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Old 12-11-2015, 06:54 PM
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Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself. Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself. Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself. Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself. Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself.  
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Default Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself.

Got my Apex 5" gunsmith fit barrel late this afternoon. Spent an hour, fitting the barrel to the slide. Didn't need to take anything off the front of the barrel, to fit it in the slide. Took about a half thousandth off each side of the hood for that part of the fit. Fitting the chamber/hood, into the slide was done very slowly. I found that dry erase marker worked better for me, than Dyekem, as it doesn't dry in place and shows a mark better.

After dinner, I worked on fitting the barrel lug to the frame. Being the gunsmith version, there was a lot of metal to remove. The fitting lug required me to disassemble and reassemble the gun literally a hundred times to mark and file the lug squarely. Fitting it took 2.5 hours alone, plus the hour for fitting it to the slide, I have 3.5 hours total into it.

I would not recommend everyone getting the gunsmith fit version. It is a lot of work to hand fit it and if you are not adept at it or impatient, it might not end well. Most people would find it a lot easier to install the semi-drop-in version.

It now locks up just like Randy said it would, in the video and there is no doubt it will shoot very tight groups. I would recommend keeping a light gun grease on the rails and barrel lug, as the lockup puts extra stress on those parts.
I'll be out at the range this coming Sunday, December 13, to benchrest it with several types and weights of ammunition. Results to follow.

I would have to say that Randy and the guys at Apex hit another home run with this product.
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Old 12-11-2015, 08:20 PM
F4injected F4injected is offline
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I see, so you chose to order the gunsmith version and then do it yourself? Rather than the semi-dropin because there is more room for error?
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Old 12-11-2015, 08:36 PM
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I see, so you chose to order the gunsmith version and then do it yourself? Rather than the semi-dropin because there is more room for error?
Because mine has so much play in it, I wanted to make sure that it fit tight.
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Old 12-11-2015, 11:53 PM
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I look forward to a range report. I really hope this is the accuracy improvement you're looking for.
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Old 12-12-2015, 11:20 AM
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I look forward to a range report. I really hope this is the accuracy improvement you're looking for.
I hope it is the improvement I'm looking for.
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Old 12-12-2015, 12:42 PM
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Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself. Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself. Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself. Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself. Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself.  
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Slipped up to the club this morning and bench rested some shots at 25 yards. Wanted to make sure the POA/POI didn't change and it didn't for the American Eagle 147 grain FMJ. I had my best groups with this ammo, but I was only up there for about 20 minutes (had to go to a Christmas party). I had lousy groups with Fiocchi FMJ. Tomorrow, testing will be more intensive and will tell me what ammo to stock up on. The weather was very foggy and I was shooting under an overhang with not much light. Coupled with 70-year-old eyes, I had problems seeing the sights, but was able to group the AE 147 into less than 2.5 inches. It was remarkable, as this was the first time with no off the paper flyers, like I usually get.
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Old 12-13-2015, 04:17 PM
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Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself. Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself. Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself. Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself. Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself.  
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Went back to the club today, Sunday, 12/13/2015 and did an extensive test with the ammo I had, which consisted of American Eagle 147 grain FMJ flat point, Prvi Partizan 115 grain FMJ and Fiocchi 115 grain FMJ.

After running 50 rounds random through the gun to "season" the barrel, I cleaned it and tested five groups of five rounds each with each of the three brands listed above. This was done at 25 yards, off of a pistol rest.

I had a friend with me who is also a fairly good shot and he came up with the same results I did.
He'll be ordering a barrel shortly.

I have fiber optic front and rear sights on this gun, as I can't see them well without them. They are large and I'm sure the groups would be smaller if I had target type sights on it and someone with good eyes and was a little better shot, did the shooting.

The Fiocchi 115 FMJ averaged the largest groups, around 5 inches.

The Prvi Partizan 115 FMJ averaged less than 2 inches, but shot low.

The American Eagle 147 FMJ averaged less than 2 inches, with three touching and the fourth within an inch. The fifth shot was probably me and it shot almost to point of aim.
Several of the groups with this ammo sent most of the shots into an inch or just over and the photo is representative of them.
I was aiming for the middle of the target.

