Trigger Point Technology safety features

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Trigger Point Technology is a company in California that was started by a certain Terry Abst, a former airline pilot. They have a very interesting and innovating device that they claim will help prevent negligent discharges primarily among Law Enforcement and Military users, but it can also be applied to all manner of civilian firearms. The company has a website up that attempts to explain things in detail, but as admitted by Terry, it needs some serious revamping and changing because if you go on it, you won’t understand what they are trying to get across. Initially I thought they had a trigger mounted magazine release, but after a lengthly phone call with them, I was able to acquire the straight dope.

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Essentially the systems is a laser activated device with two switches, a primary switch that is mounted where the trigger finger would rest outside of the trigger guard, and a secondary switch that is mounted directly on the trigger. The primary switch can be used momentarily, or can be constant on, but both cause a rail mounted laser on an AR or a handgun to emit a solid green laser. The role of this laser is for tactical use and for everything else anyone would want a laser on their firearm for. However the secondary switch is on the trigger, and is only activated with a gram of finger pressure, essentially just resting your finger on the trigger will set it off, and this emits from the same laser, a flashing green diode. The intention of this switch is to tell the shooter that their finger is on the trigger, for safety reasons this will let the shooter know that their finger isn’t supposed to be there, and for intentionally firing the gun it doesn’t matter that their finger is there. How this is achieved is through a device that wraps around the magazine well of the AR and has a second trigger/switch that extends alongside the actual trigger of the AR. Along with the primary switch on the actual magazine well, this is connected to a rail mounted box called the TRAM, that is then connected via wires to lights/lasers/PEQ devices on the rails. The box has a turn wheel that you can switch to whatever device you want turned on by activating the primary switch, while the secondary trigger safety switch will continue to only activate the flashing green laser. On the handgun, the company puts a magnet behind the trigger and on the frame of the handgun. This magnet is the size of a nail head, and this somehow activates a rail mounted laser, with a rail below it for existing weapons lights.

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This is from the actual patent on the device by Mr. Abst, from the U.S. patent office

A trigger activated switch for a firearm is disclosed. The switch comprises a Hall-effect sensor configured to be mounted in the housing or frame of the firearm, and a magnet disposed on a retractable member coupled to the trigger of the gun. The trigger comprises a firing module rotatably coupled to the housing to have a range of motion with respect to the housing from a non-firing position to a firing position. The retractable member is moveably coupled to the firing module and articulates between a non-engaged position and engaged position with respect to the firing module. The Hall-effect sensor is attached to the firearm housing in proximity to the magnet when the retractable member is in the non-engaged position. Motion of the retractable member from the non-engaged position to the engaged position causes the magnet to articulate away from the sensor, which then activates an auxiliary device upon sensing motion of the retractable member.



Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • The company had a website. Yesterday, at some point, it took down all of its online properties and seems to have vanished. It’s like no one ever said to these guys “hey dudes, this might not be the best idea.” It’s a good thing this company flipped the bang switch to full auto and mag dumped itself out of business.

    • Budogunner

      My guess is they received legal advice recommending they pull the online content until it was very carefully rewritten to avoid liability. I’m no lawyer, and that is just speculation, but it would have been a wise call.

  • Nicholas Chen

    I was just about to post this yesterday. The website did not mention this safety aspect. It was pushing the idea that a trigger finger activated light was faster than off-hand manipulation of a light. It proposed the idea that push buttons and tape switches are prone to failure.

    The biggest issue Inhad was the advanced TRAMS that allowed for trigger activated lights.

    There was no mention of handguns either. For a rifle it is somewhat helpful to activate lights and lasers with just the firing hand. However not a good idea to have it on the trigger.

    Handguns lights and lasers can be activated via remote switch like the SureFire DG grip switch. You just squeeze the grip switch and the light and or laser is activated. Keeping your trigger finger safely off the trigger.

  • mig1nc

    I could see the value in a visual aid to let somebody know they are breaking a safety rule. It reminds me of the TFB post on Dec 29th about the LASD negligent discharge report with M&P pistols. I wonder if something like this might help under-trained officers (and yes I know that not under-training your officers is a better approach).

  • 2hotel9

    Miles? The crew at BreachBangClear hit this a few days ago. And yes, TPT has yanked its webpage.

    Anyone who thinks a light activation switch ON THE TRIGGER is a good idea has rocks in their head. The switch on mag well is just fine, on trigger is just stupid.

    • iksnilol

      The point of the switch on the trigger is to make it easier to notice if your finger is on the trigger (AKA where it shouldn’t be).

      • 2hotel9

        No, a switch on the trigger is just stupid.

