WMDguns.com NiB-X Trigger Upgrade Review

Quick Q&A for those who don’t like to read too much… How does the WMD Guns NiB-X trigger compare to other AR triggers? (Reasonably well, even compared to MUCH more […]
WMDguns.com NiB-X AR fire control group in the BEAST forged and NiB-X coated lower

WMDguns.com NiB-X AR fire control group in the BEAST forged and NiB-X coated lower

Quick Q&A for those who don’t like to read too much…

  • How does the WMD Guns NiB-X trigger compare to other AR triggers? (Reasonably well, even compared to MUCH more expensive triggers)
  • Is the WMDguns.con nickel-boron trigger a good value? (Our test team universally crowned the WMD Guns NiB-X FCG the “Value King” of our AR Trigger Upgrade Test)
  • Should I buy a WMD Guns NiB-X Fire Control Group AR15/AR10? (Quite possibly. It would be hard to find more bang for your buck on a budget rifle build)
  • Is the WMD Guns NiB-X trigger good for hunting? (We would gladly hunt with it… and we can’t say that about a stock, mil-spec trigger)
  • Is the WMD NiB-X trigger a good upgrade for my duty rifle? (Yep. We think so. Especially if you will use it in a harsh environment where corrosion is an issue.)
  • Where is the review video?

Quotable: “Overall this one impressed me with its feel and  clean break, especially for a mil-spec trigger.” – Jason

Why NiB-X?

According to WMD Guns, “NiB-X is the only coating that optimizes the trifecta of performance attributes needed in firearms:  hardness, wear resistance and low coefficient of friction.” We have heard many claims of running NiB-X coated guns without any liquid lubrication for many, many rounds. We have not tested this, but have seen enough reports from folks we trust to believe that, at a minimum, a gun with Nickel Boron coated internals should be more reliable than an otherwise identical gun without NiB-X coating.
More reliable = happy

Bench testing

WMDguns.com NiB-X AR fire control group in the BEAST forged and NiB-X coated lower 11) Assembly

We received the WMD Guns Fire Control Group as a review sample already installed in a forged,  NiB-X coated WMD Beast lower, complete with a NiB-X coated mil-spec buffer assembly, Ti-7 stock, NiB-X coated safety selector, and standard AR grip. While we didn’t install the WMD Guns NiB-X trigger, installation would be about the same as any mil-spec trigger. Dan Kent, the Gunsmith at WMD Guns, polished the contact surfaces in the FCG and tuned the springs for a bit lighter-than-mil-spec trigger pull, just as they do for every complete lower/rifle that they sell. We should note that WMD Guns does not polish or provide the springs in the NiB-X Fire Control Group AR15/AR10, which is how they sell the parts a-la-carte. This works for us, as many will want to custom tune their springs or seek aftermarket springs like the JP Enterprises AR-15 reduced power spring kit.


WMDguns.com NIB-X FIRE CONTROL GROUP AR15/AR10 is a solid value at $48


AR10 AR15 trigger upgrade test hammer drop block

Bob installing an AR Pistol trigger while Josejuan tests a trigger on the hammer drop block

2) Hammer drop block

Before heading to the range to make expensive noise, we put the hammer drop block in the WMD Guns Beast lower receiver to test the NiB-X trigger for proper operation and to get our heads around the trigger’s feel. This was an important step for us, as it allowed each tester to rapidly switch the hammer drop block to different lowers and test the trigger feel for accurate comparison. We expected the WMD Guns AR trigger to feel like a mil-spec trigger… since that is how it started life. However, we found the WMD Guns trigger to be noticeably better than a stock mil-spec trigger in trigger pull weight, crispness and smoothness.

