If you were following the Apex DCAEK/RAM thread....
I decided to start a new thread - I thought an update in the previous thread I posted on this subject might be difficult to locate or overlooked, soooo...
Bear in mind that this is the results I experienced; there have been a few that have have seen more significant changes than I did which goes to show that results can vary some and APEX agrees with that.
Just to review, Apex provides essentially two products for the M&P trigger. The DCAEK is a carry gun kit designed to lighten and smooth the trigger pull, shorten the trigger reset, shorten trigger overtravel, and may have a very slight affect on the trigger's tactile characteristic. But as related to me by Scott of Apex on the phone, the tactile component is essentially imperceptible. The DCAEK is expected to reduce trigger pull weight from 6-6.5 lbs stock to what APEX claims in their installation video of a low 4 lb range. I wonder about this. My stock trigger was already at 5.5 lbs and it only went to 5.1 lbs with the DCAEK and polishing. When I told Scott my trigger pull weight was already at 5.5 lbs, before I bought the DCAEK, Scott told me I probably wouldn't see a lot of pull weight reduction and he was right.
The second product is the RAM kit; this does one thing - enhance the tactile response of the trigger.
I finally got both products in my M&Pf 9mm and then finally got to shoot it. Again, this is my experience, and as I mentioned before results can vary some.
First, my measured trigger pull weight was reduced from 5.5 lbs to 5.1 lbs. Unfortunately, I did not measure the overtravel with the stock trigger. The rest of my experience is subjective, which I've found over many years can be influenced by expectation. IOW, if you want something to be, your mind may perceive it to be whether it actually is or not.
But, I think I was about as objective with my subjective evaluation as I could be. I really wasn't anticipating or expecting, if anything I was a bit skeptical. My approach to a shooting evaluation was to compare the tricked out M&P to another gun used as kind of a baseline because it is a known quantity. The gun I chose was my gen 2 G17 with a Ghost Rocket connector. The Ghost Rocket has to be fitted to the gun for the sole purpose of minimizing trigger over-travel. I shot 50 'range' rounds through each gun and then an additional 50 NATO rounds through the M&P because it was fun!!! I would have shot 50 of the hot NATO rounds through the Glock too, but I'm really needing to replace the recoil spring and I didn't want to shoot it any more until I replace the recoil spring.
My reaction? A Glock is just hard to beat. But, the M&P with the DCAEK and RAM is impressive. The trigger pull is just about right as far as pull weight goes. However, keep in mind that my pull weight only changed from 5.5 lbs to 5.1 lbs. As far as I'm concerned, the trigger pull is everything it needs to be, but I could just about say that for my stock trigger. There's only about 7-8% difference in my case.
The reset is much improved, and this is the component of the M&P trigger that really needs help and the RAM does help significantly, although it would be stretching to say it's equal to my Glock reset, but it's close. The RAM kit ($23) certainly improves the reset, and will work with the stock trigger or the DCAEK.
The DCAEK also enhances reset some due to the heavier trigger spring that comes in the kit. You'd think that'd be counter-productive to trigger pull weight and it would be, but you still get an overall pull weight reduction with the added benefit of a more forceful trigger return. I noticed and really liked that, I could feel the trigger forcefully returning to it's reset position.
To me, it is extremely difficult to measure the impact of reduced trigger over-travel. Sometimes I think that's a bit over-rated. I simply could detect no impact in trigger overtravel. That doesn't mean it didn't reduce over-travel, I'm sure it does. What I'm saying is I was unable to demonstrate the benefit of the over-travel reduction via shooting.
I did some rapid fire, but I couldn't tell that the tricked out M&P was any faster than it was stock, although it may be since I did not use a timer to measure splits etc. However, split times, rapid fire, etc. is hidden somewhat by shot placement. I.e. when you speed up, groups get larger. So I may have much faster split times on a given day, but the grouping may have fallen apart to get the faster split times, and there's everything in between, so it's a difficult thing to measure accurately.
Plus, there is one thing that really, really bothers me about over-travel reduction in a SD gun. Let's consider what over-travel limits do: Over-travel mechanisms, minimize the distance the trigger can travel after the shot breaks. Probably the most 'famous' over-travel machanism is the set screw in the trigger of a 1911. I wonder how many people have 'tweaked' this screw thinking they were adjusting trigger pull weight. Anyway, heres the potential problem.
The over-travel limit, in whatever variation it exists, consists in something 'dead-ending' the trigger right after the shot breaks. Purportedly this limits the amount of movement of the gun due to the continuing travel of the trigger. But all the variations have the same potential problem - they marginalize the reliability of the trigger. I know this has not been a prevalent problem (that we know of), but if we're going to whine about locks on revolvers, and magazine disconnects meaning instant death in a gunfight, what about a very tiny piece of debris getting under the stop of the trigger over-travel mechanism? I mean, it's already near the edge. All it would take is a little bit of something getting in the works, the trigger would dead-end before the shot breaks....not good, and there's no immediate action drill to deal with that.
I've actually heard (Masod Ayoob writings) of pocket lint getting under the hammer of a J-frame carried in a pocket and preventing the gun from firing when it was needed. But couldn't a trigger block occur even without finely adjusted trigger over-travel? Sure it could, but it's a matter of probability. The a piece of debris that might stop a trigger prematurely with a finely adjusted over-travel, may just limit how much over-travel the trigger has on a stock trigger. It's just something to be aware of and make a decision about over-travel based on knowing the full implications and risk.
So, in conclusion, is the $90 DCAEK worth the money? Does it do enough to justify the cost? Well, all things being equal, absolutely not. The $23 RAM kit yes. By all things being equal, I mean the M&P costs $550; a Glock $499 and the Glock already has an acceptable trigger. To bring the M&P trigger up to the performance level of a Glock trigger, is going to take $90 + $23 which brings the total cost of the M&P to $663, a difference of $164 over a Glock. Even if you put a Ghost Rocket connector ($25) in your Glock as I do all my Glocks, you are still looking at spending $140 more going the M&P route. However, the reality is, you may not be able to realize the full potential of the enhancements unless you train a lot. Then again, rarely are all things equal, sooo...
If you don't like Glocks - that's your brain malfunction (just kidding, but...), and/or you already have an M&P then is it worth the money for the DCAEK and the RAM? The RAM certainly, it only cost $23. But the DCAEK? Not really. If you just want to maximize your M&P then money is not an issue. But if money is an issue, to me, spending that money on ammo and shooting or even better formal training would be money better spent.
Don't misunderstand, the DCAEK and RAM does everything it is suppose to, but it comes at a significant cost, and not everyone that owns an M&P would be able to realize the full potentlal of a tricked out M&P because they just don't shoot enough. And if money is an issue and they spend the money for the APEX enhancements, then they're going to be shooting even less.
Then for a competition gun, it's different. The APEX comp kit does more than the carry kit so you could potentially be getting more bang for the buck. But even with the comp version, not everyone will realize the full benefit.