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Old 10-02-2019, 12:27 PM
pblanc

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Evaluation of three different 10/22 trigger upgrades



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I am now up to three Ruger 10/22s and all have undergone trigger modifications of different types. I have now dry fired all of them many times, and have enough live fire experience with them to make my own subjective assessments of their quality.

I am actually hard-pressed to say which one is "best" because they are all excellent within their respective price ranges. I will describe them beginning with the least costly.

Two of the modifications were done by Brimstone Gunsmithing. There are certain features of their work that are common to all of the three levels of their trigger work as described below.

The Brimstone Gunsmithing modifications require you to remove your trigger group and send it to BG. The trigger group is sent back in a small fixed-rate USPS box. You have your choice of how to ship it to BG in Washington State. I found that a putting it in a small zip lock back inside a small padded envelope works fine, and is a little cheaper than the small fixed-rate USPS box.

All of the Brimstone trigger jobs for the Ruger 10/22 include modification of the bolt catch lever to provide for "auto-release" of the open bolt. Unless of course, you don't want them to do this, in which case let them know. With the Brimstone work you have some choice of pull weight, from 2 lbs to 3+ lbs. The heavier pull would be for individuals using the trigger to compete in CMP Rimfire Sporter competition which requires a minimum pull weight of 3 lbs. BG will not go lower than 2 lbs. You can also select 2.5 lbs. BG recommends selecting the "sweet spot" pull weight which they claim will be the pull weight that the trigger naturally wants to be at when the modification is completed. That will result in a pull weight of 2 to 2 1/4 lbs. That is the option I selected for both of the trigger jobs I had BG do.

At the time I had BG work on my triggers, total door-to-door turn-around time was pretty short, around 10-11 days. I understand that they are currently reorganizing the company and have a backlog of work so that turn-around time is currently much longer, several weeks to a month or longer.

1. Brimstone Gunsmithing Tier 3 trigger job. This is the least costly of the three options that BG offers for modification of the stock Ruger 10/22 trigger. The work itself costs $38.50 but a return shipping charge of $9.95 is also charged. I found that it cost around $7 to ship the trigger in the manner I described. If you are having mulitiple triggers modified, the $9.95 return shipping fee will cover all of them. So for a single trigger, the Tier 3 job is going to run $55-56 dollars with the shipping included, comparable to the cost of the Ruger BX trigger when they go on sale.

The Tier 3 trigger job replaces no stock parts. The trigger group will come back with the same trigger shoe. I do not have a good trigger pull gauge, but a note returned with my Tier 3 trigger indicated a pull weight of 2 lbs 1 oz. The Tier 3 trigger is a marked improvement over the stock Ruger trigger. I wish I could compare it to the BX trigger, but I have no experience with those. I have heard some people who have had both the BG Tier 3 trigger and the BX trigger state that the BG trigger was better.

The Tier 3 trigger work does not reduce either pre-travel or over-travel. There is a modest amount of pre-travel with the stock Ruger trigger and an easily appreciable amount of over-travel. The Tier 3 trigger does smooth out the pre-travel some. The break is quite crisp with significant over-travel after the break. The trigger reset is a bit gritty in dry fire which I do not notice at all in live fire.

2. Brimstone Gunsmithing Tier 2 trigger job. This option adds $40 to the cost of the Tier 3 job so total cost will be on the order of $95-96. With this option the stock trigger is replaced with a trigger CNC machined from billet aluminum with a relatively flat face. The stock Ruger trigger return spring and tenon are removed and replaced with a rotary torsion trigger return spring inside the trigger group housing, and the place where the trigger return spring and tenon went is replaced with an over-travel screw.

My Brimstone 2 trigger was returned with a note indicating a 2 lb 2 oz trigger pull weight. The flat faced aluminum trigger has a much nicer feel than the stock polymer trigger. I can't say this definitely improves my accuracy but I don't discount the possibility. Again, there is a modest amount of easily appreciable pre-travel which is very smooth, but the pre-travel is shorter than for my Tier 3 trigger. The break is once again very crisp, and there is absolutely no appreciable over-travel. Because of the lack of over-travel, the trigger reset is shorter, and it is very smooth, even in dry fire.

