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Best Precision Rifle Trigger

Best Rifle Trigger: What The Pros Use

If you bought a factory rifle, what would be the first thing you upgrade? Many experts would say it should be the trigger. The barrel has a more direct/mechanical influence on precision, but some suggest the trigger first because the trigger has such a dramatic influence on your ability to shoot a rifle accurately. You’ll never get the best precision from a rifle with a heavy, inconsistent trigger. Considering what other upgrades cost, like a chambered, match-grade barrel might cost $800, a tactical stock/chassis might be $1,500, an action $1,400, and a scope $2,000+. But even the most expensive triggers are a fraction of those costs (typically $200-320). An investment in a quality trigger could provide more bang for your buck than any other part of your rifle.

This article will dive into the triggers that the top-ranked shooters in the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) are using. All of this data is based on a survey I did recently of the top 200 shooters in the PRS Open Division. Let’s dive into the data!

Best Rifle Trigger

The chart below shows how many of the top 200 shooters in the PRS are running different brands of triggers.

Best Rifle Trigger

On the chart above, the various colors represent where a shooter landed in terms of season rank in the PRS. For example, black indicates shooters who finished in the top 10, the darkest blue is people who finished 11-25, and the lighter the blue, the further out they finished in overall standings. The chart legend itemizes the ranks each color represents, but basically, the darker the color, the higher the shooter’s overall ranking.

Trigger Tech: 51% of Top-Ranked PRS Shooters

Trigger Tech was the most popular brand, with 51% of these top-ranked rifle shooters choosing to run it. That included 3 of the top 10 shooters and 13 of the top 25. Trigger Tech was also the most popular brand trigger when I last did this survey 5 years ago (see the data), so they’ve held onto that top spot.

I will add that I’ve been publishing this “What The Pros Use” data since the inaugural PRS Season in 2012, and it is exceedingly rare to ever see the majority of these shooters agree on a single brand for any gear. So 51% of these shooters running a Trigger Tech trigger is certainly a testament to the quality of trigger those guys produce.

Trigger Tech Trigger

In 2017, the TriggerTech team started working on the Diamond trigger and solicited feedback from top shooters like Matthew BrousseauBradley and Christine Allen, and the rest of the K&M shooting team. They put the new trigger through the paces through matches during the second half of the 2017 season. By the time the 2017 PRS Finale came around at the end of the year, 7 out of the top 10 shooters were already using the Diamond trigger!

So what makes the TriggerTech so special? The traditional bolt-action trigger, like the stock Remington 700, Jewell, and most others, uses a sliding friction design. The surface of the trigger and sear slide against each other until the sear clears the trigger, and that’s when the trigger “breaks” and the firing pin is released. The TriggerTech design features a roller pin between the sear and the trigger, which improves both the feel and safety of the trigger. The result is virtually no friction or trigger creep – just a clean break. To learn more about why that’s the case, read more here (scroll to “Why It Works”).

TriggerTech Trigger - How It Works

TriggerTech offers the Diamond trigger with three options for the trigger shoe (shown below).

TriggerTech Diamond Trigger Shoe Options

I reached out to TriggerTech to see which trigger shoe was most popular, and they shared these stats, which reflect the number of Diamond triggers they sold directly to consumers (excludes sales to other businesses):

While the crisp feel with virtually no creep is great, the biggest reason so many have moved over to TriggerTech may be the extreme durability. The shortest way to sum that up is to use a direct quote from one of the competitors who shot in the 2017 PRS Finale, which was held in the Oklahoma dust over a couple of windy days:

Ken Sanoski PRS Rifle Shooter

“The Oklahoma dust at the [PRS] finale wreaked havoc on competitors’ triggers. I saw multiple triggers from every trigger manufacturer go down except the TriggerTech. After seeing all the other triggers fail and TriggerTech’s ability to operate in dusty environments, I’m moving all my guns over to your Diamond.” – Ken Sanoski, 8th in 2023 PRS Open Division.

It turns out the roller pin design is less apt to fail from dust getting in the trigger housing. In fact, if that happens, the inherent motion of the internal parts actually clears it out naturally. And I’m not just making that up. Tests were performed by impregnating a few different brands of triggers with “fine Arizona dust” (commonly used in clinical trials), and the TriggerTech was the only one that passed with flying colors. (Read about those tests at the bottom of this article). TriggerTech is so confident that their triggers will perform even in the harshest environments that they give a spare “match saver” Diamond trigger to each of their sponsored shooters, which would be made available to any shooter who has a trigger go down during a match. They don’t want any shooter to have trigger problems on the range – and they’re betting after you experience their product, you’ll become another one of their raving fans.

