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Thread: I'm gonna make my own Stack-A-Toe, but better...with blackjack. And hookers.

  1. #1
    Murder Machine, Harmless Fuzzball TCinVA's Avatar
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    I'm gonna make my own Stack-A-Toe, but better...with blackjack. And hookers.

    The "tactical" world has rediscovered the B8. It's kind of funny to me because I 'member back when I was getting into training hearing so many people dismiss the idea of shooting at bullseye targets as outdated nonsense that didn't reflect the realities of combat and I distinctly remember thinking "Weren't a whole bunch of old school gunfighters excellent bullseye competitors with handguns?" But I wasn't the expert, so...you know. It's been amusing watching things evolve to the point where now B8 accuracy at 25 yards is moving past being a flex to being seen as some sort of baseline requirement for carrying a defensive handgun.

    The dot has contributed to this phenomenon significantly. Some people love the dot because they can't really see irons very well. Some people love the dot because they love any new thing that comes down the pike. But I find that lots of people love the dot primarily because it's the only real coach they've ever had. The dot sits on top of the slide screaming at you and allowing a lot of people to actually call shots or see that they're doing something nasty to the gun during the shot process that they didn't see with irons because irons whisper while the dot screams.

    The fact that the typical dot is an aiming reference that's a fraction of the size of a front sight helps get a better read on where, exactly, the gun is aligned...especially if you're used to irons with a high-visibility front sight and wide rear notch for combat style shooting. So now that people can see what they're doing wrong and they're comparing B8 scores, it's not really shocking to see the 1911 coming back new and Tactical! flavors because they're easier to shoot very accurately at distance. 1911 triggers are great for that.

    Enter the Stack-A-Toe. You can get 9mm capacity and 1911 trigger with a dot to boot! The numerous issues with 2011 magazines over the years have supposedly been "solved", and you can buy them for only $70-$100 a pop! Oh, and the gun itself is like $2500 bucks before you put an optic on it!

    I've spent silly amounts of money on 1911 handguns before, so I can't throw too many stones. Like I said: I like a nice 1911.

    But what if you could get about everything people want from a Stack-A-Toe for less than half the price?

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    That is an M&P 2.0 factory cut for the Aimpoint Acro. I can't tell you how nice it is to just do up one fastener and have all the concerns about mounting an optic completely evaporate. Put a little VC3 on one fastener, torque it sensibly...optic mounted. Hell, I didn't even have to wait to shoot the gun because I re-used a prior application of VC3 on the fastener from a mount on another gun and it's not budged a millimeter after almost a full case of ammo. This is the way optic mounting should be.

    ...and if I was issuing guns to typical police officers, this is how I'd insist we do it because this is as fool-proof as you can get an RDS handgun setup. Changing a battery in an electronic sight shouldn't be an armorer level task. This dancing around with umpteen plates and footprints is beyond tedious. The RMR was first and now we're stuck with that frankly stupid optic mounting method for Lord only knows how much longer. Blech.

    So the M&P can be had with a less troublesome and more reliable optic mount than a Stack-A-Toe...if you are in LE. Or you can talk to the right people to get you around S&W's silly "LE Only" restriction on this particular SKU. (No, I won't tell you how I did that.)

    Expect to pay about $650 for the pistol itself.

    What about a 1911 style fire control? Well, the M&P can be had with a thumb safety. If you don't have one with a thumb safety, it can be added in minutes with the right parts. The right parts are cheap and widely available. So now our $650 M&P bumps up another $40 to get the safety parts.

