This article originally appeared at SHWAT.com and is re-published here with permission.
An involuntary grin hits me as we’re filming the documentary for this Grandpa’s Gun Reborn project. No doubt the idea was cool, and the top tier companies that have signed on to be a part of turning a bland bare bones bolt action into a seriously top tier precision rifle is evidence of that. But good intentions are only so much fun.
It’s game on, now, and the excitement is getting real. In Part One of this story, I introduced you to the project. Grandpa’s .30-06 Remington 700 never really inspired. I know, it’s sad for some that a rifle with great tradition and widely regarded as a great platform failed to move me, but it is what it is. My hunting life has been all semi automatic carbines, mostly AR-15s in different calibers, different configurations. They’ve served me well for mid range and up close tactical hog hunting. For that matter, they’ve served me well for rabbits, deer, snakes… What’s not to like?
Like many, I did some searching around for a solution and discovered Timney Triggers. As a neophyte, I was able to drop them into my gun and those of friends. They were crisp and a dramatic improvement over the entry level stock triggers we were used to pulling. Everyone was happy.
Fast forward a few years. I’d not spent much time with the Grandpa’s gun, an ultra basic Remington 700. There was nothing about it that stood out to me, functionally or aesthetically. I could hit the gong at 200 yards, but there was nothing about the gun that inspired me to buy ammo for it. There was nothing particularly wrong with it either. It was just bland, and I’d grown accustomed to higher quality components. Then I remembered that Timney made triggers for these guns. My thoughts then jumped to optics, and then the Cadex Defense chassis I’d been introduced to on the King’s Arsenal .50 BMG XKaliber. Rapidly, the concept of turning Grandpa’s gun into a tactical long range precision gun for hog sniping sprang to life. I talked to Timney personnel at SHOT Show, and they were all over it. Timney is a natural fit for this project. They’ve been making triggers long enough that Grandpa could have used them. Founded in 1946 by World War II veteran Allen Timney, there’s a history of transforming rifles there. Timney turned old military rifles into hunting rifles. Triggers were a part of that process. Today, the Timney 510 trigger we used for the Remington 700 is second in sales only to their AR-15 trigger.
Though Allen Timney sold his business to the Vehr family in 1981, it remains a family owned shop run by the second generation of Vehrs. Their stated commitment is to produce modular triggers with a light consistent pull for accurate shots at any distance. According to Timney’s Kevin “T-Bone” Dee, the modular trigger concept answered the need to market a high quality, adjustable trigger that just about anyone could install on their own.
So why an upgraded trigger? “People work so hard to lighten the rifle and bed the stock, get the right optic,” Dee explains. “When the moment of truth comes it all boils down to putting the cross hairs on the target and squeezing that trigger. The crisper and cleaner the trigger, the easier it is to stay on target, especially at longer distances.”
I decided to start the rebuild of this gun with a trigger for a couple of reasons. First, in the Grandpa’s Gun Reborn project, we want to show what is possible for the countless numbers of people who have a neglected gun collecting dust. We want to show what’s possible to make it better, and exciting to own and shoot.
A quality drop-in trigger that is easily installed and relatively inexpensive can really put a smile on the shooter’s face. Does it make the rifle better? It does not make the rifle more mechanically accurate, but it makes it more user friendly. The crisp clean pull and break really do make staying on target and getting the hit you intended easier. The net result is improved accuracy downrange.
The Timney 510 trigger is readily available for around $130. It comes set with a three pound trigger pull, but you can contact the factory and request any weight pull between 1.5 and 4 pounds. I requested two and half pounds, and the scale says it’s right on.
Before it ships from the factory, every Timney trigger is put on an action and tested. The original Remington factory trigger used up all of our 72 ounce scale and maybe then some. The new trigger is roughly half the weight of the factory trigger, and uses a trigger block safety. And the Timney has zero creep. Yep, zero. Crisp. Exactly what I’d envisioned.
While almost anyone could install this trigger, I enlisted Jordan King, custom gun builder and president of King’s Arsenal, as technical advisor on this project. Saturday morning Jordan and I headed out to the range to film the installation of the Timney and the replacement of the gnarly old scope with a Nightforce NSX scope (more on the Nightforce in Part Three!).
Cameras rolling, in no time at all we had the Timney installed and the Nightforce mounted. Mounting the trigger essentially involves tapping the front and rear retaining pins out just far enough to remove and replace the trigger assembly, then tapping them back in. The Timney trigger is slightly wider than the stock trigger, and grooved, giving you a stronger point of contact on its surface when it’s time to shoot. Occasionally this might require opening up the channel where the trigger protrudes through the stock. In any case, it’s a very simple process with great results.
This is where it gets funny – After installing a new trigger, what would you do? You’d check for 33rd time that the chamber is empty, and you’d pull the trigger, of course. That’s what we did, followed by huge grins and congratulatory laughter at how awesome this will make the formerly boring rifle – as if it was some great accomplishment on our part to put it in. But it wasn’t, and you can easily do the same thing. In reality, the excitement was about the result, that sweet crisp click.
Now, it’s trigger time as we zero the Nightforce. I lay my Blackhawk Long Gun Pack Mat shooting mat on what’s left of some never harvested Coastal hay. Resting the now exciting rifle on a Harris bipod, I load my DRT .30-06 ammo. I sure wish Grandpa’s Gun accepted box magazines (oh wait, it will, stay tuned!).
As I begin shooting, I have flashbacks to being a kid in the Texas 4-H Shooting Sports Program. I was taught that a proper squeeze of the trigger would make the break a surprise. Carefully squeezing this trigger, I’m delighted when the break surprises me!
Jordan and I shot numerous groups on this windy west Texas day to see what kind of accuracy we could get. Winds were thirty miles per hour with gusts substantially higher. Our consistent results were 2 MOA (minutes of angle), pretty disappointing, honestly. I went out a few days later and shot it at 1 MOA, and am much happier. Once I go through the Precision Rifle class at Tac Pro Shooting Center, I know I’ll be a lot better. And once we swap out of the factory stock into the Cadex Defense Strike Dual chassis, the gun will be better.
So the question at this point is, this: Will I have time to get a wild hog with this setup before trading the old factory stock for the state of the art Cadex Defense Strike Dual chassis…?