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The AK family of firearms was never built for comfort or accuracy, they were always designed to put a premium on rugged reliability and ease of manufacture. That’s great for American shooters who want a gun that goes bang every time, but it also means there are some issues. One of the chief complaints about the AK is that the trigger is fairly “meh”, and a lot of people believe that with a better trigger their AK could shoot better than it does. TAPCO makes a replacement trigger, but installation can be a pain. That’s where TAC-CON’s new trigger comes in: a drop-in cassette that makes an AK trigger job easy as pie . . .

There’s a reason that there are no drop-in replacement triggers for the AK series on the market, and that reason is the rifle’s safety. The AK series of firearms were manufactured to very loose tolerances, and as a result the latch safety on the various guns isn’t exactly the same size. Heck, even between guns in the same batch and same model number the safety isn’t always exactly uniform. This can be a problem when you’re trying to design a modern trigger for the gun because if you don’t get that safety engagement just right, the gun might be able to fire even with the safety engaged. Which would be bad.

That safety issue is why Timney is still in the drafting stages on their competing drop-in replacement trigger. They haven’t figured out how to make a safety for their trigger that will work with the hit-and-miss tolerances of the actual firearms while still providing that Timney look and feel. TAC-CON, on the other hand, think they have it nailed.

TAC-CON’s solution to the safety issue is a series of shims. They provide three sizes that should fit just about any gun in the world, but even so a little gunsmithing might be required.

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Installation of the trigger is a breeze. If you thought the AR-15 trigger system was simple, the AK trigger system is even better. Pop out two pins and the whole assembly flies out. From there, you simply slide the TAC-CON Raptor into the hole and slide the pins back in. The tricky part is getting that safety to work.

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Even with the thinnest safety tab, the trigger still wouldn’t fit in my gun. I guess my safety was just too big. In order to get everything to work, I had to break out my trusty Dremmel and remove some of the excess material from the bottom of the safety. And I mean “my Dremmel” in the same sense that Homer Simpson owns Ned Flanders’ lawnmower. I really should give that back…

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After a little living room gunsmithing, the trigger fit and worked as advertised. The trigger stays put in the gun and doesn’t wobble around, and provides a much more crisp and clean trigger pull than the original TAPCO trigger could ever hope to produce. It also looks nice and shiny, which is always a benefit.

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Running the trigger it feels like a good trigger should. The break is crisp and clean, and reset is very short. That short reset is a function of the TAC-CON assisted reset system, a design feature that first appeared in their original 3MR trigger for the AR-15 series. Personally, I don’t see the benefit of the assisted reset. Its not my thing. That said, the assisted reset feature doesn’t detract from the overall experience, so I’m willing to call it a wash on that front.

The reason for the name “Raptor” name was that the lead engineer was offered a challenge when designing the thing: if he could get it cranked out in 30 days, he’d get a free Ford Raptor. He did, and he did (you can actually see it in the promotional videos). But while the production cycle may have been a little rushed, the finished product feels solid and well polished. Installation is always going to be tricky with a gun built in countless different factories by unskilled laborers, but they’ve tried to make it as painless as possible. Once in the gun, the trigger functions as advertised. I had exactly zero issues with it (provided the safety was appropriately modified).

The question remains: is it worth the money? It costs over $100 less than the AR-15 version, but even at $349 that’s still basically half the price of the gun it slides into. Normally at this point I would compare the trigger to other similar products, but there really isn’t any competition yet. No one else makes a drop-in replacement trigger for the AK series that doesn’t require a whole bunch of assembly, and none of them are quite as crisp and clean as the TAC-CON trigger. They’re the first, and they’ve set the bar pretty darn high.

TAC-CON Raptor Trigger
MSRP: $349
Website: tacconusa.com

Ratings (out of five stars):

Ease of Use * *
Some minor Bubba gunsmithing required for most guns. Nothing that requires more than a Dremmel and five minutes of your time, but still a bit of a pain.

Feel & Function * * * *
It works as advertised. The break is crisp and clean, the trigger’s assisted reset works, and it functions. But your mileage may vary simply due to the inconsistent nature of the weapons platform.

Overall * * * *
It works, and it works well. My only reservations are the difficulty of getting the safety installed just right, and the price. When Timney comes out with their version, I expect it to retail right around $200 like everything else they make. But until then, TAC-CON is the only game in town.

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26 Responses to Gear Review: TAC-CON Raptor AK Replacement Trigger

  1. Are so triggers really that bad? The trigger on my zastava rivals the lightened qms trigger in my ar.

    • The triggers on both my AKs are Tapco G2s, right out of the box, dropped right in. Both of them are crisp and have clean breaks. One is a Yugo M70 UF- made by skilled workers on average equipment, while the other is an Egyptian Maadi- made by skilled orangutans on great equipment. Both were absolutely no issues. I can’t picture spending an extra $300+ for almost zero benefit. Also, neither required I attack the safety with a dremel…

    • Big difference in AK triggers. Both of my Zastavas (M85NP and M92) are very, very light. The M85NP being a hair above 3# with a very crisp break. The first time I shot it I was floored by how light and crisp it was.

