Gear Review: Apex Tactical Shield Carry Kit

Smith and Wesson M&P triggers have never been known as “good” by any stretch of the imagination. I lamented the “godawful” M&P trigger in my M&P 45C review, and every stock one I’ve picked up since has given me fits. The Shield was the first M&P that didn’t seem to have a trigger filled with sand. I actually kind of liked it. Our man Ralph agreed, though he felt it was a bit too stiff by a pound and a half. The guys and gals over at Apex seemed to think the same. And when it comes to M&P trigger improvements, there’s one name that gets thrown around the most, Apex Tactical.

Apex Tactical VP & Pistolsmith, Scott Folk was kind enough to send me one of their M&P Shield Carry Kits. It comes complete with a fully machined sear, striker block kit, and spring set. According to the product brief, the sear is supposed to reduce trigger pull weight and over travel, the striker block kit smoothes things out, and the spring kit brings the trigger pull weight down to a number that starts with a five. Best of all, Apex advertises that, “This is a do-it-yourself drop in trigger enhancement kit designed to allow for the home gunsmith to easily modify their pistol without the excessive costs of shipping firearms.” I’m barely a home gunsmith (I don’t even play one on TV), but I figured I’d give it a try on a Shield of my own.

Our main man Scott also tossed in an instructional video showing you how easy it should be to install the carry kit in your Shield.

I found Scott’s video to be very well done and extremely informative. Truth be told, had these instructions been only in written form, there’d still be a pile of Shield on the bench. Scott is clearly a talented guy, and if you follow the instructions, you too can install the kit. But watch that video first and decide what your time is worth. Especially if you don’t have the tools to do this job. Specifically, the tool to push your rear sight out. You’ll need to do that to replace the striker block. And this is the part where I show you how much I mangled my rear sight using the wrong punch.

So how does it shoot? In a word, awesome. The stock trigger was good, but the Apex trigger is really excellent. Trigger pull is reduced to just a touch under six pounds, the break is clean, and the very audible reset point is very close to the break. This allows you to ride the reset point and make incredibly fast follow up shots without losing your sight picture.

Apex did a really great job with this kit, and if you have the right tools to get the job done, don’t hesitate to contact them and get one on order. If you aren’t sure of your gunsmithing skills, or don’t own the necessary tools, give some thought to sending your Shield off to Apex, and they can do the install for you. It will be about 4-6 weeks and cost you $150 + shipping.

Apex Tactical Shield Carry Kit

  • Includes: Apex Fully Machined Sear, Ultimate Striker Block Kit, Shield Spring Kit
  • Cost: $89.95
  • Installation Time: ~20 minutes if you are Scott Folk, closer to 1.5 hours if you are a mortal.
  • Installation Difficulty: With the right tools, fairly easy.
  • Installation Cost: If you choose not go the DIY route, $150 + shipping gets you a Level 2 Trigger which is the kit, some polish, and an install by the Apex Tactical Team.

 Design * * * * *

The Shield kit is very well designed, very well machined, and comes with all the little slave pins and doo dads you’ll need to hold everything in place while you assemble.

 Functionality * * * * *

My Shield performs flawlessly now. I have had zero reliability issues and feel totally comfortable carrying the Shield day to day.

 Overall Rating * * * * *

This is a well put together kit that will only enhance an already very nice gun.