Small in size, but large in results
I am not a fan of making unnecessary changes to my equipment. Whether we’re talking about cars, computers or firearms, I have a healthy respect for the effort that the manufacturer put into their design, and am generally content to leave well enough alone. When it comes to guns, however, there are two areas in which I happily make exceptions to this rule: optics and triggers. (Optics will be covered in another article.) I have learned that a good aftermarket trigger can markedly improve one’s enjoyment of a firearm.
Last year, I purchased a used Sako AV used through the Internet. When I received the gun, I was quite pleased with it, and found no unpleasant surprises, except that the trigger was exceedingly light (under one pound of pull was all it took to fire), and the adjustments had no effect. Whether this extremely light pull was due to modification by the previous owner, malfunction or simple wear and tear was irrelevant: I just didn’t consider the gun safe for field use with that trigger. Specifically, I was concerned about the possibility of a “slam-fire,” a term for a gun discharging itself when it receives a jolt (such as from being dropped, or somehow “slammed” to the ground or into something).
The Sako AV has been out of production for decades, and as Sako is a Finnish company, I didn’t like my chances of finding an OEM trigger, so I set about looking around for an aftermarket alternative. As Sako is a relatively exotic gun, though, I wasn’t finding a lot of choices out there. I consider myself very fortunate that the one company I did find, Timney Triggers, is a leading maker of premium aftermarket triggers for many makes of rifle.
Timney has been making triggers since 1946. In the world of aftermarket firearm components, that kind of longevity is only attained by developing and maintaining a reputation for good products, at reasonable prices, backed up with good customer service. I am pleased to say that all of this applies to Timney in spades: they were easy to get hold of, answered my questions clearly, and were able to recommend a product for me. The price was very fair, and they got the trigger to me in a matter of days.
When I received the trigger, I was a little surprised to see that it was shaped somewhat differently from my original. (The original trigger is on the left in the photo.) When I installed it, though, I found that it fit the action perfectly. I did have to relieve the stock very slightly to accommodate the safety, but this was trivial. Entire installation time was under half an hour.
Once installed, the trigger felt just perfect: crisp and smooth, with no hint of creep. I didn’t even seriously think of touching the adjustments. Several attempts to slam-fire the gun were uneventful, so my confidence in using the gun improved, too. It was the single biggest improvement to my rifle’s performance that I could make, and make the same choice again in a heartbeat.
I should point out that there are many reasons besides oversensitivity for investing in a good aftermarket trigger. For whatever reason, it seems that even the largest and most reputable gunmakers today often ship their products with rather mediocre triggers. If you don’t like the way your trigger feels, consider a Timney: over a year later, I’m still thrilled with mine.