    Of course, then we come to the real reason why people love the 1911 fire control...the trigger. Short takeup, minimal trigger travel, and a clean break can make up for a world of sins on the fundamentals...and the trigger as it comes from the box isn't anything like a 1911 trigger. Enter Apex. You can get multiple flavors of trigger from Apex. Personally I'm not a fan of the forward set triggers on M&P pistols. I prefer to have some takeup on the trigger because this is intended to eventually be a carry gun and I'd rather not have a gun set up to go bang immediately upon touching the trigger. (That's one of my gripes on the P320...and most of those don't have safeties)

    I installed the Apex Action Enhancement Duty kit in this pistol. I bought the cheapest one with the polymer trigger...and I'll be buying the polymer version from now on because it's actually easier to install than the aluminum one. This results in a trigger that has a somewhat long takeup, but then has a relatively short travel and clean break beyond that. It honestly reminds me a lot of the feel of a P30 LEM trigger with the TLG modifications....which I've always liked. Unlike the P30's LEM, the reset is short on this setup. The kit is $165, so we're up to ~ $850.

    And this was good enough to shoot very good B8 scores as the gun came from the factory accurate enough to easily hold black at 25 yards and the modifications make it much easier to wring out every X ring hit the gun is capable of. As an example of accuracy, I ran the "Dicken" drill at 40 yards on a Tac Strike silhouette with 10 hits in 7.59 seconds with the factory barrel and this trigger setup. So you can stop here and you've basically achieved Stack-A-Toe like performance for 34% of the price.

    ...but if you're willing to spend a little more, you can probably do a bit better. And by "a bit" I mean:

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    That's actually a 5 shot group of 124 grain +P HST, but as best I can tell the fifth shot went right through one of the other holes, but it happened so cleanly I can't identify it...and given what you see there, that's perfectly plausible. This is the result of a semi-drop in Apex barrel.

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    Apex has been known to run sales on their barrels with costs down to the $140 range, but let's assume buying one at $200. You're now at $1050, or 42% of the price of a Stack-A-Toe with magazines that we know absolutely work reliably and cost a fair bit less to boot.

    So for $1050 and a little bit of elbow grease I have the most mechanically accurate handgun I've ever owned with a grip that actually fits my hand and an optic mounting process that is as simple as it can get.

    ARay and I will likely be doing some side by side comparisons of the Stack-A-Toe and this build to see what's what...but my money is on the Apex'd M&P.
    Last edited by TCinVA; 08-04-2022 at 04:07 PM.
    3/15/2016

  2. #2
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    For another $1,000, Ed Brown will do the labor for you.

    https://www.edbrown.com/fueled-series/

  3. #3
    Took me a while to get Stack-a-Toe, but I did.

    Nice run down. I have an M&P 2.0 5in, I think I'll do the Apex treatment you did and see how it feels and shoots.
    Adding nothing to the conversation since 2015....

  4. #4
    Murder Machine, Harmless Fuzzball TCinVA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Lehr View Post
    Took me a while to get Stack-a-Toe, but I did.

    Nice run down. I have an M&P 2.0 5in, I think I'll do the Apex treatment you did and see how it feels and shoots.
    I take no responsibility for feelings of sadness and regret that may manifest about the Stack-A-Toe purchase.
    3/15/2016

  5. #5
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    If my Wife sees this post, I'll be putting one together. But she'll be skeptical of the trigger being 1911 like.

    Maybe I should show her the post, & she can decide on the trigger herself.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2013
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    I've been saying for as long as I had an M&P that it is the 1911 of the 21st century.

    Incredibly accurate, good safety, excellent trigger, able to be modified to the extent that modern technology allows, as well as having both ergos and capacity.

    And also...easier and cheaper to get all those things.

    Very nice shooting

    Sent from my SM-A326U using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    You had to post this, and LTT had to release their HK work right after I decided to parse things down to glock and beretta huh…

  8. #8
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    Erick Gelhaus has been running an M&P with an acro and apex parts on duty for most of the last decade. Congrats on the new gun and optic.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by paherne View Post
    Erick Gelhaus has been running an M&P with an acro and apex parts on duty for most of the last decade. Congrats on the new gun and optic.
    Hasn't the ACRO only been out like 3 or 4 years max?

  10. #10
    Primitive Screwhead awp_101's Avatar
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    As someone who realized a long time ago a dotted M&P was the solution to multiple problems all I can say is...

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    Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy

    Blog with cool stuff

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