IMO the lack of over-travel and nicer trigger are very much worth the additional $40 for this job.

3. KIDD DIY drop-in trigger. This is the $105 single-stage trigger/sear/disconnector and hammer set. Included is a new hammer pin and a new trigger pin. The trigger, sear, disconnector, and disconnector spring come preassembled with a slave pin holding everything together. I also purchased the spring tuning kit for an additional $17. This includes five different trigger return springs of different strength to allow some fine-tuning of the trigger pull weight.

Needless to say, installing this kit does require some disassembly and reassembly of the trigger assembly itself, and modification of the bolt catch lever to provide of auto-release of the bolt is not included. But the bolt catch lever is easily removed and modified for auto-release at the same time this kit is installed. Anyone with the mechanical aptitude to install the trigger kit (not much is required) should be able to modify the bolt catch lever and there are a bunch of videos on youtube on how to do this. Total cost of the trigger kit, spring kit, and shipping came to $127 so about $30 more than the BG Tier 2 trigger job.

The KIDD parts are very well made. Installation instructions are good and the installation is not difficult. All that you need is a small drift or punch, or something that can be used as one. The trigger return spring is replaced, but the stock trigger return tenon (plunger) is reused. There is an adjustable over-travel stop set screw in the trigger shoe itself and another set screw in the part of the sear that contacts the safety lever/cylinder which reduces pre-travel. Unfortunately, these small set screws require a very small 1/16" Allen wrench which is not included in the kit. I used the next to lightest trigger return spring which KIDD said typically resulted in a trigger break of around 2 1/4 lbs.

The quality of the KIDD trigger kit modified trigger and the BG Tier 2 trigger job is very comparable. The aluminum KIDD trigger is also relatively flat-faced and has an excellent feel. I really can't pick the feel of one trigger over the other. The KIDD modified trigger seems to have a bit less pretravel than the Tier 2 trigger and it is very smooth. I may not have adjusted the sear set screw on the KIDD sear down as far as I might have as there is still a little trigger play with the safety in the on position. So I might possibly be able to reduce pretravel even more.

Once again, the break is very crisp and the pull weight at break with the KIDD trigger feels very close the the 2 lb 2 oz pull weight of the BG Tier 2 trigger. There is no appreciable over-travel. The reset is quite positive and smooth but the audible click on reset is a bit softer with the KIDD modifed trigger than the BG Tier 2 trigger.

Honestly, I can appreciate very little tactile difference between the BG Tier 2 trigger and the KIDD modified trigger. If I were dry firing the two blindfolded, I am not sure I could identify which trigger was which. In terms of absolute quality I would probably give the edge to the KIDD trigger kit because of a little less pre-travel and the ability to adjust the pull weight with the spring tuning kit, as well as not having to wait multiple weeks (at present) for the BG modified trigger to come back. The KIDD trigger kit and spring tuning kit also allow the potential for a trigger pull weight of less than 2 lbs, if that is what you want.

I think all three of the above options represent excellent values within their respective price ranges. Brimstone also offers a Tier 1 trigger job for $32.50 more than the Tier 2 job, which puts it right at the same price as the KIDD trigger kit and spring tuning kit plus shipping. The Tier 1 job (which I have not had done) includes an adjustable sear that removes all trigger pre-travel, according to BG.

Last edited by pblanc; 10-02-2019 at 12:35 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-02-2019, 12:57 PM
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Very nice review. Comprehensible and succinct. After those two statements, my response will prolly have neither of those qualities

I bought my Brimstone tier 2 Triggers and Brimstone Bx Triggers From S&P. They are great triggers. I also sent a Bx trigger into them and it did take a long time to get it back. I was patient, they were responsive and nice, and it was worth it.Itís a greater trigger. there are differences , albeit small in each one of them. I attribute this to the fact that all the Ruger made triggers are slightly different, and the trigger jobs are done by different people at Brimstone . So no two triggers come in the same or go out the same.