    • Hensley Beuron Garlington

      I think its like iksnilol said.
      Basically, if I read it right, the laser and/or light is switched on like any other system, but once your finger is on the trigger, it changes color and/or intensity to remind you that you’re at the final stage before squeezing the trigger and making a shot.

    • And the people at BreachBangClear were going off the guys website, which the inventor admits was a complete misrepresentation of the system. I talked with the inventor on the phone, because something about the website didn’t make sense to me either.

      • 2hotel9

        I went through their webpage write up and videos before they yanked it down and the only thing that did not make sense was putting a switch to control lights on a weapon on that weapon’s trigger. Remove that and their system actually don’t look bad. Way over priced, not sure how durable or watertight it is, on the whole not a bad idea. Just take the switch off the trigger and let shooters sort it out.

  • DetroitMan

    Bad idea. If touching the trigger activates the light or laser, it encourages the user to put their finger on the trigger. Why bother with another switch, especially when confronting a potentially dangerous person? I think this idea would increase unintentional shootings, not decrease them.

    • Denis

      There are two switches, one out side the tower guard used for turning it off and on as you would use any other switch, However the secondary switch is on the trigger, and is only activated with a gram of finger pressure, essentially just resting your finger on the trigger will set it off, and this emits from the same laser, a flashing green diode. The intention of this switch is to tell the shooter that their finger is on the trigger, for safety reasons this will let the shooter know that their finger isn’t supposed to be there, and for intentionally firing the gun it doesn’t matter that their finger is there. It’s meant to be a visual cue that you have unconsciously put your finger on the trigger.

      • Anonymoose

        Grams are not a measure of weight or force.

        • Denis

          I just copied it from the article above, but I have included the definition of gram for your reference. If trigger pull weight can be described as pounds I imagine all other nations would describe it as kilograms and gram would be 1,000 times lessa gram can also be described as 1/454 pounds

          The gram (alternative British English spelling: gramme;[1] SI unit symbol: g) (Greek/Latin root grámma) is a metric system unit of mass. Gram can be abbreviated as gm or g.[1][2]

          Originally defined as “the absolute weight of a volume of pure water equal to the cube of the hundredth part of a metre, and at the temperature of melting ice”[2] (later 4 °C), a gram is now defined as one one-thousandth of the SI base unit, the kilogram, or 1×10−3 kg, which itself is defined as being equal to the mass of a physical prototype preserved by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures.

        • iksnilol

          Well, triggers are described in pounds and grams so I don’t see why the switch can’t be described in grams as well.

          • John

            Pounds are technically a unit of force, not mass. Slugs are the unit of mass in “english engineering”

      • DetroitMan

        “The box has a turn wheel that you can switch to whatever device you want turned on by activating the primary switch, while the secondary trigger safety switch will continue to only activate the flashing green laser.”

        Maybe I am reading it wrong, but here is what I understood from the article: the switch on the trigger will project a flashing green laser on the target. In other words, the trigger switch is a shortcut and effectively bypasses the much more complicated primary switch. It uses the same laser, so it’s providing you an aiming point. I think if you put such a system in the field, users would be tempted to just use the trigger switch, especially in a high stress confrontation.

        If my interpretation is wrong and the trigger switch does not put a laser on the target, then I withdraw my comment.

        • Your interpretation is correct, but it puts a flashing laser instead of a solid laser on target. By this point, the shooter, and all those around him with the system, will know that his finger is on the trigger when it shouldn’t be.

          • DetroitMan

            I still think putting a laser switch on the trigger creates an unhealthy incentive to touch the trigger. It’s one less switch you have to find in a high stress situation. If the warning was something useless to the shooter, like a beep, I would be less critical. Giving them an aiming aid, even if it’s blinking, is rewarding them for touching the trigger. Especially if the primary switch is set to activate the light only.

            Also, if operating with others, how do we know who touched the trigger? It’s very rare for just one cop to draw on a suspect when they sense a threat. They are all trained to aim for the same place. Everyone has the same laser. It will just add confusion to the situation.

          • 2hotel9

            Bingo. Too many fingers where they should not be is an accident just waiting to happen. Throw in low light and adrenaline and it WILL happen.

    • phuzz

      I think the intention is more to warn the user that they’re finger is on the trigger, ie if you can see the laser, and you weren’t intending to shoot anything, then you should remove your finger.
      It’s a training aid basically.

      • 2hotel9

        No, that is not what their website said before being taken down. The trigger switch was intended for use in real world applications, such as LE and military, not a training aid. The system actually looked good, except the switch on trigger, which is just stupid.

        • The guy himself admits that the way his website was up, was completely misunderstanding it. Whatever the website said, doesn’t apply to the product, it was worded horribly, so don’t go off the site.

