[SHOT 2023] MDT Zero Stage Electronic Trigger By: Nicholas C


At the MDT booth in SHOT Show 2023, they had something truly interesting – the Zero Stage electronic trigger. Yes, the trigger is electronic but what does that mean? Keith Baker walked us through the Zero Stage trigger and even went into detail about its potential.

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MDT Zero Stage electronic trigger in their ACC Elite Chassis

MDT Zero Stage electronic trigger in their ACC Elite Chassis so we could feel the trigger break.

Since the MDT Zero Stage trigger is electronic, you can program it how you want. The trigger pull is adjustable and this one was set at 5 oz. Right now the trigger pull is programmed by putting the Zero Stage safety on, pressing and holding the trigger back until the LED light changes on the trigger body. When it starts the trigger pull programming mode it will start at 64oz but if you release and pull the trigger again it will switch to 4oz and each subsequent trigger pull will increase the trigger pull by a single ounce.

The reason MDT wanted to make the Zero Stage was to help eliminate any bias in the trigger and make it as consistent as possible. To do this they use a servo so no matter how you pull the trigger the servo will break the same every time.

Another feature of the MDT Zero Stage trigger is that it has accelerometers and inclinometers built in. With the electronic brain of the trigger, you can prevent the trigger from releasing if it is angled too high or low. Imagine a shooting range in the heart of a city and if all the guns have this trigger, it would be impossible to shoot a round over the berm. You can also lock out the trigger if it feels a certain force like if you dropped the gun.

The Zero Stage is in the prototype phase now so on a full charge they can get 2,000 trigger pulls. But MDT predicts 3,000 trigger pulls when they mass produce it. There is a USC-C charging port under the trigger that you can access through the trigger guard. When the safety is engaged, it shuts down the battery use. They predict a 2%-3% parasitic drain when the trigger is not being used.

There is potential for the Zero Stage electronic trigger. If they can pair it up with the VK Integrated Systems SIOS-C technology, then they could have GPS and compass built into the system. Theoretically, you could prevent 180º negligent discharges. You would have to program what the 180º line is but it could work.

However, with all the wide eyes looking to the future we do have to wonder how will this work in an emergency? Can the trigger work if there is no power? Could someone remotely lock out the trigger for good or bad? I think for a competition setup, the Zero Stage trigger could be interesting. MDT plans to spend this year testing their prototypes and then will compile that data to see where the Zero Stage needs improvement. So it will be a while before we can get our hands on one.

TFB and TFBTV’s coverage of SHOT Show 2023 is proudly sponsored by 5.11 Tactical. Click here to check out their new products.