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“The” Trigger: The Wisconsin Trigger Co. MKII A3 Review

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Featured Review:

Firearms Insider Review 8.5

Firearms Insider Reviewby Ryan Michad


“The Milazzo-Krieger Two Stage Match Trigger System, or M-K II is the first patented two stage match trigger system for the AR platform. If you’re wondering where you’ve heard of it before, you may have spent some time at Camp Perry. The M-K II has been widely used in M-16 rifles competing and setting records in the US Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) since the early 1990’s. Production stopped in the mid 1990’s, however the Wisconsin Trigger Company began to offer the M-K II trigger on its 25th birthday using all the original tooling and fixtures. The first generation of M-K II triggers required some trimming of the metal at the back of the trigger unit to adjust overtravel, but luckily the Gen2 model resolved the need for unpleasant grinding…”

Read Ryan’s complete review with illustrations at Firearms Insider.

Listen to the Podcast: Gun Grear Review-Podcast 139

Featured Review:

Meet the New Boss, Same As The Old Bossby Mike Stewart

The legacy of the Milazzo-Krieger trigger goes back nearly thirty years when an innovator from Wisconsin decided to design the ‘perfect’ service rifle trigger. Looking back it’s hard to imagine someone in the late 1980’s setting out to do such a thing. Remember, this was a period of time long before the AR-15 Became something that resided in the gun safes of nearly every American gun owner. Furthermore, the M14 still ruled the firing line at Camp Perry and anyone shooting a ‘Mouse Gun’ would’ve surely been laughed off the firing line.

But that’s exactly what Charlie Milazzo did, he designed a 4.5# adjustable trigger for the AR15 rifle that was absolute and without peers. In the early 1990’s 3,000 Milazzo-Krieger triggers were produced and as the popularity of the AR15 increased so did the demand for MKII triggers. Nearly all of the 3,000 MKII’s were gobbled up by Service Rifle competitors, including several triggers that went into service with the United States Army Marksmanship Unit. Many of the original MKII triggers are still in use to this day at the National Matches and countless National Highpower records have been set with the MKII. However, just as quickly as the MK trigger came on the scene it went away. Production of the MKII ceased and by the late-90s anyone lucky enough to own a MKII trigger would’ve surely held onto it as if it were season tickets to Lambeau Field. I can honestly say I’ve never seen a used one for sale since first becoming aware of the MKII trigger in the late 1990’s.

I’ll blame my inquisitive personality but I’ve owned a lot of different triggers. In fact I can honestly say I’ve owned over a dozen aftermarket triggers for the AR15. If I learned anything by owning so many triggers it’s that there are three attributes that make up a good AR15 trigger. It must be crisp, fast and reliable. There are a lot of triggers that are crisp and fast but in order for them to be reliable enough to be used in competition, you must give them excessive second stage sear engagement. Well, with increased sear engagement you lose the crispness and so on and so forth.

Having become frustrated over the past shooting season with my latest (and most expensive) trigger, I went back to my old reliable Rock River Arms trigger. The RRA trigger is a great non-adjustable trigger in its own right and a good gunsmith can tune them to be as good, if not better, than some of the top aftermarket brands.

I would still be using my RRA trigger today if I hadn’t recently discovered that the Milazzo-Krieger trigger was back in production and available for purchase! Oh, the sound of that sent chills down my spine and if I still had hair on my head it would’ve surely stood on end. Seeing an actual MK trigger in person is like seeing a ghost!

So I ordered the MKII trigger from Holub Machine and Repair and within a couple of days it arrived in my mailbox. I wasted no time reading the instructions and fitting it to my Rock River Arms lower receiver. An important note here is that the new MKII is identical to the original legendary MKII triggers that were first introduced 25 years ago.

Having been disappointed with many of my previous triggers, I was just as excited as I was apprehensive to test out the new MKII. Upon installation and adjustment my initial thought was WOW! I was impressed on how much less second stage sear engagement this trigger required than some of my previous adjustable triggers. However, taking up the slack and hitting the second stage ‘wall’ still feels extremely solid and definitive, not mushy and soft like so many others I’ve owned. My trigger feels like the 4.5 pounds are just about evenly divided between the first stage take-up and the second stage break. The MKII has minimal over-travel which can be adjusted by carefully removing
material from the tailpiece, but I like it just as it comes out of the box.

AR Trigger I don’t know of any other way to say it but my MKII is one of the few triggers that just feels ‘right’. Dry firing at the kitchen table is one thing but shooting a match is the true litmus test for any trigger; don’t ever think otherwise. Taking my rifle to the range, I really noticed how consistent this trigger is and to say its crisp is an understatement. You often hear the reference of a good trigger breaking like an ‘icicle’. If I were to describe how the MKII breaks, I’d say it’s more like a glacier breaking off and smashing into the ocean, I mean it is amazing! To date, I’ve probably fired over five hundred rounds with the MKII trigger and I have a feeling it’ll be the last trigger I’ll be buying for quite some time.

The Wisconsin Trigger Company is currently producing the MKII triggers and they are a good supporter of the Wisconsin FORCE Junior Service Rifle Team. They are also just as innovative today as they were in the early 90’s. In addition to the MKII, there is a tactical trigger available as well as a variant of the MKII trigger that boasts a bronze bushing for added lubrication, reduced friction and faster lock time. A lot has changed since the Milazzo-Krieger was first produced in the early 90’s but one thing has not, the Milazzo-Krieger Trigger is still without peers.

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