Review: Blackout Defense Zero Drop-In AR Trigger

By Michael Mills
Posted in #Gear
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Review: Blackout Defense Zero Drop-In AR Trigger

July 23rd, 2022

7:01 runtime

The SAINT Victor is a proven performer, and it comes with a selection of top-grade features and parts. But, those who know me know that I can’t leave well enough alone. So, I set about to squeeze just a little bit more out of the rifle when it comes to performance. And if you are a fine connoisseur of triggers, this one may surprise you.

Blackout Defense AR Trigger Review
The Blackout Defense AR-15 Zero trigger offers a number of benefits including an easy installation. Image: Blackout Defense

Today, we are going to talk about the fastest trigger I have reviewed to date, and that is the Blackout Defense Zero Trigger. There are a few versions of this trigger, from flat to curved variations and from 3- to 4.5-lb. pulls, and you will have a choice of NP3 coating much like the factory SAINT Victor Rifle has or black nitride. If you don’t know, NP3 coatings not only look good, it makes for a trigger that is easy to clean and provides a level of lubricity.

comparing Blackout Defense AR triggers
The Zero trigger features a “cassette” style design that allows for easy drop-in installation.

Nothing But Tough Choices

The decision to add a custom trigger can be a daunting one with so many options out there today. Some of the things you are going to need to narrow down are, what you are looking for, and what is your application — from competition to hunting and everything in between. There will be big differences in not only pull weight, but trigger design and materials. You will also need to determine if you want a two-stage or single-stage trigger. Today’s design from Blackout Defense is a single-stage.

Norma Training Ammo used in review
To run the review, Norma generously provided its top-tier “Range & Training” frangible ammunition to the author.

Blackout Defense is an up-and-coming trigger company that has really made an impact on the market recently with these triggers. They are named the “Zero” because they have practically no movement while installed in a mil-spec lower when on safe. This is far different from what you will find on mil-spec triggers and even some aftermarket drop-in triggers. And when you disengage that safety, the pull and reset will again remind you of why it is called the Zero.

testing the blackout trigger on the range
The Blackout Defense trigger proved to be a real winner in the author’s Springfield Armory SAINT rifle.

The trigger housings are made of aerospace-grade aluminum. The trigger, hammer and disconnector are all wire edm cut. The hammer is S7 tool steel, and the disconnector and trigger shoe are both A2 tool steel, so you will see no shortcuts on materials were taken for this trigger pack.

This is a drop-in, or as it is often called a “cassette-style” trigger, so installation is relatively simple and just about anyone can likely do this with minimal skills and tools.

Easy to Run, Easy to Install

Let’s go ahead and discuss installation so you will understand how easy it is. The process is simple: Ensure the firearm is safe and unloaded, and be sure to remove all ammunition from the work area before beginning.

Blackout Trigger with Norma AR Ammo
The author found the trigger was easy to install, and the firearm was 100% reliable with Norma’s Range & Training ammunition.

Now, remove the pistol grip, ensuring you don’t lose your spring and detent. Remove the safety selector and remove the old trigger, and drop in the new one. Quickly fit up your trigger pins or anti-walk pins and then re-install your safety and grip. From here, we can adjust the trigger group set screws then add a dab of thread locker to the anti-walk pins should you decide to use those, and you’re good to go.

Blackout Defense AR Zero Trigger Installed in SAINT Rifle
Once installed, the Blackout Defense AR-15 Zero trigger perfectly complements the Springfield Armory SAINT rifle.

When we talk about performance on the range, this trigger is second to none in my opinion. It is extremely fast and short on travel. It has an amazing tactile feel due to the edges being hand-broken and polished by Blackout Defense’s trigger finishing master. This can be an aggressive trigger when coming from a straight mil-spec design.

drop in trigger review
According to the author, the Zero trigger fits into the SAINT Victor lower receiver as if it were custom built for it.

However, it still has a positive wall and very robust rest, and it fits into the SAINT Victor lower receiver as if it were custom built for it. The only problem you are going to encounter is the bill for the ammunition you are going to blow through on the range. Speaking of that, for testing I used Norma 51-gr. “Range & Training” frangible ammo, and it ran great. A huge “thank you” to Norma for supplying the awesome ammo to test the Blackout trigger and take my personal SAINT Victor rifle to the next level.

Also, no trigger evaluation would be complete without testing the pull weight of the trigger to see how close to the manufacturer’s weight rating it will come. I used a Wheeler digital triggger pull gauge, and a series of three test pulls were completed.

how to install a blackout defense AR15 trigger
The Blackout Defense Zero trigger is extremely fast with an amazing tactile feel due to the edges being hand-broken and polished.

After three test pulls, on average the Zero trigger yielded a weight of just over 3 lbs. Always remember the lower you place your finger or gauge on a trigger shoe, the lower the weight will be. The higher up on the trigger shoe you are, the higher the weight will be, as a general rule.

Blackout Defense Trigger Review Conclusion

Whether you choose the 3-lb. model like I did or the available 4.5-lb. model, the Blackout Defense Zero trigger will help you take your Springfield SAINT Victor to the next level of performance and fun. MSRP of the tested trigger is $254.95 ($204.99 for black nitride).

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles and videos are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

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Michael Mills

Michael Mills

Michael Mills created as a way to help spread good information, shed positive light on the gun community and to have fun. He has always loved teaching and helping others, especially when it comes to gun rights. This passion was further ingrained during his service in U.S. Army Special Operations, and he is a Use of Force Instructor, Defensive Tactics instructor, DEA Firearms Instructor and Police Academy instructor. He also has 15 years of law enforcement experience from patrol to supervision.

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