As we covered a few days ago, Mossberg purchased the patent held by CMC Triggers protecting the idea of a self-contained, drop-in fire control group that uses the factory trigger pin and hammer pin and has begun suing manufacturers of drop-in AR-15 triggers for infringement. At the NRA Annual Meetings I spoke with a few manufacturers who insisted that there was significant “prior art” well before CMC’s patent, meaning that triggers operating in this manner had existed for many years already. To use this as a defense they have to prove it’s actually true. Well, here’s the very best example I’ve seen so far . . .
These photos are from a book called The Ruger 1022 Exotic Weapons System, published in 1989, and the relevant text is as follows (bold added by me):
To convert the original closed-bolt, hammer-fired design of the 1022 rifle to an open-bolt system, a new trigger mechanism must be incorporated. In considering the conversion, the main priority became simplicity of manufacture and no modification of the receiver or the trigger housing. Able to meet these requirements is our super-compact trigger mechanism, which is assembled as one unit and which can be installed or removed in a matter of seconds after the gun is stripped. The selective-fire converter is a “drop-in” type neatly assembled in one compact subgroup consisting of the sear and trigger assembly… a small rectangular-shaped sheet metal housing contains the entire trigger group in a single compact unit. This unit is easily hand formed using improvised dies. This arrangement allows the converter unit to be inserted as a pack inside the original trigger housing plate once all the trigger components have been removed…the converter unit is inserted inside the frame and is secured in place by the original trigger and ejector pin…”
This is as close to exactly describing the CMC trigger as I have seen so far. Not only is it a stamped sheetmetal housing, but it re-uses the factory pins, which is the crux of the CMC-now-Mossberg patent. Will examples such as this undercut Mossberg’s position in their suits against other drop-in trigger makers? Watch this space.
EDIT: This patent is even closer, as it includes hollow bushings through which the receiver pins pass, and FCG parts pivot on those bushings.