Tac-Con can’t stop innovating triggers
I’m sure you remember earlier this year when Tac-Con made a huge splash with the 3MR trigger system. Hailed incorrectly by many as a bump fire trigger, it is truly not that. I can hear you now, so what is it then? Calm down, calm down, I’m about to tell you. First though, I want to tell you some back story.
The trigger industry has a ton of players. To this point, they are emulating the waifish runway models with ridiculously low trigger pull weights. Smaller is better appears to be the general consensus. All to increase the rapidity in which we can spend 40 cents at a time. The 3MR came out to much fanfare that we might be able to spend even more money… quicker. When talking with Tac-Con representatives earlier this year they reiterated that although their trigger is fast, it still has a 4.5 lb. trigger pull weight. That’s important if you plan to have military or law enforcement use your trigger. I have definitive statistics that their claims are correct. That review will be coming out shortly, but for now, I’ll just say, they perform as well as or better than several of the top triggers out there, even though those triggers have very small pull weights. Having shooting characteristics of a 90 lb. model and the actual trigger pull of a plus size is highly desirable.
Along with Sam Cadle from The Firearm Blog, David Higginbotham from Guns America, Tyler Kee from The Truth About Guns, Little Red Danger, Jason Wages from Modern Arms and Hank Strange, I took a look at what’s new and what’s next from Tac-Con. Backdropped by the amazing Ben Avery Shooting Facility, Tac-Con showed us two new (pre-production prototypes) of their new triggers. I was also able to bond with a few of the new media guys while we invented our new half hour television show called “Shootin’ the Breeze at the ‘Bees” where Sam, Shawn, Tyler and Jason get drunk at Applebees and talk about guns, life and our feelings. Yes, I drank girl drinks. Whatever man, get over it.
Tac-Con Raptor AK trigger
RIFLE IS FINE, you might say. Well, sure it works, but why not make it better? At least that is Tac-Con’s thinking. I don’t know if you’re aware but AK trigger upgrades have become the holy grail recently. I know personally of several companies working on AK triggers.
A challenge for any trigger engineer is that AK’s are not even close to being as standard as their American counterparts. Stamped, milled, made out of a shovel, the tolerances can vary greatly. The gang at Tac-Con appear to have this licked with some clever engineering and made a cassette style drop in trigger that they claim fits in all of the AK’s they’ve tried. We saw rifles from Century and Arsenal as well as 12 gauge Saigas running their new trigger.
The AR 3MR has 3 modes. Safe, semi-auto and the third position is the assisted reset. The AK sports two modes. Safe and holy crap. It runs the same assisted reset mode as the AR and has eliminated the unnecessary (in this writer’s eyes) semi-auto setting. It honestly feels a lot like the other Tac-Con triggers. It’s clean and crisp with a tiny bit of creep before the break, no observable overtravel and an audible and tactile reset. It was like putting a Prius engine in a Charger. You still look badass but you’re quiet and economical at the same time. Only difference is, this Prius engine can go about 120 mph.
The stock AK’s that we were using weren’t set up to be doing mag dumps, but with some different muzzle devices to make them more flat shooting we would have been able to make them purr. Our accuracy with the Tac-Con fitted rifles was observably better than the Tapco trigger rifle. We’ll need more testing to really analyze it.
Tac-Con 241 AR trigger
I heard about the new trigger a bit before we flew out to Arizona and I was instantly intrigued. It has often been spoken about in dark rooms among unsavory characters to mix a single stage trigger and a 2 stage trigger, but common knowledge said that it couldn’t be done. Like the commercials in the 80’s advertising Reese’s; you got your chocolate in my peanut butter, you got your peanut butter in my chocolate, Tac-Con has engineered what was believed impossible and just might have the peanut buttery equivalent goodness in an AR flavor.
A 2 stage trigger is often used in precision long range shooting. Single stage triggers should have very little movement before it goes bang. Any movement before the break is referred to as creep, and we all know, creeps are uncool. A 2 stage trigger on the other hand has a bit of take-up where you pull the trigger back ~3 lbs. and feel it hit a wall. From the time you feel that wall you have approximately a 1 lb. trigger pull, so the slightest movement will fire the gun. This is desirable because once you complete the first stage, there is very little movement, muscle or technique required to fire a clean shot. However running around with a 1 lb. trigger pull is a little terrifying as the slightest bump will pop a cap. 2 stage triggers are the way around that. ~4.5 lb. total trigger pull, with a 3.5 lb. takeup and 1 lb. break. Bazinga.
Shooting the 241 was pretty great. Range setup was an IPSC sized steel torso at 100 yards with a 6 inch flipping plate on the head area. Using the 241 we were flipping the plate regularly back and forth. The real treat was throwing it into assisted reset mode and unleashing hell on the torso in rapid fire mode. Granted, 100 yards is fairly short and a real test at greater distances would have showcased the 2 stage trigger more.
Further testing is necessary but my initial reaction is extremely positive. Downright giddy in fact. To be honest I’m calling it right now. I want this trigger in every single rifle I own. Having the option of both styles of trigger is profoundly attractive. My rifles are tools and I want them to be as universal as possible.
We decided to have an impromptu contest of sorts. Who could shoot the 6 inch flag at 100 yards, standing freehand position in the fewest shots. Tyler Kee started us out with 8 shots. Not bad. Jason Wages was next and was just showing off in 3. I decided to show those losers what’s up and dominated with a score of … 8. At that point, Addison from Tac-Con, had enough of our new media shenanigans and came over and popped the flag in two, letting us know without question, that we were all bitches.
This section is for Aaron’s people. Price and other stuff.
Biggest complaint that I hear from the general public is the price. Over and over. and over and over. and over and over again. Price. Price. Price. I get it. It’s super expensive compared to others in the market. The choice is yours whether you feel it’s worth it or not. Tac-Con is about to make that choice easier on you.
Very shortly the prices will drop. 3MR will be $395, 241 will be $395 and the AK Raptor will be $349. Are they admitting defeat? Not a chance. As their R&D costs come down and they get better at manufacturing efficiencies, they are lowering their prices. For you. To complain about some more.
One other new product that was mentioned is pretty necessary in my eyes and has two parts. Most people, including me, very rarely use the semi-auto mode and always drop it into 3rd mode. Flipping it to third position isn’t as natural a motion. To answer this they will be offering the 3MR in a two position configuration as well as a safety selector barrel to convert your 3MR to just a 90 degree toggle.
What does it mean? (double rainbow)
I’m impressed by Tac-Con. Not only are they putting out some seriously high quality triggers but they are innovating. If you follow us at all, you know I get a crazy b%$er over companies that change the way things are done. Tac-Con is a prime example. Moving from a single product company to a 3 product company is sure to present some challenges but having spent time with the guys there, I believe Tac-Con will rise to the occasion.
Now about the marketing. With names like 3MR, 241 and Raptor, there doesn’t appear to be any unified marketing plan until you hear that the employee that makes them work gets to name them and the Raptor was named after a challenge bet and the 241 was named after his favorite combat weapon but also because it’s a two-for-one (241, get it!). That kind of coolness is exactly what I’ve come to expect from the guys at Tac-Con.