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RPM Trigger for Ion
By Bill Mills - Jan 2006

The trigger defines much of how a paintgun feels to a player, and for many players the stock trigger just won’t do.  Critical Paintball has produced the RPM Trigger for the Ion.

The RPM trigger uses an S shape, rather than a traditional double concave two finger trigger shape.  Overall the trigger features smooth curves and a generous width.  For many players this shape is popular as it lines up well with a pair of fingers that are angled slightly downward when gripping the paintgun.  Critical also adds a roller bearing to their design for fast, smooth action, and the Critical Pro Pin – a threaded trigger pivot pin to replace the stock friction fit pin.

Installing the RPM trigger involved a little more effort than most common trigger swaps, but was not unusually difficult.  The first steps were removing the Ion’s trigger frame and disconnecting the banjo bolts from its receiver (See Ion Disassembly).  The circuit board was then removed from the grip frame.

With the receiver apart from the grip frame, a punch and hammer were used to tap the stock trigger pivot pin out of the left side of the grip frame.  Once the pin was clear enough from the grip frame, a pair of pliers were used to completely remove it.  This allowed the trigger to be lifted out of the grip frame, and the RPM trigger to be dropped in its place.

The Critical Pro Pin slid through the grip frame and trigger, and its threaded end cap screwed into the other end.  A tiny o-ring on the end cap acted as a lock washer, to keep the small screw from vibrating loose.  This arrangement – which looks much like a tongue piercing barbell – has an advantage over the stock pin in that it positively locks in place, and won’t work its way loose from being removed and reinstalled several regularly (most users who rarely if never change their triggers are unlikely to see a problem with the friction fit stock pin.)

In order to provide more adjustability, the RPM’s trigger return magnet is in a different location than that of the stock Ion trigger.  To give it an internal magnet to repel, Critical includes a pair of tiny magnets in a plastic shell carrier.  The carrier adheres to the Ion’s capacitor with a tiny spot of double stick tape.  

With its new magnets in place, the Ion’s electronics went back inside the grip frame, and the ‘gun was reassembled.

Next came adjustment.  With three adjustment points accessible when the Ion is fully assembled, the RPM makes it easier to tweak the trigger pull.  At the top of the trigger is the trigger return magnet.  Screwing this further into the trigger provides more physical resistance, via the magnets, to return the trigger to the forward position.  In the middle of the trigger is a screw to adjust the trigger’s activation point – how far into the trigger pull the Ion’s microswitch is activated to fire a shot.  The lower most screw adjusts the rear travel limit, or ultimately how long the Ion’s total trigger pull length is.

After an installation that took less than five minutes, adjusting didn’t take long, but was not as easy as expected.  The head of the trigger activation adjustment screw was so deep in the trigger that the short end of a standard hex wrench could not reach it, but the trigger guard got in the way of the long end.  With one that was too long, and one too short, a little hunting through the tool box found a shorter hex wrench that was “just right” to do the job.   The RPM trigger’s three adjustment points combined with the forward travel limit screw in the bottom of the trigger guard to provide full four point adjustment without having to take the Ion apart.  

With the right tools it was easy to adjust and test to get the RPM trigger down to a pull that was under 2mm measured at the bottom of the trigger, and which was responsive and easy to shoot quickly.  While it adjusted to even shorter pulls reliably, the final adjustment gave a comfortable feel for faster shooting.

Critical Paintball’s RPM Trigger provides a stylish roller bearing trigger pull while allowing easy external four-point trigger pull adjustment for the Ion. 

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