Apex Tactical’s S&W M&P Trigger Replacement

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By Chris Hickory

The Apex Sear. The sear's camming surface was extended forward which results in improved timing.

The Apex Sear. The sear’s camming surface was extended forward which results in improved timing.

Apex Tactical
https://apextactical.com/mptrigger

New to Apex Tactical’s line of improved triggers for the Smith and Wesson MP handgun is the Polymer Forward Set Sear Kit. The replacement trigger is completely redesigned and looks more like a Glock factory trigger than the hinged trigger offered on the stock platform. The polymer kit, introduced about six months ago, keeps the cost down without degrading function. The factory trigger is one of the biggest criticisms of the pistol from trainers and end users compared to the aluminum kit. The name of the trigger defines the function of the kit. It moves the sear forward, allowing the shot to break earlier in the squeeze of the shot. The uniquely shaped trigger provides a built-in over-travel stop, giving the shooter a short crisp shot that gives positive reset for faster follow-up shots.

Completely redesigned trigger shape that still has a proven safety mechanism that has been utilized on other popular polymer type service pistols for decades.

Completely redesigned trigger shape that still has a proven safety mechanism that has been utilized on other popular polymer type service pistols for decades.

The trigger came in the mail within a week. I went ahead and ordered the Armor’s Block as this would be my first time doing a detailed strip with a Smith pistol and figured the block could be a good set of extra hands. I contemplated just having a local gunsmith do the task, but there is some pride associated with working on your own kit and not relying on someone else. It also gives the user a better understanding of how the system works. I have had formal training on some weapons in the Marine Corps such as machine guns and M16/M4 platforms, but I still consider myself a driver before a mechanic. With basic knowledge of firearm disassembly and access to YouTube, I think you’ll find the install challenging but not too much. Worst-case scenario is you do the walk-of-shame into your local gunsmith’s shop with the infamous bag O’Parts.

I cleared off the workbench and laid all of the components out to identify what I had. I did notice that Apex does not ship instructions with their triggers but includes a small business card that gives a link to their YouTube channel that goes over the install in detail. The video was nice, but because of the size of some parts, I found it necessary to rewind and pause quite a bit. I would have liked to see Apex include a set of paper instructions with an enlarged diagram for those hard to see places.  Total time from start to function check was only about 30 minutes. Installation could have been completed without the Armor’s block, but it did come in handy and you can reuse it later and with its modularity and adjustment it can work on other pistols that are similar in size and shape.

First Impressions:

After some initial dry fire, the difference was extremely noticeable and improved. I installed the lighter of the 2 springs that came with the kit, but felt it was a little soft for duty and carry type work at on 3.5lbs. The 5-pound duty spring was around 4.5lbs on the trigger scale, but more crisp and defined. The kit worked as described and shortened the travel of the trigger

The trigger return spring. After installing the competition spring which is advertised at 4 lbs, Author opted for the heavier green return spring giving a more crisp break and reset.

The trigger return spring. After installing the competition spring which is advertised at 4 lbs, Author opted for the heavier green return spring giving a more crisp break and reset.

from start to fully depressed, it measured to about a half inch less travel. The shot breaks very early in the initial stroke, which offers little take-up, compared to the factory trigger that breaks at the end of the stroke. As a result, the accuracy improved greatly from the ability to provide a smoother, more consistent trigger pull.

For the IDPA and USPSA competitors it will place you in a different category other than stock but is still legal for use. For IDPA it will be either Enhanced Service Pistol or Custom Defensive Pistol for the 45 ACP guys, and USPSA will move to Open, Limited, or Limited 10.

The MSRP as found on the website is $129.95 and the armorer’s block was listed for $29.95. For both the block and FSS Kit, I was able to keep the price lower than a trigger kit on my Glock pistol. As I extend my M&P family in the house safe, I expect each one will be wearing the Polymer Forward Set Sear Kit by Apex.