We tried a few commercial reloads in it, but we had to tap the slide to chamber the rounds, so I didn't feel comfortable shooting them and just ejected them unfired. Must be a match chamber or the reloads are slightly oversized.

This barrel is everything Randy and Apex promised it would be and more. It turned my 5 inch Pro into a gun to almost compete with the 45 auto match pistols and this was using range ammo.
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Old 12-14-2015, 06:04 PM
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Thanks for the report. I'm sure you did a proper job of fitting the barrel. It would be nice if you could keep us updated on your results after a few more range trips.
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Old 12-14-2015, 06:23 PM
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Thanks for the report -- I'm looking forward to seeing more results from other users. I shot my new M&P this past weekend, resting elbows on a padded table, and was not impressed with the box stock accuracy. I have high hopes for the Apex barrels and want to hear more!
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Old 12-14-2015, 06:53 PM
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Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself. Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself. Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself. Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself. Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself.  
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Originally Posted by FredBart View Post
Thanks for the report. I'm sure you did a proper job of fitting the barrel. It would be nice if you could keep us updated on your results after a few more range trips.
I live in Michigan and it's finally turning cold. If we don't get another warm spell, it'll be March, before I do any more shooting.

I can tell you, if you do a proper installation (watch the video a lot), you will eliminate the gun as the source of flyers. Then, it's up to the shooter.

One other note: The barrel lug fit will be exerting more pressure on the slide, than it did with the factory barrel. Use a good gun grease on the slide rails and the lug.
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Old 12-14-2015, 10:33 PM
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I received my semi drop-in 5" barrel this evening. Took about an hour (I'm slow) to fit it. Spent most of that time checking the fit before filing it. I only had to remove a little off the barrel hood extension points to fit it. Definitely fits much tighter. I didn't have to touch the lug so it was very easy. It will be this weekend before I can shoot it though.
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:41 AM
hrt4me hrt4me is offline
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Originally Posted by agksimon View Post
Got my Apex 5" gunsmith fit barrel late this afternoon. Spent an hour fitting the barrel to the slide. Didn't need to take anything off the front of the barrel to fit it in the slide. Took about a half thousandth off each side of the hood for that part of the fit. Fitting the chamber/hood into the slide was done very slowly. I found that dry erase marker worked better for me, than Dyekem, as it doesn't dry in place and shows a mark better.

After dinner, I worked on fitting the barrel lug to the frame. Being the gunsmith version, there was a lot of metal to remove. The fitting lug required me to disassemble and reassemble the gun literally a hundred times to mark and file the lug squarely. Fitting it took 2.5 hours alone, plus the hour for fitting it to the slide, I have 3.5 hours total into it.
is there a video specific to the Gunsmith version, rather than the Semi-Drop-In offering?

did you use an end mill to remove the metal from the barrel, which is how I believe Apex recommends fitting their Gunsmith barrel?
or did you simply follow the Semi-Drop-In video for the Gunsmith version of the barrel?

is the Gunsmith version essentially the same as the Semi-Drop-In barrel with just more metal to be removed from each area (front of barrel, sides and rear of hood, frame fitting pad)?
or does the Gunsmith barrel have additional areas from which to remove metal for an even better/tighter/more consistent fit?
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Old 12-18-2015, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrt4me View Post
is there a video specific to the Gunsmith version, rather than the Semi-Drop-In offering?

did you use an end mill to remove the metal from the barrel, which is how I believe Apex recommends fitting their Gunsmith barrel?
or did you simply follow the Semi-Drop-In video for the Gunsmith version of the barrel?

is the Gunsmith version essentially the same as the Semi-Drop-In barrel with just more metal to be removed from each area (front of barrel, sides and rear of hood, frame fitting pad)?
or does the Gunsmith barrel have additional areas from which to remove metal for an even better/tighter/more consistent fit?
The gunsmith version has more metal to be removed, than the SDI version, mostly on the barrel lug. I didn't have access to a mill, so I did it with a file, marking and filing as I went. It took 2.5 hours and I had to disassemble and reassemble the gun close to a hundred times. Very tedious and not for the impatient.
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Old 12-19-2015, 08:52 PM
Eddie 500 Eddie 500 is offline
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Default Compared to the stock barrel.....

Is the apex barrel much tighter in the slide now compared to the stock one?

