5 Best M&P Shield Triggers (2022) – What You Need to Know

Best M&P Triggers feature image

Statistics claim that the number of concealed handgun permits in the USA has increased theatrically in the past few years. Generally, most first time concealed carry permit holders choose to purchase small, reliable. So, the easy to use weapons and the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield semi-auto pistol checks off all of the abovementioned boxes. 

With over 1 million pistols sold in just a few short years, the Smith & Wesson CCW Shield is not so bad for a production gun. However, the leading complaints about this weapon are generally the sights, grip area, and the trigger. 

Whereas some shooters and gun owners are fine with the stock trigger, more experienced gun users will often decide to buy replacement triggers, as the typical best M&P triggers are said to be heavy and squishy.

Pros and Cons of M&P Aftermarket Trigger 

While the best M&P triggers Shield is one of the best concealable auto handguns in the firearms industry. It is also well-known for its infamous dead trigger, a flaw or issue which causes the pistol to randomly malfunction after firing a shot, which keeps the trigger from resetting. 

Custom trigger systems provide a solution, including a consistent trigger pull by decreasing pre and over travel and offering you a smooth shot every time. On the other hand, some aftermarket trigger kit will help shorten pre-travel whereas they can lengthen over-travel. To solve that issue you should only put trigger stops to the trigger guard. Along with it comes a crisp, clean break with every shot, replacement triggers can dramatically improve the reset and provide users with a smooth uptake without the gritty feeling. 

The main benefit of choosing an aftermarket trigger kit set is a drop-in concept, which uses a single housing to include all tiny components into one block. This means that you will not need expensive gunsmith services because drop-in triggers need minimal effort to install with a couple of quick modifications. 

The Criteria: What Makes The Best Trigger For Shield? 

As with all trigger mechanisms, you will have 2 ways to improve them: replacing the trigger or buying a new kit. Although it depends on what your preferences are, the replacement trigger kit is a much better choice as it offers quick and easy improvements in less than 1 hour with tools that you will likely have around your house. 

First, the M&P Shield should have a 6.5 pounds +/- trigger pull weight out of the box.  That is a decent amount for a defensive handgun and especially in comparison to similar-sized, double-action only (DAO) semi-autos such as the Kel-Tec P11 and Ruger LC9. On the other hand, you may come across states that need a 10 pounds trigger kit. However, in most cases, people just want to decrease the trigger pull weight on their CCW by a couple of pounds. 

Besides having a lighter trigger pull weight, another improvement aftermarket triggers should provide its users is a smoother and shorter trigger pull than factory, with a shorter reset. 

Review of the Best M&P Trigger Upgrades 

Apex is known for designing and making aftermarket fire control system improvements for a wide variety of Smith & Wesson handguns. However, they are especially popular for their series of action enhancement triggers for the M&P Shield pistol family. 

For anyone who is looking to make a few modifications in order to obtain Shield perfection, we have chosen several alternative triggers from Apex’s offerings of trigger kit pull weight. 

1. Apex Tactical Specialties Inc. – S&W M&P M2.0 Shield Action Enhancement Trigger & Carry/Duty Kit 

Apex Tactical Specialties Inc. - S&W M&P M2.0 Shield Action Enhancement Trigger & Carry Duty KitThe Apex Action Enhancement Trigger Kit & Duty/Carry Kit pull weight is made for all Smith & Wesson M&P Shield M2.0 Pistols in 9mm and .40 calibers and includes a total of eight total pieces. The kit comes with a trigger, duty/carry kit (1-Dot sear, sear spring, striker block, and spring), 4 pounds rated trigger return spring, trigger return spring installation shield slave pin, and tool. 

Whereas Shield owners can install the upgrade themselves, a gunsmith installation is firmly recommended for fitting an Apex Ultimate Striker Block (USB) into the Shield slide of this Smith & Wesson M&P.

Apex Tactical’s trigger improvement and duty/carry kit are engineered to replace the factory-hinged polymer trigger of the Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0. It also offers a handgun owner with a smooth, consistent trigger pull that is about 2 pounds lighter than the stock trigger. 

