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We get a fair number of complaints whenever we review a high dollar firearm. “You can buy seven GLOCK 19s and a couple of cases of ammo for what that gun costs!” If we had a nickel for every time we’ve seen a comment like that, we could run out and buy a Korth Mongoose .357. And a couple of cases of ammo.

But there’s something out there for every taste and income level. And there are plenty of inexpensive, reliable firearms for those who can’t or don’t want to drop a couple of mortgage payments on a new mohaska. If you do your research and buy intelligently.

Take, for example, the often-overlooked Smith & Wesson SD9 VE. Check out our review of this dependable performer here. It lets you put a good, reliable bump-in-the-night gun on your nightstand for under three bills. Its one big drawback: the SD9 VE has never been known for having a stellar trigger.

But fear not. Apex Tactical, maker of replacement components and triggers to improve the bangswitch on dozens of handguns and rifles, has packaged up some of their most popular SD9 VE upgrades (they’ll work on .40 cal models, too) into one handy bundle they’re calling the Action Enhancement Kit.

That means for a nickel under $55, you can make your SD9 VE an extremely sweet shooter and have yourself a hell of a good bargain gun for about $350 all in. How many GLOCK 19’s can you buy for that?

Here’s their press release . . .

Apex Releases Action Enhancement Kit for the SDVE Pistols

PEORIA, Ariz. – Apex Tactical Specialties announces the release of its new Action Enhancement Kit for the SDVE and SD model pistols from Smith & Wesson.

The new kit combines two of Apex’s wildly popular upgrades for the SDVE and SD model pistols into one convenient package that delivers the best overall performance upgrade. The kit is made up of the Apex Polymer Action Enhancement Trigger for the SDVE, which reduces pre-travel by approximately 20% and over-travel by 10%, and the Apex Spring Kit for the SDVE, which produces a smoother trigger pull and improved reset along with lowering the factory trigger pull weight approximately 2.0 lbs.

Additionally, Apex has included a new Apex Sear Spring for the SDVE and SD models to further enhance the pistol’s trigger pull characteristics. This new kit gives the SDVE owner the kind of performance upgrade they’ve come to expect from Apex Tactical Specialties.

The Action Enhancement Kit for the SDVE is available for order now.

Features and Specifications:
– Lowers trigger pull weight approximately 2.0 lbs from factory specs
– Delivers a smoother up take and improved reset
– Reduces both pre-travel and over-travel
– Maintains factory safety values
– Works with all Smith & Wesson SDVE and SD model pistols
– Easy to install (watch the installation videos)
– Apex Part #: 107-115
– MSRP: $54.95


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  1. Is an SDVE’s trigger earlier to work with than an M&P? The difficulty of replacing the trigger and sights on that is the sole thing the Glock has in its favor over the M&P. I don’t think someone buying a budget handgun has the tools for that.

    • It’s 90% exactly the same as a Glock, hence S&W had to pay them royalties on the Sigma. I got an SD9VE basically because they were super cheap last Christmas, $200 I think, and the Apex kit, it used to be two packages, this is the same, just in one box, a la M&P. It makes the trigger quite decent, about like a Beretta APX actually. Better than an M&P 2.0 stock, but not as good as the M&P, 1.0 or 2.0, with kit. I actually prefer the SD9VE to a G19 for most situations now, but I have a M&P 2.0 compact with kit that I’d use before either.

      Why do I have 6 pistols that fit the exact same use case? Merica! I did sell my HK VP9 though….and got the M&P 2.0 so…yeah.

      • “Why do I have 6 pistols that fit the exact same use case?”

        Heh. Don’t ask about the number of Ruger No. 1s that I’ve collected over the years. Because I can 🙂

      • I had to laugh when I read the article say the following.

        Some people …”don’t want to drop a couple of mortgage payments on a new mohaska”.

        That statement illustrates the mindset of broke people, lacking common sense.

        These days, most mortgage payments are $1000 or higher, often far higher. Let’s say that “several mortgage payments on a new mohaska” means $3000 or so. That is $3000 for a single gun.

        People still making mortgage payments shouldn’t spend that kind of cash on a single firearm. I’m sure that $3000+ firearms are awesome. They just aren’t for broke people (being indebted for basic shelter means you aren’t wealthy).

        If you are wealthy, rock on! Get those great guns, and enjoy them. The other 90% of people should remember that those awesome high dollar guns are fun toys for wealthy people. They aren’t necessary.

        If you are still in debt, quality mid-range guns like Glocks,Smiths,Rugers, and CZs should meet your needs. For $3000 you can get a complete basic firearm collection.
        10/22 or Marlin 22 rifle for $250 or less
        Pump shotgun $300 (like Mossberg Maverick combo pack with long and short barrel)
        22 pistol $300
        LCP $200
        Glock 19 or similar $500
        Shield or similar $350
        Decent hunting rifle with scope $500
        AR15 $600

        Those types of guns will meet all my basic NEEDS.
        Get them, and enjoy them while piling up cash and getting out of debt. Once you are debt free, and have a good pile of cash, then you can start buying those excellent high dollar guns.

  2. I have the Apex trigger and spring kit in my 1st gen SD9, and they are both vast improvements over stock. However, after about 2,000 rounds or so, I started getting light primer strikes, so I put the stock striker spring back in. The pull is heavier and much less smooth now, but in a self defense gun, reliability is king. Just my $.02

  3. This kit was announced two days after I had ordered the two separately, I could’ve saved 5 bucks! Oh, well. I picked up a gently used SD9VE a few days ago for about 80 bucks less than new ones locally and ordered the trigger kits since everyone says you should, though I probably didn’t need to, since i had no problems ringing a full size steel idpa target out to 50 yards with the factory trigger. I’m surprised these guns aren’t more popular, honestly, fits my hand better than the G19x. Looking forward to the new trigger.

    • “I’m surprised these guns aren’t more popular,”
      Good Lord if they were any more popular, it (and the Taurus PT111/G9C) would be all I need to order for two or three months! When we run Hot Deal specials on them we need to issue numbers to customers as they arrive in line.
      Now if only folks would stop leaving them unsecured in their vehicles… there’s a couple of reasons they are the #1 Most Common Gun found in police evidence rooms.

  4. Have one in my SD9VE. It’s not an end of the world deal to use the stock trigger at SD distances (used to DA revolvers) but it certainly helps. I’ve taken mine to a 2 gun match and did pretty well with it when I wasn’t having ammo problems. Overall an absolute bargain for the price, the only catch is the mags are $$$ if you’re not careful. Wait for a sale at grabagun they go for $27 some times. Retail is $40+. They are real nice quality mags though, as good as any in the industry.

    • My sigma, which has been reliable as hell, uses the same mags. Stainless steel, top quality mags. I paid 32 bucks each for mine years ago. 6 mags for the gun covered almost what I paid for the gun.

      I got lucky with the trigger on mine. Not target grade. But good enough for what the gun was meant for.

  5. Has anybody just used the spring kit and not the replacement trigger? I was actually thinking about picking one of these pistols up the next time they go on sale and the spring kit is only $20.

    • Yes. That’s my EDC. Wonderful. It’s not a Wilson, but the person on the receiving end won’t know the difference.

  6. If you would have bought a Ruger 9E you would have a much better firearm that did not need ‘fixed’. Tried the SD9VE when i was shopping and would not have wanted it for free, the trigger was that bad.


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