[Video] IN-DEPTH Review of the TAC-CON 3MR Trigger System
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As most of you know, the TAC-CON 3MR is a product I’ve been following since it was announced in late 2013. It looked like an innovative trigger system, and I’ll go ahead and tell you guys, I like innovative products.
I first got to shoot the trigger at SHOT Show this year, but my exposure was limited to 1 magazine, and while I didn’t get it down like I would have liked, I saw some potential in this trigger. In March, myself along with several other media professionals, were invited out to TAC-CON’s Phoenix, Arizona facilities to get some range time with the triggers and see how they are made.
First off, let’s talk about how the 3MR works and what makes it different from other triggers on the market. There are several triggers available which can greatly improve your rate of fire on the AR-15 platform. However, most of those triggers accomplish this by having very little pre/over travel and being very light, often in the 2-3.5lb range.
The light weight of these triggers excludes them from use by law enforcement, security contractors, and even some people who want to use their rifle for self defense. If you live in an anti-gun state where self defense laws aren’t very good, you probably don’t want to have to explain why you used an AR-15 with a 2lb trigger for a defensive shooting. Yes, I know that sounds utterly ridiculous, but you should see some of the things introduced into court cases in some these instances (remember the big deal about Zimmerman’s PF9 lacking a manual safety even though it was a heavy double action trigger).
Enter the 3MR, a trigger that is capable of functioning in a standard semi-auto mode with a 4.5lb trigger when the safety switch is in the standard Fire position. However, when you switch the selector switch back to where full auto would be on an M4/M16 you get the same 4.5lb semi-auto trigger, but now you also get an assisted reset. This means the action of the bolt will actually physically reset the trigger for you. This means that, in theory, all you have to worry about is pulling the trigger for the next shot, not riding the reset of the trigger.
Now that we have some background on why the trigger was designed the way it was, we can go about doing a review to see if it meets the goals set by its design.
First off, I can tell the build quality is superb. The triggers are made in high quality machine shops here in the USA utilizing CNC and EDM processes to produce the parts. No cast or MIM parts here. The quality control process is also top notch.
OK, so let’s talk performance. TAC-CON says the trigger is capable of a 600 rounds per minute (RPM) rate of fire. In my experience, most shooters are going to be in the 400-500 RPM range, and even that is going to take some practice. The fastest rate of fire I was able to achieve was just under 500 RPM. Still pretty impressive when you consider that we’re talking about a 4.5lb trigger. It should also be noted that even at that rate of fire, I was still able to keep an entire magazine on paper (see video above). The short travel distance and assisted reset means you have to do very little movement with your trigger hand. Common sense says, less movement, more accuracy, and that holds true here. I mention this because I know someone is going to say that they can shoot that fast with a MS trigger, and while that may be true, it would take some serious skill to maintain that level of accuracy during sustained fire.
So, the trigger does work as advertised. It should be noted though, it does have a learning curve and you will need to train with it in order to be fast with it. I have around 2,000 rounds on the 3MR trigger now and I can fairly easily do bursts of fire between 2-5 shots all the way up to very controllable mag dumps. The learning curve might be a turn off for some people when you realize that you’ll probably need to spend $100-300 in ammo in addition to the trigger’s initial investment of $495.
That brings us to the biggest criticism that I hear from most people about the trigger – the price. Let’s be honest, $495 is a lot of money for a trigger when compared with what’s out there. That said, $495 isn’t that much money in the grand scheme of a rifle build. Plenty of guys drop $1,000+ optics on their $2,000 rifles. Now, if you’re on a budget and trying to get the most bang for your buck out of your build, the 3MR may not be for you. If you just want a fun range toy, one of the many bump fire stocks on the market might be more in line with what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a trigger that is capable of improving your shooting speed while still maintaining a 4.5lb trigger, then the Tac-Con 3MR might be for you. If you love the idea of having a 3rd mode on your AR-15 to get it just a tiny bit closer to looking and functioning like its military counterparts, the Tac-Con 3MR might be for you.
One criticism I have, and this is really just personal preference, is I wish they would get rid of the standard semi-auto mode at the fire position and just make the fire position utilize the assisted reset mode. I know a lot of guys think the 3 modes are really cool, but for me, the trigger would have a lot more utility if I could just switch it to FIRE (the way I’ve been training for years) and have that improved reset mode ready to go. Hopefully Tac-Con will make this an option at some point in the future. If they can make it so you can use a regular selector switch in the process, even better in my book.
It should also be noted that my 3MR trigger came with TAC-CON’s new ambi 360 safety (you can see this in the video review above). I don’t think TAC-CON is shipping these yet, so you might want to reach out to them if an ambi safety is something that is important to you.
All in all I’m going to give this product a thumbs-up because it accomplishes the goals set by its design with the caveat that you need to evaluate your needs and determine if the increased price point is right for what you want to accomplish with your rifle build. Hopefully now that you have some background info on the trigger’s design, its purpose and performance you can make an informed buying decision.