          • 2hotel9

            OK. One more once. A switch on the trigger to control a light or laser or a carousel horse is just stupid. The trigger has one purpose, to discharge the weapon, hanging anything else on it is simply a bad, BAD idea. Take the switch off the trigger and Mr Abst has an ok looking system, depending on how rugged it turns out to be. Oh, and that price tag. Wow.

      • Budogunner

        A training aid would be a blinking lift integrated into a blue gun. Unless this replacement trigger system renders the gun inert, it has no place on training.

        If you don’t know about trigger dinner discipline, you are not fat along enough in your training to touch a live firearm.

        • Jack Murphey

          “If you don’t know about trigger dinner discipline, you are not fat along enough in your training to touch a live firearm.”

          According to Wikipedia, obesity will claim the lives of somewhere near 300,000 americans this year.

          • Budogunner

            I was going to explain that this was, obviously, a phone autocorrect error but then I realized we are talking about LEOs here, so feel free to read the op as you wish.

          • Jack Murphey

            I wish I had a Big Mac and some fries, but I’ve got the discipline to just say no! Does that mean I’m in?

  • Bill

    A hardware solution to a software problem. And if your finger is on the trigger, you shouldn’t “see” it as you should be focusing on the front sight.

    • Nicholas Chen

      Not if you are using a red dot. Then you focus downrange.

      • Bill

        I don’t use lasers, and you still have to focus on a dot in an optical sight, though the target wont fuzz out as much as with an iron front sight – the eye can’t focus on two focal planes at once.

        • Nicholas Chen

          No you don’t. Have you tried shooting a firearm with a red dot sight? The benefit is you don’t focus on the dot. It floats and is in focus at any given focal plane.

          • Bill

            I have them on all my patrol rifles – note that I said “won’t fuzz out as much.” Some of it may be related to a person’s individual vision, and some of it may be related to the quality of the sight, and some of may be the semantics of the word “focus.” I can see the target as if the RDS was a ghost ring, and having made the decision to fire switch to concentrating on the location of the dot.

          • Cymond

            Semantics of “focus”.
            When people talk about focusing on the front sight with iron sights, they don’t mean “paying attention”, they literally mean focusing your eyes on the sight like focusing a camera lens or binoculars.

            That shouldn’t be an issue with a red dot.

  • stephen

    OH NO! NGs are such a HUGE problem we need to fix this ASAP!

    Excuse me but when you look at the numbers its not really that bad of a problem – the most of which could be solved by more training (initial and concurrent). But how big of a problem are NGs. Case in point, the NYPD has about 35,000 officers and according to those that claim its a huge problem you would expect the number of NGs to be in the thousands.

    However in 2011 the NYPD had only 15 NGs.

    Yep only 15 (down from the previous year) but what is the percentage? Well lets do the math…

    15 divided by 35,000 is 0.042 percent.

    So NGs are such a HUGE problem… not! We are going to make a product that addresses a minimal problem – one that could be fixed by more training. But in reality you can never have a perfect safety record.

    just saying

    • Drew Coleman

      You’ve gotta be kidding. Putting your finger on the trigger while pointing the gun at something that you are not yet sure you want to kill or destroy? That goes against the most basic tenants of gun safety. Couple that with adrenaline and anxiety, it’s a recipe for disaster.

      • Budogunner

        Not to mention when officers get startled by the flashing dot they didn’t consciously intend to activate. Startle flinch = hammer fall.

  • Budogunner

    “The intention of this switch is to tell the shooter that their finger is on the trigger…”

    You have got to be F’ing kidding me.

    They should show this device to recruits and current duty officers. Anyone who thinks it’s a good idea should have their badge taken away forever.

  • Phillip Cooper

    Too much fiddly crap to break. Solution in search of a problem.

  • nova3930

    I think that’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever seen. The only thing the trigger should activate is “go bang”

  • Hensley Beuron Garlington

    Basically, if I read it right, the laser and/or light is switched on like any other system, but once your finger is on the trigger, it is automatically activated to remind you that you’re at the final stage before squeezing the trigger and making a shot.

    Extremely smart and innovative idea. Like it or not, most people don’t train regularly enough or practice proper firearm safety. This isn’t a replacement for training, but its a great reminder that you’re about to kill something. Unfortunately, most people probably won’t be looking where the dot shows up if their finger is mindlessly on the trigger in the first place.

  • RickH

    Instead of a laser, how ’bout a big old light bulb on top of the receiver? Can’t miss that……

  • Mikey

    Did trigger point technologies take down their website? When I click the link on the article or Google them the website says no longer available, Did anybody else see this?

  • 5flytyr .

    If you’re not aware of your finger’s location you shouldn’t be handling a weapon to begin with never mind pointing it at any non-hostile target. Lazer on/on target hostile down period.