If there’s one trigger worse than the stock mil-spec AR-15 trigger, it’s the AK-47 trigger. There are almost no redeeming qualities about the feel of the trigger besides its awesome reliability. Now Timney Triggers has embarked on a quest to save the AK-47 from its trigger by designing a drop-in replacement kit that will one day be available to the public. It’s not quite ready for prime time yet, though. I had an opportunity to talk to the designer who runs the CAD software — a man by the name of Calvin — about the challenges involved in designing a trigger for the most mass produced firearm in the history of the world ever, and apparently there are quite a few . . .
The root of the problem seems to stem from either a lack of quality control or simply minor variations between manufacturers.
While every Remington 700 rifle, for instance, was made by the same company and every AR-15 is made from the same specs, the AK-47 was designed and produced in an environment where precision machining wasn’t at the top of the list of things to invest in. Add to that the fact that the rifles have been produced at a number of different plants all over the world over the years and you can see where variations in pin size and location can lead to headaches down the road. The original AK trigger pack was designed to work with those variations, but when you’re making something that’s intended to be a precision item, that variation can present problems.
The best example of this is the safety selector switch. The location and size of that lever can vary pretty wildly from one rifle to the next, so getting it just right for every gun is a challenge. So much of one, in fact, that the folks at Timney are designing their own safety lever to install in AKs along with their trigger. A known safety makes all the difference, and allows the trigger to properly function.
There are still some hurdles for the Timney Triggers team to overcome before the part makes it to market, but given their track record I’m pretty confident that they will work out the bugs. In the meantime, back to my Tapco trigger.