Timney Triggers AR15 Skeletonized Trigger 661-S Review

Best AR15 upgrade If there is one thing we have learned about the AR-15 platform it is how much better an AR can shoot by simply replacing the mil-spec trigger with […]
Timney Triggers AR15 Skeletonized Trigger 661-S Review installed in Aero Precision lower receiver

Timney Triggers AR15 Skeletonized Trigger 661-S Review installed in Aero Precision lower receiver

Best AR15 upgrade

If there is one thing we have learned about the AR-15 platform it is how much better an AR can shoot by simply replacing the mil-spec trigger with a high quality upgraded trigger. Learn more about the difference a great trigger makes in an AR in our  Big AR Trigger Test review. In that AR trigger throw down we tested the Timney Triggers 667-S Competition trigger and really liked it.

Why Timney?

When it came time for a personal rifle build our AR specialist, Jason, opted for the Timney Triggers 661-S small pin skeletonized trigger for a few reasons:

  • Prior positive experience with Timney Triggers in a variety of personal rifles and rifles Jason built for customers
  • The 661-S is reported to have the short, crisp single stage beak he wanted.
  • The looks of the skeletonized trigger fit the build he was working on.
  • Easy, quick drop-in installation.
Timney Triggers AR15 Skeletonized Trigger 661-S Review u

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Timney Triggers AR15 Skeletonized Trigger 661-S specs

Brand:                Timney Triggers
Platform:         AR-15
Trigger Bow: Hybrid
Type:                    Single Stage
Adjustable:     No
Drop In:             Yes
Pull Weight:   3 lbs

Timney also offers the same trigger in 4 Lb (Timney Triggers 664-s) and 4.5 Lb (Timney Triggers 665-S) trigger pull weights.

Here is what Browells says about the Timney Triggers AR15 Skeletonized Triggers:

“Self-contained module is ready to install in your small-pin AR and deliver an exceptionally smooth, crisp, creep-free single-stage trigger pull that feels more like a traditional bolt action than a combat rifle trigger. 100% drop-in—no gunsmithing, fitting, or adjusting required. All components are captive in the lightweight, aluminum alloy housing. Hammer is wire-EDM machined from S7 tool steel that combines hardness to resist wear with superior impact resistance to withstand heavy use without chipping or breaking. Other components are EDM cut from A2 tool steel, then heat treated to Rc 56-60 for long service life. Precision-ground engagement surfaces ensure superb reliability and a crisp, clean hammer release. Installs using your rifle’s original hammer/trigger pins; proprietary design eliminates pin walkout. Available with a distinctive-looking, lighter-weight skeletonized shoe, with choice of 3 lb., 4 lb.,  or 4.5 lb. pull weight.”

*Many of the links in this review will take you to trusted retailer Brownells where you can order any of the Timney Triggers products.

That all sounds nice, but how did it do in the field?

Timney Triggers AR15 Skeletonized Trigger 661-S Review unboxHere is Jason’s initial report on the Timney Triggers AR15 Skeletonized Trigger 661-S:

This thing is sexy! 

I’ve always gotten a kick out of the tootsie pop in the box too.

Initial impressions are always good with Timney, not overly flashy packaging but that gold trigger housing shines past anything else on the table.
Installation (minus the time I spent tearing the AC duct out from under the house and putting it back) with the KNS Precision trigger pins took a whopping 2:13 (that is 2 minutes + 13 seconds).  I know, I’m getting slow in my old age.  Fit was flawless in the Aero Precision receiver. Actually, it may have been the easiest trigger pins I’ve ever pushed through, they didn’t even have to be tapped with the hammer.
Function:  I’ve fired 30 rounds tonight and it feels clean, crisp, and maybe a little shorter reset than the 667-S Competition trigger we initially tested.  This trigger feels more akin to the Timney’s I have in my bolt guns.  I’ll definitely be raising that round count this weekend, for scientific evaluation of course.”

Interesting… In our 667-S Competition trigger review you may have noted that the advertised 3 Lb trigger pull actually tested at a bit over 4 Lb. Jason also reported in our Big AR Trigger Test review that the 667-S didn’t feel like the other Timney Triggers that he has in bolt action rifles. It was still a nice trigger, but heavier and with a different feel than he expected. Now that he has also shot the AR15 Skeletonized Trigger 661-S and reported a different feel I am wondering if the 667-S Competition trigger we received earlier this year might have been a touch “off”. Jason tested the AR15 Skeletonized Trigger 661-S and found a 5 pull average of 3.12 Lb.

Timney Triggers AR15 Skeletonized Trigger 661-S Review naked

Timney Triggers AR15 Skeletonized Trigger 661-S Review naked

After Jason tested the AR15 Skeletonized Trigger 661-S more, he sent the following report:

“This rifle runs awesome.  The c is faster than I anticipated it being.  I ran 180 rounds this evening on varying range targets.  The reset on this trigger makes for some fast double taps.  Aside from that, it just looks dang sexy sitting there in all its slim skeletonized goodness.”

How to install the Timney Trigger in an AR

The installation process for the AR15 Skeletonized Trigger 661-S is the same as is described in the article How to Install the Timney Triggers AR-15/AR-10 Trigger Upgrade Video.

In short, the drop-in module is a pretty simple installation that even a novice should be able to complete. However, it can be tricky holding the spring legs away from the screw holes to install the set screws. It helps a LOT to mount the lower receiver on a magazine well vise block to hold it completely still during the installation and free up both hands. *If you will if install in a polymer lower, then you should be aware there is also a warning in the instructions to use a small aluminum plate in the mag well. You need to request the aluminum plate when you order the trigger.


What’s not to like about a consistent, high performance trigger that helps you shoot better, is easy to install and looks great?
17-UniqueARs_GibbsArms_Lucid_Optics_Newtown_Firearms (13)The only thing we aren’t raving about is the price, which isn’t bad. As of this writing the AR15 Skeletonized Trigger 661-S is about $270 at Brownells. I think this is a very fair price and in line with other premium trigger upgrade options from Geissele Automatics, American Trigger Corporation, PACT, Wilson Combat, HiperFire, etc. So, while I tend to be rather cheap, I can’t really knock the Timney Trigger’s price since it is consistent with other top of the line AR trigger options.
We love the simple drop-in installation and find it much less intimidating for rookie or novice AR owners vs other options that require assembly.

At the end of the day, performance is what high-end triggers are all about and the AR15 Skeletonized Trigger 661-S is an excellent performer. I also really like that there are 3 different models different pull weights so the end user can get exactly the feel they like for each application.

Gear Score
Whether you buy it for the sexy skeletonized trigger bow, the easy installation, or the crisp break, it is hard to go wrong with the Timney 661-S AR trigger

About Jeff

Jeff is the Editor in Chief of Gear Report and a National Shooting Sports Foundation Media member. He reports on the outdoor industry, reviews gear for camping, hiking, shooting, hunting, paddling, backpacking and other active pursuits. A USAF veteran, Jeff earned a MBA in Marketing and Health Services. He specializes in consultative selling and internet marketing. As the VP of BD & Marketing, Jeff provides sales and marketing leadership to MGECOM, Inc. and helps http://MGECOM.com acquire new clients in need of solutions for online merchants in need of Affiliate Marketing program management. Jeff founded and manages Cress Sales & Marketing LLC, offering online sales and marketing consulting and services to online merchants and service providers.