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Author Topic: M&P 15 Minute, $0 Trigger Job  (Read 31877 times)

Coronach

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M&P 15 Minute, $0 Trigger Job
« on: September 29, 2013, 04:09:26 am »
I have heard a lot of people saying something along the line of the following:

"I like the M&P, but that trigger is so gritty/indistinct. I don't have the time/skill/confidence to do a DIY trigger job, and I don't want to spend a bunch of money on an Apex kit or a gunsmith work-over. So, I guess I'll just live with it, or buy a Glock/XD/whatever."

OK, fair enough. I wondered for the longest time what was up with all of this griping about the M&P trigger, since mine was pretty good out of the box. I recently bought another M&P, and that trigger was a hot mess compared to my others. It still is not THAT BAD of a trigger, but I now understand the griping.

I also get the money thing. You just spent $500ish on a gun. Spending another $100 (or more) on parts and/or gunsmithing is frustrating.

I also get the skill thing. And, as a father of small children, I know that time is in even shorter supply than money.

So, after doing a little reading and fiddling, I decided to try JUST a modification of the striker block and see what it would do to a M&P as-issued, gritty hot mess trigger. Many people said it is the best "bang for your buck" modification you can make, and I gotta say that I agree. The best part is, it is also about the simplest thing you can do.

Credit where credit is due: I'll link to the Burwell trigger job: http://www.burwellguns.com/M&Ptriggerjob1.htm

Dan Burwell knows his way around an M&P, and his full trigger job is outstanding. It takes a bit of skill to do the whole job, though, and if you screw it up you'll need to order new parts from S&W to undo the damage. However, the stuff he outlines with JUST the striker block (pages 32-40) is what I'm talking about here, and not only is it simple to do, it's difficult to screw up (you'd really have to work at it), and replacement parts are drop-in and cheap. So don't worry, you almost can't screw this up, and it will eliminate most or all of the grittiness an "busy" feel of the trigger before the break. If you have all three of the grinding/polishing tools, it will take you about 15 minutes.

Nothing here is invented or discovered by me, I'm just taking the easiest part of the Burwell job and writing it up by itself. It's just a wonderful thing that the easiest thing to do also fixes most people's biggest complaint.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 07:08:47 am by Coronach »
OhioNot stressed, but I am a carrier.

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    Coronach

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    Re: M&P 15 Minute, $0 Trigger Job
    « Reply #1 on: September 29, 2013, 04:10:12 am »
    Task:         Replace or Reprofile the OEM Striker Block
    Difficulty:       Can you wipe your own butt? If yes, you can do this.
    Items Needed:      Sight pusher or brass drift and hammer
             Hex wrench set
             Small punch or drill bit
             Small flat-bladed screwdriver
             Grinding wheel, Fine (dremel or bench)*
             3M Polishing wheel (optional, but preferred)*
             Fine polishing wheel (dremel or bench)*

             * (Or, just buy an Apex Ultimate Striker Block for $30)

    Procedure:

    All page numbers reference the Burwell Trigger Job referenced above.

    1. Clear the weapon

    2. Field Strip the weapon

    3. Flip the slide upside down and find the striker assembly in the slide. Use a punch or small flat screwdriver to push the plastic sleeve on the striker forward, and slide the rear cover off of the slide (see Page 26). Once the sleeve is pushed forward, the cover just slides off.

    4. Push down on the striker block, pull the striker out, and set it in your parts cup, along with the end cap.

    5. Flip the slide over, back off the set screw in the middle of the rear sight. You don't need to remove it completely.

    6. Push or tap the sight out from left to right.

    7. SLOW DOWN as you approach the end of the dovetail, watch for the spring and the disk for the striker block to pop out as the rear sight exposes them. See Page 33 for illustration.

    8. Place the rear sight, cover disk and spring (the newer ones are a one-piece deal, older ones are two separate pieces) in the same location you put the other parts. Keep them away from cats and small children. Flip the slide over and push out the striker block. Look at page 37. Your stock striker block will look like the one on the right. Your end product will look like the one on the left (or, if you buy an Apex, that's what it will look like). Yes, it is a small difference. Yes, it will make the trigger feel a whole lot better.

    Here is where things get different if you buy the Apex USB. If you buy the part, skip to step #14. The Apex might be cheaper if you have to buy one or more of the grinding/polishing tools. It is certainly easier, but it is not free.

    9. Take your striker block and put it on the small punch or drill bit. It needs to spin freely on the punch. See Page 36.

