In the small desert town of Peoria Arizona, sits an unassuming building where every day, 35 Americans pour their blood, sweat, and tears into innovating and creating high quality products for the firearms industry.
Apex Tactical Specialties started rather modestly, with it’s two founders in 2000, in a small facility in San Louis Obispo California. Originally, the company focused on gunsmithing but when they brought Scott Folk on board in 2009, they shifted their focus to manufacturing. They quickly grew to 34 employees, who, when in 2016 APS decided to leave California due to increasingly difficult regulations, 28 of the 34 employees decided to relocate in order to stay with the company.
I was fortunate enough to receive a guided tour with Scott, the Chief Operations Officer, and Paul, the Director of Marketing. As the doors to the factory floor opened, the first thing I noticed was how immaculate the facility was kept. There was ample space between each machine, which are continually monitored by employees with keen eyes.
As we walked around, I would ask what specific employees were doing as they manipulated, and inspected each component they were responsible for producing. The answer was almost always, “Quality control.” When I asked Scott how many check points were in place to assess each products quality, he gave a little smirk, “We ensure quality throughout every stage of the process, because our employees are coming in here every day to produce products earned with blood, sweat, and tears. There are at least 7 check points for quality, and we have no problems tossing a product if it doesn’t meet our standards… which are far beyond Mil Spec.”
I brought the FN509 Tactical with me, so I could watch the experts do their magic. Now, you should note that Apex provides a very detailed video on how to install this trigger system, so I’m not going to cover the process step-by-step (here’s a link to the videos).
From observing the installation process, I would highly suggest having:
The FN509/FNS-C Disassembly Fixture
A role of masking tape
A jeweler’s mallet
A punch kit
A bowl to keep your parts in (DO NOT forget this step or you will end up cursing or perhaps crying)
I would highly suggest watching the video all the way through prior to attempting the install, and keep in mind, Apex prides themselves on customer support. If you have to call in, all of their employees are well versed in trouble shooting and guiding you through the process (yes, EVERY employee in the facility can do this install…and you SHOULD be impressed).
Brand new, unfired:
When comparing the FN 509 Tactical Apex trigger to the standard FN 509 stock trigger, the first thing you’ll notice is that the Apex trigger offers a Glock style center mounted safety featured within the trigger face, secondly, you’ll notice the weight difference. The Apex trigger pull is roughly 1.3 pounds lighter than the stock trigger.
The take-up on the Apex is substantially shorter than on the stock , and once the Apex hit the wall , there was a small hitch/grittiness in the creep before the break, however Scott had told me to expect this as the fire control components were breaking in and that it would work itself out after a few rounds. So, let’s go break it in!
I have a busy life, so I have to multitask and really, no one enjoys simply function firing into a berm, so I used the FN 509 Tac to train. While breaking in the trigger, I used my range time and precious ammunition to run drills. These got split into multiple days due to fatigue to my hand (the stippling on the 509 proved to be too aggressive for the scar tissue on my right hand and by day 2 I was wearing gloves).
Ben Stoeger’s Accelerator
This drill uses 3 paper targets positioned at 7 yards, 15 and 25: 2 hits in each Alpha Zone, reload, repeat. 12 rounds total
This drill combines working on shot placement, groupings and a little reload work.
Five to Go (Steel targets)
This drill is all about precision and speed. Place 5 steel targets in the configuration shown below and shoot all 5 quick and clean.I
600 Rounds Later
In little to no time at all, the grittiness had worn off, and the Apex provided a clean break with a touch of roll. The reset is very tactile and the length of the reset is nice and short, making it easy to stay in target. I will definitely say this trigger is a sweet upgrade for any 509 users.
See you at the Range,