The M&P Project – Apex Tactical Hard Sear and Competition Sear Spring

Finally making it back to the M&P Project! If you recall, the first modification I made to my M&P9 was the Apex Tactical USB. The USB made a huge improvement to the stock trigger pull, but still left me with a relatively long reset. The next thing to try was Apex’s Hard Sear.

I’d ordered the Apex DCAEK plus the competition springs, just so I could mix and match and try things out. Since the installation of the sear also exposes the sear spring, I decided to try the competition weight sear spring at the same time. The sear shouldn’t radically change the actual pull weight of the trigger, so this seemed like a reasonable combo to try.

You can see the Apex Sear on the left in the photo above, compared to the factory sear on the right.

Installation of the sear requires a punch to knock out the roll pin that holds the sear block into the rear of the frame. Specifically, it requires a #4 roll pin punch. The #4 punch has a 1/8″ diameter. You can use a regular 1/8″ punch, but you run the risk of “unwinding” the roll pins, if the punch isn’t square to the pin, or isn’t quite 1/8″ in diameter. You might also want to consider getting a #4 starter punch – this punch has a shorter neck, and can be used to start moving the pin out of the frame, and to start and seat the pin back into the frame. The shorter neck prevents breaking the punch from lateral stress – you still need the longer neck of the regular punch, though, to get the pin all the way out.

The only other special tool that you need is a 1/16″ punch (plus, it doesn’t hurt to have a nice hammer and bench block).

Apex Tactical has a really nice video describing how to install the sear. Duplicating the full instructions here would be a waste of space. Take a look at the video, and I think it’ll all be clear. Basically, though, it’s:

  • Clear the gun
  • Remove the slide
  • Punch out the pin holding the sear block
  • Set aside the ejector
  • Capture the sear and use the 1/16″ punch to push out the sear pin
  • Remove the old sear – be careful not to lose the sear spring or guide
  • Place the near sear in the correct orientation, and hold it in place
  • Push in the sear pin and test sear movement
  • Replace ejector on the sear block
  • Replace the sear block in the gun, carefully guiding the trigger bar back into place
  • Drive the pin back into the frame to hold the sear block in place
  • Reassemble the gun and test

I replaced the factory sear spring while I was in there.

Big difference in the reset length on the trigger – the Apex sear results in the reset being right at .10″ shorter than it was before. That’s very significant. The feel is very much improved with the shorter reset, and I have much less tendency to short stroke the trigger (though it wasn’t a problem in practice before the swap). It also moved the break .05″ to the rear, so the break point is actually a tad shorter, as well. This really only results in a .05″ shorter trigger movement from reset to break, but that movement is closer to the trigger stop.

Interestingly, though, the trigger has a much more crisp feel, and no mush in the break. Previously, the trigger would move almost a tenth of an inch from the point where the trigger was moved to the end of takeup (and full resistance began on the trigger pull) to the break of the trigger. The Apex sear cuts that in half, and this contributes greatly to the feel of the break.

For me, the Apex Hard Sear is a win.

The Competition Sear spring also makes a large difference in the pull weight of the trigger. With the USB installed, you’ll recall I had a 5# trigger pull, down from 6# with the factory striker block. Well, actually, a 4# 14 ounce trigger pull. With the Competition Sear spring, the trigger pull came down to 3.5#. This makes for a very shootable, very controllable trigger in this gun. I like this combination quite a bit.

But, that’s not going to stop me from experimenting further, of course!

About the author


USPSA Grand Master, NRA Instructor, http://re-gun.com/about/

Permanent link to this article: http://re-gun.com/2012/01/the-mp-project-apex-tactical-hard-sear-and-competition-sear-spring/

4 pings

  1. DR Performance says:

    The Apex Tactical Hard Sear: http://t.co/fdOJhryZ

  2. xre says:

    The Apex Tactical Hard Sear: http://t.co/fdOJhryZ

  3. Dave Pluimer says:

    The Apex Tactical Hard Sear: http://t.co/fdOJhryZ

  4. The M&P Project – Apex Tactical springs | Re-Gun says:

    [...] installing the Apex Tactical Hard Sear and competition sear spring, I set about to evaluate the other springs at my [...]

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