If you want to learn more about the TriggerTech trigger, check out this article I wrote about it when it was first released.

  • Street Price for TriggerTech Diamond$280 (EuroOptic.com currently has these marked down to $233!)
  • Pull Weight Adjustment Range: less than 4 ounces to 2 pounds

Bix’n Andy Triggers: 40% of Top-Ranked PRS Shooters

Bix'N Andy TacSport Pro-X vs TacSport Pro vs TacSport X

Bix’n Andy wasn’t far behind Trigger Tech, representing 40% of these top-ranked PRS competitors. In fact, 6 of the top 10 shooters were using a Bix’n Andy trigger. 5 years ago, they only represented 14% of the top-ranked shooters, so they’ve had a massive increase in popularity.

Bix’n Andy originally built their reputation in the Benchrest and F-Class world:

“The Bix’n Andy Competition trigger is hands down the most used trigger among top shooters in the Benchrest world and F-Class as well. It has the lowest reset force in the industry, the ability to fine-tune your adjustments to make it compatible with your action, giving you an extra edge over your competition. The range of this trigger is 30 grams to 800 grams (1.0 to 28 ounces). Shooters rave about the glass-like brake and over-travel for proper follow through.” – Zach from BulletCentral.com (US Distributor for Bix’n Andy)

But, the PRS is not like Benchrest. We shoot in dusty field conditions and have to move to multiple positions with the rifle while on the clock. So it wasn’t until around 2018 that PRS shooters started using Bix’n Andy triggers after they released the Bix’n Andy TacSport PRO Trigger. Like their Benchrest competition trigger, the TacSport Pro also features their unique ball bearing system, and the single-stage version is adjustable all the way down to 3.5 ounces! It is machined from stainless steel with a housing designed to further protect the mechanism from the elements, so it is more appropriate for field-style shooting.

Austin Orgain

Two-time PRS Champ Austin Orgain told me his TacSport PRO triggers “have a very crisp break like the Benchrest trigger does, and so far, I haven’t had a failure.”

In June 2023, the Bix’n Andy TacSport Pro-X was released. The primary difference between the TacSport Pro-X and the original TacSport Pro is the new Pro-X trigger goes through extra CNC polishing and finishing that was previously only done on the Bix’n Andy Competition series of triggers intended for Benchrest use. Those extra steps are supposed to make for an even crisper-breaking trigger than the previous TacSport Pro triggers.

They also introduced a TacSport X trigger, which is a step below the Pro-X – but at a better price point. The primary difference between the two is the trigger weight adjustment range. The TacSport Pro-X is adjustable from 3.5 ounces to 2.2 pounds, whereas the TacSport X is adjustable from 10 ounces to 4 pounds. The TacSport X also doesn’t receive the same machining and honing on the sear as the Pro-X.

The guys at BulletCentral.com told me the original TacSport Pro trigger will be phasing out. They may still have a few left for sale, but they’ll eventually be replaced by the new TacSport X and TacSport Prox-X versions.

How are these Bix’n Andy triggers different than most other triggers?

There are a few things about Bix’n Andy triggers that are different than most, if not all, triggers on the market. Here are the big ones:

Bix N Andy Ball Trigger

1) Unique ball-bearing design: Bix’n Andy explains: “This trigger system utilizes the simple yet effective properties of staggered balls. Due to the special arrangement, the balls try to deflect sideways. Due to the already greatly reduced force of the firing pin, a low trigger weight is possible with absolute safety.”

2) Ability to open the trigger housing and completely disassemble to clean/maintain: BulletCentral says this: “We encourage you to open your Bix’n Andy trigger after a dusty or grimy match and clean it using acetone and then completely blow it dry with a can of air. Then you’ll know your trigger is clean and ready for the next match.”

Bix'n Andy Disassemble Trigger To Clean

3) Swappable trigger shoes. Bix’n Andy offers a few trigger shoes to pick from. Austin Orgain said he really liked the Gator Grip trigger shoe because “controlling trigger pressure seems to be easier with the Gator Grip shoe. You can really tell how much pressure you are pressing with on the reduced surface area, but it’s still a nice wide shoe.” The great thing about the Bix’n Andy approach is that the end user can replace the trigger shoe. They are $35 each, so you can try a couple to see what you like best.

