Thanks to a loan from a friendly member of the Bullpup Forum, I was able to get my hands on a Geissele Super Sabra Tavor trigger as well as an aluminum-bodied ShootingSight TAV-D and test them back-to-back against the offering from Timney and my Delrin-bodied TAV-D. And, of course, against the factory unit. I took a bunch of measurements, did a lot of shooting, and have come to the following conclusions . . .
My factory trigger has been modified by removing the second trigger return spring, and, due to apparently losing it since then, I ran it in this configuration for the test here. The removal of that spring makes the trigger pull lighter (unmodified it comes in between 11 and 11.5 lbs) but does not affect any other aspect of the trigger.
Pull Weight: 8 lbs
Weight to Cycle Charging Handle w/ Hammer Down: 24 lbs
Take-Up Distance: 0.248″
Break Distance (end of take-up to maximum rearward travel): 0.213″
Reset Distance: 0.27″
The OEM Tavor trigger takes a lot of flak for being horrible, but I find it passable. There’s some slack, there’s about as much creep as a GLOCK trigger, and the break is okay but not great. The reset is positive and it’s certainly reliable. Naturally, it comes included with your Tavor purchase and is therefore “free.”
Pull Weight: 4 lbs 8 oz
Trigger Pack Weight: 4 6/8 oz
Weight to Cycle Charging Handle w/ Hammer Down: 27 lbs
Take-Up + First Stage Distance: 0.266″
Break Distance: 0.104″
Reset Distance: 0.146″
This is an extremely precise, crisp, and short trigger. A near-complete lack of overtravel makes for that super short break distance, then the short reset distance gets you onto the next shot quickly. The first stage pull weight is adjustable from 3.5 lbs (where it’s set from the factory) to 5.5 lbs, and that first stage helps you get tension on the trigger and sort of “still” yourself ahead of the break. Extremely clean break with no creep at all. Overall, it feels like a highly tuned target trigger.
Pull Weight: 4 lbs 1 oz
Trigger Pack Weight: 3 3/8 oz (Delrin body) or 4 5/8 oz (aluminum body)
Weight to Cycle Charging Handle w/ Hammer Down: 25 lbs
Take-Up + First Stage Distance: 0.271″
Break Distance: 0.163″
Reset Distance: 0.208″
MSRP: $315 Delrin, $340 aluminum
The ShootingSight TAV-D is also a two-stage trigger with an extremely clean break and a pronounced reset that are much shorter than stock. It’s available with a lightweight polymer (Delrin) housing or a machined aluminum housing. I found no difference whatsoever, other than weight of the unit itself, between the two. I did “torture test” my TAV-D and was pleased with the results, including cleaning it out with hot water and dish soap and leaving it to dry, finding no hints of surface rust or anything of the sort afterwards. Overall, it feels like an extraordinarily refined battle-appropriate trigger.
Pull Weight: 5 lbs 4 oz
Trigger Pack Weight: 4 7/8 oz
Weight to Cycle Charging Handle w/ Hammer Down: 23.2 lbs
Break Distance: 0.154″
Reset Distance: 0.170″
So Timney had some issues with its Tavor trigger originally. Many people saw problems with light primer strikes — mine would only ignite NATO primers like ~30% of the time and Russian steel cased ammo primers maybe ~60% of the time — and some folks had issues with “doubling” or even “going full auto” when running it suppressed. The Timney in this test is a new one and these issues are supposed to be resolved. Without a doubt, the light strikes are gone.
However, as you’ll see in the video, I still have problems with it “doubling” or “tripling” on me. It appears as though it basically resets the trigger forwards with some amount of force such that I’m actually still pulling it rearwards, which means it fires again immediately. This is essentially how the Tac-Con 3MR works, except the Timney doesn’t seem to kick the trigger forwards with as much force and I can’t get it to “bump fire” on purpose. Nor can I prevent it from “doubling” (or more) when I’m trying to shoot quickly.
Aside from this, which I could see people viewing as a positive selling point, the trigger is extremely good. The Timney is supposed to be a single stage and it’s basically as good as I imagine you can get that to happen in the Tavor. It’s incredibly short and crisp in every way, with only the tiniest possible bit of a flaw being an almost imperceptible amount of creep. The pull weight of 5.25 lbs is, in my opinion, ideal for a “battle” or self defense rifle. Overall, I think it’s a perfectly appropriate trigger for the Tavor.
The “doubling” on the Timney won’t bother everyone, and it may not actually do it at all if you aren’t shooting with a suppressor. For me, though, it knocks this trigger out of the running as the winner. It’s unfortunate, because, as mentioned, I really do think it’s ideally-suited for use in the Tavor.
That said, the two-stage triggers have a lot to offer. The owner of ShootingSight made a point to remind me that the M1 Garand, M14, and other excellent rifles were designed with two-stage triggers and that the design allows for both very rapid fire as well as the utmost in precision for slow, aimed shots. I did find this to be true with both the TAV-D and Geissele’s Super Sabra. They were both excellent for rested fire at longer ranges and they were both extremely fast.
It’s hard for me to pick a winner between these two, but I can describe where I see differences and tell you what I would purchase were I to receive a second Tavor and a gift certificate for the aftermarket trigger of my choice.
- The Geissele trigger travel is extremely short. Feels the closest of these to an electronic clicker (a la computer mouse). It might be the one for 3-Gun or other gun games.
- The ShootingSight is very short, but has a little more travel from sear to break to reset than the Geissele. The reset on the Geissele is great, but the ShootingSight click is noticeably stronger on my finger, and I like that.
- Despite having a slightly lighter break weight, the ShootingSight unit feels more appropriate for self defense type use. I’m not sure I can quantify this. It may be that the just slightly longer travel makes it seem like you have to be a bit more deliberate, or it may be the stronger reset or something about the feel of its break.
- Both ShootingSight examples (and the Timney) did install smoother than the Geissele. The pin holes in the Geissele are either tighter or spaced a bit differently and it required some wiggling around and a smack to the second pin, whichever one that was, to get it started. Very minor nit-pick here, as it’s still easy as pie to install.
- The Delrin-housed TAV-D is over an ounce lighter.
- From what I can tell, the quality on both is absolutely top notch. They’re both nice and smooth in every part of their travel. Clean, crisp breaks. No preference on any of these things.
Thanks to the design of the Tavor, the trigger pack can literally be swapped out in less than 10 seconds. This allowed me to go back and forth between all of these triggers many times over. As good as it gets for back-to-back testing.
So…which would I pick for a second Tavor?
I’d get another Delrin-housed TAV-D. It feels right to me. It’s less expensive than the other two brands by at least $35. I actually like the plastic housing. Now, I admit that I am most familiar with it as I have shot it the most behind the factory one, and that I have some penchant for leaning towards “the small guy” vs. a larger company. I do not feel like this is weighing on my “choice” here, but I want to be as transparent as possible. I’d go with the TAV-D because the length of its pull and the feel of its break and reset just feel “right.”