Apex Gunsmithing
4Aug/17

Disassembly Guide: Polish P-64

Prior to the influx of inexpensive P-64 pistols onto the market, seeing one in the wild would usually end up with it being mistaken for a Makarov.  Even today, local auction listings misidentify the diminutive Polish handgun with its more famous contemporaries to the ire of P-64 fans everywhere.  Originally designed to replace the Tokarev as a service handgun and tested in two variants - the Military and Police versions, which differed in size and capacity - the P-64 would usurp the TT-33 in Poland and serve for decades as a standard sidearm.  In recent years, the little P-64 has gained more of a reputation thanks to its dirt cheap price point, ungodly double action trigger pull and harsh recoil for a 9x18 Makarov chambered pistol.  Despite its shortcomings the P-64 enjoys a bit of a cult following, clearly by people who have never had to disassemble one.

Thankfully swapping out a hammer spring to lighten the trigger isn't a huge job, but if you want to dig deeper or do a full strip for refinishing you better settle in for a long, frustrating evening.

The P-64 is an all-steel handful of pistol.

The P-64 is an all-steel handful of pistol.

30Jun/17

Disassembly Guide: Glocks

I was going to make this a joke guide for April Fools originally, since let's be honest... who doesn't know how to take apart a Glock?  Whether you think they're "Perfection™", a durable utilitarian tool that gets the job done, or an ugly brick of a plastic wonder-nine that will never live up to the hype, the Glock pistol is everywhere.  What the Glock lacks in aesthetic appeal it makes up in simplicity, low part count, and ease of tuning.  After all, there aren't many pistols out there that you can do a $10 trigger job on quite like the Glock.  Instead of just making the shortest disassembly guide in history, let's discuss the history of the Glock and some tuning tips to spice things up!

This early 90s blue label police sale Glock 21 is a throwback to the AWB years.

This early 2000s blue label police sale Glock 21 is a throwback to the AWB years.

27Jun/17

Disassembly Guide: Springfield Armory XD-S

When the Springfield XDS hit the market a few years ago, it made a big splash for being a tiny gun with a lot of punch.  Who was crazy enough to make a five-shot single stack micro-compact in .45ACP?  The runaway success of the XDS, despite its teething pains with a prominent recall, led Springfield to branch out into the highly anticipated 9x19 and .40S&W cartridges, new SKUs, and new barrel lengths.  Shrinking down the XD/M designs into a palm sized package no doubt took plenty of engineering effort, but the heart of the design remains reminiscent of its bigger brothers.

XDS .45 Two Tone

XDS .45 Two Tone

27Feb/16

Detail Strip Guide: Lionheart LH9/Daewoo DP-51 & Variants

A while back I wrote a very basic text only guide for detail stripping the Lionheart LH9, a variant of the Daewoo DP-51 and its family of unique "triple action" pistols, but I never had the opportunity to make a proper guide with photos to match.  Today the LH9 gets a real guide as part of my ongoing series of detail strip posts to get caught back up!

The LH9 series of pistols is a premium version of the cult classic DP-51, which is itself a commercial variant of the South Korean service pistol, the K5.  Originally designed in the early to mid 80's as part of Korea's push for a domestically produced service pistol, the K5 was trialed to death over several years before final adoption in 1989/1990.  The history of Korean small arms and Daewoo/S&T Motiv is fascinating to read up on, I highly recommend the relevant chapters of Black Rifle which highlight US involvement in Korean small arms production during and after the Vietnam War.

On the homefront, the DP-51 was the victim of nebulous commercialization in the US, with numerous importers picking up batches of pistols including compact models and the relatively new .40S&W chambering christened the DH-40.  Between the model confusion, attempts to re-brand the pistols, and the sheer number of importers trying to pitch the gun as a new wonder-nine during the rise of the Clinton ban era, it's amazing that the DP-51 remains a cult hit and saw reintroduction in the US at all.  In 2011, the upstart Lionheart Industries turned the DP-51 into a premium hammer fired, alloy frame pistol with numerous features the US market demands in modern pistols.  The LH9 series maintains almost complete parts compatibility with the DP-51, and Lionheart provides a retail channel for parts to maintain both their LH9 and the original guns.

A plain black LH9N - "N" for Novaks sights.

A plain black LH9N - "N" for Novaks sights.

20Feb/16

Detail Strip Guide: S&W M&P22 Full Size

The popularity of .22 as a training tool exploded a few years back just before the great ammo drought, ushering in a golden age of rimfire lookalikes mimicking popular defense handguns.  It seemed like the next logical step up from expensive conversion kits that nearly cost as much as a standalone rimfire pistol by themselves and were often difficult to find in stock.  For a while every .22 lookalike pistol that hit the market seemed plagued with issues, the Walther P22 and Sig Mosquito were at one time famously problematic as they fought through their growing pains.  It took Smith & Wesson a few years to catch up, but they appear to have spent their time wisely and learned from the failings of other guns to make the M&P22 a reliable little package.