3) Trigger pull scale

G.P.S. Trigger pull ScaleMeasuring trigger pull weight is pretty simple:

  1. clamp the magazine well block in the vise,
  2. slide the upper onto the magazine well block. So, the upper is completely stable and not subject to movement during trigger testing,
  3. cock the hammer by hand,
  4. reset the peak weight ring on the trigger pull scale,
  5. place the trigger pull scale test arm on the trigger in the location that you will place your finger when shooting,
  6. pull gently aft on the trigger pull scale until the trigger releases,
  7. record the peak weight from the trigger pull scale
  8. lather, rinse, repeat 2 more times
  9. average the 3 pull weights

The WMD Guns NiB-X Fire Control Group delivered trigger pulls of 5.0 Lb, 4.5 Lb, and 5.0 Lb for an average of 4.83 Lb.

WMDguns.com NiB-X trigger on G.P.S. Trigger pull Scale

Pretty respectable for an AR FCG that started life as mil-spec parts and springs, where average trigger pull weights in the 7 Lb range are considered normal.

However, what we noticed more than the trigger pull weight, was that the WMD Guns trigger was very smooth, with no false walls. We are accustomed to stock, mil-spec triggers that have a gritty, grabby, 1 or 2 (or more) false walls before the break. The combination of NiB-X coating and a bit of polishing translated the reduced trigger pull weight of the tuned springs into a much lighter feeling trigger. Dan at WMD Guns says that the NiB-X coating alone provides some improved trigger feel, but that most folks will want to do some light polishing to get the most potential from the trigger.


4) Creep & Overtravel

NiB-X and polishing can’t completely optimize everything in an otherwise mil-spec trigger group. However, it goes a long way.

We measured total travel the tip of the trigger at about 1/8 of an inch. That is split roughly evenly at 1/16″ of creep and 1/16″ of overtravel. Contrast this to the stock mil-spec trigger which measured… well… the same. There is a huge difference in the FEEL, as slowly pulling the stock, mil-spec trigger is frustrating, at best, as it moves, catches, moves a bit more, catches, then finally breaks. The WMD Guns trigger is noticeably lighter and smoother so that there are no catches, or false walls, along the initial creep.

 The Results

Who could complain about a lightened, crisp, smooth mil-spec trigger?
There is a lot to like about the improvements in the WMD Guns NiB-X FCG over a stock mil-spec trigger. However, WMD sent a mil-spec style trigger to a highly specialized, aftermarket trigger party. Could it keep up?

AR trigger upgrade WMD Guns NiB-X trigger 100 yards100 yards

All 5 shooters slung five rounds of American Eagle 55 grain .223 Remington at small numbered paper targets from benches with shooting rests or sandbags at 100 yards to get a feel for how the WMDguns.com NiB-X trigger performed under slow, controlled fire. The feedback was unanimous that the WMD trigger held it’s own among MUCH more costly options. Although the 5# trigger pull weight is heavier than all of the other aftermarket FCGs, it was a smooth 5# that was very manageable.

 Short range tactical carbine

Chris from Three Pillars Shooting, LLC and Bob, our other NRA instructor collaborated to run the team through basic 3-10 yard quick target acquisition, rapid shot strings and short mag shoot-reload-shoot drills. In this scenario the WMD Guns NiB-X fire control group performed very well, with a great balance between trigger pull weight and a solid trigger feel. Some of the competition triggers felt a bit light in this shooting scenario.

 40 yard plate rack

A 2 shooter duel to see who could hit the most of the 6 plates of 8 inch diameter in a horizontal row at 40 yards. The WMD Guns fire control group put in a respectable showing in the plate rack duels, but finally started to show a bit of disadvantage against the light, short-reset competition triggers. While still a massive improvement over the stock mil-spec FCG, the NiB-X trigger felt a bit heavy and slow compared to the highly tuned triggers in the test.

 40 yard steel silhouettes

This was less formal with 2 shooters competing to see who could put a string of shots on their steel silhouettes most rapidly. We found that the competition triggers excelled with their ultralight trigger pulls and short resets. As with the 40 yard plate rack duels, the WMD NiB-X trigger felt smooth and solid, inspiring confidence, but also felt a bit heavy and slow.



