel

ALG AK Trigger Enhanced With Lightning Bow Review

ALG is a derivative of Geissele, and Geissele knows triggers. We know Geissele for its AR triggers, but ALG has expanded beyond the AR and embraced the AK. They have two AK triggers of note, and both made the list, but we’ll start with the Enhanced. This is a single-stage trigger with the Geissele-style lightning bow. The lightning bow is a semi-flat-faced trigger design that’s popular on ARs. 

The AK Enhanced trigger features a slight takeup with some dead space before the break. It’s between two to three pounds in weight. This is the ultimate duty or defensive trigger for an AK. It’s refined but not too light for work. The smooth trigger pull is delightful, and the shorter single stage certainly helps aid in accuracy. While you have to deal with a slight takeup, the crisp break completely makes up for it. 

The ALG AK Trigger Enhanced is pretty easy to install, and the precision machine nature of the trigger allows the pins to slide through without issue. It locks in place and provides an excellent overall trigger for your AK platform. For an ALG design, it’s surprisingly affordable. It’s not a budget trigger, but it still leans more toward the affordable side than the pricey side. 

There is no free lunch, and the ALG AK Enhanced Trigger has a sticky hammer. The gun will feel odd and even more difficult to rack. This supposedly goes away as the trigger wears in, but some owners have gotten proactive and decided to round the rear off with a file. I don’t suggest that. Just let it wear in. 

ALG AK Trigger Enhanced With Lightning Bow Pros and Cons

  • Excellent trigger pull
  • Aggressive reset
  • Very well made
  • Sticky hammer

4 ALG AK Trigger Ultimate With Lightning Bow  : The Best Precision AK Trigger

ALG AK Trigger Ultimate With Lightning Bow Featured Image

ALG AK Trigger Ultimate With Lightning Bow 

A great AK trigger for AK rifles with a more precision rifle purpose.

ALG AK Trigger Ultimate With Lightning Bow Specs

  • Stages 1
  • Trigger Shape Curved
  • Material Steel

ALG AK Trigger Ultimate With Lightning Bow Review

The second of the ALG Triggers is the AK Trigger Ultimate. It also has the Lightning Bow, and ALG still makes it with the same precision you expect from a subsidiary of Geissele. This trigger takes the single-stage idea and stretches it to the extreme. The primary difference between the enhanced and the ultimate is the trigger pull goes from ten to eleven in terms of a smooth and light trigger pull. 

I don’t get to use the word aghast often, but I was aghast when I first tried the ALG AK Ultimate trigger. It was the first precision-style AK trigger I’ve ever tried. I was used to Romanian WASR trigger, so this thing was crazy light, surprisingly so. When I hit that man-sized steel target at 100 yards over and over in the standing position with irons, I became a believer. The light trigger makes an enormous difference. 

For some, it arguably might be too light, and that’s fine. You have the Enhanced option that still offers an excellent trigger. The ALG AK Ultimate trigger is maybe 1.5 pounds, and it shows. This trigger is extremely nice, and it has a semi-flat face trigger that is quite nice. The ALG AK Ultimate trigger might be the lightest trigger on the market for the AK series. 

Just like the Enhanced, it’s easy to install and exceptionally well-made. The Ultimate drops in and locks in place without a ton of drama in most AKs. Also, like the Enhanced, you’ll have to deal with a sticky hammer. If you can get past that, then you’ll have a fantastic AK trigger. 

ALG AK Trigger Ultimate With Lightning Bow Pros and Cons

  • Super light
  • Awesome reset
  • Well made
  • Sticky hammer

5 Red Star Arms Adjustable AK Trigger : The Best Adjustable AK Trigger

Red Star Arms Adjustable AK Trigger Featured Image

Red Star Arms Adjustable AK Trigger

An adjustable AK trigger that allows users to switch between one or two stages and different pull weights.

Red Star Arms Adjustable AK Trigger Specs

  • Stages 1 or 2
  • Trigger Shape Curved
  • Material Steel

Red Star Arms Adjustable AK Trigger Review

Red Star Arms is proof that your website can look like they made it in 1999, but you can provide one of the more modern AK triggers. Adjustable triggers are fairly common on a number of rifle platforms, including the AR. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of an adjustable AK trigger. The aptly named Red Star Arms produced an interesting option for those who want modularity with their rifle. 

