The Trigger Guy

Calvin Motley-6

Jeff Cooper once wrote, “Those of us who shoot a good deal are well aware that the most important attribute of either rifle or pistol is trigger-action.”

Good triggers used to come by way of a gunsmith but every little town no longer has one. Timney Triggers has filled that void with more than 130 affordable and precision engineered drop-in trigger units to fit rifles from more than 20 manufactures. Most can be installed in just a few minutes, with the tools you have in that cluttered drawer in your kitchen.

As a testament to the quality of the Timney product, what might be the highest quality hunting rifles ever engineered – the rifles of New Ultra Light Arms – have come standard with Timneys for more than 30 years.

The rifles of New Ultra Light Arms have come standard with Timney triggers for more than 30 years.

Engineering masterpieces like these do not occur by accident. About a dozen years ago, Timney owner John Vehr realized he would have to invest in high-tech automated machinery to produce precision triggers in mass. After spending enough money to feed a third world country, Vehr sent an employee off to school. About all he learned while there was how to plug the machines in and turn them on. Vehr then began a search for an operator; the man he found was a genius.

Calvin Motley was a sometimes shooter but more importantly his brain works differently than most. He can look at a mechanical conundrum and almost magically create a simple solution, often before you’ve finished explaining the problem. Not long after Calvin went to work for Timney, I told him I’d really like a good trigger for my CZ 452. Calvin suggested I send him the rifle. I did. Two weeks later he returned it with a brand new trigger. Calvin’s intellect, ingenuity, and the rapidity with which he can yield, is rare.

Timney’s new two-stage Targa triggers for the AR and the Remington 700.

For 70 years Timney has manufactured nothing but single stage triggers but they continually receive requests for two-stage triggers, particularly for the AR. For 2016 Timney introduced a new two-stage AR trigger for consumers to drool over and they have one for the Remington model 700 too. Calvin created these new “Targa” triggers in just a couple months while working on other trigger projects, operating and servicing all of Timney’s robotic machinery, and while being a loving husband to his wife Rhonda and a dedicated father to their three sons.

As it is with most any companies, it’s not the brand, the building, or the business, its the people who work there that make the difference. Vehr will readily admit Timney was fortunate to find Calvin. How much does Vehr believe in him? Two years ago when Calvin created the absolute best trigger possible for the Remington model 7 and 700, Vehr was so impressed he named them after Calvin.

Timney’s Calvin Elite trigger for the Remington Model Seven.

Every company, just like every shooter, needs a smart guy to turn to. Timney has Calvin Motley. And, you could argue that John Vehr is pretty smart too. After all, he hired Calvin and has managed to keep him around. If shooters are lucky, Timney will take care of Calvin and he’ll continue to create masterful go switches for many more firearms, for a long time.