Installation Video
Finger resting on trigger before pressing Author depresses trigger all the way to the rear. Almost a half inch less travel than the stock trigger assembly.
Finger resting on trigger before pressing Author depresses trigger all the way to the rear. Almost a half inch less travel than the stock trigger assembly.
Ready for the dark and ready for the suppressor, S&W MP in 9mm, equipped with Apex Tactical's Polymer Forward Set Sear Kit.
Ready for the dark and ready for the suppressor, S&W MP in 9mm, equipped with Apex Tactical’s Polymer Forward Set Sear Kit.
{ 7 comments }

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • John V November 12, 2013, 5:57 am

    One of the main reasons I chose the M&P 9MM. Was because the trigger design . Was nothing like those triggers that the Glock and Springfield XD platforms are made with. These trigger locking mechanisms seemed to impair my ability to pull the trigger on a defensive platform. My hands are fairly large and with that I have short fingers. These scissor type locking mechanism require your finger to wrap completely around the trigger before you can squeeze off a shot. When your fingers are short this is impossible to do in a hurry or under stress. This is one of the reason I chose the M&P because of the trigger lock mechanism. And the interchangeable backstraps that came with the weapon. Although I will admit the trigger break and reset does have some work to be done to it. However this new set up would not be a option for me.

  • Ken E. November 12, 2013, 10:03 am

    I have very large hands, so anything that moves the trigger or break point farther forward is great for me. Unfortunately, many modern pistols require the trigger to be pulled all the way to the rear to fire. I don’t know who thought this was a good idea, but I know they didn’t have large hands! Pulling a trigger all the way to the rear (especially with micro-pistols) requires an uncomfortable contortion of the index finger. I’ll be eager to buy an M&P now that I know Apex makes a forward set trigger for it. If only they made one for my LCP or my 709 Slim!

  • Rocky November 12, 2013, 12:43 pm

    I own a M&P 9mm and I do not like the trigger pull. It leaves a Lot to be desired when it comes to ‘double tapping”, especially when compared to my 1911. If this new trigger assembly makes it work better, it would be worth the expense.
    Having said that, I Still prefer my 1911, in part due to the larger projectile having better ‘stopping power’ than any .380, 9mm, .38 or .357 could muster. While I Do like the M&P’s bullet capacity (my one mag holds 18 rounds plus one in the tube, while the others hold 17 + 1), requiring me to carry fewer magazines, than with the .45 (8 rnd. mags.), if I have to shoot someone more than once, to stop them in their tracks, then the advantage is lost. As we saw, when our soldiers had to shoot at ‘Hadji’ and they kept coming, resulting in the army digging up all of their 1911′s out of mothballs, as well as their M14s (7.62×51) as the smaller M16 cartridges (5.56) wouldn’t easily kill the fanatics either. While wounding the enemy was our intent, with going to the smaller rounds (as a wounded soldier requires two others to haul him off of the battlefield, thus requiring more resources, than merely killing him would), it just doesn’t work when the fanatics are desiring to become ‘Martyrs’.

    note; While in the Peace Officers Academy we watched a dash cam, from a SC Trooper’s patrol car show him putting 6 rounds of .357 into a perpetrator, who proceeded to kill the Trooper with a lucky, but well placed, shot from his NA Firearms .22 cal. mini revolver. Shot placement is Everything…

    • Draco877 November 14, 2013, 3:37 am

      Just so you know they do have a M&P45 as well that has 10+1 round capacity or if you buy the extened mags a 14+1 round capacity. Moving on, this is one of the several things I am planning to do to my M&P45 and one of the major ones that needs done in my opinion. I admit I am no pistol master but even I don’t think the stock trigger is that good so this is the sort of thing that needs done in my opinion. now if only they had the M&P45 in a C.O.R.E. model I would be very happy.

  • Erika Fleming November 15, 2013, 1:46 pm

    Thanks for the detailed information! Will look forward to buying this in the near future!! This review covered everything you need to know about this trigger!

  • Brad Wallace November 22, 2013, 4:38 pm

    I own a m&p 45 and I love the gun, the recoil is like shoting a 9mm,Its my full time carry gun.

  • Chris January 1, 2014, 2:51 pm

    I finally broke down and got me an M&P its my first real handgun. I needed a reliable pistol. I had a crappy jeminez 9mm, But wanted something I could depend on. It was test fired and made December 4th of 2013. So its pretty new. I have run across posts talking about the RAM does not work in the newer pistols. My question is, Does the forward sear set trigger group still work in the new guns or is it just the ram that doesn’t work in them? I can’t find anything about the trigger group not working with the new ones, But I really don’t want to spend 130-170 dollars and then find out it doesn’t work.. I don’t have that kind of money to throw away. Even if I was able to return it and get my money back. I would still be out shipping cost to me and then back. I can’t even really afford to lose that much money. Things are tight and I am just getting into guns and my second amendment right so what little money I have to spare I want to use on guns. Anyway, I am starting to ramble now. I appreciate any info any of you can give me on this.

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