Users can convert the trigger from a single to a two-stage design and adjust its pull weight, travel, and reset. That kind of modularity isn’t something we see often in the AK world. Keep in mind the AK isn’t much different from the Russian crude SMGs of WW2. An adjustable trigger is quite the development. 

We can adjust the weight from four to eight pounds, so don’t expect it to offer ALG Ultimate levels of trigger weight. Being able to tailor the trigger weight, stage, reset, and length certainly allows you to squeeze as much out of the trigger as you can. It’s great for picky shooters who like to tinker. It’s a nice trigger with a traditional trigger bow. Regardless of the weight it’s a smooth pull with a tactile and audible reset. 

I know with some AR triggers and lots of bolt action rifles, you can adjust the trigger with an Allen bolt or key. With the Red Star Arms trigger, it is a matter of swapping springs, which isn’t exactly simple, but it’s not difficult, either. Remember, it’s still a design from 1947. 

Red Star Arms Adjustable AK Trigger Pros and Cons

  • Highly adjustable design
  • Smooth trigger pull
  • Easy to install
  • Not super easy to adjust

6 Fime Group Enhanced Fire Control Group : The Best Flat Duty AK Trigger

Fime Group Enhanced Fire Control Group Featured Image

Fime Group Enhanced Fire Control Group

A nice AK trigger with a flatter trigger for those that prefer them over curved triggers.

Fime Group Enhanced Fire Control Group Specs

  • Stages 1
  • Trigger Shape Flat
  • Material Steel

Fime Group Enhanced Fire Control Group Review

The Fime Group are AK importers responsible for some of the higher-end brands of AK-type weapons. This includes Arsenal guns for a time, RPKs, and Molot Vepr-type rifles and shotguns. While their imports have changed over the years, they’ve been well known for their high-quality imports and accessories. This includes the Fime Enhanced Fire Control Group. This is not a super high-end trigger system, but it is one of the best AK MIL-SPEC-type triggers out there. 

At first glance, it’s just an AK trigger. It installs easily enough, doesn’t take much work to do, and you won’t know the difference until you pull the trigger. Once you press that trigger, the super smooth nature of the Fime Group Enhanced Fire Control group takes over. The Enhanced Fire Control Group is a two-stage trigger that’s deceptively nice. 

The first stage is light and short, but detectable. Once we make it to stage two, we get a very light trigger design that is a short wall met by a crisp break. The Enhanced Fire Control group isn’t ultra-light and hovers right around three pounds, so it’s a big improvement over a stock AK trigger. It sits in that duty and defensive role of an AK trigger. 

It’s not too light and not too heavy, like Goldilocks. It’s just right. The full-contact hammer is also nice to ensure total reliability with the worst, most Eastern European primers out there. It’s nice, but it’s unlikely to leave you overly impressed. However, its price point will impress you. 

Fime Group Enhanced Fire Control Group Pros and Cons

  • Affordable
  • Smooth refined trigger pull
  • Easy to install
  • Nice, but not impressive
  • Text
  • Text

7 Franklin Armory Binary Trigger : The Best Binary AK Trigger

Franklin Armory Binary Trigger Featured Image

Franklin Armory Binary Trigger

A binary trigger for the AK platform. Provides 3 firing options, safe, semi, and binary. If you get your timing down, its close to fully automatic firing.

Franklin Armory Binary Trigger Specs

  • Stages Binary
  • Trigger Shape Curved
  • Material N/A

Franklin Armory Binary Trigger Review

Let’s talk about having fun. You know what’s fun? Full auto. What sucks is the NFA and the Hughes Amendment prevent you and me from acquiring full auto weapons. So, one way to increase your rate of fire and to have fun is a binary trigger. A binary trigger fires once when the trigger is pulled and once when the trigger is released. Do it fast enough, and it’s a blast. Franklin Armory makes most binary triggers and created an AK option years ago. 

Let’s get the bad things out of the way. This trigger costs about 500 bucks. Binary triggers are not cheap, and this particular one reflects that. Also, they are complicated and not necessarily easy to install. I’m not saying you can’t do it, but I’d follow a YouTube video if possible. You’re also replacing the safety, so be aware. 

