Gear Review: Timney Calvin Elite Trigger for the Remington 700

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With the recent news that Remington is (kinda) recalling every Model 700 rifle ever made to replace their triggers, I figured that now would be the perfect time to review another offering from Timney Triggers. I reviewed their standard Remington 700 trigger nearly two years ago, and it hasn’t left my rifle since the day it was installed. However, the guys at Timney tipped me off that there might be a better choice for those looking to squeeze that last little drop of accuracy out of their gun: the Calvin Elite model.

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A couple weeks back, I took a trip to the Timney Triggers factory to see how their stuff is made. It was very impressive, but what impressed me the most was that the majority of their engineering is done by a single guy — named Calvin. He figures out all the internal workings of the triggers and designs all of the machining that needs to be done, then the rest of the company gets busy making his dream a reality.

But the one thing he doesn’t get to set to his specifications is the trigger pull weight, since Timney sets their standard models to a weight that most people would find useful instead of what would be expected for a “precision” trigger. Nevertheless some people wanted a lighter switch, so Timney gave Calvin a blank check to design his ideal trigger and the result is the Calvin Elite model.

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On the outside, the Calvin Elite looks pretty much like the standard Timney trigger. Which is great, since Timney makes things dead simple when swapping out your trigger.

One of the best things about Timney is that their trigger packs are dead simple to install. For example, their SCAR trigger is a straight drop-in replacement for a trigger pack that is otherwise a nightmare to work with. The Remington 700 trigger isn’t quite as bad, but there are still one or two gotchas that Timney bypasses through careful engineering. The Calvin Elite model slides right in, and the gold colored finish on the outside of the trigger pack (as opposed to the otherwise standard black) makes a striking impression.

There are some other differences from the normal 700 trigger besides the color. The trigger blade itself is probably the biggest external change, moving from a larger flat blade to a more traditional smooth, rounded thin blade. It’s all about shooter preference here, and while I do enjoy the larger surface area of the regular trigger, the more traditional approach has its benefits as well.

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Once installed, the trigger works as advertised. I asked for a eight ounce pull for my trigger, and using a Timney trigger scale shows that the trigger is set exactly on the dot — eight ounces. The theory is that the less force you need to apply to activate the trigger, the less sympathetic movement you will have in your hand and elsewhere throwing off the shot. If you need proof that heavy triggers impact accuracy, just look at the New York City police department.

In general, my preferences match up with those of Calvin. His trigger provides a nice crisp break and a light pull. And while the weight has made my Remington 700 a little intimidating for newer shooters, it’s definitely an improvement over the stock trigger or even the standard Timney offering.

The only caveat is that this isn’t for everyone — in fact, I plan to swap back to the heavier trigger when I take this gun hunting. Light triggers are great for accuracy, but there’s a happy middle ground when it comes to pull weight that is just light enough for accuracy but heavy enough to keep from pulling it too early in the field. Eight ounces might be a touch light for hunting, but it’s perfect out on the 1,000-yard line.

Specifications: Timney Calvin Elite Trigger for the Remington 700
Trigger Pull: 8 oz. – 2.5 lbs.
MSRP: $209.95

Fit & Finish: * * * * *
Impeccable. Timney makes great stuff, and it shows.

Overall Rating: * * * * 1/2
Everyone has their personal preferences. The trigger may not be perfect for everyone, but the custom selectable pull weight and the traditional trigger blade are both great features. Half a star off because it costs just a hair over $200, which is much more than the standard offering.

comments

  1. avatar Accur81 says:

    Cool trigger, but 8 oz is way too light for me. The standard trigger set just under 4 pounds works great in my LTR.

    1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      When I put the Timney in my VTR it dropped the pull weight from 3.5 lbs. to 2.5 lbs. and it made a big difference. Bigger than I would have thought. My groups definitely tightened up. That said I don’t think I’d be comfortable hunting with much less than 2.5 lbs. A half pound trigger is probably perfect for the thousand yard range, but that’s about it.

  2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    The Jewell in my .50 is at 9 oz. I love it!
    Do they make these for Savages or FN’s yet?

  3. avatar JasonM says:

    I ordered one of these when Remington first announced the trigger recall.
    It was set at 1lb. from the factory, and I haven’t bothered to adjust it from there.
    I set up a rig for measuring trigger pull-based deflection that basically consists of a fine tip pen mounted in the muzzle. The deflection was too small to measure with the smallest Sharpie tip I could buy.

    1. avatar KCK says:

      ???
      Explain.

      1. avatar Drew says:

        I imagine you place the pen in the muzzle lightly touch it to something then pull the trigger. Any jerk caused by less than smooth trigger pulls would show up.

      2. avatar JasonM says:

        Pulling the trigger causes other muscles to contract, which can shift the point of aim. The more force required to pull the trigger, the more likely the muscles will cause a deflection at the muzzle.
        I measured that deflection by having a sharpie at the muzzle write on a board when the muzzle moved.
        The super light, minimal movement Timney trigger had no discernible deflection.

  4. avatar jimmy james says:

    Just built a 1000yd gun and this just might be the ticket and for at least $100 less than a Jewel…sweet!

    1. avatar RT says:

      Why scrimp now? Timney makes a darn good trigger, but this won’t be as good as a Jewell.

      1. avatar Mario says:

        You’re completely wrong. Try this trigger before you open your mouth.

  5. avatar My Name says:

    That half a star off is complete stupidity as it does not reflect the unit but rather sales voodoo. I’ve installed numerous Timney triggers over the last 30 years and am doing a Calvin this week again. Five Stars all the way around.

  6. avatar Chuck Headley says:

    When I installed mine I thought that I’d broken it, for sure. This is the lightest trigger ever pulled by me. After reading the instructions and specs I realized that the trigger was working as designed. Definately too light for me to hunt with, but great for the target range. Well worth the money!

  7. avatar Bob Cloninger says:

    I’m building a rifle for double duty, range and deer woods, so you may have persuaded me to stay with the standard Timney. A single stage trigger set for 2 pounds is preferred, so Calvin’s best may be too much for this one!

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