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Light primer strikes with OP trigger


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Hi everyone,

I was at a USPSA match today and had some malfunctions that I was hoping you fine people might be able to help me with...

Like an idiot, I switched out my Apex trigger for the Overwatch Precision trigger on my Q5 (polymer) on Friday for a Saturday match, without testing the equipment at the range first. I look forward to posting a review of the differences later, but I should say that everything felt perfect when function checking the trigger in dry fire. The trigger appeared to reset and break perfectly, with no perceivable issues at all...

Fast forward to today, and almost immediately I started getting light primer strikes. I probably had 3 or 4 light primer strikes for each time it actually went bang. Looking at the rounds that didn't go off, all the primers had very weak dimples from the striker. I was shooting from a batch of ammo (Blazer 124gr) that was tested earlier in the week with the Apex trigger, and had zero malfunctions. I have put maybe 30k rounds through this gun without one single malfunction until today, and the only difference was the trigger. I then changed out my striker spring, from the 6lb Wolf Glock striker spring I have always used back to the stock striker spring, and it made no difference at all. The striker itself also did not appear to be damaged in any way.

Someone at the match thought that maybe the striker isn't resetting all the way back, so it doesn't have enough force when the sear is released. Is that possible? Any idea for a fix?

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for any tips or ideas!
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Had a similar issue however mine was cause by the striker safety not going down far enough. It still clicked and you could hear the striker go forward but same story as yours. My suggestion is to see if the trigger bar is getting far enough off of that safety to let it get out of the way properly. I use the overwatch trigger as well but mine worked straight out of the box. My issue was cause by myself trying to tinker with things. If you have any work done to it the trigger might not be compatible with it as is.

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Thanks! I have the adjustable sear engagement set screw mod, plus some lightened springs. But again, I've never had an issue with the Apex trigger. I'm not sure how to tell if the firing pin safety is getting moved fully out of the way, but I'll try to figure that out.

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Do you know any way to check if the firing pin safety is being completely disengaged without going to the range? I'll hopefully take the gun to the range this week and fire it both as-is and with the firing pin safety completely removed. If it works perfectly with the safety removed, then that's clearly the issue... Which means the trigger bar is not pushing it out of the way enough, right?

 

IF that is the case, then I Might have a theory why that's happening:

 

I have an adjustable over-travel stop in the form of layered electrical tape inside the trigger guard where the back of the trigger contacts the frame. This makes the over-travel virtually non-existent, as well as the reset, and it's amazing. However, maybe by preventing the over-travel, it's preventing the trigger bar from moving far enough to allow the firing pin safety to reach the peak, therefore just barely impeding the firing pin and slowing it down. Therefore, if I allow a bit more over-travel, it should fix the problem. Does this make sense, and is it a possibility?

 

Thank you again for any input!

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Do you know any way to check if the firing pin safety is being completely disengaged without going to the range? I'll hopefully take the gun to the range this week and fire it both as-is and with the firing pin safety completely removed. If it works perfectly with the safety removed, then that's clearly the issue... Which means the trigger bar is not pushing it out of the way enough, right?
 
IF that is the case, then I Might have a theory why that's happening:
 
I have an adjustable over-travel stop in the form of layered electrical tape inside the trigger guard where the back of the trigger contacts the frame. This makes the over-travel virtually non-existent, as well as the reset, and it's amazing. However, maybe by preventing the over-travel, it's preventing the trigger bar from moving far enough to allow the firing pin safety to reach the peak, therefore just barely impeding the firing pin and slowing it down. Therefore, if I allow a bit more over-travel, it should fix the problem. Does this make sense, and is it a possibility?
 
Thank you again for any input!
Correct however I do not know a good way to test without live fire. Thats the same conclusion I came to with mine. I had a similar way to stop over travel and when I removed of the gun runs just fine.

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The problem and fix have been confirmed. @a_whole_lot_of_freedom, your theory was correct.

First off, I turned the gun over and looked at how the trigger bar interacted with the firing pin block (FPB), and it looks like the Overwatch trigger bar does Not push the FPB fully out of the way at the wall, and only fully moves it out of the way right after the shot breaks. With the over-travel stop on, it was very clearly not moving the FPB enough to let the striker fully clear it. I called Overwatch Precision to ask about this, and they said their triggers are specifically designed to not fully move the FPB out of the way unless the trigger is pressed fully to the rear, as some sort of safety feature. I find this very odd, but that's what they confirmed.

The guy from Overwatch actually gave me a good way to test it from home, which was to put a #2 pencil down the barrel, eraser side down, then point the gun straight up in the air and dry fire it. Doing this, I found that with the over-travel stop on, it only shot the pen/pencil up a little bit, but with the over-travel stop removed, it shot much much higher.

I confirmed this at the range, too, over the course of a few hundred rounds. The gun shot with increasing reliability the more over-travel I allowed, until it was at 100% reliability with minimal or no over-travel stop. Looking at the spent shell casings, the indentation on the primers were much larger, too, when there was no over-travel stop.

