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Nothing pisses me off more than getting a new pistol shipped from the factory with a crappy trigger. To wit, my new S&W M&P45c. I picked this gun up because the Sheriff’s Office I work for mandates we carry a .40 or .45. Unfortunately, when I moved back to Montana, I only had 9’s, 10’s and 357’s. The M&P fits me perfectly and fills a dual niche of duty carry and concealed carry.  It sports graceful good looks that make my Glocks envious, all in a nice “man-sized” caliber (as my sergeant would call it.) Despite everything I like about this gun, the stock trigger was gritty, came with an advertised 7 lb. pull weight and had no noticeable reset. Obviously this would never do.

Anyone who knows anything about M&Ps knows that Apex Tactical is the bee’s knees when it comes to tricking out the internals of these guns. So I jumped on their website to see if there was a simple, do-it-yourself fix for this trigger. It didn’t take me long to stumble upon their 45 M&P hard sear. Apex claims that the replacement sear, “will not only improve the over-travel and sear reset characteristics, but dramatically reduce the trigger pull weight in most pistols.”  Challenge accepted Apex; I threw down $40 and waited patiently by the mailbox.

A few days later, a rather large envelope containing a rather small piece of metal arrived. I dutifully set out to determine just how the hell to install this particular piece. Luckily I didn’t have to go far to find this how to video from Randy Lee of Apex Tactical on how to install their hard sear. Following the instructions in the video, I easily replaced the stock sear with the new one. Randy makes getting the gun put back together look a little easier than it really is, but to be fair, it was the first time I had taken an M&P apart.

With everything functioning properly I tested out the new trigger while dry firing. Let’s just say this: if anything Apex was underselling themselves with their description of the sear. While the initial grittiness was still there (I’m told the Apex Ultimate Striker Block eliminates that problem) the take up, trigger pull and reset had gone from ugly duckling to swan.

The trigger weight’s noticeably lighter, over travel and reset is shorter and there was a positive click every time the sear re-engages. Basically, everything I want in a trigger has been achieved in a less-than-fifteen-minute project you can do with a hammer and a punch. Which begs the question: why the hell isn’t Smith and Wesson just installing these things in their pistols before they leave the factory?

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  1. “…why the hell isn’t Smith and Wesson just installing these things in their pistols before they leave the factory?”


        • Bought a 638 over a year ago and it came in a plastic box. Bought a 642 a couple of months ago and it came in a cardboard box. It was also cheaper, though, so I’m ok with that. And here’s the really good news: S&W is phasing out the internal locks. Yay!

          • And here’s the really good news: S&W is phasing out the internal locks. Yay

            Please verify / document / confirm this happy news. I’ve been on the fence for several months between the 686 and GP100, with the lock being a clear ding against the S&W. Thanking you in advance.

    • I’m not so sure it’s cost of manufacturing though. The APEX parts are nearly identical to the S&W parts, except for the rear of the sear and the small “nub” on the front that makes contact with the trigger bar loop. There would be virtually no cost difference in manufacturing one over the other.

      I think it’s more of a matter of developing one product with as few differing parts as possible to satisfy the differing requirements of the less gun friendly states all while keeping design and development costs within a fixed budget.

      • They did add that stupid magazine disconnect. Not sure how useful that is when 90% 1of users either remove/disable it. If one where so inclined you could remove the sear disconnect bar and the magazine disconnect safety.

        M&P is my next pistol. Shot a coworkers the other day at the range and loved it. I own an XD and looking to broaden my horizons.

  2. Apex stuff is awesome. I have a number of DCAEK equipped M&P’s and have added a failure resistant extractor to my 9C. I will soon have their new forward set trigger. I can see S&W not using apex kits in their standard production guns to keep consumer costs down, but why not use them in their Pro-series? You already pay more for the pro series as it is and I am betting a lot of people would be willing to drop the extra coin if they knew the gun was going to that slick out of the box. Good for S&W, good for Apex and good for me.

  3. +1 for Apex and your review, Ryan.

    I had my ‘smith install the full Apex monte on my M&P 40c. The gun was completely transformed. Gone was the impossible to use Massachusetts-compliant boat anchor of a trigger, replaced by a one with less than half the pull weight. Accuracy went from minute of barn door to cloverleaf. Since I chose the two stage carry trigger instead of the single stage target trigger, there was no loss of safety when the Apex kit was installed. Amazing.

  4. The striker block smoothed things out so much in my pistol. You’re crazy not to pony up and buy one.

  5. I guess im going to be the contrarian here, whats wrong with the M&P’s stock trigger after putting 500 rounds through my gun in about a months time it had a lovely trigger pull with no grittiness. i have read a few complaints here and there about the trigger but i just don’t get it, i have never handled an M&P with a gritty trigger and i have used multiple rentals and my own personal gun to come to this statement. Yes the reset is not easily detectable but i was always taught not to ride the reset so i don’t really perceive that as a problem.

    • Hey, dan, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But here in MA, the stock trigger is impossible to use and has to be upgraded.

  6. I’ve put over 10K rounds through my M&P and the trigger is as smooth as a new born baby’s bum. I’ve never had any trouble with the trigger or its reset. You guys complaining about the trigger should just go out and shoot more instead of complaining. Once you have enough trigger time with the gun you’ll be proficient with any trigger that comes your way. What a waste of money.

  7. I sympathize with the original poster. I’ve had the same problem with almost every handgun I’ve ever bought, and I’m not talking about “cheapies.” I buy good quality guns. However, the first thing out of the box, they have to go to my gunsmith to have a trigger job. Since I’m going to pay for a “good” trigger anyway, why don’t the manufacturers do it right at the factory, and build the charge into the selling price? As it is, I have to pay for a lousy trigger, then pay for a good one. What’s wrong with this picture?

  8. Me thinks the reason for the stiff trigger is a liability issue, especially here in the Peoples Republic of California. As a side note, I purchased a M&P Pro, and the sear is totally different. Much better pull and lower trigger weight. Too bad S&W, Ruger and other manufacturers are allowing the pistols to drop off the CA DOJ approved list ths year. One more win for the Anti 2A crowd…

  9. Im guessing none of u owned a Sig with the DAK trigger. Holy crap, its 10 lbs.
    Every time u pull that trigger. U could see the hammer go back as u squeezed. I hated it
    suck an expensive gun. Over rated. A 7 lb trigger, please hook me up. Thats way better.

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