Tac-Con’s Raptor AK Trigger–SHOT Show 2015

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We’re at SHOT Show this week, in balmy Las Vegas, Nevada. On the range today, we met up with the Tac-Con folks again. Their Raptor AK trigger is smoking fast, and it has improved safety features that were still in development the last time I saw it.

Here’s some new footage I shot today. My original review of the trigger is below for those of you just catching up. Speaking of catching up…. Don’t expect anything else from Tac-Con at SHOT show–they’re headed home tomorrow to get back to work. They’ve got orders to fill.

And now, on with the original.

I first ran across Tac-Con at the SHOT show last year. And back in March I spent two days in Phoenix with them, blowing through .223 with Tac-Con’s 3MR. The trigger is incredibly fast, and surprisingly agile, too, which is the true appeal of it. Zipping through mag after mag in around 4 seconds can make you giddy. But mags dumps are just a novelty. Fun, yes, but if that’s all there was to Tac-Con, I’d still be giddy, but I wouldn’t be writing this.

The R&D Raptor, from Tac-Con, is a drop in for AK pattern rifles.

The R&D Raptor, from Tac-Con, is a drop in for AK pattern rifles.

It isn’t all there is. The Tac-Con trigger, as I hear it called, has much more going for it. The 4.5 pound AR drop in trigger feels more like a 3 pound pull. It is clean, consistent, and allows for really responsive double taps. You can put multiple rounds on target in the same time it would have previously taken you to get one round on target. And that’s the tactical advantage of the 3MR. You don’t need full auto, or even a burst mode when you can accomplish the same thing, accurately, with your finger.

The Two New Triggers

The Raptor. And now they’re releasing an AK trigger, the Raptor, which I’ve just gotten to shoot in its late R&D phase. The trigger has a 4.5 pound pull, and an assisted reset, just like the 3MR. It fits in AK pattern rifles, and in Saiga shotguns.

How does it run? Fast. As this is the AK, it is completely different from the AR trigger, both in feel and speed. The AK rates of fire aren’t as fast. As responsive, but not as fast. This comes from the increased recoil energy in the AK platform and the speed of the bolt. It isn’t the trigger, but the gun. Yet it is still much faster than a typical AK trigger. You can actually run the Raptor faster than the bolt on a Century AK. It is odd, after shooting the 3MR in ARs, to have to mentally slow down to keep pace with the gun.

The guts of an AK have much looser tolerances than the insides of an AR. But the Raptor will bridge the gaps.

The guts of an AK have much looser tolerances than the insides of an AR. But the Raptor will bridge the gaps.

After two long days of shooting, I was increasing my hit rate and speed with the Raptor. A lot of the media guys I was shooting with are die-hard AR guys, and they bitched endlessly about the AK platform. Understood. I’m a bit nostalgic for my Cold War childhood, and I prefer the AK to the AR. I’m not going to claim it offers tactical superiority, or better performance, but the Raptor may change some of that.

The 3MR requires trigger control. I find that speed increases with a light, precise touch. The Raptor is different. Getting most of my finger inside the guard allowed for faster follow-up shots, as I was gripping the hell out of the entire gun. A good choke hold helps keep the gun down and the rounds heading in the right direction.

The 241. Fans of the 3MR have even more to celebrate. The 241 is essentially a 3MR with a two-stage trigger in the third position. Instead of the the safe-single-assisted reset pattern of the 3MR, the 241 has safe-assisted reset-two stage. This is, frankly, brilliant. I never use the middle position on my 3MR. I’m either safe or on assisted reset, but that requires a 180 degree flip of the AR’s selector. Now that 180 flip gets you a two stage trigger that breaks at one pound.

The Tac-Con 241. Safe--assisted reset--two stage (with 1 pound break).

The Tac-Con 241. Safe–assisted reset–two stage (with 1 pound break).

The 241 is so versatile. We ran drills that combined close range targets, followed by 100 yard hostage targets. The same carbines could go from 25 yard targets in rapid fire mode, to long range shots on a 6″ flipper with the simple movement of the selector. While I recognize that this is possible with any decent carbine, it is much faster with the precision of the 241’s two stage trigger. So fast in fact that it is almost easy.

