Apex trigger – Toaster Parts.

toaster partsUPDATE: For a wrinkle in time, all praises and thanks to Tam’s blog and her gunsmith friend for the notation, “toaster-parts.” After the events of the day I thought it was time to take the gun apart as far as possible, lube that which needed lubing, and install the metal trigger. I set the recoil assembly aside to marinate in a bath of slippery juice, and watched the Apex video closely. Hmm – not too hard.
With my Craftsman magnetic parts-holder as a catch-basin and a piece of thin birch-wood as a block, I got out my punches and little brass hammer and proceeded to get to the fiddly bits. Tap-tappty-tap! TAP-TAP-TAP! The main body pin was a bit tough, but the others were easier.
toaster parts02
The way the trigger spring goes on and off was important (hook up on the small coil) and how the take-down lever fits in at 10-degrees off horizontal. Then the reassembly with the locking block and a bit of fiddling until it came back together.
apex trigger02
The metal trigger movement is free and un-encumbered, and less spongy and more linear than the polymer trigger – no filing or use of an emery cloth was required. Image shown with take-down lever still to be inserted.
There was a lot less effort required than I imagined or feared.apex trigger right-side

The little green spud was supplied as a place-holder for the spring and trigger pin.
The trigger is still relatively heavy as I did not (yet) get the Duty/Carry Action Enhancement kit that requires removal of the rear sight, which is a royal bitch from everyone I’ve been told (including my buddy) as the base is Loc-tited and needs a bit of torch on it, and a BIG hammer.
We’ll shoot it and see.

220 Rounds, Day-1

UPDATED: After a week of carry it was time to run some rounds through the Shield-9. I had a TWO 50-count box of Wally-World Winchester 124 grain JHP’s (and I had already loaded my 6, 8-round magazines and two 7-round mags with the JHP’s), a 100-rounds of Winchester 115gr. FMJ – and a 20-count box of $$ Federal 150gr HST JHP’s. (end edit)
At the range we set targets at 7-yards and proceeded to load magazines and blast away, and see where the points of impact varied. The difference was slight between the 150-HST’s and the 124-JHP’s, and I seemed to be tossing everything low and left.
I was mixing rounds too. Some of the blunts with some of the JHP’s interspersed, just to see what effect that might make and where they might string. It was an experiment on my part with no scientific basis or scoring, with a factory-fresh gun with factory-fresh magazines.
Several magazines later I tried loading one, ejecting the magazine and re-filling it, and re-seating the magazine – and I got a light-strike. Stoppage! No Bang! Hmmm…
So rack the slide and catch the round, what do I see but a dimpled primer. Are they hard primers or seated low? I proceeded to fire-off the magazine and re-loaded the (FMJ) in another batch of rounds and everything fired-off OK.
More shooty goodness and several magazines later another light strike. Huh?
Thinking “Factory Fresh” I thought, “What about lube?” So to rectify that dry-feel, I took of the slide and got out my Brownell’s “Friction Defense” gun-oil with the pink tint that looks suspiciously like ATF and dribbled some on the barrel-hood and rails.
More shooting ensued, then another stoppage, a failure to eject. This is getting interesting!
WTF? My buddy in the neighboring lane had told me that his recoil assembly had taken a dump (it broke, and he had to get a new one) and that it required a lot of lube to make the double-coil springs run right. So the top comes off again and along with some Shooter’s Choice ere-grease on the rails, I re-oiled the barrel hood, and slopped a bunch on the recoil-spring assembly.
More gunny-goodness until the brass runs out and we depart. I need to buy more ammo.
One thing we noticed, the striker seems to leave a drag mark – or the pin is longitudinal shaped like a Glock? My buddies ejected brass had the same shape.
At home I decided to change the trigger…


Wrestling with the big and heavy 3200psi Briggs & Stratton powered machine was not the cup of Gin that She Who Must Be Obeyed appreciates. Fighting the heavy powered-up hoses amid the noise and din when we did the Low Granite Outcropping’s steep sidewalk, the machine threatened to runaway downhill, and she almost burnt her hand on the hot exhaust. So the sidewalk was cleaned of slippery moss and algae, and enough off that for now anyhow.
Until crossing the parking lot to go to lunch at a local restaurant, She noticed a staffer hosing down the back steps with a lightweight Ryobi electric unit, and thus an idea was born.
Back at the Ranch, after a minimal amount of “some assembly required,” I took-to the deck’s brightwork that had grayed down to a dull dirty finish – the pine edging. Careful! The new unit only displaces 2000psi but that’s plenty enough to put an unwanted trough in the wood and/or raise the grain – and now I need a couple gallons of Thompson Water-seal to finish the wood against the elements. I also shot some of the Trex decking, but it’s not as stained as at the Low Granite Outcropping. So then I handed off to She Who Must Be Obeyed who tried it out on the Sam’s Club teak (or something) bench that had dulled-down to a silvery gray, and that I was using as a cover for the irrigation valves:
Power bench02
A lot less effort to operate, and there’s a “soap” setting and a medium-high pressure nozzle besides the Astro-Blaster nozzle. Easy-peasy.