Bix N Andy Trigger Shoes

I asked the guys at BulletCentral.com if they could share which of these trigger shoes they sold the most of, and here is the data they shared with me:

4) Overtravel, instead of a firm wall. This is VERY different, but it could potentially be important. Here is how Bullet Central explains it: “The Bix’n Andy trigger has built-in adequate overtravel. There are a lot of misconceptions about overtravel and how it may not be a good thing to have. Here is why it is: While shooting with any Bix’n Andy trigger, during the follow-through of your trigger press, the trigger allows you to pull through the break and onto a spring without hitting “a wall.” That allows your rifle to go through its recoil process without being altered. In contrast, other triggers on the market have a firm wall. When you break a trigger with a firm wall, hitting that wall in your follow-through can alter your rifle during the recoil process. That typically results in a shot that is down and to the right for right-handed shooters, especially when you aren’t firing from a rock-solid position. Spotting impact or bullet trace can be critical in the PRS, so the overtravel that the Bix’n Andy trigger provides can be an added advantage, especially when shooting from props or other improvised positions.”

5) Customize sear engagement to your action. This is something I’d never thought of before, but Chris Harris (an accomplished Benchrest shooter and founder of Bullet Central) shared with me at SHOT Show that Bix’n Andy triggers are designed to allow the end user to fine-tune the sear engagement to their action. It turns out different brands of actions (even expensive custom actions) have slightly different trigger positions relative to the cocking piece on the bolt. Bullet Central provides a pretty comprehensive list of actions and the related measurements, and it surprised me to see how much brands might vary. For example, the measurement from the dowel pin to the top of the cocking piece is 0.156” on a Surgeon action to 0.186” on an Impact action. If you used the same trigger for those actions, the sear would obviously have varying levels of engagement. Bix’n Andy allows you to select a low, medium, or high sear height to fine-tune your trigger to your action so you can achieve a more precise amount of sear engagement. If you don’t fit the trigger with the right sear, it may not function properly, but outfit it with the right one, and they say it will provide Benchrest quality precision. (Find the right sear height, or watch how to correctly setup your trigger.)

Bix'n Andy TacSport Sear Compatibility Chart

The downside of the new TacSport Pro-X trigger is it has the highest street price on this list. Here is a breakdown of the price point and adjustment range of these Bix’n Andy triggers:

ModelStreet PricePull Weight Adjustment Range
Bix’n Andy TacSport Pro-X$315-3503.5 ounces to 2.2 pounds
Bix’n Andy TacSport X$26510 ounces to 3.4 pounds
Bix’n Andy TacSport ProDiscontinued (was $265)10 ounces to 4.5 pounds

Timney Triggers: 3% of Top-Ranked PRS Shooters

Timney Calivn Elite Trigger Custom

6 of these pro shooters said they were using Timney Trigger, including 1 in the top 50.

Timney offers a wider variety of triggers than any other manufacturer, from the popular AR-15 drop-in trigger upgrades to a 2-stage trigger upgrade for the Ruger Precision Rifle to an upgrade for the Browning X-Bolt hunting rifle and countless other options. Most Timney triggers allow you to adjust the sear engagement, pull weight, and overtravel. All 6 of these shooters said they were running a trigger with a pull weight set between 8 and 12 ounces, which means they were most likely running Timney’s flagship trigger: the Timney Calvin Elite Custom Trigger, although the slightly lower-priced Timney Remington 700 HIT Trigger can be adjusted down to 8 ounces, too.

The Timney Calvin Elite trigger was released a few years ago and is adjustable from 8 ounces to 2.5 pounds. It’s named after Timney’s legendary designer, Calvin Motley. This is Timney’s spare-no-expense design, which they created to be robust but still delicate enough to be set with a pull weight as low as 8 ounces. It is available in both single-stage and two-stage versions. The Timney Calvin Elite trigger comes with four different shoes, including curved, flat, heeled, and knurled. The shoes are adjustable for length of pull, cast, and height for the ultimate in comfort, positive contact, and control.

  • Timney Calvin Elite Custom Street Price: $300 (Timney HIT has a street price of $250)
  • Pull Weight Adjustment Range: 8 ounces to 2.5 pounds

Jewell Triggers: 3% of Top-Ranked PRS Shooters

Jewell Trigger

5 of these top-ranked shooters said they were using a Jewell trigger. The Jewell trigger was considered the “gold standard” for decades. The patent for the trigger design dates back to 1985, and it was the go-to trigger for most high-end precision rifles since that time. In 2015, I surveyed the top 100 PRS shooters, and 40% of them were using a Jewell trigger, which was not just the most popular, it was more than double any other brand! (see the data). 5 years ago, Jewell’s popularity among the pros had dropped to just 12% (see the data), and today it’s dropped to just 3%.