I ran this same drill with the AK trigger, and with iron sights. It was harder. It took me six shots to flip the plate at 100 yards. But that’s the way it goes. AK bias? I think so. The 241 triggers were in rifles that cost more than the truck I drive, most equipped with cans and excellent optics. The AKs–well, lets just say that the AKs were a bit more pedestrian. Even so, the Raptor was a noticeable improvement.

Prices

The other news is that the 3MR and the 241 will both be more competitively priced. They should come in at $395. The Raptor will be slightly less, at $349.

The price reduction takes out a significant amount of the criticism aimed at Tac-Con. Is the trigger worth the price? I think it is. It is versatile and fast. Even the 3MR, with just the semi-auto and the assisted-reset semi-auto modes is worth it. Add in the extra two stage trigger, and there’s no more complete AR trigger on the market. There may be better single stage triggers (if you judge “better” by lighter breaks), but I haven’t seen anything that comes close to this level of versatility.

A/B testing AKs with the Raptor triggers. We were shooting R&D guns--the Saiga 12 didn't even have a trigger guard.

A/B testing AKs with the Raptor triggers. We were shooting R&D guns–the Saiga 12 didn’t even have a trigger guard.

Tac-Con’s trigger hasn’t been out for a full year, yet, and I’ve had a lot of questions about how well it runs, and how hard it is to learn. There is a learning curve. I burned up a lot of ammo getting it down. I’ve seen other shooters pick it up and go. The shooters who I’ve seen who can’t master it typically have other problems working against them, like poor trigger control or a tendency to slap. I’d say it is a bit like learning to ride a bike–rough at first, then completely liberating.

The question remains: will AK shooters get behind the Raptor the way AR shooters have lined up for the 3MR? AKs, as a general rule, don’t lend themselves to customization and modification the way the AR does. And $349 may be more than half the cost of some AKs.

We pushed the limits of the test guns we had on the range. We had two Century AKs, one milled and one stamped. We shot the stocks loose, repeatedly. We burned out the inside of the handguards. I’m not talking open flames, but steady charring. Lots of good smoke. Even with steady maintenance and Lock-Tight, we were pushing the guns’ limits. The trigger, though–never faltered.

Tac-Con. These guys had a stunning debut last year. I can’t think of another company that makes guns this much fun, while also making them tactically more efficient. Once you are past the initial novelty of the speed, you open up a new set of possibilities.

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Steve Warren August 8, 2016, 4:08 pm

    When I finally broke down and bought an AK (several years ago, right after Obama got elected) I found two things remarkable about the AK-47:
    First, though it seemed 100% reliable, what a total piece of junk it was.
    Number two, how good the stock trigger actually was.
    Yeah, for $350 I believe I’ll be leaving mine stock.

  • Lou Carr April 26, 2015, 5:25 pm

    What a piece of junk and a ripoff. It fails to perform in any manner whatsoever. Placed one in a US M4 lower, the one specially designed for it with the full auto switch and NOTHING. Went thru 240 rounds and NOTHING.

    WASTE OF $400.

  • bill January 20, 2015, 5:22 pm

    I might be in for one at $200. That would be it though. I have other aks beside 762 chambered ones namely 5.45 and 556 and those may be interesting with this trigger.

  • Russ January 20, 2015, 3:58 pm

    Seriously AK owners.
    Who needs it?

  • John Van Zandt January 20, 2015, 1:53 pm

    For $350 you could buy a case of ammo and learn to use your existing trigger system. I do not see this going very far at the current price. Most of the shooters I know have trouble scraping money together for ammo alone.

  • kenny D January 20, 2015, 11:40 am

    Way to big a price for a trigger! Mine shoots plenty fast enough with the stock trigger. Why over price it when they could get 10 times the orders if it was priced reasonable?

