Gear Review: TAC-CON 3MR Trigger

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The 5.56 NATO Ammunition for this review was provided by Liberty Ammunition.

Things really don’t get more entertaining than blowing through a full magazine of ammunition as fast as you possibly can. It’s why people pay tens of thousands of dollars for full-auto firearms: the giggle is worth the bucks. For those of us who can’t afford a properly stamped machine gun, however, there are other options. The SlideFire bump-fire stock has been a runaway success, but some people don’t like the way it looks or feels. Enter the TAC-CON 3MR trigger, a drop-in trigger replacement that promises to let you shoot faster without changing anything else about your gun . . .

The main claim to fame for the 3MR trigger is that using the provided safety, the selector switch rotates all the way around to the “full auto” position. In the standard “fire” slot, the trigger functions like any other single stage trigger. But if you crank it over to “AUTO” then the trigger deploys its secret weapon: a small lever pokes up from the back of the trigger and catches on the back of the hammer as it comes backwards. The pressure from the hammer moving downwards forces the trigger back forwards, partially resetting the trigger. This leads to a shorter reset for the follow-up shot.

[A previous version of this article referenced a different method of operation. Someone in the comments pointed out the inaccuracy and it was fixed. Note that nowhere on TAC-CON’s website or in the box the product comes in is there any explanation of how the trigger works or how to use it “properly.” The comments were subsequently removed as they were no longer applicable.]

Installation is a breeze. The trigger comes in a self-contained package much like the Timney triggers, and the entire thing drops straight into the lower receiver. There are two small foam pads on the bottom of the trigger pack to add some upward pressure to keep the trigger pins from walking out, which is a nice addition, but otherwise it’s a pretty straightforward job.

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I installed the trigger that TAC-CON sent me in the MEAN Hybrid-15 rifle that I’m using for a test bed, and function checked the rifle to ensure that everything was working. Then, I headed out to the range to get some trigger time.

In the standard semi-auto mode, the trigger feels like an okay single stage trigger. There’s a bit more over travel than you would get in a Timney, but it’s not bad at all. The break was crisp and clean, and there was no stacking or creep that I could feel. Sliding the selector over to the 3rd position caused the reset to become much, much shorter — you just think about resetting the trigger and it happens.

So, the thing works as advertised. But I have three complaints that will keep me from plunking down my own money for one.

First, I can’t really find a benefit to having the trigger installed. Sure, it’s a more crisp and clean trigger pull than the standard factory trigger, but then again so is a Timney or even an ALG Defense QMS trigger. And as for the 3rd position capabilities, you’re still the one pulling the trigger each time — and it can get tiring doing it that fast. You can fire just as fast with a Geissele Super 3-Gun trigger as with this thing.

Issue #2 is that you can’t change the safety. You need to use the provided selector switch in order for the trigger to work properly, and at the moment it’s not very good. The paddle is not ambidextrous (righties only), and it just doesn’t feel very good. It looks like there are replacement paddles on the way, but even then the proprietary nature of the device will severely limit the ability to find a style you like.

The last problem isn’t with the functionality, it’s with the price. A good Timney trigger for the AR-15 will cost you about $200. The Geissele S3G trigger is $240. Heck, an ALG Defense QMS trigger is only $45. But this thing? $500. Seriously, it’s near-as-makes-no-difference five bills. And for that, you get a trigger that’s okay as a single stage affair and has a secondary function whose benefit is questionable. I just don’t see there being any benefit over the less expensive options.

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At the end of the day I have to call a spade a spade: this trigger is a gimmick. There’s no real benefit that it gives the shooter other than a variable reset length, and the usefulness of even that feature is debatable. Are you really going to take the time to swap the selector over to the 3rd position in a 3-gun match or a self defense situation? Is the benefit of the slightly shorter reset really worth the effort even?

What we have here is an expensive range toy. There are some people who will love the idea of a selector switch that goes all the way to “AUTO” (even if it doesn’t actually go full auto) and to them this might be worth the price. But for me, I just don’t see how it’s better than a Timney single stage trigger. I don’t even see it as equivalent, even. It twice as much for a worse trigger pull.

TAC-CON 3MR Trigger
MSRP: $495

Ratings (out of five)

Ease of Use * * * *
Drop this puppy straight into your receiver and you’re good to go. No mucking about with springs and Allen wrenches. Just drop it in and it works like a charm. However, the foam inserts at the bottom of the trigger group make it a little tricky to install.

