By Trampas Swanson

For years now, the concept of custom trigger options on factory production guns has been limited to spring kits or serious money spent with gunsmiths to grind, clip and polish factory triggers to give the end users a smoother, crisper trigger. Due to cost or limitations on what switching springs could offer, a lot of good pistols were discredited due to over travel, mushy triggers or just heavy “felt” trigger pulls due to ergonomics of the trigger design. Over the years, these factors have played heavily into my choice of carrying a Glock pistol daily. For what the factory Glock trigger “is” and “is not”, the fact of the matter is, it’s simply reliable, consistent and manageable.

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Recently, I have come into contact with a company by the name of Apex Tactical Specialties, which is doing some great things in the field of giving shooters a new option in their custom trigger needs. Let’s look at my own personal experiences over the past couple of months that ranges from literally saving one pistol from total discredit to truly enhancing what I considered my daily “go to” gun. I will wrap up with how my eyes were re-opened to another great pistol in which I had a brief encounter with a year ago with documented positive results. All thanks mostly to Apex triggers.

Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm

When Smith and Wesson launched the M&P series of guns, I remember shooters lining up out the door to see what all the fuss was about by shooting one on the range. My first experience with this line of pistols came in the form of an M&P full size frame in .40 caliber. At the time, I was experimenting with the caliber a bit in deciding to transition over from my current duty caliber at the time of a .45 ACP. Right off the bat, I loved the smooth lines and comfortable grip of the M&P. It just felt “right” when going into my master grip and drawing the pistol from the holster. When I started shooting the M&P, I did not like the stiff and gritty trigger. For all things my duty .45 ACP Glock was not, at least it’s trigger pull was not as bad as this new M&P. Immediately, all my “likes” about the pistol went out the window and I ended up selling the M&P .40 and purchasing a Glock 19 for off duty carry.

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In my spare time, I am a certified armorer for several big name firearm manufacturers’ firearms. I install items like trigger kits, night sights and such into pistols for former co-workers, family and select clients. A few months ago, a good friend named Kenneth Holtkamp aka “Big Kenny” brought a Smith and Wesson M&P Pro Series Core to my office along with a complete Apex Flat-Faced Forward Set Sear and Trigger kit for me to install. After a close inspection of how the trigger was set up and watching a short video posted at www.apextactical.com, I was able to install the trigger and time the sear to the correct setting for the trigger to function properly. While initially this install did take several tries to find the right amount of space to set the open loop that engages the sear, my first trip to the range eliminated any negative thoughts I had in the shop.

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After 20 test shots, I felt like I needed 20 extra test shots just to be sure. At that point, there were only 10 rounds left in the 50 round box of ammo, so why not finish strong with another 10? My conclusion was, the trigger was closer to an on / off switch than it was a traditional trigger. There was very little creep, and an even shorter reset. The trigger pull registered just under 4lbs but felt like 2lbs to my finger due to the difference in angle and reduced over travel. I fell in love with a pistol I have always hated, all because of a different trigger!

Once returning the pistol back to “Big Kenny,” I received a phone call a couple of days later with very high praise of his gun. I did mention to my buddy, due to the much lighter trigger, I would not personally be comfortable in using the pistol as a daily concealed carry gun. Now that several of my friends and clients have seen the Apex trigger for the S&W, it is my opinion, this particular set up could save the M&P series for a lot of shooters.

Glock Model 19 9mm

As most of our regular readers know, I carry a Glock Model 19 chambered in 9mm as a daily concealed carry firearm. As I said previously, I like the Glock because it’s reliability and consistency of the trigger and overall function. Over the years, I have used drop in trigger connector replacements and spring kits, with some success but still with the traditional curved trigger.

At the beginning of last month as I was preparing for SHOT SHOW, I had a chance to speak with the director of marketing for Apex, Paul Erhardt. Our conversation was about the recent launch of their second Apex trigger. The endearing factor of this second trigger being released was in the fact it was for the Glock firearm. Through our conversation, it became clear this new trigger would not be a target style trigger as the S&W version proved to be; instead it would be a true concealed carry worthy trigger. A week later, I received a sample of the Apex Action Enhancement Trigger for Glock and installed it in my Gen 4 Glock 19.

