Seems like everybody these days wants to shoot faster. There is a whole YouTube channel devoted to watching Jerry Miculek shoot fast. Full auto is fun, but expensive and fraught with legal peril unless your employer can provide you with a machinegun. Rapid semi can give control and economy that you just can’t get at 600 rounds per minute of full auto. That is where the Tac-Con 3MR comes in.

Back when Eugene Stoner was watching Elvis live on TV, he never dreamed that his creation would sport a 4.5 pound trigger pull. His AR-10 and M-16 rifles had SAFE reliable military triggers, the most important characteristic being safe. Mass produced and difficult to modify, M-16 triggers had pulls anywhere from 6 to 8 pounds with a long reset. A long, heavy trigger is much less likely to be fired by negligence. Since then, we have come a long way.

The 3MR is a drop-in fire control system with three positions: Safe, Semi-Automatic, and 3rd Mode. In semi, you get a clean non-adjustable 4.5 pound trigger. Tac-Con’s patented 3rd mode has a spring loaded positive reset which transfers force from the bolt carrier through the trigger assembly to assist the trigger back onto the front sear. This gives you a 4.5 pound trigger pull with a very fast, snappy and positive reset.

Tac-Con 3MR
Photo: Kearms.com

I got mine and rushed home to throw it into a gun and get to the range. As promised, installation is very simple. The trigger is pre-assembled and drops in. Nothing to do but replace the selector and line up the trigger pins. It is fully adjusted out of the box. There are two foam pads on the bottom of the trigger which compress and form a custom fit to your lower. I was out the door in 15 minutes.

Using the provided 3-position selector, the selector switch rotates all the way around to the “third” position. In the standard semi-auto mode, the trigger feels like a nice single-stage trigger. There’s a bit more over travel than you would get in a Timney, but it’s not bad at all. The break was crisp and there was no stacking or creep.

3MR Trigger
Photo: Kearms.com

Sliding the selector over to the 3rd position caused the reset to become much, much shorter — you just think about resetting the trigger and it happens. There is a tab which protrudes from the back of the trigger and catches on the back of the hammer as it cocks. Some of the force from the hammer moves the trigger back, partially resetting the trigger. This leads to a shorter reset for the follow-up shot.

I started with a Colt M-4 with a standard Colt 3-round burst trigger as the control. One of my pet peeves is when people say “it is fast” without a time. With a CED7000T timer, it is a simple matter to check the split times and divide by 60 to get rounds per minute. With a Colt recoil spring and an H2 buffer, split times are almost exactly .1 seconds. I’ll do the math for you – that’s 600 rounds a minute.

With the 3-round cam, you never know what the first burst is going to do, one, two or three rounds. After that, as long as you hold the trigger down, you get three rounds. If you need four rounds, you need a new trigger pull. There are other machine guns with lower cyclic rates which give better control. The 3-round burst forces a certain cadence. If the targets don’t match that, you are inefficient.

The problem with burst fire on the M-4 is that it shoots faster than you can aim. Follow me through on this. The good news is that the M-4 shoots at 600 rounds a minute. The bad news is that the time it takes you to see something and react is .25 seconds or so. So, the target moves, two rounds of full auto go down range before your brain can tell your finger to get off the trigger. The 3-round burst is a mechanical solution to reduce the number of those missed rounds.

Don’t believe your reaction time is that long? Take the test, you may be a mutant.

When you see a stimulus to shoot, the images hits your eye and the eye sends a message to your brain. Your brain must then interpret the image, make a decision on what to do and send a signal to your muscles, telling them to move the correct finger. The more alternatives you have, the longer the decision takes (Hick’s Law). In round numbers, you can decide to shoot and hit the trigger in about .25 seconds. Once the trigger moves, there is time required for the hammer to fall, hundredths of a second. On full auto, the time for the action to cycle and the sear to fire again is about .1 seconds.

Using a JD lower and a Colt LE 6920 16” M-4 Upper, I loaded 420 rounds of Walmart Federal American Eagle Ammunition into my Lancer mags (this took seconds with my Caldwell Mag Charger). I shot two magazines at a time and let the gun cool. After a couple of magazines, I got comfortable with the trigger. Buy the end of the afternoon, I was able to do multiple-hit target transitions and Bill Drills with consistent .14 splits. With Glow Shot targets, it was easy to see my hits and confirm my shots.

The guys at Tac-Con say that their system will shoot at 450 rounds per minute. I was able to very easily get consistent .14 splits, which comes to 428 rounds per minute. I am sure that with more practice, I could shoot a little faster. The difference between 600 and 400 rounds per minute is that you can control and react at 400 much better. You may lose one round in reaction time, but you are in the loop, not just hanging on to a fire hose. For me, this provides a greater sense of control.

The ability to empty a magazine is great in Zombie movies, but in real life, you only want to shoot until there is no more need to shoot. Additional, unnecessary rounds just deplete your ammo and risks hitting friendlies or innocents. After three mags the forearm gets too hot to hold without gloves. High temperatures will increase wear on your gun and decrease reliability.

TAC-CON 3MR offers really fast multiple hits without sacrificing effective accuracy. Using the Tac-Con 3MR, you can approach full auto speeds. More importantly, the 3MR will let you shoot that fast with superb control. I was able to put as many rounds as needed in a realistic target with consistent .14 splits, then transition smoothly to other targets and repeat as necessary.

With full auto, it is much more difficult to manage recoil and transition between targets. If you have cases of ammo to train your trigger reset, you can shoot this fast without a 3MR. If your job benefits don’t include ammo, you might want to check out the Tac-Con 3MR. I can’t think of a single situation where I would rather have a 3-round burst M-4.

TAC-CON 3MR Features

  • 3 Mode Drop-In Trigger
  • 3rd Mode is Positive Reset
  • Semi Auto is a Match Grade
  • Pull Rate 4 1/2 Pounds
  • Zero Take-Up; No Overtravel
  • Construction
  • Full EDM; CNC’d in USA
  • Coated with NP3 (Nickel Teflon)
  • Compatibility
  • AR-15 Mil-Spec Style Fire Control Group
  • BATFE Compliant/Non-NFA
  • Cost
  • Standard Model $495.00 Retail
  • Selector Included

The ATF has ruled this device is not a machinegun. Tac-Con includes a wallet sized copy of the ATF letter with each trigger.

If you want to get a production gun or complete lower with the 3MR trigger, look no farther than Kearms.

USM4 MODE 3 SELECT FIRE® 16″ RIFLE (NP3)
Photo: kearms.com