I was walking down the aisles at the NRA Convention when the Timney Triggers booth caught my eye. A gigantic banner above their booth proclaimed that they produced “The World’s Finest Triggers.” I couldn’t resist. “You make the best triggers, eh?” I asked. “Yes, we do!” the representative behind the table responded. “Prove it!” I retorted. “No problem! Give me your address” he replied. Two weeks later a package arrived on my doorstep, courtesy of Timney Triggers.
Timney Triggers produces hand-assembled, hand-tested and hand-calibrated precision triggers for all sorts of guns, from the modern AR-15 to the Mosin Nagant m1891 and m1891/30 rifles. Most of their triggers drop easily into the gun, with very little “gunsmithing” required. According to the sales rep I talked to, Timney only makes single stage triggers, no two stage or national match triggers.
Included in the package: the trigger, the standard NRA propaganda pamphlet, and a sucker. I was momentarily torn between interpereting the lollipop as a bribe or as a comment on the person opening the package. But I think it’s probably a sign that the people at Timney are just very nice and friendly people. Plus it was cherry, my favorite flavor.
The trigger group itself comes in a pre-assembled housing that drops straight into the receiver and keeps all the little bits and pieces together. Which is fantastic. I still have memories fresh in my mind of trying to manuver all of the different bits of the trigger assembly into place with the stock parts kit I ordered from DPMS, eventually having to resort to sticking the lower receiver in a plastic bag to contain the springs that kept flying everywhere.
Installing the trigger is a breeze; the hardest part is getting the old trigger group out of the gun. To install the trigger, simply remove the grip, the safety, and the old trigger. Then slot in the Timney trigger and re-install the grip and safety.
The housing was designed to be inserted into a standard AR-15 lower receiver, so those with larger trigger group pins or other oddities might have some issues. The safety is also a bit tough to re-insert once the Timney trigger is installed, as the safety catch on the trigger rests right against the safety itself. I had to gently push down on the safety catch to get it to let me put the safety back in the gun.
The true test of the trigger isn’t how easy it is to install; the true test is how it feels. And for that, we need a point of comparison.
When I first built my rifle I used a standard DPMS parts kit for the lower. Standard trigger, standard safety, even a standard grip. One by one these parts have been replaced, mainly because I couldn’t stand how crappy they felt. The standard A2 grip was first to go (replaced by a Magpul MIAD), followed shortly by the safety (RRA Ambi Safety).
The only part left from the original build (as of yesterday) was the trigger. Which was awful. The pull was like a long, winding mountain path in West Virginia. As you gently apply pressure the trigger creeps backwards for AGES before hitting a bit of resistance. You think to yourself “Oh! It’s a two stage! Sweet!” But no. It’s a red herring.
The break is actually just a little bit further. But because of the pressure required to get over that rough patch on the trigger it’s damned difficult to stop before hitting the break. This leads to some jerking of the trigger in high stress situations (competitions) and some pretty poor shots when they’re least welcome.
The Timney trigger, in comparison, is like jumping off a cliff. There’s a little bit of resistance, and then it goes. Nice, crisp, clean. There’s no guesswork involved about how much pressure to apply before the break because the break is RIGHT THERE. With the safety engaged the trigger goes absolutely nowhere, compared to the slight movement permitted by my old standard trigger.
The best comparison I can give you is if you were to use an icicle as a trigger. After applying the right amount of pressure, the thing just breaks without any bending beforehand.
Go check out my review of the Armalite National Match M-15 A2 rifle, and pay special attention to the shape of the trigger. See how its curved like a piece of aluminum that a chunky guy sat on? Now look at the trigger installed in my lower above. Timney designs their triggers with less of a curve and a flatter face, which they claim promotes a good trigger pull (straight back instead of slightly side to side). A straighter pull means less torque on the gun and straighter shooting.
The flatter trigger face takes a little getting used to. Fifty rounds later I can’t imagine how I got along without it. This trigger is a work of art, a vast improvement on the stock AR triggers, and easy as pie to install. If you’re planning on making your AR more accurate, start with one of these. The improvement in the feel of the gun is well worth the price tag.
Specifications: Timney AR-15 Trigger
Pull Weight: 4 lbs
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. One complaint: the trigger pins tend to walk a bit and might fall out of the gun — use anti-walk pins. Dropped one star for that reason.
Feel & Function * * * * *
The trigger pull is crisp and clean, and the reset is short and sweet. The flattened face makes for a better trigger pull and gives a little more surface to place your fingertip on. This trigger “feels” better than any other single stage trigger I’ve tried on an AR platform.
Overall Rating * * * * *
They made the claim of being the world’s finest triggers. We called them on it, and it turns out that everything they claim is true. The finest single stage triggers that money can buy.