I recently had the opportunity to compare the newer Compact model alongside the full size example that I'll be ripping apart in this guide, so I've included a few notes along the way to highlight design changes on the newer pistol.

This guide also covers removing the magazine disconnector "safety" which can be omitted with no negative effects on the gun's function and no parts or spacers are needed.

It looks and feels like the M&P, but it doesn't work like one on the inside!

It looks and feels like the M&P, but it doesn't work like one on the inside!

2Feb/16

Detail Strip Guide: HK300 (PREVIEW!)

This is a preview draft of a guide I wrote a couple of months ago but decided needed more detail.  With the new camera in hand and a video format in the works for video guides as well, I'll be working on a LOT more guides in the coming months!

 

Once upon a time, Heckler & Koch tried their hand at making more traditional wood and steel "sporting" arms.  For a brief period in the 70's and 80's, they brought out a series of premium priced firearms that sold decently, but ultimately not well enough to continue the trend.  It's strange to think of the company responsible for the USP, MP5 and so many "tactical" firearms once had a catalog that had more in common with the Sears sporting goods section than a SWAT team armory, but the sporting phase was one of a few attempts the company made to find their niche when military contracts began to drop off.  If it weren't for that pesky money problem, the 70's and 80's may very well have been a golden age of H&K; two decades of crazy risk taking, innovation in design and new materials finally wound down into a brief dance with disaster before the USP helped save the company.

Born from this tarnished golden age was the HK300, one of the few semi-automatic, detachable magazine fed .22 magnum rifles you can get your hands on.  It's difficult to find information on just how many of these rifles were made, but the numbers I've found point to less than 30,000 with an unknown number of those imported into the US.

To my knowledge, this is the ONLY detail strip guide for the HK300 rifle on the internet.  I hope it helps someone!

It's not a pristine example, but good luck finding one under $1500!

It's not a pristine example, but good luck finding one under $1000!

29Oct/15

Detail Strip Guide: Walther CCP

This is an off the cuff guide while I have a customer's gun apart to try and solve the Achilles heel of this pistol: the absolutely unbearable gritty trigger pull.  Being the first CCP I've handled, I don't know if this is a common problem or not but judging by the shoddy quality of stamped parts, rough finished internals and roll pins all over the gun I can take a good guess that this pistol isn't unique in having a gravel road for a trigger.  While the mechanism itself is rather clever, it suffers from a myriad of problems under the hood.  None the less, let's take a crack at it!

Walther's single stack 9, with the plastic tool provided to field strip it.

Walther's single stack 9, with the plastic tool provided to field strip it.

10Oct/15

Detail Strip Guide: CZ Scorpion Evo

When CZ brought out the Scorpion Evo as a pistol it immediately gained popularity as a less expensive, reliable pistol caliber carbine alternative with affordable magazines.  Using an adapter and the right AR-15 style buffer tube and a Sig arm brace makes the gun a handy 9mm package with lots of modern features, ambidextrous controls and frankly it just plain looks cool.  Even better, it's extremely easy to work on and the fire control is designed conventionally, making it simple to tune up for anyone so inclined.

Angled foregrips are A-OK on handguns.

Angled foregrips are A-OK on handguns!

14Mar/15

Detail Strip Guide: S&W Bodyguard .38 Revolver

A few years back, Smith and Wesson brought out a new pocket pistol line that challenged all sorts of conventions including how much MIM and plastic can fit into a revolver, whether or not users really do want lasers on everything, and sensible ways to name models of firearm.  The Bodyguard .38, not to be confused with the nearly identically named Bodyguard 380, is the Crimson Trace equipped revolver using a plastic grip frame vaguely reminiscent of the Ruger LCP.

A customer brought one in recently asking about tuning the trigger up, a common job on J-frame S&W guns made simple by available spring kits from Wolff and Apex Tactical Specialties.  Unfortunately because the gun isn't anything like the venerable J-frame, kits made for classic snubbies don't work here.  It's a clever design in a lot of ways, but largely incompatible with drop in mods for other S&W guns.

On top of that, no parts diagrams or guides seem to exist for the BG38.  Smith and Wesson maintains that there are "no user serviceable parts" and the gun should not be taken apart.  CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.  Let's get to it!

Lasers, definitely more dangerous than bullets judging by the warnings.

Lasers, definitely more dangerous than bullets judging by the warnings.

22Feb/15

Detail Strip Guide: Grand Power K100 Series

Update 09/04/2015: David Copping, the area manager for North America at Grand Power SRO reached out to give me a couple of small tips straight from the source.  They've been integrated into the post below, specifically regarding the safety lever removal and the magazine release, which I didn't actually mess with originally.  Thanks, David!

I recently got a K100 in for a friend of mine who was nice enough to let me rip it apart and review it.  There's barely any info online about these really interesting Slovakian pistols, and nary a parts diagram to be found aside from one miserably low resolution drawing from Marstar Canada.  Today's project is detail stripping the K100 Mk7.

Parts diagram!

Parts diagram!