    10. Holding the striker block at the angle demonstrated on Page 36, place it against the grinding wheel (or dremel grinding stone). Burwell recommends just using the 3M polishing wheel. I tried that, and it was taking waaaaaay too long. So, I used a fine grinding wheel (stone) on a bench grinder. You can do the same with a grinding stone on a dremel, but I would recommend putting the dremel in a stand or in a vice. Doing this (with either tool) will chatter a little and chew up the surface of the SB. That's okay, you'll fix it later. If this worries you, just use the 3M wheel.

    11. Make sure the SB is spinning as you grind it. HOLD IT AT AN ANGLE LIKE ON PAGE 36. The idea is to round over that shoulder so that the whole thing looks like a dome. DO NOT TAKE MATERIAL OFF OF THE TOP. This will make the SB shorter and prevent it from getting out of the way of the striker.

    12. Once you have it roughly profiled to look like a dome, switch to the 3M wheel. If you don't have a 3M wheel, skip this step (you will spend more time on Step 13). Do the same thing. This will take out the dings you put on in steps 10-11. It is ok to go over the top a little bit, to polish stuff up. Just don't linger there, as you don't want to remove material.

    13. Switch to the fine polishing attachment. Continue as you did before, and get it to a pretty bright finish. Bright=smooth. If you used a fine stone and a 3m wheel, this will not take long. If you just used the fine stone, it may take a while to buff out the "chatter". Stay with it. If you are just using the fine polishing attachment, uh, pack a lunch. It will take time. Make sure it is spinning, the final profile should be a dome, don't make it any shorter. Compare your final masterpiece to the picture on page 37.

    14. Using the fine polishing attachment, go over the engagement surface on the trigger bar. You can do this while it is mounted in the frame. Just polish it up, don't change any angles, don't remove material, don't make it shorter. Remember, the engagement surface is the BACK of the trigger bar tab, not the front. See page 38. If you don't want to dink with this, don't. Any irregularities in the trigger bar tab will smooth out on their own.

    15. Reassembly is reverse of disassemly. Look at page 39 and 40 for putting the SB back in. Then drop in the striker, press the sleeve forward, slide on the end cap.

    16. Dry fire to test. The trigger should be smooth and less "busy" before you get to the break. It will not be much lighter and should not be any shorter, but it should be a lot less messy
    « Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 04:24:50 am by Coronach »
    OhioNot stressed, but I am a carrier.

    seanp

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    Re: M&P 15 Minute, $0 Trigger Job
    « Reply #2 on: September 29, 2013, 07:23:11 am »
    I really have to sit down and do this one of these days.  The M&P trigger just doesn't bother me that much though.  I think maybe because I have shot nothing but the M&P over the last year.  Two years now that I think about it.
    "Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave."
    The Road - Cormac McCarthy

    Coronach

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    Re: M&P 15 Minute, $0 Trigger Job
    « Reply #3 on: September 29, 2013, 09:24:46 am »
    Depends on the gun. If you have one with a messy trigger, it is hella annoying, especially when other ones are perfectly acceptable. My duty M&P has a very good trigger. Not as good as the one Burwell put on my Compact, but pretty good. My goal is to replicate that trigger on my new M&P. Just doing the SB modification got me 75% of the way there.

    People don't realize how easy it is to do this, and I think they don't realize what it does. Even Burwell buries the modification as an afterthought. People looking for trigger work get caught up in the sear and the striker and the trigger, and dismiss the striker block as some minor consideration. It's not. It is responsible for almost every aspect of trigger pull prior to the "wall" right before the break.

    What ia really annoying, though, is how easy it would be for S&W to just alter the shape of the SB and eliminate the problem. I have no idea why they don't.

    Mike

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    RetroGrouch

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    Re: M&P 15 Minute, $0 Trigger Job
    « Reply #4 on: September 29, 2013, 10:08:51 pm »
    S&W doesn't bother because they can sell every one they manufacture, and while talking to a rep recently, he said they had an entire floor of CNC machines just turning out slides.
    Arizona

    Coronach

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    Re: M&P 15 Minute, $0 Trigger Job
    « Reply #5 on: September 30, 2013, 12:52:50 am »
    I would like to think that they could be bothered to make a rolling change to the production of one part. Just change the profile of the SB, confirm that it works, then switch over production to that standard. Use up the old style, and when supply is gone drop in the new style. Done.

    Mike

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