Saturday, March 05, 2011

My job doesn't suck: DCAEK and RAM on top of a trigger job

About a week ago, I was visited in the shop by Bruce Gray of Grey Guns and Randy Lee of Apex Tactical Specialties. I didn't realize that Randy's company also uses the letters "ATS" until he handed me his card. I shoulda have noticed that earlier, as I've only been with my employer since before they were called ATS. Duh. Yeah, I got that attention to detail down!

Bruce's shop specializes in customizing H&K and SIG pistols; two guns that are not all that easy to work on. Randy's shop, of course, is best known for their replacement parts for the SnW MnP...and I just happen to have one of those. We spoke about MnP's for a while, and I inquired as to whether Apex had a dealer's program. They do, and that's something I'm going to push for in the near future. Because I'm kind of a big deal on the Intardweb ;) Randy gave me a DCAEK and RAM kit. I was very curious as to how these parts would perform because my pistol has already had a trigger job done to it by Greg Derr of Derr Precision. Greg did amazing things towards improving the stock trigger as it came from the factory.

When I got the pistol, the factory trigger had a hitch in it that felt like the trigger had reset when it had not. Greg was able to smooth and lighten the trigger, as well as to improve the feel of the reset, although the reset still wasn't like a Glock or 1911...probably because it's not a Glock or 1911. Because of the polishing and trigger work already done, I didn't put the entire DCAEK in the gun...yet.

I installed the new sear spring and hard sear as well as the RAM unit. These were relatively simple drop in units, except that the parts and the tweezers I was using to put them in were both magnetized. That's a plus and minus: the spring and plunger are tiny parts, and they're also very light, which means they're easily moved out of position. Putting them in just takes some patience and a light touch, but it's easy to lose both of those in short order. The RAM was even easier to install, as it's only two relatively large parts.

I did not use the replacement Ultimate Striker Block as the S&W part has been polished to within an inch of it's life by Derr Precision. I also did not install the heavier trigger return spring. I may still put that spring in, as the trigger is pretty doggone light right now. The most interesting improvement, though, is in the reset. It's about an eighth of an inch, and much more definite than it was.

My Tru Grip panels showed up yesterday, so I installed them last night as well. Tru Grip is by far my favorite addition to polymer guns. They use a grip tape that doesn't shed and is a somewhat finer grit than any others I've tried, but the "stickiness" of the grip is outstanding. In addition, they wrap the front strap as well as the back strap, and the design allows for use of any of the MnP back straps. I was concerned about using the Tru Grip with my CTC Laser Grips, but it works fine. No need for extra holes or any such extra stuff.

All these parts are most definitely Haji approved. Next up, besides perhaps swapping in the heavier trigger return spring and the Apex striker block are, if I can source them through our regular distributors at work, will be a set of Warren Tactical Sevigny Fiber Optic Competition sights, which I have a set of on my Glock 17. Currently the MnP has a stock front sight with the white dot painted orange with a paint pen and a 10-8 Performance black rear sight. The main reason for wanting to change them is for consistency: I shoot that G17 more than any of my other pistols, so I've got more time using that set up than any other. I'll just have to see if I can get 'em for that gun or not, through our regular sources.

One more note about sights: if you have a fiber optic in your front sight, you've found that sooner or later they get dirty and dinged up and need to be replaced. If you shoot a lot, that can be fairly frequently. I went on a search for replacement fiber optic rod a while ago, and found out something interesting. The rod is a standard size; in terms of the Warren front sight, it's .040". Now, if you buy that stuff from "gun" sources, you'll pay about .50 an inch and pay quite a bit in shipping. What I found in my travels around the net was that FO rod is available from other sources, namely hobby shops. It's used very frequently for tail lights and stuff like that in modeling and radio control cars. It's also a ton cheaper. The place I got mine from, Oakridge Hobbies, send me 80 inches of the stuff for $10.50 shipped, which works out to about .06 and inch if my math is correct. It probably isn't, but it's still a whole lot less than fiddy cent a inch. I'll be covered for FO rod for quite a while to come, for cheap. Can't beat that with a stick.