TESTFIRE: TRIGGERTECH REMINGTON TRIGGER
Reviewed by NZ Rod&Rifle Technical Editor, John Herbert
TriggerTech have their roots in the archery world; the new TriggerTech Remington 700 trigger is their first foray into the world of firearm triggers. Steve’s Wholesale, who are the New Zealand agents, gave me an early production sample to test. With a number of aftermarket triggers available I was keen to see how this Canadian trigger stacked up and, more importantly, could it live up to its creep-free promise?
A lot of rifles, especially the “Lawyer Proof” models sold in the US, have triggers that range from pretty average to OK, so I would regularly get customers coming into my shop asking what could be done to get a better trigger. In some cases it was simple, as a number of triggers were adjustable and as long as you left enough sear engagement you could reduce pull weight and in some cases reduce the creep, too.
Excessive sear engagement makes many triggers feel gritty and indistinct, and it’s the friction of the sear dragging on the trigger that often makes the trigger feel heavier than it is. As you can see then, the issue with many triggers is not so much pull weight but sear engagement. Having a lot of sear engagement on a trigger means it is far less likely to go off when dropped or knocked, even if it has a lighter pull weight. The downside is that sear engagement is friction, and friction in itself increases pull weight. Having minimal sear engagement (less friction) and a higher pull weight of 3 or 4 pounds is a reasonable compromise, as it allows a crisp release but keeps a margin of safety by having some pressure on the trigger to stop it slipping off the sear if the rifle is dropped.
This of course assumes that the trigger is well made and that some effort has been put into making smooth, straight engagement surfaces; the trigger and the sear need to be made to exacting tolerances if a light crisp trigger release is to be achieved. This is not always easy on mass-produced rifles that are built to a budget, and although some factory triggers allow weight-of-pull reduction they limit access to the sear engagement, this is a step in the right direction, but if you want that perfect release then you need either an adjustable sear or one set perfectly from the factory.
The TriggerTech trigger from Canada is a bit different; it addresses the friction point at the sear by using a roller between the trigger and the sear. It’s an elegantly simple solution and one would wonder why it’s taken so long for this setup to appear in an affordable aftermarket trigger. The TriggerTech trigger is a semi-sealed unit with a single weight-of-pull adjustment screw at the bottom of the housing in front of the trigger. There is no adjustment available for sear engagement or over-travel but as I discovered this is not an issue. The trigger blade is serrated, and of a similar width and shape to the factory Remington X Mark Pro trigger in my rifle.
The unit I had for testing was the non safety model, but in trying a safety equipped model fitted to a separate Remington Action I can confirm the safety worked as well as the original, and having the unit mostly sealed will help prevent any foreign objects entering it and causing the mechanism to malfunction.
Fitting the trigger was simple and made even easier by a set of very detailed instructions that thankfully came with pictures. I fitted it as instructed and the job took less than 10 minutes using a hammer and pin punch. From the factory the trigger is set at 4 pounds with no noticeable creep. The adjustment screw has detents that are around 1 ounce per click (16oz to a pound) and can be adjusted through the trigger guard. I turned the adjustment screw out until the clicks stopped and then went 2 clicks back to make sure it didn’t come loose during use. This setting gave me a pull weight of just over 1 pound but it allowed the sear to release the firing pin when the bolt was cycled aggressively. It was also a bit erratic, with a variance of up to half a pound – this clearly showed that I needed more spring pressure on the trigger to hold it on the sear. I then went back to the 4 pound setting and worked down, using my trigger pull gauge, until I got to 1.5 pounds. This ended up being about 9 clicks back from the last click.
At this level the pull weight was repeatable, but aggressive cycling of the bolt still produced the occasional firing pin drop – not an issue on a target rifle where the bolt is manipulated slowly, but not acceptable on a hunting rifle. I adjusted the pull weight screw until I got to 1.8 pounds and at that stage the business of the firing pin dropping on aggressive cycling stopped. The trigger at that weight was still excellent, with no detectable creep, just a solid crisp release. The tight over-travel setting limits any trigger movement after the break and adds to the very solid crisp feel.
This is a very good trigger; it’s one of the few triggers I have used that has no creep or spongy take-up. Most factory triggers have creep and even some aftermarket triggers that while technically creep free have a certain sponginess. I think of it like this; some triggers break like a thin glass rod snapping, while with others it’s more like a long fresh carrot being snapped. The Trigger Tech roller system is definitely the glass rod version (and yes; I have snapped a glass rod), and compares favourably with Remington’s match grade 40X trigger and aftermarket triggers like Timney. The design is only available at this time for the Remington 700, but this makes sense as it’s the world’s biggest-selling centre fire rifle, but an AR15 version is about to be released and development for other popular rifles is underway. Pricing is to be confirmed but expect it to be in the same range as a Timney ($250-300). The bottom line: this is a well-made, creep-free trigger that can be adjusted down below 2 pounds.