Unfortunately, Jewell recently went out of business, and these triggers are no longer in production. Their website is no longer up, I called their main phone number and it is no longer in service, and I also tried to contact them via email without any response in weeks. The rumors are that a supplier of some of their internal parts went away, and they couldn’t find a different supplier to fill the need. There are also rumors that they might come back in the future, but that seems like speculation. I did find that the inventor of the Jewell trigger, Arnold Jewell, passed away in October 2022. Arnold made a huge contribution to the shooting community with this trigger design that was the best-of-the-best for more than 20 years!

I personally have 2 of these Jewell HVR triggers for sale that are lightly used and in full working condition. I know there are some die-hard Jewell trigger fans out there, so I plan to list those on GunBroker this week, and I’ll share a link here when those go up.

Other Triggers Used By The Pros

There were a few other trigger brands being used by 1 of the top-ranked shooters. Below is a full list of those, and if it was used by a top 50 shooter, I also included the name and place of the person who was using it.

Trigger Pull Weight

Finally, I asked these shooters what trigger pull weight they were running. Here is a full breakdown of the exact trigger weight these shooters said they used:

Best Rifle Trigger Pull Weight

76% of shooters were running a trigger pull weight between 8 and 16 ounces. 56% were running between 8 and 12 ounces, including 8 of the top 10 shooters. There were two outliers in terms of trigger weight among the top 10, including Morgun King, who said he ran his Bix’n Andy trigger at just 4 ounces, and Austin Buschman, who said his Bix’n Andy was set to 20 ounces.

I interviewed Austin Buschman last year, and we talked about his trigger pull weight being heavier than most. Here is what he said when I asked him why he sat his trigger to 20 ounces: “That is light enough that I don’t think it affects any of my shots, even from positional. My it’s my general theory is that a guy should run it as heavy as he can without affecting any of his shot placement or any precision. So, for me, 1 ¼ pounds is light enough that I don’t think it matters for any shots, but if I went any heavier, I think it would start to matter. In my mind, that should eliminate some potential for a negligent discharge, which I don’t ever want to have one.”

A large portion of this comes down to personal preference and trying to strike the right balance between light enough that it doesn’t pull you off target and safety against a negligent discharge. In the PRS, a negligent or accidental discharge typically results in an immediate disqualification from the match (unless it is determined by the match director to be the result of a broken or defective part of the firearm). I will say that it is exceedingly rare to see any negligent or accidental discharges at a match (I’ve literally never seen one at any matches I’ve attended), so running at these lighter pull weights can be done safely – although 85% of the shooters choose to not run below 8 ounces.

Doug Koenig PRS Rifle Shooter

The one shooter who said their trigger was set to 32 ounces was Doug Koenig, who is competing in the Production division and using a factory Ruger Precision Rifle. Doug got 4th in the PRS Production Division but shot well enough to be ranked 50th in the Open Division with his Ruger Precision Rifle. If Doug was running a custom trigger, it would likely be set lighter than 32 ounces – although clearly, he is performing at the highest levels even at 32 ounces.

Coming Up Next

If you enjoyed this content, there is more to come! Over the next few months, I’ll be publishing a ton of data on what the top precision rifle shooters are using. Check out the other “What The Pros Use” articles that have already been published.

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About Cal

Cal Zant is the shooter/author behind PrecisionRifleBlog.com. Cal is a life-long learner, and loves to help others get into this sport he's so passionate about. Cal has an engineering background, unique data-driven approach, and the ability to present technical information in an unbiased and straight-forward fashion. For more info, check out PrecisionRifleBlog.com/About.

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  1. Hi Cal,

    The last company of the Top-9 ranking: aren’t they called “Geissele”? (not Giessele?) 😉

    All the best, and thank you for always interesting analysis!
    Marc Heim


    • You are correct, Marc. I noticed that in the content before I published, so I think I got it fixed in the written text … but didn’t take the time to update it in the chart graphic. That’s what those guys get for having a name that is so hard to spell! 😉


  2. Hi Cal,

    Curios to know if you have any data on single vs two-stage usage – with the pull weights you have listed, I’m guessing all are single?

    Thanks for everything you do, always great info!


    • Hey, Colin. That’s a good question. I actually didn’t ask them if they used a single-stage or two-stage on the most recent survey. There were already so many questions I was asking these guys about that I cut that one. I can tell you that the overwhelming majority of shooters are using a single stage triggers, but there are a few using two-stage. I’d bet money that at least 90% are single-stage though, which is why I opted to cut that question. But, maybe I’ll ask it next time.