Is this where the accuracy comes into play or is the rifling/lands/grooves too?
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Old 12-19-2015, 09:18 PM
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Is the apex barrel much tighter in the slide now compared to the stock one?

Is this where the accuracy comes into play or is the rifling/lands/grooves too?
My factory barrel had .007 front to back movement, .006 side to side movement and several thousandths vertical movement.
The Apex barrel has no front to back, less then .002 side to side and no vertical movement. That says a lot right there. BTW: I like the crown of the barrel, it's very unusual and a good idea. The grooves look deeper than the factory barrel, but I could be wrong on that one.
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Old 12-21-2015, 09:20 PM
hrt4me hrt4me is offline
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My factory barrel had .007" front-to-back movement, .006" side-to-side movement and several thousandths vertical movement.
The Apex barrel has no front-to-back, less than .002" side-to-side and no vertical movement.
how exactly are you taking those measurements?
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Old 12-21-2015, 09:27 PM
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how exactly are you taking those measurements?
With calipers and a feeler gauge.
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Old 05-15-2016, 01:17 PM
nickacf7 nickacf7 is offline
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Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself. Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself. Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself. Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself. Accuracy is here: Fitting the Apex barrel myself.  
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just curious, the only difference in the SDI barrel to the Gunsmith barrel is fitting the barrel lug?
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Old 05-15-2016, 01:20 PM
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just curious, the only difference in the SDI barrel to the Gunsmith barrel is fitting the barrel lug?
This is what Randy at Apex told me. The SDI has a lot less to remove than the gunsmith fit barrel.
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Old 05-15-2016, 01:59 PM
nickacf7 nickacf7 is offline
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Got it thanks agksimon, I think I going to go head and order the Gunsmith.
Now that its been 6 months with your Apex barrel, you still enjoying it, any issues with it?
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Old 05-15-2016, 02:13 PM
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Got it thanks agksimon, I think I going to go head and order the Gunsmith.
Now that its been 6 months with your Apex barrel, you still enjoying it, any issues with it?
I bought the first one available, the day they were released. They had issues with 147 grain flat point FMJ, in that they would seat against the chamber front and made it difficult to impossible to extract a live round. This has been corrected with the later ones. I could have sent mine in to be fixed, but I did it myself by putting a very slight bevel in there and it now works fine, with no loss of accuracy.
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Old 05-16-2016, 06:17 AM
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Just curious, is there enough material in the barrel hood of the gunsmith fit barrel that it could be used as a 9mm conversion barrel for a M&P 40 and have a tight fit?

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:13 PM
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Just curious, is there enough material in the barrel hood of the gunsmith fit barrel that it could be used as a 9mm conversion barrel for a M&P 40 and have a tight fit?

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
Unfortunately the answer is no. We should have a conversion barrel within a few months.
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Old 10-23-2016, 09:33 AM
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I finished my Semi Drop in Fit. Took nothing off "A" Coated "B" 3 times in the blue and filed it off 3 times so it required very very little taken off. "C" only needed a whisper taken off.

Now I want to get the barrel treated in Nitride. As this thread is fairly old I have to assume this may be a more common request. What would be the estimated cost and a reasonable place to have it sent to?

As I read the threads on the Apex dropin I understand that eventually my perfect fit will wear down. Will having the Nitride done prevent this from happening?
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Old 10-23-2016, 11:38 AM
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I know little about nitrocarburizing, but wonder if the thickness of it (if it HAS any) might affect the barrel's fit?
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Old 10-26-2016, 04:06 PM
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I know little about nitrocarburizing, but wonder if the thickness of it (if it HAS any) might affect the barrel's fit?
It a molecular change more than adding although I think it may add .000something.

Of note Wendy of Apex said it will nullify the warranty although as soon as I used a file on the barrel it was 100% mine and cant be sent back.

H&M Said the cost will be $100 and about a 15 day turnaround.
Below is the POC
Adam Rittenberry
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H&M Metal Processing
330-745-3075

I was happy with the vast improvement of the Apex over the Stock one and shot 80 rounds through it before I sent it off today. Ill post a pic when I get it back and let you know if the fit is affected.
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Old 01-07-2017, 12:45 AM
Rett Skutt Rett Skutt is offline
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Thanks for all of the info agksimon!

