After e-mailing and calling (I also left a message) Tac-Con regarding the issues I experienced with installing the Raptor trigger, I took my Yugo M70B1 to the range. For this preliminary function check, I set myself up at the 25 yard berm and simply propped the rifle up on the bench by using the magazine as a poor man’s mono-pod. While I put up some 7 inch targets – I was really only interested in testing how the trigger worked given that it was such a pain to install. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if something goes wrong…and I was right.
After the first 10 – 15 rounds, I had a failure of the trigger to reset. I took a shot, the empty cartridge ejected and a new round was chambered but the trigger remained mushy. I had to rack the bolt, ejecting the live round and chambering another new round for the trigger to reset. I’ve owned this rifle for years, I shoot it regularly, but it’s not abused – it’s never had an issue…so, I rolled my eyes and went back to shooting.
At one point while shooting, I remembered what the President of Tac-Con said in the video I referenced in Part 1…he had been asked about the safety and how they engineered around the differences in AK safety selectors. He said the safety no longer physically blocks the trigger – but it impinges on the trigger group which activates an internal safety that they designed. So, I tried my safety…and it wouldn’t move more than a quarter of an inch – and the trigger was not deactivated at all, so the gun had no functional safety. I consider this a rather dangerous problem for a firearm that has what Tac-Con claims is an extremely short 3.5lb trigger pull. I did a field strip of the rifle and discovered that the safety was being blocked by the height of the trigger group -so we’re back to a clearance/tolerance issue. Based on where the problem is happening, I think one of the included shims might solve this issue but that’s a guess.
Other than those issues, the trigger functioned just like it did at SHOT Show. You can really throw lead down range pretty quickly and it certainly reduces the take up/slack present in the Tapco G2 while refreshingly crisp. The short reset is positive, audible and clear. While I can’t speak to accuracy yet – if you want a trigger that will allow you to burn through your ammo budget in a matter of minutes, this is your trigger. On the other hand, I am no longer buying Tac-Con’s snazzy marketing. I love AKs because they are boringly reliable, consistent and easy to use…this trigger is none of those things. Sure, a Tapco G2 might not have that insanely short reset, but it’s also not $350 and doesn’t require beating the snot out of the trigger pins with a mallet for 30 minutes. And while I like the reliability of AKs, this issue becomes a much bigger concern for folks who wear chest rigs and camo to work (rather than Levi’s and a button down shirt, like me).
Thus far, the Tac-Con Raptor trigger has not proven itself to be drop-in or reliable and it has caused the failure of a major system of the platform (safety)…I simply can’t imagine this would be acceptable performance for anyone who regularly depends on their rifle to protect their life (and the lives of others). To be fair to Tac-Con – yes, there are some differences between a Chinese rifle, a Yugo rifle and a Romanian rifle (and various different tolerances amongst rifles from the same country), but this is ridiculous. The trigger is not living up to the claims made in marketing materials or at SHOT…if it was only tested in certain rifles – admit that, so people can make an informed decision before they buy it. If folks need to use a particular shim to get the safety to work – people need to know that before they install it! $350 is a lot of money to pay for something that fails to meet exceptions and comes without any installation instructions or timely customer service.
Indeed, Tac-Con has not responded to my messages. When (or if) they do, I intend to ask them about the issues I experienced at the range and what can be done to resolve the problem. I’ll post an update at that point…if it ever happens. At this time, I cannot recommend the Raptor. It’s a cool concept and would certainly make our friend Ralph cry but it’s half-baked at best.