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 The comments were subsequently removed as they were no longer applicable.]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.
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.
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
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.