This Apex trigger kit is manufactured from a solid aluminum body and comes with a center-mounted pivoting safety to keep up the factory safety trigger values. Unlike some other similar products on the market, the Apex trigger is engineered entirely dissimilar to stay within the parameters needed for law enforcement trigger approval. 

This Apex combination was made to improve the feel of the Shield trigger pull for law enforcement officers by having two pounds off of the trigger pull and decreasing pre-travel and over-travel by about 20%. 

If the 6.5-pound trigger in a protective pistol trigger such as a Shield is too weighty for your taste, this Apex kit is expected to provide achievable 4.5 to 5.0 pounds of trigger pull weight. On top of that, this trigger enhancement is acceptable in all 3GN divisions so you will gain a little edge against the competition. 

2. Apex Tactical Specialties Inc. – S&W M&P M2.0 Shield Action Enhancement Trigger 

Apex Tactical Specialties Inc. - S&W M&P M2.0 Shield Action Enhancement TriggerThere is absolutely nothing wrong with the original S&W M&P 2.0 Shield trigger. However, thanks to the segmental concept of Apex`s Action Enhancement Trigger is able to shorten a stock trigger engagement and get an immaculate trigger break. While most Shield users see the Apex replacement trigger forward set to be a night and day stark difference over the stock trigger, this trigger kit actually substitutes the original hinged trigger and reduces pre-travel and over-travel by about 20%. 

This Apex offering comes with a smooth face with a center-mounted pivoting safety to enable trigger manipulation directly in line with its bore axis forward set sear. Furthermore, the Apex Action Enhancement Trigger prevents careless discharge by creating a trigger block that will not unfasten until the shooter places their finger directly on the trigger face. 

The Apex AET model 100-170 functions with all 9mm and .40 calibers Shields, improving your M&P M2.0 best factory trigger function while conserving all factory safety values. It can be used as a stand-alone with the stock sear or can be paired up with the earlier mentioned Apex M2.0 Shield Duty/Carry kit. 

3. Apex Tactical Specialties Inc. – S&W M&P M2.0 Shield Action Enhancement Components 

Apex Tactical Specialties Inc. - S&W M&P M2.0 Shield Action Enhancement ComponentsThis Apex Tactical enhancement is machined and engineered to improve and expand every element of your S&W M&P M2.0 Shield’s firing mechanism’s internals for the best factory trigger options. This package contains the Talon Tactical tool and 6 components made to provide a pull weight within the satisfactory range for a defensive compact like S&W Shield. 

The main unique selling point of this kit is the Apex fully-machined sear, designed and manufactured with a 1 Dot, which is the gold standard for M&P sears. It reduces posts and decreases trigger pull weight in the 5-5.5-pound area, shortens and curtails over-travel and improves reset. 

Furthermore, the kit comprises an ultimate striker block and spring, sear spring (1/8 inches), trigger return spring, and polymer slave pin that functions in conjunction to enhance your go-to personal defence benefits 9mm/40, S&W Shield posts. 

While the kit itself is made and engineered to be drop-in, you will probably require a gunsmith to install the ultimate striker block. The Apex Tactical S&W M&P M2.0 Shield Action Enhancement Component kit is also given as a part of Shield Duty/Carry Kit. However, it can be bought and operated benefits completely independently enough with the factory trigger guns. 

4. Apex Tactical Specialties Inc. – S&W Shield Flat-faced Enhancement Trigger & Duty/Carrier Kit 

Apex Tactical Specialties Inc. - S&W Shield Flat-faced Enhancement Trigger & Duty Carrier KitThe Flat-Faced Enhancement triggers gun & Duty/Carrier Kit is made especially for competition use and people who prefer a flat trigger shoe well over a curved one. It comes with a solid aluminum trigger housing. This kit comes with a smooth, flat-face profile with a center-mounted pivoting safety. 

The combination of the Apex Duty/Carry Kit and Flat-Faced trigger decreases trigger pull by about 2 pounds and provides shorter over-travel. It also delivers more noticeable trigger reset, an important feature for quick follow-up shots. The aluminum body with flat profile trigger itself decreases pre-travel and over-travel by about 20%. 