Now that the boring part is out of the way, a binary trigger is a great way to turn money into noise! The Franklin Armory Binary Trigger makes it so much fun to shoot. Obviously, be safe, but pulling the trigger quickly is oh so much fun! It makes mag dumping into the trash a total blast. The binary portion of the trigger is optional. You can use this as a standard trigger. 

As a standard AK trigger, it’s quite nice. The trigger breaks at about 3.5 pounds, and it’s smooth and sweet with a very nice chunky reset. The trigger is much more than a fun novelty. It’s a good trigger, a capable trigger, that just so happens to pack a double dose of fun.

Franklin Armory Binary Trigger Pros and Cons

  • Tons of fun
  • Light trigger pull
  • Great reset
  • Expensive
  • Difficult installation

AK Triggers – Why Swap

The AK isn’t a sniper rifle, and it’s not necessarily known for its extreme accuracy. However, it is more accurate than most people give it credit for. There are four good reasons to swap your AK trigger. 


Yep, accuracy is the first reason. The AK might not be a 1 MOA rifle, but it’s plenty accurate. A better trigger helps eliminate some of the human error associated with shooting. It won’t make you a better shot, but it will give you the tools to become one. Shooting accurately sounds easy; get a good sight picture and pull the trigger without disturbing that sight picture. A smoother, lighter trigger can help you maintain that sight picture. 


Another big reason you might want to upgrade your trigger is speed. A lighter, shorter trigger pull can result in fast split times with less degradation to accuracy. A shorter reset, alongside a lighter trigger, makes shooting faster and much more natural. There is less sympathetic movement from the rest of the hand. 

Trigger Slap 

One of the best things about the AK trigger is that it sometimes bites back. By best, I mean worst and most annoying. Trigger slap is when the trigger resets so hard it slaps your finger. When casually shooting, it’s not a big deal. Go to a rifle class with a high volume of shooting, and well, it starts to suck. An upgraded AK trigger is going to get rid of that slap. 

922R Compliance 

I know a lot of people will laugh about being 922R compliant, but there was a time when we thought bump stocks and braces were safe. An American-made trigger is just another part to ensure your foreign-made AK is compliant and won’t ever run afoul of the ATF. 

All AKs Are Not The Same 

Before you leap into the world of the AK trigger, it’s smart to realize that not all AKs are the same. Unlike the AR market, the ‘spec’ for AKs isn’t in stone, and different countries have different takes. A Romanian AK is very different from a Chinese AK. One of the best examples is the Yugo PAP series AK rifles. These guns use RPK receivers for their rifle designs, which are thicker than AK receivers. 

This creates different tolerances, and that can make installing different triggers more difficult. Some might not be compatible. It’s wise to research the trigger and its compatibility with various AK platforms. You might need to trim, buff, and file for fitment. It’s simply nowhere near as easy to work on an AK as an AR. Make sure you function check the AK post installation. 


The AK trigger game is better than it’s ever been. I remember long ago when the only game in town was the Tapco G2, and now that trigger is discontinued, and Tapco is no more. Now, we have a wide variety of options, some better than others, and we’ve gathered the best above. If you have any suggestions, let us know below what we missed. 

If you dont have an AK to upgrade yet, why not check out our best AK-47 rifles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I consider swapping my AK trigger?

Swapping your AK trigger can enhance accuracy, speed up your shooting, eliminate trigger slap, and ensure compliance with 922R regulations if using an American-made trigger. Upgrading the trigger can improve overall performance and user experience.

What are the advantages of a lighter trigger pull?

A lighter trigger pull can contribute to increased accuracy by minimizing human error. It allows for faster split times without sacrificing accuracy, and it can eliminate trigger slap, providing a smoother shooting experience.

Are there triggers suitable for specific shooting preferences, such as adjustable triggers?

Yes, the Red Star Arms Adjustable AK Trigger offers modularity by allowing users to switch between single and two-stage trigger designs. It also allows adjustment of pull weight, travel, and reset, providing flexibility for shooters who prefer a customizable trigger experience.

Are all AK triggers compatible with every AK rifle?

No, AK triggers may have compatibility issues due to variations in AK designs across different countries. It’s crucial to research and ensure compatibility with your specific AK platform. Some rifles may require additional adjustments or modifications for proper fitment after trigger installation. Always perform a function check after installation to ensure proper operation.


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About Travis Pike

Travis is a former United States Marine Corps Infantryman and currently a firearms writer, instructor, and works in Emergency Management.

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