I also have an old metal group trigger , from my Brown precision custom team challenger, that touted an enhanced trigger, which looks suspiciously like a VQ trigger job . Itís pretty darn good too!

And I have a VQ TG 2000 , which I bought used at a lgs, that is outstanding.

Iíd like to try a Kidd Trigger, the kit, single stage , and two stage someday soon. Iím sure Iíll love those too!
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Old 10-02-2019, 03:16 PM
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I have the Tier 1 in my wife's gun. It started life as a Ruger BX. It came back to me as a great trigger for her. We both like and shoot crisp and very light triggers and are totally accustom to shooting same at the range or in the woods.

I have a Kidd single stage set at 1.5 lbs from Kidd but reading just a bit over that on my scale. I would really like to have this trigger at 1 lb. but understand Kidd will not set it there. Due to that I have been considering Kidd's two stage which will allow me a much lighter final stage but I abhor two stage triggers..... Just me . No reflection on Kidd's product.

I have not experimented with anyone else's triggers except I might be interested in Jard's save for the price, but then Kidd's aint cheap and with the Jard at least it is a single stage trigger and set at 1 lb.

Just some comment.
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Old 10-02-2019, 05:35 PM
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As far as the price for the Kidd kit I've gotten every one of mine for $105 delivered. Not really a fair comparison price wise to add the cost of the springs to the trigger because they are not needed with the kit unless you want to make the pull heavier. Also having several Kidd kits and Brimstone Tier 1 and 2, I can definitely feel the difference. I can't tell the difference really between the Brimstone 1 & 2. But I can tell the difference when I pull the Kidd. Brimstone is a great company and they do great work modifying an OEM trigger, but IMHO the Kidd kit is noticeably better.
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Old 10-02-2019, 08:42 PM
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I have a Brimstone tier 2. The service was quick & took less than two weeks. I am very pleased with their product.
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Old 10-02-2019, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Rod Blackburn View Post
I have a Brimstone tier 2. The service was quick & took less than two weeks. I am very pleased with their product.
Any trouble with customs going to or from Brimstone
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Old 10-02-2019, 09:32 PM
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No problems at all.
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Old 10-02-2019, 09:47 PM
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Brimstone Tier 2 Upgrades

pblanc - Nice work on the detailed writeup on the three options.

I initially tried a Ruger BX trigger and while the trigger pull was improved, it didn't have a good feel. The RFC put me on to the Brimstone solution, so I sent my original trigger group off to them for a Tier 2 upgrade and was very satisfied with the results . . . so much so that I sent them (3) additional trigger groups for Tier 2 upgrades on my Magnum Research MLR's. All (4) came back with Sweet Spot settings of 2.2 lbs.

The group shipping of trigger groups works well and reduces the overall cost.

So my experience matches up with your BC Tier 2 writeup very well.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:02 PM
Flash_80

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The Brimstone work on a factory trigger is really good. The Brimstone work on a BX is excellent. To buy a BX with intent to send to Brimstone - well, just go ahead and get a Kidd single stage. The cost difference doesn't warrant it. If you already have a BX group, yes, just send that to Brimstone. Its worth it.

I've heard a lot of good about drop ins, but I won't buy one. I'd rather someone that knows what they're doing work on my trigger group themselves in the end.
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Old 10-03-2019, 04:07 AM
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How is the long term durability of the Brimstone-smithed trigger groups? I have heard tales of them causing problems after many thousands of rounds, and I'm trying to verify this.
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:50 AM
pblanc

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I have had no problems with the durability of my Brimstone Tier 2 and Tier 3 triggers thus far. I have a few thousands live rounds through each. Counting dry fire I perhaps have many thousands of trigger breaks.

The last of the three triggers modfied was with the KIDD drop-in kit. I had been very happy with the Brimstone Tier 2 trigger that I had done in the past, and likely would have gone that route. I chose to go with the KIDD kit for several reasons.