I realize this thread is over a year old, but I will be putting a Drop In Barrel in my M&P Pro next week. It's cold in Michigan, but I love shooting and ringing metal. So much fun, especially at 25 yards.

Thanks for the heads up on the - "I found that dry erase marker worked better for me, than Dykem, as it doesn't dry in place and shows a mark better."

I'll try the dry erase marker first, and if it doesn't work; then the Blue Dykem. I never really liked that stuff in all the years I worked as a Mechanic/Welder/Machinist. I works, but the smell always gave me a headache!

BTW - My 9mm Pro is not as loose as yours before you replaced the barrel. But I love making the gun better. That Apex Forward Set Sear and Flat Faced Trigger were perfect for me.

Take care, Thanks again for the info. :-)
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Old 01-10-2017, 01:31 PM
Rett Skutt Rett Skutt is offline
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Originally Posted by agksimon View Post
I live in Michigan and it's finally turning cold. If we don't get another warm spell, it'll be March, before I do any more shooting.

I can tell you, if you do a proper installation (watch the video a lot), you will eliminate the gun as the source of flyers. Then, it's up to the shooter.

One other note: The barrel lug fit will be exerting more pressure on the slide, than it did with the factory barrel. Use a good gun grease on the slide rails and the lug.
Hi,

How did you determine the proper amount of pressure required to release the barrel from the slide?
Additionally, How did you determine the correct amount of pressure to allow the slide to go back into battery after a slow release forward?

In the videos Randy Lee mentioned 2lb or so for each of these pressure points. I find that hard to duplicate. I fitted mine, and it seems okay. The barrel will hold in the slide when right side up, until I tap it with my finger. I do not have to press down hard.

The slide will hold back off battery, until I hold the gun in firing position and do a little muzzle down flip. It then slides into battery.

Any thoughts?

Take care and Thanks in advance, :-)
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  #29  
Old 01-10-2017, 06:14 PM
Angus46 Angus46 is offline
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That should be about right. How is the dwell time and lock up? Does it stay locked up as you move the slide back. Should stay tight for about .5 to .6. Also the hood fit is a real critical one. Should be basically no play when you drop the barrel into the slide befor you put the spring on it.

Have you shot it yet?
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  #30  
Old 01-10-2017, 07:19 PM
Rett Skutt Rett Skutt is offline
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Originally Posted by Angus46 View Post
That should be about right. How is the dwell time and lock up? Does it stay locked up as you move the slide back. Should stay tight for about .5 to .6. Also the hood fit is a real critical one. Should be basically no play when you drop the barrel into the slide before you put the spring on it.

Have you shot it yet?
Hi Angus,

Thanks for the response. The lock up is as you describe. Stays tight for about 1/8 inch? or so when I slowly pull the slide back, then the barrel drops down. I did not measure this distance accurately, but will tonight when I get home.

The hood fit is tight. No play front to back or side to side when installed without the spring. The barrel also stays in place when spring is removed, and turned right side up. I can place the slide (with the barrel in it) on the table, and then finger tap the barrel on top to release it. Seems okay.

I have not shot it yet. I will tomorrow. We had snow and rain today. A bad icy mix here in Michigan, not to good to drive on. I wanted to also wait until I received some feed back from the folks here on the forum and Apex tech support. I didn't want to damage the gun or anything during live fire.

As for Apex. Wendy did get back with me today as well. She stated that my install was near perfect. I'll see tomorrow. If anything, the Pad dimension might be a little tight (in my opinion). According to her, if it does not go into battery during live fire; then the Pad height/dimension will need some slight adjustment. She also stated that a couple of hundred rounds will "marry" the surfaces in. I'll get back here tomorrow to let you know how it goes.

Thanks again, and Take care, :-)
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  #31  
Old 01-10-2017, 09:40 PM
Rett Skutt Rett Skutt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angus46 View Post
How is the dwell time and lock up? Does it stay locked up as you move the slide back. Should stay tight for about .5 to .6. Also the hood fit is a real critical one.
Hi Angus,

Just got home. Man the roads were bad from Grand Rapids to Ludington. A lot of slide offs. People just can't seem to slow down with obviously bad roads. Go Figure!