WMD GunsBoth Wynn Atterbury, the WMD Guns President and Dan Kent, the WMD Head Gunsmith spent time on the phone answering questions about the company, the scope of products and services, and the specific parts that were sent for this review. It seems to me that most “gun companies” were borne of a passion for guns and a desire to figure out how to make a living pursuing that passion. WMD Gun took a different path, in that they started with science and technology and a desire to apply them to “enhance the shooting experience”.
Prior to WMD Guns Wynn, a mechanical engineer, worked at the DoD evaluating new technologies. When PFC Jessica Lynch was captured in Iraq, PFC Lynch reported that several weapons failed to operate in the attempts to fend off the attack. As a result DoD was pursuing new solutions to lubricate weapons in harsh environments via high tech coatings. Wynn was so intrigued by the technology that he left the DoD to work with it. That led to founding WMD Guns in 2011, bringing together plating engineers, metalurgists, trades experts and others to offer NiB-X and other coating tech to the firearms industry.
The pride in Wynn’s voice was evident when he described The Beast – the world’s first “All NiB-X AR-15”. Although he quickly clarified that WMD Guns is not a one trick pony. They focus on using the right coatings on the right parts. For example, their research showed that NiB-X is not the best choice for the inside of the barrel, so they use Salt Bath Nitriding inside the barrel.

WMD Guns is a diverse business with 3 areas of focus:

  1. Solutions for OEMs: For example, WMD Guns applies NiB-X and other coatings to parts for high-end trigger companies, other brand’s bolt carrier groups, etc.
  2. Consumer retail: This is where the WMD Guns NiB-X Fire Control Group that was submitted for this review fits in their businesses.  They also sell chassis and complete rifles in 5.56 .308, and (if my notes are correct) .300 AAC Blackout, 1911 pistols, fully coated shotguns for protection in corrosive environments, and a variety of billet and coated parts.
  3. Consumer parts coating: Offering consumers the types of high tech coatings that were previously only available to big corporations due to cost and complexity.

I won’t pretend to understand the details of the wide range of technologies that WMD Guns brings to the market, but they include Nitromet Salt Bath Nitrocarburizing (Melonite, Tennifer, Black Nitride), Electroless Nickel (EN), Electroless Nickel with Teflon, Black Nickel with Boron Nitride, etc.. Rather than butcher the details (as I am sure I have already done), I’ll refer to their site for the correct information: https://www.wmdguns.com/get-your-firearm-coated/production-coating-services
Overall, the more I learn about WMD Guns,  the more impressed I am with them.


Gear Score
Good trigger, great value... when polished and tuned a bit.

GearReport logo Round AR15

The Big AR Trigger Upgrade Test

We tested 9 AR platform trigger upgrades from 5 different manufacturers to identify:

  • Which AR trigger upgrade is the best value?
  • Which AR-15 and AR-10 triggers are best suited for hunting, competitive shooting, personal defense, duty rifle?
  • Which AR trigger do we like best?

Starting with a just barely broken-in “mil-spec” trigger group as our “control”, our team of 5 testers assembled and dry fired each AR FCG on the hammer drop block to get a feel for each trigger, measured trigger pull weight with a trigger pull gauge, then shot each trigger in long range, tactical carbine, and competitive shooting situations to assess each fire control group in a real-world setting. We shot nearly 2,000 rounds down a combined 6 AR uppers so we could provide the most comprehensive trigger upgrade review possible.

Huge thanks to Ammunition Supply Company, who kicked in 2,000 rounds of bulk 55 grain ammo for this test.

You can read more about the AR15 AR10 trigger upgrade and the other triggers in the test in our full AR trigger upgrade review.


About Jeff

Jeff is the Editor in Chief of Gear Report and a National Shooting Sports Foundation Media member. He reports on the outdoor industry, reviews gear for camping, hiking, shooting, hunting, paddling, backpacking and other active pursuits. A USAF veteran, Jeff earned a MBA in Marketing and Health Services. He specializes in consultative selling and internet marketing. As the VP of BD & Marketing, Jeff provides sales and marketing leadership to MGECOM, Inc. and helps http://MGECOM.com acquire new clients in need of solutions for online merchants in need of Affiliate Marketing program management. Jeff founded and manages Cress Sales & Marketing LLC, offering online sales and marketing consulting and services to online merchants and service providers.