Review: Tac-Con Raptor AK Trigger (Part 1 – Not So “Drop In”)

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After shooting the Tac-Con Raptor AK trigger at SHOT Show 2015, I was hooked…until I heard the price tag – $349?!?  Um…I own AKs which originally cost that much.  I figured it wasn’t meant to be and started considering the less expensive triggers being offered by CMC and ALG.  A few weeks later I was shocked to learn I had received one in a give-a-way!  Of course, the day I got it in the mail – I tore open the box and sat down to install it in one of my rifles.

Initially, I figured it would be most appropriate to install the $349 trigger in my Arsenal SLR-107F but I quickly hit a pretty serious snag.  The pins wouldn’t line up and the trigger group seemed to be at an odd angle.  I quickly discovered that there was a piece of metal (see photo below) which was interfering with the trigger (looks like a rivet for the trigger guard?).

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It seems like Tac-Con had considered this problem but didn’t actually mill out enough material to clear that post.

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So, I put the Arsenal aside and grabbed a Century Arms GP-1975 (extremely common/standard Nodak receiver with Romanian parts) and tried that.  Unfortunately, I still couldn’t get the trigger group to line up.  While the metal post was shorter and no longer interfering, the trigger simply seemed too short for the pins be set properly.

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I played around with this for quite a while, trying to apply pressure and force one way or another to get the pin to move but I had no luck and didn’t feel like mangling my rifle or this trigger anymore than I already had.

Finally, I tried the Tac-Con trigger in a Yugo M70B1 (1.6mm thick Nodak receiver with Yugo parts including the budged front trunnion)…and with a little effort – it finally worked!  After getting installed, I stopped and remembered that Tac-Con had us shooting these triggers in Yugo rifles at SHOT Show..and after doing some research, I also noticed that Tac-Con originally demonstrated the prototype of the trigger with a Yugo M70 N-Pap in late 2014 (held by the company President in this video).

Finished product:

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Tac-Con markets this trigger as “drop in” and doesn’t suggest there are any models it won’t work with – although they do include some shims (but without any advice/instructions as to which models might need said shims) yet, it wouldn’t work on two fairly common AKs.  I don’t think that’s acceptable – especially for $350.  Ultimately, it doesn’t appear the difficulty I had during installation is all that unusual.  YouTube reviewer Hank Strange also needed some heavy “love taps” from a mallet to get his trigger installed.  At one point in his video (7:30 timer mark), Hank is prying at the trigger to forcibly align it, while commenting that it was “a little off,” but he ends up blaming the problem on the different tolerances of AKs.  I think he’s being overly generous to Tac-Con.  When I put my Arsenal and GP-1975 back together (with Tapco G2 triggers), it took very little time and required minimal effort – which is a general expectation of high quality/well-engineered parts (even though AKs aren’t as plug-and-play as ARs).

With that said, I’ll reserve judgement for now…I plan to call Tac-Con in the morning and shoot the rifle in the afternoon, but the Raptor is not off to a good start.

Continue to Part 2.

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