Firearm & Gear Reviews

Review: The Glock 17 Gen 4 & the ZEV Drop-In Trigger Kit – Part 2

Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store.

 – Dr. Seuss

I recently picked up the ZEV Technologies Adjustable Fulcrum drop-in trigger kit for my Glock 17 Gen 4. I purchased it on sale from Optics Planet for about $150 and even got a free $25 gift card with it. It’s not a cheap kit, normally retailing for around $185, and it’s not even ZEV’s most expensive kit. Their  “Ultimate” kit retails closer to $225 and includes a modified firing pin. I hadn’t been willing to take a chance on this kit before, but between the sale and the gift card I thought it was worth a try. As with many of these types of upgrades, functionality is my greatest concern. Increasing the monetary value of the firearm though is also an important consideration. When I make in investment like this it’s my hope that I can recoup some of that investment if and when I sell the firearm. Hopefully though, making an upgrade (presumably) like this will not only increase my effectiveness but also my enjoyment using that firearm. This is certainly my hope with my Glock.

The kit comes extremely well packaged and includes all of the following:

  • Polished Steel Trigger Bar
  • ZEV Trigger Pad (Black):
    • 6061 Aircraft Grade T6 Aluminum Hard Anodized Type III
  • ZEV Trigger Safety (Red):
    • 6061 Aircraft Grade T6 Aluminum Hard Anodized Type III
  • ZEV Trigger Safety Spring
  • Ejector Housing
  • ZEV Race Connector
  • ZEV Trigger Spring
  • ZEV 2lb Striker Spring, ZEV 3lb Striker Spring
  • ZEV Stainless Steel Firing Pin Safety
  • ZEV Firing Pin Safety Spring
  • 2 Adjustment Wrenches
  • Manual

From the ZEV Technologies website the kit provides the following enhancements:

  • The trigger face is flatter and the trigger safety is three times wider than a stock trigger; this is ideal for quickly placing your finger in the optimal firing position. This will help build proper muscle memory for improved consistency and accuracy.
  • Because of ZEV’s proprietary trigger bar refinements the trigger operates smoothly through the entire length of pull.
  • The trigger’s crisp tactile reset gives the user a clear feeling for the moment of reset. This feedback improves the user’s ability to ride the reset to improve follow up shot speed and placement.
  • The trigger weight can be adjusted to as low as 3 lbs. A lighter pull weight requires less pressure, reducing trigger fatigue and improving accuracy.
  • The pre-travel and over-travel are adjustable to allow for a shorter pull, crisper break and faster reset.

The kit is very easy to install and there are quite a few videos on how to do it. Once again, one of the best and easiest to follow is done by sootch00 and can be found here. His video is for the ZEV “Ultimate” kit so it includes the installation of a new firing pin as well. This was my  first time breaking down my Glock’s fire control mechanism and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it is was to remove. As advertised, the ZEV kit just drops right in and is ready to go out of the box.

For my initial installation I used the 3lb striker spring. My understanding is that the 2lb striker spring may cause light primer strikes and should only be used with an after-market extended or lighter firing pin. I intend to test this when time allows. I also have not at this time installed the included ZEV Race Connector but I will speak more about that later.

So what are my impressions? I said in Part 1 of this review that I felt like the stock trigger in the Glock 17 Gen 4 was pretty good overall. It has a reasonable amount of take up, a fairly distinct wall and a tolerable amount of creep before breaking. The ZEV trigger kit simply improves every aspect of the stock trigger. It’s setup right out of the box also reduces the trigger pull by about a half pound or so averaging around 5 and a quarter pounds. Not a tremendous reduction but the difference can be felt.  For those of you who want to preserve the Glocks “duty” trigger feel, you will be pleased. All in all, the ZEV Drop-In Trigger Kit simply does everything better.

Check out these two videos below for a visual comparison:

The videos do a pretty good job demonstrating the primary differences: shorter take-up and a shorter reset. As dramatic as these differences appear to be in the video though, the ZEV trigger doesn’t feel like a revolutionary experience. It simply feels like the stock trigger improved. I don’t say that as a slight necessarily. If you like the OEM glock trigger then you’re going to like the ZEV trigger kit. The take-up appears to have been reduced by a third or more, and the reset is probably about half as long. Those are some significant differences and to some shooters, likely more skilled than shooters than me, those differences are even more meaningful.

So does this improved trigger make me a better shooter? Does this improved trigger help me overcome my particular problems with the Glock? Unfortunately the answers to these questions are the same: nope and nope. Am I disappointed? Slightly. Am I surprised? Not at all. The truth is that my issues with the Glock are not about the pistol itself. It’s true that I have other pistols that I don’t exhibit the same bad tendencies as I do with the Glock, but I have seen these bad habits pop up often enough with a multitude of different handguns to know that they are MY issues, not the handguns. My first day out with the the ZEV trigger installed and my tendency to shoot low and left with the Glock manifested itself as usual. This new trigger wasn’t going to solve my problems for me. The solution? Get back to basics. I loaded a couple of magazines with a mix of live rounds and snap caps and sure enough I was exhibiting a flinch. Good reminder that these types of issues can creep back up if your fundamentals aren’t reinforced on a regular basis. My next magazine grouped much better and although they were still slightly left of center, they were not low. In fact, it was one of my best groups ever with the Glock. I suspect that the ZEV trigger will give me a higher ceiling shooting with this gun, and having shot it a few more times since, I’m finding I like it more and more.

There are a couple more modifications included in the ZEV kit that may have an even more dramatic effect on the triggers function and feel. I am torn however about modifying the trigger any further. I like the “Duty” feel of the trigger. It’s a trigger with great tactile feedback and gives you the confidence it will fire exactly when you want it to. Nevertheless my curiosity is such that I’ve got to see everything this kit is capable of. The ZEV V4 Race connector implies a dramatic improvement in the trigger pull that I’d like to try out. ZEV goes as far as making a disclaimer regarding the connector:

“ZEV Technologies recommends using a ZEV V4 Race connector for COMPETITION USE ONLY. The ZEV connector will provide for a lighter and shorter trigger pull and improved trigger reset for competitive shooting ONLY. A heavier trigger pull, associated with the factory connector is appropriate for everyday carry or home defense.”

If that disclaimer doesn’t tempt my curiosity I don’t know what will. I’ll likely write up a short part 3 of this review after I try it out. I may also experiment with the lighter striker spring and see just what performance and more importantly, reliability, I can get out of it. Will let you know. In closing, I would say the ZEV trigger kit is a noticeable upgrade. Whether that upgrade is worth the money is a difficult question to answer and I suspect will vary from person to person. The trigger has continued to grow on me though and with each outing seems more and more worthwhile.

 

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