Factory vs Apex Barrel: Velocity Difference - MP-Pistol Forum

Factory vs Apex Barrel: Velocity Difference

This is a discussion on Factory vs Apex Barrel: Velocity Difference within the MP Talk forums, part of the Smith & Wesson MP Forum category; Took my M&P Pro 5" 9mm to the range today and met my friend with his chronograph. I used only American Eagle 147 grain FMJ ...


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Old June 4th, 2016, 10:47 AM   #1
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Factory vs Apex Barrel: Velocity Difference

Took my M&P Pro 5" 9mm to the range today and met my friend with his chronograph. I used only American Eagle 147 grain FMJ flat point for the test, as this has given me the tightest 25 yard benched groups, of many tried.
With the factory barrel, my groups ran 4.5-6 inches and with the Apex, 1-2 inches.

Here's the chronograph results:

Apex barrel 10 shot average; 1001fps, Std Deviation of 11.2 fps.

Factory barrel 10 shot average; 953.6 fps, Std Deviation of 10.4 fps.

That's almost 50 fps faster with the Apex.

Also, I tried one round of Federal HST 147 grain +P through the Apex barrel and that clocked in at 1054 fps.
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Old June 4th, 2016, 11:23 AM   #2
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Cool! I may have to put one in each of my Pro Series guns! Thanks for the comparisons!
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Old June 4th, 2016, 08:45 PM   #3
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Even though I've seen the video on how to install the barrel myself, I feel like I'll grind of too much metal.


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Old June 4th, 2016, 09:47 PM   #4
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bh556, It's as easy as the video shows it to be. Just go easy and as the fit gets close it requires a very light hand. Knowing just that, you can do it.

If I do another I think I'd go onto ebay and get a finer file, or stone it to final fit.
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Old June 5th, 2016, 07:53 AM   #5
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Consistent ammo.
Those Federal AE 147s averaged 952.3 from my 5" Pro.
Still trying to screw up my courage to try fitting an Apex barrel.
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Old June 5th, 2016, 08:32 AM   #6
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Consistent ammo.
Those Federal AE 147s averaged 952.3 from my 5" Pro.
Still trying to screw up my courage to try fitting an Apex barrel.
I'm type A and impatient, but took my time, fitting a gunsmith fit barrel. Fitting to the slide took less than an hour, but the lug took another 2.5 hours. Apex recommend using a mill to remove the lug from the gunsmith fit barrel, but I used a file, stones and a blue whiteboard marker (dries very slowly) and kept whittling away at it, removing the high spots. When I got close, I used the stone to finish it. It came out great.
I do recommend a dab of gun grease on the lug, as well as the rails, as the gun fits tighter and this helps a lot.
I was seriously considering selling the gun, but decided to gamble on the barrel and glad I did. I've also got an Apex sear in there for a 4.5lb pull.
One other thing: If you haven't tried the new Hogue Hybrid grip, do so. It's only $10 and completely alters (for the better) the grip of the gun. You have to remove the backstrap to install it. It's slightly improved my speed at IDPA.
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Old June 5th, 2016, 09:12 AM   #7
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AGK', what backstrap would you say it's more like, if it can be compared to any?

The reason I ask is that I have small hands and the small backstrap fits me. It might be better if I can get even closer to the trigger. If it makes the grip any larger it might not work for me, but might if the overall grip is larger but moves my hand forward.
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Old June 5th, 2016, 09:17 AM   #8
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AGK', what backstrap would you say it's more like, if it can be compared to any?

The reason I ask is that I have small hands and the small backstrap fits me. It might be better if I can get even closer to the trigger. If it makes the grip any larger it might not work for me, but might if the overall grip is larger but moves my hand forward.
I would put it between the medium and large. I use a medium, but I'll adapt to the slightly larger fit. I did install an extended mag release; that really helped a lot.
M&P Extended Length Mag Release

If you get an extended mag release, get the LF Arms and not the Catalyst. The LF Arms is all steel and drops right in, whereas the Catalyst is plastic and requires fitting, but still hangs up.
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Old June 5th, 2016, 10:31 AM   #9
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Yup, I have the LF Arms mag release in both of my M&Ps. It was the difference between a one handed mag release, or the much less desirable, shifting the shooting hand or using 2 hands.

It sounds as though I can't use the Hogue grip.
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Old June 9th, 2016, 05:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by blackhawk556 View Post
Even though I've seen the video on how to install the barrel myself, I feel like I'll grind of too much metal.


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do not GRIND, take small strokes with a fine hand held file and fit often. Just follow the video instructions and you will be fine.
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Old June 22nd, 2016, 12:00 PM   #11
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If you own a metal file and a sharpie (in place of the dykem used in the Apex tutorial video - it shows wear area just as well) you can fit the Apex barrel without breaking a sweat.

Expect it to take nothing more than 2-3 hours of assembling, disassembling, making light passes with a file on the wear points, repainting them with the sharpie... and repeating.
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Old June 22nd, 2016, 12:47 PM   #12
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It didn't even take me an hour, but maybe my gun had those sort of tolerances. I bet I didn't need more than 10 strokes total with the file. That was for both surfaces that actually required fitting.
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Old June 22nd, 2016, 06:04 PM   #13
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It didn't even take me an hour, but maybe my gun had those sort of tolerances. I bet I didn't need more than 10 strokes total with the file. That was for both surfaces that actually required fitting.
There's a big difference in fitting the semi-drop-in vs the gunsmith fit barrel and it's all in the barrel lug at the bottom. The gunsmith fit barrel has a lot more metal to remove.
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Old June 24th, 2016, 07:50 AM   #14
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Do you attribute the increase in velocity to bullets fitting tighter in the Apex barrel ?
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Old June 24th, 2016, 08:14 AM   #15
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Do you attribute the increase in velocity to bullets fitting tighter in the Apex barrel ?
It could be interior dimensions, different type of rifling, or a combination of both. I really can't answer and be sure.
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