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Review: Timney Targa AR-15 Two-Stage Short Trigger

Review: Timney Targa AR-15 Two-Stage Short Trigger

Shown above: the Timney Targa Two-Stage Short Trigger is designed for the AR-15 platform and offers enhanced features over a mil-spec trigger group and installs easily, thanks to a self-contained housing.


Over the past decade or so, the AR-15 have become one of America’s most popular rifles. This is due, in part, to the modularity of the AR-15 platform: Barrels, sights, stocks, even calibers are all quick and easy to swap around on an AR-15, and more often than not, you don’t need a gunsmith to make the change for you.

The same is true for the trigger inside your AR: While the stock trigger on an AR-15 is not bad for a service rifle, there are a variety of companies out there making drop-in trigger upgrades, and Timney is one of the more better-known brands out there.

New for 2018 is the Timney Targa Two-Stage Ar-15 trigger, a drop-in replacement for the stock AR-15 trigger. Like the name suggests, a two-stage trigger has two separate parts to its trigger pull: A short take-up portion that allows you settle your sights on-target, and then the final pull that puts the action of the gun into motion. This is somewhat different than the single-action trigger on a stock AR-15 rifle, which has a continuous trigger pull weight from beginning to end.

Which is better, a single-stage or a two-stage trigger? That’s a matter of personal preference. I myself like two-stage triggers because they can enhance my accuracy on longer-ranged shots, without detracting too much from closer-ranged work, and the Timney Targa does just that, and does it well.

If you know your way around an AR-15, installing the trigger in your AR is easy and can be done in mere minutes. I shoot 3-Gun on a regular basis, so I installed the trigger in an AR that I have set up specifically for that sport. Installation was so easy, in fact, I installed the trigger literally on my kitchen table, and then headed out to the range. A quick check with a trigger pull gauge showed that the Timney Targa was averaging slightly over two pounds for the short first stage pull, and another two pounds for the second stage, combining for a total trigger pull of just over four pounds, with a clean, crisp break and no over-travel worth mentioning.

I set up targets at various distances between 10 yards and 100 yards and started practicing both fast snapshots, where a quick trigger press is vital for fast, accurate shots and also longer-distance shots that require a steadier hand on the trigger, and then packed up and went to another range that allowed shots out to 200 yards and beyond.

While two-stages triggers are usually considered to be designed with target shooting in mind, the Timney Targa helped me get the shot off quickly and smoothly. It was on the longer shots, though, that the two-stage trigger really came into its own, especially when I could rest my rifle on a firm support. The two-stage trigger allowed me to get my sights on-target, press the trigger to the second break, then settle my breathing and make sure the shot is 100% there before pressing the trigger all the way home.

If you’re upgrading your AR-15 and want to make accuracy a priority, especially if you’re competing in 3-Gun or Precision Rifle, the Timeny Targa is a quick and easy way to get an AR trigger that will help take your game to the next level.

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