Review: Timney Impact Trigger

posted on March 25, 2020

Earlier this year, Timney introduced the Impact Trigger, positioning it as the “Good” in the company’s “Good, Better, Best” paradigm. Don’t let the entry-level pricing and positioning fool you, though. What Timney considers “Good” is up for interpretation—from where I’m sitting, I’d say it’s far more on the end of “excellent.”

Designed as a “drop-in” trigger, the Impact can obviously either replace an existing trigger or be part of a fresh AR-15 lower receiver build. Whether you’re starting from scratch or replacing an entry-level trigger, the self-contained units from Timney make it easy—if you can push out two pins, you can take the old trigger-and-hammer assembly out, and literally drop the Timney assembly in place.

One word of caution, though. Timney triggers ship with setscrews that keep the assembly in place without the need for anti-walk pins. This is a good thing. If, like your humble scribe, you install a trigger that requires anti-walk pins and you forget to actually, you know, use anti-walk pins, you will receive a most unpleasant surprise the first time you test the trigger and the pins fall out. Don’t do this. However, and I can’t stress this enough: Check the setscrews!

It took two different stripped lower receivers and a close inspection of the trigger assembly before I realized that the setscrews needed to be adjusted—as I attempted to install the Impact trigger, it just wouldn’t fit. After trying a second lower (hey, sometimes they are slightly out of spec, it never hurts to check) and having no luck, I inspected the assembly more closely to see the setscrews protruding from the bottom of the housing.

A quick turn of the hex wrench (provided) and the Impact dropped easily into place. It’s not a knock on Timney by any means—it’s a reminder to check everything thoroughly before you start work.

And, as always, if you have any reservations whatsoever about modifying any firearm, listen to that voice and visit a qualified gunsmith. While replacing the trigger in an AR-15-style rifle is a fairly simple procedure, especially with a drop-in like the Timney, it’s worth the peace of mind (if you do not feel comfortable) having a professional do the installation.

Once installed, though, it becomes hard to believe that Timney considers this merely a “Good” trigger. It’s crisp, clean single-stage pull that Timney gauges between 3 and 4 pounds; while I don’t have my usual trigger pull gauge handy, I’d agree with that measurement range based on other, known trigger pull weights from other triggers in the armory. This is an exceedingly good trigger.

At an MSRP of $149.99, it’s significantly less than other offerings both from Timney and other aftermarket trigger manufacturers. If you’re looking for a significant improvement over a standard mil-spec trigger, the Impact should definitely be a contender.


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