By David Higginbotham
Tactical Fire Control, Inc.
The Tac-Con trigger is way more than it appears. Yes, it allows you to blow through magazines full of 5.56. It doesn’t make your AR full-auto, but no one from the liberal media would be able to tell the difference. Once you’ve worked through a couple of thousand rounds and gotten the sheer joy of playing with the trigger out of your system, you’ll begin to see the 3MR’s real potential. It may be the most versatile AR trigger that exists.
When Tac-Con invited a passel of gun writers out to Phoenix to shoot the 3MR, I was dubious. I thought it was an attempt to control the message. I thought we’d get to shoot some and get a factory tour, but I assumed that everything would be closely monitored. Nothing could have been farther from the truth. They brought us in, fed us well, and turned us loose on the Ben Avery Gun Range with a truck full of ARs and 15,000 rounds of 5.56.
We did get a factory tour. I’m a sucker for a good CNC machine. I like it even better when there are honest-to-God craftsmen with band saws and belt sanders chopping up metal and making a hell-of-a-mess. We watched several parts of the 3MR in production. From the milling of the aluminum bodies to the turning of pins, the plant lived up to my expectations. Machines the size of automobiles were cranking out levers the size of sunflower seeds.
What happened next was truly unexpected. The Tac-Con crew spread out parts and walked us through the assembly of the 3MR. They didn’t want us to simply shoot up their ammo, they wanted us to understand the mechanisms, how each part worked, and how to put them together.
Back on the range, I had a much easier time with the trigger. I’ll go back to the beginning here and talk about speed. The 3MR is as fast as you are. You do have to pull the trigger for each round to fire. But in the third mode, the 3MR flies. The reset is incredibly short. It is predictable, crisp, and it allows for a fluttering of the trigger finger that will flat out empty a magazine. Still, if you intend to fire 30 rounds, you will have to twitch the trigger 30 times.
So let’s try out some analogies. These would be good for the revised vocabulary section of the SATs. The Tac-Con 3MR is like a Ferrari. It isn’t an Indy car (that would be a select fire rifle). The Tac-Con is to a Ferrari as the mil-spec trigger is to a Ford F-150.
It isn’t Indy car fast, but it is fast. We were regularly getting 30 rounds on target in under five seconds. Closer to four. And when I say on target, that’s what I mean. The feat is impossible with a mil-spec trigger. We tried. We had rock-solid triggers from some of the best AR manufacturers and we could close in on six seconds, but the spreads were much tighter than with the 3MR.
There was a break-in period. Not for the trigger, but for the shooter. It took me close to 300 rounds to get really efficient with the 3MR. Other writers there were both faster and slower to pick it up. I saw every grip imaginable. Multiple stances. The best analogy I’ve been able to come up with (and it isn’t as strong as I’d like) is that it is like those Magic-Eye hidden pictures that were so popular back in the late 80s. You look and look and look into what appears to be just random geometric shapes. When you finally allow your eyes to relax, a simple image leaps off the page in startling 3D. That’s how the trigger works. I stuttered and had false starts, and then it clicked. I stopped choking the pistol grip and tightened up on the forend. I allowed my trigger finger to relax through the reset and roll back into the next shot and the magazine emptied.
That, though, is the novelty. And it is a novelty. Full-auto mag dumps are really only good for Hollywood and suppressive fire. The Tac-Con trigger has three positions: safe, semi-auto, and adrenaline. Even though the pull is 4.5 pounds, the trigger feels more like a light 3. The springy feel of a mil-spec trigger, after firing the Tac-Con, feels like crap. A reset that used to be manageable now feels like the last mile of a marathon. I hate my AR’s trigger now. In the three weeks since I’ve been back from Phoenix, I’ve stopped taking my rifle to the range. It simply feels unmanageable.
So that’s the message. The Tac-Con will spoil you. Not because it is an elaborate toy. The opposite. Once you get past the mag-dumps, you’ll see. That was the second day on the range. We set up targets with very specific goals in mind. We ran tactical drills for hours, just as we would with any rifles, and measured the results. We switched out the mil-spec triggers and put them back and took them out again, all to see how fast we could accomplish specific drills. In every case, the split times were smaller with the 3MR. Because the trigger is so crisp, accuracy increased. And if you wanted to reach out and spank a steel plate at 200 yards, it was stupid easy.
We’re getting a 3MR in for an actual review. When it arrives, we’ll get into the technical details of this wizardry. We’ll run it against a good mil-spec trigger, with a variety of shooters, and see just how much of a difference the trigger makes. And we’ll tell what we find, so stay tuned.
Here is the video that Tac-Con put together after the event.