Timney Trigger Tavor Trigger Group
The IWI Tavor battle rifle was a great addition to the field of tactical firearms. It is a bullpup design, so you get a really short and handy rifle, without having to register a “Short Barreled Rifle,” or SBR.” Short barreled rifles have their limitations. The barrel being so short, you tend to get a giant muzzle flash, a loud boom, and you lose a substantial amount of velocity because much of the gunpowder burns outside the barrel. Along came the Tavor, which has a full 16″ barrel, doesn’t require an SBR tax stamp, and you don’t have to wait 6 months for it while the BATFE reviews your paperwork. The big problem with the gun is that it has a dreadful trigger. Rather than do yet another review on the basic Tavor, replete with trigger complaints, we found a way to solve the problem with a new sear group from the folks at Timney Trigger. Their $352 completely self contained drop-in sear group solves the problem with the Tavor. Is it worth the investment to improve this otherwise awesome rifle? You be the judge.
The problem with bullpup triggers is that the firing mechanism has to reside in the back of the gun, under your cheek, while you have to of course pull the trigger much more forward. This means that there has to be some kind of linkage between the forward trigger and the rear mechanism. And that is where bullpups run into trouble. The Tavor falls into the same trap that many other rifles do. They try to do too much work with that transfer bar. I haven’t taken apart the guts of it, but you can feel that in the 11 pound or so trigger pull of a stock Tavor, the pull is doing something in the back of the stock, and it is doing too much.
The Timney answer to this is to use some kind of lever system to both shorten and lighten the pull, yet be able to reliably fire the weapon. The result is a drop in sear box that makes the trigger pull very, very short, with very little travel at all. It breaks at about 4 pounds, and the reset on the trigger is less than a 1/4 of an inch, possibly as little as a tenth of an inch. You are not replacing the trigger. As you can see from the pictures, the Tavor has a very easy, no tools, two pin system that was clearly made to provide easy access to aftermarket trigger groups. You push the pins to the left with a bullet tip, open the hatch, pull out the sear group, drop in the new sear group, close the hatch, push the pins, and you now have a fantastic, crisp and light Tavor trigger.
Where this is going to most effect your shooting is in rapid fire offhand shooting. The trigger feels just like my Springfield XD-M the way it resets with almost no let off. The Tavor doesn’t recoil much because, with a full magazine and tactical sight, it weighs 10 pounds. With the new Timney sear group you can really just hold it on target and bang bang bang without much effort.
Bench rested long range shooting didn’t show much improvement. As with all of our reviews, we try to stay in the real world and test guns the way people use them. Therefore we tested for accuracy using an EOtech holographic sight and the EOTech G33 3x magnifier When you dial the brightness back on the sight it is fairly easy to shoot at 100 yards with some precision, and it is far more precise than iron sights at that distance. The Tavor is not known as a rock star in the accuracy department, but there was a lot of speculation from initial reviewers that the accuracy testing suffered due to the dreadful trigger. That is not the case. Like so many other battle rifles, the Tavor just doesn’t have inherently great accuracy. This is probably due to the design, which as a actual battle rifle being used today, was created for reliability, not precision. You can’t have both when it comes to firearms, and this gun was created to be used in the blowing sands of the Middle East. Using a Caldwell Lead-Sled, the trigger pull isn’t as cumbersome as when you are just standing and firing a rifle offhand. The crisp and light Timney trigger did little to improve the better than AK but worse than most ARs fair to midlin accuracy of the Tavor SAR. It generally shoots rested into about 2-3″ at 100 yards. Many would argue that a real scope with magnification would improve this some, but this is primarily a close quarters battle rifle hello.
The only issue I have with this trigger replacement is that I take issue with IWI. This trigger swap out was clearly part of the design, not because the sear is prone to breakage or wear, but because the designers knew that it needed a different idea for the trigger. When you see how ridiculously easy it is to remove and replace this pre-packaged sear group, you will have a very bad taste in your mouth about the rifle that you paid probably well over $1000 for. Who wants to pay $350 more dollars for their rifle to make the trigger simply acceptable? Granted, a lot of us install AR-15 “drop-in” triggers, but only because we want a good rifle with a decent trigger to be even better. The worst AR triggers I have seen are on out of the box Colt rifles, and even those are easily twice as good as the stock trigger on the Tavor. It was a challenge to get the trigger to measure within the range that my electronic trigger gauge even measures.
This is, however, the ideal configuration for the Tavor I think. With an EOTech (or copy), a magnifier, and the Timney sear group there is no better close quarters battle rifle, that can also reach out and touch a target in the 100-200 yard range, which is really the effective range of the cartridge. Plenty of people pay much more than the cost of a basic Tavor and the Timney sear for a fancy AR-15. My beef with IWI stands, but you could view it in that light I guess. This is going to be my ready rifle now. We had originally gotten our test gun from IWI months later than most reviews came out, and it had sat since, because there is no real point in just whining about the trigger again. This Timney sear is a huge development in the story of the Tavor. Why is it $352? Timney is a small company and they can only make so many. This is no piece of plastic you can stamp out for pennies. CNC probably cuts the basic pieces, but these are hand assembled and tuned after that. Ultimately it is supply and demand. The Tavor is a hot gun, and an expensive gun, and the sear transforms it into possibly the best battle rifle on the planet for the money. That’s worth $352.