AK Trigger Retention

  • Jack Collins

Way back in November, I wrote about how to change the trigger on an AKM. While I broke down the steps, I mentioned that having to deal with a retaining hook is probably one of the most frustrating parts of the entire process. If you tried to replace your own AK trigger, you probably realized I wasn’t exaggerating.

Fortunately, some enterprising machinists came up with a solution to this problem. Enter the AK trigger pin retaining plate. Here’s how this simple piece of steel can change your entire AK experience.

What is an AK Trigger Pin Retainer?

If you haven’t swapped out an AK trigger yet, you may not know where this pesky part lives. Don’t worry, because I’m here to show you.

See the little piece of spring metal circled in red?



That’s the standard AK trigger retainer, also known as a “shepherd’s hook.” It applies pressure to the pins that hold your AK’s trigger in place to keep them from walking out every time you shoot the gun.

While it’s a critical piece of the AK platform, it’s a huge pain in the keister to remove. I’ve never actually been able to remove it alone—I’ve always needed an extra pair of hands to help remove tension on the spring while I take it out of the gun.

A retaining plate can fix this. Here’s a picture of these two pieces side by side, with the shepherd’s hook on the left and the retaining plate on the right.



If you’re going to use one of these babies (which I suggest you do), make sure that you get the right one for your AK. If you’re working with a stamped receiver, get one made for stamped AKMs. Or if you’re a milled receiver guy (good for you, Professor Highbrow), make sure that you pick up a retaining plate made for milled guns.

Once you add this to your favorite AK, it makes working on the fire control group infinitely easier. If you’re planning on trying out multiple triggers to decide on your favorite one, the retaining plate is a must!

Firearms Education

Are you enamored with the AK platform? SDI is too. That’s why they’ve begun offering classes on this storied weapon system. If you want to learn more about firearms, including AKs, click here.

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