Archive for the ‘Guns’ Category

Thoughts on Installing an Apex Trigger in the S&W M&P 2.0 Compact

Saturday, August 8th, 2020

I recently installed an Apex Flat-Faced Forward Set Trigger Kit in my M&P M2.0 Compact and I am pleased to report that the resulting trigger pull exceeded my expectations. With the Apex trigger my M&P is almost as shoot-able as my favorite custom 45.

Now, I’m not saying my M&P Apex trigger feels exactly like a great .45 trigger feels because my Apex M&P trigger has just the slightest, barely noticeable, subtle hint of a springy feel. What I am saying is that the Apex trigger gave my M&P 2.0 Compact a great trigger pull that made the gun much more shoot-able.

With the Apex trigger my offhand groups at 15 yards shrank from 3″ average to a 2″ average, which is about as good as my 65 year old eyes and hands can do.

Another benefit to installing the flat-faced trigger is that the bottom of the curved factory trigger would bump my trigger finger slightly with every shot. After shooting a couple of magazines, my trigger finder would start to get sore. The flat-faced trigger completely eliminated that problem.

Installing the trigger was not as straight-forward as I hoped it would be, but that was largely due to Apex’s failure to provide any guidance on how to install the trigger in the package that the trigger arrived in. The package contained no reference to the videos on Apex’s web site, no reference to Apex’s YouTube channel, and no reference to the important Apex PDF chart that tells which spring combinations to use to get different pull weights.

Nor was installation information easy to find on Apex’s web site. Apex really needs to have someone thoroughly audit their website, fix broken links, and improve the product pages so they link directly to the videos, charts, blog entries, and other references that customers need in order to install the trigger.

Installation Resources

This installation resources link at the bottom of some of Apex’s pages gives a 404 error:

This very useful installation video was needlessly difficult to find on their site.

This essential chart of which springs produce specific pull weights is also needlessly difficult to find on their web site. The trigger product page really should have a link to this chart.

Eventually I found a reference to the Apex Installation Video YouTube channel, but for some odd reason, the channel doesn’t have any M&P 2.0 videos!

This YouTube video on installing the Apex trigger by Hammer Striker is pretty good and was quite helpful.

Installing the Trigger Bar

I had never disassembled an M&P 2.0 before I installed the Apex trigger. Installing the trigger was pretty straightforward except the step to pin the trigger bar to the Apex trigger. For my trigger, the step to pin the trigger bar to the trigger required an astonishing amount of force to move the pin even the smallest distance.

Randy Lee with Apex demonstrates how to use a vice to move the pin in this video. At about 60 seconds into the video Randy mentions applying “a little bit of pressure.” If you watch the video you will notice that Randy actually had to apply what I consider to be a very large amount of pressure to the vice handle. Moving the pin on my trigger took much more force than you see in Randy’s video. I had to really bear down on the vice handle and then I’d hear the pin pop and the pin would move slightly. I had to do that about four times before the pin was close to being flush with the surface of the trigger. I don’t know how you’ll move that pin if you don’t have a decent size vise.

Maybe some triggers and pins are not as tight as mine was. For triggers and pins as tight as mine, I don’t think you would be able to move the pin with just a pin punch. Just something to be aware of if you decide to install an Apex trigger for yourself.


If you like the S&W M&P M2.0 but you don’t like the factory trigger then I highly recommend that you get an Apex Flat-Faced Forward Set Trigger Kit. The trigger kit ain’t cheap (around $170 in August 2020) but the Apex trigger has made my M&P M2.0 compact much more shoot-able and putting bullets on target under time pressure is what it’s all about.

The Apex Flat-Faced Forward Set Trigger Kit that I installed is here on Apex’s web site.

A Welcome Addition to the Family

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

I’m excited to announce a new member of the family.  After a five-month wait, my Hill Country Rifles custom rifle arrived on Thursday.

Hill Country Rifles Custom Rifle

Here’s a closer look at the action and scope:

Hill Country Rifles Custom Rifle Action and Scope

Why am I excited?  Consider these features:

  1. Stainless steel left-hand Stiller Predator action (a high quality Remington 700 clone).
  2. 20″ stainless steel Hart #3 match barrel in .308 Winchester.
  3. Timney match trigger.
  4. McMillan Edge Technology stock with Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad.
  5. Talley Light Weight Rings.
  6. Weight without scope: 6.5 pounds
  7. Leica ER 2.5-10x42mm riflescope with AquaDura lens coating.
  8. Weight with scope: 7 pounds 9 ounces.
  9. Guaranteed 0.5″ three-shot groups with Federal Premium Vital-Shok 165 grain Sierra Game King ammo.

One of the great things about this rifle is its ability to shoot small groups.  Below you can see signed test targets from Hill Country Rifles showing that the rifle will shoot 0.4″ groups with Federal Vital-Shok ammo loaded with Sierra Game Kings, and 0.17″ groups with Federal Gold Medal 168 grain Match King ammo!

I’m waiting on some Federal Gold Medal and Vital-Shok ammo to arrive, but during my first range session with the rifle I shot a 0.7″ group with some Federal Fusion 165 grain ammo that was in my gun cabinet.

One of the bad things about this rifle is its ability to reveal  the deficiencies in my shooting skills. I won’t post images of the rest of the three-shot groups that I got with the rifle that first time out, but they were fairly mediocre. They were:

  • 1.5″ – Nosler Custom 165gr Accubond
  • 1.9″ – Winchester Supreme 168gr Ballistic Tip.
  • 2.0″ – Federal 150gr Fusion

This will be the first time I’ll be able to hunt with a left-hand rifle in many years. I can’t wait for deer and antelope season!

Here are the targets that came with the rifle demonstrating that it more than meets the Hill Country Rifles guarantee. (There really are three shots in that first target. )Three-shot 0.463″ group with Federal Premium 165 gr Game Kings

Three-shot 0.175″ group with Federal Gold Match 168 gr Match Kings

Three-shot 0.7″ group with Fusion 165 grain ammo it’s better to order over the phone.

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

On Sunday, I ordered a set of scope rings for a hunting rifle from only to discover today (Monday) that Bushmaster doesn’t process Sunday Web orders until Tuesday!

The customer service representative politely informed me that you’re usually better off to order over the phone on Monday instead of ordering from the web on Sunday.

Strange. Very Strange.