Reviewed By: robert r on 12/29/2012
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!]
Ergonomics- This is a small-feeling 45. My fiance is able to comfortably hold and shoot it without the grip feeling too big. I am not a lefty, but it's still nice to have a magazine release that can be changed from side to side and ambidextrous slide stops should I be operating the gun with my non-dominant side. The scalloped slide serrations in the rear and up front do not catch or snag on the draw, but give great grip when manipulating the slide. When inserting a new magazine, a little extra force on the baseplate with a slight forward thrust reliably drops the slide for you, eliminating the need to manipulate the slide and saving the shooter time on reloads. The bore-axis is extremely low on this gun. If you combine the low bore-axis, the extended tang at the rear, and the slight hook on the bottom of the frontstrap, it adds up to make this a VERY soft-shooting 45. There is barely any muzzle flip and recoil is on par with a stout load from my p99 9mm. This is a fast shooting gun I look forward to using for IDPA.
Reliability & accuracy- I've only put 320 shots through it, but it has not yet had a single malfunction. I shot walmart tulammo, prvi, winchester white box fmj, and pdx1. The tulammo and prvi had similar accuracy(under an inch at 25 feet), the pdx1 shot noticeably better with me able to keep the majority of shots in a .5" group(with an occasional flyer due to me learning the gun...not the gun's fault). I was using the threaded barrel and it shot perfectly to POA with no adjustments needed.
Other stuff- My desantis intruder, blackhawk serpa, and crossbreed snapslide that I use to carry my p99as or m&p9c also hold this full-size 45 perfectly. I'll add personal preference here for a striker-fired gun. Being striker-fired, it has a faster lock time, lower bore axis, less complicated battery of arms, and more consistent trigger press than hammer-fired guns. For defensive use, you don't need to spend extra time or train to disengage a manual safety. The safeties are all passive, making the gun faster and simpler for new shooters. There is no difference from the first to second trigger press as there is with DA/SA semiautomatic pistols.
Trigger- The factory trigger is pretty bad. As you begin your press, you will instantly feel grit and uneven weight. This is because the first part of the trigger press is where the trigger bar rides back to push the striker block up in to the slide. The factory striker block is cylindrical. Because of this, the trigger bar must jump over the edge of the cylindrical striker block. This steep jump adds weight to the first part of the trigger press. The grit largely comes from how rough the factory striker block plunger is. I remedied this part of the pull with the apex polished and hemispherical aftermarket striker block plunger. This aftermarket part(combined with a lighter plunger spring) completely erases the grit and extra weight from this part of the trigger press.
Moving rearward, the trigger bar meets with a cam on the sear and begins to see-saw the sear down out of the way of the striker as the cam is lifted up by the trigger bar ramp. On my factory trigger, this part happened pretty close to the rear of the trigger press. On my m&p9c, the sear engaged much sooner. This was actually good for the factory 45 trigger because it limited overtravel by making it break later in the press. It also had the effect of shortening the length of pull for the gun and making it feel smaller. The bad part was the weight and further grit in this stage. The factory sear meets the trigger bar ramp at a steep angle. The sear also has a negative angle on where it engages with the striker. This makes the sear draw the striker to the rear slightly as it's dropping out of the way. these two things combine to make this portion of the trigger press pretty heavy at around 8 lbs. To remedy this, I installed the apex hard sear. The difference in geometry and smoothness dropped trigger weight at this stage and made it much smoother/crisper.
After the trigger breaks and the gun fires comes the reset. When the gun fires, a cutout cam in the slide bumps the lobe on the trigger bar that presses the striker block up, over and pushes the trigger bar's ramp off to the side of the sear...allowing it to reset from the force of the sear plunger pushing it back up. In order for the trigger bar's ramp to reset in front of the sear's cam, the trigger must be released until the ramp slides past the side of the sear. There is VERY little pressure in the factory setup pushing the trigger bar against the side of the sear when it's disconnected. When it's released to reset, the lack of force means you have a hardly noticeable reset. On the smaller frame m&p, apex offers the RAM to increase lateral force on the trigger bar, causing an audible and tactile *snap* when the trigger bar clears the sear-side and resets. As of writing this, there is no such part for the 45 yet, so while the press to the rear is fantastic, you'll still be left with a near indistinguishable reset when letting the trigger back out.
I can't think of any other negatives than the trigger. I love everything else about this gun and it's taken over as my go-to for home defense and winter carry due to how well I shoot it. I gotta say, I love this xmas gift from my fiance.
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