  • Guy Smalley January 2, 2015, 6:39 am

    As a owner of a few full auto machine guns i will say if the trigger cost is bothering you wait til you see your ammo cost lol just look at the vid 20 shells in 4 secs etc its a hoot but don’t think its the trigger thats expensive. Buying bulk helps and with the collectable weapons i have i would shoot them in bursts anyways . Lastly i just can’t help thinking the ATF is going to have a long look at it which maybe they have. My personal feeling having a Sagia 12 that is amazingly fast shooting stock for home defense, if you have the money for your ak ammo is cheap compared to 50cal so have fun

  • mikelasnicov December 31, 2014, 12:56 pm

    I want one of these triggers for both my AR and AK but, when I see something like this I get a picture in my mind of what it’s worth and what I’m picturing here is about $150.00. That’s about the most I would pay. I think if they would market these things for around that price I think they would sell so many times more of them that they would probably make more money. Actually I think it should be $100.00 for the single stage and $150.00 for the two stage, There has to be a way to mass produce them with good enough quality to get the price more reasonable. At that price I would even be OK with it needing a little bit of hand fitment. In the mean time I’ll just polish up what I have and be content with it. I’m going to get the $65.00 nitride coated version of ALG from Geissele’s wife for my AR that I’m building. My Norinco Mak 90 already has an excellent trigger and if I polish it up it should be really nice.

  • 260shooter November 4, 2014, 8:58 pm

    I’d rather have 1 well placed shot at 1000yds as 30 all over at 25yds. For $200 tax stamp you can have the “Real McCoy”!

    • mikelasnicov December 31, 2014, 1:01 pm

      $200.00 tax stamp does not get you the real McCoy. It only allows you to buy the real McCoy, which tend to run closer to $10,000 and up. If it were anything like you describe we would all have select fire weapons.

  • Michael Spacco November 4, 2014, 11:02 am

    I am a R&D Engineer and in the process of building special AR’s & AK’s for my collection. Now I’m talking about ground up builds and custom paint jobs. I fine tune my firearms like a NASA Rocket and I did work for NASA. I have tried a lot of supposed full auto slaps or slide fires and found with my well tuned system I can reach the same effects without spending all that money. Yea I would love to try a Tac-Con and test the complete results but at $349.00 a pop is a lot to spend on a maybe. A good trigger without all the unnecessary slop is a must for a well tuned firearm. Send me one no charge, and if it passes my expectations I’ll climb aboard. With a full you tube not someone shouting off a lot of nowhere rounds along with their mouths. Tac-Con impress me!!

  • O23 November 4, 2014, 9:17 am

    Wow! That is a hell of a lot of money for a trigger…even if it’s a great trigger-and if it’s 450ish like that guy said…forget it, learn how to shoot.
    Your 1/3 of the way to(another) a decent gun or 1/2 way to decent glass…yikes that price is scary!!

  • Kyle November 3, 2014, 9:58 pm

    350 bones for a trigger for my $500 AK, I don’t think so, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it

  • Peyton November 3, 2014, 12:59 pm

    What a waste of precious ammunition. I don’t get this attraction to full auto which this is not anyway. The idea is to hit the enemy and stop him before he stops you. Semi auto fire accomplishes this best. There are few tactical applications to full auto fire that is why the US went to 3 shot burst many years ago and dropped full auto on the M4-M16 series. Besides with $350 or so you could buy ammo, or another type firearm, a more sensible decision no matter what you might be preparing for.

    • D.P. Nash November 3, 2014, 1:42 pm

      Your observations and conclusion make more sense than anything else I’ve read about this product.

    • Don November 3, 2014, 11:44 pm

      I like full-auto for the fun of it. In the real world, unless you are driving a belt fed machinegun, the semi-autos do all I want. I would not have complained if the Army had issued semi-auto M16s, A good AR15 is useful. We fought WW2 and Korea with M1 rifles and carbines. Our fighting men did a good job.
      Look at how our elite military operators use their rifles/carbines. Most having the selector on semi-auto. It really makes sense.
      I have used the M16A1 and MP5A2 a bunch. Probably close to putting 35,000 rounds through the MP5s. Much of that was delivering single shots, even with the selector set to FA. (SEF model). Training a lot makes FA less useful. It is fun to see clusters of copper on night shoots. We would set the patrol cars as if on a traffic stop or felony take down, as the bullets pass through the light, they show up well against the black background. I’d have one today if they had not gotten so expensive.

    • Bill January 20, 2015, 10:37 am

      You’re making an assumption that this trigger was soley designed to approach auto fire rates and that is the only reason someone would buy it. I can’t blame a lot of people for scoffing at this since they have marketed it as such which is unfortunate.

