[SHOT 2019] Thumbs up for innovation! Iron Horse Firearms’ TOR Thumb Operated Receiver

    ONe way to insure a trigger “press”

    I was browsing the company directory ahead of SHOT 2019 when this caught my eye:

    Iron Horse Firearms is the home of the TOR (thumb operated receiver), worlds first and only thumb operated lower receiver. Our platform offers increased stability, reduced error from trigger manipulation, and an alternative for disabled and impaired shooters.

    This I had to see!  Iron Horse Firearms TOR is indeed a thumb operated AR15 lower receiver.  Instead of where the trigger should be, there is an ambidextrous safety block with sliding safety.  The grip is a bit larger than a standard AR15 grip, and at the rear of the receiver there is a hollow opening where the wide, flat thumb operated trigger sits.  A press of this trigger with one’s thumb releases the hammer and fires the gun.

    This is truly a different manual of arms than most rifles.  Firearms without triggers are few and far between (though one of my favorites is the Turbiaux palm pistol).  The TOR does provide some clear advantages however, as stated above.  A person missing some or most of the digits on their firing hand could still operate this rifle, as well as someone with arthritis issues.  There is also less opportunity to jerk the trigger when one only has to softly press straight downwards with one’s thumb until the gun fires.  

    Pressing the issue

    I tried the TOR out for myself on two different lower receivers, each with a different trigger press.  One press was very light, and the other required firmer pressure.  This has to do with different spring strengths they are experimenting with.  Nevertheless, it was an interesting experience, and the light trigger seemed very crisp and well polished.  If I wanted to choose such a system for reducing input from my firing hand for precision shooting, I would choose that one.

    TOR thumb trigger

    A close view of the TOR’s Thumb trigger and shelf on top of the grip.

    One potential issue I could see was that in order for the system to work, the receiver is somewhat open from the outside into the fire control mechanism.  This could be an easy avenue for mud, dirt, etc. to foul up the FCG.  Overall, I find it a unique and interesting system that allows a wider segment of the population more opportunity to enjoy shooting sports and defend themselves.  Keep a close eye on Iron Horse Firearms for more developments with this innovative system.  TOR receivers cost $450 for a completed lower, and start shipping in March.  Iron Horse is also working on their Entry-12 and Sentry-12 line of pump action shotguns, which should start shipping in July.

    Should you or someone you know have need of such a lower receiver configuration, please visit Iron Horse Firearms.  

    Iron Horse's Entry-12 Shotgun, currently in development

    Iron Horse’s Entry-12 Shotgun, currently in development

    Rusty S.

    Having always had a passion for firearms, Rusty S. has had experience in gunsmithing, firearms retail, hunting, competitive shooting, range construction, as an IDPA certified range safety officer and a certified instructor. He has received military, law enforcement, and private training in the use of firearms. He is fortunate enough to have access to class 3 weaponry as well.


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