KE Arms DMR Trigger Review
Trigger upgrades for the AR15 is almost an industry unto itself. There are enough options to fill a range bag, but without a doubt the easiest type to work with is the drop-in style, such as the KE Arms DMR trigger. One nice thing about this design is that the outer shell holds the hammer, trigger and disconnector together as a single unit. This design offers multiple advantages, including ease of installation and parts that are always held in proper alignment, even in home built or polymer lowers.
The out shell of the DMR trigger is machined from aluminum, while the internal parts are made from A2 tool steel, via wire EDM. The aluminum shell is anodized blue and sports the KE Arms logo, as well as made in the USA markings. The tool steel internals are melonited, which produces an extremely hard surface finish. Removing the two hollow pins allows for easy disassembly and annual cleaning of the unit.
Upgrading to the KE Arms DMR Trigger is about as easy as it gets. First push out both of the takedown pins to separate the upper and lower halves and set the upper aside. Then, tap out the hammer and trigger pins to remove the factory trigger parts. It helps to keep a ziploc bag handy to store all of these little pieces.
Now, find a 3/16″ hex wrench to reach up inside the pistol grip. Our goal is to remove the one bolt that holds the grip in place, so that we can take out the selector. Remove the grip slowly while being careful not to loose the spring and detent that the pistol grip holds in place. The selector should just wiggle out of the lower receiver.
For a new build, all of the previous “take apart steps” are unneeded, so we can start here. The trigger assembly just slides right into the lower and is aligned as shown above. Do be careful not to accidentally dry fire the trigger without the upper receiver in place. It won’t hurt the trigger, but can be bad news for the aluminum lower.
After the trigger is lined up, slide the hammer and trigger pins into place. If they fit a bit loosely at this point, that is okay. If this work is being done at the kitchen table or over carpet, a small piece of masking tape across the back of the lower receiver is an easy way to keep the pins in place. Now is also a good time to install the selector, as well as the detent, spring and selector that we removed earlier.
The slack in the hammer and trigger pins can be easily taken out by tightening the two set screws that extend out of the bottom of the trigger assembly, on opposite edges of the blue aluminum shell. KE Arms supplies a hex key in the package for this purpose. These two screws do not have to be more than a smidge over finger tight. There is another set screw in the middle of the trigger assembly for adjusting the trigger itself. Although we found the factory setting to be perfectly functional, small adjustments in this screw did have a subtle impact on the trigger pull, which starts at right about 4.5lbs. Once all of the screws are tweaked to personal preference, one drop of blue loctite on each will keep everything in place. This step should not be overlooked as easy insurance on a rifle that might be used for personal defense.
Installing the DMR trigger is about as easy as an AR upgrade can possibly get. What makes the little effort more than worthwhile, though is the significant improvement in trigger pull over a standard factory trigger. It is not an understatement to say that it feels as if you are shooting a new rifle. I’ve had the opportunity to pull the trigger on a number of ARs and can say that the DMR trigger is certainly one of the best. The is just a little take-up before an extremely clean break, with very little overall travel.
On an AR with a quality barrel and nice optics (or good eyes) a better trigger will often lead to better shooting. This is not magic, but a lighter, cleaner pull just reduces the opportunities for a shooter to overthink or otherwise mess up the shot. We found that KE Arms’ trigger paired up very nicely with the Lucid L7 1-6×24, especially at the higher end of the magnification range where slight shooter movements are more obvious. While there are plenty of AR triggers out there, the DMR trigger comes in at a price point that is significantly lower than much of the competition, but takes no shortcuts in quality.