Guest post by Jonathan Owen, CEO of SHWAT.com It took me 28 seconds to swap my factory original Tavor trigger out for the brand-new Tavor trigger from Timney Triggers. The very fact that Timney and others are producing aftermarket triggers for the Tavor tells us something about America’s embrace of this Israeli bullpup rifle. Despite what many have derided as a poor trigger, IWI Tavor sales have exceeded expectations. In roughly a year’s time on market, 20,000 have been shipped—that’s three times their original projection. Almost universally, however, their triggers have been panned as sub-par.
SHWAT Founders have been running a couple of Tavors for most of year now. With Fred Mastison from Force Options instructing, we did the first Tavor carbine class in America, finding the factory triggers to be adequate, but unimpressive. Triggers for AR-15s and precision rifles have gotten so good in recent years that what once was acceptable isn’t any longer.
Back when the HK91 and FAL owned the head space between the gun buyer’s ears, a heavy trigger was so normal it might not have made the discussion topic list. With the many quality drop-in trigger options now available for our AR-15s, a 10-pound trigger pull on the Tavor is anathema to many who won’t ever use this bullpup rifle in battle.
Unlike SHWAT Pro Staffer Fred Mastison, many people find a heavy trigger harder to shoot as accurately as a lighter weight trigger. Follow up shots are typically faster and easier with a short reset and lighter pull as well. The factory Tavor trigger seems to be reliable as the sunrise while at the same time unacceptably heavy in the minds of many.
One solution offered on the internet was to remove one of the springs from the factory trigger pack. Apparently, it’s non-essential in most situations. But most reputable writers indicated they wouldn’t count on such a modified rifle in a defensive situation. That might not bother some, but it does bother me. I want my gun to run right so consistently that I don’t ever have to wonder if my conditions are too adverse. And this might be an important detail to some: removing that spring voids the warranty.
With that in mind, a 30-second drop-in trigger replacement that improves the function without voiding the warranty seems like a winning business plan. Three manufacturers have jumped on the Tavor trigger improvement program to date. At SHOT Show 2014, Timney and others showed off prototype trigger replacements for the Tavor. Timney seems to be the first to get triggers to the market, and I got one of that first batch. Inspecting the Timney versus the factory, you notice differences in the hammers. The Timney is bigger, yet the springs that push the hammer feel lighter than factory. In my one day at the range, the Timney Trigger functioned perfectly with the variety pack of ammo I put through it. To date, I’ve simply not had any issues with my Tavor, and it looks like the Timney trigger is on the right track to keep that streak going.
Installation is a cakewalk. Push two pins, pull out trigger pack. Put the Timney trigger into the Tavor and push the pins back. Done. In the video, it takes less than 30 seconds to swap those out.
Timney claims a single stage 3.5-4 pound trigger pull on their Tavor trigger, and sure enough, my scale reads exactly four pounds when the trigger breaks. Now that’s a huge improvement over my factory trigger. And while that is all well and good, we should address how the trigger feels.
It’s not crisp, and I’ll debate anyone who claims otherwise. The Tavor trigger has some slack in it, whether it’s factory or the Timney replacement. Some might mistake that for a two-stage trigger. Past that point, the trigger doesn’t break crisply. It’s more of a smooth roll. Some in the 3-Gun competition circles prefer this type of trigger. Others don’t, but given the vast improvement over the factory trigger, I think most shooters and hunters will agree it’s a win. Reset is very short and distinct.
About the price of this Tavor trigger replacement… At $352 it’s essentially a 20% premium on current Tavor street prices. If you’re hoping one of the other manufacturers will be much cheaper, don’t hold your breath.
So is it worth it? While that’s subjective, even though I find the factory trigger acceptable, I cannot imagine a scenario where the heavier factory trigger would be preferred. If you’ve been holding off getting a Tavor due to the heavy factory trigger, now’s the time to make it happen.
Jonathan Owen, CEO of Special Hog Weapons and Tactics, started pulling triggers in the 4-H Shooting Sports program. Soon, he was teaching air-rifle marksmanship and gun safety. His introduction to hunting after college was frozen season of absentee deer, leading him to conclude he was a shooter, not a hunter. That led to a civilian fascination with all things tactical. Later, when introduced to the dynamic world of tactical hog hunting, all that changed and Special Hog Weapons and Tactics was born. Today, Owen is a highly regarded industry professional who loves both the shooting and hunting aspects of the firearms community. A writer, photographer, videographer, storyteller and consultant, he loves bringing new experiences and gear to anyone who’ll pay attention. This material is adapted from Special Hog Weapons And Tactics. Copyright ©2015 SHWAT.com.