I hope this information is valuable to someone. Lesson: if you use the OP trigger, be careful about shortening the over-travel, or else you might hear a click when you want to hear a bang.

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The problem and fix have been confirmed. [mention=73876]a_whole_lot_of_freedom[/mention], your theory was correct.

First off, I turned the gun over and looked at how the trigger bar interacted with the firing pin block (FPB), and it looks like the Overwatch trigger bar does Not push the FPB fully out of the way at the wall, and only fully moves it out of the way right after the shot breaks. With the over-travel stop on, it was very clearly not moving the FPB enough to let the striker fully clear it. I called Overwatch Precision to ask about this, and they said their triggers are specifically designed to not fully move the FPB out of the way unless the trigger is pressed fully to the rear, as some sort of safety feature. I find this very odd, but that's what they confirmed.

The guy from Overwatch actually gave me a good way to test it from home, which was to put a #2 pencil down the barrel, eraser side down, then point the gun straight up in the air and dry fire it. Doing this, I found that with the over-travel stop on, it only shot the pen/pencil up a little bit, but with the over-travel stop removed, it shot much much higher.

I confirmed this at the range, too, over the course of a few hundred rounds. The gun shot with increasing reliability the more over-travel I allowed, until it was at 100% reliability with minimal or no over-travel stop. Looking at the spent shell casings, the indentation on the primers were much larger, too, when there was no over-travel stop.

I hope this information is valuable to someone. Lesson: if you use the OP trigger, be careful about shortening the over-travel, or else you might hear a click when you want to hear a bang.
So it sounds like the solution to getting the striker to hit full power with minimal over travel is to swap out the OW trigger bar with either the OEM or Apex trigger bar. In order to get the mm or 2 that was removed from the engagement surface by overwatch.

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@a_whole_lot_of_freedom you're completely correct... If you could put the trigger shoe of the OP on the Apex trigger bar (and polish the Apex bar, because it's not nearly as nicely costed as the OP), it would be perfection. However, looking at pictures right now of both trigger bars, the trigger shoes appear to connect to the trigger bars differently, but I can't quite tell... The Apex has two pins in it, and the OP has one... I would be Very interested if you or someone else on this forum could determine if that swap could actually be done!

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I was able to do it with the factory trigger bar and it worked great (Launched a pencil across the room) Unfortunately it took me drilling out the pin of the OEM trigger shoe. (Punch wouldn't do it)

 

I am not familiar with the Apex nor do I have it to play around with or I would see what I could come up with.

 

I tried to attached some videos you can download for your enjoyment. Hopefully they work properly.

 

https://cloud.tapatalk.com/s/5efc9bb7831f7/Snapchat-522907374.mp4https://cloud.tapatalk.com/s/5efc9ba37d6cc/Snapchat-1116041744.mp4

 

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

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I successfully swapped the trigger shoe of the Overwatch onto the trigger bar of the Apex. It was easy to punch out the roll pin of each and make the swap. Function checking it seems like it works just fine. I added the tape over-travel stop to the most extreme point where I would want it, did the pen/pencil test, and am seeing pretty positive results. I don't know it the pen is going Quite as high as it did with no over-travel stop, but it's definitely better than the Overwatch trigger was at the equivalent over-travel settings. So, the final step will be to test it at the range, but I'm feeling pretty good that even if I need to remove one more tape layer, the Overwatch shoe + Apex bar is definitely the way to go if you want maximum adjustability.

 

That being said, with a highly polished Apex trigger bar, the takeup feels different than with the Overwatch bar, which needed no polishing. It's not better or worse, just different. The Overwatch bar has more of a springy, mechanical feel while still being extremely smooth, versus the Apex bar, which has a more slippery and polished kind of feel. It's hard to describe, but the Overwatch just felt like it had a more springy reset, even though the pull weight was the same.

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I successfully swapped the trigger shoe of the Overwatch onto the trigger bar of the Apex. It was easy to punch out the roll pin of each and make the swap. Function checking it seems like it works just fine. I added the tape over-travel stop to the most extreme point where I would want it, did the pen/pencil test, and am seeing pretty positive results. I don't know it the pen is going Quite as high as it did with no over-travel stop, but it's definitely better than the Overwatch trigger was at the equivalent over-travel settings. So, the final step will be to test it at the range, but I'm feeling pretty good that even if I need to remove one more tape layer, the Overwatch shoe + Apex bar is definitely the way to go if you want maximum adjustability.
 