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Upon returning from my week at SHOT SHOW in Las Vegas, I headed to the range less than 48 hours after my plane touched down returning home. After dry firing the new trigger a few times, I loaded up the Glock and spent about 100 rounds down range during my training session getting used to the different angle and perceived lighter trigger pull. Unlike the S&W M&P trigger I had installed in my friend’s pistol, this version was ONLY a trigger and trigger bar, NOT a complete spring kit. By just changing the angle of the trigger’s pull due to the re-contoured trigger face and set back of the trigger location, the trigger felt smoother, shorter and had less “pull” weight. When I added a Ghost disconnector and Wolf Spring kit, the pull weight physically moved down to 4lbs but felt even lighter, while remaining smooth and comfortable. There was a noticeable amount of take up prior to breaking the shot, but when incorporating the Glock reset shooting technique, this was not a factor at all in multiple shot strings of fire.

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Overall, not only did I like this trigger in my Glock, I immediately made arrangements to buy two more triggers prior to writing the review. This trigger would be very comfortable and beneficial in the subcompact series of Glocks such as the model 26, 27 and 33 to control the smaller frames during shooting as well as adding more precise shoots in the full duty size frames. While this does not offer Glock shooters a competition grade trigger, it does offer the much larger number of Glock owners out there legally carrying concealed, a very reliable and safe trigger for the gun they may one day need to rely their lives upon.

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Walther PPQ M2 9mm

Last year, I had the pleasure of working with the great folks at Walther Arms on a fun review of their PPQ M2 9mm pistol. This updated, 5 inch barrel version of their original PPQ offering had a few pleasant surprises for me during the testing period. Aside from relocating the magazine release, the contours and balance were very nice. Straight out of the box, the pistol handled great and shot even better. With this in mind, you could imagine my slight skepticism when I discovered the next trigger upgrade to be released from Apex Tactical Specialties would be for the Walther PPQ. How could a pistol, whose factory trigger is already commented on often about being easy to shoot and smooth become noticeably better by using a new kit? This was a question Paul at Apex knew I would have and very kindly sent a trigger from the newest batch for T&E very soon after our conversation.

To start with, I will say this again, the factory trigger for the PPQ is a very good trigger and feels better than most of its competitors currently on the market. The problem lies in having now tested the Apex trigger and come to be spoiled by it. The flat profile combined by the slightly rearward set of the Apex trigger allows for very little creep before breaking the shot and almost ZERO over travel due to a built in trigger stop. This is a trigger that has the best of both offerings of the Glock and S&W upgraded Apex Tactical Specialties triggers. By the new geometry of the trigger, it makes the felt pull lighter while still maintaining a true weight I would feel more comfortable carrying every day.

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The Apex trigger helped tighten groupings during testing that were already very impressive prior to replacing the trigger and very similar to my original test data over a year ago. I was so impressed with the new package set up on the Walther PPQ, I called in a fellow writer and business partner, Craig Reinolds to task him with doing a second independent review of the PPQ with and without the Apex trigger for a publication he currently writes for. At this time, Craig’s initial feedback has been very positive and his comments will no doubt make for another great article to his credit. Something tells me that between Craig and I, Walther will not be seeing the PPQ again but instead a check in the mail along with a thank you note.

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Final Thoughts

Over the past 6 weeks, I have no doubt traveled a lot of miles and sent a lot of ammo down range for my job. Thus far, the most impressive item I have seen over a span of three complete different pistols is the improvements made by drop in triggers by Apex Tactical Specialties. This company has been a joy to work with. Their stuff is loaded with gun experts eager to help with any questions or concerns you may have about their products. With a retail pricing ranging from $99 US to $169 US, it’s one of the best investments a serious shooter will ever make in their pistol. Needless to say, I highly recommend all three of the triggers offered by Apex Tactical Specialties and look forward to seeing what this team comes up with next! For more on how to order your very own custom trigger, check out their complete listing of Apex triggers here at 1800GunsAndAmmo.com.