I got the Shield 9mm, and some more magazines are coming – and a replacement recoil-assembly. It’s so petite in the Bladetech Nano. Now I need to stock-up on this new-to-me caliber. Moar ammo!
So with that in mind another chore: I re-stocked and re-organized my ammo-shelves and cans, a worthwhile project. Maybe a laser-pointer in the future.

Tomatos & Cucumbers = Gazpacho

I am hardly a gardener much less a farmer, and I’m lucky thins thing isn’t dead already. I got the drip-system back up and running, so it’s responsible for the moisture not me.
Now the Early Girl plant has shot-up in crazy-height, out-growing its square cage-surround, and has begun to produce fruits. Yay!
Also the cucumbers have sprouted. Some nubby variety that my wife likes and remembers her Aunt having grown, down in Sutter Creek when she was a child.
So far the subterranean crawler-creatures (voles?) have not yet eaten the tender roots of either plant-lings, but they have attacked my neighbor’s much more extensive garden. I found a dead one up on the embankment this spring when we attacked that site, which was probably run-over by garden equipment or the weedwacker.

Gazpacho can be a bit messy to make and we tried some shortcuts. Also I got some quart-size “Kerr” jars to handle the excess and put in the ‘fridge. I’m not big advocate of home canning, but the jars are useful if you run out of beer-mugs.
Vitamix Gazpacho:
Dump in a bunch of V-8 juice.
Add a chopped and peeled cucumber.
Add a medium tomato or two.
Throw-in a small container (5 or 6oz.) of Pico de Gallo from the grocery store.
1/3rd cup cheap red-wine vinegar.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil.
Splash a bunch of hot-sauce on top.
Add a few inches of ice to make cold.
Run the blender on high.
Gazpacho! Is it a soup, or a food, or a bar-mix? You decide.


The old threshold boards were splintering from abuse by the rubber yard-boots. There’s a nub on the back of the boots that is useful for hooking on a solid surface and aiding in pulli0ng your foot up and out.
So I un-nailed the boards with a pry-bar and a crowbar, and vacuumed up years and years of sawdust, cobwebs, and crud inside the cavity.
The wall-board around the base was damaged and required some smoothing and repair with spackle, stuff that goes on purple and dries white to indicate when it’s actually dry – thus the pink-color.
Then I cut a couple pieces of left-over deck-Trex from the Low Granite Outcropping, and pre-drilled and then hammer-drilled the new boards home. Now it won’t splinter. Melt perhaps.

Diggins’ Dug

Oh what roots there are, each frantically searching for moisture. The pine tree seeks each joint and union, some wrapped in a think web of tiny roots, snip-snip with the clippers.
My wife had removed the lid of the box before we demolished the rest of it, then we threw down a tarp with the wooden lid on it and began to dig.
The length of the pipe-array is more evident than the depth. And so many roots were cut and dug out. Some big, many small, but everywhere invasive and probably what caused the lines to fail. Several double-roots ran in tandem the entire length of the PVC pipes and had to be removed.
More work tomorrow.
UPDATE: Lizard-level panorama:
The new taps:

Dig We Must

irrigation valvesAfter power-washing the whole back-side walkway at the Low Granite Outcropping and clearing away the built-up slippery algae and moss (with our used, $35 Generac 2300psi washer), the valve-box on the downhill side of the house filled up with water. It was enough effort just to get the power-washer to run properly, even with fresh gas it was surging, and so we called it a night.
We thought it was all the down-stream flow that filled it, coincidentally.
When I was told it was full again, I got a small pump and pumped it out – and then after the next cycle of watering it re-filled. Oh great. The valves again? So we re-pumped and it’s likely the whole array is another piece of toast.
And there are some other things to fix. The wiring and the actual house cut-off valve.
irrigation area
We’re going to re-do the whole mess – and it is a mess with various hodge-podge repairs evident over time.
irrigation cement
And some cheap, post-hole cement was used to patch the concrete sidewalk when they installed the propane tank for the cook-top.
Never properly done, we’ll cut it out and re-do that, floating it properly and using sidewalk cement not just ditch-filler.
irrigation control


Monday night at 5:00PM in the relentless heat we had a dinner BBQ meeting of the RSO’s up at the Trap House – the only A/C on the club grounds.
But we were not inside where it was cool. We were all outside sheltering from the sweltering under EZ-Up canopies, while the old guys cooked up tri-tip and chili. Phew! So things moving forward on that front, then tonight another get-together.
The Club Treasurer Bob and I were talking on Friday when I was “in training,” and he mentioned his local chapter meeting of The Sons – and I blurted out, “My Grandma was in the DAR,” and with that I was recruited as a fresh inductee. So dinner tonight at Denny’s (every fourth Tuesday of the month) and I met the “registrar” who took my genealogy info and Grandma’s name to look up in records – and another one of the distant descendents of Brigadier General William Lee Davidson. He was killed in action with Cornwallis’ forces and a bunch of Germans, at the Battle of Cowan’s Ford in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina on February 1, 1781 – will hit the lists. So now I got me some SAR stuff going on. We’ll see if I go full re-enactor or not – but not in this weather for sure, it’s too damn hot!
Now I gotta get me a musket. Y’know the Peace-Hippies and anti-gun Leftards are always saying the 2nd Amendment only applies to muskets, but I bet they still wouldn’t want to go up against me and fifty of my best friends armed with muskets. Muskets come with bayonets too.