Swampfox Trigger Review

I’ve spent a few fun days testing a trigger group reworked by Swampfox, a specialist in modified 10/22 triggers based here in Virginia. Bottom line: I love this trigger. Read on to see why.

The trigger group I tested is a Ruger OEM with a polymer housing and single-piece hammer (no separate bushings), modified with these improvements by Swampfox:

  • Hammer stoned and polished for pull weight of 2.0 lbs and virtually no creep
  • Sear engagement surfaces polished
  • Torsion spring trigger return system installed
  • OEM trigger return plunger replaced with an adjustable overtravel stop
  • Bolt lock plate modified to auto-release
  • Hammer strut end deburred and polished

The major elements of this trigger job are the hammer mod and the torsion spring trigger return. Swampfox has a proprietary method of modifying the sear notch on the OEM hammer to reduce engagement for a lighter pull with less creep, while maintaining a reliably safe, positive angle for the sear. The result on this trigger is impressive. In ten consecutive tests on my trigger gauge the hammer dropped at exactly 2.0 lbs of pressure. There was no perceptible movement of the trigger in either take-up or creep – it really did feel like a glass rod. By comparison, the Volquartsen target hammer installed in my wife’s favorite 10/22 has the same pull weight, but feels long and mushy. My own DIY trigger job isn’t quite as smooth and has a little more take-up. Some winter afternoon I’ll have to work on a spare hammer I have to refine my technique – or just get one of these groups.

But what makes this trigger exceptional is the torsion spring return. The upper left side of the trigger is machined to create a trunnion, or ear, around which a torsion spring sits, and the recess makes a slot in the trigger. The spring is the same design as the bolt lock spring, but with one long and one short leg. The short leg of the spring sits against the wall of the slot, pressing down and back on the rear of the trigger.

Trigger assembly with torsion spring

The long leg of the spring is captured in a groove machined into a brass pin that is inserted through the side of the trigger housing, just behind the hammer pin. You can see the pin in these photos:

Overtravel stop and spring pin Spring pin interior

This is a much superior design to the Ruger OEM plunger/coil spring trigger return. Spring pressure is lightest during the first part of the trigger pull – until the shot breaks – increasing through the short overtravel. The OEM coil spring adds its full resistance from the beginning of the trigger squeeze. Also, the torsion spring eliminates the friction of the plunger sliding in its hole in the trigger guard. The net effect is a trigger that is lighter and much smoother than the original; and the trigger return is faster and more positive as well as smoother. You can actually hear the sharper click as the disconnector snaps over the sear. For shooting Rimfire Steel Challenge I would definitely want a torsion trigger return spring for the speed. I want one now for the smoothness.

The auto-release bolt lock is an OEM part with the upper hole modified by Swampfox. It is well shaped, and the edges are deburred and smooth. While Swampfox does not recommend disassembling the trigger group, once you understand how the trigger return spring fits it is easy to take down for a proper cleaning.

Overall this is a truly excellent trigger group at a fair price. It is much better than the Ruger BX trigger. My wife used it yesterday and made a 5-shot group with all the holes overlapping in the standing position at 25 meters – the first time she’s ever done that.

Swampfox has a website at http://swampfoxtriggers.webs.com/ which offers a range of services for 10/22 triggers. He will modify your trigger group, or sell you a complete one, offering a credit (currently $45) if you trade in your unmodified OEM group. If you want to upgrade to an aluminum Rimfire Technologies trigger, the upcharge for that is only $20 (vs. $30 for the trigger on RT’s website store). Occasionally he has complete groups for sale on Rimfire Central. The particular trigger group in this review is for sale on the Trading Post section of Rimfire Central for $100.

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4 Responses to Swampfox Trigger Review

  1. John S Landbeck Jr says:

    As always; excellent, well written review. I am constantly in awe of the time you spend helping those of us who are addicted to 10/22’s find ways to make them better!
    John in Maryland


  2. Racer X in Seattle says:

    Your experiences mirror mine. I purchased a complete group from him just before recent surgery, and it is so much fun to tell someone it is an OEM assembly. I just neglect to mention it got a serious dose of magic.


  3. superbarnie says:

    Hello Bob, can you tell me how does this compare with the “Kidd Trigger job kit”? I was planning on getting that, but now I’m considering getting the Swampfox service instead.


    • Well, I couldn’t make a value judgment to say that one is better. In addition to the fact that I have the highest regard for both makers, the two products have different features that aren’t directly rankable.

      The geometry of the Kidd sear-hammer engagement is unique. Nothing I have tried other than the full Kidd trigger group has the same feel. The Kidd kit also has an set-screw overtravel stop in the trigger blade.

      The Swampfox trigger I tested was excellent, with a 2.0 lb break in 10 of 10 measurements. The torsion spring trigger return system, which does away with the plunger/coil spring assembly in the trigger guard (replacing it with an adjustable overtravel stop), provided the smoothest, quickest, most positive reset I’ve tried in an OEM-based trigger system.

      You can’t go wrong either way.


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