Review: Apex Tactical Polymer AEK Trigger

I’ve had one of these on my wish list for a long time and finally got my hands on one this week!  It seems fitting that with my pre-2013 M&P loaded up with Apex Tactical components I should have the trigger replacement to round things out, but is it really worth the $39.99 price tag?

It’s no secret I’m not a fan of the default M&P hinged trigger.  I don’t mind the hinge so much, it’s the rounded, thin shape that just feels terrible in use.  It doesn’t really negatively impact my shooting that I can tell, but it bothers me enough to do something about it being the tinkerer I am.

The AEK trigger is installed quickly and easily if you’ve got experience with the M&P pistol and its guts.  They provide a slave pin for the trigger just like they do on the Duty/Carry and Competition trigger kits.  For some reason they’ve switched from polished aluminum slave pins to yellow plastic ones, but it serves the same purpose and the yellow is harder to misplace I suppose.

How to install:

  1. Field strip
  2. Remove takedown lever
  3. Drive out frame roll pins and trigger pin
  4. Remove sear housing assembly
  5. Remove locking block, lift out trigger bar assembly
  6. Knock out the small pin in the standard trigger to separate the trigger bar
  7. Assemble the AEK trigger on, give the new pin a small tap and center the hole up
  8. Drive the trigger pin flush
  9. REASSEMBLE following the prior steps in reverse

If the sear doesn’t drop the striker, all you have to do is pop the sear housing assembly out and with a screwdriver blade slightly pry up on the little bent over loop on the trigger bar that hits the sear cam.  Just a small amount should do it, then test again.  Repeat as necessary to get it to break cleanly with minimal overtravel, but remember to leave a small amount of overtravel for proper function.

Additionally, the kit is supplied with a sear spring which you may or may not have already.  If you have a Duty/Carry or Competition sear kit from Apex Tactical, you’ll already have a couple of sear springs at your disposal to tweak around with.  I stuck with the spring provided by the DCAEK but might experiment just for the experience.

Comparison of the two triggers

Comparison of the two triggers

Interestingly the overtravel is not actually stopped by the little hump inside the trigger guard, but rather by the angular shape on the back of the AEK trigger bumping into the frame.

So what’s it like in use?  To make a long story short, it’s excellent.  The flat, wider face of the trigger is much more comfortable to use and the blade style safety “dingus” is fitted well enough that it’s not really noticeable.  It’s very much a night and day difference.

It’s difficult to really give a fair description of an item whose primary selling point is ergonomics, so I would encourage M&P owners to get hands on if possible with a friend’s gun or if you’re local, stop by and check out mine!

The Verdict

I’m really loving the trigger, but I do wish it was about ten dollars cheaper for what you get.  M&P owners with post-2013 revision guns can get the most for their money by sticking with the factory sear setup, adding a domed striker block plunger and optionally the AEK trigger.  For those of us with the pre-revision guns it might be overkill when you’ve already invested in the Duty/Carry or Competition sear kit and night sights.

Overall, for anyone unhappy with the standard trigger the polymer AEK is highly recommended.  It’s certainly top quality and up to the standard I’ve come to expect from the manufacturer.  Buy with confidence if you’ve had enough of the hinged trigger!