First was the KIDD mystique. I knew my Brimstone Tier 2 trigger was quite good. But everyone spoke so highly of KIDD triggers, I wanted to find out for myself if the DIY trigger kit would be better and this was a chance to find out.

Second was the two week or greater in-house turn-around time that BG is currently experiencing. I wanted to have this trigger available for an event I was attending and I didn't think I would get the BG trigger back in time.

Third was the possibility that I might want to try Rimfire Sporter shooting in the future. The KIDD trigger offers the option of increasing the trigger pull weight to 3+ lbs as required by Rimfire Sporter rules. This and the fact that I did not want a sub 2 lb trigger break at this time, is why I also ordered the spring tuning kit.
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:38 AM
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Pblanc , So we know why you bought the Kidd Trigger Kit, the question is how does it compare to the Brimstone when you pill the trigger?
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Old 10-03-2019, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Toomany22s View Post
Pblanc , So we know why you bought the Kidd Trigger Kit, the question is how does it compare to the Brimstone when you pill the trigger?
I thought I had addressed that in my original post, but if I did not make myself clear I will try again.

I have the "white" spring from the spring tuning kit installed in the KIDD modified trigger. According to Tony Kidd, that is supposed to provide for a trigger pull weight of around 2 lbs 4 ounces with the average stock Ruger trigger assembly housing. That is what I wanted to keep the pull weight close to that of my Brimstone modified triggers.

The actual tactile feel of the CNC machined triggers made by KIDD and Brimstone are very similar. I can't pick a favorite based on the feel of the trigger shoe/blade itself.

The KIDD modified trigger has a bit less pre-travel than the Brimstone 2 trigger. As I said before, I may not have adjusted the sear set screw on the KIDD trigger down as far as I could have, so it might be possible to reduce the pre-travel on the KIDD trigger a little more. But a little pre-travel never really bothered me too much and still doesn't. The pre-travel on both triggers is very smooth.

The actual break on both triggers is very crisp. I cannot appreciate any trigger creep with either trigger. The pull weight at the break seems to be very close. My Brimstone Tier 2 trigger was measured to break at 2 lbs 2 ounces. I can't appreciate any difference in pull weight between it and the KIDD trigger with the white tuning spring.

The actual let off at the break might be just a little softer on the KIDD trigger. I am not talking about less pull weight at the break. I don't know how else to describe this. The difference is pretty subtle and I am not sure I would notice it in live fire.

With the over-travel screw on the KIDD trigger blade properly adjusted, there is no appreciable over-travel with either it, or the Brimstone Tier 2 trigger. Reset on both triggers is very smooth. The audible click resulting from the disconnector releasing the sear is a little louder on the Brimstone Tier 2 trigger.

In summary, not really much difference in the Brimstone Tier 2 trigger and the KIDD drop-in trigger for me. But if you desire a sub 2 lb trigger pull weight the KIDD gives you that option. The Brimstone Tier 2 does not.

Last edited by pblanc; 10-03-2019 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 10-05-2019, 02:38 PM
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Just my 2 cents. I have the BX trigger on one rifle and the basic brimstone job on the trigger of a different rifle.

The Brimstone came back stating a 2 lb trigger pull. Maybe I got lucky but the BX trigger feels slightly less then that. The brimstone trigger has a crisper break; whereas the BX has a lighter mushy feel to the trigger pull.

Either option is good for the semi-serious shooter who wants an improved trigger at a reasonable cost IMO.
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Old 10-06-2019, 04:31 AM
Flash_80

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Originally Posted by NicholsT55 View Post
How is the long term durability of the Brimstone-smithed trigger groups? I have heard tales of them causing problems after many thousands of rounds, and I'm trying to verify this.
Probably 12000rds or so in the gun I've got the Brimstone trigger in. Steel challenge gun, so easy to get a high round count. The only thing thats changed since the day I got the group back is the pull weight dropped from 2.3lbs to 2lbs.
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