Feel & Function * * * *
It works as advertised. The break is crisp and clean, the trigger’s 3rd position works, and it functions. But the proprietary nature is kinda meh.

Overall Rating * *
It’s really the price that does it for me, though. It’s a gimmick, and an overpriced one at that. But there is some “cool factor” to it, I suppose.

comments

  1. Very expensive range toy indeed.

  2. avatar Sammy says:

    Slidefire Rules!

  3. avatar Steve Clark says:

    Are you sure you’re using it correctly? Other testers have said it works as advertised and achieved full-mag dumps with a little practice. I foresee a follow up article.

    1. ^this

      From what I understand its not about a shorter reset, that lever is supposed to reset the trigger while you’re exerting backward pressure on it, if you find just the right amount of pressure, then you can “ride” the sweet spot and get much faster rates of fire.

      MAC was more impressed with it: http://www.thebangswitch.com/shooting-the-taccon-3mr-trigger/

    2. avatar Kelly in GA says:

      I was honestly hoping to see you run this thing with your 300 9″ SBR and the can. :-/

      1. avatar Kelly in GA says:

        That was directed at Nick. Oops.

    3. avatar Jon Werner says:

      I have one of these with the ambidextrous selector switch. what buffer are you using?

  4. avatar NDS says:

    Wilson Combat 3G trigger, absolutely delicious pull, carrot-snap reset, and truly fast. Expensive, $270ish.

    I also use the Wilson 1S 4lb in my 300BLK and their National Match 2-stage in my SPR and they are both amazing. The 3G is where it’s at for moving lead and attracting attention.

  5. avatar 0351 says:

    If I could install it on my 308,it could be interesting.

  6. I really don’t understand why anyone finds this trigger appealing at all, and why such a fever-pitch defensiveness about it?

    Kudos to Nick for telling it like it is.

    Anyone can run a stock military trigger quickly if he learns to ride the reset quickly and you can get decent combat groups with double and single taps.

    Example, this is firing in real-time using a Daniel Defense’s stock military trigger. Nothing other than learning how to ride the trigger’s reset point:

    And for those who claim this trigger provides something approximating full auto, well, that’s baloney too. This is what full auto on an M4 Carbine is like, jump to :18 on the video for the controlled burst of three shots, full auto.

    1. avatar El Mac says:

      @Paul T. McCain, awesome report and awesome video showing “how to rock it”….

  7. avatar louringe says:

    I thought slide fire was over priced when I started sell them in 2010. the cost to make SF stock less 25.00. 500.00 for this trigger is also overpriced I will wait until I can get one to play with. If your a dealer you have to buy 5 of them that’s 2K

  8. When I told my buddy that I just bought an AR15, he said “get a Tac-Con trigger! It is just like bumpfire but without the goofy stock!”
    Well I had to see what all the hoopla was about so I went to my standard YouTube reviewers to have a look. I even saw Jerry Miculek fail to get this thing to go anywhere near full auto. I’ll pass. My rifle came standard with a Geissele SSA 2-stage trigger anyway so I am not looking for an upgrade and definitely not a $500 one.
    When you get in the “sweet spot” you have to maintain that feel which is not easy so you get sporadic bursts. The claims of rate of fire are way overblown too and I got tired of arguing with guys that defended this toy. All I asked for was someone to time the rate of fire rather than guess. If you already bought one, then enjoy it. I won’t call you an idiot, but don’t call me an idiot if I point out that there is no proof anywhere on the interwebs of this trigger achieving 700rpm which is widely claimed.

    1. Precisely the point, if they were all that they claim, we would have seen videos from the manufacturer showing them being operated operationally at 700 r.p.m.

      But so far all we’ve seen is people squeezing off short bursts that are not at all impressive and in most cases no faster than what a person can do with even a mil-spec trigger, riding the reset point effectively (see video above).

      It is utterly baffling to me to think there are actually doing to be people out there who plunk down $500 on this stupid, lousy product.

      1. A fool and his money…………………..

      2. avatar Dev says:

        I haven’t seen anything by Tac-Con saying this trigger will make your rifle seem like full auto or is “700 rpm”.

      3. avatar Tom D. says:

        Not 700 RPM, but pretty quick:

        Quick enough to be worth $500? Up to the buyer I guess.