That being said, with a highly polished Apex trigger bar, the takeup feels different than with the Overwatch bar, which needed no polishing. It's not better or worse, just different. The Overwatch bar has more of a springy, mechanical feel while still being extremely smooth, versus the Apex bar, which has a more slippery and polished kind of feel. It's hard to describe, but the Overwatch just felt like it had a more springy reset, even though the pull weight was the same.
I would guess the feelings difference is because of the piece on the trigger bar that depressed the Striker Safety is contacting before it did on the overwatch trigger giving to the feelings of mechanical resistance (sliding) as opposed to only the springs on the Overwatch trigger. Overwatch trigger bar would likely contact the seir engagement before it started depressing the safety but the other ones do the opposite.

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Posted (edited)

In my experience, even though no or very little over-travel FEELS nice, it can actually be negative for practical precision. I've found that I shoot more accurately with some over-travel after the break, compared to when overtravel has been completely removed. I tested this in a pistol with adjustable overtravel. I think that the trigger can disturb the pistol/hold by hitting the frame with too little or no overtravel. 

 

Just saying, some over-travel can be a good thing too. 

Edited by mrd
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@mrd It's interesting you say that, as I've actually heard a pro shooter (I don't remember who) say the exact same thing. I've honestly never tested the accuracy of my shooting using more vs less over-travel, but that definitely seems like a useful test to do. Thanks!

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Update: Even after having attached the Apex bar to the Overwatch shoe, it turned out that the firing pin block Still wasn't moving enough out of the way to allow a completely clear path for the striker. To me, this would mean that there's something different about the geometry of the Apex trigger shoe that causes the trigger bar to be positioned farther back while at rest, therefore allowing the firing pin block to engage earlier/more quickly with the ramp on the bar and allow full clearance even with no over-travel.

 

Anyway, I think I found another workaround this time that still preserves all the safeties. Now I'm no gunsmith, and I understand the potential risks I take every time I try something like this, but tinkering is just so much fun.

 

I bought some high-temperature tape, the kind that is used on circuit boards. It is extremely thin and is rated to withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit ($10 got me

more than I'll need in a lifetime). I very tightly layered small strips of the tape over the trigger bar where the ramp contacts the firing pin block. I added enough layers that when the trigger breaks with no over-travel the firing pin block is completely out of the way, and yet it does not move it out of the way at rest. Even with the trigger pulled back to the point that the trigger shoe safety hits the frame, the firing pin block is still well in the way of the striker, telling me that it is still very much drop safe.

 

This has also had the unexpected perk of making the trigger press even smoother! Whatever friction there was before, even with both the bar and the firing pin block having been polished, it is now significantly smoother, which I did not expect.

 

I tested the mods with the pen/pencil test as described in earlier posts, and it was without a doubt as powerful as stock (and clearly far more effective than without this mod). The biggest question now is whether or not the tape will hold up to the friction caused by firing thousands of rounds, as well as to whatever heat it will be exposed to.

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I’ve got multiple Overwatch triggers and never had an issue like this. Are you 100000% sure that they sent you the poly PPQ version of the trigger? 
 

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@Hdiamond I am absolutely 100% sure I got the poly PPQ version. I guess it's possible the one I got was just sightly off, but based on what the tech said on the phone and my previous testing when I removed the over-travel stop, they seem to be designed to only fully disengage the firing pin block when the trigger is fully pressed to the rear, past the trigger break.

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Posted (edited)

@mrd I agree with you. I’ve welded and machined trigger bars in a few guns to remove overtravel: The guns all shot a bit more accurately with some overtravel.

 

You couldn’t feel the difference between stock and reduced during a match, either. It’s only obvious at the bench. Not the range.

 

Make sure you leave 1/32” or so worth of overtravel, or your gun will have issues after it gets dirty and/or things wear slightly.

 

Edited by MemphisMechanic
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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, PNWWaltherShooter said:

@MemphisMechanic I'll do that. A lot of the tinkering is mostly just to see what's possible. I think there's a lot of value in what you and @mrd mentioned, so I'll probably back off just a bit on the over-travel and see how it treats me at the range. Now if only ammo would come back in stock, and at pre-COVID prices!


I’m so incredibly thankful I reload.

Ammo supply will be hilariously short for at least a year.

 

Since 2008 or so, you ALWAYS need to stock up on 1-2 year’s worth of components or ammo when an election is coming.

 

Edited by MemphisMechanic
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On 7/9/2020 at 10:10 AM, MemphisMechanic said:


I’m so incredibly thankful I reload.

Ammo supply will be hilariously short for at least a year.

 

Since 2008 or so, you ALWAYS need to stock up on 1-2 year’s worth of components or ammo when an election is coming.

 

And where are you getting small pistol primers lately?  😀

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11 hours ago, BartCarter said:

And where are you getting small pistol primers lately?  😀


That’s where the “staying stocked up on components” thing comes in. I think there’s around 20k in the safe, which will hopefully  carry me through these hoarding times since I’m shooting so infrequently - haven’t shot a match since October. 😕 

 

I try to think of it as being totally out of bullets or primers when I hit 15k or so, and that’s when I need to go buy more.

 

Edited by MemphisMechanic
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