I am a big fan of coated bolt carrier groups and good triggers for ARs. Do you absolutely need a coated BCG? Well, no, of course not, but I much prefer them to standard ones. They simply run better in my experience, they require less lubrication and clean up easier. Same thing with triggers. A standard mil spec trigger “works”, they make the gun go bang. Having said that, none of my ARs have a mil spec trigger. I grew up shooting bolt action hunting rifles with 2lb triggers that broke like a glass rod with zero creep.
Fail Zero EXO Nickel Boron coated drop in AR trigger
To me, there are 4 things “needed” for an accurate AR:
- Good trigger
- Good barrel
- Good ammo
- Free floated handguard
I intentionally left out “good optics” because you CAN shoot small groups with an inexpensive fixed power basic scope or even iron sights. A good scope with the right features for the intended use and good glass certainly help. But that doesn’t come cheap. One of the ways you can make it easier to shoot well is a good trigger. To me, that means zero creep, a clean break and for shooting fast (like in 3 gun) a short and positive reset.
The Fail Zero trigger is a VERY good trigger. It’s a drop in replacement that takes but a few moments. The trigger is housed in a hardened aluminum unit and is nickel boron coated. It is a single stage trigger with a published 3.5 lb break. Mine actually came in around 3.25 on several tests. Around 3 lbs is a good range for an experienced shooter. It’s light enough to be easy to shoot precisely but not “too” light. Of course, proper trigger discipline should always be used. My ARs all have 3 lb single stage triggers except for one which has a 4lb two stage 9mm AR SBR and that is the only option available from the gun manufacturer.
I was definitely impressed with the Fail Zero trigger when I first tested it. I am VERY picky on triggers and there are some popular aftermarket ones out there that exhibit a very tiny bit of creep if you are anal and paying attention to it. I test one by closing my eyes and really, really focusing while pulling slowly. I can do that on a 1lb jewel trigger. I detected no creep whatsoever, none. Zilch, nada. The break is clean and the reset is very short and positive and puts you back right at the wall for the next shot/break.
Given that this trigger group is coated in nickel boron it should run smooth for many, many years. I was initially impressed and after spending several months with it I am still impressed and considered the price at $150 bucks it’s a no brainer. Get one.
Click below for the Fail Zero EXO coated trigger, currently on sale at $149.99
Fail Zero EXO Nickel Boron coated 6.8 SPC Bolt Carrier Group
As I previously mentioned, I am a huge fan and proponent of coated bolt carrier groups. All of my ARs have them. I usually just use a small amount of Frog Lube for lubrication. To really put the Fail Zero to the test I decided to run bone dry. To my ears, one of the things that just makes me cringe is the sound of someone pulling back on the charging handle and hearing that god awful dry scratchy sound of a standard mil spec BCG in dire need of lubrication. I ran those when I first got into ARs and would “run em wet”. I tried all kinds of stuff before just using Mobile 1 synthetic oil. It works and is cheaper than gun specific stuff which I think frankly is a bunch of marketing fluff. When I started shooting suppressed however, that extra back pressure and a wet BCG resulted in blowback of oil in my face. I noticed that when I shot one of my ARs that had a coated BCG and “just enough” Frog lube that problem basically went away. I definitely know how to tune an AR’s gas system to minimize excessive back pressure but there will always be back pressure and I am not a piston fan.
I pulled the charging handle back and was pleasantly surprised by the lack of that dry crunching sound. I racked it several times and felt good that I was getting enough forward momentum to lock into battery. Off to the range with my project gun, a 6.8 SPC dual use gun. It has an 11.3″ barrel and is a pistol. Intended use is for a dedicated thermal testing platform as well as “truck gun” with the Griffin Armament M2 flip up iron sights. I decided to try it without an adjustable gas block and used the Griffin Armament SOB (suppressed optimized buffer) and it was perfect both with and without a silencer. Awesome.
I spent the entire summer out killing hogs with this gun. The upper is a slick side with no dust cover and even in the dry, dusty and sandy conditions it sill runs and feels good when cycling the action. I have checked for signs of wear and there aren’t any. I am going to continue to run this dry to continue testing. As of right now, this is definitely going to be my recommendation for 6.8 SPC builds.
Click below for the Fail Zero 6.8 SPC Bolt carrier group, currently on sale at $154.99
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