One of the big takeaways from the 2014 SHOT Show was the new trigger system from Tac-Con. The Tac-Con 3MR trigger system is a drop-in trigger pack for AR-15s. Essentially, it adds a third position to the selector switch. In military speak, the third position would be the “happy” position. Civilians would more commonly refer to the third position as full auto. To be clear, the Tac-Con 3MR does not convert a semi-auto to full auto, but I am getting ahead of myself.
The Tac-Con 3MR packs a hefty price tag at $495. I might as well get that out of the way in the beginning. However, do not let the price turn you off until you consider what you are getting for a small handful of Benjamins. The Tac-Con 3MR trigger is strong and well made. The trigger group is completely self-contained and built as a drop-in system for the AR-15.
The first two positions to the trigger switch function similar to every other AR, but the third position is something altogether different. The third position will take you to happy land, and best of all, it is completely BATF legal! The ingenious design works by using the bolt carrier’s rearward inertia. The rearward motion pushes the trigger forward to achieve the short trigger reset, which shortens the distance required for your finger to travel to reset the trigger for a following shot.
To many, this may sound like full auto, but it is not. If you press and hold the trigger back, the rifle only fires a single round. With a fully automatic rifle such as the M4, that same action would, in fact, produce fully automatic fire and be regulated by the BATF. The Tac-Con 3MR trigger system does require your finger to move to fire another shot, but with a little practice, we can all shoot like Jerry Miculek—well OK, maybe not with Jerry’s accuracy, but at least the speed.
With a few quick instructions, I fired two and three-round bursts immediately. Others on the range estimated the cyclic speed as between 500 to 700 rounds per minute. All it takes is a little practice—and lots of extra ammo. I would certainly have to give it the edge over the bump fire systems. The Tac-Con trigger is reflexive and natural to most shooters.
As cool as it may sound, full auto or systems that accomplish high-cyclic rates lose their appeal very quickly. The firearm rapidly becomes unwieldy, and the ammo bill is even harder to control. For self-defense? Sure, you can spray a lot of bullets in a hurry. You can also miss every target and leave yourself vulnerable with little more than a very expensive club in your hand when you burn out your ammo.
The Tac-Con does have a huge place in the competitive world. The short reset and faster firing speed in the hands of an experienced competitor can shave fractions of a second that mean the difference between a fat check and being the first loser. When every shot counts, you can still switch to single shot. When I switched the test model at SHOT to that condition, the trigger broke crisply at just under 5 pounds. If the 3MR was not match grade, it was awfully close.
I have not had the chance to install a Tac-Con 3MR trigger … yet. However, it seems like a simple operation. You have to drop out your existing trigger and retain the original trigger pins. Then, drop in the Tac-Con and re-insert the pins. Done.
As a note of caution—with any modification—be extra cautious. Don’t be an idiot and drop a loaded mag in the gun until you are at the range with the weapon pointed in a safe direction. There will be plenty of time to test your upgrade, but only in the proper place and time. Stay safe and shoot often!
Do you foresee a Tac-Con trigger in your future? Weigh in with your thoughts in the comment section.