      Using this trigger in the proper manner allows you easily place 2-3 accurate shots in the time it would normally take to place one. That is how I almost always use it. 2-3rnd highly accurate and fast bursts. I’ve been able to just make a mockery of the others I’m shooting with in this regard.

      I will admit that I have played with shooting some mags off as fast as possible for the occasional fun aspect, and it is quite fun. Fun though it may be, that part of it is just a novelty and egregious waste of ammo and $$.

  • Dom November 3, 2014, 11:56 am

    Would have considered buying one but after visiting the Tac-con sight and seeing a price hike to $495.0 figure I’ll wait for someone who cannot learn to use it and buy it used.

  • Ken November 3, 2014, 10:40 am

    Watching the slow motion part of the Saiga video, it still looks like he is lifting his finger from the trigger. I tuned my wife’s Saiga and she can empty her drum at about that speed. her first test fire of the tuned version had her firing 2 rounds before she even realized it. Now that she has re-established her finger trigger control I taught her, she can rip through as many as she needs under full control. I just can’t see paying $350 for a trigger group that costs a little less than half of what I paid for her gun.

  • W. H. Bill Smith November 3, 2014, 10:14 am

    I have a Saiga .308, any chance these new triggers will work in my 308?

  • Danial J. Kleczka November 3, 2014, 9:32 am

    I am a little disappointed as you did not say how much it costs?

  • Jimmy November 3, 2014, 8:27 am

    I ordered a Tac-con after saw it advertised as “in stock, shipped the next day”. Even though my credit card was charged the next day, I never received the product. Phone messages, Emails left unanswered, had to get the credit card company involved to get my money back.
    Fool me once, shame on you,…..

    • Don November 3, 2014, 11:34 pm

      Good to let the shooting world know that. There are still too many companies that run businesses with a disregard of the customers. Not returning calls, emails, or picking up the phone is a bad sign.

    • Bill January 20, 2015, 10:28 am

      That’s strange and unfortunate. I ordered my 3MR a couple weeks ago on a Saturday and received it in the mail on Tuesday. I do live in the same city as Tac-con though (Phoenix). I absolutely love this trigger. Best I’ve used to date.

      • Just An Old Coot January 20, 2015, 1:55 pm

        I agree – I have experienced nothing but completely unacceptable (i.e. virtually nonexistent) customer service from ADAMS ARMS…purchased a new, horribly chambered/barreled “Tactical Elite” upper, spent two weeks of constant calling to all departments to get ANYONE to answer the phone, had filled out web forms, etc. etc. and to no response…FINALLY after two weeks and countless hours, I got a hold of someone in accounts receivables (imagine that – the folks who receive money actually answered the phone – funny that) and asked for the CEO…got on a conf call with the “Customer Support” ‘kid’ (worthless) and he hadn’t even listened to my voice-mails of over two weeks old…said he gets A LOT of calls…agreed to an RMA – sent it back and RECEIVED A SECOND DEFECTIVE UPPER that was peeling itself apart with aluminum shavings throughout the upper receiver and bolt carrier assembly…THEN they screwed up the return for refund via a personal email from the CEO and HAVE NOT PAID ME MY REFUND…even when they promised to cut me a check that day…that was over a week ago – NO CHECK…Looks like off to court for me…As the Facebook website has MULTIPLE customers with similar experiences…class action lawsuit anyone? I contacted Gordon Law Offices in Boise… BUYER BEWARE – Buy an ADAMS ARMS product at YOUR OWN RISK!!!

        • Bill January 20, 2015, 11:37 pm

          Good information to keep in mind regarding Adams Arms, but…. What does Adams Arms have to do with Tac-con triggers?

  • DNS November 3, 2014, 8:15 am

    At $349 I don’t see many takers. A properly tuned tapco g2 is just fine for me. As for rapid fire of the saiga 12 or any AK rifle we routinely empty 12 round mags in under 3 seconds. Since we have test fired 100’s of Saiga 12’s thousands of times over the years a lot of that may be because of the practice but still, $350?! Test video from last week shows what our guns can do out of the box. http://youtu.be/Tx1esqZqlJ4

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