Rifle Triggers and Rifle Safeties


“The most important characteristic of any rifle is its trigger action. It is better to have an inaccurate rifle with a good trigger than the other way around.”

The Art of the Rifle

Jeff Cooper

In the early 1980s Melvin Forbes was at work on what would become the lightest sporting rifle ever built. He had designed the action. He had designed the scope mounts, which now made by Talley Manufacturing. And, working with the Allegheny Ballistics Laboratory, he had created an eight ounce rifle stock that was stiffer than the rifle barrels he was getting from Douglas Barrels.

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To be complete, this wondrous creation needed one more thing; a trigger. Like Cooper, Forbes new the importance of a good trigger but he also wanted a trigger with a integral safety lever that would lock the bolt handle down. To anyone who has hunted much at all with a bolt action rifle this is a feature very much appreciated and one that Remington foolishly discontinued on their Model 700 and Model Seven rifles.

Forbes designed his safety and contacted Timney Triggers. He asked them to build him an impeccable – fully adjustable – trigger that he could install his safety on. Timney did just that and Forbes has built his rifles using this trigger and safety for more than 30 years.

The uniqueness of the safety on this trigger is that it works as normal in the forward position by allowing the rifle to fire. When the safety lever is moved to the rear it blocks the sear instead of the trigger, preventing the rifle from firing. However, If you psuh down on the safety when its in the rear position, the bolt can be operated allowing you to unload the rifle while it is still on safe.


It is an ingenious design that Remington should have adopted a long time ago. It might have prevented many of their trigger problems associated with the Model 700.

What most people do not know is that you can purchase this patented New Ultra Light Arms safety direct from Brownells. Then, you can convert your Remington Model 600, 660, 721, 722, or Model 700 to work with it. (This safety will not work on new Remington Model 700 or Model Seven rifles. With a few exceptions, the rifle must be of pre 1990 construction.) If you have questions about whether this safety will fit your Remington you can call New Ultra Light Arms, describe your rifle, and get an answer.

In any case, you can still buy a Timney trigger for your Remington and while it might not have the superior New Ultra Light Arms safety, you will smile wide every time you pull it because, like Cooper also said in the Art of the Rifle“A really good trigger action will go further in making you a deadly field marksman than any other factor about your weapon.”