The package under Apex manufacturer code 100-146 comprises flat profile triggers and gun, machined 2-Dot .45 sear, sear spring, trigger return spring, among others. It also comes with a polymer slave pin, the ultimate striker block (USB), and block spring. The kit also includes a Talon Tactical Rear Sight tool. 

Although the 2-Dot sear originally was machined for the M&P 45, it will function only with second-generation let always weapons such as the 9mm, 40 S&W, and 45 ACP of the M&P Shield 2.0 series. 

The Flat-Faced Enhancement Trigger & Carry Kit comes in purple colour. However, it is also available in three additional colours. While the drop gun Flat-Faced Action Enhancement comes with and features a drop-in trigger system, the USB demands removal of the rear sight and let requires some pre gunsmithing better. 

5. Brownells Exclusive Shield Flat-faced Action Enhancement Trigger 

Brownells Exclusive Shield Flat-faced Action Enhancement TriggerThe new Brownells Exclusive Action Enhancement Red Trigger by Apex accessories  substitutes the drop gun factory polymer trigger with a red trigger body that comes with a flat-faced profile. Having a center-mounted pivoting protection and the flat-face, the trigger offers a comfortable surface for the shooter’s finger while firing and maintaining the factory-safe design found let in the M&P Shield system accessories. 

The Flat-Faced Action Enhancement Trigger decreases reset length and provides a smoother uptake for a better shooting experience. It is manufactured of solid anodized aluminum, the Apex Action Enhancement trigger drop gun is made to be the drop-in unit for M&P Shield 9mm pistols and 40 S&W. However, it will not work with the .45 ACP Shield accessories. 

Compared to the factory trigger, the Apex Flat-Faced red trigger drop and decreases pre-travel and over-travel by about get 20%. The Apex Red Flat-Faced Action Enhancement Trigger for the Shield can be bought as a stand-alone replacement unit marked as part #100-142 and will properly function with the factory sear and other components. 

On top of that, it can also be seen as a component of the popular Action Enhancement Trigger & Duty/Carry kit designated as partly #100-141. Both of these Apex Tactical units are sold completely by Brownells get drop new like pistol. 


The world is not that huge when it comes to the Smith & Wesson’s M&P Shield aftermarket triggers. Apex Tactical Specialties is the leader in this particular industry, providing a huge number of models and variants of finally enhanced trigger systems way and needs  for the M&P Shield among other new handguns way needs and really post save factory pistols/pistol. 

On the above list, we have offered a quick summary upgrades and review of only a few Apex triggers and kits just to scratch the surface of their huge range and travel drop ignite your curiosity and get natural desire to improve your travel first firearms like pistols good time. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

How do you install the Apex Trigger Kit?

For now, compatible replacement triggers for the Shield are kits and triggers from Apex Tactical Specialties Inc. As one of the best drop Shield trigger improvements in the business, the Apex trigger kit is at times referred to as the love at first pull. Their drop-in trigger kits on top of being a great alternative to the stock Shield, are trustworthy and designed for hard use, enabling a better level of shooting with this weapon. 

As their name says, Apex sells drop-in trigger kits that M&P Shield owners can install it easily themselves. There are so many video tutorials for aftermarket trigger installation, however we will add a step-by-step guide to make it more convenient for you. 

After a safety check and taking apart the slide from the frame as in a regular cleaning procedure, you should perform the next steps like in the following mini guide: 

  1.     First and foremost, take out the sear housing and locking block assembly by punching the two pins from left to right order.
  2.     The 3rd trigger pin you should punch from right to left would think.
  3.     Then, remove the take-down lever.
  4.     Now you can take out the entire trigger group assembly
  5.     Depending on the type of Apex kit you have bought, you will need to switch out new parts or simply drop in the trigger kit and then you are more than well think ready to go.

What Are The Differences Between M&P and M&P 2.0 Trigger Upgrade?

M&P has became a top pick for the longest time. Hence, it was only reasonable and feasible for an upgraded version to appear hence M&P Shield 2.0 came about. M&P Shield M2.0 used an enhanced trigger for smoother trigger pull and more audible reset. Besides that, the grip was upgraded to allow a steady grip of the pistol. M&P 2.0 has machining on its slide which uses a softer bevel and displays some fish scale serrations. 

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