        1. You can get virtually the same results even from a stock mil-spec trigger if/when you learn to ride the reset point properly. See proof above.

          Total waste of $$$

  9. avatar Greg says:

    Yupe, any more than the ALG QMS or ACT are clownshoes as far as speed goes. I went from a stock AR-15 trigger and hitting 0.15s splits. Once I installed the ACT I dropped that to 0.13s. I paid $65 OTD for my ACt trigger.

  10. avatar Noishkel says:

    Ugh… yeah I should have figured that it would be hideously expensive.

  11. avatar Steve says:

    I played with one at the SHOT range day and was terribly disappointed as well. It was a gimmick at best. The designer was there talking it up and explaining the mechanics behind it – I spent about 10X the amount of time listening to him as it took to shoot the damn thing and pass judgement.

    While the ergonomics are better than the SlideFire, it definitely doesn’t work as well. Another answer to a problem that doesn’t exist. If you’ve got cash to burn on a range toy, go for it… I guess? If you really want to waste ammunition just learn to bump fire from the shoulder until you get bored with it.

  12. avatar Dunkirk says:

    Enough of the slow mo…

  13. avatar El Mac says:

    Nice report NL.

  14. avatar OCD says:

    Thank you for the honest review.

    A plastic selector lever, but a msrp of $495? I’ll pass.

  15. I contacted Tac-Con to ask what the cyclic rate is on the trigger and here is their response:

    “RPM: 600 rounds per minute (RPM) max with experience. Most people shoot 400-500 RPM”

    Now, would somebody show me a video demonstrating the 600 RMP speed?

  16. avatar Excedrine says:

    Over-priced gimmick range toy. Got it.

  17. avatar Justin Steiner says:

    I spent 3 years active Army and another 8 in the Army National Guard including 12 months in Afghanistan and I can count the number of times I’ve flipped the giggle switch to AUTO on one hand.

    Bump-Fire, Tac-Con, even full auto weapons are more or less pointless unless you’ve got more money than sense and turn into a giddy school girl at the thought of dumping a mag in just a few seconds. If that excites you, go set a $20 bill on fire. Same effect: some smells, some bright light, maybe a burnt finger, and a lighter wallet. Maybe I’m missing the point.

  18. avatar CD MCKINNEY says:

    I installed a ALG-QMS trigger in my Sun Devil lower w/ a 16″ Bushmaster Dissipator [upper] as the trigger it previously had was terrible. The QMS felt nice in dry-fire and in actual fire I was able to consistently fire as fast as any of the videos shown in this review – trigger cost $25 shipped.

    I have a Stag Arms 20″ Model 4 which comes w/ a stock trigger w/ a 6# pull which is just as good as the QMS and an entire [complete] Stag Arms lower with a M-4 stock costs $304 total.

    I do not see the need for any firing rates faster than 500 rpm in semi-auto and 2 to 3 round quick shots is really all you need for accurate and effective shot placement which is easily achieved with the ALG-QMS trigger. Save your money

  19. avatar Rick says:

    thanks for this review. I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around what the benefit would be. I’m not looking for faster firing rate, so the article I first saw of this made it sound like the trigger would change from “work” to “precision” by changing the selector. Now something that went from reliable single stage to ultra clean two stage or feather trigger pull when the selector was moved, that’d be something I’m interested in.

    I can already bounce my Tacsol upper’d AR with Mega Arms adjustable trigger faster than I can afford to replace the ammo (none of the ranges around here allow rapid fire with centerfire rifles) so when I finish my 300 build next year, I’m interested in a trigger that becomes more precise than faster.

    You saved me $500 bucks. Spending half of that on the wife’s birthday instead 🙂

  20. avatar Norm says:

    Thanks for the review and those who commented. First, I’m not an expert on every detail of a firearm … just shoot now and then. If I’m reading things correctly and depending on one’s skill with their existing setup – you can achieve the same effect by riding the reset … essentially bump firing?

    For this setup, they gave you a 3rd position with a short reset … Yes, I’m inclined to pass but I’ve never handled this … But, I’ve seen many dump more money on what I thought was a waste of $, but if they are happy.

  21. avatar Lou says:

    You might not mind the price if in fact it worked, BUT IT DOES NOT. As far as customer service goes, you will not find any satisfaction there either. Save your money and buy any other product out there, and there are plenty of good choices. TOTAL WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY

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