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|Posted on November 14, 2017 at 1:26 PM|
happened, it finally happened..
This is my third time writing this post. Lets just say there is extra venom now...
I very seldom ever say anything bad about a product unless they have earned it. And my info on a subject/ product must be either first hand or come from a trusted source. Most online reviews are posted up by the company selling or making the product and of course come across as shining examples or just come across as sour grapes and written out of spite. Most of these are taken with a grain of salt and the shot of Tequila that should come with it..
So, the company today is Apex gun parts. Not Armory Parts EXchange that I go through for a lot of surplus parts and kits, but the maker of aftermarket pistol accessories. So, if you want to make your Smith & Wesson M&P into some sort of race gun or "Rod it up" they
are pretty much the only game in town.
We here at old troopers are a cynical lot by nature. And aftermarket "performance parts" to us are sort of like a spoiler on a honda civic :WHY?? But we give the customer what they want. I had first heard of the aftermarket parts manufacturer in a gunsmithing trade publication. Some positive reviews, that oddly were all worded identically or incredibly similar. Sort of sent up a red flag there. But then there were some bad. One of the smiths was complaining that an aftermarket sear had worn down after 30 rounds and was causing the pistol to "go Irish auto". Another was complaining of a "match fit" barrel that was bored off center. And some other abnormalities. But we chalked it up to a company having a bad day, or not hearing the "rest of the story" of someone taking a dremnel tool to something that required a stone...
But the damming one was from a former (read former) competitive shooter. She was running the rehalfted Walther ( The M&P) and had before the match installed an aftermarket sear kit. Had another competitor polish the sear. Pistol preformed fine at first, than the trigger pull began DROPPING about 20 rounds in. Upon re holster the firearm discharged. Her fingers no where near the trigger guard. The bullet smashed through her thigh and calf causing extensive bone and nerve damage. Severely damaging or ending her competitive carrier. Not good... But what did that guy do to her sear to get it to do that??
Than I had one come in.. It was a high round count pistol (In the thousands) that the customer wanted "Rodded up". Had a new trigger, sear, and match fit barrel. It seamed to be a rather straightforward job. Just like the many G-lock "speed kits" we have begrudgingly put in. So the impatient client left.
The trigger was rather straightforward. It came with two springs. The sear went in well enough.. That is when the first problems began cropping up. The function check and trigger pull put it at 2.7 lbs and DROPPING. Yeah, I am not giving this guy a full auto... So had to put in the "5 lb spring" That puts it up to 3.8lbs and holding.. Ok, not great, but ok... Said he wanted a lighter trigger pull on a gun with a 5lb pull already.. but, ok..
Than comes the barrel. I would rather do a dozen 1911 match barrels and bushings or three dozen P99 barrels than one of these again.. Apparently "gunsmith fit" means "Send this to Apex because no mere mortal smith could possibly do this to our specifications" fit. It too the better portion of a shop day to fit this dam thing. It was close, so no powertools with the exception of a cloth buffer. All emery cloth an diamond files... And in the process of fitting this barrel and dry firing it about 30 times, the sear began to not engage.. Causing the pistol to have to be completely disassembled (trigger has to be depressed and gun "fired" to release the slide) to get apart. The trigger group was dissembled and reassembled no fewer than 26 times... The "new sear had worn a visible notch in its bearing surface.. Attempted to polish, it did nothing except frustrate me greatly. Had to that fit the old sear to the new parts, that took longer than ever expected.. We tried combinations of parts, old and new, new barrel, old barrel, the thing was a royal pain that seamed to only work when it wanted to.. After burning an entire shop day on this cursed thing it finally passes a function check. Good.. No mag, can not test fire.. Great.. Call the client the next mourning. He had already called about every day the thing was with us... And I am not well known for my tolerance with inpatient people. Sure enough, it did not pass, sear follower forward. I offered if he left me a mag I can get it running, but, being impatient he took it anyways. I charge what would have been a 6 hour job the $60 originally quoted (yes the accountant still has not forgiven me for it) and all of his parts, new and old in a baggie.
A few days later I get a call from the customer again. He had taken the gun to Apex or one of there authorized service centers, really did not matter. But they said I had take off to much metal off the bottom of the barrel and that caused all the problems. And of course there was nothing wrong with any of their parts. It was entirely the fault of the gunsmith that attempted the fitting.. Sure....
So I have to buy Mr. impatient another barrel. And of course the "Can not be fitted by mortal man" barrel is not cheap. Hell two of these bastards you could have bought a new M&P at pre rebate prices! Again another thing that has not sit well with the accountant..
But I got the "defective barrel" back. Wouldn't you know it, bored off center. Hell is not even in the middle of the recess for the "target crown". But I took off to much metal... sure... maybe I did, Maybe it was defective parts, or maybe the pistol was so worn out of spec.....
But somehow I doubt it.
Take my cautionary tale as you will. It is, after all, just MY experience.
So if Ye wish to "rod up" yonder Smith, be warned: There be monsters out there.
old troopers actual,
Categories: Gun smith Reviews