LaRue MBT Review: One Meticulously Built Trigger

LaRue MBT Review: One Meticulously Built Trigger
The two-stage trigger has a 2.5-pound take-up. The rest depends on which trigger spring you install. All of this machined and assembled by toolmakers out of tool steel.

The LaRue MBT, or Meticulously Built Trigger, offers a very crisp trigger pull in an easy to install package.

Gun writers can be trigger snobs, and competition shooters often are, too. When you combine the two, things can get … interesting. Listening to a small group of competition shooters talk about trigger pulls, weights, feel, tuning and the like can drive you to drink—if you aren’t involved in the discussion.

You can avoid the drama and simply invest in a LaRue MBT (Meticulously Built Trigger).

LaRue MBT feature
The two-stage trigger has a 2.5-pound take-up. The rest depends on which trigger spring you install. All of this machined and assembled by toolmakers out of tool steel.

The Easy Upgrade

MBT is a drop-in, two-stage trigger for your AR-15 that brings your black rifle of the 1960s into the 21st century. The MBT comes in a sealed can with a clear lid. There’s a hammer and trigger in there; the hammer has its own spring, and the trigger has two springs. You can choose between the regular spring or the heavier spring to determine your trigger pull weight. The regular spring delivers a 4.5-pound pull, and the heavy ups that to 6 pounds.

“Six pounds for a trigger?” I know what you’re thinking—too heavy. Except, the two-stage design makes it feel lighter. The take-up is 2.5 pounds. Then, once the trigger seems to stop, it takes another 2 pounds (with the light spring) to fire. For the heavy spring, that’s 4 pounds. So, take up the slack, and then it’s either 2 pounds or 4 pounds. Clean, crisp and not at all GI.

Each MBT is made from plates of S7 tool steel, and Mark LaRue puts toolmakers to work making them, with no time limit. Yep, they don’t have a quota or a daily target. They make as many MBTs as they can—that are exactly as they should be and that is that. This might mean you have to wait a short time. Be patient; it’s worth it.

LaRue MBT heavy spring
The LaRue MBT trigger kit, complete with extra-heavy trigger spring and pin.

As for the drop-in aspect of it: The beauty of a two-stage design is that the timing and engagement surfaces of the sear are determined by the fit of the dual hooks on each of the trigger and the hammer. A two-stage design is therefore a lot more resistant to the vagaries of pin location in your lower.

Now, nothing’s perfect, and it’s entirely possible that your MBT dropped into a given lower won’t work right. If that’s the case, the fault lies with the lower and not LaRue.

And just to make things even better, it ships with a pair of hammer and trigger pins. “Oh, but I already have those.” Yep, and yours are the two-groove design that can cause a problem if you slip up in assembly. The LaRue pins have three grooves, so you have the chance of both hammer spring legs catching into a groove and keeping the trigger pin in place. I really don’t know why that minor detail wasn’t corrected by Colt, or the government, back in about 1975. Certainly, for the A2 upgrades in the 1980s. But they didn’t. So, LaRue takes care of that for you.

And all this goodness costs you $99. Yes, 99 bucks for a clean, crisp, drop-in trigger pull for your AR-15. You’ll wonder why you put up with USGI trigger pulls for as long as you did.

For more on LaRue Tactical, please visit

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the November 2021 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.

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