Apex Gunsmithing
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!

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!

13Apr/15

Range Review: Canik Stingray-C

It's been a while since I wrote about the Canik Stingray-C a friend and customer loaned me for review, mostly because it came to me over the winter during some horrible weather and the eventual melt turned my range into a swamp Shrek would've been proud to lay claim to.  Now that the weather has warmed up and dried up, I've been able to hit the range and start working through my backlog of reviews little by little!

First thing's first, here's a link to my original hands on article: Canik-55 Stingray-C.  If you're not familiar with these Turkish built CZ copies, take a look there to get the rundown on the feature set and overall build quality.

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!

10Feb/15

The Curious Case of the Kareen

Some time ago I procured for a friend and customer of mine an inexpensive Browning Hi Power clone, which at the time I had never heard of. A few oddball guns make their way from Israel to the US, and they tend to be surplus in nature or of fleeting availability.  The ones with staying power like the venerable Desert Eagle get trade agreements drawn up and re-branded to root themselves more firmly in the American gun market, or more recently IWI's own efforts partnered with our friends in Harrisburg have brought more excellent Israeli-made firearms stateside.

"High quality" plastic grip panels.

"High quality" plastic grip panels.

The Israeli Kareen is the former of those options, a surplus pistol that is available now and again through places like PW Arms, Sarco, and the like.  Not a lot was known about them when they first hit our shores and they more or less slipped under the radar and were relegated to the pages of surplus catalogs and Shotgun News ads while fans of the Hi Power bought them up out of curiosity.  After all, the price was appealing and the previously plentiful Hungarian Hi Powers had all but dried up by then.

So what's the story behind these relatively unknown Hi Powers?

20Dec/14

First Impressions: Canik TP9-SA

That's right, another Canik review!  Before you roll your eyes and close your browser tab, here's the hook: the Canik TP9 SA has one of the best out of the box striker fired triggers on the market.  For under $400.  Interested now?  Read on.

TP9 SA Left

Talk about a makeover!

17Jul/14

TP9 Update: Spring Weights

It's been a while since I wrote my detailed guide on the TP-9/P99 pistol in which I mentioned the striker springs being compatible with other common striker fired guns on the market. Since then range trips have been few and far between, but I have gotten the chance to test fire the TP-9 with two lighter weight springs to see if they'll work at all.  Initial testing looks pretty good though...

21Jun/14

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?