So its not a secret, after SHOT this year I was a real skeptic in terms of the 3MR trigger. I thought it to be nothing more than a gimmick to sell to the tacticool guys that want to be that guy at the range that has a 3rd position on their safety and shoot at insanely high rate while still in semi-auto. I will fully admit how I felt about the trigger after SHOT, you can even go see my comments here: http://disq.us/8iai16
I will qualify my comments, and first impressions with the following in mind though, I was able to shoot two magazines at SHOT, which is not nearly enough to be able to get an idea of how to shoot the trigger system or how you can best make it work for you. Thinking back, I am not even sure I was able to fully grasp the concept, or how it actually functioned in the few minutes that I got to spend talking to the guys at TAC-CON and then shooting two magazines.
Back in the end of March I was able to fly down to Arizona and get some hands on range time with the 3MR trigger. I actually took my own AR because I wanted to eliminate any variables, and have something that I was used to shooting. You have more than likely seen my rifle in the videos that I have posted. But here are my specs:
- Aero Precision Lower
- Aero Precision Upper
- Adams Arms carbine length gas piston conversion kit
- 16″ M4 Profile Barrel, 1:7 twist
- Yankee Hill Machine Phantom 5M1 Brake
- Magpul ACS Stock
- Magpul MIAD Grip
- Magpul BAD Lever
- Rainier Arms Raptor Charging Handle
- Aimpoint PRO in Aimpoint QRP2 Mount
- Ergo Z-Float Rail
- Surefire M620 Scout Lite
- CAA MVG vertical foregrip
- Crimson Trace Rail Master CMR-203
- Full frog lube treatment
On the morning of the first day there was some time for a factory tour, and time to formally speak to Mike Stakes, the president of TAC-CON about the reasoning behind the creation of the trigger and it’s ultimate goal. I know, I was actually kind of shocked to hear that the design was to help save lives, and give officers and operators the ability to stay in the fight, even though they may have developed a death grip (or fear lock) on their rifle. It has been noted that at times when involved with a high stress shooting, officers will only shoot one round, and never actually let the trigger reset to continue shooting.
The 3MR is designed to combat that fear lock response, forcing a partial reset of the trigger and making the remaining travel to full reset very short. It also is much more controllable then using full auto or even burst mode in terms of accuracy, and the number of rounds you want to fire. Having come from an LE/MIL background, I can understand this design and what it would be useful for. Being cool at the range with a 3rd mode safety or being able to dump entire magazines in 4.5sec was just a side effect of what they have created. It is also called good marketing to be able to market to several different demographics and give a wider range of people a product that they want. LE/MIL gets a trigger that helps them do their job better and go home to their family, while the average AR15 user gets a 3rd position trigger system that speeds up their shooting to near full auto speeds without the pesky NFA paperwork.
Learning to shoot the trigger system their way was also very helpful. The trigger works best for rapid double and triple taps, and was designed with that in mind. Starting with some of the V-TAC drills such as the 2x2x2 and 1-2-3-4-5, you really get an idea of how the trigger works, how it feels to shoot it and how you can make it shoot faster for you. Going out to the range with 15 magazines and attempting to dump them all as fast as you can will not actually get you anywhere in terms of making you faster. It will however waste your time, money and ammo and leave you disliking the trigger system. I have seen a lot of anecdotal reviews on various forums, and even some professional reviews on YouTube that do just this. Sure, in the end you can learn to shoot the system like that but at a greater cost to yourself.
The key that I and the TAC-CON staff have found to shooting the system correctly, fast and accurately is to stop trying to shoot fast. The less you think about shooting as fast as you can, and focus more on accurately putting rounds on target, the faster you will be. In double and triple taps, I do not need to move my hand position. For a full 30rd mag dump, I was actually kicking my hand out to the side, as you can see in this video. There were several others that were also doing this very thing, which is where I made the comment before that it breaks the fundamentals of shooting. I did however have to ask myself, based on the use of the trigger just how many mag dumps I would be doing. I train with my carbine shooting controlled bursts, often times no more then 5rds in quick succession.
There is also a lot of misinformation out there as to what the 3MR trigger system is and is not. First, this is not a bump fire trigger. It does not compete with something like a Slidefire stock or traditional bump fire methods. Some of us actually tried to bump fire the trigger, just to see what would happen. Ultimately it does not work to bump fire the trigger. The trigger is also not full auto, it requires a trigger pull for each round to be fired, the only difference in the 3rd mode is that there is an assisted reset, that helps to reset the trigger when the BCG resets the trigger. This makes the reset and next pull very short, allowing for very rapid shooting.
Several times in the last few months I was able to put my rifle in someones hand, and not tell them that it was a TAC-CON trigger system. Then I ask them what they think of the trigger. Each time they were impressed by the trigger pull and feel of the trigger. One person even wanted to know what it was so he could buy one. The 4.5lb pull is crisp, and feels very much like a match grade trigger. But for some reason when telling people what it was, many handed my rifle back with the comment of “oh, that gimmick…” After asking what they mean, or why the felt that way, many were not able to actually articulate why. I noted this several times, over several different range sessions with several friends and even a few strangers that happened to be at the range and curious. There seems to be a predisposed feeling about the trigger, but for some reason I have yet to find anyone able to actually articulate why other then the price tag. Many times people just tell me its too expensive and stop there.
The other question I have found floating around is what other rifles will it work on? Well, it will work on anything that takes a MIL-SPEC trigger group, and will work as designed. I was able to shoot a .308 with the trigger system. While it does work, and functioned as designed, the .308 is a lot of rifle to try and shoot that fast. Where this trigger would shine with a larger caliber system would be something like a .300BLK, or even a 6.8SPC in a PDW configuration, more so with a suppressor . I was also able to use my lower with the 3MR in a .22LR upper. All of which functioned as designed, and flawlessly. Here is a short clip of a .22LR upper being shot by a friend and shooting buddy of mine. This was hit first time shooting the 3MR trigger, so his speed is actually quite good.
I will fully admit that I was a skeptic. But in taking the time to learn about the system, the design and marketing I was able to look beyond the hype that was out there and see the system for what it was truly designed for. While I understand that trigger system will not be for everyone, there are those out there that will be able to use it as designed. There are people out there that will buy this trigger with fun at the range in mind while some will be thinking of home defense, or even as a trigger for a patrol rifle. No matter how you intend to use the 3MR trigger, as long as you keep in mind the intended design and limitations, you will be happy with the trigger system If you intend to use the 3MR for a home defense gun, either a carbine, pistol or PDW I would urge you to get a lot of rounds over the trigger and learn to use it properly before you need to possibly deploy the rifle in a high stress situation. Doing so will only help to serve you better when it counts.
If you want more information on the 3MR trigger, you can check out TAC-CON at http://tacconusa.com/