      The triggers on my Veprs appear to have been made out of rough-cut iron, and made for silverback gorillas to use. Triggers pulls range from 9-13# and are akin to dragging a squalling cat across a rug while it digs in its claws.

      My Arsenal falls somewhere in between.

      I’d love to get a good, crisp trigger for my .308 Vepr. Not paying $349 for one though.

      • Look closlier young man. Closlier.
        There are the same amount of springs as in an AR. They are just made differently.
        A TAPCO G2 or any AK trigger/FCG is NOT anymore of a pain to install than an AR FCG.
        If you want a pain, try to install a Saiga BHO after doing FCG work.
        THAT will make you want to you slice your own throat with a dull spoon.

        The G2 is a 3.5 lb 2 stage trigger.
        Honestly, not much to complain about.

    • I know right, he says g2 triggers are hard to install and then starts talking about dremels and shims for the tac con..

      Lawlz.

    • I don’t see how an ak trigger would be a difficult installation. If there was a trigger in there and you put another one in it shouldn’t be bad. I guess that’s just me. I prefer the retainer plates over the shepherd hook deal though. I don’t see how people find the hammer installation difficult either for what it’s worth. I guess when you build your own ak you get to understand it.
      On another note. I want a better trigger but not for over 300 and that’s not just for my ak. I would find 300 a hard sell on anything besides a completely custom $2k+ build or like a numbers matching tula krink.

  2. I have done 10-15 min of work on the triggers in my Mini Draco and my Saiga AK and they both have excellent triggers. I used the JTE mainspring and some filing and polishing. The Saiga has a 3# trigger that is very crisp the mini Draco I left at 4#. Both the triggers are nicer than any of my regular AR triggers and worlds nicer than my HK G3/ MP5 triggers. I don’t really buy the AK trigger being hard to get nice.

  3. I had no problem installing a TAPCO trigger in an AK. Took a few minutes and done. There was really no problem in doing it at all. After I installed it – the trigger was noticeably better – but the accuracy didn’t really change.

    It’s an AK. It’s designed for the absolute best reliability – at the cost of minute of bad guy.

    • It better be at least minute of bad guy at 300yrd or you have something wrong. With an optic i would expect minute of bad guys tummy at 300yrd at least.

    • For me the biggest problem was getting the locking plate the trigger and the safety all in at the same time.

      Another comaint I have is with enthusiastic shooting some times the ends of the hammer spring slide off the trigger and then the trigger won’t reset automatically

  4. I have the TAC-CON 3MR trigger in my AR-15 and I have been extremely pleased with it. I picked it up on Amazon, of all places, for $349. They seem to make quality products, though they are a little pricey.

  5. My Tapco G2 trigger for my AK build was minimally polished with a rotary file, and it breaks clean somewhere around 3-4 lbs. The AK trigger group installs with a minimal to a moderate amount of difficulty, at least in my case.

  6. TAPCO triggers hard to install?? If you can’t install a G2 trigger, you shouldn’t be shooting. My Arsenal SAM7R came with the stock trigger and it sucked, I installed the G2 in 5 minutes and it’s awsome. I love the trigger. Would never spend $350 on a trigger for an AK.

  7. Did I really just read a trigger review that didn’t involve the use of a trigger pull gauge? Maybe I missed it, because that would even lazier than spending 350 on a trigger because you don’t want to mess with a few springs installing an excellent G2.

  8. What a waste of money imho. the AK is not a “performance shooting” platform to begin with so it’s kind of asinine which is probably more of the reason than assuming most buyers can’t file down some material to make the safety fit. But if I understand the desire to make the best out of what you got, which is why I do trigger jobs on everything. Even on the Am you can get light and fairly crisp trigger yourself with a little work on the tapco trigger. You can buy a foreign trigger assembly for under $10 to practice if you’re the type that thinks more is more and inevitably will take too much material off the first go around. Polish and file to reprofile the hook and/or sear until you get th desired function. You can also remove over travel with a dab of weld or braze or even jb weld if it came down to it. I can only imagine spending 350 bucks on ammo to practice and doing your own trigger job will have you shooting better than the drop in. Before anyone says “not everyone can do a basic trigger job” … Yes, anyone can and frankly if you wanted to and can’t it means you don’t understand the principal operation of your firearm. There is nothing magical about plain old single stage triggers.

  9. It’s reviews like this that make me disregard any information this website offers. I am not sure of the format, but I am guessing anyone can submit a review, because few – if any – of the reviewers know what they are talking about.

  10. What a colossal waste of money! Anything to make a buck today. Anyone that buys this is a joke of a person. If you need a better ak trigger grab a alg. This is by far the dumbest upgrade for any firearm on the market ever, number one goof accessory of alltime.

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