WON Landing Page March 2022

Gear Court: Sara Ahrens and the case of the ‘Timney trigger trial’

For those of us who want to make improvements to our firearms, but may lack the knowledge, skills and abilities to do so, there exists an option of purchasing products that require very little skill to install.

As a rifle owner, one of the primary improvements I wanted to make on my AR was with the trigger. Although I own a Smith and Wesson M&P 15x, which comes with a better trigger assembly than many other manufacturers,  I still had the desire to improve it. Due to my past negative experience working on my STI, I felt like my best bet was to go with a drop-in assembly. I contacted Timney Triggers and requested one of their trigger assemblies, which they gladly sent me to review.

timney ar trigger.jpg

Timney trigger for AR.

When I got the Timney Trigger I was hopeful that the trigger would be easy to install. At this point in my life I understand two things: the first thing is that nothing goes completely as planned, and the second thing is that if there is any way to misinterpret installation instructions, I’ll be the one to find it.

Ironically at the same time that I had requested to test a Timney trigger, I was afforded the opportunity to test out the recoil and rate reducing buffer spring by MGI. What perfect timing!

I followed Timney’s instructions on the installation. One issue that I noticed, which should have been my indication that I was going to probably have an issue, was that the safety selector seemed to hang up on the trigger block. For a brief moment I thought, maybe I am supposed to file a little off the block?  It really didn’t seem like the safety selector and the trigger assembly could coexist given the tight fit. I ignored my first inclination to file the assembly (mainly because the memory of the STI thumb safety fiasco, which was still fresh in my mind). Boy, am I glad I didn’t take that drastic approach!

I went back to the range to ensure the trigger would consistently reset and to evaluate the function and feel of the trigger assembly. What I found was that I had no problems with the consistent function of the trigger. The overall feel and performance was in one word, glorious.

Photo by Mike Ahrens.

Eventually I got the safety selector installed, but it was a tight fit. I took my AR out to test fire my modification and to test out the trigger itself.  I fired one round and my trigger wouldn’t reset. I racked the charging handle and fired my second round; again, the trigger wouldn’t reset. After a few more frustrating shots, I realized I could physically push the trigger back to reset, but that wasn’t an acceptable option. I packed up my gear and left the range, disappointed.

I researched Timney Triggers online and discovered that other users had also experienced this same issue. These users started talking about adjusting the factory settings on the screws. This was beginning to sound complicated! I opted to call Timney after reading several posts proclaiming their knowledgeable and helpful staff.I contacted Timney and left a message. Within a day or two later I received a return phone call. I explained the issue I was having and explained that I read information online and that the suggested online remedies made me nervous. Timney explained to me that I had a couple options, I could send in my rifle and they would install it or they could walk me through some trouble shooting procedures.  Seriously, how could I admit defeat again?  I opted for plan b.I explained that upon installation I had noticed it was really hard to replace the safety selector. Deep down, I suspected this was the culprit. I was then asked the order that I installed the trigger assembly, specifically, did I screw down the retention screws before or after I inserted the safety selector. Once I explained that I tightened down the retention screws before replacing the safety selector, it was recommended that I remove the assembly and not tighten down the assembly until after the safety selector is replaced. This way I could move the assembly out of the way and replace the selector with ease. It seemed simple enough, and it was. I did exactly what was recommended and viola! It works like a charm.

I immediately noticed that the Timney trigger has far less travel before the shot breaks than the factory trigger. I was unprepared for this short distance and I was a taken back slightly with my first shot. This initial surprise was almost instantly replaced by feelings of euphoria. WOW! The trigger is crisp and the travel of the trigger before the shot breaks is consistent. There is no sensation of looseness in the slack leading up to the shot.  The reset is just as impressive (and short). I am completely satisfied with this improvement and I will eventually be purchasing their trigger assembly for the Ruger 10-22.

OffBeat is sponsored by Otis Technology.

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