Help! My AR-15 Fires When Trigger Released

Have you built your own AR-15 only to find the AR-15 fires when the trigger is released?

Are you afraid that your rifle is a lost cause because of this serious problem?

Don’t be. This common trigger problem can be fixed with a little effort.

Read on for instructions on how to fix this problem.

ar 15 fires when trigger released

What Is Happening

What’s happening in this situation is that your trigger isn’t functioning properly. 

The hammer is resetting too quickly or improperly and being sprung in both directions. This “double-tapping” is problematic, especially if you’re not ready for it.

This usually happens when you attach the trigger to the upper.

In greater detail, your hammer goes forward when pulling the trigger as it should, but when it bounces back it’s not fully catching on the disconnector.

As the trigger is released to its original position, the hammer should just let the disconnector move back to its original position.

But because of the gap, the release becomes tenser and the hammer releases again and fires another round. 

The ultimate problem is that there’s too big of a gap between the tip of the disconnector the trigger.

The hammer is resetting too quickly or improperly and being sprung in both directions. This “double-tapping” is problematic, especially if you’re not ready for it.

You’ve accidentally created a binary trigger pull which is not safe or allowed.

As long as none of the parts are broken, you can actually fix this with relative ease.

Try this fix below before you call it quits and get another part. Worse comes to worst, you can always take your AR to a gunsmith for help.

Related: Best AR-15’s 2020

What You Need

Pin PunchYou need this pin punch to get the pins out of the receiver to disassemble the parts. If you a small pointed metal object or dowel, you can use that as well.

Metal FileYou need a small metal file to shave down the disconnector so that the hammer interacts properly. Some folks use a dremel, but this isn’t recommended.

Rubber MalletIf the pins are stuck getting out or having a hard time going in, a rubber mallet can help knock them in without damaging the rifle or parts.

Step By Step Instructions

Follow these step by step instructions and check out the video. In combination you should have no problem with fixing your AR trigger so that it doesn’t fire twice with one pull.

Note: If after these steps it’s still not working, you may need to replace the part.

#1 Remove The Trigger And Trigger Assembly

Start by removing the lower from the upper receiver using the pins connecting the two together. Use a punch if you need to or a screwdriver depending on the make.

Then, use your punch to remove the two pins in the lower receiver that hold the hammer and disconnector in place. Watch for the hammer spring that comes out.

Finally, push the small button on the mag well side of your rifle and move the safety switch into the firing position.

Turn the safety until the groove lines up with the trigger. This flat side lets you walk the trigger out of the receiver.

Note: It’s not absolutely necessary to remove the trigger itself, but it makes the job much easier. The disconnector is what you need.

#2 File The Front Of The Disconnector

Once the trigger group is taken apart, you need to work on the disconnector. Using a file, rub down the disconnector’s front end underneath.

Do this for a brief time and then check how the disconnector lays. You want the disconnector to sit flat and close the top of the trigger piece without much gap.

There is no way to know for sure at this point if you’ve filed enough.

A good check, however, is to hold the parts in place with your hands or half assemble the group back together. Move the hammer and disconnector to see if they catch properly with no gaps. 

#3 Reassemble The Trigger And Trigger Assembly

Using the same steps as you did before, reassemble the trigger and trigger assembly.

Don’t be done here! You still need to make sure the problem is fixed. 

#4 Test For Function

Always double check the chamber is empty!

Put the safety on pull the trigger. The hammer shouldn’t fall and you shouldn’t be able to pull the trigger.

Put the safety into firing position. Pull the trigger and hold it. The hammer should fall.

Pull the charging hammer with the trigger still pulled. Release the trigger slowly. The hammer should not fall, but you will hear a click.

Pull the trigger again. The hammer should fall.

If all of this checks out, you have fixed your trigger problem. If not, go back and file some more from the disconnector.

Congrats! You know how to deal with the AR-15 firing when the trigger is released.

Related: Best AR-15 Angled Foregrips

Commonly Asked Questions

Is it a big deal to fire doubles? – Yes. It’s not legal to fire more than one bullet with one trigger pull.

This makes your rifle fire at an automatic level which is forbidden by the National Firearms Act of 1934. The Federal government regulates these heavily.

You can own one that does this on purpose with approval and background check with the ATF.

If you go to a range with a binary trigger, people can report you for having an automatic weapon and law enforcement can investigate.

The punishment for this depends on how much they want to push, but the price is steep.

Why is my trigger still not working even when I file the disconnector down? – Try filing down more bit by little bit and see if that helps.

It could be that the trigger just doesn’t work for some reason (broken, overused, not the right fit).

Buy another if you keep trying to fix it and it doesn’t work. Or go to a gunsmith and see if they can help.


We hope you found our answer to the problem of the AR-15 firing when the trigger is released helpful.

Following the steps outlined above can fix this problem and make your AR-15 build safe again.

Don’t give up when something like this happens! Check out helpful resources and keep plugging away.

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