Anyway, I measured the Slide distance just before the barrel drops off the hood. Your .5 to .6 really threw me off. I could not determine what unit of measure you were referring too.

I thought from memory it was about 1/16 inch or .062 or so. I measured with a Digital Vernier Caliper .071 to .075 of an inch. Hard to measure because there are no real reference points. Everything externally on the gun is curved or sloped.

Does that make any sense?

Take care, :-)
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  #32  
Old 01-10-2017, 11:04 PM
Angus46 Angus46 is offline
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Sorry about that, I didn't pay attention, typing too fast and forgot a zero. Pretty important one at that! .050 to .060 should be about what you get. I used a vice and a dial indicator on the front of the slide. If you are anywhere near .071 that is great. Look at the factory barell, it unlocks almost immediately.

I agree about the pad, If it goes into battery from slide lock with no issues you should be good to go. Sounds like it fits perfectly into the slide. Only other thing to check would be if it springs in the slide. So upside down, barell in the slide no spring. Push down on the barrel and see if there is movement or it pops back. Shouldn't be any. If there is work with Apex about how to remove some of the material on top of the barrel. The key to this and all the fitting process is to slooooooow... which it sounds like you did based on how it fits.

It will probably loosen up just a bit after shooting, mine did. At first I had to push the slide forward from a striker reset when dry firing. Now will basically slide into battery with a little shake. Wish it would have been a tad tighter initially. However, accuracy is great and now about 500 rounds into new barrel and trigger set up, zero failures!

Last edited by Angus46; 01-10-2017 at 11:07 PM.
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  #33  
Old 01-11-2017, 11:32 AM
Ballenxj Ballenxj is offline
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Originally Posted by agksimon View Post
Slipped up to the club this morning and bench rested some shots at 25 yards.
<----snip---->
I had problems seeing the sights, but was able to group the AE 147 into less than 2.5 inches. It was remarkable, as this was the first time with no off the paper flyers, like I usually get.
Thanks for posting this thread along with your results.
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  #34  
Old 01-11-2017, 10:18 PM
Rett Skutt Rett Skutt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angus46 View Post
Sorry about that, I didn't pay attention, typing too fast and forgot a zero. Pretty important one at that! .050 to .060 should be about what you get. I used a vice and a dial indicator on the front of the slide. If you are anywhere near .071 that is great. Look at the factory barell, it unlocks almost immediately.

I agree about the pad, If it goes into battery from slide lock with no issues you should be good to go. Sounds like it fits perfectly into the slide. Only other thing to check would be if it springs in the slide. So upside down, barrel in the slide no spring. Push down on the barrel and see if there is movement or it pops back. Shouldn't be any. If there is work with Apex about how to remove some of the material on top of the barrel. The key to this and all the fitting process is to slooooooow... which it sounds like you did based on how it fits.

It will probably loosen up just a bit after shooting, mine did. At first I had to push the slide forward from a striker reset when dry firing. Now will basically slide into battery with a little shake. Wish it would have been a tad tighter initially. However, accuracy is great and now about 500 rounds into new barrel and trigger set up, zero failures!
Hi Angus,

To your question about the barrel. When turned upside down the barrel stays in place until I finger tap it. It then pops out. There does not seem to be any spring or push back.

Went out today and completed some live fire. 5 - 17 round magazines. Gun performed excellently. No failures at all. Slide went into battery each time, no FTE's or light primer strikes. The White box Winchester 124gr target ammo is pretty dirty though. I need to shoot 2 more boxes and then go to the Speer 115gr Lawman rounds I just purchased. So far, my favorite 9mm ammo is Federal 115gr.

I hope to shoot the gun off a bench rest this weekend, and check the sight alignment. I was hitting an 8 inch gong at 20 yards with good results, but hits seemed a little low for POA. My POA was 12 o'clock on the gong, but it could be just me. I then just started shooting at hanging tennis balls, my friends old car door, beer cans, and plastic water bottles. Really fun shooting the gun.

Take care and Thanks for all the help, :-)
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  #35  
Old 01-12-2017, 07:10 PM
Angus46 Angus46 is offline
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Glad it's shooting like you had hoped! After all the info I read and using the APEX products myself I'm soldon them. Sounds like you are feeling that way as well.

Enjoy the gun!
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