It is safe to say a late percentage of new crossbow hunters are people who sent most of their time hunting with a gun before they ever picked up a crossbow. As a result, most gun hunters are used to the feel and operation a decent trigger. Imagine the surprise many gun hunters get the first time they shoot a crossbow and discover the factory trigger is stiff and has an enormous amount of travel! You probably know what I am talking about.
The average deer rifle comes with a trifler that has a pull weight of 3-5 pounds. Some custom triggers are far less, while others are a touch heavier. The trigger weight on many crossbows is considerably more and the trigger travel is much more. The first time I ever pulled the trigger on a crossbow, I thought I was going to be pulling the trigger for 10 seconds before the weapon would fire. It took a lot of getting used to. The way most crossbow triggers are designed results in a lot of creep.
One company is trying to change that.
Frank Gairdner, with a new company called TriggerTech, set out to fix the problem by developing aftermarket triggers for crossbows that offer a consistent, safer crisp trigger pull, a highly desirable thing.
"A clean, crisp trigger can really help with accuracy," Gairdner told Crossbow Revolution. "Our triggers are 2 1/2 pounds, so when you have zero creep and a lightweight trigger, you end up with a great shooting experience."
Any custom gun manufacturer will you that having a top-notch trigger is a must, especially when shooting extreme distances. More crossbow shooters are practicing out of 70 or 80 yards, and in some cases, even farther. As a result, everything from the bolts and scope to the trigger itself must be fine-tuned. The trigger is often the Achilles' Heel of a weapon.
"We are noticing that more hunters want their crossbow to shoot very accurately," said Gairdner. "When they start doing the research, they learn about our trigger."
TriggerTech did the R&D, and has staked their investments on a different way to build a crossbow trigger. There is actually increased sear engagement with the system because of its "roller" technology.
"There is no sliding friction in our system like the other triggers. It is safer and increases overall performance," said Gairdner
The brain behind the new style is Mats Lipowski, Gairdner's partner at TriggerTech. Lipowski is a longtime competitive shooter, a contractor with Canada's military and a master engineer. He didn't like the triggers that come on stock crossbows, so he decided to change them. He called upon his research with the military years prior.
Lipowski had studied releasing heavy objects under extreme tension while mitigating friction and difficulty. He realized crossbows have the same problem he'd studied: When under a high load, they have a hard time releasing.
"He applied similar principles to crossbow triggers and it has worked wonderfully," said Gairdner.
TriggerTech triggers are available for Excalibur, TenPoint, Parker, Mission and Killer Instinct crossbows. In fact, the trigger comes stock on all Killer Instinct crossbows, and some Excaliburs, so a switch-out isn't required to install the trigger, but it is not difficult. Most people can change out the trigger in less than half an hour with a few Allen wrenches, no bow shop needed.
Some might think with less trigger pull and less creep, this trigger system would be less safe.
In fact, TriggerTech's dramatic presence is seen as a way for crossbow companies to get out of the tricky trigger business and source out that part of the crossbow. Crossbow triggers, which have to hold upwards of 200 pounds of draw weight, are intricate mechanisms.
In recent years, we've seen a flurry of crossbow recalls due to faulty triggers.
Trigger groups range from $120.99 to $189.99 and come in weights from 1 1/2-pound target triggers to 3 1/2 pounds, single-stage or two-stage.