Timney’s New Drop-In AR-15 Trigger/Hammer Unit


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn

October 17th, 2007




Timney Manufacturing Inc. of Phoenix, Arizona has long been in the business of supplying better triggers to riflemen. Most factory triggers installed on rifles are lacking in feel, and are heavy on the pull weight. Timney specializes in making improved triggers for many rifles. A few months ago, I heard that Timney had designed a drop-in AR-15 trigger/hammer unit, and have been wanting to try one out ever since.  A few days ago, the Timney unit arrived.

One  of the most popular rifles in the free world is the AR-15. The design has proven itself world-over for more than forty years as the fully automatic M-16 and M-4 rifles, and the civilian AR-15 is more popular than ever. The design is reliable, and the rifles can be made to shoot very accurately. AR-15 rifles are produced by more than a dozen companies, and most are very good, but most also have the standard military trigger pull, which can run from about five to over eight pounds. For plinking rocks and for social work, the standard AR trigger is acceptable, but for target work and hunting, it leaves a lot to be desired. The standard AR trigger as found on most rifles, besides being hard to pull, has excessive grittiness and travel. There are a few good aftermarket triggers available, but most take more time, patience, and skill to install than the average shooter possesses.

My Alexander Arms .50 Beowulf upper is fitted to a DPMS lower, and is one of my favorite rifles, of any type.  My Alexander 6.5 Grendel has their Tactical/ Hunting trigger, and it is an excellent unit. However, on the Beowulf, it has the standard mil-spec trigger. The rifle shoots very well. It is a light, handy, and accurate thumper, but the trigger pull, at over five pounds, was too heavy. Looking through my ARs  for a candidate to try the Timney trigger, I decided to install it in that Beowulf.

Installing the Timney hammer/trigger unit was very simple. After removing the standard hammer and trigger, the Timney just drops in. Installation took about ten minutes total, with me stopping to take pictures at every step.  The pictures to the right can illustrate the installation procedure better than I can with just words.

After installing the Timney unit, I discovered that I had a small problem with the hammer rubbing the receiver in this particular rifle. I removed the unit and polished off a bit of metal from the hammer so that it would clear the receiver in my rifle. Tolerances in AR rifles can vary a bit, and in this one, I needed just a bit more clearance for the hammer, as it was rubbing, and would not allow the hammer to function properly. It took about five minutes to polish the hammer, and all worked as it should after that. This was just a problem on this particular lower receiver, and I expect that you will encounter no such problem.

After installation, the .50 Beowulf now has a superb trigger pull, weighing just under three pounds, with a nice, crisp release. It is now much improved for target work and hunting, and makes placing an accurate shot much easier.

You can buy the Timney AR trigger directly from www.timneytriggers.com, and I highly recommend it to anyone who owns an AR-15 with a lousy trigger.

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.


Timney Triggers' AR trigger unit.



Timney unit compared to standard AR trigger & hammer.



New trigger installed in .50 Beowulf AR-15.



Installing the Timney unit resulted in a dramatic improvement.



How To Install:

After unloading weapon, remove grip screw.



Be careful not to lose safety plunger and spring, as they are retained by the grip.



Slide safety out of receiver.



Drift out hammer & trigger pins.



After removing AR trigger & hammer, lower Timney trigger/hammer unit into receiver.



Re-insert safety.



Insert pins.



Tighten Allen screws.



Insert plunger & spring, re-install grip. If all goes well, installing the Timney unit only takes about 10 minutes.



Jeff had trouble with the hammer rubbing against the receiver, and polished this area to remove a bit of metal for clearance.